Welcome to the world of the long-coat Akita, a majestic and unique variant of the popular Akita breed. If you’re a dog enthusiast or considering becoming an Akita owner, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll dive into the captivating history of the long-coat Akita, share valuable care tips, and explore the differences in grooming and behaviour compared to their Japanese and American Akita counterparts. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together!
The Origin of the Long Coat Akita
While the Akita breed hails from Japan, with the history of Akitas dating back thousands of years. This beautiful variation of the Akita is the result of a recessive gene, which leads to a longer and lusher coat. The recessive long coat gene on the L-locus is said to have come from the Karafuto Ken or Sakhalin Husky, due to outcrossing by Japanese Akita Inu breeders. The purpose of the outcrossing was to produce a more insulated coat for Akitas, helping them endure the harsh winters in the Northern Japan prefectures.
Due to its rarity, the long-coat Akita has become a sought-after companion for dog enthusiasts around the world. Although the long-coat Akita is not recognized as a separate breed by major kennel clubs, it has gradually gained recognition and appreciation among dog lovers for its distinct appearance and temperament. These majestic dogs are known for their striking beauty and unique charm, making them a perfect addition to any family.
Caring for Your Long Coat Akita
Taking care of a long-coat Akita requires a bit more attention compared to their shorter-coated counterparts, particularly when it comes to grooming. They can come in a variety of colours including the White Akita. Here are some essential care tips to help you maintain a healthy and happy long coat Akita:
Longcoat Akitas have a thicker, double-layered coat that requires regular brushing. To prevent matting and keep their fur looking its best, brush your long coat Akita at least 2-3 times a week using a slicker brush or rake. During shedding seasons, you may need to increase the frequency of brushing to minimise shedding around your home. Long Coat Akitas shed or “blow” their coats twice a year, just like standard coated Akitas. Extra attention to grooming and a good vacuum can help manage shedding in your home.
Long Coat Akitas don’t require frequent baths, as this can strip their coat of natural oils. Bathe your dog every 2-3 months or as needed, using a mild dog shampoo. Make sure to dry their fur thoroughly to prevent any skin issues.
Akitas are a large and energetic breed, so daily exercise is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. Schedule at least one hour of daily walks, playtime, or other activities to keep your long coat Akita fit and happy.
Training and Socialization
Early training and socialisation are essential for long-coat Akitas, as they can be stubborn and independent-minded. Start with basic obedience training and gradually introduce your dog to new people, animals, and environments to ensure they grow into well-mannered and well-adjusted adults.
Grooming and Behavioural Differences
Now that we’ve covered the basics of long-coat Akita care, let’s explore some of the differences between long-coat Akitas and their general Akita counterparts:
As mentioned earlier, long-coat Akitas have a longer, denser coat compared to standard-coated Akitas. This means that they require more frequent brushing and grooming to prevent matting and maintain a healthy coat. The texture of the long coat Akitas fur is also softer and silkier due to the longer guard hairs and denser undercoat.
While long-coat Akitas share many behavioural traits with their standard-coated counterparts, some differences have been observed by breeders and owners. Long Coat Akitas are often considered to have milder temperaments, making them suitable for various roles such as therapy dogs and cancer detection dogs. However, it’s essential to remember that each dog is unique, and temperament can vary significantly between individual dogs.
Show Ring and Breeder Attitudes
Longcoat Akitas were once frowned upon by Japanese breed organisations, and their presence in the show ring was considered a serious fault. However, attitudes have evolved, and the long-coat Akita is now recognized and appreciated for its unique beauty and genetic contributions.
Though Japanese Akita breed organisations still discourage the intentional breeding of long-coat Akitas, they acknowledge the potential benefits of these dogs for increasing genetic diversity within the breed. Responsible breeders will use genetic testing to make informed breeding decisions while preserving the overall health and diversity of the Akita gene pool.
The long-coat Akita is a fascinating and beautiful variant of the popular Akita breed, with a rich history and unique charm that sets them apart from their standard-coated counterparts. By understanding their origins, care needs, and differences in grooming and behaviour, you’ll be well-equipped to welcome a long-coat Akita into your home and provide them with a loving and supportive environment.
As we learn more about canine genetics and the importance of maintaining genetic diversity, it’s essential to appreciate and cherish the occasional long-coat Akita that appears in litters. With their captivating appearance, milder temperaments, and potential to contribute to the overall health of the breed, long coat Akitas truly are a sight to behold and a joy to have as a companion.
Why not take a look at Japanese Akita Inu vs. American Akita: What Should You Know?