Akita inu during Edo period
  • Hi all,
    I have a couriosity: could you help me to know the ancient features of akita during Edo period (1600- 1867)? I have noted that the dog in the old japanese drawings had floppy ears but I don't know if it is akita or another dog.
    Thanks in advance.
  • Back then there was no such thing as an Akita. They had a group of dogs that were similar in look and type found in the Akita region. In the mid to late 1800s many breeders were crossing these dogs for the purposes of dog fighting. By the 1920s the Japanese started the process of defining what an akita was and what wasn't By the early 1930s the breed was defined and named Akita for the prefecture that it comes from.

    It's very common for people to see a group of photos and assume that all the dogs looked like that. But you need to remember that 1) Cameras were not very common in the late 1800s. 2. Usually the wealthy areas had access to cameras. For example it was uncommon to see a photo of a Native American. Of the few photos that were taken back then one cannot assume that ALL Native Americans looked that way.
    www.akita-inu.com
    www.Japanese-Akitas.com
    pedigrees.akita-inu.com
  • Thank you very much!! So I can say "akita dog" only after 1930, before it had not existed, is it ok? The akita breed originated in 1930, before in Japan there were dogs similar in kind but were not akita, right?
    Thanks again! I'm studing the history of japanese dogs and this point is very important for me!
  • I have confusion: if akita inu did not existed before 1930, why it is called dog of samurai? Than which kind of dog was samurai dog?
    Thanks
  • What is being discussed is the difference between a land race and a breed.

    A LAND RACE is a subgroup of a species that has a closed gene pool usually due to isolation - islands, mountains, and other geographical features. Over time and generations, all of the individuals come to resemble one another. Either through natural selection (eg. needing thick coats to survive the winter) or artificial selection (eg. humans picking the most hunt-driven dogs to breed) they further specialize and become less diverse.

    A BREED is typically formed by codifying the traits observed in a land race into what is called a breed standard. All of the current individuals of that land race are written down, or registered, as foundation stock of that breed. Eventually no new foundation stock will be recognized. From that point forward, only offspring directly descended from and able to trace ALL of their ancestors back to the foundation stock are members of that breed. But rather than have to research each dog individually, pedigrees are maintained to make it simple. If both parents have pedigrees, then their parents have pedigrees, and their parents parents have pedigrees and so forth, theoretically tracing all the way back to the foundation stock.

    Strictly speaking, an unpedigreed dog does not belong to a breed, no matter how purebred it looks. Breeds are defined by the pedigree that traces back to the foundation stock. Without that, its just a land race.

    (For what its worth, humans have land races too. We just drop the word "land" from it, but the various races of man are just that - land races - not breeds. TMYK!)

    What existed before 1928 when NIPPO was founded was the land race of native Japanese dogs. They varied in size and color, but all more or less descended from the spitz dogs brought over by the Ainu people centuries before. This was a land race with no breed standard or pedigrees. Larger dogs filled different jobs than smaller dogs, and some populations were separated by the islands and mountains of Japan. For the most part, the larger dogs or "snow country dogs" lived up in northern Honshu, including the prefecture of Akita.

    In 1928 nationalists decided to preserve the native dog before it went extinct due to the rising popularity of foreign breeds being introduced to Japan. A survey was done of the dogs throughout Japan, and based on the information gathered about size, color, region, etc, they decided to categorize them into 7 groups. These groups became the breeds we know today, with the exception of one which died out.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2015-12-13 13:54:31
  • Thank you so much. I think I finally got the point!!
    You were very clear!! Thank you very much to both!
  • It's worth noting that no BREED is older than about 250 years old because that's when the idea of a kennel club and writing down breed standards, registration, and pedigrees began. Of course land races are much older.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
  • It is absolutely right!!! I would like know the features of land race that have contributed to establishment of the akita breed. Thanks again!!
  • Claire is correct. It's important to look at these dogs and try to identify what traits the Japanese wanted to replicate through breeding and what looks and traits they wanted to out.

    At one point the dogs around Odate became knows as Odate Inus. The dogs found during the 1900s-1925 were called Shin Akitas which had down ears and were breed for fighting. One of the reasons they formed the various clubs was because of the dogs in the Akita region lost the look of the traditional Japanese dogs.
    www.akita-inu.com
    www.Japanese-Akitas.com
    pedigrees.akita-inu.com
    Post edited by *JackBurton* at 2015-12-13 20:59:29
  • Thanks JackBurton, I'm studing the standard and I'm looking for pictures, drawings and articole to try to find the main traits. Thanks a lot!

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