They’re one of the most distinctive breeds of dog, but how much do you know about the courageous Akita?
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup. Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears on prospective owner’s canine wishlists is the Akita – a breed that can be willful but are alert, courageous, and fiercely loyal to their family. Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
For all the latest dog news, chat, advice and information, join our Scotsdog Facebook group here
1. What's in a name
The Akita gets its name from the area of Japan from which it originated - the snowy mountainous lands of Odate, in the Akita Prefecture. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. One breed or two?
There are two distinct varieties of Akita, namely the Akita Inu (or Japanaese Akita) and the American Akita (or simply Akita). There is some debate as to whether they should be considered different breeds - the American Kennel Club say they aren't, while the UK Kennel Club says they are. They have broadly similar characteristics, but the American variety comes in a broader range of colours. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. A victim of war
The Second World War nearly wiped out the Akita, as tough rationing in Japan meant that owners found it hard to feed and look after larger dogs. Meanwhile the authorities cleared streets of the majority of dogs, with the exception of German Shepherds who were considered useful to the war effort. Luckily devoted breeders hid Akitas in remote villages and the bloodline was maintained. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. A Japanese hero
An Akita called Hachiko is Japan's most famous dog - with a story that echoes Scotland's Greyfriars Bobby. In the 1920s Hachiko would walk his commuter owner to the train station each day, then return to the platform to wait for him to return home. After his owner died one day at work, the loyal dog continued to wait patiently every day at the station for 10 years. Photo: Canva/Getty Images