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Japanese Akita Dog Standards
• The Old Akikyo Dog Standard
• Revised Akikyo Akita Dog Standard 2
• Revised Akikyo Akita Dog Standard 3
• Nipponken Hozonkai (Nippo)
• Nipponken Toroku Kiyokai
• The Nihon-Ken Hozonkai (Nippo)
The Original and Revised Japanese Akita Dog Standards
(July/August 1993 Akita World)
Many American Akita dog breeders believe the Japanese Akita dog standard was changed to "recreate the original Akita." (1) This seemingly widespread opinion in this country may be based on very limited historical information from the Japanese dog literature available to most American Akita dog fans. (2)
The Japanese Akita dog literature maintains that the original Akita dog standards have not been changed. Knowledgeable Japanese dog writers say that the original Akita dog standards were written to purify and improve the impure Akita dog. They also state that the original Akita dog standards were too brief and often difficult to be understood by many of the Akita dog judges and breeders in Japan. Therefore, revisions were made without any great changes in the standard. Details were added to the revised standards to help judges and breeders better understand the Akita dog standard, which would then aid their efforts to restore and improve the impure form of the Akita dog toward the Japanese dog.
Referring to the original Akita (Odate) dog standard, Mr. Ryonosuke Hiraizumi of Akiho states, "Certain passages of thestandard were not clear and sometimes confusing." (3) "Revisions of the Akiho standard were made, to improve understanding of the standard without departing from the main principles." (4)
The late Mr. Hajime Watanabe of Nippo made the following statement on the revisions of the original Nippo standard: "Necessary improvements were made without changing the standard by the judges after many discussions. This revised standard was then widely circulated as a guide for the judges and breeders. Gaps were filled in the difficult passages.
"The present standard is probably still not adequate. However, the original basic points were kept in the standard. We must work toward a more complete standard for the advancement and development of the Japanese dogs." (5)
The late Mr. Katsusuke Ishihara of Akikyo also stated: "Many Akita dog breeders said that the original standard
was difficult to understand. "We received complaints that the original standard was understood only by head judges and a few others. We also heard of spreading rumors that the standard was made purposely difficult for the public to understand. Therefore, the standard was rewritten in more understandable term for almost anyone to understand and visualize the true Akita dog. After many meetings of the judges, the revised standard was decided and presented on December 10,1954" (6)
Much of the foregoing information from the Japanese dog literature was known only to a few American Akita dog breeders, owing to lack of translations of such data until now.
The original and revised Akiho's Akita dog standards in English appeared on pages 44-71 of the March/April 1993 issue of Akita World.
The original and two revised versions of the Akikyo's Akita dog standards are presented below.
The original Nippo Akita dog standard appeared on pages 40-41 in the July/August 1992 issue of Akita World. The revised Nippo Akita dog standards are also presented below.
Summary: The original and revised Akita dog standards of the Japanese dog organizations have been presented in previous and present issues of this magazine for the reader to compare and decide whether the revised Japanese standards were changed significantly from the original standards.
1. Kaluzniacki, Sophia, Facts and Opinions, Akita: Where Arc We Headed?" Akita World, p. 14, March/April 1993.
2. "Akita People: Don and Twyla Lusk, Part II" Akita World, p. 98, November/December 1991.
3. Hiraizumi, Ryonosuke, "A Discussion of The Establishment of The Akita Dog Standard," Akitainu Tokuhan (The Akita Dog Book), p. 37,1963, Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo, Japan.
4. Ibid., p. 60.
5. Watanabe, Hajime, "A Discussion of The Establishment of The Akita Dog Standard and The Body Type Standard," Akitainu Tokuhan (The Akita Dog Book), p. 72,1963, Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo, Japan.
6. Ishihara, Katsusuke, "The Establishment of The Akita Dog Standard and Its Development Until Now," Akitainu Tokuhan (The Akita Dog Book}, p. 90, 1963, Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo, Japan.
