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Akita Information

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American Kennel Club Akita Breed Standard - Working Group

(originally approved Dec. 12, 1972) - App. May 12, 2009 - Eff. July 1, 2009

 

History

The Akita is one of Seven Breeds designated as a National Monument in his native country of Japan. Bred as a versatile hunting dog in the rugged mountains of Northern Japan, the breed is a wonderful combination of dignity with good nature, alert courage and docility.

 

There is a spiritual significance attached to the Akita. In Japan they are affectionately regarded as loyal companions and pets, protectors of the home and a symbol of good health, when a child is born, the proud family will usually receive a small statue of an Akita signifying health, happiness, and a long-life. If a person is ill, friends will send a small statue of an Akita to express their wish for a speedy recovery.

 

The renowned Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akita into the United States in 1937. The breed's popularity in the United States following World War II may be attributed to American servicemen of the occupational forces, who so admired the noble dogs that they took them home to their families. They were attracted to the Akita because of the breed's intelligence and adaptability to different situations.

 

The Akita Club of America was founded in 1956. The breed was admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in October 1972, and to regular show classification in the Working Group beginning April 4, 1973.

 

General Appearance

Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone. The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle, small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.

 

Head - Massive but in balance with body; free of wrinkle when at ease.

Skull flat between ears and broad; jaws broad and powerful with minimal dewlap. Head forms a blunt triangle when viewed from above. Fault - Narrow or snipey head.

Muzzle - Broad and full. Distance from nose to stop is to distance from stop to occiput as 2 is to 3. Stop - Well defined, but not too abrupt. A shallow furrow extends well up forehead.

Nose - Broad and black. Black noses on white Akitas preferred, but a lighter colored nose with or without shading of black or gray tone is acceptable. Disqualification - partial or total lack of pigmentation on the nose surface.

Ears - The ears of the Akita are characteristic of the breed. They are strongly erect and small in relation to rest of head. If ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip will touch upper eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip, wide at base, set wide on head but not too low, and carried slightly forward over eyes in line with back of neck. Disqualification - Drop or broken ears.

Eyes - Dark brown, small, deep-set and triangular in shape. Eye rims black and tight.

Lips and Tongue - Lips black and not pendulous; tongue pink.

Teeth - Strong with scissors bite preferred, but level bite acceptable. Disqualification - Noticeably undershot or overshot.

 

Neck - Thick and muscular; comparatively short, widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest blends in with base of skull.

 

Body - Longer than high, as to 10 is to 9 in males; 11 to 9 in bitches. Measurement from the point of the sternum to the point of buttocks. Chest wide and deep; reaching down to the elbow, the depth of the body at the elbow equals half the height of the dog at the withers. Ribs well sprung, brisket well developed. Level back with firmly-muscled loin and moderate tuck-up. Skin pliant but not loose. Serious Faults - Light bone, rangy body.

 

Tail - Large and full, set high and carried over back or against flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl, always dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl, tip drops well down flank. Root large and strong. Tail bone reaches hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full, with no appearance of a plume. Disqualification - Sickle or uncurled tail.

 

Forequarters - Shoulders strong and powerful with moderate layback. Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front. Angle of pastern 15 degrees forward from vertical. Faults - Elbows in or out, loose shoulders.

 

Hindquarters - Width, muscular development and bone comparable to forequarters. Upper thighs well developed. Stifle moderately bent and hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out.

 

Dewclaws - On front legs generally not removed; dewclaws on hind legs generally removed.

 

Feet - Cat feet, well knuckled up with thick pads. Feet straight ahead.

 

Coat - Double-coated. Undercoat thick, soft, dense and shorter than outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh and standing somewhat off body. Hair on head, legs and ears short. Length of hair at withers and rump approximately two inches, which is slightly longer than on rest of body, except tail, where coat is longest and most profuse. Fault-Any indication of ruff or feathering.

 

Color - Any color including white; brindle; or pinto. Colors are rich, brilliant and clear. Markings are well balanced, with or without mask or blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pinto has a white background with large, evenly placed patches covering head and more than one-third of body. Undercoat may be a different color from outer coat.

 

Gait - Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back remains strong, firm and level. Rear legs move in line with front legs.

 

Size - Males 26 to 28 inches at the withers; bitches 24 to 26 inches. Disqualification - dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23 inches.

 

Temperament - Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Akitas may be intolerant of other dogs, particularly of the same sex.

 

Disqualifications - Partial or total lack of pigmentation on nose. Drop or broken ears. Noticeably undershot or overshot. Sickle or uncurled tail. Dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23 inches.

