30 Interesting Facts About Akita Dogs

Interesting Facts About Akita Dogs


The Akita is a large and powerful dog breed that originated in Japan. Known for their loyalty and courage, Akitas make devoted companions and guardians. While they may look intimidating, they can be surprisingly affectionate and silly with their families.

The Akita is truly a breed like no other. Originating centuries ago in Japan’s northern Akita prefecture, they were used to hunt large game like bear, elk, and boar. Their loyalty soon earned them a place as protectors and companions as well.

Today’s Akitas maintain many of the noble traits prized by their ancestors. They are alert, courageous, and affectionate dogs that thrive when they have a job to do. However, their strong will means they require dedicated training and socialization from an early age.

While their imposing presence deters intruders, Akitas reserve their silly side for family. They delight in playtime and cuddling on the couch. Read on to uncover 30 captivating facts about this ancient Japanese breed!

Akita Dog or Akita Inu, Japanese Akita Outdoor. Close Up

Interesting Facts About Akita

  1. Akita means “brave dog” in Japanese. This name suits them well, as Akitas are known for their courageous spirit.
  2. Helen Keller brought the first Akita to America in 1937 after being gifted two Akitas from Japan. She described them as “angels in fur”1
  3. During World War II, the Akita breed was nearly wiped out. After the war only 18 purebred Akitas remained. Thanks to dedicated breeders, their numbers have rebounded2.
  4. Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, was an Akita. After his owner passed away, Hachiko returned to the train station every day for 10 years waiting for him to come home. There is even a statue of Hachiko outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo.
  5. Akitas come in a wide variety of colors like red, brindle, sesame, and all-white. Pinto and brindle Akitas have a distinct mask of color over their muzzle.
  6. Their thick double coat is weather resistant, allowing Akitas to thrive in cold climates and snow. During shedding seasons they “blow” their coat and need extra brushing.
  7. While sturdy and substantial in build, they are also remarkably agile and can excel at dog sports like agility.
  8. Akitas are very clean and groom themselves like cats. This makes them relatively odor-free and easy to housebreak.
  9. These dogs are very intelligent and have a strong sense of independence. Proper training and socialization are essential starting at a young age.
  10. An Akita’s tail curls up and rests on its back. It stands erect when alert or happy.
  11. Akitas make a unique yodeling sound called a “baroo” to alert their owners of intruders or other happenings.
  12. They were originally used to hunt wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer in Japan’s snowy northern regions.
  13. During the Middle Ages, Samurai warriors would often take their Akitas into battle with them. The loyal dogs would defend and fight alongside their owners3.
  14. An Akita’s instincts tell it to be wary of strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Early socialization can help them learn to accept new people and animals.
  15. Akitas shed heavily twice a year during spring and fall. Regular brushing when they “blow” their coats helps keep loose hair under control.
  16. The Akita became eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class in 19554. In 1972 they earned full recognition by the AKC and were placed in the Working Group.
  17. Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akita to America, but it was the U.S. military that really spurred their growth in popularity after World War II. Many soldiers fell in love with the breed while stationed in Japan.
  18. There are two types of Akitas – Japanese and American. While originally the same breed, they diverged over time and the American Akita was recognized as a separate breed in 2006.
  19. Akitas make wonderful companions for active singles, couples, or families with older children. They are not well-suited for homes with small kids or other pets.
  20. Owning an Akita is a big commitment. They have a lifespan of 10-15 years and commonly live even longer.
  21. Akitas sheds heavily twice a year and needs weekly brushing. Their coats come in handy during cold winters though!
  22. The Akita became very rare after World War II. Thanks to Morie Sawataishi’s dedication to restoring the breed, the Akita survived. He is considered a savior of the Akita in Japan.
  23. They are naturally clean and groom themselves like cats. Despite their size, Akitas are relatively odor-free.
  24. Akitas are very loyal to their families and affectionate with their owners. They delight in quality time like playtime and cuddling on the couch.
  25. The Akita is known as a “silent hunter” in Japan since they hunt quietly without barking or baying. Today’s Akitas are quiet dogs that seldom bark without reason.
  26. The Akita’s ancestors, the Matagi, were medium-sized dogs used by hunters to track and hold wild boar and bear until the hunter arrived. Their courage was invaluable.
  27. Akitas makes excellent watchdogs. Their size is intimidating to intruders and they will alert owners of anything unusual. But they are discerning and won’t bark without reason.
  28. They shed heavily twice a year – in the spring and fall. During these shedding seasons, extra brushing is a must to control loose hair.
  29. Akitas are very clean and groom themselves like cats. This makes them relatively odor-free and easy to housebreak.
  30. The Akita nearly disappeared after World War II. Thanks to a few dedicated breeders, this loyal and courageous breed survived. Today they are treasured companions worldwide.


The Akita is truly a one of a kind breed. Originally from Japan, these dogs are alert, courageous, and devoted. Proper training and socialization is a must for these strong-willed dogs. With an experienced owner, Akitas make steadfast companions and guardians of home and family.

While their imposing presence is a deterrent to intruders, they have a playful and silly side reserved for their loved ones. From delighting in playtime to cuddling on the couch, the Akita’s affection for family is limitless. Their loyalty and bravery have earned them a special place both in Japan and homes worldwide.

  1. Helen Keller Was a True Dog Lover, https://www.akc.org/ []
  2. Canine Breeds of the World – Akita, https://edvh.com.au/ []
  3. The Akita: A Samurai’s Second Chance, nationalpurebreddogday.com []
  4. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Akita_(dog) []

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