a large upright American akita

Introducing the American Akita

Discover all there is to know about the American Akita : its characteristics, behavior, training, and its cost.


The American Akita, a symbol of majesty and loyalty

an American akita in the forest who put his two front paws on a piece of wood

As a distinct breed from its Japanese counterpart, the American Akita has carved out its niche in the hearts of dog lovers across the globe, including Great Britain. This breed's popularity is not unearned; known for its dignified and reserved nature, the American Akita is among the most beloved and admired dog breeds worldwide.

Their capabilities stretch across a spectrum of activities, including guarding, therapy work, and even participating in dog sports. Despite their formidable appearance, Akitas are incredibly affectionate with their families, showcasing a gentler side to those they trust. Their loyalty is legendary, often forming a deep, unbreakable bond with their owners.


This section outlines the unique features of the American Akita breed of dog.


The American Akita belongs to the Working Group. This group comprises breeds known for their strength, energy, and capability to perform tasks.


The American Akita is a large and powerful dog breed. Males typically stand between 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 100 to 130 pounds, while females are slightly smaller.

Coat length

American Akitas have a double coat with a short to medium-length outer coat. The undercoat is dense and soft, providing excellent insulation against cold weather.

Coat color

The coat of an American Akita can vary widely, including white, brindle, and pinto. The breed is known for its striking markings and the variety of colors.

Living environment

American Akitas are adaptable to both apartment and house living as long as they receive sufficient exercise.


American Akitas are known to be reserved with strangers but are deeply loyal and affectionate with their family.


Generally, the American Akita is a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years. However, they are prone to certain genetic conditions, such as hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroiditis.


Akitas are intelligent and willful, requiring consistent and firm training from an early age. While they can be stubborn, positive reinforcement and patience are key to their training.

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The American Akita, an emblem of strength and nobility

The American Akita is a powerful, well-balanced dog with a commanding presence. The breed is known for its bear-like face, with strong jaws and a broad head, set off by small, deep-set eyes that exude intelligence and alertness.

Size and weight of the American Akita

an american akita on the side of a road, on the lookout

The American Akita stands tall among dog breeds, with females typically measuring 24 to 26 inches and males between 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder. In terms of weight, females generally fall between 70 to 100 pounds, while males can weigh anywhere from 100 to 130 pounds.

Akitas experience a rapid growth phase, with puppies growing swiftly within their first few months. Most American Akitas reach their full size and weight by the age of 2, embodying their full, dignified stature and solid build.

The coat of the American Akita

an american akita sitting in a field looking far away

Coat length

The American Akita boasts a double coat, with a short to medium-length outer coat that's harsh and straight. Its dense undercoat is soft and plush, providing insulation against both cold and heat. This breed exhibits a robust mane around the neck, more pronounced in males, giving it a regal and bear-like appearance.

Coat color

The American Akita's coat color encompasses a wide palette, including white, brindle, and pinto. The breed is particularly noted for its striking facial masks and the variety of color patterns, which can range from solid to a mix of colors, giving each Akita a unique appearance.

portrait of a young american akita who sticks out his tongue

Coat care

The coat of the American Akita requires diligent care due to its length and the thickness of its undercoat. Akitas shed throughout the year, with seasonal shedding in the spring and fall being particularly heavy. Regular brushing, at least once a week, is essential to remove dead hair and maintain the coat's health. During shedding seasons, daily brushing may be necessary to manage the increased shedding.

Bathing the American Akita too frequently can strip its coat of natural oils, so baths should be given only when necessary, typically every few months. The breed's coat has a self-cleaning quality, but regular grooming helps to keep it in optimal condition, reducing the need for frequent baths.

