Difference Between Akita and Akita Inu (With Table)

Dogs have been a faithful companion to man throughout history. They are domesticated omnivores that descended from wolves thousands of years ago. Since then, they have helped people hunt, herd, pull sledges, and have even assisted those who are handicapped. Akita and Akita Inu are two breeds of dogs that have several differences between them.

Akita vs Akita Inu

The difference between Akita and Akita Inu is that Akita’s are traditionally Japanese dogs, but they were brought to the United States and acquired subtle changes in their physique. Meanwhile, Akita Inus are customary Japanese dogs that are only found in that region. They are not as muscular as American Akitas.  

Akita is an American strain of the breed that has a bear-like facial build and a curled tail. Its ears and triangular and slightly bent forward. Moreover, it has small gaping eyes that differ from traditional Akita dogs. The dog is characterized mainly by its muscular build and loose skin.

Akita Inus are not as muscular as the former. They have tighter skin and relatively larger almond-shaped eyes. Their ears are triangular and erect. A fox-like facial build separates them from the American strain. One of the most famous dogs that are of this breed was Hachiko, who waited for his owner every day at the station in Central Tokyo.

Comparison Table Between Akita and Akita Inu

Parameters of ComparisonAkitaAkita Inu
StrainAkita is an American strain of the breed.Akita Inu is a Japanese strain of the breed.
SizeIt can grow up to a height of 24 to 26 inches.It can grow up to a height of 23 to 25 inches.
WeightIt weighs 32 to 60 kilograms when fully grown.It weighs up to 20 to 55 kilograms when fully grown.
Facial structureIt has a bear-like facial structure.It has a fox-like facial structure.
EarsIt has triangular ears which are slightly bent.It has triangular ears that stand erect.
EyesIt has small gaping eyes.It has relatively larger almond-shaped eyes.
ColourIt can be of any possible colour that dogs generally have.It comes in red, orange, or brindle colour.

What is Akita?

Akita, also referred to as American Akita, is an American strain of the breed. It has its origins in Japan. However, in the time after World War II, US military personal who were posted in Japan were mesmerized by this breed. They brought it back to their homeland when their tour was completed. The dogs intimidating muscular body impressed the soldiers.

This breed of dog is relatively larger than traditional Akita Inus. They have a bear-like head and heavier bones. Even their height and weight turn out to be greater than the original breed. Earlier, these dogs only came in white, red or brindle colours. However, they later came in every possible colour for a dog.

American Akitas do not require much maintenance which makes their breeding and caring process relatively simple. These dogs tend to groom themselves as cats do. However, they shred their hair a lot, that too at least twice in one year.

People who have not owned a dog before are generally advised to not adopt an Akita. This is because these dogs are extremely territorial and not very friendly to strangers. Interestingly, most of these dogs are known to have a soft spot for children. However, this is not always the case for them.

What is Akita Inu?

Akita Inu is a traditional Japanese breed that has quite a few differences from American Akitas. The dogs are smaller in size and weight. They are not as muscular and have relatively tighter skin. Their face is like that of a fox, and they have small almond-shaped eyes. They only come in orange, red or brindle colours.

These dogs have their roots in snowy regions of Northern Japan. Originally, they were trained to hunt other animals. They are even known to have accompanied Samurais back in the day. However, due to their intimidating behaviour, they caught the eyes of dogfighters who used them for their benefit. 

However, during World War II, the breed was nearly extinct. During the war, these dogs were not able to have a nutritious diet. Many of them died after which their fur was used to make coats. Some people even used to eat them to save themselves from starvation but used to catch a disease because of it. 

The breed is known to be very intelligent. One of the most famous dogs of this breed is the famous Hachiko. This dog waited for its owner every day at the Shibuya Train station for his professor, even after his death. A statue has been made in his memory which still stands outside the station.

Main Differences Between Akita and Akita Inu

  1. Akita is an American strain of the breed whereas Akita Inu is a Japanese strain of the breed.
  2. Akita can grow up to a height of 24 to 26 inches whereas Akita Inu can grow up to a height of 23 to 25 inches.
  3. Akita weighs 32 to 60 kilograms when fully grown whereas Akita Inu weighs up to 20 to 55 kilograms when fully grown.
  4. Akita has a bear-like facial structure whereas Akita Inu has a fox-like facial structure.
  5. Akita has triangular ears which are slightly bent whereas Akita Inu has erected ears.
  6. Akita has small gaping eyes whereas Akita Inu has relatively larger almond-shaped eyes.
  7. Akita can be of any possible colour that dogs generally have whereas Akita Inu comes in red, orange, or brindle colour.

Conclusion

Akita and Akita Inu are different strains of the same breed even though they have a similar origin. Akitas are also formally known as American Akitas as they are mostly found in that region nowadays. On the contrary, Akita Inus are traditional Japanese dogs that originate from the Northern parts of Japan. Both kinds of dogs have slight differences in their physique.

One of the most notable differences is that Akitas have a bear-like facial structure whereas Akita Inus have a fox-like facial structure. Moreover, Akitas have relatively looser skin, a larger body and heavier bones. Both the dogs are intimidating and not the perfect choice of breed for first-time dog owners.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2001.tb14572.x
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/3926378
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