Two Akita Breeds of Dog Are Changing Around the World
by Louis A. Fallon
The two Akita breeds of dog are changing around the world.
At the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) General Assembly meeting at the World Show in Buenos Aires July 5 and 6, 2005 it was announced that the name for the Great Japanese Dog in the eighty FCI countries has been officially changed to American Akita by the FCI General Assembly effective January 1, 2006. This was done at the request of the Japan Kennel Club, the country of origin for the two Akita breeds of dog. In addition the American Akita breed Group competition was changed from Group 2, to Group 5 which includes Spitz and primitive types of dog.
This information was distributed by a fax from the Japan Kennel Club to Dr. Sophia Kalukniacki, DVM, the supervising editor of the English translation for the 1998 Akita book of the Japan Kennel Club and the AKC Delegate from the Akita Club of America. Mr. Fisher the president of the German VDH and vice-president of the FCI, has also confirmed this information. The Federation Cynologique Internationale is the World Canine Organization. The FCI includes 80 members and contract partners, one member per country, that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI makes sure that the pedigrees and judges are mutually recognized by all of the FCI member countries. The FCI website address is www.fci.be.
The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom (U.K) at a meeting on November 23, 2005 approved the recognition of the Japanese Akita Inu as a separate breed of dog, separate from the Akita breed of dog.
The following U.K. criteria will apply to the Japanese Akita Inu: Breed Name - Japanese Akita Inu, Group - Utility, Register - Breed register without Championship Certificate status, effective date - January 1, 2006. Eligibility - A dog will be eligible for the register if: (a) all ancestors in a three generation pedigree are registered with the Japanese Kennel Club as a Japanese Akita Inu or trace all their ancestry back to such dogs or (b) all ancestors in a three generation pedigree were registered as a Japanese Akita Inu within a register created by an FCI Kennel Club since their recognition in October 1998 or (c) it has a three generation pedigree which is a combination of the above, provided all eight great-grandparents are either as specified in (a) or (b). If a dog does not comply with the above, but there are exceptional circumstances, an application can be made to the Kennel Club Committee. An Interim Breed Standard for the Japanese Akita Inu, based on that of the country of origin, will be produced by 1 January 2006. The Kennel Club (U.K.) website is www.the-kennel-club.org.uk.
In the United Kingdom the Akita is exhibited in the Utility Group. The Kennel Club utility group designates those dogs created for a specific purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working dog categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world. The utility group includes; Akita, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Canaan Dog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, French Bulldog, German Spitz (Klein), German Spitz (Mittel), Japanese Shiba Inu, Japanese Spitz, Keeshond, Lhasa Apso, Mexican Hairless , Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle (Miniature), Poodle (Standard), Poodle (Toy), Schipperke, Schnauzer, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniel, and the Tibetan Terrier.
All three Akita clubs in the U.K. received official notification from The Kennel Club. The Akita Clubs in the U.K. are the Japanese Akita Association, the Japanese Akita Club of Scotland, the Japanese Akita Club of Wales, the Japanese Akita-Inu Club UK (proposed) and the Japanese Akita Club of Great Britain (proposed).
Mrs. Pat Szymanski, the president of the Japanese Akita Club of America (JACA), website akita-inu.com, on hearing the good news said "On Behalf of the Japanese Akita Club of America, I am happy to congratulate The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom, and all those Akita fanciers that saw fit to recognize the Akitas as two breeds; the Akita (American Akita) and the Japanese Akita Inu. Their decision has been long coming and we support them totally.
I am not surprised of this decision since I recently gave a seminar on the "Introduction to the Japanese Akita" in the United Kingdom, and was thrilled at the response from the attendees. The audience absorbed every word and appreciated and recognized the differences in the two breeds, which they were able to see for themselves. Many people had never seen a Japanese Akita except in pictures or the mixed dogs (tweenies) that incorrectly claim to be Japanese Akitas.
But more importantly the people in the United Kingdom did what was correct for both breeds of dog. Some very nice Japanese Akitas have been brought to the United Kingdom, which encourages me to believe the dogs will do well and the people are serious. I feel confident the Japanese Akita breed will flourish, and we are especially pleased with the manner in which the dogs will be determined, by pedigree. This is the only way.
That leaves only America and Canada that remain blind to the fact that the Akita is two breeds. How can the AKC in America not see or hear what the rest of the world including Japan, the country of origin for the Akita breed, have been saying and seeing? Is it arrogance or ignorance and how long will they remain deaf and blind?
The Japanese Akitas are protected in America due to Akiho and JACA, however the American Akitas are at grave risk since the Akita Club of America (ACA) does not do as it was designated to do - protect the American Akita. The real American Akita, not the Akita-Japanese Akita or mixed dogs, blends or as they are called "tweenies".
Will the Country of Development, as America was named by Japan, ultimately end up being the Country of Destruction?
It is all the more reason for all serious Akita fanciers to celebrate the recent decision of The Kennel Club (U.K.), it may be where fanciers of the American Akita will have to get a Pure American Akita."
So there you have it, Akita fanciers, only two countries left in the world, Canada and the United States of America, that do not officially recognize what the rest of the world does - two Akita breed of dog; the Akita (American Akita) and the Japanese Akita. Perhaps these countries believe that the world is flat also?