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Akita Information


data and chronological history provided by Meg Purnell-Carpenter



The Akita in the UK


dateline 11/23/04 TKC SPLITS THE AKITA BREED!


This just in at close of the historical committee meeting - Akita breeders (and judges) around the world salute this "relief action" by the world's foremost registering body.  "Details Forthcoming" is the word from the U.K.  12/3/04.




Meg Purnell-Carpenter of Overhill Kennels - UKThroughout the seventies and eighties, the Akita firmly established itself in the USA, becoming widely popular with several taking top awards on the show scene.  Mrs. Andrews sent a pair of youngsters to Australia via the Overhill quarantine kennels of Mrs. Meg Purnell-Carpenter.  In the course of so doing, Mrs. Purnell-Carpenter, a very prominent breeder of working Akitas, fell in love with the Akita during what was then a full year’s quarantine.


Knowing dogs so well, Mrs. Purnell-Carpenter began to look at the breed, some of which had already arrived in the U.K.  The first to arrive had been a fawn and white bitch from Canada imported in 1980 by Marion Sergeant.  She was Davos Wata Kyshi Tomo-Dachi of Tegwani, affectionately known as Tania.  Marion did much winning with her in the early days of the Akita in the UK.


The first male to arrive in the UK was Kosho Ki’s Kai Of Lindrick and Tegwani.  His dam was an American and Canadian Champion and he was imported in partnership by Mike and Joyce Window with Kath and Gerald Mitchell.  Another import to arrive about this time was the bitch Yikihime go, imported by Mrs. Beryl Mason from Japan.  These original imports were followed very swiftly by several other, all from America with but one exception.


Ch. Kakwa’s OrcaMrs. Purnell-Carpenter decided it was time to go full out and bring in a top bloodline from America.  Having become acquainted with Mrs. Andrews through caring for the two pups in quarantine, she inquired for an O’BJ dog.  The result was a magnificent white bitch sired by the then top winning male in America, the Andrews Ch. Kakwa’s Orca (Right).  O’BJ White Hope At Overhill charmed all who met her and was soon followed by the first American Champion to come into the UK.


Am. Ch. Sachette No Okii Yubi was sent to England by Mrs. Andrews who maintained that she and the Sachmo (Left) daughter had a “thing” going whereby Sachette laid awake at night thinking of ways to thwart her owner’s plans!  Had it not been for Mrs. Andrews laughing  annoyance with Sachette, a bitch of such spectacular quality might never have been allowed to leave America.


Sachette was the dam of the first litter to be born in the UK.  She whelped a lovely litter sired by O’BJ Aces High on October 23rd 1983.  Aces was a dog completing his residency in quarantine before travelling on to Australia where he became a successful sire as well.  Very quickly there were several other litters born in the U.K. including a Japanese-bred litter.  These first puppies helped to firmly establish the breed in England.


In those early days, the Akita in the U.K. had to compete in the Any Variety Not Separately Classified Classes, being one of the last Breeds to come into the country without having to go onto the import register.  The Not Separately Classified competitors in other breeds quickly became aware that the Akita was here to stay, constantly beating them in hot competition to take top honours under not only the English judges but others experienced in the breed from abroad who appreciated their presence and qualities.


In a very short time it became noticeable that the Any Variety Not Separately Classified looked like a class for Akitas with 90% being filled with that breed.  Competitors in other breeds were relieved when Akitas were given their own classification.


At the 1985 Crufts Show, Barbara “BJ” Andrews handled Overhill's Lizzys Girl to Best of Breed AVNSC, the first Akita and the first American to win this top honor. It was especially exciting for BJ and Meg as Lizzys Girl was from the first litter born in the U.K. – out of the first imported American Champion, that being the bitch sent to the U.K. by Mrs. Andrews! Lizzy and her sisters, Overhills Marlows Miracle and Overhill's Kita Mori, were out of both extremely successful show dogs and producers.


As in the U.S. at the beginning there was a great division over the establishment of a Breed club, eventually four people, two representatives from each side, called a meeting of all Akita enthusiasts.  There four were John Dunhill, Jill Bingham, Mike Window, and Meg Purnell-Carpenter and together, they formed the Japanese Akita Association which gained acceptance by the Kennel Club in 1987.


October 1998 saw the first Breed Club Open show run by the newly formed Association and the first Challenge Certificates were awarded at Crufts in 1990.  The dog C.C. and Best Of Breed went to the imported Am. Ch. Tamarlane’s Veni Vidi Vici owned by Mike Window.  Veni Vidi Vici went on to become the first male Champion to be made up and the first bitch was American Champion Goshens Classy Sassy at Redwitch owned by Dave and Jenny Killilea.


Since those early days, the breed has progressed, not only in the show ring but in other areas.  There are many Akitas that have passed the Kennel Club Good Citizens Award.  Some have become PAT dogs whilst others have taken to sledding.  There is even one that is Afghan racing and qualifying in acceptable times!


The English, American-type Akitas has made a great impact world-wise, many taking Best In Shows and top awards.  Here in the UK, the Akitas have consistently been winning Groups and Group placements at Championship Shows which must make this Breed on of the most competitive in the show world.


In a published interview wherein she was asked which Akita not owned or bred at Overhill she considered to be the closest to the standard, Mrs. Purnell-Carpenter responded thusly:  “The Akita closest to the Breed Standard would be The Widow Maker O'BJ, this superb male ‑ a top winning Akita in the U.S.A. is full of Breed type, the nearest example to the Breed standard. His outstanding attributes for me would be his wonderful head, hindquarter, vibrant colour, movement and overall balance. I set him as my ideal.  The Akita I have personally owned and bred that has been nearest to my ideal would be my Ch Overhills Cherokee Lite Fut, a daughter of the above dog. She inherited her sire’s outstanding movement and hindquarter ‑ excelling in bone and substance. She was one of the early English Champion bitches to gain her title ‑ in my opinion she would compete very strongly in today’s competition.


Breeders in the U.K. have been surprisingly successful in restoring and selecting for correct ear size and tail carriage and in 2000, two of the top winning Greater Japanese dogs in Europe are American Imports owned by Katharina Round in France.


The excellent pictorial and pedigree reference book:  History Of The Japanese Akita In The U.K.

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