American Akita Dog

Akitas are large working dogs, but did you know that there are two different types of Akita. The Japanese Akita, also known as the Akita Inu, and the American Akita. So, what is an American Akita?

The American Akita is a large, muscular, spitz-type working dog. This AKC-recognized breed has become popular for its dignified stature, loyalty, and intelligence. Despite garnering a reputation for being an aggressive dog, this pooch is bound to bring joy to people with its silly antics.

We have created this guide on this graceful breed to give you a good look at what this breed is really about. From head to toe, you will know everything important there is to know about the American Akita. So, let’s get into it.

How Big Do American Akitas Get?

Image from Instagram:@byron_shyra_theamericanakitas

American Akitas are a large dog breed. So if you are considering this pooch, be prepared for them to claim ownership of your sofa and any other comfy furniture piece.

Physical Appearance

On average, the American Akita will grow between 24 to 28 inches and can weigh anywhere from 70 to 130 lbs. Males are typically larger than their female counterparts. So this is something to consider if your heart is set on this breed, but space may be a little bit of an issue.

These majestic dogs are muscular and strong, with large bones and a very imposing image. They are regularly described as looking bear-like. This is because of their small brown eyes, deeply set muzzle, and angular ears giving them a physical appearance resembling a teddy bear.

Coat Colors And Patterns

Unlike their Japanese cousins, the Japanese Akita, the American Akita comes in a variety of coat colors.

So finding an American Akita with the aesthetics you desire will be very easy. Some common American Akita colors are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Chocolate
  • Blue Brindle
  • Black Brindle
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Fawn

Every dog of this breed will have what is called a mask, and this can be found in a variety of colors, although the most common mask color is white.

The American Akita also has a medium-length, double coat. This type of coat is made up of a short and soft undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat. Double-coated breeds experience seasonal shedding, so you can expect ‘blowouts’ from the American Akita twice yearly.

How Long Do American Akitas Live?

Image from Instagram:@_khaostheamericanakita

The average lifespan of an American Akita is 10 to 12 years but, if they are kept healthy, it is entirely possible for this beautiful dog to live even longer.

Much like other pedigree breeds, this canine can be susceptible to a few genetic health issues.

Common Health Issues

The American Akita is generally a very healthy dog. However, being aware of possible health issues your pup may experience is half the battle when it comes to keeping them healthy and happy.

Some health issues your American Akita may be more prone to are:

Hip Dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition where the hip bone does not fit correctly into the hip joint. A dog that is suffering from hip dysplasia may show signs of lameness and pain in one or both of its rear legs.

Due to it being an inherited condition, dogs with hip dysplasia shouldn’t be used for breeding, and any reputable breeder will have potential parent dogs tested before even considering a litter of puppies.


Bloat is a condition that affects many deep-chested dog breeds. This is where air quickly fills your dog’s stomach, causing it to twist on itself. It can be a particularly nasty and fatal condition, but the best way to prevent it is to slow down your dog’s gulping speed when they eat. This will reduce the amount of air they draw into their stomachs at one time.

Some other common health issues to be aware of are:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Sebaceous Adenitis

How To Take Care Of Your American Akita?

The American Akita is a happy and loving breed. Due to its size and exercise needs, your pooch will need a good diet and daily exercise routine.

Exercising Your American Akita

Although this breed is not inherently hyper, it does require regular, daily exercise. Thirty minutes to an hour of brisk daily walking is usually plenty to keep this pooch happy. Due to their high intelligence, they do get bored very quickly, so incorporating mental stimulation toys, like puzzles, into their daily activities will work a treat.

How Should I Feed My American Akita?

Just like all breeds of dog, The American Akita needs a high-quality diet every single day. This can be dry kibble, wet food, or even a mix of the two.

 The average recommended serving size for this dog is 3 to 5 cups of food per day. You can stretch these feeds over 2 to 3 different meal times, and incorporating them into stuffed toys will not only slow down their eating, preventing bloat but also keep them mentally stimulated.

Here at Goody Pet, we highly recommend Pet Plate. Not only for their high-quality dog foods but also for their supplement cookies that will support your pups’ gut and joint health.

