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Discussion Starter #1
They are considered one breed in the US, but pretty much everywhere else they aren't.
I came across this picture that, to me, summed up just how different they are in their built.


Source
American Akita on the left, Japanese Akita on the right.

I was wondering though, why are they considered one breed in the US?
 

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The difference isn't always so obvious besides markings. Japanese Akitas simply being the strains that best hid the European blood used to keep the breed around. Many Japanese are less foxy and American more foxy. Without European blood, native Japanese dogs would have never topped 50lbs.
 

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I wouldn't say they're "the same breed" in the US. The American Akita is recognized by the AKC but the Akita Inu is not. If you tried to show an Akita Inu in the US under the American Akita standard, you wouldn't get very far.
 

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I have a hard time believing those are the same breed. Mals and GSDs are much closer, look wise. You can really see the mastiff in the American version.
 

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They're not the same breed over here. AKC only recognizes the American Akita. The UKC recognizes both the Akita and Japanese Akita separately.
 

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Yes the Japanese Akita Inu strongly resembles its smaller cousin, the Shiba Inu. But like others have mentioned I do believe, for the most part, they are recognized as separate breeds although some might be oblivious to the difference.

Was just gonna say, wow that particular American one looks an awful lot like a Mastiff. I've seen many that range in looks, but wow, that one especially is very 'Mastiffy'.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They're not the same breed over here. AKC only recognizes the American Akita. The UKC recognizes both the Akita and Japanese Akita separately.
What I meant was that in the US (the AKC) only recognizes the 'Akita'. They don't call it the 'American Akita', right? It's 'Akita' and there's the not recognized version 'Japanese Akita' (or Akita inu, I don't know by what name they go over at yours). But why isn't the Japanese Akita recognized as well? I thought that was because there wasn't a need for it, because the already existing Akita form (American Akita) contained all forms and shapes of the breed. Hence my original question in my first post, why are they considered one breed.

Maybe a better question would be: Why aren't they both recognized as separate breeds? (instead of just recognizing the 'Akita', the American version that is, and not recognizing the Japanese version) I'm really interested in knowing why.

It was a bit confusing for me reading about Akitas in English at first, because I'm used to 'American Akita' and 'Akita', while in English it's 'Akita' and 'Japanese Akita'.
 

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Huh, when we lived in Japan, our neighbors had a couple of Akitas, and they looked like the one on the left (well, not quite so "Mastiff-y" but close), definitely not like a big Shiba. I thought they got them in Japan. . .
 

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Huh, when we lived in Japan, our neighbors had a couple of Akitas, and they looked like the one on the left (well, not quite so "Mastiff-y" but close), definitely not like a big Shiba. I thought they got them in Japan. . .
I'm sure there are also American Akita breeders in Japan?

But the Akita originates from Japan, and if it's anything like native breeds here and what I saw in Spain, then there's probably also a lot of unregistered breeding of Akitas in Japan. Like what happens here with stabyhoun and wetterhoun, and like what happens in Spain with podencos. You get dogs that are definitely that breed... but not registered, and varied in type. Not what you'd see on shows. Not 'perfect specimen', whatever those are.
 

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What I meant was that in the US (the AKC) only recognizes the 'Akita'. They don't call it the 'American Akita', right? It's 'Akita' and there's the not recognized version 'Japanese Akita' (or Akita inu, I don't know by what name they go over at yours). But why isn't the Japanese Akita recognized as well? I thought that was because there wasn't a need for it, because the already existing Akita form (American Akita) contained all forms and shapes of the breed. Hence my original question in my first post, why are they considered one breed.

Maybe a better question would be: Why aren't they both recognized as separate breeds? (instead of just recognizing the 'Akita', the American version that is, and not recognizing the Japanese version) I'm really interested in knowing why.

It was a bit confusing for me reading about Akitas in English at first, because I'm used to 'American Akita' and 'Akita', while in English it's 'Akita' and 'Japanese Akita'.
There are a lot of breeds that aren't accepted by the AKC so I would assume the Japanese akita is not an AKC breed for the same reason that other breeds are not AKC recognized. In order to be an AKC breed there needs to be a fairly decent population here and the interest at least by part of the breed to join the AKC. I am fairly certain that the AKC 'akita' is the American akita. I have never seen a Japanese style akita in shows.
 

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Huh, when we lived in Japan, our neighbors had a couple of Akitas, and they looked like the one on the left (well, not quite so "Mastiff-y" but close), definitely not like a big Shiba. I thought they got them in Japan. . .
This photo is comparing a very heavy structured male to a female to exaggerate the difference. All strains have mastiff and other European dogs in them or we wouldn't have them. Look at photos of the famous Hachiko and you can see it, he was considered one of the last handful of Akita at the time. The shift in what people want has a lot to do with what is exotic. Native Japanese dogs before foreign blood being added were all small-medium size and there wasn't an Akita.
 

