Akita Inu Description

The Akita Inu is a large breed similar to the Japanese Spitz breeds. They are very distinctive looking breed with powerful, muscular bodies and small, erect ears. Coat colors include white, red, tan, and brindle and a vast array of combinations. Their noses are usually black, but sometimes can be brown. An Akita Inus coat is harsh due to the fact that the outer layer of their fur is waterproof so it is thicker than the other, softer layers.

The breed is a native to the Akita region of Japan, hence their name. They are considered the national dog breed of Japan. The Akita Inu breed was first used as a guard dog but has also been used as fighting dogs, to aide hunters, and for herding.

akita inu dog breed
Akita inu young six months standing dog over green background

Also Known As

Akita Ken
Japanese Akita


Despite their aggressive uses in the past, the Akita Inu is a docile breed of dog. They are highly intelligent and very affectionate with those they trust. They are willful and because of this, they can be a difficult breed to train. They do have some aggressive tendencies still in their blood. It is because of this aggressive nature that they are not recommended for households with small children. If properly trained, and with children who know how to respect a treat your Akita Inu, they will prove to be a wonderful pet. Akita Inus are not recommended for households with other pets, however, as they will often fight with other dogs to prove dominance.

Health Problems

Akita Inus, due to their large size, are prone to hip dysplasia, especially in their later years. They are are also more likely than other breeds to contract diseases, such as VKH and Pemphigus. The breed is also known to be commonly afflicted with thyroid problems, skin problems, knee problems, and eye problems, so regular bathing and other hygiene regimens are highly recommended.


Akita Inus need a moderate amount of exercise. They do best when they have a large yard to run and play in as they are usually quite inactive when indoors, so to keep them happy, they like to have room to run and play daily. Because of their larger size, they are not recommended for people who live in apartments or homes with very small yards.

Special Grooming Needs

Akita Inus require a good amount of grooming. They must be brushed with a wire bristle brush at least twice a week. Their coats must not be bathed too frequently, as bathing too often may remove their coat’s natural waterproofing. Akita Inus shed very heavily at least twice a year.