Fun American Akita Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
May 02, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Read these American Akita ​facts to learn more about this amazing dog breed.

Before reading these American Akita facts, it is important to know that American Akita dogs originally came from Akita Inus or Japanese Akitas. American Akitas are a large breed of dog with a dense double coat, a large, broad head, and multiple coat colors.

The coat colors of American Akitas have more variety than Japanese Akita Inus. Akita dogs originate from snowy, mountainous areas of the northern Japanese island known as Honshu.

At present, there are two separate varieties of Akita dogs. These are Japanese Akita Inus, or Japanese Akitas, and American Akitas.

American Akitas are a spitz breed and have some genes of Western dogs. The double coat of American Akitas is similar to some other spitz breeds like Siberian huskies. However, some American Akita dogs also have long coats due to a recessive gene.

Akita breeds of dogs reflect adaptation features for cold weather. These large dogs have muscular bodies with heavy bones.

Their eyes are small, dark, deep-set, and somewhat triangular. The wolf-like American Akita, as well as Japanese Akitas, show common body features such as a bear-like head, fox-like face, and webbed feet. These webbed toes, similar to a cat, help them to hunt in the snow.

If you enjoyed these facts about American Akitas, you may also check out the fact files on Shiba Inu Facts and White Shepherd Facts.

American Akita Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an American Akita?

American Akitas are large dogs with a dense double coat. These dogs were bred to be working dogs and were used mainly for guarding properties and hunting.

What class of animal does an American Akita belong to?

Like all dogs, American Akitas are mammals.

How many American Akitas are there in the world?

It is difficult to say how many American Akitas there are in the world. This is not an extremely popular dog breed due to its large size, aggressive temperament, and dense coat that sheds continuously.

Where does an American Akita live?

American Akitas live in farms and homes with their owners.

What is an American Akita's habitat?

Japanese Akitas, the ancestors of American Akita puppies, were bred to hunt small bears, boar, elk, and other small game. As working dogs and companions, American Akitas live with owners in their homes. Akita owners are generally people who live in colder countries. These hunting dogs can tolerate extremely cold weather and love the snow.

American Akitas and their ancestors Akita Inus have turned into companion dogs that are extremely faithful, and loving pets. These hunting dogs are known to be aloof with strangers and may not accommodate well with smaller pets like cats.

If socialized from a young age, American Akita puppies can live well with families who have children and appear to be caring towards the children. This dog breed is good at guarding houses, banks, and police stations.

Who do American Akitas live with?

American Akitas live with their owners in homes. Akitas are fearless, loyal dogs that do not back down from challenges. They are guardians of their families and will protect them with all their might.

These dogs are also loving, respectful, and calm when trained properly and socialized. Akitas are lone workers. This dog breed was not meant to work in groups or live with packs, but in some cases, Japanese Akita Inus worked in pairs.

How long does an American Akita live?

American Akitas live for ten to 13 years.

How do they reproduce?

Like all dogs, Akitas reproduce sexually. An Akita litter can be between three to 12 puppies, but the average Akita litter ranges from seven to eight. The puppies can have ginger, dark brown, white, black, or gray fur. Most American Akita puppies also have black masks.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of American Akitas is Least Concern.

American Akita Fun Facts

What do American Akitas look like?

Akitas are furry dogs with black masks, bushy curled tails, deep muzzles, and erect triangular ears on a bear-like head. These large, bold, and loyal dogs have an impressive physical appearance.

The dog breed features a large head, small and triangular eyes, a dense undercoat, and a plush short topcoat. Akitas can deter intruders with their rugged and confident look.

American Akitas come in different color combinations including black, white, dark brown, or a mix of any color with white or brindle. Their webbed feet, similar to a cat, help them to walk, run, and perform activities in the snow.

American breed standards allow all coat colors for American Akita dog breeds. That includes all brindles, black masks, and even different colored undercoats and overcoats colors.

Considered two separate breeds in America, the breed standard is different for Japanese Akitas. They are restricted to fewer colors like red, sesame, brindle, fawn, brindle, solid white, with underside markings (urajiro). These white markings may be on the cheeks, muzzle, neck, jaw, legs, or curved tail.

American Akita.

How cute are they?

Akitas look like massive fur-balls. They are playful, energetic, and affectionate. They are cute in their way and love their owners. These powerful dogs are territorial and may not welcome strangers and animals of the same sex.

How do they communicate?

Akitas are among quieter dog breeds. Akita American dogs don’t bark or howl unnecessarily, therefore when they do bark it often means they are trying to communicate something important.

These courageous working dogs have the instincts of natural guardian who protects their family. An Akita puppy usually won’t bark without good reason. To communicate their feelings they may make grunting, moaning, and mumbling vocal sounds.

