Did you know?
We’ve all heard of the healing benefits of owning a dog. But did you know that a big dog’s heart has a high-activity alpha rhythm?
Patients with cardiac insufficiency can hold their hands close to a dog’s heart, for half an hour a day and they will feel better.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. – Senator George G. Vest, 1869
Native to Japan, the Akita is the largest of the breeds belonging to the Japanese Spitz family of dogs.
Developed in 1630 by a Samurai, originally the Akita could only be owned by a member of the nobility. They were used in male-female pairs to hunt game such as bear, wild boar, and deer.
Standing up to 28 inches at the shoulder, this athletic dog is large, powerful, and alert. He was produced to be an excellent fighter and guardian.
He has a broad head, a tail that curls up over his back, and a thick double coat that can be any colour including white, brindle, and pinto. Beware! This dog “blows coat” or sheds twice a year, and when he sheds, he means it!
Renowned for his fierce love, loyalty, courage, and obedience to his owner, the Akita is an independent dog who nevertheless requires quite a bit of attention and training as a puppy. Although friendly with people, he may take exception to other dogs. This breed needs a firm hand from a strong master. Training and socialization should begin early. Generally, he is quietly dignified and not prone to barking.
Photos displayed courtesy of Helen Chupa, Omamori Reg’d, British Columbia
Puppies can weigh over 100 lbs. and may not mix well with very young children. This dog should not be confined on a rope or chain. He requires a large, fenced yard and plenty of exercise. Since this is a protective dog with a hunter’s instincts, he is best suited to a single pet home.
In 1931 the Japanese government designated the Akita as a National Monument and one of Japan’s national treasures.
The first of this breed was brought to this continent by Helen Keller.