Are Akitas Long Haired? Everything You Need to Know

The Akita breed originates from Japan and has a rich history dating back centuries. Originally bred for hunting large game, such as boar and bear, Akitas were also highly valued for their loyalty and protective instincts. Over time, they became symbols of strength, courage, and nobility in Japanese culture.

Characteristics of an Akita

Akitas are known for their strong and muscular build, with a broad head, erect ears, and a curled tail that rests over their back. They have a dignified and confident demeanor, making them excellent guard dogs. Akitas are also renowned for their intelligence, independence, and loyalty to their families.

Understanding Akita Coat Types

Coat variations in Akitas

Akitas have two main coat variations: long-haired and short-haired. The long-haired Akita has a soft, thick double coat with a longer topcoat that forms a mane around their neck and a bushy tail. On the other hand, short-haired Akitas have a dense and coarse double coat that lies close to their body.

Physical differences between long-haired and short-haired Akitas

In addition to their coat differences, long-haired Akitas tend to have slightly smaller ears and a more rounded face compared to their short-haired counterparts. These physical traits give long-haired Akitas a distinct and elegant appearance.

Are Akitas Long Haired?

Explanation of long-haired Akitas

Yes, Akitas can be long-haired! While the short-haired variety is more common, long-haired Akitas are a beautiful and unique variation of the breed. Their long, flowing coats set them apart and make them even more striking.

Genetics behind long-haired Akitas

The long-haired gene in Akitas is recessive, meaning both parents must carry the gene for their offspring to inherit the long-haired trait. Breeders specifically select for this trait to produce long-haired Akitas, but it’s important to note that not all Akitas will have long hair, even from the same litter.

Long-Haired Akita Care

Grooming practices for long-haired Akitas

Long-haired Akitas require regular grooming to keep their luxurious coats in top condition. Daily brushing helps prevent mats and tangles from forming, while also removing loose hair. Using a slicker brush or a comb with wide teeth can be helpful in reaching the undercoat and preventing matting.

Special considerations for maintaining a long-haired Akita’s coat

To maintain their coat’s natural oils and shine, it’s important to avoid excessive bathing. Akitas have a self-cleaning coat, so frequent bathing can strip away essential oils and lead to dry skin. However, regular grooming and occasional bathing can help keep their long hair looking its best.

Benefits of Long-Haired Akitas

Aesthetic appeal and uniqueness

One of the main benefits of long-haired Akitas is their stunning appearance. Their flowing coats, especially when properly groomed and maintained, give them an air of elegance and grace. Long-haired Akitas are often sought after for their striking beauty and uniqueness.

Insulation and cold weather adaptation

The long, double coat of a long-haired Akita provides excellent insulation and protection, making them well-suited for colder climates. Their thick fur helps regulate body temperature, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. This natural adaptation makes long-haired Akitas thrive in various weather conditions.

Challenges of Long-Haired Akitas

Increased grooming needs

With their long hair comes increased grooming needs. Long-haired Akitas require more attention and time for regular brushing and maintenance compared to their short-haired counterparts. If you’re considering a long-haired Akita, be prepared to invest time and effort into their grooming routine.

Shedding and potential allergies

While all Akitas shed, long-haired Akitas may shed more visibly due to their longer hair. This shedding can be managed with regular brushing and vacuuming. Additionally, individuals with allergies to pet dander should take note that long-haired Akitas may produce more allergenic particles compared to short-haired Akitas.

Long-Haired Akita Health Concerns

Skin conditions and irritations

Due to their dense coats, long-haired Akitas may be more prone to skin conditions and irritations. Proper grooming, regular bathing, and keeping their coat clean and free from debris can help minimize these issues. If you notice any signs of skin problems, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Regular vet check-ups and preventative measures

Like all dogs, long-haired Akitas should receive regular veterinary care, including vaccinations, check-ups, and preventative measures such as flea and tick control. Regular vet visits are crucial for maintaining their overall health and well-being.

Long-Haired Akita as a Family Pet

Temperament and compatibility with children

Long-haired Akitas, like their short-haired counterparts, are known for their loyalty and protective nature. They can make excellent family pets and are generally good with children when properly socialized and trained. However, it’s important to supervise interactions between Akitas and young children, as with any large breed.

Training and socialization

Training and socialization are crucial for long-haired Akitas to become well-adjusted and obedient companions. Early training, positive reinforcement, and exposing them to various environments, people, and animals from a young age can help shape their behavior and ensure they grow into well-rounded dogs.


Long-haired Akitas are a captivating variation of the Akita breed, with their flowing coats and distinctive appearance. While they require more grooming and maintenance compared to short-haired Akitas, their aesthetic appeal, insulation capabilities, and unique characteristics make them a popular choice for many dog lovers. If you’re considering a long-haired Akita as a pet, remember to provide them with the care, attention, and love they deserve. With proper grooming, socialization, and training, a long-haired Akita can become a cherished member of your family for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team