Akitas are large powerful dogs that were originally bred to hunt and guard nobility. Their impressive bodies hide an affectionate and loving personality towards their families who they are devoted to. These dogs are natural watch dogs with an innate desire to protect. Akitas are incredibly loyal and will fiercely defend their owners if they feel they are being threatened. They are good family dogs, being tolerant of children and forming strong bonds with everyone they live with.

Also known asAkita Inu or American Akita or Japanese Akita or Great Japanese Dog
TypeKC Pedigree
Typical lifespanBetween 10 - 11 years
Height range64 - 71 cm (Male)
64 - 71 (Female)
Average weight32 - 65 kg (Male)
45 - 66 kg (Female)
Coat typesMedium in length, Combination coats

Important to know

General health

Obesity risk

Excercise needs

Energy level





Tendancy to bark

Tendancy to chew

Tendancy to drool

Prey drive

Good for first times

Good with kids

Good with strangers

Good with animals

Dig a little deeper

Where did I come from?

An ancient breed from the Akita area of Japan, where the breed takes its name from, the Akita’s exact origins are not known precisely. There is evidence of a similar breed having existed in around 1150 AD, which is thought to be an ancestor of the Akita. However, the modern Akita can be found in records dating back to the 1600s where the breed was used to guard royalty, as well as hunt fowl and large game, including wild hogs and bears.

The popularity of the breed fluctuated over the years and it continued to be altered through crossbreeding with other large hunting dogs including Mastiffs, St Bernards and Great Danes. In 1934 the breed was declared as a natural Japanese monument, giving it special protection. The breed’s popularity soared and the dogs were seen as a status symbol. A pair were given as a gift to Helen Keller in the 1930s, bringing the breed to the USA for the first time.

However, during WWII numbers fell drastically to the point where they almost became extinct. This was because of the lack of food available to the dogs and humans, meaning many died naturally and others were killed for their meat and fur. The remaining Akitas were ordered to be killed to prevent the spread of disease. During this time, some lovers of the breed chose to cross their Akitas with German Shepherds to try to avoid them being killed. It is thanks to this practice that the breed survives until this day.

After the war the remaining Akitas were bred together and the breed began to increase in popularity once more. American soldiers reportedly fell in love with the breed and took them back to America where they steadily increased in popularity too. Having been introduced in the UK in 1937, Akitas did not begin to gain favour until the 1980s but have since been one of the nation’s favourite breeds.


Owner Requirements

In order to be a responsible owner to a Akita you should be able to provide the dogs with all of these requirements.

Needs a home that is large or very large

The outdoor space should be large or acerage

Requires regular daily exercise of at least thirty minutes.

Shouldn’t be left alone for any longer than four hours.

Doesn’t need much grooming at all, once a month should be fine.