26 Akita Colors & Markings (With Pictures)

Akita colors and markings

The unique and beautiful Akita colors and patterns are hard to ignore. This is especially true given the wide variety of the Akita coat colors, ranging from black to white to a handful of colorful shades in between. 

Surely, at least one of these Akita colors will grab your attention. After all, your choices are plenty, including the rare variants such as the sesame to the more iconic ones like the red fawn. 

If you’re interested in learning more, you’re on the right page. This article will present you with all the different coat colors and markings found in the Akita breed. You’ll also get to see images of each, so read along!

How Many Akita Colors Are There?

Two Akitas side profile

For starters, there are two varieties of the Akita breed — the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. This article guide explores the different coat variations of both breeds. 

To start, the Japanese Akita has three standard colors based on the American Kennel Club breed standards. They can also be found in three non-standard colors.

On the other hand, the American Akita has a more lenient breed standard, recognizing any coat color, excluding those with merle markings and liver.

Before we go into more detail, here is a quick summary of the Japanese Akita coat colors:

  • White
  • Red
  • Brindle
  • Sesame
  • Black
  • Silver 

Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the American Akita coat colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Fawn
  • White
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Pinto
  • Brown Brindle
  • Black Brindle
  • Red Brindle
  • Brown, Black Overlay
  • Red, Black Overlay
  • Fawn, Black Overlay
  • Fawn Brindle
  • Silver, Black Overlay
  • Black, Brown Undercoat
  • Black, Red Undercoat
  • Black, Silver Undercoat
  • Black, Fawn Undercoat
  • White, Red Shading

All of these different Akita colors can exhibit markings such as a white or black mask, white markings, and the so-called pinto pattern. We’ll touch on all of these in the latter part of this guide.

What Is “Urajiro” in Akita Inu?

The word “ura” means underside, and “jiro” means white, so together, they make up the name urajiro, which means “white underside.” As such, it’s one of the most defining characteristics of the Akita Inu.

Urajiro describes the nearly white or cream fur that contrasts with the rest of the dog’s coat color and is present on the dog’s underside, chest, and muzzle. 

Urajiro only ever affects the red color in an Akita pattern; it never affects the black color. In other words, the urajiro pattern only occurs near reddish coats and not on top of black fur. 

Interestingly, the urajiro is a desirable characteristic of Akita Inus and is frequently used as a criterion in canine competitions. 

6 Japanese Akita Colors

Japanese Akita colors’ standards are much stricter compared to American Akita colors. In fact, the American Kennel Club only recognizes three colors — white, red, and brindle.

Nonetheless, in this section, we will delve into the world of Japanese Akita colors and explore not just the three standard colors but also other colors found in Akita Inus. 

1. White Japanese Akita

White Japanese Akita

All of the Japanese Akitas that are white have white hair covering their bodies from head to tail. 

The primary characteristic of white Akitas is that there are no blemishes or spots on their bodies, not even the tiniest ones. As they are white through and through, these dogs can be quite taxing when it comes to coat maintenance.

It’s also worth noting that even though they are completely white, Japanese Akita still retain pigment in their coats; therefore, they should not be confused with albinos.

For starters, albinism is a condition affecting dogs and is characterized by a lack of pigmentation. 

When it comes to other physical features, most white Japanese Akita puppies have black noses. However, their nose color turns to a red bean color or light brown once they reach

2. Red Japanese Akita

Red Japanese Akita

Japanese Akitas typically come in a reddish hue. Akitas that are classified as “red” have a reddish-brown coloration on their muzzles, foreheads, and backs.

The color ranges from a light beige to a nearly orange hue. In some cases, white hair may develop on the inner ear, cheeks, snout, chest, belly, and inner sections of the limbs.

In addition, when a Japanese Akita puppy matures into an adult dog, the red portion of its coat may fade out, and the percentage of red to white may change.

3. Brindle Japanese Akita

Brindle Japanese Akita

The coats of brindle Japanese Akitas are patterned in a way that resembles a tiger’s stripes. 

It typically features red stripes on a black coat or black stripes on a red coat. Sometimes it also includes black stripes on a red background.

Moreover, the underbelly and interior of these brindle dogs’ bodies are covered in white hair, similar to the red Japanese Akitas.

Overall, brindle Akitas have a commanding presence that draws a lot of dog enthusiasts. 

4. Sesame Japanese Akita

Sesame Japanese Akita
Image credit: japaneseakitaqueensland / Instagram

The coat of a sesame Japanese Akita has varying amounts of red, black, and white in it. The base of the sesame Japanese Akita is colored red, while the backside has black tips, and the bottom is white.

