Akita Dog Breed

In Japan the Akita breed is a symbol of good health.
By: PawCulture Editors
large tan and white dog by the water

About the Akita Dog Breed

Originally bred to be a guard dog, the Akita was also used for fighting and hunting. In Japan the Akita breed is a symbol of good health and is known as the Great Japanese Dog.

Akita Physical Characteristics

The Akita has a large body with a powerful build. It head is triangular with short erect ears, and its tail is bushy and curls along the back.


The Akita is most commonly seen in white with spots of color.


Medium to short thick and coarse coat.

Akita Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Moderate to High


The Akita is a good watchdog and extremely loyal to its human family. It is also loving and gentle.

Things to Consider

The Akita can be aggressive and territorial, especially toward strangers. It is also not considered a good dog for a family with small children.

Akita Care

Ideal Living Conditions

Akita dogs fare well in the country or city, though preferably not in an apartment setting.

Special Requirements

The Akita requires regular grooming.

Akita Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Akitas:


Akita History and Background

Considered a “natural treasure” of Japan, its native country, Akita dogs were originally bred as an adaptable hunting dog in the mountainous region of Northern Japan.

The Akita was saved from extinction in the 1800s, during which the Japanese made a concerted effort to save seven native dog breeds. The Akita is the largest among those seven breeds.

Hachiko, arguably the most honored Akita, would wait for his master every day at the station to accompany him back home. Even after his master’s death, he continued to religiously wait for him at the station every day for nine years. After Hachiko died on March 8, 1935, a statue was built to commemorate his dedication; it is here that Hachiko’s ceremony is held annually.

Hellen Keller, renowned American author and political acitivist, is credited with bringing the first Akita to the United States in 1937. It later became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972, and is today considered an excellent breed with good-natured and courageous attributes – a fact that lends itself to the breed’s most common profession in Japan: guard dog and police dog.