Strong and independent, the Akita is a fascinating dog that fits well with families who are able to understand its personality and needs. This powerful canine was originally bred in the mountains of northern Japan as a skilled hunting dog, but today they are known as dignified and fearless protectors of their homes.
Renowned for their fierce loyalty, Akitas are venerated in Japan as signs of good health, fortune, and long life. One famous example of the Akita’s remarkable loyalty is the story of Hachiko. After his owner died unexpectedly, Hachiko spent the rest of his life waiting for him to come home at a train station.
It is this display of affection and companionship that has helped Akitas remain a highly respected breed in their native land. Apart from loyalty, Akitas are also quiet, independent, and highly intelligent.
Are you interested in having an Akita in your life? We can’t deny that there’s so much to admire about these beautiful dogs, but it’s also essential that puppy parents know what breed they’re dealing with.
Akitas need lots of attention, love, and training from their owners. Without these qualities, Akitas can become intolerant of other people and (especially) other dogs. They may also develop other bad habits that can be hard to get rid of once they reach adulthood.
If you believe the Akita is your furry soulmate, here are a couple of things you need to know about Japan’s national treasure.
Akitas may not be as big as other breeds, but they still boast a proud, imposing stature. Male dogs can grow up to 26 to 28 inches tall and weigh between 100 to 130 pounds. Females are only slightly smaller, standing at 24 to 26 inches and weighing around 70 to 100 pounds.
Akitas typically possess an impressive, muscular physique when they become adults. They have a heavy build with a broad head and a cute, curled tail. Their ears always stand alert and their dark, intelligent eyes give off a courageous aura. Akitas have a thick coat that comes in various beautiful colors. Overall, this breed is quite attractive, well-proportioned, and balanced—hard to resist for anyone who encounters one!
Although Akitas are very energetic pooches, they don’t really need much exercise. A quick walk or a jog around the neighborhood is usually enough to keep these furry cuties happy and healthy. Of course, if you engage them in a game or play session, an Akita will joyfully have fun with you. They also adapt quite well to living at home or in an apartment as long as they receive their daily exercise.
Akitas are quiet, attentive, and clever dogs that show off their goofy side with their loved ones. Their most defining trait is their undying loyalty towards their families, which causes them to be very overprotective at times. Because of this, they are wary with strangers, including other animals, and may display it with aggression. You may find these traits problematic, but if you’re looking for a good guard dog, Akitas will fill this role perfectly. They live to protect the ones they love. You can prevent the negative aspects of an Akita’s personality by training and socializing them as early as possible. Regardless, you should always take an Akita on a leash when venturing outside to avoid any potential displays of aggression.
Akitas have a thick, soft double coat that needs to be brushed weekly to maintain its beautiful appearance. They are very clean, and give off little to no body odor. American Akitas come with numerous coat colors including red, black, brindle, and even white. They shed their hair in clumps twice a year so be ready to find little loose hairs around your home. As with all dogs, keeping a consistent grooming routine helps prevent excessive shedding during this period. Akitas should also have their teeth brushed and nails trimmed regularly.
Akitas are incredibly smart but their dominant nature gives them a little stubborn streak. That means owners must be willing to be firm and consistent during training. Now, it isn’t impossible to train an Akita since most are eager to please their owners. They respond well to positive training methods, and should be trained starting as puppies. Be sure to heavily socialize your Akita with different types of people and animals. This helps the naturally protective Akita to avoid perceiving others as dangerous threats. Even with training and socialization, however, you should never leave an Akita alone with another dog, especially of the same sex, as it can lead to aggression.
Other Things to Consider
Akitas are hardwired to guard and protect, which is why we stress training and socialization at an early age. These majestic dogs rarely ever give any warning before an attack; they can be friendly one minute and aggressive in the next. They may also display food aggression so be cautious when you’re approaching an Akita that’s eating. Apart from their overprotective nature, Akitas are also largely family-oriented, and thrive best with human companionship.
Akitas are hardy, imposing dogs (for the right reasons, of course) but underneath that tough exterior, is an affectionate, silly canine. They can make great pets for anyone, even families with young children. But owners must put in the effort to raise these furry cuties into well-mannered adult dogs. Are you up for the task? An Akita that receives love and attention from their loved ones will always be fiercely devoted to them, no matter what.