This sweet dog caused Helen Keller to state, “If ever there was an angel in fur, it was Kamikaze. I know I shall never feel quite the same tenderness for any other pet. The Akita dog has all the qualities that appeal to me – he is gentle, companionable and trusty.”

The First Akita In America

In 1937, Helen Keller visited Akita Prefecture in Japan. Previously, she had heard of the famous dog, Hachiko.

Hachiko was an Akita that became famous for faithfully waiting for his deceased master to return to a train station for 9 years.


Hachiko died in 1935, two years prior to Helen Keller’s visit.

Helen made it known that she would like to have an Akita dog. Within a month of her sharing her desires, she was given one.

His name was Kamakazi-Go. Sadly, he shortly passed away from canine distemper.

The Japanese government then gave Helen Keller Kamakazi-Go’s older brother Kenzan-Go as an official gift in 1938. In other words, these were the first two Akitas to come to the United States. These two dogs set the American standard for Akitas.

Akita, The Snow Country Dog

Prior to their introduction to the AKC Kennel Club, the Akita was simply known as the snow country dog. These dogs come from the rural snowy mountains of Japan. They are working dogs that hunted boar, small bear and elk.

These tender dogs have webbed toes. Therefore, this helps them walk on top of snow easily. These furry friends keep their dew claws to help them get out of icy water. Cold weather seems to increase the energy of Akitas.

These sweet pups will stay out all day hunting rabbit, squirrel and small creatures in the snow if allowed to. They love to eat snow and will often roll around in it.

A National Treasure

Akitas were bred to be a national treasure. Historically, only the Imperial family was allowed to own them. In fact, even their leashes would identify the rank and importance of their owners. There were elaborate ceremonies that had to take place when it was time to feed these royal rovers.


Akitas are very loyal to their family members. It is hard to integrate an Akita into a family that they were not raised with. They are very good with children. In ancient Japan they were used as Japanese guard dogs to watch the children when they went to the temple.

These fur babies are very strong. Two of them can take down a full grown bear.

Their coat is very easy to look after. It only needs brushed once a week. However, once a year they will lose their entire coat. When that is taking place, you will have to brush them a lot for three weeks. Gratefully, it’s the only time within a year that they shed.

They have a tendency to be stubborn and want to be dominated. Therefore, a strong owner is required. You have to make it clear that you are the master, or they will dominate.

Interesting Facts

In Japan, if you were feeling sick or had a baby, you would not be sent flowers. Instead, you would be sent a little Akita statue. It’s a symbol of good luck.

Akitas are still one of the most primitive dogs on earth. Because of this, they can raise home insurance rates. They are listed as a dog that will bite. They are territorial and very protective.

These furry guys have plush fur, fluffy curing tails, and are from the Nordic dog family. Similarly, they have double-coats that have a soft and woolly undercoat.

Check Them Out

Check out these Akitas below.

In conclusion, these dogs have a lot to offer to anyone. They are loyal companions, and highly intelligent.

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