Do I Need Extra Dietary Supplements For My American Akita?

Considering a reliable multivitamin for your dog is a responsible idea. Maintaining their nutritional health can be tricky sometimes, but doggy multivitamins alleviate some of the pressure.

Tooth health can also be a tricky thing to master with any dog, so using a dental water additive can help maintain your dog’s mouth, especially when American Akitas aren’t big fans of manual brushing.

15 of the ABSOLUTE BEST multivitamin supplements you should get for your dogs. Take a look here!

Are American Akita Dogs Dangerous? Temperaments Of American Akitas

The American Akita is not a dangerous dog – if trained well and consistently. They have developed a rumor-type reputation for being an aggressive breed, but this is usually down to bad training and ownership.

As with any dog breed, bad ownership creates a bad dog, not the genetics of the dog itself – although they can sometimes play a very small part.

Are American Akitas A Friendly Dog?

Without a doubt, the American Akita is a friendly dog. They are silly, loving, and completely loyal to their families. With consistent behavior training, this breed can be one of the most amiable breeds you can own. One question that is often asked is whether the American Akita is a safe dog, and we have to say – of course!

Can I Leave My American Akita Alone?

Yes, you can leave your American Akita alone. However, like most dog breeds, if this dog is left alone beyond 6 hours or more, it can develop separation anxiety or become very bored. A bored dog equals a destructive dog.

We know life is busy, so crate training your American Akita will prove the perfect solution for when you need to leave them home alone for a little longer than they may like.

Image from Instagram:@natsu.akita_merlin.border

Is The American Akita A Good Family Dog?

The American Akita can be an incredible family dog. With the correct training, love, and firm boundaries, you can have a very sweet, fun, and loyal furry family member.

Is The American Akita A Good Guard Dog?

The American Akita was originally bred as a working dog, and they can have intense guarding instincts. So if this is why you are considering this breed, you’ve picked the right one.

Do American Akita Dogs Shed? Grooming Tips For American Akitas

American Akitas are a medium shedding breed thanks to their double coat, which means they are definitely not a hypoallergenic breed. A double coat consists of two fur types. The shorter, softer undercoat, which sheds fairly fast, and the longer, coarser topcoat, which grows much slower.

Double-coated breeds experience shedding seasons or blowouts. These seasons typically occur in the spring and the autumn when your dog will be preparing their coat for the coming months. You may find that during these seasons, you will need to brush your dog more regularly to avoid hair covering your home.

How Do I Care For The American Akitas Coat?

Although they have a double coat, the American Akita doesn’t require much extra special coat care compared to other breeds. Picking the right tools that will help maintain their luscious locks is key.

For example, we recommend the FURminator Undercoat Tool. This is a tool that can be of immense help during shedding season by stripping loose fur from your dog’s undercoat before it has a chance to take root in your cushions.

Do American Akitas smell?

No, they definitely do not smell. Not beyond their regular doggy smell, at least. However, if you feel your pup is smelling a little more pungent than usual, giving them a bath isn’t totally out of the question.

Choosing doggy formulated shampoos, like Pro Pet Works All Natural 5 In 1 Oatmeal Shampoo, will help keep them clean and won’t irritate their skin like human shampoo can. A little warning, though, over bathing your dog can result in some uncomfortable skin conditions, so we recommend bathing them no more than once or twice a month.

How Much Is An American Akita Dog? American Akitas can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. These prices can also increase if your puppy comes from a particularly good breed line, where in the country they are bred and current market demand for the breed, but there are many breed-specific rescues you can look into as well.

Are American Akita Dogs Banned? The American Akita is banned in some U.S. states, such as:

  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

Some cities haven’t completely banned this breed, but they do require owners to handle them as if they are dangerous breeds, such as muzzling them in public, displaying a dangerous dog sign at your home, or even carrying liability insurance.

Do American Akita Dogs Swim? The American Akita can be taught how to swim and some may even enjoy it depending on how they have been raised around the water. Typically though, the American Akita prefers to spend its days walking on solid ground than paddling in lakes and oceans.

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Pete Decker