The Old Akikyo Dog Standard
(Adopted March 20, 1949)
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Essential qualities - Strength and calmness with much kan-i (much spirit, great will, strong character, courage and composure) and pristinely features should be clearly apparent.
General appearance - Ample bone with correct structure; very muscular with resiliency. Desirable balance of structure with proper coat, composure and dignity. In the male, height:body length ratio of 100:110. Shoulder height is two shaku one sun (63.6 cm, approximately 25.1 inches) or greater. In the female, height is one shaku nine sun (57.6 cm, approximately 22.7 inches) or greater. Somewhat longer female body length.
Head - Magnificent wide forehead. Properly attached and well developed skull and jaw.
Ears - Triangular, sloped somewhat forward and erect.
Eyes - Deeply set eyeballs. Somewhat triangular and thick eyelids. Dark brown iris.
Muzzle and nose - Proper width. Straight bridge of nose. Tapered muzzle. Black, glossy and moist nose. Lips of proper thickness with no looseness.
Oral cavity and teeth - Proper amount of area in oral cavity. Proper occlusion, normal occlusion (level bite), in robust health.
Neck - Strong and muscular with proper angle. Length of robust neck in balance with body.
Back and hips - Strong appearing back. Strong hips desirable.
Chest and abdomen - Well-developed chest with proper width and expansion. Properly tucked up abdomen. Boat bottom shaped lower chest and abdomen.
Forelegs - Correct shoulder blade angulation and upper arm joint with abundance of muscles. Pliability extends from forearm to pastern. Tight grip on paw.
Hind legs - Very muscular thigh. Properly angulated tibia perpendicular below hocks when standing. Tread between hind legs slightly wider than tread of forelegs. Thick paw with tight grip.
Tail - Thick and curled. Tip reaches hock. Left curl, right curl, curl over back, and loose curl are acceptable.
Coat - Straight and coarse outer coat. Fluffy undercoat. Distinct two coats seen as stiff coat stands amidst soft luxuriant coat. Neck coat somewhat longer than body coat. Tail coat, with round mold and less stiffness, somewhat longer, more luxuriant than neck coat.
Colors - Black, fox red, sesame (goma), black brindle, fox (yellow red) and white.
Movement - Correct, impressive gait with proper center of gravity, stability and minimum pitching of body. Much composure, dignity, agility and adaptability.
"Akitainu Hyojun Seitei to Genzai made no Keika, Akitainu Kyokai (Akikyo)"
("The Establishment of the Akita Dog Standard and Its Update, Akikyo"), Akitainu Tokuhon, pp. 91-93, 1963, Seibundo Shinkosha Publishing Company, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.
| Revised Akikyo Akita Dog Standard 2
Revised December 10, 1954)
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Essential qualities - Strength, calmness, dignity, with much kan-i (much spirit, great will, strong character, courage and composure), with clear pristinely features. Keen, discriminatory, affectionate, friendly and yet domineering at times.
General appearance and structure - Distinct sexual features of male and female. Balance of structure with abundant bone, firm muscles, tendon and ligaments abounding in resilience, covered by skin, with distinctive features of the breed. Composure, dignity, agility, nimbleness, rapid adaptability to changes to stand firm on the ground to manifest power when necessary. Height for male: two shaku one sun (63.6 cm, approximately 25.05 inches) or greater; height:body length ratio = 100:110. Height of female: two shaku (60.6 cm, approximately 23.9 inches) or greater; female body length is slightly longer, allowable to 100:120, for pregnancy. Ideal height :chest depth ratio =2:1.
Head and cheeks - Magnificent head with much bone and muscles areas covered by tight skin with a slight longitudinal crease and stop. Well developed cheeks, skull and lower jaw bones with much muscle. Full cheeks.
Ears - Triangular from frontal view. Slightly blunt ear tips with no curled appearance. Slightly inclined forward when viewed from the side and erect. Properly short and thick appearance. Wide space between left and right ear bases at top of head.
