The Japanese Akita Inu is considered a national dog of Japan and one of seven breeds designated as a National Monument.
In recent years the Akita and Akita Inu were separated into two distinct breeds. The Akita Inu has a lighter weight body and very specific colouring but they are still a large spitz type with a thick double coat, a plush tail carried over their back, quite a heavy, flat head and small triangular eyes.
Used originally as a hunting dog, they have proved useful more recently in the police and armed forces. Although loyal and good natured towards their family, they can also be territorial and stubborn so need firm and careful training. They need to be trained to not show aggression towards strangers and other animals and they need long daily walks.
Their coat requires a good deal of brushing and will shed heavily at certain times of the year. They should only be bathed when necessary as this removes the coat's natural waterproofing. They can be prone to a number of problems with hips, thyroid, skin, eyes, immune diseases and knee problems.