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Akita Breed Info

Blue Moon Akita Rescue
The Akita Family

There are two types of Akitas as recognized by the American Kennel Club or AKC. They are the Japanese Akita-Inu and the American Akita. We have a little version of us Akitas called a Shiba-Inu and we have a big version of us Akitas called the Tosa-Inu. We Akitas descended from the Japanese Wolf (Canis lupus hattai) and were bred for hunting bear and wild boar on Hokkaido Island’s northern tip. We have 1,700 PSI bite force; enough to crush bone. We DO NOT get along with Coyotes under ANY circumstances; we’re sometimes okay with cats. We love snow and playing in the snow.

The AKC has set the following guidelines as “perfect” for us Akitas:
Height: Males 26 - 28 inches (66 - 71 cm), Females 24 - 26 inches (61 - 66 cm)
Weight: Males 75 - 120 pounds (34 - 54 kg), Females 75 - 110 pounds (34 - 50 kg)

Akitas are not recommended for first time pet owners as we can sometimes be a handful and a half. We are obedient, can be trained to do things and are aloof around people we meet.  We are a guardian breed and view our families as our primary responsibility and that we will protect them and their property without question. Think about that, we need no training to be protective. We are ever watchful of our surroundings, alert to danger. If we start barking, pay attention as we see something that is a possible threat a long time before you will.

We love unconditionally all members of our family. We can, with proper diet and exercise, live to be 15+ years old. As an Akita, we are typically same sex aggressive. It’s just something that is built into us. But we may cohabit with dogs of the opposite sex.

For those who are looking at getting an Akita from BMAR or another source, there are some good books out there to help educate you on the breed. Some suggested readings are:

Akita: (Barron’s Complete Pet Owner’s Manual), Published May 2007
ISBN: 0-764-13642-9. About $9.00
New Owner’s Guide to Akitas, Published November 1996
ISBN: 0-793-82760-2. About $13.00
Akita-Comprehensive Owner’s Guide, Published May 2004
ISBN: 1-593-78298-5. About $3.00.

Grooming your Akita, because of our double fur coat, is a bit of a challenge. Using a vacuum cleaner, hose attachment only, works best with a tool called a Furminator® connected to it. The Furminator® tool is kind of expensive, but it reaches deep down into the second coat to remove all the loose fur that makes your Akita itch, stink and leave all those wonderful fur balls all over your house.

Recommend using the Furminator® tool only for about 5-10 minutes followed by a wonderful massage tool to remove further loose fur called a Zoom Groom Brush™ by a company called Kong Toys. The one you need to get is blue in color. Use this for about 20-40 minutes. This handy tool also helps your Akita not to scratch as much after a good brushing as it stimulates the skin to release oil back to the surface.

Here’s a wonderful oil recipe for your Akita. Put 2 teaspoons of this oil mixture on your Akita’s food twice daily: In an 8oz. container, put 2oz. Olive Oil, 2oz. Flaxseed Oil, 2oz. Canola Oil and 2oz. of Cod Liver Oil. Shake well before each serving as the oils tend to separate out. This will help your Akita keep a shiny coat and help restore his coat oil after a good grooming, helping to control the itch.

What do you feed your Akita? We recommend Blue Buffalo Salmon and Sweet Potato formula that comes in a red bag at most pet stores or Hills Science Diet Ideal Balance that comes in a bag labeled as 2282 for years 1-5 and 3501 for over 6 years of age. Another good food is Nature’s Select in Salmon and Sweet Potato formula (303-684-9703 for more information). As long as the food has fish in it, your Akita will love it.

Akitas also like Rice, most fruits and vegetables (some raw, some cooked so try out different ones to see which ones your Akita likes.). Remove all seeds, pits and cores before feeding your Akita anything like that. NO RAISINS or GRAPES, these aren’t good for us under any circumstances. Don’t feed too many citrus fruits to your Akita, although he/she will love them, it might give them diarrhea and make them pass gas a lot (in a small room this gas might be too much).

As an Akita we are sometimes prone to joint problems. Your vet can give you a product called Rejuvenate® for dogs. The best way to give me one of those LARGE tablets is by putting it into a “Pill Pocket” for Tablets and putting some Peanut Butter over the exposed part of the pill. Then, I will take the peanut butter and the pill without realizing I have taken something that is good for me.

Travelling with your Akita can be more pleasant if you feed him/her a product called Composure® for Dogs. Follow the directions on the bag.

How do you judge an Akita, you might ask? Here at BMAR, we have the answer:

How do you judge a proper Akita?

I wouldn’t hesitate to lay money on the fact that few, if any, judges know why the Akita looks like it does. The Standard they have read, but why the Standard says what it says, they do not know. The following then is a remedy to that situation.

The Akita is a hunting dog, primarily of large game- bear, boar, elk, and monkey- working in northern mountainous country in cold, snowy winters. Most canine descriptions start with the feet. The only way to start the description of the Akita is with the teeth. Large, strong teeth in a mouth that opens very wide; the Akita takes as much of the prey in his mouth as possible- AND DOESN’T LET GO (remember this). The nose is large. With a mouth full of bear, the air has to go into and out of the lungs somehow. Relatively small eyes in such a massive head; well protected by skin and fur. The prey can do less damage that way. Also, relatively small ears that are very mobile. Capable of lying flat against the head; again for less damage.

A thick, strong neck gives support and strength to the unceasing work the jaws are doing. Powerful shoulders hold up the head and neck. A wide, deep chest gives plenty of heart and wind room; just right for the cold, thin mountain air. A wide, well-muscled, flat back give support and drive for the hindquarters, which are also very muscled and supply the dog with the agility and strength during the combat. Heavy, hard bone in the legs does not break easily. Large, thick, cat feet support such a heavy dog in rough terrain. Tail curled over the back is less of an object to grab and if grabbed, is thick and strong enough to withstand. Thick, weather-proof coat of fur, not hair, over a touch hide that does not tear easily; there before you stands one of the mightiest hunting dogs!

What the Akita is not: They do not look small or medium in size. The teeth are not small. The muzzle is not slender. The neck is not swan-like. The body is not narrow. The bone is not fine. The feet are not small or flat. The coat is not soft or too hairy. The expression is not sweet and the carriage is not gay.

What the Akita is: They are large, powerful, tough dogs with a calm, intelligent expression, carrying themselves in a dignified and aloof manner.

Judges might use this rule of thumb. As the class of dogs enters the ring, run your eyes down the line and with each dog ask yourself this one question. “Does that dog look ready, willing and able for bear?” If it doesn’t, then it’s a faulty Akita!

Harken ye to my final words! All of the above is not just a description of a male Akita, but also of the bitches. If the truth of the matter be known, it is your bitch who is the gutsiest of the hunters. The one who never gives up; the male is larger and stronger, but the bitch has the deep down guts for the whole affair. Judges, please don’t sell them short and put up the slender, prissy, pretty one as you will only do the breed a disservice!