Akita

Akita breed information - Advisor Dog

One of the largest and strongest dog breeds, the Akita is known for its regal and threatening appearance. In feudal Japan, they were originally employed to protect the nobles and aristocracy. This breed of dog was also used to hunt wild boar and black bear, as well as the occasional deer.

The Akita isn’t one to back down from a fight, yet it’s also not one to be scared of. Thus, they are courageous and dedicated protectors of their family. ‘ However, properly socialised and trained dogs may be loving, courteous, and entertaining companions. Akita Inu, Japanese Akita, and various other variations are also used.

If you decide to bring an Akita into your home, be prepared to clean up a lot of drool. Owners must be ready to tidy up after their pets. They are also known for their stubbornness and aversion to meeting new people. Those are fantastic qualities for a watchdog, but if they’re going to interact with other animals or people, they’ll require an experienced trainer. Beware, novices.

That being said, these dogs are loyal and loving friends who will remain connected to the proper owner for the rest of their lives. This means that adopting an Akita will give you and your family a loyal companion for the rest of your lives; you’ll never regret it.

In addition, the next section has a list of all the traits of the Akita dog breed.

Highlights

Never purchase a puppy from an unreliable breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy animal as a companion. Consider adopting from a rescue or shelter that requires prospective adopters to meet the dogs they are considering to ensure that they are a good fit for the rescue or shelter’s future family.

  • The Akita is prone to hostility against other dogs of the same sex. To combat these habits, they’ll require socialising training.
  • First-time dog owners should avoid getting an Akita.
  • The Akita’s socialisation and training must be positive and firm from the beginning. When he is mistreated, he will often get aggressive in response.
  • If not properly trained, the Akita will chase other household dogs.
  • Akita sheds a lot of hair!
  • The Akita considers prolonged eye contact a challenge and may behave violently
  • It’s not easy to train an Akita that’s full of stubbornness, and it takes knowledge, expertise, and a lot of time. To get the most out of working with a trainer who is knowledgeable about the breed, you need also be actively participating yourself

Characteristics

Social Appearance 

Adaptability

A little dog isn’t inherently better for an apartment than a larger one, contrary to popular opinion. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to be happy in an apartment building. An apartment dog’s best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. And if you want to give your dog a bit more privacy in your apartment, this is the place to shop for a fantastic dog crate.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. “Easygoing” or “tolerant,” “resilient” or even “thick-skinned” dogs have lower levels of sensitivity, making them more adaptable to a chaotic household, a louder or more forceful owner, and a routine that is inconsistent or unpredictable. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn’t overly sensitive.

Protective Nature

A breed’s tendency to alert you that strangers are around. These breeds are more likely to react to any potential threat, whether it’s the mailman or a squirrel outside the window. These breeds are likely to warn strangers who enter the house and are accepted by their family. A dog breed is more likely than others to warn you when strangers are nearby. As long as there’s some sort of danger, these breeds are more likely to respond to it. In the event that a stranger enters the house and is approved by the family, one of these breeds is more likely to be friendly.

Potential for Playfulness

What a breed’s propensity for play is like, even when it’s not a puppy anymore. The desire to play tug-of-war or fetch can last into a dog’s adulthood for some breeds, while for others, it’s all about relaxing on the couch with you.

Personality Appearance

Intelligence

Sheepdogs, which were intended to herd animals and require a high level of intelligence and attention, need mental exercise just as much as dogs raised to gallop all day do.

A lack of mental stimulation might lead to a child creating their own work usually with activities you find objectionable, such digging and chewing. Dog sports and occupations like agility and search and rescue, as well as training and interactive dog toys, are all excellent ways to keep a dog’s mind engaged.

Energy Level

Dogs with a lot of energy are always eager to get to the action. A canine duty, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. These animals require a lot of movement and mental stimulation, and they’re more prone to play, jump, and investigate any new sights and smells.

Dozing all day is the preferred mode of activity for dogs with low levels of energy. Consider your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a breed, and whether or not you’ll find a rambunctious, excitable dog energising or irritating.

Easy To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are better at quickly creating an association between a cue (such as “sit”), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as a treat). It takes more time, patience and practice to train other breeds of dogs.

Although many dog breeds are bright, you’ll need to utilise incentives and games to motivate them to follow your instructions if they approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Breeds that have been reared by the same person since they were puppies tend to be independent and aloof, while others form strong bonds with a single individual and are uninterested in the feelings of the rest of the family. Although breed is an important influence, dogs who were raised in homes with people around tend to be more sociable and hence more affectionate.