Its entire coat will typically have some very fine black tips, but there won’t be any large black areas. That said, the amount of tipping is usually minimal and balanced across the torso and the head.

In addition, having white markings on sesame Japanese Akitas is common. It typically shows up on their faces, lower jaws, chests, tummies, limbs, and tails.

5. Black Japanese Akita

Black Japanese Akita puppy

A Japanese Akita that possesses a black coat is quite rare. Interestingly, the American Kennel Club and other major canine organizations do not acknowledge this coat color.

It’s believed that the black coloration is the product of a recessive gene, which causes it to be less prevalent than the other colors found in Japanese Akitas.

Black Japanese Akitas typically have an all-black coat, while some may have white markings on the chest, chin, or paws. Black Akitas are widely praised for their deep color and glossy sheen.

6. Silver Japanese Akita

Silver Japanese Akita
Image credit: silverbackakita / Instagram

Silver is a remarkable Japanese Akita hue that is recognized by its lovely and shiny metallic coat. However, silver Akitas are also quite rare. 

The silver color can range from pale silver to a darker, smokier gray hue, and it may be highlighted by white markings on the chest, chin, or paws.

Despite its rarity, admirers of the Japanese Akita breed see this color as one of the most desirable options available because of its unique and eye-catching appearance.

Moreover, the Japanese Akita’s silver coat has a faint shimmer that catches the light and is said to be very smooth to the touch.

20 American Akita Colors

In comparison to its Japanese counterpart, the American Akita comes in a much larger variety of coat colors. It has a broad range of hues and patterns, from solid black to red to brindle.

The world of American Akita colors is a fascinating one, and this section will provide some insight into it for you:

1. Black American Akita

Black American Akita

The American Akita can occasionally have a black coat; however, this color is quite uncommon.

Black American Akitas are recognized by the American Kennel Club despite the fact that these dogs frequently lack a urajiro. This absence causes their muzzles to be entirely black as well. 

That said, these black dogs usually sport a coat that is completely black and devoid of any markings. However, there is a possibility that some of them have a small patch of white on their chest or near the throat area.

2. Brown American Akita

Brown American Akita

Numerous distinctions of brown may be found in the brown American Akita, ranging from a light tan to a darker chocolate color. 

The outer coat, which may be longer and rougher, is often darker in color, whereas the undercoat is typically lighter in hue. 

As is typical for Akitas, the brown American Akita may also have black markings on its face, ears, and tail. 

In addition, some brown American Akitas may have white markings on the chest and legs. These markings are not always present, though.

3. Fawn American Akita

Fawn American Akita
Image credit: _jasperandmillie_ / Instagram

The color of the Fawn American Akita is often described as a sandy or buff color, although it can also be described as having a pale golden-yellow or beige hue.

The fawn coloring of an American Akita’s coat is frequently accented by a black mask that wraps around the dog’s face. This contributes to the canine’s stunning and unique appearance.

That said, the fawn is only one of the breed’s many unique coat colors and eye-catching features.

4. White American Akita

White American Akita
Image credit: coco_the_white_akita / Instagram

White American Akitas typically do not have the characteristic urajiro because the color of their entire coat is white. Nonetheless, the absence of the urajiro does not take a toll on their desirability. 

Their fur is a brilliant, snow-white color that grabs attention and makes them stand out in any environment. In keeping with the breed standard, they usually have brown, almond-shaped eyes and a fierce face.

Moreover, white American Akitas are not albinos, similar to their white Japanese counterparts. 

5. Red American Akita

Red American Akita
Image credit: leon.n.leia_theakitas / Instagram

One of the most common and well-liked coat colors for American Akitas is red. In fact, this is one of the most popular variants, and there are a lot of red American Akitas out there.

Red Akitas are reddish-brown in pigmentation. The hue ranges from light beige to practically scorching crimson. 

White hair usually grows on the insides of the ears, cheeks, bottom of the nose, chest, abdomen, and the insides of the limbs. Occasionally, they also possess a black mask that wraps around their muzzle.

6. Silver American Akita

Silver American Akita puppy

Another uncommon coloration of the American Akita breed is the silver color. Silver American Akita usually have a dark gray or silver coat, which appears to shimmer in the sun.

The guard hairs, which are the longer, coarser hairs that help shield their undercoat, are frequently where their silver shade is most noticeable.

Furthermore, silver Akitas typically have a lighter undercoat, which can be anywhere from white to cream or light beige. 

