At one time, Japanese Royalty were the sole owners of Akitas. In Japan, a small Akita statue is often given as a new baby welcome or a get well wish. And, Akitas are revered, as companions, keepers of the home and a symbol of good health.
The Akita arrived in the United States in 1937, as a companion for Helen Keller. Later, W.W. II U. S. servicemen brought Akitas home from Japan.
In the U. S., Akita lines developed, primarily, from two Japanese lines, the Dewa and the Ichinoseki. The Dewa line was generally made up of large dark brown Akitas with black masks. The Ichinoseki line was generally made up of smaller Akitas, in red, brindle or white.
Breeders in the U.S. merged the Dewa and Ichinoseki lines, producing all colors and a variance of type. Breeders in Japan continued to develop, primarily, from the Ichinoseki line, keeping with a smaller type and colors of red fawn sesame, brindle or white.
In 1992, the AKC recognized the Akita, initially those in the U. S. and later, imports also. Because of the history in the Akita line, there have been many discussions about Akita type. Some advocate a split between Japanese type and American type. Others advocate one combined type. To address those opinions, the AKC voted in 1999 and the outcome was to keep one AKC Akita classification rather than split into two types.
Akitas have a variety of looks and beautiful colors. The AKC Akita’s double coat can be any color, including black, black brindle, brown, brown brindle, fawn, red, silver, white, pinto, and markings and masks. The trademark is the tail that curls up and over the back.
Www.akc.org, is a good place to see photos of AKC Akitas, in a variety of colors and types. Cosmic Colors can provide photos, as well, of puppies and mature Akitas.
The AKC describes the Akita as ‘known to be a quiet dog… strong guarding instincts….. Akita temperament can range from calm to bouncy’.
I find that a typical Akita puppy is friendly, curious, affectionate, and wants to play and to be held. All of my adult Akitas are watchful, protective, loyal, and gentle. Some are more reserved and others are more outgoing.