 


 

United Kennel Club Akita Breed Standard - Northern Breed Group

(originally recognized in 1980) Revised July 1, 2009

 

History

The Akita is the largest of Japan’s native breeds. It is a member of the spitz family, originally used for bear hunting, but at one point in history it was crossed with Tosas and Mastiffs to increase its size and value as a fighting dog. When dog fighting was prohibited in 1908, the breed was preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. During World War II, the breed was nearly lost, and following the war, due to crossbreeding, the Akitas that remained were of three distinct types. Akitas of the Dewa lines, which had characteristics from Mastiff and Akita crosses, were brought to the United States by members of the Military Forces. These dogs fascinated American dog fanciers and the breed rose quickly in popularity. Akitas in the United States developed as a type unique to this country and they are now quite different than the breed in its country of origin.  The Akita was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1980.

 

General Appearance

The Akita is a large, heavily boned spitz type dog that is sturdily built and well balanced. Its broad, triangular shaped head, which has small eyes and erect ears that are carried forward almost in line with the back of the neck, is a distinctive characteristic of the breed.

 

Characteristics

The Akita is friendly, alert and responsive, with a dignified and courageous demeanor.

 

Head and Skull - The head is in the shape of a blunt triangle. It is massive, but in proportion to the size of the body. When the dog is relaxed, the head is free of wrinkles.

Skull - The skull is flat and broad between the ears. There is a shallow furrow between the eyes that runs well up the forehead. The stop is well defined but not abrupt.

Muzzle - The muzzle is broad, deep and full. It is two-thirds the length of the skull. The lips are clean and black in color. The tongue is pink.

Teeth - A full complement of strong white teeth meeting in a scissors bite is preferred, but level bite is acceptable. Disqualification: Overshot or undershot bite.

Eyes - Dark brown, relatively small, deep set and nearly triangular in shape. The eye rims are black and tight.  Disqualifications: Excessive entropion or ectropion.

Nose - Black and broad. Liver color is permitted on white Akitas, but black is preferred.  Disqualifications: Pink noses, eyelids, or rims, butterfly nose.

Ears - Strongly erect and small in relation to the rest of the head. If folded forward to measure for length, the tip should reach to the upper eye rim. Triangular shaped, slightly rounded at the tip and wide at the base, the ears are set wide on the head but not too low. Viewed from the side, the ears are angled forward over the eyes, following the line of the neck. Disqualifications: Drop or broken ears.

 

Neck - The neck is muscular and thick, comparatively short, and widens gradually toward the shoulders. There is a pronounced crest that blends in with the base of the skull. There should be no excess of dewlap.

 

Forequarters - The shoulders are strong and powerful, with moderate layback.

 

Forelegs - The forelegs are heavily boned, and straight when viewed from the front. The angle of the pasterns is 15 degrees forward from vertical. Faults: Elbows in or out. Loose shoulders.

 

Body - In proportion, the Akita is slightly longer than tall, with females being slightly longer in body than males (a height to length ratio of 9 to 10 in males and 9 to 11 in females.) The chest is wide and deep, and the ribs are well sprung. The back is level and the loin is firmly muscled. There is moderate tuck up. The skin is pliant but not loose. Serious faults: Light bond. Rangy body.

 

Hindquarters - The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with width and bone that is comparable to the forequarters.

 

Hind Legs - The upper thighs are well developed. There is moderate angulation at the stifle. The hocks are well let down. Dewclaws on the rear legs are generally removed.

 

Feet - Cat-like, well knuckled up, with thick pads.  Dewclaws - on rear legs generally removed.

 

Tail - Large and full, set high, and carried over the back or against the flank in a three-quarter, full or double curl, the tail always dips to or below the level of the back. On a three-quarter curl, the tip drops well down on the flank. The tail is strong at the root and reaches the hock when let down. The coat on the tail is coarse, straight and dense with no appearance of a plume. Disqualifications: Uncurled or sickle tail.

 

Coat - The Akita has a double coat, with a thick, short undercoat and a straight, harsh outer coat that stands somewhat off the body. The hair on the head, lower legs and ears is short. The coat over the withers and croup is slightly longer than on the rest of the body, and on the tail it is longest and most profuse. Disqualification: Altering of coat or general appearance by clipping or scissoring.

 

Color - Any color including white. Colors are brilliant and clear, and markings are well balanced, with or without a mask or blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pintos have a white background with large, evenly-placed patches covering the head and more than one-third of the body. Undercoat may be a different color than outer coat.

 

Height and Weight - Males, 26 to 28 inches at withers. Females, 24 to 26 inches. Eliminating Fault - Adult males under 25 inches, or females under 23 inches.

 

Gait - Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back remains firm, strong and level. Rear legs move in line with front legs.

 

Eliminating Faults - An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.

 

Disqualifications - A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC; Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Overshot or undershot bite. Pink noses, eyelids, or rims, butterfly nose. Excessive entropion or ectropion. Drop or broken ears. Uncurled or sickle tail. Altering of coat or general appearance by clipping or scissoring. Albinism.

EST 1998 Copyright ? TheDogPlace.org Feb 2015 16101722109 https://www.thedogplace.org/Breeds/Akita/Standards-AKC-UKC-152.asp

 

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