Two Akita dogs
The Akita, a breed who’s considered a national treasure in his home country of Japan, is a hardworking dog. He was developed to hunt big game, like bear and boar, and nowadays is often found working as a police or guard dog in Japan. One of the most well-known Akitas was Hachiko, whose story inspired the 2009 film Hachi. After Hachiko’s owner died, the devoted dog kept vigil for the rest of his life at the railway station where they always met at the end of the day. Learn more about this loyal dog and whether this breed might be right for you.

They tend to be protective.

If you’re looking for a watchdog, consider the Akita. He tends to be devoted to his family and can be particularly protective of children. He’s generally aloof toward strangers and can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know. He needs early and frequent socialization to learn to distinguish between what is a threat and what is normal.

They’re not known for barking.

Unlike many Spitz-type breeds, the Akita isn’t generally much of a barker. When he does bark, you should pay attention.

They’re generally intelligent.

The Akita tends to respond well to clicker training and positive reinforcement techniques like play and praise, but be prepared — he’s known to be an independent guy and tends do things his own way. To be successful, you’ll need to be patient. However, on the plus side, Akitas tend to be fastidious, which can make them easy to house train.

They tend to like winter weather.

This furry breed hails from the cold and rugged Akita prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu and may enjoy playing in the snow with his favorite humans. Just keep in mind that if it’s too cold outside for you, then it’s too cold for a dog — even if his coat is really thick.

They’re sizable.

If you like big dogs, the Akita might be right up your alley. He’s a large breed, verging on giant. He generally weighs 65 to 115 pounds, sometimes even more.

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