Kid-Friendly

Having a blasé attitude about screaming, running youngsters, and being gentle with children are all characteristics of a dog that is good with children. Dogs that look like Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are generally nice with youngsters (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, being little, sensitive, and prone to snapping, aren’t always the most family-friendly of dogs.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two distinct concepts. Even though they’re good with people, some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs; some would prefer play than fight; and yet others may turn tail and flee. It’s not only a matter of what kind of dog you have. Social skills in puppies that were raised with their littermates and mother until they were at least six to eight weeks old are more likely to develop.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means having to deal with dog hair on your clothes and all over your home. It’s worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely between breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others “blow” just during specific times of the year, and still others don’t shed at all. Pick a breed that sheds less or lower your requirements if cleanliness is important to you. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your home a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

Your arm and clothes may be covered in thick slobber from drool-prone dogs as they come over to say hello. For those who don’t mind a little drool, any dog will do; however, if you’re a neat freak, you might want to avoid getting a dog that slobbers a lot.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. It’s important to think about whether you have the time and resources to properly groom a dog or if you can afford to hire someone else to do it.

Exercise Needs

Even a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood can be enough exercise for certain breeds. Those that were originally developed for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Breeds that require a lot of exercise are ideal for folks who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors or who want to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed

Weight

65 to 115 pounds

Lifespan

10 to 14 years

Height

24 to 28 inches at shoulder

Learn: How to Measure Dog Height

Breed Group 

Working

Types

In the world of Akitas, there are two varieties: the original Japanese Akita breed and the newer American standard Akita breed.

History

The Akita is one of Japan’s best-known and most revered breeds. However, despite the fact that the modern Akita looks like an old Japanese tomb dog, it was created as part of an effort to reintroduce and preserve seven original Japanese dog breeds in the nineteenth century. In order to rehabilitate the Akita, one of Japan’s largest dog breeds, many different breeds were used, including indigenous Odate dogs, the best representation of native Japanese species.

The black mask, pinto pattern, and substantial size were bred out by Japanese breeders, whereas they were kept in by American breeders throughout time. Dedicated in 1918 to preserving the earliest Akitas, the Akita-inu Hozankai Society of Japan later became Japan’s first national natural monument in 1931. Every evening, Hachiko would welcome his owner at the train station and accompany him back to his home. He was the most beloved Akita of all time.

The day his master died at work, Haichiko returned to work every day and waited for him until his death on March 8, 1935, nine years later. In honour of Haichiko’s steadfastness, a memorial statue and an annual ceremony have been erected. Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the United States when she returned from Japan in 1937. Akitas were brought back to the United States by soldiers who served in Japan during World War II. Slowly but surely, its popularity developed until it was recognised by the AKC in 1972. As time has passed, it has continued to build a following and become more well-known. In Japan, the Akita is now employed as a police and security dog.

Personality and Temperament 

This dog has a strong, independent character and a fearless temperament. While he is dedicated to and protective of his family and especially children, he is aloof around strangers and potentially hostile toward dogs he doesn’t know well. His instinct is to intervene when children’s high-pitched cries or rough play is mistaken for actual fighting. Early and regular socialising is crucial for him to develop the self-confidence and discrimination he needs to distinguish between what is a threat and what is normal.

He may not be recognised for his barking, but it does not diminish his ability to serve as a watchdog for apartment tenants. When he barks, you should pay heed. He is quite protective. This breed of dog likes to spend time with its owners, rather than following them around like some other breeds.

Canine training might be a struggle for this bright yet self-sufficient dog. Because you want him to, the Akita won’t do what you want him to. It’s up to you to earn his trust. Clicker training and other methods of positive reinforcement like play, praise, and food rewards work well for him, but he also prefers to go about things his own way.

In order to be successful, you need to be patient and open to experimenting with a variety of approaches to find what works. Look for a trainer with a wide range of skills. To avoid boredom in the Akita, keep training sessions brief and entertaining. This breed responds best to a gradual approach to training. Avoid bombarding him with too many ideas at once. House training an Akita is a breeze because the breed is known for its cleanliness.

It’s preferable for Akitas to live with dogs of the opposite sex if other pets are present in the household. Unknown animals that wander onto their land will be pursued by these dogs, and they will not back down from a battle if another dog starts one.

Care

The athleticism and power of the Akita breed necessitates a lot of physical activity and training. Dogs of this breed are known to shed a lot more than other breeds, therefore you will need to keep an eye on them. Another characteristic of this dog is that it cleans up after itself after meals in a manner similar to a cat. Because of its thick hair and dislike of hot temperatures, the Akita breed’s owners must be mindful of the signs that their dog is becoming overheated.

Health

Like many dog breeds, Akitas might be prone to various illnesses and ailments.

