Japanese Akita inu

Queensland, Australia

Copyright 2016 Primal Spirit

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The Breed of Contradictions, Complex but Simple -  Devotion & Loyalty assured. 

Akita(Japanese) Proverbs

“Fierce as a Samurai, Gentle as a kitten”

“Gentle when stroked, Fierce when provoked”

“Tender in heart and Strong in strength”


Being closer than most dogs to the ancestral wolf in DNA, the JAI radiates soulfulness, strength of character, and a peaceful dignified presence.  This concept of kihaku or seishin-ryoku is an extremely important quality to resonate and highly considered when judging in their country of origin, Japan.  We refer to it as Akita Spirit.  JAI’s are also extremely loyal and devoted to their family.  They are majestic, intelligent,  looking dogs with purposeful features & soft and thick fur coats.  Their coats can be Red – Aka; The Brindles, there is Black – Kuratora Brindle,  Akatora – Red brindle and what fanciers refer to as Shimofuri, the Silver Brindle; also the Mesmerizing Pure White and the less common Sesame. 

The popularity of the breed grew from the movie based on the real life story of Hachiko, the Japanese National Treasure, that I am sure most of you are familiar with.


They are a dog with an ancient, astounding history.  Historically hunters of both small & large prey - JAI's would admirably hold the prey at bay until their masters arrived for the kill.  Sadly, they've been used as fighting dogs, and were killed for the use of their pelts in the desperate times of war. The breed has also survived near extinction. They weren’t always called Japanese Akita Inu’s, the name of the Akita has changed over time, dependant on either their use or region/prefecture of origin. For example the Matagi Inu is one historical name.


As the Proverbs above have suggested, they have some traits to understand. They are very placid, seemingly lazy at times - just happy to be near you, all part of their easy going nature. They are not aggressive without a reason, but they certainly like to dominate. Stubborn is often a word used, with a negative impression, a more accurate term is determined and strong willed. Whilst not big barkers, they communicate with an array of sounds, that you and your family will learn to understand. Every action or sound is for a purpose.   They can act like a goof ball puppy – even as an adult, doing the Akita dance with a twinkle in their eyes, with their loved ones at home, but out and about, oh no, it’s all Mr Nobility & Miss Majestic, head & tails held up high, ears pricked forward, fascinating and elegant to look at, typical traits of the Japanese Akita.   


Ownership of a Japanese Akita Inu (JAI) is to be taken seriously. They are not the dog for everyone, and a good understanding of the breed is critical. Obedience training, setting boundaries and socialization from an early age is not an option but a necessity.   JAI's need to know who the pack leader is - & it MUST be you!  It is a priority to set firm boundaries, be consistent, to become the respected leader and maintain that position.   These confident dogs will subtly test you to make sure you are still up to the job, so be prepared to be challenged.  Always seek the advice and guidance of your breeder and a reputable trainer that understands dominant and ancient spitz breeds and utilizes balanced methods in training. A well trained JAI is a pure joy to have in your life.


Newcomers visiting your home will be judged and assessed. Observe and know your dog’s signals and remember they are also watching yours.   They are often indifferent to strangers but once accepted, they may then become part of the “inner circle of trust”.  As with all dogs, children need to be reminded of personal space and taught appropriate boundaries for their own safety, and just as often the Akita’s safety.  They are wonderful guardians, they project a confidence that imprints on their environment.  It is essential to know their capabilities and also understand their early signals, remember they were used to hunt large game, even bears, so they 'have no fear’, just 110% dedication to their pack and innate drive.


They are unique dogs, very intelligent – they are body language readers extraordinaire, and can read intentions. They will comfort in times of need, they are excellent stress level reducers, all part of that special bond. Whilst not big barkers, they communicate with an array of sounds, that you and your family will learn to understand. Every action or sound is for a purpose. They will take it upon themselves to judge a situation with unfamiliar people & situations, they will take on a subtle position, being rather the strategist, with one eye open...the quiet observer. They will be watching your body language too, their biggest queue, after all you are their pack leader...They can move from 0 to 100 if required...so if you are scared or anxious, they WILL know it. JAI’s (Japanese Akita Inu), are wonderful guardians, they project a confidence that imprints on their environment. Hopefully we never find ourselves in a potentially serious situation with our Akita’s defending us, but it is essential to know their capabilities and also understand their early signals, remember they were used to hunt large game, even bears, so they 'have no fear’, just 110% dedication to their pack and own innate drive.


JAI’s are Primal, Courageous, Determined - they instinctually have a high prey drive, and would very much love to run off hunting – so care needs to be taken on outings to avoid potentially dangerous situations with animals, either domestic or wild and of course vehicles.  Off lead isn’t recommended until you are extremely confident, even then an enclosed area/paddock – as that determination will tend to show at the most inconvenient of times.  Stubborn is one way to put it – but Dedication to their actions is probably how they are thinking.   Your obedience training and lead control is invaluable - especially your body language, self-assurance and general Vibe. 


BREED STANDARD

The Japanese have summarized in 3 beautiful words the Traits of all the Nihon Ken (Japanese Native Breeds).

Kan-i : bravery and spirited boldness combined with composure and mental strength.
Ryosei : good nature with a gentle disposition.  One cannot exist without the other.
Soboku : artlessness with a refined and open spirit.


AKIHO – The Akita Inu Hozonkai was founded in Odate, the Akita Prefecture in 1927 and is the longest standing Akita Inu organisation in history. The Japanese Kennel Club (JKC) standard that is the basis for FCI Akita standard, and what ANKC uses, and is required for exports, is based on AKIHO standards.  The AKIHO standard in comparison, delves a little deeper into what is truly desired and appreciated by breeders and enthusiasts around the world. While not considered eliminating faults, there is a criteria that will give dogs a more superior result in the ring at an AKIHO show.


The Japanese Akita Inu  

Akita Inu (Japanese)


An Introduction

   

*Temperament   * Purpose  * History  *Dominance  

* Obedience  * Prey Drive   *Breed Standard