Owning an Akita pros and cons
Owning a large dog such as the American Akita is not for everyone. There are pros and cons associated with owning an Akita dog. Pros of owning an Akita include the dog's intimidating appearance combined with confident and bold temperament that makes this breed an excellent guard dog. Akita can be a good family dog in the right hands. Akitas have a lot of endurance and energy, which makes this breed appropriate for seasoned dog owners who enjoy spending a lot of time training, socializing and making the most of this unique dog breed.
Although there are many advantages to owning an Akita, there are some cons to consider as well. Akitas are stubborn and can be difficult to train. This determined dog needs an experienced owner who can be a fair and confident leader in the relationship. Owning a strong breed such as Akita is a high liability as in some cases Akitas can be aggressive towards other dogs which often stems from lack of socialization during puppyhood. Owners of Akita dogs need to invest a lot of time into training and the training the dog should begin the minute Akita is brought home. The owner needs to be able to establish a position of a leader as many Akitas tend to have a dominant temperament that can be difficult to manage for an inexperienced first time dog owner. This is not an ideal breed for novice dog owners. Akitas need a home with a large yard as this powerful dog is full of energy that needs to find a constructive outlet during the day. Akitas are not fit to be apartment dogs with nothing to do all day. Akita can get destructive when left alone often and without supervision. This is a breed for a full time owner who is willing to spend most of the time with Akita, bringing the best of this breed.
Akita male weight: 45 to 58 kg (100 to 130 lb)
Akita female weight: 31 to 45 kg (70 to 100 lb)
Akita male height: 66 to 71 cm (26 to 28 in)
Akita female height: 60 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in)
Akita coat: double coat, thick, odorless coat
Long haired Akitas have a much longer coat
Akita colors: varied
How many puppies do Akitas have?
Akita litter size: 3 to 12 puppies
How long do Akitas live?
Akita life span: 10 to 13 years
Akita other names for the breed include American Akita, American Hakita, Japanese Akita, Great Japanese Dog, Akita Inu, Bear hunting dog
How much does an Akita cost?
Akita price starts at $800 and up depending on many factors
American Akita vs Japanese Akita
Originating at least 350 years ago as a hunting dog in Japan, the Akita was introduced to the US after World War I and reached the UK in the early 1980s. Japanese and American bloodlines diverged so much that they are now considered two different breeds everywhere in the world except for the United States and Canada. From 2006 the Kennel Club terms the bigger, heavier American-style dog the "Akita" and the Japanese dog the "Japanese Akita-Inu".
American Akita vs Japanese Akita size
Japanese Akitas are smaller in size than American Akitas. American Akita is larger and more imposing than Japanese Akita. When compared to American Akita, Japanese Akita is more fine boned. Another difference between American Akita and Japanese Akita is the size of the ears - Japanese Akitas have very small ears.
American Akita versus Japanese Akita colors
Another distinction is that Japanese Akita Inus only come in three colors: white, white faced red and brindle, whereas American Akitas are more versatile in terms of coat colors.
Japanese Akitas and American Akitas compared in temperament, behavior, appearance and more - video
Akitas are strong-willed and known for their stubborn and independent temperament. Akita's character may range from friendly and outgoing to more aloof towards strangers and only friendly with the family. Akitas are known as the ultimate guard dog. Character of Akita depends in large part on the bloodline's temperament as well as on socializing and training of the dog. Akitas are very territorial and as a result they do not like to share their space with other animals. Akitas are among the most primitive dog breeds that is still very close to the wolf. Early socializing is very important for this breed as Akitas can be very aggressive towards other animals. Are Akitas good with kids? This is not the best breed for families with young kids. If you are getting an Akita as a family pet, it is best to get a young Akita puppy so that the dog is socialized early on with all the family members from youngest to oldest and is comfortable with the kids. Bringing at home a full grown Akita is not a good idea for a family with young kids or with other pets. The powerful and large dog such as Akita may be aggressive towards unfamiliar people and animals and it is not a safe situation with a territorial breed such as Akita. A properly socialized Akita would be able to distinguish a normal situation - such as a mail man approaching your house from an unusual situation such as a burglar trying to get close to your home and would act accordingly. Owners that keep the dog away from the world, in a closed yard and do not socialize the dog will end up with Akita that does not know the difference between a normal situation and something that needs to be addressed. Akita dogs are best suited for an owner who is an experienced dog owner, knowledgeable about this breed. Oldest Akita on record lived to be 18 years old and the typical life expectancy is 10 to 15 years old. This strong breed may be difficult to manage for a first time dog owner. Only owners with experience of large, dominant breeds should consider this beautiful but challenging dog. Potential owners should have plenty of time for a dog who needs socialization and training, supervised excercise and a great deal of company. A bored Akita will turn to destructive behavior to pass the time. Akita should not live in an apartment or a condo as there are too many people and animals and Akita is a territorial breed. This Japanese dog breed is best suited for living in a house with a fenced yard. Akitas are known as a silent dog that doesn't bark much. A home for Akita should have at least 6 foot fence around to prevent your dog from jumping over the fence.
Akitas can benefit from crate training. The large dog may get destructive when left home alone - and many Akita owners have stories to tell about what happened when they left their Akita puppy home alone for half an hour. Having a crate can save your furniture and keep the dog out of trouble when you are unable to supervise him.
