Breeding standard

© All Rights Reserved.

del Casa di Coniglio

Breeder of American Akita's

Breed Standard

ORIGIN : Japan.



STANDARD : 06.01.2015.

UTILIZATION : Companion Dog.

FCI-CLASSIFICATION : Group 5 Spitz and primitive types.

Section 5 Asian Spitz and related


Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : In the beginning, the history

of the American Akitas is similar to the history of Japanese Akitas.

Since 1603, in the Akita region, Akita Matagis (medium-sized bearhunting

dogs) were used as fighting dogs. From 1868, Akita Matagis

were crossbred with Tosas and Mastiffs. Consequently, the size of

Akitas increased, but characteristics associated with Spitz type were

lost. In 1908 dog fighting was prohibited, but Akitas were

nevertheless preserved and improved as a large Japanese breed. As a

result, nine superior examples of Akitas were designated as « Natural

Monuments » in 1931.

During World War II (1939-1945), it was common to use dogs as a

source of fur for military garments. The police ordered the capture

and confiscation of all dogs other than German Shepherd Dogs used

for military purposes. Some fanciers tried to circumvent the order by

crossbreeding their dogs with German Shepherd Dogs. When World

War II ended, Akitas had been drastically reduced in number and

existed as three distinct types : 1) Matagi Akitas 2) Fighting Akitas

3) Shepherd Akitas. This created a very confusing situation in the

breed. During the restoration process of the pure breed after the war,

Kongo-go of the Dewa line enjoyed a temporary, but tremendous

popularity. Many Akitas of the Dewa line, which exhibited

characteristics of the Mastiff and German Shepherd influence, were

brought back to the United States by members of the Military Forces.

The Akitas from the Dewa line, intelligent and capable of adapting to

different environments, fascinated breeders in the United States and

the line was developed with increasing number of breeders and a

great rise in popularity.

The Akita Club of America was established in 1956 and the

American Kennel Club (AKC) accepted the breed (inscription into

the stud book and regular show status) in October 1972. However, at

this time, the AKC and the JKC (Japan Kennel Club) did not have

reciprocal agreements for recognizing each other’s pedigrees and

therefore the door was closed for the introduction of the new

bloodlines from Japan. Consequently, Akitas in the United States

became considerably different from those in Japan, the country of

origin. They developed as a type unique in the United States, with

characteristics and type unchanged since 1955. This is in sharp

contrast with Akitas in Japan which were crossbred with Matagi

Akitas for the purpose of restoring the original pure breed.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Large-sized dog, sturdily built, well

balanced, with much substance and heavy bone. The broad head,

forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle, relatively small eyes and

erect ears carried forward almost in line with back of neck, is

characteristic of the breed.


· The ratio of height at withers to length of body is 9 to 10 in males

and 9 to 11 in bitches.

· The depth of the chest measures one-half of the height of the dog

at withers.

· The distance from tip of nose to stop corresponds to the distance

from stop to occiput as 2 does to 3.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Friendly, alert, responsive,

dignified, docile and courageous.

HEAD : Massive, but in balance with the body, free of wrinkles

when at ease. Head forms a blunt triangle when viewed from above.


Skull : Flat and broad between ears. A shallow furrow extends well

up on forehead.

Stop : Well defined, but not too abrupt.


Nose : Broad and black. Slight and diffuse lack of pigment on nose

is acceptable in white dogs only but black is always preferred.

Muzzle : Broad, deep and full.

Lips : Black. Not pendulous; tongue pink.

Jaws/Teeth : Jaws not rounded, but blunt, strong and powerful.

Teeth strong with regular and full dentition (lack of PM1 and M3

allowed). Scissor bite preferred, but level bite acceptable.

Eyes : Dark brown, relatively small, not prominent, almost triangular

in shape. Eye rims black and tight.

Ears : Strongly erect and small in relation to the rest of the head. If

the ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip will touch upper

eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip, wide at base, not

set too low. Viewed from the side, the ears are angled forward over

the eyes following the line of the neck.

NECK : Thick and muscular with minimal dewlap, comparatively

short, widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest

blends harmoniously into the base of skull.

BODY : Longer than high. Skin not too thin, neither too tight nor

too loose.

Back : Level.

Loin : Firmly muscled.

Chest : Wide and deep. Ribs well sprung with well developed


Underline and Belly : Moderate tuck-up.

TAIL : Large and well furnished with hair, set high and carried over

back or against flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl, always

dipping to or below level of back.

On a three-quarter curl, tip drops well down on flank. Root large and


The terminal bone of tail reaches hock when let or pulled down.

Hair coarse, straight and dense, with no appearance of a plume.



General appearance : Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as viewed

from front.

Shoulders : Strong and powerful with moderate layback.

Pasterns : Slightly sloping forward in an angle of approximately 15°

to the vertical.


General appearance : Strongly muscled, width and bone comparable

to forequarters. Dewclaws on hind legs customarily removed.

Upper thigh : Strong, well developed, parallel when viewed from


Stifles : Moderately bent.

Hock joints : Well let down, turning neither in nor out.

FEET : Straight, cat feet, well knuckled up with thick pads.

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Powerful, covering ground with moderate

reach and drive. Hindlegs move in line with forelegs. Back

remaining strong, firm and level.


HAIR : Double-coat. Undercoat thick, soft, dense and shorter than

outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh/stiff and standing somewhat off

body. Hair on head, lower legs and ears short. Length of hair at

withers and croup approximately 5 cm, which is slightly longer than

on rest of body, except tail, where coat is longest and most profuse.

COLOUR : Any colour like red, fawn, white, etc; or even pinto and

brindle. Colours are brilliant and clear, and markings are well

balanced, with or without mask or blaze. White dogs (solid in

colour) have no mask. Pinto have a white ground colour with large,

evenly placed patches covering head and more than one-third of

body. Undercoat may have a different colour from the outer-coat.


Height at withers : For males : 66 to 71 cm (26-28 inches),

for bitches : 61 to 66 cm (24-26 inches).

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be

considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be

regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect

upon the health and welfare of the dog.

· Feminine dogs, masculine bitches.

· Narrow or snipey head.

· Any missing tooth (except PM1 and M3).

· Blue or black spotted tongue.

· Light eyes.

· Short tail.

· In or out at elbows.

· Any indication of ruff or feathering.

· Shyness or viciousness.


· Light in substance.

· Light bone.


· Aggressive or overly shy.

· Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities

shall be disqualified.

· Totally unpigmented nose. A nose with unpigmented areas

(Butterfly nose).

· Drop, hanging or folded ears.

· Under- or overshot bite.

· Sickle or uncurled tail.

· Dogs under 63,5 cm (25 inches), bitches under 58,5 cm (23



· Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully

descended into the scrotum.

· Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed

typical conformation should be used for breeding.

The latest amendments are in bold characters.


Christy Verbeeke

Oudenburg, Belgium