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The Akita Inu is considered to be the pride of Japan and is highly respected by almost everyone in the country. These canines are quite famous all around the world for the loyalty and faithfulness that they possess towards their owners and loved ones. And, because of these traits, over the years, this breed has also started to become fairly popular in countries other than Japan as well. Their demand has been gradually increasing in various parts of the United States, United Kingdom, China et cetera. And, because of their growing demand, people have begun to inquire more about these dogs and they want to know as much information about these canines as possible.

Hence, to enlighten the admirers of this breed, I have decided to share some fun and fascinating facts about the Akita Inu.

General Facts about Akita

  • Name:

    The name of this breed has been inspired by its place of Origin. Akita Inu was first bred in the Odate region of Japan's Akita prefecture. And, to honor this amazing breed, a museum in Odate city was also created.
  • Alternate Names:

    Akita had a very different name in the past. This breed was known as “snow country dogs” as it was bred in the snowy mountainous region of Japan. But in the 1930s, its name was officially changed to Akita. Now, this breed has also got many nicknames but one of the most common names for this breed is “Great Japanese Dog.”
  • Hunters and Protectors:

    When Akita breed came into existence, it was primarily used for hunting purposes only. These canines were used to track games like elk, bear, and boar and they were fairly good at their job. But, when the population in Japan began to rise at an exponential rate, these pooches were also given a new Now, they were heavily used for guarding purposes and were known as the protector of the family.

Body Facts about Akita

  • Coat:

    Akitas are double-coated with a thick, dense and soft undercoat which is shorter in length and a straight and harsh outer coat. Their heavy coat keeps them warm and comfortable even in the harshest of climates and it definitely protected them a lot when, in the past, these dogs used to work in snowy mountainous regions of Japan.
  • Webbed Feet:

    Akitas have webbed feet to help them walk easily on a snowy and slippery surface and it does so by distributing the weight of their body more effectively.

Historical Facts about Akita

  • Origin:

    Akita’s exact origin is not very clear as this breed has existed for thousands of years now, but they are believed to be the descendants of the Spitz family. This pooch was created in the Odate city that is situated in Akita Prefecture. It was used for hunting purposes in the cold mountainous region of Japan. It is also believed that to increase its size and ability as a fighting canine, this pooch was bred with Mastiffs and Tosas.
  • The fascination of Aristocrats:

    Akita became a kind of status symbol in Japan around the 17th Only the Japanese aristocrats and noblemen were allowed to own an Akita and these pooches began to live a fancy lifestyle. People also started to hire caretakers for the sole purpose of looking after their Akita. But all of this changed in the 19th century when Emperor Taisho amended this rule and now, even the commoners were allowed to own this awesome canine.
  • Hachiko:

    In the 1920s, an Akita named Hachiko had a habit of accompanying his owner to the train station every day. The pooch used to eagerly wait at the station for his owner to come back from his work and once he was back, Hachiko would then walk back with him to his home. This went well for many years, but one fine day in 1925, Hachi’s owner would die at his job and never return back to the train station. But, Hachiko with no knowledge of his owner’s demise, still waited for his owner at the station every day for over nine years till the day he was alive. And, this story truly illustrates just how loyal an Akita can be. A statue was also erected in the memory of Hachiko in 1935 when eventually he passed away waiting at the train station.
  • Close to Extinction:

    During the Second World War, Akita’s numbers took a massive hit in Japan as rationing become more and more strict and many owners were unable to properly feed their pooches. All canines except for German Shepherd (they were used as guard dogs) were cleared from the streets and the Akita breed was very close to becoming extinct. But, due to the efforts of some devoted breeders, this breed was eventually revived. Many owners crossed their Akitas with the German Shepherds in an attempt to save them, others began to hide their canines from the government and because of this eventually, Akitas saw a revival and after the war, their numbers also began to rise up.
  • Hellen Keller:

    A very famous American author and the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree, Hellen Keller is believed to have brought the first Akita to the United States.
  • AKC Recognition:

    Akitas were first recognized by the American Kennel Club as a distinct breed in the year 1972.

Temperamental Facts about Akita

  • Loyal and Aloof:

    Because these pooches are extremely loyal and faithful to their owners, they usually don’t get along that well with strangers. These canines have a hard time trusting new people as they believe anyone could be a possible danger to their loved ones. And, due to this, many insurance companies charge Akita owners more when compared to some other breeds as they don’t trust these dogs around strangers. But, with proper training and socialization, this behavior in Akitas can be easily corrected.

Miscellaneous Facts about Akita

  • Neat-Freak:

    Akitas are known to be obsessed with cleaning themselves. These canines, just like cats, are always looking to clean any part of their body which might be dirty. They love to lick their paws after a walk and are considered to be one of the neatest dogs in the whole of the canine community.
  • A token of health and prosperity:

    It is also believed that when someone in Japan was suffering from any health-related problem, they were given a small sculpture of Akita which was believed to bring luck and prosperity to them. This tradition is still followed by many people in some parts of Japan.
  • Hachiko, the movie:

    Inspired by the true events, a movie called “Hachi: A Dog's Tale” was released in the year 2009. It was very well received by both the critics and the audience and it went on to make $46.7 million at the box office.