As such, the silver American Akita has a distinctive appearance due to the contrast between its silver guard hairs and paler undercoat. 

They may also occasionally have black masks around their faces, which adds to their unique appeal.

7. Pinto American Akita

Pinto American Akita

Pinto American Akitas are a color variant of the American Akita breed with a distinguishing coat pattern of white or any other solid color. 

They can have a variety of coat colors and patterns, but all pintos share the distinctive white spots that set them apart from other American Akita variants.

Additionally, every pinto American Akita is unique because of how the white and solid-colored patches are distributed on their coat. 

Some pinto American Akita may have more solid-colored sections with fewer white patches. Meanwhile, others may have coats that are primarily white with a few patches of solid color.

Black, brown, and red are common solid colors observed in pinto American Akitas. Further, their bodies can have solid-colored patches anywhere, including the head, back, legs, and tail.

Watch this video to see what a Pinto American Akita looks like: 

American Akita, KIMI, One year old, Ukraine

8. Brown Brindle American Akita

Brown brindle American Akita

An American Akita with brown brindle stripes has a coat that blends various brown tones with darker brindle stripes. 

There are different shades of brown found in American Akita, from mild to dark, with some having reddish undertones. 

On the brown base color, the brindle pattern shows darker stripes or patches. The stripes may be thin or thick, and their placement may be uniform or asymmetrical.

9. Black Brindle American Akita

Black brindle American Akita

Black stripes on a brindle base define the American Akita color pigmentation known as “black brindle.” Keep in mind that the thickness and intensity of the black stripes on their coat might vary.

While some American Akitas have thick, bold stripes that are easier to see, others may have extremely thin, barely detectable stripes. 

Their striped pattern can also differ, with some having a more regular pattern while others can sport a more random pattern.

American Akitas’ black brindle coat can also vary somewhat in shade. Some Akitas’ colors might be a more subdued charcoal black, while others might be a glossier jet-black.

10. Red Brindle American Akita

Red brindle American Akita

The American Akita can also have a red brindle coat color, among other hues. American Akitas with a red brindle coat have mostly red fur with black brindle stripes all over it.

The shade of red can be anything from dark mahogany to a lighter, almost orange hue. 

The black brindle pattern can be thin or thick, and they frequently produce a lovely and startling contrast against the underlying red color. Furthermore, white color can also be seen in some parts of their bodies.

11. Brown, Black Overlay American Akita

Brown black overlay American Akita
Image credit: kumba_the_akita / Instagram

The presence of a brown and black overlay color on the coat of an American Akita indicates that the dog’s fur is a mixture of colors, including brown and black.

An American Akita with a brown coat and a black overlay will often have a base color that is lighter, along with brown and black hairs interwoven throughout the coat.

The degree to which the brown, black overlay is present can vary from dog to dog, with some American Akita having a greater amount of either brown or black than others. 

12. Red, Black Overlay American Akita

Red black overlay American Akita
Image credit: gapcio_superczlapcio / Instagram

The coat of the red, black overlay American Akita would be predominantly red, with black pigments overlaid on top. 

Although its distribution on the dog’s body might vary, the black overlay is usually seen on the back, sides, and tail of the American Akita.

Further, the overlay may occur in the shape of streaks, patches, or patterns resembling brindles, and it may be any one of several different shades of black, ranging from a very dark black to a light charcoal color.

13. Fawn, Black Overlay American Akita

Fawn black overlay American Akita

Fawn with a black overlay is a color that does not appear very often in American Akitas. 

An American Akita with a fawn, black overlay coat generally has a base coat color of fawn, which is a light- to medium-shade of tan. This shade of tan can range from very light to very dark.

The term “black overlay” refers to the intermixing of black hairs with fawn hairs, which results in a pattern of black sable that is superimposed over the fawn base color.

14. Fawn Brindle American Akita

Fawn brindle American Akita

The coat of a fawn brindle American Akita is fawn in color with brindle markings or striping. 

The fawn hue can be anywhere from a light cream to a deeper reddish-brown. Meanwhile, the brindle striping can vary in both strength and pattern, depending on how genetics plays out.

The coloring of the brindle lines is typically darker than the fawn color, and they can be either black, dark brown, or a combination of the two. 

15. Silver, Black Overlay American Akita

Silver black overlay American Akita

A shiny black and silver coat covering American Akitas often has a silver or gray undercoat with a layer of black hairs. 

The black overlay is largely visible on the torso and the crown of the head, while the legs and underside are likely to be predominantly silver or gray.

Moreover, the black overlay may take the form of a mask-like pattern around the eyes and muzzle of the American Akita.

