Akita Breed Standard
Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone.
The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle,
small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back
of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled
tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of
Massive but in balance with body; free of wrinkle when at
ease. Skull flat between ears and broad; jaws broad and
powerful with minimal dewlap. Head forms a blunt triangle
when viewed from above. Fault--Narrow or snipey
head. Muzzle--Broad and full. Distance from nose to
stop is to distance from stop to occiput as 2 is to 3.
Stop--Well defined, but not too abrupt. A shallow
furrow extends well up forehead. Nose--Broad and
black. Black noses on white Akitas preferred, but a lighter
colored nose with or without shading of black or gray tone
is acceptable. Disqualification-- partial or total lack
of pigmentation on the nose surface. Ears--The
ears of the Akita are characteristic of the breed. They are
strongly erect and small in relation to rest of head. If ear
is folded forward for measuring length, tip will touch upper
eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip, wide
at base, set wide on head but not too low, and carried
slightly forward over eyes in line with back of neck.
Disqualification--Drop or broken ears.
Eyes--Dark brown, small, deep-set and triangular in
shape. Eye rims black and tight. Lips and Tongue--Lips
black and not pendulous; tongue pink. Teeth--Strong
with scissors bite preferred, but level bite acceptable.
Disqualification--Noticeably undershot or overshot.
Neck and Body
Neck--Thick and muscular; comparatively short,
widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest
blends in with base of skull. Body--Longer than
high, as to 10 is to 9 in males; 11 to 9 in bitches.
Measurement from the point of the sternum to the point of
buttocks. Chest wide and deep; reaching down to the elbow,
the depth of the body at the elbow equals half the height of
the dog at the withers. Ribs well sprung, brisket well
developed. Level back with firmly-muscled loin and moderate
tuck-up. Skin pliant but not loose. Serious Faults--Light
bone, rangy body.
Large and full, set high and carried over back or against
flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl, always
dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl,
tip drops well down flank. Root large and strong. Tail bone
reaches hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full,
with no appearance of a plume. Disqualification--Sickle
or uncurled tail.
Forequarters and Hindquarters
Forequarters--Shoulders strong and powerful with
moderate layback. Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as
viewed from front. Angle of pastern 15 degrees forward from
vertical. Faults--Elbows in or out, loose shoulders.
Hindquarters--Width, muscular development and bone
comparable to forequarters. Upper thighs well developed.
Stifle moderately bent and hocks well let down, turning
neither in nor out. Dewclaws--On front legs
generally not removed; dewclaws on hind legs generally
removed. Feet--Cat feet, well knuckled up with
thick pads. Feet straight ahead.
Double-coated. Undercoat thick, soft, dense and shorter than
outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh and standing somewhat
off body. Hair on head, legs and ears short. Length of hair
at withers and rump approximately two inches, which is
slightly longer than on rest of body, except tail, where
coat is longest and most profuse. Fault--Any
indication of ruff or feathering.
Any color including white; brindle; or pinto. Colors are
rich, brilliant and clear. Markings are well balanced, with
or without mask or blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pinto
has a white background with large, evenly placed patches
covering head and more than one-third of body. Undercoat may
be a different color from outer coat.
Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back
remains strong, firm and level. Rear legs move in line with
Males 26 to 28 inches at the withers; bitches 24 to
26 inches. Disqualification--dogs under 25 inches;
bitches under 23 inches.
Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Akitas may
be intolerant of other dogs, particularly of the same sex.
Partial or total lack of pigmentation on nose.
Drop or broken ears.
Noticeably undershot or overshot.
Sickle or uncurled tail.
Dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23 inches.