Eyes - Proper distance between eyes which are somewhat triangular with deeply set eyeballs in eye sockets. Upper and lower eyelids appear thick. Straight lower eyelid. Dark brown iris with black tinge.
Muzzle and nose - Muzzle and cheek taper toward die rip of nose, when viewed from above. From the side view, the bridge of the nose is straight and the muzzle gradually tapers off to a blunt tip. The nose is firm, black, glossy and moist. The thick appearing lips are not loose and are tightly drawn.
Oral cavity and teeth - The oral cavity has the proper amount of area. In robust health, the teeth have proper occlusion, normal occlusion (level bite).
Neck - Firm, strong and moderately thick with proper union of frame as the center, abounding in muscles covered by skin that is not loose, with increasing sturdiness and thickness from the head to the upper arm with proper joints and angle.
Back and hips - The withers has a slight protuberance. Proper union of the thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae and sacrum as the center of the back bones covered by muscles, tendons and ligaments keep the back straight and powerful. The lumbar vertebrae are joined properly to the pelvic bone covered by powerful muscles and tendons, giving rise to powerful hips. The anus is drawn in deeply and contracted with a large oval outer circumference with no fur.
Chest and abdomen - Deep and wide front chest with wedge and oval shaped properly expanded ribs. Lower chest extends to the rear. Properly tucked up abdomen. Boat bottom shaped from lower chest to abdomen.
Forelegs - Proper angulation of shoulder blade and upper arms. Elbows and forearms attached to abundant muscles and sinews with resilience and tenacity. The upper arm width decreases as the pastern is approached and is vertical to the ground. The pastern protrudes slightly forward of the vertical line when standing. The paws are thick and tightly gripped.
Hind legs - The hip bone (innominate bone) is connected to the thigh bone (femur) with abundant resilient muscles and sinews. The femur is connected to the shinbone (tibia) at the proper angle. The tibia with adequate muscles is drawn slightly rearward and is springy. The hocks have a distinct angle. The area from the hocks to pasterns are also muscular and perpendicular to the ground in standing position. Proper spacing between the left and right powerful hocks is slightly wider than the space between the forelegs. The paw is thick with a tight grip.
Tail - Thick and powerfully curled. Tip of tail touches the hock. Types of curl include left, right, curl above back and loose curl.
Coat - Coarse and straight outer coat. Fluffy, soft, luxuriant and distinct undercoat. Neck coat slightly longer than body coat. Tail coat much longer than neck coat, luxuriant and in a round mold.
Colors - Black, fox red, sesame(goma), black brindle, fox (yellow red) and white.
Movement - Correct impressive gait with proper center of gravity and stability with minimum pitching of the body. Abundance of composure, dignity, agility and adaptability to changes.
1. Acquired injuries, malnutrition, and poor care.
2. Weak back and hips with concave(swayed) or convex (roach) backs.
3. Colors unbecoming of an Akita dog and resembling other breeds, e.g. light red, pinto, yellow brindle are acceptable, but red brindle, dark brown, dark brown goma (wheat red, chestnut red). Black on back interpreted as a color of another dog breed.
4. Eye color not suitable to body color, such as very light and round eyes.
5. Irregular teeth with overshot or undershot jaws. Missing teeth.
6. Lack of balance between tail coat and body. Tail with more than double curl or with lack of curl.
7. Underdeveloped or one undescended testicle.
8. Frivolous, ferocious or frightened dogs.
1. Lacking distinctive features of an Akita dog.
2. Pronounced overshot or undershot jaw with missing upper and lower front teeth.
3. Very short coat since birth. Absence of undercoat.
4. Ears unbecoming of Japanese dog breed.
5. Coat unbecoming of a Japanese dog breed. Long coat or moku coat.
6. Coat not distinctive color of a Japanese dog.
7. Nose color not accompanying body color (tolerated only in white dogs).
8. Uncurled tail since birth. Sickle and short tail.
9. Underdeveloped and undescended testicle(s).
"The old Akikyo Akita dog standard and Akita dog standards of other organizations were too brief, and the tendency was to produce undesirable dogs resembling other dog breeds.