As such, the combination of silver and black creates a stunning contrast that draws attention to the imposing build and regal aspect of the American Akita.

16. Black, Brown Undercoat American Akita

Black brown undercoat American Akita

The American Akita with a black, brown undercoat would normally have a black outer coat with patches of brown on the head, the legs, and the underbelly.

Meanwhile, the undercoat, a thicker and plumper layer of fur, would be mostly black with a few brown hairs sprinkled throughout.

The black coloration in the coat is typically solid, dark black, while the brown can range from a light, sandy brown to a dark chocolate brown. The black coloration is typically the dominant color in the coat.

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the two colors will combine in certain locations, giving the illusion of being mottled or brindled.

17. Black, Red Undercoat American Akita

Black red undercoat American Akita

An American Akita with a black, red undercoat would normally have a coat that is primarily black with red markings on some parts of their body. 

The red sections of the fur will have a color that is rich and dark, in contrast to the glossy appearance of jet-black fur.

The red coloring typically appears on the sides of the face, the cheeks, the eyebrows, the inside surfaces of the ears, the chest, the underside of the body, the legs, and the tail. 

These marks can be any size or shape, and they can take the form of either solid patches or a more complex pattern, where red hairs are interlaced with black hairs.

18. Black, Silver Undercoat American Akita

Black silver undercoat American Akita

In the case of an American Akita with a black, silver undercoat, the primary color of the coat will be black, but the undercoat will have a silvery or grayish tone to it.

Under certain lighting conditions, the black fur of the black, silver undercoat American Akita will often have a glossy appearance and may have a very slight hint of blue coloration.

The silver undercoat will be denser and thicker than the outer coat, and it will show up most strongly in the dog’s shorter-haired parts, such as the neck, the belly, and the legs.

19. Black, Fawn Undercoat American Akita

Black fawn undercoat American Akita

American Akitas, with their distinctive black outer coats and fawn undercoats, stand out from the crowd. 

They have a unique two-tone appearance due to the contrast between their black outer coat and their lighter, fawn-colored undercoat. 

While the fawn undercoat might be described as fluffy and velvety, the black fur can have a glossy appearance. 

Further, the Akita’s black outer coat often covers the dog’s back, shoulders, and sides, while the fawn undercoat is more likely to be noticeable on the chest, belly, and legs.

20. White, Red Shading American Akita

White red shading American Akita

White, red shading American Akita normally has a coat that is predominately white with patches or areas of red or fawn coloring. White and red shading can also be found on the face.

The red shading can range from a light tan color all the way up to a rich mahogany red in intensity. The distribution and pattern of the red shading can also vary. 

Some dogs have a predominantly white coat with a few small red patches, while others may have larger regions of red that cover a larger section of their body.

Akita Markings

Markings on an Akita can be very different from one dog to the next and from one breed standard to the next.

Some Akitas have distinctive facial features like a black mask or a white blaze. That said, in general, the presence of markings on some Akitas’ bodies improves their stunning appearance.

The Akita’s coat can have a variety of markings, which are detailed further below:

  • White Markings: Akitas with white markings have body spots of white fur that stand out from the rest of their coat.
  • Black Mask: A black-masked Akita has contrasting dark fur on its muzzle, around its nose, and sometimes around its eyes.
  • White Mask: White masks on Akitas are defined by areas of lighter fur on the muzzle, around the nose, and sometimes around the eyes, which stand out against the rest of the coat.
  • White Mask, White Markings: Akitas with white masks and markings have light-colored muzzles and white fur patches on other portions of their bodies.
  • Black Mask, White Markings: The snout and cheeks of a black-masked Akita are covered in dark fur, while the rest of its body is marked by white markings.
  • Black and White Mask, White Markings: An Akita with a black and white mask and white markings has patches of white fur on various areas of its body, and its muzzle is a blend of dark and light fur colors.
  • Pinto: A pinto Akita’s coat is predominantly white with huge patches of another color, usually black or brown.
  • Pinto, Black, and White Mask: Akitas with pinto, black, and white masks have faces that are either black or white, and their coats are made up of big patches of another color and white.
  • Pinto, Black Mask: Akitas with a pinto and black mask coat pattern have huge white patches and another color throughout their fur, and their faces are masked in black.

Among the Akita breed, there is a great deal of variation and individuality when it comes to the markings that the dogs have. 

Some Akitas have markings that are strong and eye-catching, while others may have a coloring that is more muted or subtle.