Hip dysplasia 

The hip joint does not fit tightly around the thigh bone due to a hereditary problem. Some dogs have obvious indicators of pain and disability in their hind legs, whereas others don’t. (X-ray screening is the most accurate method of diagnosing the issue.) As the dog ages, he or she may acquire arthritis. In order to prevent the spread of hip dysplasia, it is best to avoid breeding dogs with this condition. Reputable breeders provide documentation demonstrating that their parents have undergone hip dysplasia testing and come out negative.

Epilepsy

A dog’s seizure type can be classified as one of three ways: reactive, secondary, or primary. The brain’s reaction to low blood sugar, organ failure, or a toxin causes reactive seizures. Secondary seizures are caused by a brain tumour, stroke, or other trauma to the brain. The disorder is referred to as primary or idiopathic epilepsy if there is no other known cause.

Akitas are among the breeds most likely to suffer from this ailment. Between the ages of six months and three years, your companion is most likely to begin experiencing seizures. In the beginning, a diagnostic workup may be helpful. Regular blood tests are required to evaluate side effects and effectiveness of seizure medicine, which is normally required for the rest of one’s life.

Don’t try to control your dog’s mouth or tongue while he’s having a seizure, but keep an eye on him. He won’t benefit from it, and he could bite you if he’s not careful! Remember how long it lasted and call us or an emergency hospital if you need help.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus 

Akitas, with their huge, deep chests, are particularly vulnerable to a condition known as “bloat,” which can be life-threatening. The problem is magnified if they have only one large meal a day, they eat quickly, they drink a lot of water, and they exercise strenuously thereafter. A bloated stomach happens when the stomach is full of gas or air and then twists. To get rid of the extra air in their stomach, dogs cannot belch or vomit, thus the regular flow of blood to their hearts is hampered. The dog goes into shock when his blood pressure drops too low.

The dog could die if it doesn’t receive prompt medical assistance. Having a bloated abdomen, increased salivation and retching without vomiting up are all signs of bloat in your dog. Symptoms like fast heartbeat and agitation are also possible. As quickly as possible, take your dog to the vet.

Hypothyroidism 

Is a thyroid gland condition. In addition to epilepsy and alopecia (hair loss), it’s suspected to be the cause of obesity, lagging energy, hyperpigmentation, and other skin disorders like pyoderma and erythema multiforme. Medication and a healthy diet are used to treat it.

Allergies

When it comes to humans, sneezing is caused by allergies to pollen, mold, or dust, among other things. In dogs, allergies cause their skin to become irritated, rather than sneezing. Atopy, the medical term for what we call a dog’s skin allergy, is common among Akitas. The feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are the most usual places to find this condition. As early as one or two years of age, the first signs of the disease may appear. The most typical symptoms of allergies are licking the paws, stroking the face, and frequent ear infections. Many therapy options are available for many illnesses, which is a good thing.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) 

It is a group of eye illnesses that affect the retina over time. As the condition develops, affected dogs become night-blind and lose their ability to see during the day. As long as their surroundings remain the same, many affected dogs are able to adjust to their reduced or lost vision.

Sebaceous adenitis (SA) 

It is a major issue in the Akita Islands. Genetic disorders such as hypothyroidism, allergies, and other diseases are frequently misdiagnosed as this disorder. A dog’s sebaceous glands are finally destroyed when it gets SA because they become irritated for unclear causes. Sebum, a fatty fluid that protects the skin from drying out, is normally produced by these glands.

Affected dogs commonly have dry, scaly skin and hair loss on the top of their heads, necks, and backs when they are between one and five years old. The thicker skin and foul odour of severely affected dogs can be accompanied by secondary skin illnesses. Although the issue is mainly cosmetic, the dog may experience discomfort as a result. After determining that your pet has SA, your veterinarian will perform a biopsy of the skin and then discuss a choice of treatment options with you.

Recommended Health Tests 

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Nutrition

3 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food each day is recommended.

Your dog’s weight, age, structure, metabolism, and activity level all play a role in how much food they should eat as an adult. Dogs, like people, are unique beings who require different amounts of nutrition. It’s a given that a dog who’s constantly on the run will require more care and attention than one who likes to laze around. You should also consider the quality of the dog food you buy, as the better the food, the less you will have to shake into your dog’s bowl and the more your dog will get out of it.

Consult your dog’s veterinarian to come up with a customized nutrition plan.

Grooming

When it comes to grooming, Akitas are so good that some people compare their behaviour to that of cats! A weekly brushing is all that is required for most of the year for these double-coated canines compared to many longer-haired dogs.

