Akita Colors


Here I have listed all the colors that AKC will accept for color designations and patterns on the registration "blue slips".  Some of them are listed on the blue slip. These I have are written in a different color:   In most cases both a primary color and a supplemental descriptor are needed for correctly describing the color of your Akita.   As time allows I will add some links to illustrate the various colors and patterns. In the meantime I hope this will be helpful.


The Primary Colors are:

Black:  This is actually a fairly rare color. In most cases there is some shading, or the undercoat is a different color. In fact most Akitas have some shading of outer or undercoat.    






Black Brindle: This is for the brindle who at first glance appears to be black but on closer inspection obviously has at least a few stripes.  Some black brindles are so black that the only way you know they are really a brindle is when the coat is shaved close. Many, especially pet, owners have found this out only when the dog has had to be shaved for surgery or other reasons.

Brown Brindle: Black stripes on a brown background. Sometimes if the dog is heavily brindled it can look like it is brown stripes on a black background.

Red Brindle: Black stripes on a red background or the reverse as above.

Fawn Brindle: Black stripes on a fawn background. This pattern includes what are called "blue brindles" which can be quite exotic looking. The background is a pale fawn and the stripes are a pastel gray blue. This is a very uncommon color.

Silver Brindle: Black stripes on a silver background. Some confuse this with with fawn brindle, but to be a true silver brindle there should not be any fawn or reddish color to the stripes. The stripes are silver and black.  Some people confuse the silver brindle with a blue brindle. If there is no hint of fawn, then it is not a blue brindle.

Brown, Black Overlay:  The "overlay" colors  will describe many Akitas. The base coat is brown but there are black hair tips that give the dogs coat a darker shading. The black overlay can be very sparse or quite heavy. If it is heavy the top of the dog including the neck, back and tail can look quite dark or black.

Red, Black Overlay: Red coat with black tips and/or guard hairs.

Fawn, Black Overlay: Fawn coat with black tips and/or guard hairs.

Silver, Black Overlay: Silver coat with black tips and/or guard hairs/

Black, Brown Undercoat: Most so called black Akitas fit into one of these categories. At first glance the dog appears black but when you look closely there is shading and a lighter undercoat.   Many fanciers refer to this as a "shaded black". 

Black, Red Undercoat

Black, Fawn Undercoat

Black, Silver Undercoat

White, Red Shading


The following are the supplemental descriptors that may be used:

Black Mask:  If your dog has no white markings, other than a very small spot on the chest, toes and/or tail tip   and has a black mask, then this is the descriptor you should use along with one of the above colors.

Black Mask, White Markings:  A very high percentage of Akitas need this color descriptor in addition to one of the primary colors. White markings are any markings that appear on the neck,chest, belly, legs and/or tail.

Black & White Mask, White Markings:   This one is also quite common and self explanatory.

Pinto:  For the Akita of one of the primary colors that has white markings on the body, other than on the neck, legs, chest, belly and tail.  The white cannot cover more than 2/3 of the body. A very correctly marked pinto would have large evenly placed patches of color over head and more than one third of the body.  If the head is the same color as the markings on the Akita (self masked) this descriptor is used.

Pinto, Black Mask: Most pinto Akitas would fall into this category or the next one.

Pinto, Black & White Mask

Less Than One Third Body Color: If the Akita is basically white but has color on the head and perhaps some on the back, this is the supplemental descriptor that should be used. Akitas commonly called "hooded" fall into this category.

White Mask: Most often associated with reds or brindles, but not always.

White Mask, White Markings

White Markings:  If the Akitas muzzle is neither black nor white but the same color as the rest of the dog (self masked) and the dog has white markings on neck, chest, belly, legs and or tail, this is the supplemental descriptor to use.


Hope all this helps with describing the color of your Akita on registration papers and otherwise. It can be confusing but once you get the hang of it you will have no problems.  Just remember that you will most likely need to use one choice from each category; primary and supplemental.