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Akita Information


Akita by another name



what that means & why AKC and ACA stubbornly resist!


At the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) General Assembly meeting at the World Show in Buenos Aires July 5 & 6, 2005 it was announced that the name for the Great Japanese Dog in the FCI countries has been officially changed to American Akita by the FCI General Assembly effective January 2006. This was done at the request of Japan Kennel Club, the country of origin for the two Akita breeds of dog. In addition the American Akita breed has had its Group competition changed from Group 2, to Group 5, Spitz and primitive types.


This information has been distributed by a fax from the Japan Kennel Club to Dr. Sophia Kalukniacki, DVM, the supervising editor of the English translation for the 1998 Akita book of the Japan Kennel Club and the AKC Delegate from the Akita Club of America. Mr. Fisher, the president of the German VDH and vice-president of the FCI, has also confirmed this information.


The Federation Cynologique Internationale is the World Canine Organization. The FCI includes 80 members and contract partners, one member per country, each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI makes sure that the pedigrees and judges are mutually recognized by all of the FCI member countries. The FCI website address is


Under the present AKC written "Rules, Regulations, Policy Manual and Practices" the breed standards and control of the breed belongs to the national parent dog breed club. The AKC put this into effect after the Jessup v. AKC federal civil lawsuit involving the Labrador Retriever breed standard change. The Akita breed standard belongs to the Akita Club of America (ACA), therefore it is up to the ACA to petition the AKC to accept the Japanese Akita as a second breed of dog - like the present Norwich Terrier and Norfolk Terrier Club did to bring in the second breed the Norfolk Terrier. The AKC board of directors (on the written recommendation of the staff) can and has overruled the national parent breed dog clubs in certain instances.


The Kennel Club England saw fit to deal with this confusing state of affairs caused by AKC’s unexpected and unannounced acceptance of the JKC studbook in 1992. Actually done in order to accommodate the Shiba Inu breeders, it adversely affected Akita owners not only here in the States but all around the world. It meant that those who were first to know were able (not all did) to quickly bring in Japanese Akitas. Some were top quality, some were not even purebred if one were to judge them by appearance and by comments from Japanese exporters.


At the JKC Conference in 1996, the differences between the American and the Japanese Akitas were recognized and problems confronting fanciers of both breeds were discussed. It was officially decided to split the two types into two breeds so that the American Akitas could be shown. At that time, in many parts of the world, they could not be shown! This logical decision was reaffirmed in 1998. Still, the ACA and the AKC refused to acknowledge the obvious and in so doing, allowed the AKC studbook and the genes of American Akitas to be forever contaminated as cross-breeding occurred.


Those who fancied the exquisite beauty of the Japanese Akita had no choice if they wanted to show in AKC shows. They had to mate their dogs with big substantial American dogs, thus, in the eyes of all knowledgeable fanciers, denigrating and diluting both breeds. For some, this recognition came too late, this writer being one of those. I was sure that the foundations of oriental type that had been subverted to the Akita and other breed influences, could be corrected by the outstanding (pun intended) coats, short thick “arctic” ears, tight tails, and short backs of the purely bred Japanese dogs.


Akitas O’BJ was the first to legally import Japanese-sired registered bitches from England into this country. Despite assurances, in writing, from AKC’s Import Department and a Certified Pedigree from The Kennel Club England, it became a fight that nearly ended on the courthouse steps. AKC finally made the historical move of registering Overhill’s Pacer and another bitch that we placed in a pet home (unbred) as “for breeding purposes only” and we thought we had won. Unfortunately, that was not so for the magnificent Pacer failed to produce as we had expected and after two tries, breeding her to two of the top sires of all time, we abandoned the idea and openly shared our frustration with other breeders. Those who cared about the dogs listened. Those who cared about their personal agendas continued to produce what became known as “tweenies” i.e., betwixt and between, neither one representing a purebred Akita, dogs that were a dilute and mockery of the purity of both Japanese and American breeding programs.


It has not changed. In America, the two breeds are still crossed and eligible for registration as AKC Akitas. The gene pool has been so compromised that indeed, it is harder to tell a tweenie and one could breed out to a line and bring in very unpleasant and unexpected surprises.


It is hoped that ACA will do its duty to the American Akita and to the Japanese Akita and demand (as have other clubs confronted with similar situations) that AKC protect the integrity of the stud book and the two breeds. If that were to happen today, many American breeders would have to go offshore to find purebred American Akitas!


What a mess we’re still in and how disgraceful that petty rivalries and minds can not be put aside in favor of protecting the breed(s) we claim to love.


Contributors: Louis Fallon, BJ Andrews, et al.

More information, visit Raritan River Akita Club

and the National Parent Club, Akita Club Of America


More Information:

Background On FCI and Akita Name Change Sophia Kaluzniaki, D.V.M. July 2005

FCI Changes Akita Breed Name what that means & why AKC and ACA stubbornly resist!  August 2005

Dilemma - One Breed Or Two? a historical perspective - Sophia Kaluzniaki, D.V.M. Sept. 2005

UPDATE From The Akita World On The Akita Name Change - Sophia Kaluzniaki, D.V.M. June 2006

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