Dog Breed Facts: Akita Edition

1. Akitas’ Original Name is “Snow Country Dogs.”

Akitas are from the mountains of Japan. More specifically, they are from Akita and Odate. The regions mentioned are surrounded by mountains that receive frequent cold weather and snow year-round. Museums are actually in Odate that is dedicated specifically to the breed.

The original name of “Snow Country Dogs” is due to the location at which Akitas are from. The regions are rural regions that do get snow in the mountains. Akitas can hunt within these mountains as well, though, tracking down the board, elk, and even bears like the Yezo.

2. Akitas Can Walk on Snow

Akitas can walk on snow without sinking. The ability has a lot to do with where the breed is from. They can walk on snow due to how their feet and toes are shaped.

Akitas have webbed toes. These webbed toes allow for walking on snow as there is more even weight distribution. Claws are also important to the breed as they can use their claws as picks to get out of the water and over ice. The breed is readily able to survive in the worst of weather.

3. Akitas Love Cold Weather

When it turns cold, Akitas want nothing more than to spend all day outside. They love the cold weather and love the snow. You nearly have to make the dogs come inside if it is cold outside, as they could play all day.

Akitas also love to hunt when there is snow on the ground. They can blend into the environment and easily sneak up on prey. They will bring back small prey like rabbit, squirrel, and other small mammals and even birds from the environment.

4. The Akita is Treated like Royalty in Japan

The Akita is honored as a sacred animal in Japan. At one time, only the Imperial family was allowed to own the dog. It truly is royal in its rights in its country of origin Japan.

Royalty is even showcased when the Akita is fed or cared for. Entire ceremonies are planned out for feeding this dog. Special leashes are made for this dog as well. The leash showcases the dog’s owner and the dog’s status among the people. It had to meet a high-status quo in older times.

5. Akitas are a Spiritual Dog

The Akita has great spiritual significance in Japan. It is seen as a good luck charm over many traditional Japanese families. The good luck charm can come in the form of statues and other pieces of traditional artwork.

One way in which the Akita is seen as a good luck charm is when children are born to a Japanese family. A statue of an Akita is given to the family to promote health and happiness to the family and the child. An effort to promote a long life is also part of the statue.

6. Akitas Came to America by Helen Keller

Helen Keller is a famous author and activities who was blind and deaf. She is known for bringing the first Akita to America. She owned one for herself to keep herself company.

Keller wanted an Akita after reading about Hachiko. Hachiko was an Akita who was loyal to his owner, who had been dead for years. He waited at the station every day for the owner to return. Keller wanted a dog just as loyal and compassionate as this, so bought her own Akita.

7. Every Akita Tail is Unique

No two Akita tails are the same. They do all have a traditional look, however. This look is for the tail to be curved over, arching towards the back of the dog. There is no way in which two tails are the same, though.

Each Akita can be uniquely identified by the shape of its tail. Two tails could be curved slightly differently than the others. All tails are also extremely fluffy and look soft to look cute and affectionate. The tail is one of the most recognizable traits of the Akita.

8. The Akita is a Very Clean Dog

Akitas are very much like a cat in their grooming habits. They will often clean themselves with their tongues. Their white coats rarely look dirty due to their efforts to remain clean and sanitary.

Akitas are also quickly able to learn to be potty trained and to use the bathroom outside. They are very clean animals and do not want to make a mess inside. Potty training is usually a very minimal problem for this intelligent dog. They are eager to please and eager to learn.

9. Akitas are Working Dogs

Akitas are working dogs in Japan for their hunting abilities. They are working dogs in America as well. Though not as frequently used for hunting in America, the dog is used as a service animal throughout the country on many different levels.

Akitas are very commonly used as therapy animals. They visit hospitals, nursing homes, and schools offering a ray of sunshine to those who need it most. Some dogs of this breed even participate in sporting events in which they perform agility-based or obedience-based tasks for rewards and other accolades.

10. Akitas are Loyal and Independent

Akitas can be wary of strangers. They are extremely loyal to their families, however. They may take time to warm up, but once they do, it is a special relationship that is unlike any other. You can live with the dog and have a mutually understandable relationship.

Akitas can be stubborn and independent, though. You must have patience in training them, and you should reinforce any ideas with rewards or treats. Reinforcements will make the Akita eager to learn and to want to stay at their best for you. Akitas will be very proud of themselves when they learn a new task.

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