Akita Photo

Akita Dog Breed Info & Pictures

Big, strong, and adorable, the Akita is an exciting mix of energy and dedication. Part of an exclusive circle, Akitas are one of only seven dogs native to Japan. These animals have a rich history, and they are even legendary in their homeland!

Akita dogs love snow. Love it, love it, love it. With one look at their powerful chest and shoulders, it’s easy to imagine them bursting through mounds of fluffy white powder in pursuit of a new game with an active family.

The Akita dog has a sizeable head and a strong, wide jaw. Their triangular, perky ears highlight their dark, intelligent eyes. Their expression can hold a goofy smile when they are panting happily or a pleading pout when they are at the dinner table. Their tail curls all the way over their back. They have a soft, warm undercoat, but the protective outer coat is a bit rough. Akita dogs can be any color, including white or pinto, and they sometimes have a black mask.

Akita Fast Facts

10 - 12 years
85 - 120 lb
65 - 90 lb
25 - 28"
23 - 26"
Aketa, Akkita, or Akeeta
Akita Inu, Japanese Akita


Akitas are incredibly devoted to family and great with kids....

Akitas form a deep, loving bond with their immediate family members, and they are gentle and protective with kids. However, they dont take the same way to other dogs or strangers. They tend to be skeptical at first, reluctantly trusting a repeat visitor over time. This is simply part of the Akitas personality.

With Akita puppies, lots of training and social exposure can help a little bit, but they are never going to greet new faces with the same level of enthusiasm as a Labrador. Thats a good thing if you dont want the kind of pet that jumps up on strangers.

Akita dogs are also very strong-willed and independent, so training them can be tricky business since the Akita will try to establish themselves as The Boss. But remember, this dog brings family devotion to a whole new level, so once its established that youre running the show, the Akita will go with you anywhere.

Caring For a Akita

The Akita is two parts adorable house pet, one part snowplow....

One look at this dog conjures images of deep snow. Imagine opening your front door to three feet of fresh powder and watching your furry companion dash in, sending snow flying as they fetch a stick. If you are active and run regularly in cooler climes, this dog will cheerfully bound along at your side for a long run every day.

In fact, a daily long run or equivalent game is needed to let your Akita burn off all that athletic energy. If they dont get enough exercise, they can become very hyperactive and difficult to control. But once their hunger for regular activity is sated, they can be a calm house pet. Their heavy coat makes them well-suited to cooler temperatures, but heat can be uncomfortable for them, so extra attention is required to ensure they stay cool and get enough water on warm days.

Akita History

Breed History

The Akita is a living legend in Japan....

Japan is covered in mountainous terrain, and this dogs story begins high in the cool peaks. The ancient ancestors of the Akita, called Odate dogs, were revered guardians, hunters, and fighters. Exposure to European Mastiffs and Great Danes increased the size of the Akita dog. The Japanese breeders preferred smaller dogs, so they organized the Akita-inu Hozankai Society in 1918 to ensure the health and integrity of the breed.

In 1932, an Akita named Hachiko would capture the hearts and minds of Japanese citizens all over the country with an incredible true story of family devotion. When Hachikos master would get off the train from a long day at work, Hachiko would be there to greet him every time. One day, Hachikos master did not get off the train. His master had, sadly, passed away at work. Hachiko waited there at the train for his master. He returned the next day, and the next, for nine incredible years.

Unfailingly faithful, this is the kind of singular devotion to family that the Akita dog is known for. Akitas found their way to America starting in 1937. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972, the dog remains popular in the States.