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Breed Priorities – Akita

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162 – February, 2021

By Nikki Riggsbee

The Akita is designated a national monument in Japan. The breed originated in the snowy mountainous region of Japan, dating back as far as 500 B.C. It was used for large game hunting and guarding property. Originally, ownership of Akitas was restricted to royalty, and the breed was seldom allowed out of the country. The first Akita in the United States came as a gift to Helen Keller.

By the early 20th century, the Akita had been cross-bred with other dogs, losing some of its typical characteristics. The Japanese later worked to bring the Akita back to the spitz type. Breeders in the United States worked with some earlier imports. The result was two styles of Akitas: the American type and the Japanese type. In FCI countries, they have been split into two separate breeds as of 1999 at the call of Japan. The Japanese type is called the Akita in FCI. The American type, which tends to be larger and permits more colors than allowed in the Japanese type, was originally called the Great Japanese Dog in FCI countries and later renamed as the American Akita. In the United States, the Akita continues to be one breed.

We found thirty-one Akita breeder-judges to invite to participate in a survey on their breed. Twenty-six responded positively. Nineteen completed surveys were returned plus two more that filled in only one page of the two page survey. The breeder-judges have been in the breed for more than twenty-eight years on average, and have been judging it for nearly eight years on average. Nearly half have judged their national specialty, and most have judged other Akita specialties.

Akita Virtues

The survey included a list of characteristics from the standard. The breeder-judges were asked to rank them by importance, with 1 being most important and 16 being the least important. The list below is in sequence by the average of the experts’ ranks.

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162 – February, 2021


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Posted by on Feb 8 2021. Filed under Dog Show History, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • May 2021