Akita

Breed Group: Working
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Overview
The Akita originated in Japan. Unchanged for centuries, this breed is considered the national dog of Japan and a natural monument. They were highly prized, revered, and only owned by nobility and aristocracy. They were used in various capacities such as Imperial guards, hunter of bear and boar, and waterfowl retrieving. They are the largest of the Spitz-type breeds. Today, the Akita is a faithful companion, therapy dog, and guard dog.

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Character
Akitas are large, sturdy, and muscular. The paws are webbed which makes them excellent swimmers. They have a reserved manner and carry themselves with great dignity. They are powerful and alert, responsive and courageous. The Akita is a noble and dominating breed.

Does your Akita bark, howl, and cry whenever you leave the house? Separation anxiety is extreme anxiety experienced by your dog when you are away from him.
Temperament
The Akita is highly intelligent, fearless, and spontaneous. They thrive on human companionship. They are extremely loyal to their family and those they know, but are wary and aloof of strangers. They are exceedingly protective of their family, their territory, and of their food. They are particularly aggressive toward other dogs and pets. They will get along with older, very well behaved children within their family unit, but will not tolerate children they don't know. They make excellent guard dogs, although they are not excessive barkers. They do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. For this reason, they are not well suited for a two career family. They require an inordinate amount of attention. Akitas are not recommended for the novice dog owner, or owners who are placid and submissive.
Care
The Akita requires significant grooming with a firm bristle brush on a daily basis. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary with a mild shampoo to prevent stripping the coat of the natural oils. It is important to keep the hair on the bottom of the paws trimmed to preserve their characteristic of webbed feet. They are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye problems, and lupus.

If your dog is displaying behavior uncharacteristic of his normal actions, call the Vet.
Coat
The Akita is a double coat, waterproof breed. The outer coat is harsh, straight, and stands slightly off the body. The under coat is dense, soft, and close to the body. The hair on the head, legs, and ears is short, while the hair on the tail is long and profuse. They typically shed their coat twice a year. The Akita coat colors include pure white, red, sesame, and brindle.
Training
The Akita requires intensive and extensive socialization and obedience training. It is absolutely imperative that they know who their master is or they will take charge. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed training methods. They do best with patience, kindness, firmness, fairness, and consistency. Akitas typically prefer to be clean and is easier to housetrain than many other breeds. Teaching your dog to sit, lie down, and stay is vital to the training of your new puppy. There are several accepted methods of house training your new Akita puppy. Consider crate training if you need to adapt your dog to a safe and confined environment for various safety and comfort reasons.
Activity
The Akita does not require an over-abundance of exercise. They are moderately active indoors. They enjoy play sessions with their family or other family activities. However, they will become bored and destructive if left alone for extended periods of time either inside or outside. They enjoy a daily walk, but it is vitally important they are very securely leashed and kept from encountering other dogs. They are not well suited for apartment dwellings and do best in a home with a large securely fenced yard. Socialization is one of the single most important things you can do for your puppy.
Weight
Male: 85-130; Female: 65-110 lbs
Height
Male: 25-28; Female: 23-26 inches
Color(s)
any color, including white, pinto, or brindle

Characteristics

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Akita Questions

Why is an Akita not good for first time owners? Are you saying who have never owned a dog before?

Answer:
The Akita, both American and Japanese are a very powerful, strong willed dog. If a person does not have dog experience, ie: owned a dog and understand that the fundamentals of training and socialization are extremely important; the owner is going to be in for a big surprise. There are breeds of dogs that personalities and behavioral traits are easier for first time dog owners to live with to ease into the dog-owning world. The Akita however, requires that someone have experience and knowledge past a beginner level to be able to handle this breed of dog.

I'm looking at getting an Akita for protection for my family. We are always going for walks and have a fenced on yard. Is the Akita good for this?

Answer:
The Akita is an amazing family dog that is very protective of their owners/family. However, they are not for the first time dog owner and need to be trained at an early age and continue to be trained throughout his/her life. They tend to air on the side of dog-on-dog aggression as well. If you feel the Akita works for your family, then the breed sounds fine for you. But if protection is what you are looking for, you may want to contact a trainer whom trains protection dogs and purchase an already trained dog.

Answer:
Definitely not for a first time dog owner. Great for personal protection. Really needs to be in the house, not a dog that will be content left outside by itself, it needs to be part of the family.

I currently own a 9 1/2 yr old female Akita. I would like to get another Akita puppy to be a playmate for her and in return, help teach the puppy. I have read that you shouldn't put two of the same sex Akita's together. Is that true? I would prefer another girl, but would try a boy if this is a major concern. Thanks!

Answer:
I had a 7 year old Akita male and got a 3 month old male pitbull. I was also concerned that there would be a problem because they both weren't neutered. I introduced the puppy to my Akita very slowly and when there wasn't any aggression shown I took him off the leash but I watched them closely. Needless to say they got along fine except for the occasional growl and posturing which I immediately stopped. The puppy actually brought life back into my Akita as he got older and when he passed 3 years ago my pit bull has never been the same. It's up to the temperament of the Akita. I didn't have a bad experience.

Answer:
I have a male Akita and got a puppy male Akita. The pup is grown now and they get along.. but some same sex Akita's do and some don't but it's better to have a pup to grow up with then another grown Akita. It's a better chance of them getting along.

Do Akitas try to fight other dogs?

Answer:
The Akita is know for dog-on-dog aggression as that was what they were originally bred for. This breed is not for the 'first time' dog owner. An experience dog owner is the best owner for this breed. The Akita needs a lot of exercise, a lot of training and to be managed by an owner that understands the breed and has done their research.

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