The Akita is a large, powerful dog with a thick coat and a dignified, independent demeanor. Originating in Japan, the Akita was once used for hunting and guarding, but today is primarily a companion animal. Akitas are loyal and devoted to their families but can be aloof with strangers. They are intelligent and trainable, but also have a strong will of their own. Akitas need plenty of exercise and may become restless or destructive if cooped up for too long. They also have a strong prey drive and should not be trusted around small animals unless they have been well socialized from an early age.