About the Akita breed
The Akita is a Japanese breed. In his native country the Akita has been declared a “national treasure.” An Akita in a home is believed to be a symbol of good health, prosperity and good fortune.
Akitas are large, males can weigh over 50 kilograms; they have great body strength and willful temperaments. All puppies are cute, including Akita puppies, but before you purchase a cuddly puppy that grows into a grizzly bear, read the FACTS.
Akitas do not bark unless there is a good reason. When an Akita is barking, pay attention. They are silent hunters who hunt low to the ground without growls or noise, similar to cats. Akitas may consider small animals as prey and hunt them if not brought up with them, this includes cats, rodents, birds and small wildlife. Akitas can be raised to accept animals in residence. Adult Akitas in most cases can be trained to fit into a home where other animals are already established. It is, however, imperative that the Akita be closely watched around the other animals until you have established a peaceful co-existence.
Akitas are natural guardians of the home and do not require any training to turn them into guard dogs. When there is a reason to protect family and property, your Akita will act to do so. Guests welcome in your home when you are present may not be welcomed by the Akita when you are not home.
Akitas in some cases can be aggressive towards other animals, they also have selective hearing which means they are not good at re-call and for this reason, they should not be allowed off lead in a public place. You can exercise your Akita off leash when you are in an area where it’s unlikely there will be much contact with other animals and people. Akitas can live peacefully with a dog of the opposite sex, we do not encourage two dogs of the same sex in one household.
Akitas like to take charge, an inherited trait from their wolf ancestry and may at some time, challenge you for the dominant position. This behavior cannot be tolerated and a firm, consistent correction should be your immediate response. Under no circumstances should you ever hit an Akita.
Akitas should be obedience trained BY their owner only. A good obedience class will guarantee you a firm bond with your dog and a well-behaved dog. Remember though, Akitas are extremely intelligent and tend to get bored easily. They learn quickly so short training periods are suggested. This keeps the dog from becoming bored. Akitas are also very stubborn and when the dog thinks it’s a waste of time to “sit” or “stay” one more time, he will simply walk away! Obedience training requires patience!
Akitas are dogs and unlike humans, dogs do not have the same short-term memory. Do not discipline your dog hours after an incident-the dog will NOT associate the discipline with an incident, which occurred earlier in the day. If you can see and catch your dog getting into mischief, discipline should be firm and immediate for it to be effective.
Do NOT call your Akita to you for discipline, that encourages the dog to fear your presence and it will find ways to avoid you. The “come” command is important and may someday be a life-saving command for the dog. Do not jeopardize that safety factor. Each time your Akita comes to your side, it should be rewarded.
Many Akitas are talkers! They may grunt, groan and mumble to entertain themselves and you. This conversational verbalizing IS NOT growling and should not be interpreted as a growl, which sounds quite different. Akita “talking” is an endearing trait and should not frighten you. After living with your dog, you will easily distinguish between talking and growling.
Most Akitas enjoy carrying things around in their mouth, including your wrist! They may take you by the wrist to lead you to the treat cupboard or to their lead. It is not an aggressive act; it is an endearing trait. If their “mouthing” is annoying to you, give them a toy to play with or divert their attention to something else.
For such a large breed, with a reputation for aloofness, you may be surprised to learn that Akitas are very sensitive and are adversely affected by stress and/or changes in their environment. Akitas are very family-oriented and are not happy when kept apart from the family. If you do not plan on having your dog live inside your home most of the time, you should not seriously consider an Akita for a pet.
Akitas are not hyperactive and easily fit into a laid back household, but optimum health requires that YOU and your Akita exercise regularly. A dog left while you’re gone DOES NOT exercise it sleeps until your return.
Akitas will live from 10-12 years with good care and proper nutrition. Your Akita needs 2 meals per day, usually a dry complete food with the occasional mixer (meat, fish etc). Obesity is dangerous for many health reasons but with Akitas, an overweight dog is prone to knee problems that will require surgery. Akitas suffer from gastric torsion, a life-threatening, sudden onset disorder (Bloat) that is fatal if untreated, always feed from raised feeding bowls to reduce the risk. Know the symptoms-discuss gastric torsion with your vet.
| © 2017 Friends of Akitas Trust (UK)