This breed was created in the 17th century for hunting bears in the Akita region in the North-East of Japan. These dogs are considered the national symbol of their country. They had many uses: fetching, company and security. It is one of the seven breeds proclaimed natural monuments in Japan.
It is a large-sized dog, strong, harmonious, brawny with a majestic appearance, that gives the impression of great distinction, due to its perfect symmetry. The body is slightly longer than taller, with a prominent and wide chest. The head is proportional with the body, flat between the ears, prominent stop, powerful and square jaws. The eyes are small, deeply set and dark brown. The ears are small, triangular, rounded and erect. The tail is medium in length, bushy and kept over the back or curled to the side. The double coat has a short, fluffy first layer and the second layer is made of short and straight hair. The coat can have various colors: red, white, brindled, grey, or black striped.
It is an intelligent, proud, pretty brave, obedient, well-balanced, imperturbable dog with a strong hunting instinct. It doesn't bark too much and it sometimes is independent and even dominant. Very devoted to its master, it is protective with children and accepts them if they don't provoke him. They are cautious and suspicious with strangers. They need to be socialized at an early age with other dogs and other animals in the household to avoid becoming dominant at maturity (especially towards dogs from the same gender).
The coat requires a more intense brushing during the shedding period to remove dead hairs. Otherwise a casual brushing is enough.
It is a dog that can withstand the cold weather and feels better outdoors next to an owner with experience in raising dogs. It needs an eclosure so it won't go hunting when it catches the scent of potential prey. The dog should wear a muzzle when it goes out on the street to prevent it from attacking other dogs (if it hasn't been socialized enough).
The training must be done by someone with experience, confident and must be firm, consistent and varied so the dog won't get bored. It is an intelligent dog and beautiful results can be achieved. It needs to be socialized at an early age with children, people, dogs and other animals. It has a medium level of activity and it likes to take long walks.
This breed became very popular due to the touching story of an Akita dog, named Hachiko which used to accompany its master daily to the train-station and back. Unfortunately the owner died at work, but the dog continued all its life to welcome that particular train, hoping that one day its master will arrive.