Akita Inu are spitz-like dogs bred in northern Japan (Akita Prefecture). They have a muscular build and thick short hair. The temper is dominant, independent, requiring persistent training and respectful attitude. This breed is suitable for experienced dog breeders, calm, confident people. There are two lines, occasionally classified as different breeds: Akita Inu("authentic" subspecies) and American akita.
Residents of great Japan consider dogs of seven different breeds to be their national heritage. One of them is the world-famous Akita inu. This strong, powerful and very beautiful breed was bred for hunting deer, bear and wild boar. Subsequently, Akita dogs became excellent guards.
They are good-natured, but with a sense of self-esteem, brave and cautious, obedient and infinitely freedom-loving animals.
Despite such a harsh purpose, Akita dogs are very domestic animals that can become real family members. They just adore all the household members. The meaning of their life is to ensure security. At the same time, the Akita is a very restrained dog. This is a true friend who will always be there.
But still, we must not forget that Akita dogs are hunters by nature. They are endowed with excellent eyesight and an amazing sense of smell even for a dog. Moreover, this hero can move completely silently, like a cat. Animals are truly blessed in winter when they have the opportunity to run in the snow.
For the Japanese, Akita dogs are sacred animals. They are sure that they can be the most loyal and devoted friends, brave and reliable defenders of the house, a symbol of the health of all family members.
According to information from ancient historical sources in Japan, the ancestor of modern representatives of the breed is Matagi-inu (matagi is an ethnic group of hunters, Inu is a dog). The Akita Inu's region of origin is considered to be Akita Prefecture on Honshu Island. Matagi-inu and her ancestors served people as irreplaceable assistants in hunting, allowing them to get even very large or agile animals: Japanese macaques, bears, wild boars.
In the XII-XIII centuries, a new popular entertainment appeared in Japan - dog fighting. It has become a cruel selection for these dogs, leaving only the strongest, angriest and hardiest. In the XIX century, a wave of industrialization swept through the country, many residents moved, the number of crimes increased. Because of this, the matagi Inu were retrained to guard property. At the same time, bullmastiffs and mastiffs, Great Danes were brought from Europe to Japan, reviving the tradition of dog fighting. Increasingly, the Akita was crossed with these dogs to get more aggressive and larger dogs.
This caused concern among Japanese dog breeders, because the breed began to lose its features, so in 1931 the Akita Inu were transferred to the status of a natural monument at the state level. Breeders actively engaged in the revival of the breed, selecting only the best of its representatives for breeding. In 1934, the first official standard was introduced, but over time it had to be adjusted. Around the same time, the breed got its modern name, and in 1967 a thematic museum was opened.
The Akita Inu suffered serious damage during the Second World War – these dogs almost disappeared. They suffered from hunger, became victims of barely surviving people, their skins were used for clothing. At the end of the war, a state decree was issued on the extermination of all dogs unsuitable for military use, since a real epidemic of rabies began in Japan. For this reason, breeders hid some representatives of the breed in remote settlements, breeding them with matagi-inu. Also, amateurs bred hybrid generations of Akita with a German Shepherd to adapt them for military service.
After the war, a new round of restoration of the Akita Inu breed began, the greatest contribution to which was made by Morie Savataishi – it was thanks to him that these unique dogs have survived to this day. Purebred individuals had to be collected all over the country, but it bore fruit. The American military liked the charming and proud Akita, so the breed was brought to the USA.
There is no doubt that this is a Japanese dog breed. Akita has been living in Japan for more than 4,000 years. Archaeologists have discovered clay figurines depicting a dog, which date back to 2000 BC. E.
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Akita received the status of a symbol of the nation in 1934, when an original monument was erected near Shibuya Station in Tokyo, the capital of Japan, to the pet of Professor Eisaburo Ueno of Tokyo University - the world-famous Hachiko dog. A devoted and loyal friend of the famous professor accompanied him to the station every morning and met him in the evening. One day something irreparable happened, and the professor died right at the university. The dog did not wait for the owner, although it was at the station until midnight. The dog returned to the house, and the next morning went back to the station. This went on for nine long years, until the four-legged friend died. Admirers of his immeasurable loyalty raised funds and a monument to Hachiko was erected on them. Now he is always at Shibuya Station and still peering into the distance, trying to see his master.
Dogs of this breed, which are champions and prize-winners of various events, are depicted on commemorative postage stamps in Japan. There is even a law that guarantees all champions who have lost their master a lifetime maintenance from the state. For a long time, these animals were not allowed to be exported from the country. In rare cases, the royal family could give a puppy to prominent political figures of other countries. In the post-war period, akita became the subject of smuggling. Animals began to be illegally exported abroad without observing the rules of transportation. As a result, many of them died on the way. The government was forced to lift the ban on export.
Akita is a breed of dog, the price of which ranges from twenty to ninety thousand rubles. Such a spread depends on the pedigree of the animal, the merits of its ancestors, the awards available, the purity of the breed, etc.
The Japanese version is called Akita-inu; these are medium- and large-sized dogs with a dense, at the same time elegant physique. The head with small ears resembles a fox. Only a few color options are recognized. The coat must be short, with a white mask on the muzzle.
