Updated: May 11
COMPLETE GUIDE TO AMERICAN AKITA DOG BREED
WRITTEN BY XENA
WHAT ARE THE MOST INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE AMERICAN AKITA DOG
This impressive and powerful DOG owes its genetic heritage to Japan.
So when we talk about the AMERICAN AKITA, we can’t help but mention its Japanese roots and its intertwining with the INU-JAPANESE AKITA there mentioned earlier (see the post JAPANESE AKITA). AlthTHE ough the ancestors of today's AKITA were used in Japan to hunt: bears, deer, and wild boar, modern AKITA are now mainly used as a DOG companion, DOG for personal protection (Schutzhund), but also for therapeutic purposes.
All over the world, the AMERICAN AKITA is considered a different BREED OF DOG, except in the USA and Canada, where opinions are that it is only another type of AKITA DOG. The invasion of the AKITA BREED into the United States is largely due to American soldiers, who during World War II found these DOGS in the forests of Japan and brought them to America, and as a result, a new BREED-AMERICAN AKITA was created. Also, according to one legend, the Japanese deceived an American soldier to buy an AKITA. This one, in the belief that he was buying a purebred INU AKITA, actually bought a mixed breed. It could have been a cross between an INU AKITA and a GERMAN SHEPHERD or an INU AKITA and an ENGLISH MASTIFF. He was followed by other American soldiers, so AKITA arrived in the United States. These are the so-called AKITAS from the Dewa line, and they are characterized by intelligence and a great ability to adapt to different environments. Due to its imposing appearance, and protective and loyal character, this BREED soon gained great popularity in America, and in 1956. the American AKITA Club was founded. And it wasn’t until October 1972. that the BREED was accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
As a BREED, the AMERICAN AKITA was recognized worldwide in 2006. It is larger and taller (by 2 cm) than its cousin, the JAPANESE AKITA, and their body shape is different. For example, the head of the AMERICAN AKITA is somewhat similar to the head of a polar bear, and the INU AKITA has similarities to a fox. The ears of the AKITA INU are slightly tilted forward, while the AMERICAN AKITA's ears are upright. As I mentioned earlier, these two BREEDS also differ in color. JAPANESE BREED has strictly defined fur colors, AMERICAN AKITA can have different colors and combinations, and the most common are: red, brown, white, brindle, and pinto. Also, for the JAPANESE AKITA, you will have to reach deeper into your pocket, as it is generally more expensive than its American cousin.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AMERICAN AKITA
They belong to the group BIG DOGS
Weight: 32-45 kg, females, 45-59 kg males
Height: 61-66 cm, females, 66-71 cm males
Lifespan: 10-15 years
AMERICAN AKITA is a powerful, imposing DOG of heavy bones and according to all its physical characteristics, it belongs to the group BIG DOGS. The main physical characteristics of this BREED are a large bear-shaped head, upright and triangular ears, dark and small eyes, triangular in shape, curled tail over the top of the back (characteristic of SPITZ), and narrow and compact feet like a CAT. This DOG has a double, thick protective fur with a soft, woolen insulating undercoat, which protects them from extreme weather conditions. The fur can be of standard length or longer. Longer fur (Moku) is considered a mistake at exhibitions. According to the BREED standards, all colors and combinations are considered, including all types: black, white, one-color or tiger masks, and even pinto. Different undercoat colors are also allowed.
CHARACTER OF AMERICAN AKITA
Not all AKITAS have the same temperament. But what they have in common is the fact that it is an independent and dominant DOGS. Like the AKITA INU, the AMERICAN AKITA is also a very loyal DOG and protective of the owner and his family. According to them, he is extremely affectionate and playful and loves to carry his toys with him wherever he goes. In contrast, it is a suspicious and very cautious DOG, especially towards foreigners, towards whom it can show aggression if it does not start with TRAINING and socialization in time. Experts recommend starting TRAINING, at an early age, at 7 or 8 weeks. On the other hand, a trained AKITA should accept foreigners well.