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Maybe a better question would be: Why aren't they both recognized as separate breeds? (instead of just recognizing the 'Akita', the American version that is, and not recognizing the Japanese version) I'm really interested in knowing why.

It was a bit confusing for me reading about Akitas in English at first, because I'm used to 'American Akita' and 'Akita', while in English it's 'Akita' and 'Japanese Akita'.
There are a lot of breeds that are not recognized by the AKC, and there are recognized breeds in North America that are not recognized by European kennel clubs. The one I'm most familiar with, of course, is the American Eskimo/German Spitz pairing. Its a similar situation to the Akita - the breed originally started in Europe, but the two have since diverged (although not quite to the point of the Akita/Akita Inu), and AKC only recognizes the American Eskimo, and European KCs only recognize the German Spitz. Although you can register an American Eskimo as a German Spitz in some European clubs; it then becomes a Spitz and neither it nor its offspring can ever be registered with the AKC/CKC as an American Eskimo.

Dog breeds are too confusing to me, especially internationally.

To further confuse matters, where most other countries only has one national kennel club, the USA has two - the UKC (United Kennel Club) and AKC (American Kennel Club).
 

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This photo is comparing a very heavy structured male to a female to exaggerate the difference. All strains have mastiff and other European dogs in them or we wouldn't have them. Look at photos of the famous Hachiko and you can see it, he was considered one of the last handful of Akita at the time. The shift in what people want has a lot to do with what is exotic. Native Japanese dogs before foreign blood being added were all small-medium size and there wasn't an Akita.
They had a male and a female and neither looked "foxy". They both looked like the dog on the left and the female was only slightly smaller. But now I'm looking at pictures of Japanese Akita Inu and I don't know what's up, LOL. I kinda doubt there were "American Akita" breeders in Japan 25 years ago. So now I'm just confused :p.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are a lot of breeds that are not recognized by the AKC, and there are recognized breeds in North America that are not recognized by European kennel clubs. The one I'm most familiar with, of course, is the American Eskimo/German Spitz pairing. Its a similar situation to the Akita - the breed originally started in Europe, but the two have since diverged (although not quite to the point of the Akita/Akita Inu), and AKC only recognizes the American Eskimo, and European KCs only recognize the German Spitz. Although you can register an American Eskimo as a German Spitz in some European clubs; it then becomes a Spitz and neither it nor its offspring can ever be registered with the AKC/CKC as an American Eskimo.

Dog breeds are too confusing to me, especially internationally.

To further confuse matters, where most other countries only has one national kennel club, the USA has two - the UKC (United Kennel Club) and AKC (American Kennel Club).
I didn't know about the American Eskimo and the German Spitz. That's interesting, and somewhat similar too, yes. I can think of more similar situations (thinks of my own breed and white GSDs)
The whole AKC/UKC/CKC thing has always confused me. CKC is Canadian, right? AKC is American. But UKC is... a legit American kennel club as well?

They had a male and a female and neither looked "foxy". They both looked like the dog on the left and the female was only slightly smaller. But now I'm looking at pictures of Japanese Akita Inu and I don't know what's up, LOL. I kinda doubt there were "American Akita" breeders in Japan 25 years ago. So now I'm just confused :p.
Hahah, well, I'll believe you on your word if you say there weren't any Am Akita breeders around when you lived in Japan. It's not like I've ever been there (though I'd love to).
As far as I'm aware of, the Japanese Akita is a pretty 'new' breed, right? They were near extinct several times, and the breed was last 'resurrected' after WOII and they used several other breeds. But the Japanese had a certain type in mind they wanted to recreate, and the Akitas the Americans brought back with them became a population of themselves. Both groups, Japanese and American, developed apart from each other and that's how they got their different looks nowadays.
Is this somewhat accurate? Or am I totally off?
 

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I didn't know about the American Eskimo and the German Spitz. That's interesting, and somewhat similar too, yes. I can think of more similar situations (thinks of my own breed and white GSDs)
The whole AKC/UKC/CKC thing has always confused me. CKC is Canadian, right? AKC is American. But UKC is... a legit American kennel club as well?
Yup. They're the second oldest kennel club in the USA, and one of the. To be honest, I like the UKC model better. From the wikipedia page:

"The UKC was founded by Chauncey Z. Bennett in 1898. The UKC states that Bennett formed the club in order to provide a registry for working dogs as opposed to the American Kennel Club's emphasis on dog conformation shows."

To further confuse matters, the British kennel club is just The Kennel Club.
 

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Yeah, the United Kennel Club is legit. They have conformation shows and lots of trials! Casper is registered with the UKC. I like how they've set up their groups -- Cas is in the Northern Breed group.

To further complicate matters, though, there are a lot of scam registries purposefully using the same acronyms as legitimate kennel clubs... registries like the Continental Kennel Club and the Universal Kennel Club. Some puppy mills use these registries so that their pups will have "papers" and people will think they're legit.
 
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