Akita (Dog Breed)
The Akita (秋田犬 Akita-inu) is a large spitz breed of dog originating from the mountainous northern regions of Japan. There are two separate varieties of Akita: a Japanese strain, known as the "Akita Inu" or "Japanese Akita"; and an American strain, known as the "Akita" or "American Akita". The Japanese strain comes in a small choice of colors, with all other colors considered atypical of the breed, while the American strain comes in all dog colors. The Akita has a short double coat, similar to that of many other northern spitz breeds such as the Siberian Husky, but long coated dogs can be found in many litters due to a recessive gene.
The Akita is a strong, independent and dominant breed, commonly aloof with strangers but affectionate with family members. As a breed, Akitas are generally hardy, but they have been known to suffer from various genetic conditions and be sensitive to certain drugs.
The American strain of Akita is now considered a separate breed from the Japanese Akita in many countries around the world, with the notable exceptions of the United States and Canada. In the U.S. and Canada, both strains are considered a single breed with differences in type rather than two separate breeds. During a short period, the American strain of Akita was known in some countries as the "Great Japanese Dog". Both forms of Akita are probably best known worldwide from the true story of Hachikō, a loyal Akita dog who lived in Japan before World War II.