The Akita is a breed of dog in the spitz family, and it hails from the northern regions of Japan where it is very mountainous. There are a couple of kinds of Akita: the Japanese kind, called the Akita Inu, or sometimes referred to as the “Japanese Akita”, understandably, and there is the American kind, sometimes called the “Akita” or “Akita Akita”. The Japanese version has a very limited range of colors, and any other colors it shows are considered to be out of line, in accordance with the breed standard, at least. The American version comes in the full spectrum of colors. The Akita has a close-cropped double coat, and it is akin to other northern spitz breeds, like the Siberian Husky, but you’re apt to find one or two dogs with long coats in the litters because of a recessive gene.

The American version of the dog is thought to be a distinct breed, compared to the Japanese version, and in several countries around the world that’s the way it’s understood. However, in parts of Canada and the United States, they are still thought to be the same breed. They are considered to be the exact same breed, with small differences in kind instead of two distinct breeds. For a short time, the American Akita was called the “Great Japanese Dog”. The different versions of the Akita dog are probably known, all around the globe, from the story of a particularly loyal Akita. The movie, Hachi, starring an Akita and Richard Gere, tells the story of a very loyal Akita. So, while these dogs are distant with strangers, they are inordinately loyal to their masters. Combined with their hardiness, they make good companion dogs for farmers and hunters in the northern mountainous regions of Japan. It makes sense that a tracker or hunter would want a loyal companion dog that would be resistant to the elements.