Bear/Boar Hunting Akita?
  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 22
    So, at 4am this morning I started to wonder if there were still any working line Akita left? Some breeds have work/show splits but some breeds for example Bonemouth and Meatmouth Shar Pei where the traditional breed still remains.

    Are there any sort of Working Line Akita anymore? I realise as a whole Akita Ken are a Show and Pet Breed now and I have read Kato's little blog post about Akita not being what they used to be and how they've declined in type since the 70s. However I wondered if there was something like some breeders of them who still Work them and actively breed for hunting ability over show? I don't mean Barn Hunt, but I mean actual Akita still Bear and/or Boar Hunting? Or has the working line Akita been lost completely?
  • TheWalrusTheWalrus
    Posts: 1569
    Nope. Hunting Akita are looooooong gone. If you look at the history, the breed is based off of hunting dogs, but they weren't 'Akita', they were Matagi Inu (Matagi were the subsistence hunters of the north). When they started using these dogs for dog fighting they added all sorts of western breeds to the mix, and from those days (pre 1900's) the breed has not been a hunting breed. They've been a fighting/watch dog breed.
    There have definitely been dalliances with the idea of hunting with Akita, but there is no one in Japan breeding working Akita, or with dedicated hunting lines. Not for a long time.
  • There's a kennel in Russia that I've emailed back and forth with for the past year that hunts with AA's and JA's on Bear, Boar, and Moose. I've seen videos of their dogs, and they're all pretty solid baying/catching dogs. The owner, Maxim, hasn't had a litter since last year though. I don't know how good their English is, or if anyone at their kennel speaks English. I've only communicated with them in Russian.

    Here's the website: http://www.matagi-ken.ru/

    There's also another Russian guy that has AA's doing Schutzhund but I've only seen videos of the dogs doing full bites and working. I don't have any contact information for this guy.

    I have a female AA that I've been working on some wild boar while I'm living in Italy. She definitely catches, and barks from frustration but as soon as I let her loose she goes directly for the catch. So I'm still working and developing the baying with her. I'm waiting for the boar to get over 60kg before I let her work on them again. I do know that she is more of an lucky exception with her prey drive and obedience for AA's. I think that's just because I started her very young on building prey drive, and got lucky with "flipping" a switch in her.

    But like Shigeru said there isn't a dedicated working line; other than the Russian Kennel that I know. I don't know of anyone else personally that is working Akitas for hunting, whenever Maxim has his next litter planned he said he would keep me updated so maybe in the future I'll be able to help have a few hunting line AA's in the States.
  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 22
    Nope. Hunting Akita are looooooong gone. If you look at the history, the breed is based off of hunting dogs, but they weren't 'Akita', they were Matagi Inu (Matagi were the subsistence hunters of the north). When they started using these dogs for dog fighting they added all sorts of western breeds to the mix, and from those days (pre 1900's) the breed has not been a hunting breed. They've been a fighting/watch dog breed.
    There have definitely been dalliances with the idea of hunting with Akita, but there is no one in Japan breeding working Akita, or with dedicated hunting lines. Not for a long time.


    I see, that's such a shame :( Also, I've never heard of a Matagi called the Matagi Inu before, is this essentially the same dog everyone calls a "Matagi Akita"? I didn't actually realise the Matagi Inu and the Akita aren't even the same breed, everyone calls Hachiko a Matagi Akita and the Bear Hunting dogs a "Matagi Akita" as well, so I naturally assumed they were one and the same bar the additions of GSD and Tosa Ken (Not Shikoku, the urm... Mastiff things.)

  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 22
    There's a kennel in Russia that I've emailed back and forth with for the past year that hunts with AA's and JA's on Bear, Boar, and Moose. I've seen videos of their dogs, and they're all pretty solid baying/catching dogs. The owner, Maxim, hasn't had a litter since last year though. I don't know how good their English is, or if anyone at their kennel speaks English. I've only communicated with them in Russian.

    Here's the website: http://www.matagi-ken.ru/

    There's also another Russian guy that has AA's doing Schutzhund but I've only seen videos of the dogs doing full bites and working. I don't have any contact information for this guy.

    I have a female AA that I've been working on some wild boar while I'm living in Italy. She definitely catches, and barks from frustration but as soon as I let her loose she goes directly for the catch. So I'm still working and developing the baying with her. I'm waiting for the boar to get over 60kg before I let her work on them again. I do know that she is more of an lucky exception with her prey drive and obedience for AA's. I think that's just because I started her very young on building prey drive, and got lucky with "flipping" a switch in her.

    But like Shigeru said there isn't a dedicated working line; other than the Russian Kennel that I know. I don't know of anyone else personally that is working Akitas for hunting, whenever Maxim has his next litter planned he said he would keep me updated so maybe in the future I'll be able to help have a few hunting line AA's in the States.



    Thank you for the Link!! That Breeders dogs look Incredible! I wish you luck importing them to the USA. I personally cannot own an Akita, (I'm more a Ryukyu person) but I do wish someone in the UK would import one of these working Akita's they really do look incredible. I would love to meet one of these Matagi Ken to see the difference between them and our typical AA and JA.
  • If you're interested in Matagi and the whole history of the Akita you should give the book "Dog Man" a read.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1594483906/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_YP1ZzbJCGXFHG

    The man the book is written about it is friends with one of the last Matagi in Japan and it kind of goes into their lifestyle and the way that their way of life disappeared.

    It's a really good easy book to read.
  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 22
    If you're interested in Matagi and the whole history of the Akita you should give the book "Dog Man" a read.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1594483906/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_YP1ZzbJCGXFHG

    The man the book is written about it is friends with one of the last Matagi in Japan and it kind of goes into their lifestyle and the way that their way of life disappeared.

    It's a really good easy book to read.


    I've tried to find that book for a very long time and Amazon and eBay in my Country don't have it and no bookshops can order it in. :(
  • I think Amazon UK might have it now, I just looked it up on the UK Amazon and quite a few options came up.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Man-Uncommon-Mountain-Paperback/dp/B00XDGTJ7I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506818385&sr=8-2&keywords=Dog+Man:+An+Uncommon+Life+on+a+Faraway+Mountain

    Hopefully that helps you out! :)
  • DeonDeon
    Posts: 22
    I think Amazon UK might have it now, I just looked it up on the UK Amazon and quite a few options came up.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Man-Uncommon-Mountain-Paperback/dp/B00XDGTJ7I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506818385&sr=8-2&keywords=Dog+Man:+An+Uncommon+Life+on+a+Faraway+Mountain

    Hopefully that helps you out! :)


    Thank you for finding that! Whenever I put in dog man it came up with books like a dogs purpose, etc. I've bookmarked it and will get it when I get paid next!! :D