Other characteristics of the American Akita

an American Akita running happily through the grass

Physical features

The American Akita is a picture of balance and dignity, exuding a well-proportioned and robust physique. The breed's head is broad and massive, yet carries a dignified expression, with a deep muzzle that complements its striking bear-like appearance. The eyes of the American Akita are small, dark, and deeply set, conveying a keen intelligence and alertness. Their ears are erect and small in proportion to the rest of the head, positioned forward over the eyes in a triangular shape, contributing to their alert and noble demeanor.

The body of the American Akita is muscular and powerful, showcasing a level back and a well-balanced frame that supports their versatile capabilities, from agility to strength-based tasks. The breed's substantial musculature is not just for show; it underscores the American Akita's origins as a working breed, capable of performing demanding tasks in challenging environments.


What is the temperament of the American Akita?

The American Akita is renowned for its loyalty, protection, and affection, embodying a complex temperament that is both dignified and fearless.

American Akita category

an American akita sitting on the ground in the forest

With over 400 registered dog breeds categorized into 10 groups, the classification system highlights the diverse functionalities and characteristics inherent to each breed. The American Akita falls into the Working Group (5), which includes breeds known for their strength, intelligence, and versatility in performing tasks such as guarding, rescuing, and pulling sleds. This group encompasses a wide array of breeds, from the Siberian Husky to the Saint Bernard. Dogs within this group are celebrated for their developed instincts, remarkable intelligence, and an innate capacity for training.

The American Akita, specifically, stands out for its exceptional loyalty, protective instincts, and affectionate nature towards its family. Originally bred for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan, the breed has retained its noble and courageous temperament, making it an admirable and loyal companion.

Behaviour of the American Akita

an american akita affectionate towards another smaller akita

A loyal guardian with a heart of gold

The American Akita is a breed known for its dignified behavior, showcasing a calm and composed demeanor that belies a deep-seated loyalty and affection towards its owners. This breed expresses its affection in a reserved manner, preferring quiet companionship to overt displays.

The presence of a committed and attentive owner is crucial for the American Akita's psychological well-being and development, as they thrive on mutual respect and understanding. Despite their independent nature, Akitas develop a profound bond with their family, making them vigilant protectors.

an american akita in front of a pond with his owner

Sociable yet selective

The American Akita exhibits a unique blend of sociability and discretion. They possess a generous spirit, especially towards their family, and can coexist peacefully with humans and, under the right circumstances, other pets. While Akitas can be good companions for children, their interaction should always be supervised, considering the breed's size and strength.

Early socialization is paramount for this breed to ensure they grow into well-adjusted adults. By exposing them to a variety of people, places, and situations from a young age, Akitas can learn to navigate social interactions more gracefully, making them more adaptable and accepting of new experiences.

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The American Akita's living environment

an American akita walking by the sea

Adaptable protector of the home

The American Akita showcases a remarkable ability to adapt to various living conditions, be it an apartment in the city or a spacious home in the countryside. What remains imperative, regardless of the setting, is the attentive care and affection provided by their owners. They require regular, structured walks to maintain their physical health and mental well-being, with a recommended duration of at least 30 to 45 minutes twice a day.

A space to roam and explore

Despite their adaptability to indoor living, American Akitas benefit significantly from having access to an outdoor space where they can fulfill their natural curiosity and robust energy levels. Such an environment offers them the freedom to explore, play, and engage in physical activities that are crucial for their development. This space not only allows them to enjoy the outdoors but also helps in maintaining their physical fitness and preventing boredom-related behaviors.

Training the American Akita

an American akita who can feel his owner's hand in the snow

A mind of their own

The American Akita is known for its superior intelligence and an impressive capacity to learn, making it a breed that responds well to training when engaged properly. However, Akitas possess a strong-willed nature, requiring a nuanced approach to training that respects their independence and intelligence. Positive reinforcement, patience, and consistency are key. Given their protective instincts, training should also include socialization from a young age to promote a well-rounded temperament.

