Brindle Akita Coat Characteristics (Breed Guide) 2022!

Brindle Akitas are one of the most eye-catching and attractive breeds due to their large and powerful demeanor, noble nature, and long, beautiful coats. 

They have a broad head, muscular nature, and could weigh more than 100 pounds, making them less-than-ideal for beginner dog owners looking for a brindle dog. 

What is a Brindle Akita?

The Brindle Akita is a stunning, wolf-like breed.

The Brindle Akita is a dog with one of three colors recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Along with white and pinto, the brindled pattern has rich, brilliant markings that are well balanced and either with or without a mask. 

They’re a wolf-like breed that has many of the same traits as their wild counterpart, including:

  • Independence
  • Stubbornness
  • Protectiveness
  • Territorial

Unlike other Brindle breeds, you may not see too many Brindle Akitas running around the dog park because of their powerful, intimidating nature. 

Before they got their official breed name, they were known as the snow country dog due to living in the snowy, mountainous regions of Japan. Akitas were originally bred as hunters and trackers and then used to guard royalty and nobility in Japan. 

Their breed can be traced back at least 1,000 years and was a national treasure of Japan. They didn’t come to the United States until 1937 when the Emperor of Japan gave two Akita puppies to Helen Keller as a gift. 

Today, Brindle Akitas are ranked second in the 20 best Brindle dog breeds, just after the Brindle Greyhound. They can be found in an assortment of colors, and since they were originally bred for hunting and tracking, make distinguished guard dogs for the family. 

Types of Brindle Akita

The Brindle coat of the Akita is a recessive genetic trait and the dog’s gene series within its DNA will determine its coat color.

The Brindle gene is more dominant than yellow, but still recessive to the more common black gene. 

Red and white Akitas are more common than brindles, but a Brindle Akita isn’t necessarily rare in the dog world.

A Brindle Akita can be found with a coat that’s:

  • White
  • Fawn 
  • Black or brown stripes and markings 

They also usually have a distinctive brindle black mask and markings that run across their back and torso. 

Akitas have actually been ranked number one in the top 30 most beautiful dog breeds because of their fluffy coats and muscular nature. The Brindle color, along with white and pinto, is officially recognized by the AKC. 

The variances in Brindle coloring could be due to cross-breeding with a number of breeds in the early 20th century, including:

  • German Shepherds
  • Mastiffs
  • Saint Bernards

However, Brindle Akitas’ beautiful color variances are more likely due to their powerful and distinctive genetics. 

Brindle Akita
Akitas come in a few color varieties.

Buying a Brindle Akita

The first step to buying a Brindle Akita is to search local shelters both in your hometown and online. There are numerous rescues that are Akita-specific and could have a Brindle Akita that’s already trained and acclimated to family life. 

If you do choose to pay more from an Akita breeder for an Akita puppy, make sure the dog was screened for hip and eye health problems. 

Because they’re known to be a bit of a difficult breed, there may be numerous Brindle Akitas at local shelters across the country. Visiting the Akita Club of America Website is a good first step to rescuing a Brindle Akita. 

If you’re looking for a show dog that can compete in AKC-recognized events, you’ll need to make sure your Brindle Akita has a black mask to ensure it meets breed standards.


Because of their difficult temperament and possessive nature, Akitas may be found adoptable at rescue centers for around $250. 

Sites like Petfinder or AKC Marketplace can be two great starts to finding your Akita. These sites will enable you to search for breeds among nearby shelters or breeders.

If you’re looking for an Akita from a breeder, it’s important to know that they’re not the most commonly bred dogs. Therefore, they may run anywhere from $700 to $3,000 from a reputable Akita breeder. 

What to Know Before Getting an Akita

It’s safe to say that a Brindle Akita isn’t for everyone. Although they’re beautiful, they need an owner who can invest the proper amount of time and effort. This breed needs to be happy and not destructive.

Some things to think about include:

  • The time you’ll need to invest
  • The time and energy needed
  • How they perceive eye contact

A distinctive feature of the Brindle Akita is its mouth. This breed loves to carry anything and everything in its mouth, including your own wrist. 

This is essentially how Brindle Akitas communicate their love for their owners, although it’s sometimes misinterpreted as aggression. They can also be very useful in fetching items for their owners. 

