JA vs other japanese old breeds
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    Why the JA is so different from other Japanese breed (except the shiba)? I note a big distance. There is a similarity between japanese dogs (excepet tosa inu), but Akita (and shiba) is very different from one shikoku or kishu or hokkaido.
  • It probably has to do with the way the modern JA was created. It's a complicated story but a fascinating one to read if you're interested.
  • T_DogT_Dog
    Posts: 331
    To me they are all similar. Just different in different ways.
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    I think that the JA is more often crossbreeded that other japanese old breeds. It is my opinion.
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    @MapleTwinkie Do you have paper or book about this question? Thanks in advance!
  • Someone correct me if i'm wrong but Japanese akita and Shiba are bred with more of a showing mindset and the others are still bred to be able to hunt, theoretically? maybe...

    I read Dog Man by Martha Sherill, it's about Akitas after World War two and redeveloping the breed. I don't know of any other books.
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    @Vulpesvulpes89 maybe it could be right. Maybe the JA standard is adapted to be admired aesthetically, I don't know but it could be an idea. Thanks!
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    For example, if I looked old pics of akita matagi I find only some similar features but many differences. I think that the japanese do the akita dog over the time and it yet change over the time according to the standard. Maybe... my simple opinion.
  • WrylyBrindleWrylyBrindle
    Posts: 3286
    The Japanese Akita is much further from being selected for how suited it is for any work than the medium Nihon Ken. JA are selected for a stylized, refined appearance and to try to breed away from physical health detriments. The medium NK have more recently (speaking in terms of generations- very few hunt with any NK anymore) been chosen for hunting drive and rugged, athletic structural attributes, and not for eye shape, styled color patterns, tight tails and chrysanthemum heads when presented, as akita are.

    Even in the shikoku, the bottom half of this page has photos of the breed's dogs with a working selection criteria vs the show-attributes selected dogs we are used to seeing: http://www.shikoku-ken.org/about-shikoku-ken/appearance/

    They look quite different! Kishu, Kai and Hokkaido haven't yet been bred for show to that degree, and thus look (and behave) more plain and rustic.

    Shiba are also highly refined, but there are so many more of them and have a long breeding history that, unlike the Akita, hasn't had to do the significant restoration work to undo the effects of wartime mixing with Western breeds, as well as stylized augmentation of traits that were less refined even in the pre-war Akita. Shiba breeders have many more strong choices for fine tuning the attributes of the next generation, and a lot of work has gone into temperament and workable drive in some very physically sound lines. There are significant numbers of robust shiba achieving in various dog sports, skill events, and all-round stable companion duty.
    Post edited by WrylyBrindle at 2016-03-30 07:19:37
  • I got the book from a friend in Japan. I think it's just called Akita Inu. It's purple and white with an akita on the cover.

    @jackburton will know the book and I'm sure he can speak to the history.

    Basically, the JA's that we have now are a result of selective breeding from one type of Japanese Akita, the Ichinoseki line. The American Akitas were descendents from the Goromaru line. I hope I have this right as I am going from memory. Anyways, that is why we have JA's and AA's, and the way the Akita looked before the selective breeding might have something in between these two. From what I understand, the Shikoku, Kai and Hokkaido did not undergo as much of a selective process, and that could be the difference that you're talking about.
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    I think to understand that Akita is a "fresh"dog compared to other ancient japanese dogs. Thanks to all!
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2943
    All of the Nihon Ken were one *land race* (not breeds!) before the early 1900's. Then in the early part of the century some nationalists realized that these dogs would go extinct due to the rising popularity of Western breeds if nothing was done to protect them. A study was organized and they cataloged dogs from all over Japan. From this data on size, color, region, coat, appearance, jobs, etc they decided there were seven* distinct varieties of the native Japanese dog (Nihon Ken). This was the founding of NIPPO.

    Once they were identified, a breed standard was codified, and the existing dogs classified as one variety or another. During this time it was possible for a foundation dog to be a completely different variety from its parents or siblings, as it was categorized by its traits not its lineage. This is perfectly normal in breeds with varieties all throughout the world. The medium varieties are so similar because they all came out of the same cross-bred foundation stock as recently as the 30's and 40's. The smallest and largest varieties, however, were mostly isolated populations already.

    Some individuals took interest in only a certain variety and formed their own clubs apart from NIPPO with a separate breed standard to preserve and refine those dogs as distinct *breeds*. That is how AKIHO, KKA, DOKENHO, etc were founded. [This is actually a little simplified, because at one time there were *five* different breed preservation societies for the largest variety of the Nihon Ken, and over time they folded under or were merged with each other until only AKIHO remained. They had different names for the breed, but in the end Akita Inu won out because that's what AKIHO calls it.]

    There is rumor that the Akita Inu was bred to the medium breeds (most likely Hokkaido Ken) in order to reintroduce the red coat color to the breed. This is used to explain how red "suddenly" appeared in the late 60's after being all but non-existant since AKIHO began having shows. The color soared in popularity overnight, causing two other colors (yellow and sesame) to die out. Today probably about 70% of Japanese Akitas are red. But there is nothing to substantiate the claim about mixing to medium breeds to achieve this color. Since all of the native breeds were originally the same land race, it is reasonable that red may have been in the lines all along; it is after all a recessive gene that could be hidden for generations waiting for the right pair to meet. The appearance of red could be attributed to the removal of more dominant color genes that fell out of favor for being "too Western."

    * Only six of the varieties survive today.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2016-03-30 16:30:07
  • TakayukiTakayuki
    Posts: 33
    Thanks @PoetikDragon

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