The Akita is a breed of many contradictions however they have great characters and have many quirks. This post goes into some of the interesting facts that not many people know about the Akita and it’s fabulous breed, history and way of life.
Akita facts you never knew
The Akita originated in Japan and were bred for a number of things, contrary to popular opinion they were never bred as fighting dogs. They were bred for three main purposes: Guarding Japanese royalty, hunting deer and bear & to nanny children whilst women worked. These three purposes explains a lot about their nature; it shows they are protective, fearless and strong but it also shows how loving and gentle they are.
They have an incredibly high pain threshold and typically do not let anyone know when they are in pain. This can make diagnosing illnesses harder for Akita owners.
Despite their extremely high prey drive they do often co habit with smaller furries in the home. This is often don to the personality of each individual as they are a naturally curious breed they will want to know what the new comer is. More often then not they will happily live with cats and other animals.
They have an amazing ability: jumping! If you are new to the breed ensure you have a solid garden fence that is at least 6 feet high. An Akita if they wanted to could jump this size fence, with sheer determination they will clear fences and often people don’t realise.
This last fact is possibly on of the longest and most famous within the Akita community; it shows their extreme loyalty and love to their family. This is the story of Hachiko, an Akita born in 1923; Odate, Japan. His owner, Hidesaburo Ueno was a professor who commuted to Tokyo by train, each day Hachiko who leave the family home to greet him at the station. At first he would escape the house to get to the train station alone, but after a while this became routine. Until one day the professor became ill during a lecture and didn’t return home; Hachiko waited and waited. For the next 9 years, Hachiko came to the station each day and awaited his return exactly when the train was due to arrive. He gained a lot of attention from other commuters and station workers who would feed and water him.
In March 1935 he died aged 11; due to cancer and infection. However he has left a legacy, his ashes are scattered in Aoyama Cemetery alongside his master. His fur was preserved and has been residing in the National Science Museum of Japan, Tokyo since his death. In 1934; Hachiko was present for the erection of a statue in his honour at Shibuya Station. Another was built infront of Odate station in his home town and an annual ceremony takes place on March 8th to honour his memory and loyalty.
A film released in 2009; Hatchi a dogs tale. Shows Richard Gere and Hatchiko and their story. It is a very sad watch but an iconic story of love and loyalty.