How big is an American Akita?

American Akitas are more than four times larger than Chihuahua. Small Chihuahuas grow between 6-9 in (15-22 cm) high, and Akitas grow up to 26-28 in (66-71 cm). Akitas are about 33 times heavier than Chihuahuas. The small dogs weigh only 3-6 lb (1-2 kg), and Akitas weigh 100-130 lb (45-58 kg).

How fast can an American Akita run?

American Akitas can reach speeds of 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does an American Akita weigh?

Male American Akitas weigh 100-130 lb (45-58 kg), and female American Akitas weigh 70-100 lb (31-45 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male American Akitas are called dogs, and female American Akitas are called bitches.

What would you call a baby American Akita?

A baby American Akita is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

Originally, Japanese Akita Inus, the forefathers of American Akitas, were fed fresh rice, vegetables, and fish. Akita owners should not feed their American Akitas food that has salt, preservatives and added sugar.

High-quality dry dog food for large dogs is a healthy option for American Akitas.

Most Akita owners find this an easy Akita diet option as it is easy to dispense, saves time, and is less messy. An American Akitas diet should never be of inferior quality as they are big, muscular, hunting dogs that need enough protein and nutrients in their diet.

Wet dog food is also an option for Akita puppies. The diet of Akita breeds may include cereals, venison, chicken, green beans, cabbage, pork, and potatoes.

The ideal Akita diet should contain large portions of protein. An American Akitas diet should be a perfect balance of all nutrients that the dog needs for proper growth. Akita puppies should be fed premium puppy food at least until they are four months old.

The amount of food an Akita dog eats will depend on their age, size, and activity level. Akita breeds should not be fed horse meat, corn, mushrooms, beef, grapes, chocolate, cooked bones, onion, caffeine, and garlic.

Are they slobbery?

Akitas drool quite a bit. All dogs drool to a certain extent, but Akita can be considered as big droolers. Their level of slobbering depends upon their activities and the weather. These dogs also drool while eating.

There are dog breeds that are way slobberier than an Akita, but it is common for American Akita owners to find drool spots around the house on their clothes, furniture, and beds.

Would they make a good pet?

Akitas are strong-willed, bold, and independent dogs. They are sometimes known to be aggressive, but they make very loyal pets if socialized properly.

This dog breed is extremely protective of its family and may be wary and unfriendly towards guests. The dog's cold glance can look intimidating, and this lets people know that they are not fond of strangers. These playful, affectionate dogs may not be the right pets for homes that house several dogs.

Akitas are known to be aggressive towards dogs of their sex. But, for a one-dog home, Akitas can be amazing pets.

Akita breeds shed a lot, and they shed throughout the year. However, it is difficult to find a dog as clean as Akitas, this is because they clean themselves as cats do. This cat-like behavior allows Akitas to stay odorless and clean.

They are very easy to toilet train, but being stubborn and independent dogs, American Akitas can be difficult to train to do tricks and listen to commands. These dogs get bored easily and their training needs to be fun and rewarding.

If an Akita is not trained and socialized properly, the owner may see aggressive behavior and disobedience. Training should be consistent, stimulating, firm, and respectful. Akitas are not suitable pets for first-time dog owners.

Akita breeds can be one of the most loyal dogs that an owner could hope for. The purpose of their ancestors, Akita Inus, was to guard royalty. This dog breed is a trusting, forever friend that will never let its owners down.

These massive dogs also love cuddling with their owners to show affection. Having a strong prey drive, Akitas may chase smaller pets and cats. It is never advisable to leave Akitas along with cats or other small animals.

As far as dog sports are concerned, American Akitas can compete in all dog competitions. Whether this is tracking trails, obedience, protection, or agility competitions, Akitas are always up for a challenge!

In Japan, Akita Inus often help their owners in pulling weight. This dog is also seen taking part in Schutzhund, which is a dog sport where dog handlers show the abilities of their working dogs.

Before bringing home an American Akita, you should remember that these cute puppies will grow into huge dogs and may be difficult to control. They are a dog breed that is suitable for owners who can keep Akitas busy, train them properly, and can deal with the dog's strength and endurance.

Did you know...

Before Akitas got their official name they were called snow country dogs. Japanese Akita breeds originated from the snow-covered, mountainous, and rural areas of Akita, Japan, from which the dog breed got its name.

The people in these regions originally bred these dogs to guard royalty. Later on, common people used to breed Akitas for hunting boars, Yezo bears, and elks.

The first Akita registered in the United States was a gift that Helen Keller received from the Japanese government in 1937. While on an extended speaking tour of Japan, Helen Keller was impressed with the story of a loyal Akita Inu named Hachiko.