When they shed their winter or summer undercoat, they endure seasonal coat blowing. Large tufts of hair fall out of their undercoat around 10 times faster than typical during this period. If you don’t brush your Akita on a daily basis, you’ll wind up with fur all over the place. Try to find pin brushes, which can get into the thick undercoat of your hair During the rest of the year, grooming is less of a priority.

Like any dog, you’ll need to bathe and trim your Akita’s nails sometimes. Unless your Akita has been playing in the dirt or mud, a monthly bath should be sufficient. While you’re at it, treat your pet to a “spa day” with a monthly shampoo and a quick nail trim. When you hear that “click-clacking” sound on hard surfaces, it’s time to give them a trim.

You should brush your Akita’s teeth every day to avoid developing tartar, plaque, and other dental problems. It’s best to begin cleaning your puppy’s teeth as soon as possible so that he gets acclimated to the sensation. The best way to brush your teeth is to get some advice from your veterinarian on how to do it. Once a year, take your dog to the veterinarian for a professional teeth cleaning.

Exercise

Despite being originally bred as guard dogs, Akitas still have a strong desire to chase, since they were also used for hunting. Your Akita will need plenty of exercise, but only in places where they won’t be in danger. When out on a stroll, it’s advisable to put them on a leash to prevent them from running after anything they smell or see.

The minimal amount of exercise your Akita requires each day is two hours of jogging or walking. In addition, they will benefit from training in a spacious, safe garden, which will keep their minds engaged. Because of their affinity for the water, many akitas like to swim from time to time.

As Akitas are prone to overheating in hot weather because of their thick coats for cold climes, it is important to keep a watch on them.

Training 

Keep in mind that Akitas are extremely bright, and this includes bad habits as well as positive ones! When teaching your Akita, you’ll need to employ positive, reward-based methods on a regular basis. If you’ve never trained a dog before, or if you’re a novice dog owner, you should seek the advice of a certified trainer.

Akitas are known for their independence, yet this is sometimes misunderstood as stubbornness because of their intellect. For successful training, you’ll need to be stern yet fair with your dog, and establish clear limits for him. It’s a good idea to acquire some mental games and rotate their toys frequently so they don’t get bored.

We don’t recommend leaving Akitas alone because they are so attached to their families. Akitas can be left alone for up to four hours at a time, but you’ll need to provide them with something to keep them busy.

As a puppy, your Akita should be exposed to a wide variety of people, animals, and experiences. Akitas, who are naturally suspicious of strangers and other canines, require extra care in this area.

Children and Other Pets

Interactions between dogs and children should always be under adult supervision, and this is especially true for dogs of this breed. Akitas are unsurpassed as a child’s best friend and guardian, but a badly cared-for Akita can turn into a liability and potentially risk your child’s life. Children must be taught to treat dogs with respect and kindness at all times. Although well-trained dogs can safely play with children, adult supervision is still required at all times.

Families with older children will enjoy the Akita. They can be violent with other dogs and will chase other pets if they aren’t properly educated, so they’re best suited to a one-pet family.

Puppies

Some special attention and quantity of high-quality food are necessary for the Akita puppy’s growth as it matures. Bone problems are more likely to develop in infants between the ages of four and seven months because of their rapid growth. The dog’s joints may be affected by high-impact activity or play on hard surfaces until it is at least two years old. This breed of dog requires regular visits to the veterinarian.

The typical cost of an Akita puppy is between $700 and $1,600, but the price can vary widely. Dog competition winners’ offspring, including purebred Akita puppies, can fetch upwards of $4,000. Puppies from reliable breeders should always be microchipped and completely vetted.

Akita puppies should never be purchased without first meeting their mother. The puppies should be friendly and curious, so make sure the canines are properly cared for before bringing them home.

Dog breed related to Akita

Check out these other dog breeds if you’re a lover of the Akita:

Shiba Inu: There are some similarities and distinctions between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu. Perhaps the most renowned Japanese dog export, the Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that dates back to roughly 300 BC. It was initially bred as a robust and adept hunter in Japan’s tough mountain terrain, but now the Shiba Inu is a popular companion, widely appreciated for its expressive appearance and demeanour. Coat hues include red, sesame, or black and tan.

Ainu: Japan’s northernmost island is where the Hokkaido breed was originally bred. It was a wonderful hunting companion for the indigenous Ainu because of its sturdy frame, exceptional bravery, endurance to cold weather, and exceptional sense of smell. Black, brindle and wolf grey are some of the coat hues available.

Siberian Husky: Slightly different in appearance and temperament from the Akita, the Siberian Husky has a lot in common with other varieties of spitz dogs despite not being genetically related. Additionally, the husky is devoted, sociable, and strong-minded.

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