Breed Standard

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

Japanese Akita Inu Breed Standard

General Appearance         

Large, well-balanced, sturdily built dog of Spitz type. Very slightly longer than high.

Characteristics       

Alert and agile. Thick, triangular ears pricked and inclined forward. Dark eyes set and shaped to give a distinctive appearance. Stand off coat with brilliant colours and defined markings. Tightly curled tail.

Temperament         

Dignified and composed with a courageous character.

Head and Skull       

When viewed from the front the head appears rounded due to well developed cheeks. From above, the head appears as a blunt triangle. Broad skull, flat and free from wrinkle. Defined stop and distinct furrow. Muzzle straight, of good depth, tapering gradually. Skull to muzzle proportions 3:2. Nose large and black except in white dogs where flesh coloured nose is acceptable. Lips tight with dark pigment.

Eyes                          

Placed moderately apart, relatively small, almond-shaped, dark brown and obliquely set. Eye rims dark and tight.

Ears                           

Thick, triangular and slightly hooded with rounded tips. Proportionately small, set moderately well apart, pricked and inclining forward. Closely following the line of the back of the neck.

Mouth                       

Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full dentition and well developed teeth.

Neck                          

Thick and muscular, of moderate length, without dewlap. Pronounced crest blending with back of skull.

Forequarters           

Shoulders moderately laid back with well developed muscles. Elbows set close to chest. Forelegs well boned and straight when viewed from the front. Pasterns slightly sloping.

Body                         

Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers, as 11:10. Females may be slightly longer. Strong, level back. Chest deep with well developed forechest.  Moderately sprung rib cage with well defined tuck up. Short coupled with broad and muscular loin.

Hindquarters           

Strong, muscular with moderate angulation. Well developed thighs. Moderate turn of stifle. Strong hocks, well let down, turning neither in nor out.

Feet                           

Round, arched and tight with thick pads. Turning neither in nor out.

Tail                            

Strong root. Set on high. Thick, full and of good length. Tightly curled over the back. Uncurled tail highly undesirable.

Gait/Movement       

Moderate strides that demonstrate an efficient rhythmic and resilient gait, converging towards the centre line at speed. Stilted gait undesirable.

Coat                          

Outer coat coarse, stand-off and straight. Slightly longer at withers and rump. More profuse on tail. Undercoat soft and dense. No indication of ruff or feathering.

Colour                      

Red-fawn; Sesame; Brindle; White. All the foregoing colours except white must have ‘urajiro’ markings, which may be less visible on the brindle, where it may be greyish frosted overlay of the main coat colour. (‘Urajiro’ - whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the undersides of the jaw, neck, chest, body and tail and on the inside of the legs.) The Urajiro markings must blend in gradually with the main coat colour and not extend above the elbow or hock.

Size                           

Height at withers: dogs 64-70cms (25 ¼-27 ½ ins); bitches 58-64 cms (22 ¾-25 ¼ ins).

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.

Note                          

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.