The present standard was the result of having as our goal, the reappearance of the old classical Akita dog by continuous intensive studies from which one should not wander. We earnestly hope that others will also heed to this earnest appeal of the Akikyo dog organization to produce the Akita dog like Akita dogs which are living cultural assets rich in classically simple features."
Katsusuke Ishihara, Director, Akitainu Kyokai (Akikyo)
Akitainu Kyokai Shokiteishu (Akikyo Bylaws), pp. 14-17, 1964, third printing, Katusuke Ishihara, Akikyo Headquarters, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan.
| Revised Akikyo Akita Dog Standard 3
(Revised June 1, 1989)
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Fortitude (goki) with composure (chinchaku), dignity (igen, hini) are revealed with pristine features (soboku-sa). A good temperament (ryosei) with keen senses (kankaku wa eibin). Able to clearly discern between master and those not of household. Chujun (obedient, loyal), but with iatsu-kan (coerciveness).
Male and female clearly distinguishable. Balance of structure with ample bone volume, and revealing distinctive features of dog breed. Well-developed tight frame with proper amount of muscle volume with no loose skin. Much resilience (danryokusei). Bearing (kyoso) with juko (composure and dignity, substance) and agility (binsho, keikai) that enables flexibility (danryokusei). Legs with proper stance. Ideal male height is 63.5 cm (approximately 25 inches). Ideal female height is 57.5 cm (approximately 22.6 inches). Height: body length ratio in the male is 100:110, while
that of the female is up to 100:120. Ideal height: chest depth ratio is 2:1.
HEAD AND CHEEKS
Abundant bone in head region in balance with body covered by tight skin. Large head with slight longitudinal crease in forehead with proper amount of stop. Moderately full cheeks. Ratio of distance between occiput and stop is 6, while distance from stop to tip of nose is 4. Imaginary lines of forehead and bridge of nose should be parallel to each other.
Triangular shaped from frontal view. Thick appearance with slightly blunted ear tips. Ear lines not disturbed. Ears erect
with slightly forward inclination. Proper width between ears that are located on the top of head.
Proper distance between eyes. Eyes are somewhat triangular with deeply set eyeballs in eye sockets. Upper and lower eyelids appear thick, while lower eyelids are straight. Outer corner of eyes slightly elevated. Dark brown iris with black tinge.
MUZZLE AND NOSE
Bridge of nose is straight. Muzzle tapers to a blunt tip. Nose is full, black glossy and moist. Tip of muzzle have proper
thickness. Lips are drawn tight.
ORAL CAVITY AND TEETH
The oral cavity has proper amount of area, correct number of teeth and proper bite.
Moderately thick with proper attachment of skeletal frame with firm muscles. No loose skin. Sturdy and robust standing neck. A suitable 45 to 50 degree angle seen from side view.
BACK AND HIPS
Withers have a slight protuberance. Straight and powerful back with proper attachment of bones to muscles, tendons and ligaments. The contracted oval shaped anus is drawn in deeply with an outer hairless circumferencial area.
CHEST AND ABDOMEN
Forechest is deep and well developed. Ribs are of proper wedge and oval shapes. Boat bottom shape from lower chest to abdomen when viewed from side.
Much muscles with resilience and tenacity. Shoulder blades and upper arms with proper angulation. Elbows well attached. Width of straight upper arms decrease as pasterns are approached. Pasterns slightly forward of vertical line. Thick and tightly gripped paws.
Bones properly connected at joints and covered by abundant firm muscles, and have resiliency. Hocks have a distinct angle. Legs below hocks are vertical to ground. Rear tread slightly wider than those of foreleg. Paws are thick with tight grips.
Thick powerful curl. Tail length does not go past the hocks. Types of curl are left, right and curl over the back.
Coarse straight outer coat blends with soft coat (cotton coat) so that stiff outer coat clearly stands out amidst soft undercoat. Neck coat slightly longer than body coat. Tail coat somewhat longer than neck coat with round mold and minimum separation of fur.
Five primary colors consisting of red, white, black, goma (sesame) and brindle,
Correct impressive gait with proper center of gravity and stability with minimum pitching of body. Much composure, dignity,
agility and flexibility.
1.Acquired injuries, malnutrition and poor care.
2.Weak back and hips with convex and sway back.
3.Colors unbecoming of an Akita dog and resembling other breeds.
4.Light eye color not suitable to body color. Round eyes.
5.Irregular teeth with undershot or overshot jaws. Missing teeth.
6.Loose curl. Lack of balance between tail coat and body. Tail with more than double curl or lack of curl since birth.
7.Underdeveloped or undescended testicle(s).
8.Frivolous, ferocious or frightened dogs.
1.Lacking distinctive features of an Akita dog.
2.Pronounced overshot or undershot jaw with missing upper and lower front teeth.
3.Very short coat since birth. Absence of undercoat.
4.Ears unbecoming as a distinctive feature of Japanese dog breed.
5.Coat not distinctive of Japanese dog breed. Long (moku) coat.
6.Coat color not distinctive color of Japanese dog breed.
7.Nose color not accompanying body color.
8. Uncurled tail since birth.
9.Underdeveloped or undescended testicles(s).
"Revised Akikyo Akita Dog Standard", Koken Akitainu (Akikyo Bulletin) No. 78: 67-69, 1990.
The First Known Written Japanese Dog Standard
No known written Japanese dog standard existed in 1931 when the Akita dog was designated as a natural monument.
The first known Japanese dog standard was published in 1934 by a committee of the Nipponken Hozonkai(Nippo), with the cooperation of other eager Japanese dog fanciers. The committee members were Yonekichi Hiraiwa (1), Shiro Itagaki (2), Shinichi Komatsu and Hirokichi Saito(3).
The Japanese dog standard included the medium, large (Akita dog) and small dogs.
The medium dog was the main reference dog on the characteristics and general appearance of the Japanese dog in this Japanese dog standard.
Differences in size, tail and other minor points in the large and small dogs were indicated in the standard.
| The Japanese Dog Standard
Nipponken Hozonkai (Nippo)
(September 15, 1934)
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Characteristics . Possesses vigor, strong character, courage, the natural beauty of the Japanese dog with keen senses and agility.
General Appearance . The male and female are clearly distinguishable. The body is well balanced with a right body structure, well developed muscles and tendons. The male's height to body length ratio is 100:110. The female's body length is slightly longer. The height of the male is about 50 cm (19.7") to 59 cm (23.2"), while that of the female is about 47 cm (18.5") to 53 cm (21").
Ears . The ears are small, triangular with a slight forward tilt and erect.
Eyes . The eyes are somewhat triangular and slightly elevated at the outer corners. The iris is dark brown.
Muzzle . The bridge of the nose is straight. The muzzle is tapered. The nose is full. The lips are tight The teeth are powerful with proper bite.
Head and Neck . The forehead is wide. The cheeks are full. The neck is thick and powerful.
Hind Legs . The powerful hind legs have a firm standing position. The hocks are strong.
Forelegs . The shoulder blades have the proper angulation. The forearms are straight The paws have firm grips.
Chest . The chest is deep and me rib cage is moderately full. The front of the chest is well developed.
Back and Hips . The back is straight and the hips are strong.
Tail . The tail is thick and powerful. Sickle and curled tail are acceptable. The tail extends almost to the hock.
Coat . The outer coat is coarse and straight The undercoat is soft and thick. The tail coat is somewhat longer and unfolds.
Coat colors are sesame, red, yellow, black, brindle and white.
Disqualifications . Dogs lacking features of a Japanese dog; noticeable overshot and undershot jaws; short tail since birth; adult dogs with inherited droopy ears.
Faults . Acquired injuries and malnutrition from improper care; nose color not matching the coat color; pinto coat color.
Warning . Pure white coat is not desirable in military dogs owing to conspicuousness of the white color.
The Akita Dog
Characteristics . Possesses vigor, strong character, courage, composure and the natural beauty of a Japanese dog.
General Appearance . The male and female are clearly distinguishable. The body is balanced. The solid body structure has well developed muscles and tendons. The male's height to body length ratio is 100:110. The female's body length is slightly longer. The height for the male is about 62 cm (24.4") to 73 cm (28.7"), while that of the female is about 57.5 cm (22.6") to 65 cm (25.6").
Tail . The tail is thick, powerfully curled and almost reaches the hocks.
Faults. Uncurled tail.
(Differences from the Medium Dog Standard)
General Appearance . The male and female are clearly distinguishable, with balanced, tight bodies, well developed muscles and tendons. The male's height to body length ratio is 100:110. The female's body length is slightly longer. The height for the male is about 38 cm (15") to 42.5 cm (16.7"). The height for the female is about 35 cm (13.8") to 39.5 cm(15.6").
Tail . The tail is thick and powerful. The long tail almost reaches the hocks and may be sickled or curled. The short tail (the tea whisk, tea stirrer) tail is acceptable.
Disqualifications . The short tail is a disqualification in the medium dog, but is acceptable in the small dog.
Addendum No. 1:
Sickle tail; curled tail (curled over the back, right curl, left curl, double curl); tea whisk tail (short tail).Coat Colors
. Sesame (sesame, white goma, red goma, black goma); red (red, light red, deep red); yellow; black; brindle (bundle, red brindle, black brindle); white.
Addendum No. 2:
After 1937, dogs too large or too small within each of the three size categories will be penalized. Until then, dogs within these extreme categories in height will be judged according to the following temporary classification.
Large to medium . Male - approximately 60.5 cm (23.8"). Female - approximately 54.5 cm (21.5").
Medium to small . Male - approximately 45.5 cm (18"). Female - approximately 44.0 cm (17.3").
A Commentary on The Standard
by Hirokichi Saito
"This Japanese dog standard is based on the distinctive features of Japanese dogs from ancient times and a guide for breeding Japanese dogs.
"Common anatomical terminologies found in other dog standards were used with special terminologies on characteristics and general appearance required for Japanese dogs. In this way, this standard was published as a Japanese dog standard. The large, medium and small dogs were classified according to their physical features and main roles. We felt that it was only proper to classify according to the roles these dogs may assume in the future as Japanese dogs."
1.Hiraiwa, Yonekichi, Inu wo Kau Chie (Some Insights Into Raising of Dogs ), 1972, Ikeda Shoten, Tokyo, Japan, p. 230.
2.Itagaki, Shiro, "Nihonken no Hozon to Hatten" ("The Preservation and Development of the Japanese Dogs"), Nihonken Taikan (A Manual of the Japanese Dog), 1953 (Reissue: 1987), Seibundo Shinkosha, Tokyo,Japan, pp. 11-13.
3. Saito, Hirokichi, Nihon no Inu to Okami (Japanese Dogs and Wolves) , 1964, Sekkasha, Tokyo, Japan, p. 276.
(Published in July/August 1992 Akita World magazine)
| The Japanese Dog Standard
Nipponken Toroku Kiyokai
(Japanese Dog Registration Society) Nipponken Hozonkai (Nippo)
(Partial Revision: September 1962)
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Characteristics - Possesses much vigor, ruggedness, courage, composure with soboku (natural pristine form of a
Japanese dog without any adornment), keenness and agility.
General Appearance - The male and female are clearly distinguishable. The well-balanced solid body has well-developed muscles and tendons. The male's height to body length ratio is 100:110. The female's body length is slightly longer. The height for the male is from 64 cm (25.2 inches) to 70 cm (27.6 inches), while that of the female is from 57 cm (22.4 inches) to 64 cm (25.2 inches).
Ears - The ears are small, triangular with a slight forward tilt and erect.
Eyes - The eyes are somewhat triangular and slightly elevated at the outer corners. The iris is dark brown.
Muzzle - The nose is full. The lips are tightly drawn. The teeth are powerful and properly aligned.
Head - The forehead is wide. The cheeks are well developed. The neck is sturdy.
Forelegs - The shoulder blades have the proper angulation. The forelegs are straight. The paws have firm grips.
Hind legs - The powerful hind legs are accompanied with a firm standing position. The hocks are strong. The paws have firm grips.
Chest - The chest is deep and the rib cage is moderately full. The forward chest is well developed.
Back and hips - The back is straight and the hips are strong.
Tail - The tail is thick with a powerful curl. The tip of the tail almost reaches the hock.
Coat - The outer coat is coarse and straight. The undercoat is soft and thick. The tail coat is somewhat longer and unfolds. Coat colors are: sesame, red, black, brindle and white. The coat quality and color should have the special features of the Japanese dog.
1. Acquired injuries and malnutrition due to improper care.
2. Nose color not matching the coat color.
3. Pinto coat color.
1. Dogs lacking the special features of a Japanese dog.
2. Noticeable overshot and undershot jaws.
3. Short tail since birth.
4. Uncurled tail.
| Standards for the Japanese Large Size Breed (Akita)
The Nihon-Ken Hozonkai (Nippo)
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Nature and expression - The dog possesses an intrepid spirit whilst being loyal and self-possessed. There is sophistication in its good-natured simplicity. The appearance should be dignified.
General appearance - Sex features should be distinct. The body should be well balanced with a sturdy bone structure and well developed muscles. Males should have a height to length ratio of 100:110. The female has a somewhat longer body.
The height for males is 67 cm and for females 61 cm. with the acceptable range being 3 cm either upwards or downwards.
Ears - Small and triangular, angled slightly forward but standing firm and erect.
Eyes - Somewhat triangular and slanted upwards. The color of the iris should be a dark liver-brown.
Muzzle - The bridge of die nose should be straight. The mouth should be firm and steady, the nostrils should be tight. The lips should be drawn firmly when closed. Teeth should be strong and the bite correct.
Head and neck - The forehead should be broad. The neck should be well-developed, but duck and powerful.
Forelegs - The shoulder blades should be well developed, with proper angulation. The legs should extend straight down with the paws giving the appearance of a tight grip.
Hind legs - The hind legs should have spring and yet should maintain a solid stance. The hock joints should be resilient and the paws should give the appearance of a tight grip.
Chest - The chest should be deep, the ribs well sprung, and the breast well developed.
Back and loin - The back should be straight and the loins stout and powerful.
Tail - The tail should be thick, powerful, and curled, the full length of which should reach almost to the hock joint.
Coat - The overcoat should be straight and harsh. The undercoat should be dense and soft. The hair on the tail should be somewhat longer than the body hair and should stand off. Coat color should be brindle (sesame), red, black, tiger-brindle, or white. Color and quality should have typical characteristics of the Japanese breeds.
1. Any acquired deformations and signs of inappropriate nourishment.
2. Nose color unsuitable for particular coat color.
3. Spots, speckles, or patches of color on coat.
1. Lack of typical characteristics of the Japanese breeds.
2. Overshot or undershot.
3. Congenital short tail.
4. Tail with no curl.
Note - Dewclaws should preferably be removed.
1. Sickle tail (disqualification in case of large size breed).
2. Curled tail (drum curl, right curl, left curl, double curl).
1. Brindle (sesame): Brindle (sesame); White brindle (white sesame) - black hairs mingled into a white coat; Red brindle (red sesame) - black hairs mingled into a red coat; Black brindle (black sesame) - black hairs mingled into a grey-black coat.
2. Red: Red; Light red; Crimson.
4. Tiger brindle: Tiger brindle; Red tiger brindle - black on red base; Black tiger brindle - black on grey-black.
(Published in July/August 1993 Akita World magazine)
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