Akitas were originally bred in Japan to hunt large game - wild boar, deer, and bear - that explains their fearless and primitive nature. In America, they come under the ‘working class' of dog breeds for their ability to hunt, swim, sniff, and act as service dogs. As fun as this breed sounds, it is not every dog parent’s cup of tea to raise one.
About The Breed
This is a working breed that was bred in a colder climate, which means their bodies thrive on protein, fat, and fibre instead of carbohydrates. An Akita does best with a high-quality diet rich in different kinds of protein to meet its dietary needs.
That plush double coat is going to get on all your furniture if not groomed daily. Akitas are heavy shedders and need a daily brushing, a weekly deshedding, and a monthly trip to the groomers. Besides this, Akitas need regular weekly teeth brushing to help prevent the buildup of tartar and gingivitis.
Physical: Since Akitas are a working breed, they were born to run and roam. Adapting to city life is hard in itself and is even harder without sufficient daily exercise. An Akita needs a minimum of two and a half hours of aerobic exercise every day - jogging, playing fetch, agility etc. This helps them blow off excess steam and keep them calm for the rest of the day.
Mental: The Akita's intelligence can sometimes do more harm than good. You will find your Akita opening drawers and shelves to get food when you're not around, or worse, chewing up on expensive furniture. For this, they need sufficient mental stimulation in the form of Kongs, puzzle toys, treasure hunts, and chew toys.
Training should start early (8 weeks) and continue through puppyhood with firm, positive reinforcement. It is always best for an Akita to know the rules and people of the house early in his life to prevent behavioural problems later on.
An Akita gets fair marks for health, but like any large breed, it is predisposed to bloat, hip dysplasia, arthritis, and obesity. This can be helped with a diet rich in calcium and good quality protein along with routine veterinary check ups.
Akitas are territorial and very protective of their family. This is one of the primary reasons they do not do well in apartment ecosystems. However, the Akita is an absolute cuddle buddy to her family and will not think twice about taking a bullet for them!
The Akita's popularity stands out for the following reasons -
They make excellent loyal guard dogs
They can be left alone longer than other dogsT
hey are one of the most intelligent breeds
They're very affectionate towards their family - kids included!
They usually self-groom like a cat.
The Akita, as fun as this breed sounds, is not every dog parent’s cup of tea to raise one -
They are not the best choice for first-time dog parents
They need firm training from the very beginning since they tend to be stubborn
They do not take well to apartment ecosystems because of their territorial nature
An Akita's coat sheds often and does not do well in a hot climate
Because of their intelligence, Akitas constantly looks for ways to use their energy - sometimes not how you'd want them to!
The Akita, overall, is a breed that is still close to its roots. It is not for everybody and needs thinking through before adoption. For a breed that would lay its life down for its family, Akitas are by far one of the most loyal, affectionate, robust, and versatile breeds out there!