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This working breed originated in Japan and is one of the seven breeds designated as a national monument there. Its name originates from the Akita prefecture, where it was thought to have originated. When a child is born in Japan, the family traditionally receives an Akita statue, signifying health, happiness and long life.
The breed was brought to the United States by Helen Keller, who was impressed with the Akita’s loyalty. A young Akita police officer instructor who owned the dogs presented Helen Keller with an Akita pup in 1937, and since then the breed has enjoyed relative popularity here.
Japanese Akitas like to be leaders, so obedience training is a must. The breed can range from calm to aggressive and they should always be supervised around small children. As a working breed, they are well suited for performance and therapy work and require daily exercise. Their thick coats require brushing, but Akitas are fastidious and can often be seen bathing themselves like cats.
Despite their fastidious self-grooming, Akitas are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions which can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Akitas are prone to include joint problems such as medial patellar luxation and elbow and hip dysplasia; thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; stomach conditions such as gastric dilatation-volvus (GDV or bloat); and skin conditions such as atopy.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions for the life of your pet as standard. Which means if your Akita inherits more than just a love of cleanliness or a strong attitude, you’re covered.