For owners, equipping their American Akita with a GPS collar is a wise precaution to ensure their safety, allowing for peace of mind in case of any unforeseen escapes or losses.

an American Akita running through the grass

Commanding respect through understanding

American Akitas have the potential to exhibit excellent listening qualities, provided their training is approached with respect and understanding of their unique characteristics. They are not a breed that responds well to heavy-handed methods; instead, they require a leader who they respect and who can guide them with confidence and clarity.

Training an American Akita offers an opportunity to build a deep relationship, emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and understanding between the dog and its owner.


How to take care of the American Akita

The American Akita is known for its robust health and sturdy constitution, making it a generally healthy breed. However, diligent daily care is essential to preserving the health of an American Akita, focusing on disease and infection prevention to ensure a long, vibrant life.

The health of the American Akita

an American akita standing on its two front legs


The American Akita enjoys good overall health but, like any breed, it has its vulnerabilities. This breed is known for its resilience and is not frequently ill, yet it is predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Common health concerns include hip dysplasia, a genetic disorder affecting the hip joint, and autoimmune thyroiditis.

Symptoms associated with these conditions can vary, but early detection and management are crucial. The typical lifespan for an American Akita ranges from 10 to 13 years, reflecting its generally robust health.

an American akita lying on top of another akita, on the ground

Routine care

Routine veterinary care is paramount for the American Akita throughout its life, including regular vaccinations, deworming, and parasite prevention as advised by a veterinarian. Daily care practices play a vital role in maintaining health and well-being. Regular brushing of the coat helps manage shedding and maintains skin health, while routine ear cleaning prevents infections. Dental care, including regular brushing, is essential to prevent tartar build-up and oral diseases. Nail trimming should be done as needed to avoid discomfort and mobility issues.

Awareness of potential allergies is important, and consultation with a vet for the best dietary and care practices is recommended. The American Akita is not considered a hypoallergenic breed, so potential owners with allergies should take this into consideration.

Feeding the American Akita

portrait of a tongue-tied american akita

Daily requirements

Every dog breed comes with its own set of nutritional needs, and the American Akita is no exception. A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining their health, vitality, and the strength they're renowned for. Proteins and vitamins play a pivotal role in meeting these dietary requirements, ensuring that your Akita has the energy for daily activities and maintains muscle mass. We recommend opting for high-quality kibble formulated for large breeds as it provides a well-rounded foundation tailored to the nutritional needs of the American Akita.

If your Akita is particularly active or requires additional protein, consider supplementing their diet with lean cuts of white and red meat, while being mindful to limit fat intake to prevent unnecessary weight gain.


What does an American Akita cost?

The American Akita is a revered breed, known for its loyalty and formidable presence. While there are several reputable breeders, it's important to consider several factors before adopting to ensure you're prepared for the commitment.

How to choose your American Akita

an American Akita lying on the grass

Finding the right breeder

Before adopting an American Akita into your home, significant consideration is required. Ensuring you choose a reputable breeder is paramount; this includes visiting the breeder's facilities to observe the living conditions and behavior of not just the puppies but the adult dogs too. Health is a critical aspect, so it’s vital to inquire about the health of both the puppy you're interested in and its lineage. Breeders should be transparent about any health issues present in the breed line.

Lastly, mandatory electronic identification, like microchipping, is not always mandated at the federal level in the United States for cats and dogs. But microchipping is widely acknowledged as a successful way to permanently identify pets and increase the possibility of reuniting lost pets with their owners, even in the absence of universal regulations. As a pet owner, it is advised to inform yourself about municipal laws to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your pet.

an American akita sitting on the grass, head turned skywards

The price of an American Akita

The cost of an American Akita puppy can vary significantly based on several factors, including the breeder's reputation, lineage, and the puppy's age. Prices for an American Akita puppy typically range from



However, it's crucial to remember that the initial purchase price is just the beginning. Owning an American Akita comes with ongoing costs for their care, including food, veterinary fees, and other essentials, which can amount to approximately



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Choosing a dog that matches your personality and lifestyle will ensure your well-being and his!