If you do have the time and energy for a Brindle Akita, it will end up being your most loyal companion due to its somewhat possessive, guarding nature.

Another aspect of Brindle Akitas to be aware of is how they determine eye contact. Prolonged eye contact with an Akita can actually be perceived as a challenge and they could react aggressively. Training can help with this.


A Brindle Akita can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, depending on how healthy the individual dog is.

With the proper care, Akitas can live well beyond the average for their breed, as well as dogs, in general. Checkups with the vet, as well as a healthy diet and enough exercise, can extend the lifespan of your pet.

Health Concerns

Hip dysplasia, which is common in many large dog breeds, is also common with Akitas. This could also lead to arthritis in older Akitas. 

Other health concerns within this dog breed are:

  • Skin and allergy problems
  • Eye issues like cataracts, premature vision loss, and glaucoma
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus, also known as bloat. This ailment can cause your Akitas’ stomach to flip after eating and could be fatal if not supervised by a medical professional
  • Hypothyroidism, sebaceous adenitis, or other auto-immune diseases.

That being said, the color variance of a Brindle Akita doesn’t make it more susceptible to health concerns than the average Akita. 


Akitas can be quite a challenge when it comes to their temperament. They’re extremely intelligent and strong-willed, but that also makes them more aggressive than other breeds. 

Akitas are also known to get attached to one person in the family, making them intolerant of other humans and other animals. Since they were bred as guard dogs for hundreds of years, they could end up being powerful guard dogs for the family. 

Akitas can be quite aggressive with other dogs if not socialized properly. If not trained properly, they’ll chase any other animal in your home. They’re also very vocal dogs and will bark when they want, making them less than ideal for smaller homes or apartments. 

Finally, Akitas don’t do well being left alone for long periods of time. Although they could be lifelong loyal pets with the right owner, they’re not ideal for inexperienced dog owners. 

Are Brindle Akitas Good for Beginners?

The short answer to this question is no. Akitas can be very challenging dogs for first-time owners due to their willful and stubborn nature. There are many other reasons they can prove difficult for a first-time dog owner.

These include:

  • At a weight of 100 pounds or more, this huge, muscular breed is intimidating at best. 
  • Brindle Akitas are bold dogs with a characteristically powerful and intimidating appearance. 
  • Although steadfastly loyal and courageous, their stubborn streak can make training difficult for new dog owners. 
  • Akitas have been known to actually “talk” to their family members, even telling them what to do, yet are also standoffish and aloof with strangers. Socialization training will be required if you adopt a Brindle Akita pup. 

That being said, owners who can invest the time and effort required to properly train a Brindle Akita will find they have a loyal companion for life. They’re a solid pet for an experienced dog owner. 

Are They Good With Children?

If you have smaller children you’ll need to supervise the interactions of your Akita with them. On one hand, your children will have a loyal guardian with the Akita breed. On the other hand, Akitas are huge and intimidating and should never be left with young children. 

Brindle Akitas could make great pets with older children who can handle their massive size and a stubborn streak. If your family has other pets, you shouldn’t consider an Akita since they may become aggressive or portray dominance. 

Do Akitas Shed?

Yes, your Brindle Akita will shed quite a lot! The Akita’s fur will more than likely be found in many places, including:

  • On the furniture
  • On your clothes
  • In the carpet

This means your Brindle Akita will need weekly brushing, but other grooming standards are minimal. Akitas only need to be bathed every month to 3 months, nail trimming can be done monthly, and they just need their ears checked once a week for dirt or infection. 

Brindle Akitas at a Glance

It may sound like a Brindle Akita is a difficult dog, and at times this is the case. However, they’re also extremely loyal and will end up being your faithful companion that will shower you with affection and love. 

Brindle Akitas have been rated the most beautiful Brindle in the world, and they respond well to dog owners who can provide firm, yet loving, training and discipline. 

Lifespan 10-12 years
Weight 85-130 pounds
Height 26-28 inches
Suitable For Experienced dog owners, Protection, Show
Grooming Requirements Minimal but frequent brushing
Health Concerns Bloat, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye issues
Temperaments Loyal, bold, willful, intelligent, courageous

If you and your family are up for the challenge of raising a Brindle Akita, you may find you have a lifelong family member who’ll guard and protect you and your loved ones.

Just make sure you do your research to see if this difficult breed is right for your family and lifestyle. 

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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