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What’s the difference between an American and a Japanese Akita?

amerikaanse akita beweging
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The story behind the American Akita

Akitas originate from the north of Japan and were mainly used to hunt down bears and to guard homes and farm yards.

Later, they were forced to partake in dog fighting practices and were crossbred with Tosas and Mastiffs. Because of that crossbreeding, their physical shape got larger.

Owning an American Akita?

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Crossover between Akitas & German Shepherds

During the Second World War, Japanese breeders had to hand over their Akitas as a source of fur for military clothing. German Shepherds, on the other hand, would serve as fighting dogs.

For that very reason, breeders began to mix those two breeds in an attempt to prevent the Akita from going extinct. By the end of the war, three different kinds of Akitas remained.


Differences compared to the Japanese breed

The first Akita to be imported to the US was brought there by Helen Keller in 1937. The dogs did no longer belong to a breed that was required to fight and they became household pets over time instead. The differences compared to the Japanese breed were so prominent that it became rather difficult to judge their appearance.

The F.C.I. (or Fédération Cynologique Internationale) considered the Japanese breed to be the standard, but other countries, such as the United States and Great Britain, adhered to their own standard. Eventually, the F.C.I. decided to acknowledge two variants: Akita and American Akita.

Joyful news: new litters

Recently, new puppies were born at American Wolf Hill. Would you like to see them? Have a look at some of our endearing pictures.

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