Akita Shepherd

Dog Breed Profile

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Akita Shepherd History

The Akita is a medium to large-sized spitz-type dog with a distinctive wolf-like appearance. The Akita is a working and herding dog that originated in the mountainous regions of northeastern Japan. The Akita has long been prized in Japan for its affectionate nature, loyalty, and obedience. The origin of the name “Akita” is unclear. One theory is that the name originated from the word for “sound”, referring to the distinctive bark of the Akita. Another theory suggests that the name came from the Ainu people, who historically referred to wolves as “Aki”, and that over time the term “Akita” was used to refer to both dogs and wolves. The Ainu people are an ethnic minority group native to the northernmost islands of Japan, as well as an indigenous people of Hokkaido. The Ainu people traditionally hunted and trapped small animals using dogs, and likely used a number of early types of spitz-type dogs for this purpose. The Ainu people likely began to import European Spitz types into Japan from Siberia in the late 1600s and early 1700s. The Ainu began to introduce these dogs into Japanese culture, and the dogs became popular among the samurai class. The Ainu also used these dogs for farm work, as well as in reindeer herder and pack-pulling roles. The popularity of the Ainu Komondor, a mid-sized spitz-type with curly fur, grew during the Edo period. The Ainu gradually interbred the Ainu Komondor with Japanese hounds and

Time of Origin


Country of Origin


Akita Shepherd Physical Characteristics

The Akita Shepherd is a medium-large, active working breed that typically stands between 21 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 70 and 90 pounds. They have a long, broad head with a straight, tapering muzzle. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite. They have a strong, muscular neck, a straight, level back, and long, sturdy legs. Their ears are erect and hang close to their head. The Akita Shepherd has a dense, water-resistant double coat. Their undercoat is thick and soft, while their topcoat is harsh and wiry, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They have a square, compact head with straight or slightly arched eyebrows, and a triangular-shaped nose. Their wide-set eyes are dark brown or black, and they have a black nose. Their lips and tongue are dark pink. The Akita has a double-layered, short, and weather-resistant undercoat and a thick, hard, and wiry, colored, single-layered outer-coat.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors

Black, Brown

Coat Colors

Brindle, White, Silver, Fawn, Black, Red, Brown, Sable, Gray

Height Range

Male Height Range: 23 – 25 inches

Female Height Range: 22 – 24 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 65 – 85 lbs

Female Weight Range: 60 – 80 lbs

Akita Shepherd Health

Description of breed health.


10-12 yrs

Akita Shepherd Health Concerns

Canine Hip Dysplasia, Bloat, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Degenerative Myelopathy, Congenital Heart Defect, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Elbow Dysplasia, Panosteitis, Pemphigus, Sebaceous Adenitis, Pannus, Perianal Fistulas, Hemophilia, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Akita Shepherd Temperament and Behaviour

The Akita Shepherd is a large, powerful dog with a strong will and a independent streak. They are confident and courageous, and can be willful and headstrong. They are very loyal to their family and will protect them from any perceived threat. They are reserved with strangers and can be aggressive toward other dogs. Akita Shepherds need firm, consistent training and socialization from an early age. They are intelligent dogs and can be quick learners, but they can also be stubborn and willful. Akita Shepherds are active dogs and need plenty of exercise. They excel at agility, obedience, and working trials.

Akita Shepherd Activity Requirements

The Akita is a large, powerful, and athletic breed of dog. This ancient Japanese breed is extremely loyal and protective of their family and home. They are highly intelligent, and they excel at various sports and activities. While Akitas may be large and powerful, they are also extremely friendly and outgoing. They are great with children, other dogs, and strangers. They do, however, require a great deal of physical and mental activity. Akitas do best in homes with a large amount of space. They need to be able to roam freely and engage in vigorous play. They are happiest when they have plenty of toys and opportunities to play.

Miles Per Day

14 miles

Activity Per Day

60 minutes

Daily Food

2.5 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Akita Shepherd is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Akita Shepherd is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Akita Shepherd is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Akita Shepherd is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.