Updated on November 08, 2019
There are two types of Akitas: American Akita and Japanese Akita.
It can be confusing to understand the differences between the two varieties given the wealth of information online.
What better way to learn more about the subtle differences between the Akita and Akita Inu than talking to an owner of both types.
We spoke to Yuki and Yume (@akita_thereallife) about both American Akitas and Japanese Akitas.
They’re based in France and are in a unique position to give us a clear insight into this wonderful breed.
In this interview, we’re going to learn more about Yuki, Yume, Akitas and Akita Inus.
1) How did you first hear about Akitas?
My fiance is a big fan of all things Japanese. He couldn’t miss out on the significance that the Akita Inu represents in Japan. That’s how we started doing our research on the breed.
2) Were you initially aware of the two different types of Akita?
No. I knew the Akita Inu first and then very soon after having Yuki (Akita Inu) I became acquainted with the American Akita, who are still relatively unknown in France.
3) How did you end up with Yuki and Yumi?
Very soon after I had Yuki I became very interested in the American Akita. I fell totally in love, so I did a lot of research, I also thought a lot about the decision of a second dog and I embarked on this crazy adventure of having a second Akita (male/female).
strong4) Can you give us an insight into their personalities? strong
Yuki my Akita Inu is a very modest Akita, he doesn’t like hugs but loves being “close” to his family in his own way. It’s an exclusive dog with his family, who has no interest in strangers. He’s extremely proud and confident! Yume is a very sparkling and joyful American, she’s very expressive and sensitive. She’s very direct and does not go through four ways to be understood! With her, it passes or breaks, when it does not pass anymore it is over! Both are very independent especially Yume.
5) What are the physical differences between Akita Inu and American Akita?
As I often say, they’re each a reflection of their country. The Japanese is much finer and slender while the American Akita is much heavier and imposing. The colors are also different, at the Akita Inu we have red, white, brindle. The American Akita we have a multitude of possible colors.
6) Do Akita Inu and American Akita have different personalities?
Generally they both are very similar, they are Akitas above all. We can observe some differences as the hunter side, which is more developed in the American Akita. The biggest differences are seen case-by-case.
7) In your experience, was Yuki or Yume more difficult to train?
It was completely different for both of them. Yuki’s biggest job has been (and I always work on it each days) his reactivity to other male dogs which can quickly be extremely complicated to manage daily. For Yume, it’s her very strong temper! It was very difficult with her to create a real relationship of trust, I spent a lot of time and need lot of patience! She has the really strong temper of Akita.
8) Is it true Akita Inu are more aloof that American Akita?
I would tend to say yes…but from an outside point of view because I find Inu less expressive than the American. But you really have to be a part of their family to see that they are really close in a subtle way. It’s really case by case.
9) How much exercise do your Yuki and Yume need?
…is nap an exercise? We take beautiful walks daily – and at their own pace (that is to say very slowly…). They are not sporty and they do not have the morphology to practice tractions sports (musher as Siberian Husky for example) or jumps.
10) Do they get a lot of attention?
It’s important to take care of your dogs both physically and mentally. Yuki my Akita Inu has a lot of health concerns so I spend a lot of time every day caring for him.
11) What are the regular comments you get about Yuki and Yume ?
“How beautiful they are”, “They look like teddy bears” and I always answer that we should not trust appearances! I have a lot of questions about education, problems, health concerns. Everything that represents the Akita.
12) Would you recommend an Akita Inu or an American Akita to a first-time owner ?
The Akita is often not recommended as a first dog. Indeed, it’s a very special breed, we’re made for or not… So we will accept who he is or it can become very complicated. I think the most important thing is to be very knowledgeable about the breed, to be very respectful of your dog and to be able to constantly question yourself.
13) If you were to get another Akita, would it be an Akita Inu or American Akita ?
I have this question very often. I never know how to answer it I am completely in loved with both! I use my JOCKER !
14) Is there a big Akita community in France ?
Yes, there are more and more owners of Akita Inu and American Akita in France. This breed is victim of its beauty! We have a huge drop-out growth largely taken care of by the only charity association for Akita : AKITA HOME.
15) What other Akita accounts do you recommend ?
There are a lot of new Akita accounts on Instagram but very few do prevention. We like @malcolm_the_akita and @thespaldingpack.