The American Akita is a large, sturdy, solidly built, balanced, heavy-boned dog. The American Akita is a massive dog with a very particular character. Faithful and protective of its owner, it is also very reserved in its relationship with humans. However, he is very young and has more of a playful character, open to others. It is, therefore, necessary to take advantage of this moment to educate and socialize it properly. He is not necessarily very athletic; he loves to bask. He shows loyalty to his master, whom he will defend at all costs. The Akita’s tolerance threshold is low, implying increased caution, especially with children. Therefore, it is essential to learn to read and respect dogs’ communication signals, which are very subtle in the American Akita.
The American Akita has the same origins as the Japanese Akita (Akita Inu). Their common ancestors lived in the Akita region, in the north of the island of Honshu in Japan. They were frequently used as fighting dogs, and many of them were crossed with Mastiffs and Tosas to obtain more extensive and powerful dogs. This trend lasted until dog jousting was banned in 1908. Akitas nearly disappeared after World War II, when Japanese authorities requisitioned most dogs of all breeds to use their skin for making military outfits. The only breed spared by this measure was the German Shepherd, used in the Imperial Army.
To circumvent this regulation, breeders have therefore had the idea of crossing their Akitas with German Shepherds. Among these dogs, those of the Dewa line particularly appealed to the Americans, who imported several to the United States. From there, the separation was made between the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. The latter quickly enjoyed great popularity, so much so that the American Akita Club was created in 1956, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1972. It will then be the turn of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) to recognize it on May 30, 1999.