Japan loves the Akita, so much that the nation dedicated a national monument to this largest of its indigenous breeds. Thought to symbolize well-being and health in its native country, the Akita first came to the United States with Hellen Keller in 1937.
This popular show dog also does performance and therapy work. They are brave, dignified, and devoted to their chosen family. The Akita is an extra large and medium-energy breed, which can live 10-13 years and grow to between 70-100 lbs (female) or 100-130 lbs (male). The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working breed group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||10-12 years|
|Bark factor||Rarely barks, if ever|
|Family||Spitz, northern (hunting)|
|Date of origin||1600s|
|Original function||Large game hunting, dog fighting|
|Average size of male||Height: 25-28 Weight: 85-130|
|Average size of female||Height: 23-26 Weight: 65-110|
|Energy level||Medium energy|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Shy|
|Ease of training||Moderately Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||High tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN AKITA'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Intelligent, somewhat playful, and very affectionate, your Akita greatly prefers to be the only dog in your heart and home. This breed is not very friendly with other pets and small animals, and is suspicious of strangers. The Akita will do best in a family who can supervise play with younger children (Which is best with any breed.).
This breed lives for your approval and attention; a neglected Akita will languish. Akitas make for very capable watchdogs — they are willing and eager to watch over you and home, but remember that any watchdog benefits from living as part of your family. Their protective instincts and imposing stature make them outstanding guardians. Don't forget, this means they'll need early and consistent socialization with dogs and people outside their homes.
WHAT IS AKITA BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Your Akita needs moderate exercise; it won't run your legs off, but will flourish with daily walks. This dog is odorless, an infrequent barker, and loves being clean, making it a fastidious housemate.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN AKITA?
Independent-minded people-pleasers, Akitas are somewhat easy to train and enjoy regular exercise. You'll definitely benefit from using positive reinforcement training and establishing yourself as your Akita's leader early. They're smart, but strong-willed, so look into puppy training classes before your Akita hits the terrible teens. Akitas love it when you reward training successes with food and games.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO AKITAS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Akitas are above-average, twice-yearly shedders who will benefit from weekly groomings. Daily brushings will keep your home tidy (beware furry tumbleweeds here) and your Akita more comfortable.
Akitas have medium-length fur coats in two layers: the longer, protective hairs that shield their skin and the soft undercoat they shed twice a year. This breed is known for the curly, fluffy tail that flips over its back.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO AKITAS HAVE?
Watch your friend for signs of stomach, eye, or gait trouble. Akitas are particularly prone to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.
Adult Akitas can also develop retinal degeneration, which can cause cataracts or blindness, and canine hip dysplasia. The AKC notes reputable breeders should test for CHP to reduce its likelihood in Akita puppies. Feeding your baby Akita a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature, and may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.