Japanese Akita Inu
The Japanese Akita Inu (Akita) is a large, strong dog, capable of endurance. He needs plenty of exercise and early socialisation with other dogs and people. He can be strong willed and is not suitable for a first time dog owner. His thick coat requires regular grooming and care should be taken to keep him cool in hot weather.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 2.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Bloat/torsion (stomach fills with air and twists – a painful and life threatening condition needing urgent vet treatment) Common in deep chested breeds.
- Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causing pain and disability) (breed mean score 11.5)
- Elbow dysplasia (should be as low as possible, ideally 0:0)
- Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (annual testing) (gradual loss of sight)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Sebaceous adenitis (inflammatory disease affecting the sebaceous glands)
- Vogt-koyanagi-harada-like syndrome (an aggressive immune mediated disease which attacks melanocytes – the pigment producing cells of the skin and eyes)
- Polyarthritis/meningitis syndrome (autoimmune disease)
- Panosteitis (painful bone inflammation)
- Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (severe acute lameness)
- Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap)
- Heart disease: ventricular septal defect (can cause heart failure)
- Haemophilia A (blood clotting disorder)
- Entropion (inward growing eyelashes which cause irritation and to the eye)
- Eye disease: glaucoma; multiple ocular defects
- Myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease causing weakness) (autoimmune disease)
- Pemphigus foliaceus (skin lesions) (autoimmune disease)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: