The Akita and the wolf have their own unique history, characteristics, appearance and traits. While they are both large in size and capable of living in similar climates, their physical appearance differs from one another. Both can be aggressive at times; the Akita was bred to be a guard dog, while the wolf will usually show aggression in the wild, especially when defending his territory or position as the pack leader.
Originating from Japan in the 17th century, the Akita, was bred when a nobleman challenged landowners on the island of Honshu to compete in breeding a powerful hunting dog. In 1931, the Akita was designated one of Japan's natural treasures. Helen Keller brought the Akita to the United States in 1937. The wolf is thought to have been developed from primitive carnivores, known as miacids. They appeared in the Lower Tertiary about 52 million years ago. The first gray wolf is thought to have migrated from Euroasia to America via Alaska about 750,000 years ago.
Akita's who were not domesticated survived in the wild and natural environment in Japan. They were exposed to harsh cold climates and elements feeding on prey, sea plants, fish, vegetation, fruit, insects, berries and roots. The wolf occupies a variety of habitats, such as mountains, prairie, forest, arctic tundra, scrub forest and arid landscapes. They feed off of their natural habitat and catch and consume prey to meet their nutritional needs.
The average size of an adult male Akita is 25 to 28 inches in height and weighs 85 to 130 pounds. A female weighs 65 to 110 pounds and is 23 to 26 inches in height. They have a triangular-shaped head with deep set dark eyes and small pointed ears. Akita's have a muscular, strong body and thick, solid limbs. The curved tail is turned upward over the top of their back. Coat color appears in pinto, white and brindle. The wolf weighs 60 to 120 pounds, stands 27 to 33 inches tall and 60 to 72 inches long. Coat color ranges from white, gray, brown to black. The head is long, and large with a low forehead and short round-tip furry ears. The chest is narrow, legs are moderately long and paws are turned outward.
The willful, bold Akita is affectionate, loyal and playful with their families. They are highly intelligent, alert, courageous and natural guard dogs. They have a stubborn streak and can become aggressive toward other dogs, especially those that are the same sex. The wolf is a confident, intelligent pack animal. They have the ability to make strong emotional attachments to others within the pack. The wolf prefers to avoid aggressive behavior and encounters unless the situation calls for the behavior. Aggression is usually shown by the wolf when they are protecting the den or pups from predators or catching prey.
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