AMERICAN AKITAS have a rather intolerant attitude towards other DOGS, especially those of the same sex, so caution is needed in situations when they are near other DOGS or animals.
AKITAS are intelligent, cautious, calm, and fearless DOGS. They can be obedient, but also very stubborn and as such are harder to train. It is a BREED that does not tolerate an inexperienced owner, who will not know how to impose his dominance. On the contrary, the AMERICAN AKITA needs a "firm hand", as well as physical and mental activity on the part of the owner, in order to avoid problems with its behavior in the future. However, if you leave him outside for a long time, or do not meet his needs, he can become destructive and aggressive. As a BREED, the AKITA should have a good relationship with children as it reportedly has affinities towards children. It will fit well with older children, but not with small ones, as it can inadvertently injure them in the game. However, I would still be careful and emphasize that this requires very early socialization and TRAINING.
CARE FOR AMERICAN AKITA
Like her Japanese cousin, the AMERICAN AKITA is very tidy, and after a meal, like a CAT, she will clean her face by licking. In order for their fur to remain soft and shiny, it is necessary to maintain it properly and regularly by BRUSHING and BATHING. During the molting season -2 times a year, these DOGS lose their undercoat, and then they need to BRUSH daily, and sometimes twice a day. Otherwise, it is enough to BRUSH them several times a week. If the fur is properly and regularly cared for, BATHING will be enough every 3-4 months. To prevent your DOG from accumulating tartar and plaque on his teeth, be sure to provide him with TOYS for cleaning teeth and make sure to brush them. Nails should be cut every month and ears cleaned once a week.
DIET FOR AMERICAN AKITA
To avoid kidney disease, it is necessary to switch to low-calorie foods around the age of 7 and avoid foods high in fat, due to the possibility of obesity. FOOD must have high nutritional values, ie it must provide sufficient amounts of VITAMINS and MINERALS, especially vitamins A and D, and it must be of good quality. With aging, the amount of food must be adjusted to the possibilities of exercise, in order to prevent obesity. Finally, it should be noted that occasional visits to the vet to control weight progress are extremely important.
HEALTH OF AMERICAN AKITA
Although AKITAS are relatively healthy DOG BREEDS, certain health conditions and problems can still occur. In the veterinary literature, two conditions characteristic of this BREED are mentioned: 1. immune sensitivity to drugs, anesthetics, vaccines, tranquilizers, and insecticides and 2. pseudohyperkalemia-increase in potassium (occurs when drawing blood due to excessive leakage from red blood cells erythrocyte cells, which may show pseudo-false indications of hyperkalemia, hence the name pseudohyperkalemia).
In addition, there is the possibility of autoimmune diseases in the AKITA BREED, such as:
Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome or Uveo-Dermatological syndrome-affects the skin and eyes;
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia-autoimmune blood disorder;
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus — affects any part of the body;
Pemphigus foliaceus - a genetic autoimmune skin disorder;
Sebaceous adenitis - an autoimmune skin disorder caused by autosomal recessive inheritance;
Immune-mediated endocrine diseases;
Hypoadrenocorticism or Addison's disease - affects the adrenal glands;
Diabetes mellitus or type I diabetes- affects the pancreas;
Hypothyroidism (autoimmune hypothyroidism) - affects the thyroid gland;
Certain non-immune conditions can also occur:
Progressive retinal atrophy;
Primary glaucoma-increased intraocular pressure;
Microphthalmia ("little eyes");
Hip dysplasia - affects the hips, and can lead to osteoarthritis and pain;
Elbow dysplasia — can lead to osteoarthritis and pain;
Von Willebrands disease - a genetic bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency of Von Willebrands factor;
Cushing's syndrome (hyperadrenocorticism) - affects the adrenal glands
If you are looking for a loyal four-legged friend, who will protect you at all times, wherever you go, and you have enough strength to impose your dominance, then the AKITA DOG is the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you do not yet have experience with DOGS, and you want this beauty, then be sure to seek expert advice.
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