Did you know that there are two different Akita breeds known as the American Akita vs Japanese Akita? How are these breeds similar, and in what ways do they differ? If you have been considering adopting an Akita, you’re in the right place. Learn everything you need to know about these two distinct breeds here!
In this article, we will address everything you need to know about the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. We will address their physical differences, including sizes. Additionally, we will go over their behaviors and ancestral traits that may make you think about which breed is right for your home. Let’s get started and distinguish between these two Akitas now!
Comparing American Akita vs Japanese Akita
|Category||American Akita||Japanese Akita|
|Size||24-26 inches tall; 70-130 pounds||23-25 inches tall; 65-120 pounds|
|Appearance||Large, muscular body and broad, bear-like head. Erect ears and thick double coat found in a variety of patterns and colors||Large body and fox-like face. Small eyes and erect ears, found in select colors such as red, fawn, brindle, and black. Thick double coat and long, curled tail|
|Ancestry||Brought to America from Japan by American soldiers in the 1940s; used as a guard dog and companion animal||Originally bred in the 17th century in Japan as a prolific hunting dog; prized by royalty for their abilities and protective natures|
|Behavior||Made for guarding property and thrives in an outdoor environment. Wary of most strangers and animals, and should be trained carefully to deal with small children||A fantastic guard dog and may do well with young children after plenty of training. Alert and capable, but may not do well with dogs of the same gender. Requires a firm and experienced hand to avoid most difficulties|
|Lifespan||10-12 years||10-13 years|
Key Differences Between American Akita vs Japanese Akita
There are many key differences between the American Akita and the Japanese Akita. While they were both the same breed originally, the American Akita does not have as strict a breed standard compared to the Japanese Akita. Additionally, the American Akita grows slightly larger than the Japanese Akita, in both height and weight. Finally, the Japanese Akita was originally bred for hunting, while the American Akita was originally bred as a guard dog.
Let’s take a look at all of these differences in more detail now.
American Akita vs Japanese Akita: Size
One of the primary differences between the Japanese Akita and the American Akita are their size differences. The American Akita grows slightly larger than the Japanese Akita, though their heights and weights overlap frequently. Let’s take a closer look at these figures now.
Depending on gender, the American Akita grows anywhere from 24 to 26 inches tall, while the Japanese Akita only reaches 23 to 25 inches tall total. In addition, the Japanese Akita weighs anywhere from 65 to 120 pounds, while the American Akita averages 70 to 130 pounds total. While this difference is subtle, most American Akitas grow larger than Japanese Akitas.
American Akita vs Japanese Akita: Appearance
You can easily tell that the Japanese Akita and the American Akita are related, though they do have some differences in their appearances. For example, the American Akita is found in more colors compared to the Japanese Akita. Due to their breed standards, the Japanese Akita only comes in brindle, red, and black colorations, while the American Akita has a variety of tan and brown shades.
In addition, the face of the Japanese Akita looks more like a fox, while the face of the American Akita looks more like a bear. This difference is extremely subtle, and you can really only tell when you look at both breeds side by side. However, this is definitely one of the main ways that you can tell them apart!
American Akita vs Japanese Akita: Ancestry and Breeding
You may have already guessed this, but the ancestry and breeding behind both the American Akita and the Japanese Akita differ from one another. For example, the Japanese Akita originated in Japan sometime during the 17th century, while the American Akita originated in America sometime during the 1940s. This is because of American soldiers bringing the Japanese Akita over to the United States during this period of occupation.
In addition, the Japanese Akita was originally bred as a royal hunting dog, prized for its abilities, while the American Akita was originally bred as a guard dog. However, both of these dogs have fantastic guard dog qualities, giving their loyalty and overall wariness of strangers.
American Akita vs Japanese Akita: Behavior
Speaking of the behaviors of both of these Akita dogs, you may want to know what the American Akita and the Japanese Akita are like if you plan on adopting either breed. Both of these dogs are particularly alert and suspicious of strangers as well as other dogs. However, the American Akita exhibits more frustration toward young children and other animals compared to the Japanese Akita.
Both of these breeds require a firm hand and are not recommended for beginning dog owners. They can be stubborn as well as aggressive to dogs of their same gender, and this is particularly true of the Japanese Akita. However, they are both extremely loyal dog breeds as well as capable learners, so long as all anxious behavior is dealt with early.
American Akita vs Japanese Akita: Lifespan
The lifespan of both the American Akita and the Japanese Akita are extraordinarily similar. However, given their size differences, the Japanese Akita lives a slightly longer life compared to the American Akita. For example, the American Akita lives anywhere from 10 to 12 years, while the Japanese Akita lives an average of 10 to 13 years.
Are American Akitas Good Off Leash?
Now that we have found out some great information surrounding these two types of Akitas, are they good pets and specifically are they good pups to let off the leash?
The short answer and probably most agreed upon answer is to keep your Akita’s leash on whenever you are in a public space or where they could run away. As well trained as an Akita may be, they tend to have a streak of not listening too well at times, and with their guardian type mentality they could be potentially dangerous.
Off leash, an Akita could attack a human and cause real pain and suffering, especially to a child. The most likely accident, however, would be an Akita attacking another dog of the same sex. They are known for this type of aggression, and it is best and most responsible to keep them on a leach for everyone’s safety and well being.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © New Africa/Shutterstock.com
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