An ongoing interest of mine is owning Akita Dogs - I have six at present, two breeding adults - a dog and a bitch and two puppies, again a dog and a bitch.

The Akita is a strong, beautiful dog that always makes a lasting first impression.

Akitas are large, powerful dogs with very substantial bone and musculature. Their broad chest and neck serve as a solid base for its large head, the one feature that most distinguishes it from any other breed. If you view an Akita from above you will find it's broad skull and the short muzzle form a blunt triangle. The massive head together with the small triangular shaped eyes and small, erect ears give the Akita an intimidating, yet very dignified, expression.

The Akita is a very balanced looking dog, being only slightly longer than it is tall. The tail is curled and carried over the back, which serves to balance with the dog's head. Typically the male Akita is substantially larger than the female. The males range in weight from about 44kgs-57kgs (100-130 lbs), while the females range from 31kgs-44kgs (70-100 lbs). .

The double coat of the Akita has the appearance of the typical northern breeds. It is short to moderate in length, but very dense and consists of two layers. The undercoat is very soft and is the primary insulator, while the outer coat, or the guard hair, is slightly longer and coarser. The Akita is very well suited to the coldest of climates, but appears to acclimatise to the weather in the Caribbean well - Barbados can reach 32degrees C, however its coat does lighten considerably in a warmer climate to compensate for the heat, but we always keep iced water available throughout the day and night to make sure that they do not experience any heat exhaustion .

Akita's personalities are very complex. While temperaments vary, most would agree that the Akita is a very intelligent, extremely loyal animal, but can exhibit aggressive tendencies towards other dogs of the same sex, though rarely to people.

Akitas do however have a very well developed guarding and protective instinct. Akitas also have a high and well-developed prey drive too. An Akita is not likely to show affection to someone that is not a member of his family or a close friend that he sees frequently. .

Loyalty and devotion displayed by an Akita is phenomenal. The typical pet Akita will follow you from room to room, yet has the uncanny ability not to be under foot. Your Akita lives his life as if his only purpose is to protect you and spend time with you.

Akitas as a Pet

Even though Akitas are large, hardy dogs, which can withstand the elements, they have been bred for centuries to be house companions. The two most outstanding characteristics of the Akita as a pet are that they are very clean and that they are very easy to house train and are almost completely odour-less. Most Akitas respond so well to housetraining that they are trained in a matter of weeks.

As far as the family children are concerned, there are a few worries. Akitas are devoted, patient friends and protectors of children. Akitas are typically very gentle with children, however precautions should be taken until the Akita understands the situation.

Please Note that young children should never be left unsupervised with large dogs of any breed, as any potential for an accident is not worth the risk.