Breed Standard


An Akita is quiet, strong, dignified and courageous. He is also loyal and respectful, reserved and noble. He is sensitive and deliberate yet possesses quickness.

Over-all body structure

The body is well balanced with a sturdy bone structure and well developed tendons and ligaments while the skin is free of wrinkles. Differences in sex should be readily apparent through general appearance. In the dog (male) the ratio of height to body length is 10 to 10. The bitch is slightly longer in length. The height of the dog is 24 1/2 inches while the height of the bitch is 22 1/2 inches, plus or minus 1 1/8 inches. The ratio of the height to the depth of chest is 2 to 1.


The skull is large and a little flat at the top. Its forehead is wide without wrinkles but has a definite longitudinal crease. There is a well proportioned stop (depression between the cranial and nasal bones) between the forehead and the muzzle. The cheeks are full.


The neck is thick and powerful. The skin around the neck is free of wrinkles and the coat appropriately bristled.


The ears are thick, rather small, triangular in shape, and tilts slightly forward. The lines are straight and the ears stand erect. The distance between the ears are not narrow but not too wide.


The shape of the eyes is approximately triangular. They are deep-set and slightly slanted. The eye-rims are dark-brownish in color. The distance between the eyes is proportionate.

Muzzle (mouth and nose)

The nose (black portion) is full and the ridge straight. The base of the mouth is wide, the frontal portion not pointed, and the lips drawn. The whiskered region is full.


The teeth are strong and have a scissor bite.

Chest and stomach

The chest is broad. The rib cage is full. The forechest is well developed and defined. The stomach is drawn without flabiness (tucked up).

Back and hip

The back is straight and the hip is powerful.

Forelegs (arms)

The shoulders are well developed with proper shoulder angulation. The elbows (joint) are strong. The upper forelegs are straight, strong and thick. The pasterns (portion directly above paws) are slightly slanted. The paws are round, large, and thick and has a firm grip.

Hind legs

The hind legs are well developed, springy, powerful and sturdy. The rear pasterns have proper angles and possess a strong kick or thrust. The paws are thick with a strong grip.


The tail is thick and tightly wound. The length of the tail when extended must reach the hock joint. The type of curls are called right curl, left curl, single straight, and double curl.


The outer coat is coarse and straight, while the under-coat is fine and thick. The coat at the withers (shoulder region) and rump is slightly longer than the rest of the body. The tail has the longest coat.

Color of coats

White, Red and Brindle. All colors except white must have urajiro (light cream or white markings or shading) on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, the underside of the jaw, neck, chest, body and tail, and on the inside of the legs.

Minor faults

  • Permanent injury and dietary deficiency.
  • Color of coat unbecoming to an Akita.
  • Undesirable color combination of coat and eye-rim.
  • Loss of tooth or teeth. Undershot and overshot jaws.
  • Black spotting on tongue
  • Lacking in courage, being timid, or displaying ferociousness or otherwise lacking the qualities suitable for Akitas

Major faults

  • Floppy ears by birth (ears failing to stand).
  • Straight tail by birth.
  • Excessively long or short coat.
  • Color of nose not matching the color of coat. (reddish or pink nose acceptable with white coat)
  • Bilateral or unilateral cryptorchidism.
  • Other defects detracting from the qualities of Akitas

Breed clubs and resources