A variant from the USA has the name big Japanese dog or American Akita. These are exceptionally large dogs with a heavy bear-like head. They recognize almost any variants of the suit, including black or with a dark mask.
Akita Inu feels good in temperate or cold climates. Among the characteristic features:
An adult male has a height of 66-71 cm at the withers, weight from 45 to 59 kg. Bitches are 61-66 cm tall, weighing from 32 to 45 kg, while their body length is slightly longer than that of males. The Japanese version of the breed is slightly lighter and smaller. Eight - week - old puppies usually have the following parameters:
The growth of dogs is slow, the final development of the animal ends only by the age of 3. Puppies are actively gaining weight (up to 7 kg per month), after reaching 35-49 kg, their development slows down greatly, but does not end until the age of three. Don't worry if your pet doesn't quite fit into the existing growth tables, because this is very general information. In general , the dynamics are as follows:
American akita can be of any color. Long-haired dogs are often born - this is a consequence of a combination of recessive genes of the father and mother. By nature, they are the same, but do not fit into the standard, therefore they are considered culling.
In puppies, the ears are lowered, and in adult dogs they are erect, facing forward and slightly to the sides. They do not accept this position immediately, and two factors influence this:
It often happens that they fall back down or only one ear turns out to be standing. This process takes from 10 weeks to 6 months, because it is not worth worrying for up to six months; the position of the ears is leveled.
Brown eyes (preferably as dark as possible), small, set deep. They have a triangular «oriental» shape, which is noticeable from birth. In dogs of light color, black "eyeliner" is allowed, which only emphasizes a special cut.
In pedigreed dogs, it is fluffy, thick, rolled up into a tight ring. Babies have a straight tail that twists in the first 2 months of life. If the dog is asleep or just relaxed, he may unwind slightly, but he never becomes straight. Visually and to the touch, this part of the body does not change even during the molting period. The fluffy tail «bagel » as if balances the large head of the pet.
The description of the paws differs little for different standards: straight, arched, with thick pads, similar to a cat's. Both varieties of akita have their fingers tightly closed, which gives them the opportunity to swim well. In this case, not only the front, but also the hind limbs are involved. However, most dogs of this breed do not like to swim, going into the water only if absolutely necessary.
The life span of an akita Inu is approximately 10-12 years. Females live a little longer than males, but statistically the difference is small - only about 2 months. This indicator is the same for both varieties of dogs. Before World War II, life expectancy was much longer - 14-15 years, but the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forever left its imprint on genetics.
It is difficult to briefly describe the nature of this breed. Akitas are very versatile dogs. The American subspecies has more serious habits, the Japanese are somewhat more playful and frivolous. At the same time, most representatives of the breed are not stupid sofa pets or excessively sullen dogs. There are several main features of the character.
The foundation of education is the socialization of kids. The most important period is from 3 weeks to 4 months - this completely determines whether the dog will be able to get along with a person or not, whether it will grow aggressive, how it will react to new people and animals in the future. Akita-inu must understand that only the owner determines the boundaries of his world, having the rights of a leader. Introduce the dog to the greatest possible number of places, events, people. The understanding of the world that is laid down at this stage takes root by the year and can no longer be corrected. Keep in mind that before «going out into the world » you should do all the vaccinations and wait a little.
From the first day of the puppy's moving to a new home, a hierarchy should be designated. Some owners are touched by the kids, allowing them to behave in an inappropriate way, but already at a tender age, Akita understands everything and feels the boundaries of his leadership. The owner should be caring, loving and calm, but with a firm character. If the dog does not recognize him as the undisputed dominant, trouble will soon arise. It gets to the point that some people abandon or even put the dog to sleep, having failed to cope with his upbringing. A few more points are of great importance.
Despite the dislike of confined spaces, Akita-inu is well suited both for living in a city apartment and for keeping in a private house. In any case, it is extremely important to provide long walks during which the dog will be able to realize his energy. Start learning about the world around you after passing all vaccinations.
Akita Inu sheds heavily twice a year: from January to February and from May to June. During this period, the dog must be combed every day or at least 3-4 times a week. The rest of the time, combing 4 times a month is enough. Permanent molting is possible in a house with very warm and dry air. Another reason is illness or improper diet. There is no need to cut and trim the pet's fur coat. There are other recommendations for care.
Teach your dog to any procedures even at the age of a puppy. With an adult dog, you can simply not cope or cause stress and lose trust.
This breed is in good health, provided that the puppy has no serious birth defects. Sometimes they suffer from genetic diseases and are sensitive to certain medications. Among congenital and acquired/age-related ailments there are:
You can buy purebred puppies only from large reliable breeders. The main signs of a healthy baby of the Akita Inu breed:
Pay attention to the color and shape of Akita-inu's eyes - if they are round and light, it is not a pedigreed pet. The features of the eye section are necessarily congenital, and the color changes with age only to a lighter one. The bite should be correct, the pigmentation of the nose and mouth should be uniform. If you buy a puppy older than six months, and his tail has not yet spun, this is a bad sign. If you plan to participate in competitions, exhibitions, then it is better to choose a baby with an experienced dog handler. When purchasing an ordinary pet, it is enough to use the criteria outlined above.
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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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