Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Akita

Japanese Akita Inu

Japanese Akita


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Japan.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.03.2001.
KC
November 2011

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Companion dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 5Spitz and primitive types
Section 5Asian Spitz and related breeds
Without working trial

KC
Utility
UKC
Northern Breed

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
Originally Japanese dogs were small to medium in size and no large breeds existed. Since 1603 in the Akita region, Akita Matagis (medium-sized bear-hunting dogs) were used as fighting dogs. From 1868 Akita Matagis were crossed with Tosas and Mastiffs. Consequently, the size of this breed increased but characteristics associated with Spitz type were lost.
In 1908 dog fighting was prohibited, but this breed was nevertheless preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. As a result, nine superior examples of this breed were designated as « Natural Monuments » in 1931.
During World War II (1939-1945), it was common to use dogs as a source of fur for military garments. The police ordered the capture and confiscation of all dogs other than German Shepherd Dogs used for military purposes. Some fanciers tried to circumvent the order by crossbreeding their dogs with German Shepherd Dogs.
When World War II ended, Akitas had been drastically reduced in number and existed as three distinct types; 1) Matagi Akitas, 2) fighting Akitas, and 3) Shepherd Akitas. This created a very confusing situation in the breed.
During the restoration process of the pure breed after the war., Kongo-go, a dog of the Dewa line, which exhibited characteristics of the Mastiff and German Shepherd
However, sensible learned fanciers did not approve of this type as a proper Japanese breed, so they made efforts to eliminate the strain old foreign breeds by crossbreeding with Matagi Akitas for the purpose of restoring the original pure breed. They succeeded in stabilizing the pure strain of large sized breed as known today.
UKC
The Japanese Akita is one of the largest of Japan’s native breeds. It is a member of the Spitz family and originally used for bear hunting. However, at the end of the 19th century, the Japanese Akita was crossed with the Tosa-inu and European Mastiffs to increase the breed's size and value as a fighting dog. When dog fighting was prohibited in 1908, the Akita was preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. During World War II, the breed was nearly lost with very few Japanese Akitas surviving. After the war, an effort was again made to preserve the breed, focusing on dogs found in the Dewa and Ichinoseki lines. Akitas of the Dewa line found their way to the United States and became the foundation for what is known as the American Akita, while the Ichinoseki line remained mostly in Japan and formed the foundation and restoration of the Japanese Akita. After decades of separate development and preservation efforts, today's Japanese Akitas are recognized worldwide, yet they maintain close ties with their country of origin. The Japanese Akita was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2012.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Large-sized dog, sturdily built, well balanced and with much substance ; secondary sex characteristics strongly marked, with high nobility and dignity in modesty ; constitution tough.
KC
Large, well-balanced, sturdily built dog of Spitz type. Very slightly longer than high.
UKC
A large, well-balanced, sturdily built dog of the Spitz type. Males and females are clearly distinguishable from each other. The ratio of length (from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks) is slightly greater than the height (measured at the withers). Females are slightly longer; with males being more square.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
The ratio of height at withers to length of body ( from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttock) is 10 11, but the body is slightly longer in bitches than in dogs.
KC
Alert and agile. Thick triangular ears, pricked and inclined forward. Dark eyes, set and shaped to give a distinctive appearance. Stand off coat with brilliant colours and defined markings. Tightly curled tail.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
The temperament is composed, faithful, docile and receptive.
KC
Dignified and composed with a courageous character.
UKC
The Japanese Akita is known as a dignified, quick and agile breed. Overall balance is very important. The striking coat color, coat color patterns, angled ears, eye shape and deep coloration of irises define the exotic look of this breed. The Japanese Akita, is independent, smart and docile. It is also reserved, especially around strangers, which can give the impression of aloofness. They are loyal and highly protective of its family members.

HEAD

:
KC
When viewed from the front the head appears rounded due to well developed cheeks. From above, the head appears as a blunt triangle. Broad skull, flat and free from wrinkle. Defined stop and distinct furrow. Muzzle straight, of good depth, tapering gradually. Skull to muzzle proportions 3:2. Nose large and black except in white dogs where flesh coloured is acceptable. Lips tight with dark pigment.
UKC
The head is proportionate to the body. Skin is tight and not wrinkled. When viewed from the front, the head must look as though it would fill a circle. The fullness of the cheeks, as well as the coat on the cheeks and neck, contribute to this look. The forehead is broad and flat, with a distinct furrow extending from the stop to the top of the skull.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
The size is in proportion to the body. The forehead is broad, with distinct furrow. No wrinkle.

Stop

:
FCI
Defined.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Large and black. Slight and diffuse lack of pigment accepted in white dogs only, but black is always preferred.
UKC
The nose is black. Flesh or liver-colored pigment is acceptable only on white dogs.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Moderately long and strong with broad base, tapering but not pointed. Nasal bridge straight.
KC
Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full dentition and well developed teeth.
UKC
When viewed from the top of the head, the muzzle is round and full, tapering to a blunt triangle. The lips are tightly drawn and have dark pigment.

Lips

:
FCI
Tight.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Teeth strong with scissor bite.
UKC
The Japanese Akita has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, strong white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Moderately developed.

Eyes

:
FCI
Relatively small, almost triangular in shape due to the rising of the outer eye corner, set moderately apart, dark brown the darker, the better.
KC
Placed moderately apart, relatively small, almond shaped, dark brown and obliquely set. Eye rims dark and tight.
UKC
The deep-set, triangular shaped eyes are relatively small and slightly raised at the outside corners. They are dark brown in color, the darker the better. Eye rims have thick, dark pigment, almost giving the appearance of eyeliner.

