Origin and Purpose
The Akita’s history dates back nearly 400 years and derives its name from the
prefecture of Akita in Northern Japan. In 1931 the breed was proclaimed a
natural monument by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The government more
recently took steps to preserve the breed which is now regarded as a National
Primarily, the Akita is a working dog. It was used for hunting bear, wild boar
and sled work; a companion and protector of children and home.
Large, powerful, alert and much substance and heavy bone. The broad head,
forming a blunt triangle with deep muzzle. Small eyes and small erect ears
carried forward in line with the neck are characteristic of the breed. The large
curled tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.
Alert, responsive, dignified, reserved with strangers. An Akita’s nature is to
be intensely loyal to its master. The Akita barks infrequently and then only as
a warning signal. Fearless when challenged, often dominant over other dogs. The
Akita?s demeanor suggests activity and agility.
Height at shoulders: 26 inches to 28 inches for dogs; 24 inches to 26 inches for
bitches. The male dogs length to height is approximately 10:9; females 11:9.
Coat and Colour
Double coated: undercoat is soft and dense – shorter than outer coat. Outer coat
is straight, harsh, slightly standing off body. Hair on head, legs and ears is
short. Length of hair at withers and rump, approximately two inches; except
tail, where coat is longest and most profuse.
Any colour, white, brindle or pinto. Colours well defined. Markings well
balanced. Whites have no mask. Pintos have white background with large evenly
placed patches covering head and more than one-third of body. Brindles with or
without mask. If the face has stripes rather than a black mask, they should be
uniform. Undercoat may be different colour from outercoat.
(a) Skull – Massive but in balance with body, tending to be flat on top with the
rest of the head forming a blunt triangle when viewed from top. Free from
wrinkles when at ease. Median fissure clearly visible and stop well defined.
Cheeks moderately developed.
(b) Muzzle – Broad, full. Distance from nose to stop is the distance from stop
to occiput as two is to three.
(c) Nose – Broad and black. Liver nose permitted on white Akitas only, but black
(d) Mouth – Clean, powerful jaws. Tongue pink. Teeth strong with scissors bite –
but level bite acceptable. No black spots on tongue. Lips black and heavy, but
(e) Eyes – Dark brown: Small, deep set and triangular in shape. Eye rims black
(f) Ears – of the Akita are characteristic of the breed. They are strongly erect
and small in relation to the size of the head. Ears are triangular, slightly
rounded at tip, wide at base, set wide on head, but not too low and carried
slightly forward over eyes in line with back of neck.
(g) Neck – The neck is thick and muscular; comparatively short, widening
gradually towards shoulders. A pronounced crest blends in with base of skull.
(a) Shoulders – Strong and powerful with moderate layback.
(b) Upper Arm – Heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front. Elbows turning
neither in nor out.
(c) Lower Arm – Heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front. Dewclaws
(d) Pasterns – Angle of pastern 15 degrees from vertical.
(e) Feet -Thick, round and very tight with arched toes (cat feet) straight
ahead, pads thick.
(a) Topline – Level back.
(b) Chest – Is wide and deep. Depth of chest is one-half height of dog at
shoulder. Ribs well-sprung, brisket will-developed.
(c) Loin – Firmly muscled and moderate tuck up.
(d) Abdomen – Is drawn up and tucked up.
(e) Croup – Is slightly rounded.
(a) Hip bone – Width, muscular development and bone comparable to front.
(b) Upper thigh – Well developed and powerful, stifle moderately angled.
(c) Lower thigh Should be comparable to forequarters, dewclaws optional.
(d) Hocks – Strong hocks, less angular than many breeds (145-160 degrees)
turning neither in nor out.
(e) Feet – Same as front.
Large and full, set high and carried over back or against flank in a three
quarter, full or double curl, always dipping to or below level of back. On a
three-quarter curl, tip drops well down flank. Root thick and strong. Tail
reaches hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full, with no appearance
of a plume.
Brisk and powerful. Vigorous. Back remains firm and level. Rear legs move in
line with front legs.
1. Over-refinement in males;
2. coarseness in bitches;
3. lack of chest;
4. elbows in or out;
5. light bone, rangy body;
6. straight hocks;
7. excessive dewlap;
8. indication of ruff or feathering;
9. round or light eye.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Akita. Any deviation from the
above-described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation, keeping in
mind the original purpose of the breed.
A male animal MUST have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the
1. Monorchids or cryptorchids;
2. Viciousness, instability;
3. Excessively over/undershot;
4. Uncurled or sickle tail;
6. Butterfly nose;
7. Drop or broken ears;
8. Entropion or ectropion;
9. Long coats;
10. Males under twenty-five (25) inches; bitches under twenty-three (23) inches;
Altering of coat or general appearance by scissoring or clipping.