Akitas are listed as high risk for biting and aggression by insurance companies. Early socialization in puppy classes is recommended. An unsocialized Akita is a liability. Akitas are members of the spitz or nordic dog family that is known for a tightly curled tail, alert, fully pricked ears and plush double coat. Akita male can weigh up to 130 lbs and the owner needs to have a good control over this large and powerful breed. Learn more about this breed that is a Japanese National Treasure by watching the video below.
Do Akitas shed? Akitas shed a lot a couple of times each year. Brush your Akita often to manage the heavy shedding. Slicker brush, a firm bristle brush and a pin brush and a PawsPamper Undercoat Rake can be helpful when brushing your Akita. It is best to brush your Akita outdoors as there will be a lot of hair flying around especially during the heavy shedding time of the year. During the heavy shedding time, you may feel as if you are in a cloud of Akitas hair when you are brushing the dog. Try to spritz the fluffy coat with water to minimize the amount of hair flying around as you are brushing him.
A Furminator deshedding tool may be very useful for Akita owners, especially during the heavy twice-yearly molt. See video that demonstrates the effectiveness of Furminator on Akita.
Furminator is an essential tool to help manage Akita shedding. For easier clean up after brushing, use the Furminator Deshedding tool outdoors as there will be a lot of Akita's hair flying around when you brush the dog. Regular brushing with a Furminator tool helps to manage Akita's shedding even during the heavy shedding periods.
Akita only needs to be bathed when necessary. Akita's water proof double coat naturally repels dirt. The dog doesn't need frequent baths as Akitas try to keep themselves clean. Unless your dog rolled in something stinky and dirty, there's no need to bathe him. Akita's coat is difficult to dry after baths and because the coat is so thick, the dog shampoo may be difficult to completely rinse out.
Keep your dog's ears clean. Ear wipes for dogs make it easy to care for Akita's ears.
Train your Akita to having her teeth brushed from a young age. Provide the dog with dental treats for large breeds that will help to keep your Akita's teeth clean. Use a dog toothpaste. Toothpastes made for humans aren't safe for dogs. Get a long-handled toothbrush for dogs or get one of the toothbrushes that fits over your finger.
To trim Akita's nails, use a nail clipper for large breeds. Start getting your dog comfortable with this procedure while the dog is still a puppy. Older Akitas can get used to having their nails trimmed, but may take longer to get comfortable with the procedure.
Before you select an Akita puppy, be sure that you have done your homework first. Talk to as many Akita owners as you can find, ask them about the positives and negatives of owning this breed.
Learn as much as you can from books, online and get yourself educated about the challenges of owning this Japanese dog breed. This breed is not for everyone and if you have little experience in handling a large, strong and dominant breed then think twice before getting this type of a dog. If you are getting the puppy from a breeder, be sure to learn as much as you can about the character traits of the puppy and his parents. Meet the puppy's parents if you can, so that you can have a good idea of what type of dog you will own once it's fully grown. If you have other pets at home, or young children, or if you live in an apartment or a condo - this breed may not be right for you.
One of the cons to owning an Akita breed is the fact that this breed has an independent character that makes Akita a challenging breed to train. Akita is a strong willed breed that is difficult to train. The owner needs to be seen as a pack leader by the Akita. Start training your Akita when the dog is still a young puppy and is more flexible to learning new things. Establish your leadership early on so that when the puppy is a strong full grown dog, the Akita will understand that you are the leader in the relationship. When properly trained, Akitas can be used for protection, shows, obedience, service dogs and they make great pets for the right owner. A large American Akita can be difficult to manage when the dog hasn't received full obedience training. A full grown Akita can reach the size of up to 130 pounds in weight and up to 28 inches in height. Akitas need a lifelong obedience training and a seasoned owner who can channel the dog's energy in the right direction. The large size combined with a guard dog temperament can make Akita a liability in the wrong hands. This breed needs plenty of socializing from an early age and a dedicated owner who is determined to bring the best qualities from this strong and intelligent breed.
Feed your Akita with age-appropriate high quality dog food for large breeds. Good nutrition is very important for keeping your dog healthy inside and out.
Akita health issues
Akita breed is genetically predisposed to following health issues: bloat, thyroid problems, cancer. Some signs of cancer include limping which can be caused by osteosarcoma type of cancer. Also be sure to check the dog for any bumps or swollen glands and report these to your veterinarian. Some Akitas suffer from hip dysplasia. Young Akitas should avoid high impact exercises that require a lot of jumping until the dog is fully grown. Dogs that suffer from arthritis need a good quality dog bed to ease the discomfort associated with arthritis. Orthopedic dog bed with washable cover is a good option for large dogs such as Akita.
Allergies can also be an issue for Akita. If you are noticing that the dog's skin is itching, let your veterinarian know.
Slow feeder bowls for dogs are designed so that the dog has to eat at a slower pace, reducing the amount of air that the dog swallows during eating. Dogs that are predisposed to bloat may benefit from eating from slow feeder bowls.
The Akita was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972. Akitas originated in Japan and were used for the purpose of hunting bears. In ancient Japan only the ruling class was allowed to own Akitas. The breed name Akita comes from the name of a mountainous region in Japan named Akita where these Japanese dogs were first bred. In Japan, Akita is considered to be a very special dog breed. When someone is sick or expecting a baby, it is customary to present the person with a small statue of Akita as a symbol of health and wellbeing.