Ears

:
FCI
Relatively small, thick, triangular, slightly rounded at tips, set moderately apart, pricked and inclining forward.
KC
Thick, triangular and slightly hooded, with rounded tips. Proportionately small, set moderately well apart, pricked and inclining forward. Closely following the line of the back of the neck.
UKC
The wide-set, triangular ears are pricked and rather small in size, and rounded at the tip. They are thick and slightly cupped. Correct ears are angulated forward off the back of the neck, and area an extension of the angle of the neck.

NECK

:
FCI
Thick and muscular, without dewlap, in balance with head.
KC
Thick and muscular, of moderate length, without dewlap. Pronounced crest blending with back of skull.
UKC
The short, thick, muscular neck has a tight skin, and is in proper angle in balance with the head.

BODY

:
KC
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers, as 11:10. Females may be slightly longer. Strong, level back. Chest deep with well developed forechest. Moderately sprung ribcage with well defined tuck up. Short coupled with a broad and muscular loin.
UKC
The chest is well-developed. The rib cage is full. The tuck-up is well-drawn up. The back is strong and level. The loin is muscular.

Back

:
FCI
Straight and strong.

Loin

:
FCI
Broad and muscular.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep, forechest well developed, ribs moderately well sprung.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Well drawn up.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set on high, thick, carried vigorously curled over back ; the tip nearly reaching hocks when let down.
KC
Set high. Thick, full and of good length. Tightly curled over the back. Uncurled tail highly undesirable.
UKC
The high-set, thick tail has a strong, thick root. It is well-curled over the back, When let down, it reaches almost to the hock. All of the following tail curls are acceptable: single, double, left, and right.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
Shoulders moderately laid back with well developed muscles. Elbows set close to chest. Forelegs well boned and straight when viewed from the front. Pasterns slightly sloping.
UKC
The shoulders are very moderately sloped forward, and developed. Adequate bone is essential.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Moderately sloping and developed.

Elbow

:
FCI
Tight.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Forearms are straight, Elbows are tight, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns are slightly slanted, with 15 degrees being the ideal.

Forearm

:
FCI
Straight and heavy-boned.

FEET

:
KC
Round, arched and tight with thick pads. Turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The feet are round (cat-like). They are tight, well-knuckled, and have a firm grip.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Thick, round, arched and tight.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Well developed, strong and moderately angulated.
KC
Strong and muscular with moderate angulation. Well developed thighs. Moderate turn of stifle. Strong hocks, turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The hind legs are thick and well-developed, with a powerful grip, thrust and stance. The back legs are moderately angulated. The rear pasterns are straight when viewed from the side and rear.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Resilient and powerful movement.
KC
Moderate strides that demonstrate an efficient, rhythmic and resilient gait, converging towards the centre line at speed. Stilted gait undesirable.
UKC
Gait is brisk, powerful and agile, conveying stamina. They are light on their feet. The dog will single track as speed increases.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Outer coat harsh and straight, undercoat soft and dense ; the withers and the rump are covered with slightly longer hair ; the hair on tail is longer than on the rest of the body.
KC
Outer coat course, stand-off and straight. Slightly longer at withers and rump. More profuse on tail. Undercoat soft and dense. No indication of ruff or feathering.
UKC
The Japanese Akita is triple coated. The outer coat is a coarse, straight guard coat. The other two are under coats. One is thicker and somewhat soft, generally enhancing the coat color. The third is closest to the skin and is generally thicker and wool-like in texture.

COLOUR

:
FCI

Red fawn, sesame (red fawn hairs with black tips), brindle and white. All the above mentioned colours except white must have « urajiro ».
(Urajiro = whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the underside of jaw, neck, chest, body and tail and on the inside of the legs).
KC
Red fawn; Sesame (red fawn hairs with black tips); Brindle; White. All the foregoing colours, except white, must have ‘urajiro’ markings, which may be less visible on the brindle, where it may be a greyish frosted overlay of the main coat colour. (Urajiro – whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the undersides of jaw, neck, chest, body and tail, and on the inside of the legs). The urajiro markings must blend in gradually with the main coat colour and not extend above the elbow or hock. White markings in the main body coat are undesirable.
UKC
Coat colors are clear and bright. Acceptable coat colors include: red; brindle, and white. Brindle is defined as a fine streaked or striped effect or pattern of black or tan hairs with hairs of a lighter or darker background color. Brindles have the following basic colors in them: red, black, gray/silver, and white. All colors, except white, must have Urajiro (light cream or white markings or shading) on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the underside of the jaw, neck, body and tail, and on the inside of the legs.

SIZE

:
KC
Height at withers: dogs 64-70cms (25 ¼-27 ½ ins); bitches 58-64 cms (22 ¾-25 ¼ ins).

Height at withers

:
FCI

Dogs 67 cm, bitches 61 cm.
There is a tolerance of 3 cm more or less.
UKC
Preferred height for males is from 24 to 27 inches. Preferred height for females is from 22.5 to 25.5 inches.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Bitchy dogs / doggy bitches.
  • Undershot or overshot mouth.
  • Missing teeth.
  • Blue or black spotted tongue.
  • Iris light in colour.
  • Short tail.
  • Shyness.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Appearance: Overall poor condition. Loose skin.
Muzzle: Spotted tongue.
Eyes: Round eyes. Light eyes.
Neck: Dewlap.
Hindquarters: Cow hocks. Hocks turned out.
Coat: Short, flat coat.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Ears not pricked.
  • Hanging tail.
  • Long hair (shaggy).
  • Black mask.
  • Markings on white ground.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Appearance: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Teeth: Overshot bite. Undershot bite.
Nose: Speckled nose.
Ears: Dropped ears.
Feet: Flat, splayed feet.
Tail: Sickle tail. Uncurled tail (determined while the dog is in motion, not at rest).
Coat: Long coat.
Color: Pinto markings. Black mask.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.