Akita Inu

region Japan
silhouette Not specified in the standard, but robust dog
cut 61 to 67 cm: large dog
hair  Short, hard and straight
dress Fawn red, sesame, brindle (blue or red or in rare cases, black brindle) or white
head Lupoid type, well proportioned
eyes Small and dark brown
ear Straight, relatively small, triangular, stretched forward
tail Long, thick and curled on the back
behaviour Quiet, loyal, stubborn, dominant but responsive
The Akita inu or Akita ken (???, literally "Akita dog") is a breed of Japanese dog. Activity level Often lazy to the point of being reluctant to go out on a rainy day, this dog adapts very well to his master's pace of life, with an activity level below average. He likes walks, but is not a great sportsman, especially when it comes to the heaviest subjects. He is a dog who has trouble jumping, but he is agile and knows how to climb better than jump. This is due to his slightly angular posteriors, and often he will not even pull much on a leash. It is on average the calmest and calmest of the spitz of Japan, taking into account individual differences and lines. This dog still needs mental and physical exercise. Care The Akita needs to be brushed regularly. He has a fairly dense coat, with a fairly large undercoat. It generally makes 2 big moults per year. The Akita can't stand the heat. Health Overall, Akitas are quite hardy dogs. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant because two autoimmune diseases wreak havoc in this breed, in particular: VKH (Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome) and AS (sebaceous adenitis). For these two diseases, there is no test, so that no breeder is safe from seeing one day appear in his lines of sick dogs and he can never guarantee you that the puppies are free from these diseases. diseases. Like all large dogs, the Akita can also be affected by hip dysplasia or coxo-femoral dysplasia. Dysplasia is indicated on the animal's papers, graded from A (healthy hip) to E (severe dysplasia). AS, sebaceous adenitis This disease, still relatively unknown in France, is nevertheless wreaking havoc, among Akita Inu in particular, but not far from a hundred breeds are affected by this scourge, to a greater or lesser extent. . It is a hereditary disease not mortal, but very serious, and in many cases one was obliged to euthanize the dog to shorten its sufferings which one could not stop. Because if the sebaceous adenitis itself does not really cause great suffering, many problems can be added to a previously very weakened organism. We cannot cure the animal, but we can treat the symptoms, but the treatments are for life (M.Rampak's method: oil baths). And if the symptoms disappear or at least decrease sharply, the dog in most cases regains a normal quality of life, which is not negligible. The AS can have somewhat different faces, but has almost always similar major points: more or less significant hair loss, blackened skin, very pronounced rancid or moldy smell, crusts and scales in patches or all over the body, dog weakened, sad, often refusing to eat, and often, problems with deficiency of the immune system, leading to unexpected problems, appearing in any form (appearance of lumps, earaches, not to mention internal problems ). In fact, this disease leads to the destruction of the sebaceous glands, which explains the physical signs at the level of the skin. VKH It is an autoimmune and hereditary disease that can be triggered by stress caused by any type of tension, and for which there is no treatment that can save the life of the dog. Just treatments to fight and soothe the dog's suffering, prolonging its life by a few months or even a few years for the lucky ones. Symptoms are: depigmentation, hair loss, and blindness. Sometimes there are no warnings, sometimes there are, such as depigmentation and conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is often followed by retinal detachment, which makes a milky blue surface on the eye. At this stage, it is extremely urgent, because without treatment, blindness will come very quickly. There have been reports of some dogs losing their nails. The disease affects the mucous membranes such as the eyelids, mouth, anus, vulva and sometimes the pads. There is a noticeable loss of pigmentation in these places, often starting with scabs or blisters. A point to note, many dogs are often affected very young: from 18 months to 2 years old, or even younger. If in doubt, quickly consult a veterinary ophthalmologist for VKH, or a dermatologist for sebaceous adenitis.
The breed dates back around 3,000 years and takes its name from Akita Prefecture in northern Japan. The largest of the Japanese Spitz, the Akita was originally bred to hunt bear, deer and wild boar. The breed has been modified by crossbreeding with molosser-type dogs to promote aggression and gear the breed towards dogfighting. This latter activity nearly extinguished the breed but in 1931 the Japanese Ministry of National Education proclaimed the Akita a natural monument, so every effort was made to preserve the breed and restore it to the original standard. American writer Helen Keller is said to have brought the first akita to North America in the 1930s after she was given a dog during a visit to Japan. But it would be the American military stationed in Japan since World War II who brought this breed back to the United States in large numbers. Today the American Akita are a new breed because there too crosses have been made. Hachiko is the best known akita. His statue now stands in front of Shibuya station in Tokyo. This faithful dog accompanied his master university professor (Mr. Ueno) and waited for him every day in front of the station: he continued for 10 years after the death of the old professor, until his own death (he was fed by the inhabitants). Hachikō is said to have died outside the train station. Today, the Akita Inu is mostly used as a guard dog and police dog in Japan.
The akita is endowed with great intelligence and a capacity for reasoning which can even destabilize or surprise its masters (it makes its decisions and acts accordingly). He is also very close to his family, friendly, gentle, affectionate even clingy. Conversely, this dog may show no interest in strangers (in the street or guests at home), whom he will snub without qualms. The Akita is known to be an excellent watchdog, barking only when really necessary. Contrary to what his physique suggests (resemblance to the Nordics: husky, malamute…), the akita remains a very calm dog, although he appreciates the daily walks which are necessary for him to flourish and stay in shape. No question of considering running the marathon with him, he will not have the endurance of the husky. But it can still surprise with its speed over a few hundred meters (running after game, for example). His Olympian calm is a decoy, he can deploy dazzling force in one fell swoop. It is important to note that its morphology does not predispose it to the practice of mushing, as some unscrupulous breeders suggest. He is too heavy for this activity which could cause him serious injuries. The Akita also knows how to be discreet if necessary, in restaurants for example. Moreover, it can be left alone at home for a while without it devastating everything... Finally, the akita is not known to be a big eater. Many masters worry at first about this lack of appetite of their companion. The akita, at first sight cute with its teddy bear fur, is not suitable for everyone. He is often a reserved dog, independent, discreet and has a strong character. Given his brilliant intelligence, his "dog-cat" side, his education can be very delicate: the recipe for a friendly and balanced relationship with his akita can be summed up according to experts in the expression "an iron hand in a velvet glove. Indeed, you have to be firm but never use violence or coercion which can lead to blocking the dog and making it aggressive. We don't train an akita, we educate it. The second major disadvantage of this breed is that it is very dominant with its congeners of the same sex, so cohabitation is difficult or even impossible. Some will say that there are cases of people having succeeded in cohabiting two males or two females (akita/akita or akita/other races) together, but on the number of masters who tried the experiment, the end was far too often revealed tragic... Note that it can sometimes even be difficult to make a male coexist with a female... Socializing the puppy as much as possible is essential but will in no way guarantee the character of the dog once an adult. Even having taken part in babyschool and early education classes, in which he will evolve smoothly among other dogs, in adolescence (10/12 months) an akita changes its behavior and can end up not no longer bear the presence of his fellow creatures. On the other hand, the Akita Inu being himself a cat-dog, this must participate in the good understanding which easily reigns between him and the felines. The akita is not a runaway, but its independent side, and a bad recall can lead the akita to make its living, and to walk alone; you must therefore be very careful. Recall should be learned from an early age. This command, one of the hardest to assimilate for an akita, should never be taken for granted. You have to work on it regularly. Finally the last point which can be considered as a defect: the shedding... impressive: twice a year, the akita undresses entirely.