A DISCUSSION OF AKITA NOSES
By Sherry E. Wallis
The AKC standard's description of the correct Akita
nose seems pretty straightforward. It says: Broad and black. Liver
permitted on white Akitas, but black always preferred. A butterfly
nose or total lack of pigmentation on nose disqualify. Faced with
the reality of an actual dog, however, people from novices to experienced
dog-show judges have trouble reconciling what they see in front of them
with the words of the standard.
The questions posed by them are actually complex
- What does the nose of a white Akita look like when
it is not black?
- Is liver an accurate description?
- What is a butterfly nose
- What is an unpigmented nose?
- What is a white Akita?
Because the nose section of the standard causes so
many problems, the same dog can be awarded a major one day and be disqualified
the next. Worse, the correct decision on the part of a judge could have
been made in either instance. This confusion can drive off all but the
most stalwart fanciers. People who want to show honest dogs that conform
to the standard often give up and those who want to win, continue but
This article is an attempt to clarify misunderstandings
about Akita noses by putting pictures with the standards words.
Because it has so many illustrative graphics and is long, it is available
for download in .pdf format.
So many photos make this a long download. For those
without high-speed connections, I've broken the article into four parts
accessible below. All must be opened in Acrobat Reader. If you
do not have this on your computer, you can download it for free at the
Please remember to check the magnification on your
Reader. Although a setting higher than 100% will make it easier
to read, it will display the graphics poorly.