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Shiba Inu & Japanese Chin

The Akita

We no longer breed Akitas, but  for Breed Information, click here

Our first love - so novice we didn't even know the breed was not yet recognized n Canada. Timing was perfect though -we showed Tamyu in a match in early 1974, won a Group 1st, and I officially was bitten by the show bug! SunoJo Akitas went on to enjoy great success in the showring with many champions, Specialty winners, and can be found in the pedigrees of many Akita kennels around the world. Most importantly, our dogs were known for their temperament and sound structure. Our last litter was born 18 years ago, and our last Akita "Karet" passed away at the ripe age of 14 years several years ago.

In 2001, we ceased breeding Akitas. Large litters, too many dogs in rescue, too few good homes were all contributing factors. I feel a great sense of satisfaction with the progress we made in health and temperament, and refining the qualities of type that so distinguish this marvelous breed. This page is a retrospective look back at where we started.

Starting in obedience, we soon ventured into the conformation ring, and the rest is history. Over the next 30 years, our Akitas introduced us to all aspects of the dog fancy: conformation, obedience, agility, breeding, public education, health issues, etc, etc. Our Akitas were known for their temperaments and soundness, and we were very proud to have bred BISS winners in both the US and Canada, as well as group placers, numerous champions, and best of all, beloved companions that consistently upheld the breed standard of loyalty, bravery, and intelligence.

The Akita became part of our lives in 1974, before the breed was officially recognized in Canada. "Tamyu" was a shaded black bitch of Triple K lines. In early 1975, as soon as the breed was recognized, Tamyu and I entered our first sanction match, winning a Group First, and I was addicted! We bred Tamyu only once, and kept a shaded black boy, who went on to become Canadian Champion Okuma-Za the Shining Star, C.D. "Kuma" was the second Akita in Canada to earn both his championship and an obedience title; He also won over many fans with his calm, imposing presence. Kuma was everything an Akita should be: loving, protective-but-sensible, intelligent, with a wry sense of humour. Our oldest daughter Courtney learned to walk while clinging to his neck, and he was a patient pillow while she slept snuggled up to him. When he was lost in an accident, I could not imagine any dog ever being able to replace him. But in 1981, a pretty little fawn daughter of the famous Sachmo came to live with us. She became Canadian Champion Kakwa’s Kobe, High in Obedience Trial Match, and a much loved member of the family who in turn helped raise Rowan, our junior handler. She was bred once, to Champion Langan’s Takiba Drift (Kuno) who was the only producing son of Am/CanCh Langan’s Karate Drift, ROM and the lovely import Megami. We kept/co-owned 2 bitches out of this litter, and they formed the foundation on which SunoJo was built - sound in body, sound in mind.

The 1980's were spent building on our foundation: concentrating on soundness and good temperament, sometimes sacrificing showiness for good companion qualities. Indeed, we never bred for the show ring - fads come and go every couple of seasons, but you have to live with your Akita for years! We had done the initial breeding to Kuno largely because of his mother - I have always admired the Japanese type. Over the years, we looked for males that offered this look or the genes to produce it - as well as being of wonderful temperament and sound. No easy task - and consequently, we did not do a lot of breeding.

I knew what I wanted, and in 1987, I found him: American/Canadian Champion Dune’s Duncan Idaho combined beautifully with our girls - his brilliant coarse brindle coat, tremendous head with the correct eyes and ears, and wonderful attitude were his outstanding qualities.

In 1991, we bought a gawky four month old boy with a completely different pedigree - hoping he would grow into something that could further our goal of Japanese type with more substance and stronger movement. Canadian Champion Sanmark’s Sunsation No SunoJo matured into a striking white faced red, that was strong, agile (definitely not the dumpy type) and again, a marvelous temperament. We did not breed Sunny a lot, but his kids figure prominently in our pedigrees.

We were fortunate in having access to quality imports - and they combined very well with our Duncan and Sunny bloodlines. We incorporated Unryu and Benimaru, long before the term "blend" was used to describe combining the best of American and Japanese bloodlines. We are happy to report that this combining of types and bloodlines produced not just healthy, sound, and happy Akitas, but dogs that met with both judges and other breeders' approval - dogs that enjoyed success in the show ring, and become part of established breeding programs.

One of our last litters, an Unryu son bred to our Sunny daughter Toga produced what I think was our best litter. Three boys were shown:

  1. Ch. SunoJo's Red Devil - "Devlin" finished out of the junior puppy class, was reserve winners dog at a large supported entry at 7 months, and Best Opposite Sex in the Canadian National Puppy Sweeps.
  2. BISS Am/Can/Int Ch SunoJo's Red Menace AOM, "Dennis". Best of Opposite Sex at the 1999 Akita Club of America National Specialty, where he also won the coveted Breeder's Cup. He was co-owned with Bergit Hopkins of Puderbach Akitas.
  3. BISS Am/Can Ch. SunoJo's Red Sun Rising AOM, "Donald". One of the few Akitas to win a Specialty in both Canada and the US. After winning his first Specialty, he went on to live with Carol Parker and Bill Bobrow.

As of June 2001, these dogs owned and/or bred by SunoJo have earned titles (in chronological order):

Ch. Okuma-Za the Shining Star C.D.
Ch. Kakwa’s Kobe
Ch. SunoJo’s Kita No Hono C.D. (13 US points, 3 majors)
Ch. SunoJo’s Kisaki
Ch. SunoJo’s Kami No Gin
Ch. SunoJo’s Hana-Ko
Ch. SunoJo’s One Night in Bangkok
Ch. SunoJo’s Raspberry Beret
SunoJo’s Mi-Ko C.D.
Can Ch. SunoJo’s Renegade Ruffian
Am/Can/Mex/Int Ch. SunoJo’s Ruffian of Cajun
Am/Can Ch. Dune’s Duncan Idaho
Am/Can Ch. SunoJo’s Go Supersonic
Am/Can Ch. SunoJo’s Gotta Getta Gund
BISS Am/Can Ch SunoJo’s Nakama No Yewberry
Ch. Sanmark’s Sunsation No SunoJo
Ch. SunoJo’s Chuck Berry
Ch. Jade-Shoguns Beni Tori
Ch. Sunsplendor Kami
Ch. SunoJo’s Stars ‘n Stripes
Ch. SunoJo’s Ripple Rock
Ch. SunoJo’s Technicolour Tiger
Ch. Katana No Keke No SunoJo
Ch. SunoJo’s Black Ice
Ch. SunoJo’s Blackberry Pi
Ch. SunoJo’s Crystalline Sun
Ch. SunoJo's 24 Karet Gold
Ch. SunoJo’s Red Devil
BISS Am/Can Ch. SunoJo’s Red Dawn Rising
BISS Am/Can/Int Ch. SunoJo’s Red Menace AOM