Written by Vet Tech

Akita Inu – The Most Loyal Dog In The World

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
Akita Inu is a Japanese breed of dogs that simply can't go unnoticed, due to its strong and imposing posture. They are known for being brave, fearless, and loyal. Akitas are known as the most loyal dogs in the world. Explore this ultimate guide to learn everything about extraordinary Akita Inu.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
2 feet to 2 feet, 4 inches tall at the shoulder
70 to 130 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Japanese Akita Inu is a powerful and loyal dog that has gained attention for its large frame and willingness to stand watch. With an experienced dog owner, the Akita Inu has all the necessary qualities that make for an incredible companion.

In this article, we’ll discuss the unique qualities of the Akita Inu, and what you should know before bringing an Akita Inu into your life.

History Of The Akita Inu

Japanese history says that the Akita Inu originated from the ancient Japanese dog called the Matagi. The Matagi was one of the countries oldest native dogs and were originally bred to hunt large game such as bears, deer, and wild boars.

Some believe that at some point the Matagi was bred with Mastiffs or Great Danes, but the exact origin of the Akita Inu is still unknown.

The Akita Inu has a long history in Japan, it wasn’t until the 1930’s that they were officially recognized as Japan’s national dog, and efforts were made to help extend this breeds presence and gain recognition around the world.

Now the Akita Inu is still popular in Japan, as well as one of the most popular breeds in the UK.

Appearance Of The Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is known for its striking and powerful appearance. They have a solid and sturdy build that is known to stop people in their tracks and is one of the main reasons they make such impressive watchdogs.

Due to its coat color, pointy ears, and bush-like tail, Akita Inu is often promoted as a fox-looking dog.

The Akita Inu weights anywhere from 75-115 pounds, and can stand at up to 68 cm in height. They have a large and robust frame that is quite muscular, which adds to their distinct look.

The color variety of an Akita Inu includes sesame, white, brindle, and fawn. Their coat itself is incredibly thick and coarse, which is made to protect them from the harsh outdoors.

Personality Of The Akita Inu

The best word to describe the Akita Inu’s temperament is dignified. Not only does their appearance demand respect and attention, but their personality is quite mature as well. Though this breed is often described as relaxed, they are still not a recommended breed for first-time dog owners.

Another impressive Akita Inu quality is its incredible loyalty. They become absolutely devoted to their family, and with being such a large and powerful dog, this can be a problem if not handled correctly. Proper socialization at a young age is important to help prevent any dangers.

This breed is also known to be quite stubborn. Though they love their family, they form an independent personality that helps them believe they are in charge. Because of this, they will need a firm owner who can help them understand that they don’t, in fact, make all the rules.

Their dignified demeanor and reservations around new people and situations can make people uneasy due to their size, and this is just one more reason why proper socialization is so important for this breed. Akita Inus are large and powerful, and in order to be safe around others, they need to be exposed to as many factors as possible.

Overall, when in a home with an experienced owner, Akita Inus are loyal, dignified, and calm. With these traits combines, Akita makes a reliable guard dog who will do his best to keep his family members safe.

Possibility Of Aggression

As discussed above, the Akita Inu does have the potential to be dangerous due to their size. The biggest concern is an unsocialized Akita Inu, though every single breed of dog can be dangerous when they’re not properly socialized from a young age.

As long as you make sure you introduce your Akita Inu to other dogs, other people, and new surroundings from the moment you adopt them, you will decrease the chance of any aggression.

Another factor to consider is their temperament around children. Though there is no known objection around Akita Inus and children, the biggest potential danger is just how large this breed is.

A large dog has the potential to cause harm due to their size negligence, so make sure to always supervise your child around your Akita.

The safest option is to only have Akita Inus in a home with older children, and never let your dog spend time unsupervised around small children. Even then, make sure that your children know how to behave around dogs, and never to bother them in their space and while they are eating or drinking.

Overall Health Of the Akita Inu

While the Akita Inu can lead a generally healthy life of 10-15 years, they are prone to a few medical conditions. Some of these conditions include:

1. Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a structural problem of the hip joint, and causes the grinding and wearing down of the joints over time. Since this can be a genetic condition, the onset of these diseases will vary from dog to dog.

