Are Akitas Rare? Everything You Need to Know

The Akita breed has a rich history that dates back to ancient Japan. Originally known as the Akita Inu, these dogs were first bred in the mountainous regions of northern Japan. They were primarily used for hunting large game, such as boar, deer, and even bears. Akitas were highly valued for their strength, agility, and fearlessness in the face of dangerous prey.

Akita’s Role in Japanese Culture

In Japanese culture, Akitas were considered symbols of good luck, prosperity, and protection. They were often given as gifts to mark special occasions, such as weddings and the birth of a child. In fact, Akitas were believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits. The breed’s loyalty and protective instincts made them highly regarded as family companions.

Characteristics of the Akita Breed

Distinctive Physical Features

Akitas are known for their striking appearance and distinctive physical features. They have a large, muscular build with a broad head, erect ears, and a curled tail that rests over their back. One of the most notable features of an Akita is their thick double coat, which provides insulation and protection in harsh weather conditions. Akitas come in a variety of colors, including white, brindle, and various shades of red.

Temperament and Personality Traits

While Akitas are undeniably beautiful, their temperament and personality traits are equally remarkable. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and independence. Akitas are often described as dignified and aloof, but they form strong bonds with their families and can be incredibly affectionate. However, they can also be territorial and wary of strangers, making early socialization and training crucial.

Are Akitas Rare?

The question of whether Akitas are rare is a common one among dog enthusiasts. While Akitas are not as common as some popular breeds, they are not considered extremely rare either. The availability of Akitas may vary depending on your location and the demand for the breed in your area. However, it’s important to note that responsible breeding practices are essential to preserving the breed’s health and temperament.

Factors Contributing to Akita Rarity

Akita’s Status as a National Treasure in Japan

One of the factors that contribute to the perceived rarity of Akitas is their status as a national treasure in Japan. The Japanese government recognizes Akitas as an important part of the country’s heritage and has implemented strict regulations to preserve the breed’s integrity. This means that exporting Akitas from Japan can be challenging, leading to limited availability in other parts of the world.

Selective Breeding Practices

Selective breeding practices also play a role in the rarity of Akitas. Responsible breeders prioritize the health, temperament, and conformation of the breed when selecting dogs for breeding. This careful breeding process ensures that Akitas maintain their distinctive characteristics and are free from genetic health issues. However, it also means that the number of well-bred Akitas may be limited, contributing to their perceived rarity.

Popularity and Demand for Akitas

Affection and Loyalty as Desirable Traits

The popularity and demand for Akitas can be attributed to their affectionate nature and unwavering loyalty to their families. Many people are drawn to Akitas because of their strong bond with their owners and their ability to provide a sense of security and companionship. Akitas are known to be fiercely protective of their loved ones, making them ideal for individuals or families seeking a devoted and loyal companion.

Akita’s Appearance in Popular Media

Akitas have also gained popularity due to their appearances in popular media. These majestic dogs have been featured in movies, television shows, and even commercials, further increasing their visibility and appeal. Their regal presence and striking looks have captured the attention of many, leading to a surge in interest and demand for the breed.

Finding and Owning an Akita

Responsible Breeders and Adoption Options

If you are considering adding an Akita to your family, it is essential to find a reputable breeder or consider adoption options. Responsible breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and will provide you with necessary health clearances and documentation. Adoption from shelters or rescue organizations is also a wonderful option and gives a deserving Akita a second chance at a loving home.

Akita Ownership Considerations

Owning an Akita requires careful consideration and preparation. These dogs are known for their independent nature and require a firm, consistent, yet gentle hand in training. Akitas also have high exercise requirements and thrive in homes with secure outdoor areas where they can safely release their energy. Additionally, their thick double coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free from matting.

Caring for an Akita

Physical Exercise Requirements

Akitas are a high-energy breed and require regular physical exercise to maintain their overall health and well-being. Daily walks, interactive play sessions, and mentally stimulating activities are essential to keep them mentally and physically satisfied. However, it is important to note that Akitas should be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area, as their strong prey drive may lead them to chase after smaller animals.

Training and Socialization

Early training and socialization are vital for Akitas to ensure they develop into well-adjusted and obedient companions. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as reward-based training, work best with this intelligent breed. Socializing Akitas with different people, animals, and environments from a young age helps them become more comfortable and confident in various situations.

Nutrition and Grooming Needs

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your Akita. High-quality dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs should be provided. Additionally, regular grooming is necessary to keep their double coat clean and healthy. Brushing their coat several times a week helps prevent matting and keeps their skin and coat in optimal condition.

Akitas as Family Pets

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

When properly socialized and trained, Akitas can be excellent family pets. They are known to be gentle and patient with children, but supervision is necessary, especially with younger kids. Akitas have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for households with small animals, such as cats or rabbits. It is important to introduce them to other pets gradually and under controlled circumstances.

Akita’s Guarding Instincts and Protective Nature

Akitas possess a natural guarding instinct and a protective nature towards their family. While this can be a desirable trait, it requires responsible ownership and proper training. Early socialization and consistent obedience training can help channel their protective instincts in a positive and controlled manner.

Health Concerns for Akitas

Common Genetic Conditions

Like many purebred dogs, Akitas are prone to certain genetic health conditions. These can include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune disorders. It is crucial to work with a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings and genetic testing to minimize the risk of these conditions.

Recommended Health Screenings

Regular health screenings are essential to detect and manage any potential health issues in Akitas. These screenings can include hip and elbow evaluations, eye examinations, thyroid tests, and cardiac evaluations. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are also important to ensure your Akita maintains optimal health.

Providing Adequate Veterinary Care

Providing regular veterinary care is essential for the overall well-being of your Akita. Routine vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care are necessary to keep them healthy and prevent common ailments. It is important to establish a good relationship with a trusted veterinarian who is experienced in working with large breed dogs.

Akitas in Various Roles

Akita as Working Dogs

Throughout history, Akitas have excelled in various working roles. Their strength, intelligence, and loyalty make them capable of performing tasks such as search and rescue, tracking, and even serving in the military or police force. Akitas’ working abilities are a testament to their versatility and adaptability.

Akitas in Therapy and Service Roles

Akitas’ calm and gentle demeanor also makes them suitable candidates for therapy and service roles. Their ability to provide emotional support and comfort has been harnessed in therapeutic settings, where they can bring joy and companionship to individuals in need. Akitas have also been trained to assist individuals with disabilities, showcasing their intelligence and willingness to serve.


In conclusion, Akitas are a remarkable breed with a rich history and distinct characteristics. While they may not be as common as some popular breeds, they are not considered extremely rare either. The demand for Akitas is driven by their affectionate nature, loyalty, and striking appearance. Responsible ownership, proper training, and regular veterinary care are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of these majestic dogs. Whether as a family pet, working companion, or therapy dog, Akitas continue to captivate hearts and leave a lasting impression wherever they go.

ThePetFaq Team