Akita Inu

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The Akita Inu (秋田犬?) is a Japanese breed of large dog. Named for Akita Prefecture, where it is thought to have originated, it is sometimes called the Akita-ken based on the Sino-Japanese reading of the same kanji. In most countries (with the exception of the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs), it is considered a separate breed from the American Akita, as requested by the Japanese Kennel Club. "Inu" means "dog."

Contents

Description

Appearance

The breed stands anywhere from 60–66 cm (24–26 in) at the withers. Females weigh anywhere from 30–45 kg (70–100 lb) and males are 35–54 kg (75–119 lb). The Akita Inu comes in only five colors: Red, Fawn, Sesame, Brindle, and Pure White. All except white must have whitish hair on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, the neck, chest, body and tail. Black masks, as seen in the American Akita, are not permitted in the Japanese Akita Inu.

All colors are accepted in the American Akita. The Pinto color is not accepted as a Japanese Akita color, but is as an American Akita color. In the U.S., some breeders interbreed the original Japanese type with the heavier American type, which is larger, and allows more colors. It is felt by some that combining the two types leads to improved appearance and genetic health by increasing genetic diversity. It has often been commented that the Japanese Akita has an extraordinary elegance. There is only a single Akita breed registered by the American Kennel Club; in all other countries besides Canada the breed has been separated into two breeds: the Akita Inu and the American Akita.

Temperament

Akita Inu are renowned as loyal dogs and are also intelligent. The loyalty of an Akita named Hachiko established the breed as truly loyal to their owners.[1] The famous Akita Hachiko spent nine years waiting daily at the Shibuya railway station for his deceased master to return home. Hachiko's popularity brought back the Akita from the brink of extinction.

Because of their intelligence, Akitas get bored very easily. As a result, they often become destructive and aggressive if not given anything to do. Akita Inu can live happily in apartments as long as they are given plenty of exercise. They need to be socialized as puppies so they are friendly dogs and should have experienced owners. Although they love human companionship, they are quite happy to be outside dogs as well, but should still be taken out for walks to prevent destruction of the yard. Akita Inu often become excitable when seeing their owners, often wiggling around and making happy grunts.

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