This dog is known for his loyalty, as he waited in a train station every day for ten years for his master to return. The Shibuya station in Japan has a bronze statue of an Akita in memory of this highly respected dog.

The famous author and activist Helen Keller was gifted an Akita Inu as she expressed her interest in owning such a loyal pet. She made a 16-day boat trip with her new loyal friend named Kami.

However, Kamikaze Go died before he was even eight months old due to illness. Hearing the news, the Japanese government sent her another Akita as an official gift. This new dog was Kamikaze Go’s sibling named Kenzan-Go.

Although the Akita Club of America was founded in 1956, it was not registered in the American Kennel Club Stud Book until October 1972. The dog was entered into the regular working dog show classification by the American Kennel Club in April 1973.

Akita dogs started to be bred in the 17th century in northern Japan. They were exclusive dogs meant for guarding the imperial family of Japan.

Later, they were even given the status of national treasure in Japan. These dogs were not bred to be companions, but protectors, and this can explain their aggressive behavior. Later, the restrictions on owning an Akita were lifted and the dog breed was introduced to Japanese citizens.

Akita Inus have a cultural significance in Japan. Gifting a small statue of an Akita to a newborn symbolizes happiness, good health, and long life to the child.

Akita dogs were used for hunting and fighting and had even been used as sled dogs in Japan until 1957. They were used to flush out bears from their hiding areas to help hunters.

However, today this dog breed is kept only as a loyal companion and therapy dog in schools and nursing homes. Akitas love to play and roll in the snow, they even use it as a scrub. Their dense double coat explains their preference for colder weather.

During World War II, Akitas almost became Extinct. This is because food was scarce.

To prevent diseases from spreading throughout the nation, the Japanese government ordered the dogs to be killed. However, in an attempt to save the breed, some devoted owners let their dogs loose and then hid in the mountainous regions. This is how Akita breeds still exist to date.

Except for the United States, all countries consider Japanese Akitas and American Akita to be the same dog breed. Only the American Kennel Club considers them to be two different strains.

Keeping American Akitas

An American Akita puppy can cost between 600 USD to 1,980 USD. The average expense of raising an Akita can be around 4,415 USD in the first year considering food, veterinary charges, and dog care supplies.

The average yearly cost of maintaining an Akita is about 1,955 USD per year and the average lifetime expense of owning this breed can be around 25,920 USD.

The cost of an American Akita puppy depends on factors like its pedigree, bloodline, health, color, markings, and age. Prices of Akita puppies often change according to the trend of coat colors. Puppies with rarer coat colors may be more expensive. Akitas are banned in many US cities due to their reputation for being aggressive dogs.

Owners of Akitas know well that this breed is big shedders. However, grooming this dog is not a difficult task owing to their cat-like habit of cleaning themselves. Akitas often clean their mouths after eating.

The fur of these dogs sheds throughout the year, and owners will need to vacuum their furniture, carpets, and floor very often to keep their house fur-free. Apart from regular shedding, heavy shedding takes place twice or three times a year. Weekly grooming is enough to keep an Akita's coat looking healthy and plush.

Akita dogs need to be bathed once every three months, or more, depending on their outdoor activities. The dogs need their nails trimmed once every month, and their ears cleaned regularly to avoid ear infections.

Akitas are an overall healthy dog breed but like most dogs, they are prone to health conditions and diseases like hip dysplasia, arthritis, gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloating. Hip dysplasia is a common inherited condition in dogs.

History of the American Akita

Akitas originate from Japan, and their Japanese name is Akita Inu. This dog breed gets its name from a province in northern Japan. The existence of Akitas goes back to the 1600s.

They were originally bred as guard dogs to protect Japanese royalty. They were also hunting dogs used to hunt bears, boar, deer, elk, and smaller game like rabbits and fowl. In their first years, Japanese citizens weren't allowed to own Akitas as the privilege rested with the royal family.

Akita dogs are considered national treasures in Japan. The legendary Akita Inu named Hachikō made the breed famous for their loyalty.

He waited every day at a train station for ten years for his master to return. The breed's loyalty has been proven in many instances, one Akita was chosen to raise an orphaned Sumatran tiger cub at London Zoo.

Akitas were the first choice for this important task due to their bold nature, muscular build, and loyalty towards their companion. This Akita did an excellent job fearlessly and loyally until the tiger reached adulthood.

Many American soldiers who returned home from Japan after World War II brought home Akitas. The breed later mixed with Western breeds and American Akitas evolved from there.

American Akitas turned out to be an even more robust dog, but loyalists of Japanese Akita Inus wanted to maintain the Japanese standard. This caused controversies and delayed the acceptance of the breed by the American Kennel Club for almost a decade.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Pomapoo or Petit basset griffon vendeen.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our American Akita coloring pages.  

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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