Some signs of hip dysplasia include looseness of the joints, stiffness, pain, limited range of motion, limping, and slowing down with time.

It’s important to keep your Akita Inu at healthy body weight and talk to your vet about starting joint supplements in their adult years.

2. Uveitis

Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. This condition is thought to be auto-immune related due to its random occurrence (meaning most dogs don’t experience any trauma that could have caused the inflammation), but it is yet to be determined.

3. Pemphigus

Pemphigus is a condition of the skin that causes it to blister and crust over. This is another condition that is thought to be immune-mediated, and it’s recommended not to breed dogs with this condition.

4. Gastric Bloat

Gastric bloat is a condition in which the stomach flips on itself, causing air and stomach content to become trapped in the stomach, and cut off blood circulation.

This condition is considered the mother of all emergencies in veterinary medicine since if it is not resolved quickly, it is fatal. Symptoms of bloat include gagging with no vomit produced, distended abdomen, weakness, and collapse.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition where pressure is placed on the eye, causing inadequate drainage of fluid in the eye which results in chronic dry eye. If not treated effectively, this condition can result in blindness.

Grooming Your Akita Inu

Akita Inus have a coat that requires frequent grooming. Their plush coat is made to protect against the elements and the bitter cold, so they have a thick undercoat that will need to be managed.

In order to reduce the amount of stray hair in your home, daily brushing is recommended. Deshedding tool seems to work best for Akitas, and when used each day, you can help to reduce shedding and mats.

Thanks to their thick coat, these loyal dogs are often described as dogs that look like huskies, not only in terms of appearance but grooming as well.

Training Your Akita Inu

It’s important to start your training process from as early as 8 weeks, or from the moment you bring your Akita Inu home.

From the time they enter your home, they are building habits that they will take with them throughout their lives. The sooner you start the training process, the sooner your Akita will fit into your family’s life appropriately.

Though the Akita Inu is intelligent, they are incredibly stubborn due to their independent personality. Training your Akita is possible, it will just take the effort of an experienced dog owner.

The Akita Inu responds well to positive reinforcement style training. They do not respond well to fear-based training or harsh words, so it’s best to avoid those tactics of training altogether.

Akita training guides recommend a firm yet fair training style. A firm and confident owner will help to reduce the chance of the Akita Inu showing off their more dominant side.

Exercise And Your Akita

The Akita Inu is an energetic and intelligent breed. Because of this, they require at least an hour of physical activity and mental stimulation.

When an Akita Inu is not properly stimulated, it becomes difficult for them to thrive in their environment. Lack of stimulation and pent up energy can result in destructive behavior, aggression, and a number of unfavorable behaviors.

If you live in a cooler climate, they really enjoy outdoor activities. If you can combine their daily exercise with outdoor fun, they will be pleased to join you.

If you can implement daily exercise into your routine, then your Akita will be a thriving and well-behaved member of your family.

Important Tips For Owning An Akita Inu

The Akita Inu would make a loyal family member in any experienced home. If you choose to adopt an Akita Inu, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.

  • Due to their size, it’s not recommended to bring an Akita Inu into a home with small children.
  • Early socialization is important to ensure everyone’s safety around your Akita.
  • Their thick coats require daily brushing in order to reduce shedding in your home.
  • They require an experienced dog owner as they are known to be stubborn.
  • They respond well to positive reinforcement style training.
  • They thrive in an active and mentally stimulating environment.
  • They have an independent personality, so they won’t likely be clingy.

Akita Inu: Summary

Overall, the Akita Inu would make a wonderful pet to an experienced dog owner. With their fierce loyalty and laid back personality, they would provide wonderful companionship for the right owner. That being said, how well your Akita Inu will behave, depends on your dedication to training and daily commitment.

Once you discover how your dog likes to be handled and starts seeing you as a true pack leader you will have the joy of being accompanied by the world’s most loyal dog.

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