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20 Surprising Facts About Akita Dogs

20 Surprising Facts About Akita Dogs

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Akita dogs are the perfect companion. They’re gentle, loyal, and protective. In fact, they were bred to hunt bears in Japan! But there’s a lot more to these beautiful animals than their hunting skills. Here are 20 surprising facts about Akita dogs that you probably never knew:

1. The Akita dog breed is not so old.

The Akita dog breed is about 2,000 years old. However, the first mention of this breed was only around the year 1931 in Japan. Before that, everyone had simply called them Matagi dogs (hunting dogs).

2. The first Akitas came to America by way of Hawaii…

The first two Akitas came to America during World War II by way of Hawaii as part of a program to improve relations with other countries (especially after Pearl Harbor). They were named Kamikaze-go and Yuki Go. The pair went on to produce 11 puppies before the war ended allowing for more importing to continue in 1949 and 1950 through Canada and England. All in all, 16 dogs were imported.

3. Akitas are one of the few breeds that do not have an off switch…

If you let them, Akitas will follow you everywhere and they love to help with every chore you have! They also want to be near other family members at all times so if you can’t provide that kind of environment then maybe this is not the breed for you. Also, be prepared to always play with them because otherwise, boredom could set in which may result in the destruction or excessive barking.

4. The American Kennel Club recognizes two types of Akitas – standard and toy…

The amount of difference between these two varieties is negligible since both are equally aggressive towards strangers and other dogs alike (at least initially). However, it is not recommended to mix the two.

5. Akitas were used by the first ladies of Japan as guard dogs…

The first lady of Japan traditionally has a pair of Akitas (usually one male and female) that protect her on outings and accompany her wherever she goes – even into the bathtub! However, this was less about their ability as watchdogs and more about gaining status by having them with you everywhere you go.

6. Their teeth never stop growing…

Akitas have 42 permanent teeth so they need lots of chew toys or else they will find something else to gnaw on… like your furniture! Some owners opt for dental cleanings every few months but most try to avoid this expense by just providing enough toys.

7. The first Akitas came from Asian lines as opposed to European ones…

Most dogs have a mix of both Asian and European bloodlines but the original Akita breeds were almost exclusively from Asia with just a little bit of European. Again, this was more about status than anything else because if you brought in an outside dog that could produce offspring with your existing dogs then it would be even better (or so they thought).

8. Their coats are considered double-coated…

This means that they consist of two layers – an inner woolly undercoat and an outer coat which is wiry and harsh enough to make them waterproof during their time hunting in Japan’s mountains. Because of this, they shed a lot and require a lot of maintenance.

9. Akitas have been known to save lives…

In the past, Akitas have been used as guard dogs for children as well as adults that were either sick or injured. In addition, they also helped to minimize the risk of being attacked by other wild animals when hunting. On top of this, they are quite adept at rescuing people in danger so they always get lots of love from everyone they help!

10. Despite their size – which is larger than most other breeds – Akitas can climb trees…

During their time hunting in Japan’s mountains, it was important for them to be able to go wherever their owners went so climbing high up into the trees was crucial during certain circumstances. Nowadays, it is mostly an amusing fact to know that your dog is able to climb up into the highest branches with ease.

11. The Akita’s double coat requires lots of maintenance…

You can’t just brush your dog once and be done with it; they need to be brushed daily to make sure their coats don’t become matted or tangled at all – and even more frequently during the shedding seasons. As if this wasn’t enough, you also need to wash them often (maybe even post-bath brushing) since they constantly drip water everywhere they go!

12. They were originally bred as a fighting breed in Japan…

Yes, that is correct: the original purpose of these dogs was for dogfighting back when such things were legal in most countries. Don’t worry though – most people now train them only as watch and not for actual fighting so there is no need to worry.

13. Akitas like to be on top…

This means that they will always jump up on furniture, beds, laps, or anything else that they can manage; they do this because it makes them feel like they are in control of everything around them (which is likely why they were originally bred as fighting dogs). Experts suggest you train your dog not to do this… but it’s not exactly an easy task!

14. There are several reasons why their tails do not curl over their backs…

Firstly, the ancestor of the Akita had a straight tail with just a little curve at the end which was used for breaking falls during fights. Secondly, their tails are considered an important tool for communicating emotions so owners don’t want them being damaged. Thirdly, their tails are very thick at the base so they are not easily injured.

15. They do better in colder climates than other breeds…

This is because their ancestors came from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido where the temperature was quite low for most of the year. So yes – if you have Antarctic-level winters then an Akita would be just perfect!

16. They can adapt well to either city or country lifestyles…

Because they are used to cold weather, they will appreciate having a lot of space around them but also enjoy sleeping on your bedroom floor since it means that they are close to you wherever you go. On top of this, many Akitas are fine with living in apartments provided that they are walked often.

17. The Akita has very good hearing…

They might not be able to pick up any sounds that you would deem as “faint” but everything else is picked up loud and clear by this breed – even when it comes from the other side of the house! This is part of the reason why they make such good guard dogs.

18. They were bred specifically for their wonderful temperaments…

Although there are some who believe that the Akita was originally bred to fight, experts suggest otherwise due to how well-tempered this dog truly is. While it’s true that many breeds were developed specifically for specific purposes, an Akita’s personality simply does not fit well with dogfighting.

19. Akitas have been given many names throughout history…

In the past, they have been called Matagi-Inu which translates as “the mountain hunter breed” or Matagi which is a much older word for a hunting dog in Japan. Furthermore, some believe that the word “Tiger Dog” was used to describe them back when they were still fighting dogs and that their name could be linked to Hokkaido’s famous guardian lions that share a similar coloration.

20 . They were bred by Matagi hunters who lived in Japan’s cold regions…

Their purpose was to help these men hunt bears since bears do not feel the cold as much as humans or other animals do. Therefore, it was useful for these hunters to have hounds that could keep up with them even when the temperatures made it impossible for most other dogs.

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