Nonetheless, the diversity and individuality of the Akita breed’s appearance, which bears witness to the breed’s long and glorious history, are what truly make it beautiful.

Akita Breed Standards & Disqualifications

Akita lounging on the backyard

While Akitas were first domesticated in Japan, there are now distinctions between the breed standards and disqualifications for Japanese Akitas and American Akitas.

One of the main differences is in regard to the color and pattern of Akita’s coat. For instance, black coats are accepted in the American Akita’s breed standard but not in the Japanese Akita’s breed standard.

That being said, the American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognizes three colors for the Japanese Akita, which are brindle, red, and white.

The American Akita, on the other hand, has nine standard colors, such as black, brown brindle, fawn, red, white, brown black overlay, red black overlay, fawn black overlay, and silver black overlay. 

The black mask and albinism are considered disqualifications for the Japanese Akita. Meanwhile, the American Akita does accept black masks but disqualifies the merle marking and liver color. 

In addition, both white Japanese and American Akitas should have no masks or any other patterns. Biscuit coloring on some parts of the body is also considered faulty. 

Do Akita Colors Affect Behavior and Health?

There is no apparent relationship between the color of an Akita’s coat as well as its behavior or health. However, genetic factors may contribute to the association of specific colors with particular traits.

Among breeders, for instance, there is a belief that white Akitas are more likely to develop deafness than other colored Akitas. However, there is no scientific evidence to back these claims. 

As such, any differences in behavior or health between Akitas of different colors are likely due to individual characteristics such as temperament and heredity rather than coat color.

More than anything else, a canine’s upbringing and environment can shape its behavior and personality. Every Akita, regardless of coat color, benefits from early socialization and consistent training.

Do Akita Puppies Change Colors as They Grow?

Akita puppies covered with blanket

Akitas, like many other dog breeds, can experience a change in their fur color as they get older. Hence, there’s a chance that an Akita puppy’s coat color will change as it matures, but this is not always the case.

Newborn Akita puppies typically have a very light coat that is white or cream in color. Their fur may become darker as they become older, typically transforming into various shades of brown, red, or even black.

Yet, there is a possibility that some Akitas will maintain their light color throughout their entire lives, while others may develop a one-of-a-kind pattern of colors or markings as they age.

What Color Will My Akita Puppy Be?

Given that there is some color variation among Akitas and that each puppy’s coat color and pattern is influenced by its parents’ genes, it can be hard to guess what color your new canine will be.

The coat color and pattern of an Akita puppy can vary widely, but a reputable breeder should be able to give you an indication of what to expect based on the colors and patterns of its parents and their previous litters.

It’s worth noting, though, that genetics are inherently unpredictable, so the puppy’s coat may still end up surprising you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Akitas with different colors

What Is the Rarest Akita Color?

In the Akita breed, sesame is the rarest coat color since it’s passed down so rarely from generation to generation. The sesame color-causing recessive gene must be passed down from both parents for a dog to exhibit a sesame coat. 

In other words, the offspring can only inherit the trait if both parents are carriers of the gene, even if neither parent has a coat of that hue. This rarity makes them more expensive than how other regular Akita colors cost.

What Is the Most Common Akita Color?

Akitas’ most common color is red, which can be anything from a light, almost beige shade to a dark, rich mahogany color.

One explanation is in genetics: the red gene is dominant in Akitas, so even if only one parent is red, the puppies are still more likely to be red as well. 

Furthermore, the greater demand for red Akitas has led several breeders to specialize in this color. 

What Kind of Coat Does an Akita Have?

Akitas have a double coat made up of a longer, rougher topcoat and a thicker, softer undercoat. While the topcoat aids in water and dirt resistance, the undercoat is in charge of providing insulation.

Further, the Akita’s double coat serves a dual purpose, keeping the dog warm in the winter and providing insulation in the summer.

In terms of shedding, Akitas shed their coats twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. During this time, they need to be brushed and groomed more frequently to keep their fur from matting and tangling.

Final Thoughts

All Akitas, regardless if it’s a Japanese or American Akita, have distinctive coat colors that make them instantly lovable. The iconic look of this dog breed, coupled with the wide variety of colors, make them crowd favorites.

What’s more, Akitas are equipped with a double coat that serves them well in both summer and winter. Hence, it’s a win-win no matter what color of Akita you go for.

Just keep in mind that coat color does not affect a dog’s health and temperament. That said, however, coat colors do affect a dog’s price, so be prepared to pay a hefty sum should you decide to go for a rare variant.

So, now that you’ve seen all the different Akita colors, tell us in the comments below which one is your favorite!

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