Showsight Presents The Akita

AKITA THE

BY SYLVIA THOMAS I f it were necessary to describe the Akita in one word, dignity would suffice for it is this concept that the breed embodies. Whether in proud stance or in no-nonsense movement, the breed’s dignified presence is its most distinct quality. Each element described in the breed Standard is designed to contribute to this impression. We like to say, “An Akita owns the ground he stands on.” Those who know me will tell you that I’m a “head person.” I’ll admit there is some truth in that, for it would be hard to deny the importance of the head since it is a core element of breed type. There is an emphasis in the Akita breed Standard on the head. The broad and triangular shaped head is complemented by the harmo- nizing triangular shape of the dark eyes and ears that are strongly erect, slightly rounded at the tips, small in relation to the head, carried slightly forward over the eyes, and in line with the back of the neck. The result is an alert and courageous expression which is present in both males and females. As a balancing agent to the large head, there is a large, full tail, set high and carried over the back. It cannot trail behind nor be up in the air, but must rest against the flank in a three-quarter, full or double curl, always dipping to or below the level of the back. Although the Akita is in the bottom range of the large-sized breed category. With the ideal size of males between 26" and 28" at the withers and females between 24" and 26", an Akita’s size and obvious strength leave a lasting impression on all who see him. At the same time, there is no harshness in his appearance for the short, thick, and lustrous double coat softens the rugged outline of muscle and bone. While we may all have our personal preference as to colors and markings, all coat colors are permitted, including white, brindle, and pinto. Colors are rich, clear, and brilliant. The Standard speaks about well-balanced markings, with or without masks or blazes. Though I’ve always had a personal fondness for a well-marked pinto, some of my favorite Akitas of all time have not been pintos, but all have been distinguished by their unquestionable breed type, balance and proportion, outstanding movement, especially on the side, and brilliant color.

“WHETHER IN PROUD STANCE OR IN NO- NONSENSE MOVEMENT, THE BREED’S DIGNIFIED PRESENCE IS ITS MOST DISTINCT QUALITY.”

312 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2019

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