The noble Akita Inu is an impressive dog. These large, dignified animals are so revered in their native Japan that they are considered national monuments, and owning one is said to bring good luck.
Originating in the rugged Akita Prefecture for which it is named, this was originally a hunting dog. Akita were used to track large game, like wild boar and the dangerous, grizzly-like Yezo bear.
The Akita Inu was first introduced to the United States in 1937, when two of the dogs were presented to Helen Keller as a gift. The Akita Club of America was founded in 1956, and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1973.
These formidable dogs can stand as tall as 27 inches at the withers and weigh anything up to 125 pounds. They have a dense coat that can be brindle, red, fawn. sesame or white. They shed heavily twice a year, but other than that, are medium shedders.
Other defining features are a large head with fox-like features, and a thick, plumed tail that sweeps over the back.
The Akita has few health problems, and a life expectancy that ranges from 10-14 years. They are prone to Hypothyroid disease, but this can be easily treated with hormone therapy. Other health problems include impaired night vision, and progressive retinal atrophy. Hip and kidney problems may occur in older dogs.
Owning an Akita can be either a joy or a challenge. They are extremely loyal and protective dogs who form strong bonds with their family and are generally gentle with children and with other pets. They are known to become very excited when the see their owners, squirming around and making happy little grunting sounds.
These intelligent dogs are easy to train, but can be hard headed at times. If you want to succeed in this you will have to gain their trust and respect, otherwise they’ll simply ignore your commands.
The Akita is a dignified, self assured breed of dog that will seldom demand attention. However, you will have to exercise your dog daily, if your want to keep him trim and in good health.
Their high intelligence does mean that they bore easily. This can become a problem if they are not given regular physical and mental activity. They can become destructive and aggressive if they are bored, so training, early socialization, and a regular exercise regime are a must with this breed.
Don’t let that deter you from considering an Akita as a family pet though, because they are truly wonderful dogs.
Good names for a Akita Inu can be hard to find. The best advice is to search one of the online puppy names, sites, and my personal favorite is Puppy Names HQ. This site has thousands of excellent dog names, including a mega-database of cool dog names to pick from.