is known for its dignity, bravery, and loyalty.
The northern Japanese mountains are the source of the huge dog breed known as the Akita.
There are two distinct types of Akita: a smaller mixed strain known as the American Akita and a larger pure Japanese strain known as Akita Inu or Akita-ken.
The double-coated, muscular of this dog has a broad, huge head, upright ears, black eyes, and a full, curled-over tail. The coat is available in a variety of hues, such as white, ginger, red, brindle, and sable. The weight ranges from 25 to 59 kg (55 to 130 pounds), and the height is between 58 and 71 cm (23 and 28 inches).
The nobility, bravery, and loyalty of the Akita Inu are legendary.
It is revered as a family protector and a representation of longevity, happiness, and good health in its native land. The Japanese dog breed has served in many capacities, including those of police and military employment, government and citizen security dog, combat dog, bear and deer hunters, and sledge dogs. An adaptable hunting dog, the Akita can hunt in bad conditions.
The Akita is renowned for its dominance, intelligence, and independence.
Typically reserved among outsiders, it is loving and devoted to its family. It requires early socialization and training because it may grow up to be violent or intolerant of other canines and animals. This dog is not a breed that is suitable for everyone; it needs a dependable owner with experience who can provide firm direction, continuous discipline, and enough exercise.
This dog is typically robust and healthy, however, it might be vulnerable to conditions like hip dysplasia, eye abnormalities, thyroid issues, allergies to skin, and bloat.
The Akita has a 10-year average life span.
This article will go through the traits, benefits, drawbacks, health issues, and other information regarding this dog breed that you should be aware of.
Characteristics of the Akita
The working breed group of dogs includes the spitz-like Akita. It has a robust body that is balanced, proportionate, and strong.
Large and triangular in shape, the head has small, upright triangular ears on top. This dog has attentive and dignified eyes that are tiny, black, and almond-shaped. With a dark nose and tight lips, the muzzle is large and somewhat tapered.
The bite resembles the blades of scissors.
A broad, muscular neck leads to a level back gently slopes towards the croup. The ribs are well-sprung and the chest is deep and well-developed. The thick, fluffy tail curls to one side or the other over the back. Strong and erect, the legs have round feet with thick pads and arched toes. You can take out the dewclaws.
Akita has a thick, coarse coat with a soft undercoat that insulates against the cold.
On various body sections, the coat length varies from short to medium-length. Except for merle or spotted patterns, the coat colour can be any hue or combination of colours. White, ginger (red), brindle (striped), and sable (lighter with black tips) are the most popular hues. On the ventral regions of the body (urajiro), which include the chest, belly, legs, and face, all colours should have white markings.
This dog requires only average grooming. It sheds a lot twice a year at the changing of the seasons, necessitating daily brushing to get rid of dead hair and avoid matting. To maintain its coat healthily and cleanly, it also has to occasionally take a bath.
Other grooming requirements include daily tooth brushing, weekly ear cleaning, and routine nail trimming.
The average height of an Akita is 58–66 cm (23–26 inches) for females and 64–71 cm (25–28 inches) for men. Males weigh between 32 and 59 kg (70 and 130 pounds), while females weigh between 25 and 59 kg (55 and 130 pounds).
Pros and Cons of the Akita
Depending on your expectations and way of life, this breed can have both positive and bad characteristics.
The followings are some benefits and drawbacks of owning an Akita:
- The Akita is a faithful and obedient friend who will defend you and your loved ones from any danger. It is brave and fearless, and it faces challenges head-on. This breed can occasionally be goofy and entertaining, yet it is also affectionate and playful with its family.
- The Akita is an intelligent, independent dog that does well in a variety of activities, including obedience, agility, tracking, and therapy work. It can also serve as a helpful watchdog, informing you of any visits or unusual activity. Although this dog doesn’t typically bark, it will do so when necessary.
- This breed requires little maintenance in terms of grooming. Maintaining a clean and healthy coat requires occasional brushing and bathing. Moreover, it doesn’t have a strong dog smell, and sheds minimally all year long, with the exception of seasonal shifts, when it sheds severely. Due to its natural cleanliness and fastidiousness, this dog breed is also quite simple to housebreak.
- This dog breed can be difficult to handle and train since it is a dominant and aggressive dog. It requires a strong, dependable owner who can create limits and leadership, as well as utilize positive reinforcement techniques to teach appropriate social behavior. This dog can be obstinate and willful, and it might not react well to forced or harsh approaches.
- This breed is a protective, possessive dog that can be intolerant of other dogs and animals, particularly those who are the same size or sex as it. Moreover, it might regard smaller animals as prey and pursue or pounce on them. To prevent or lessen its hostility, the Akita needs early and ongoing socialization with other dogs and animals. If it is among other pets in the home, it can also require supervision or seclusion.
- This dog is a big, strong dog that can be challenging to handle and control. It needs a lot of space and activity to let off steam and avoid becoming bored or frustrated. It might not be appropriate for those who live in apartments, are physically frail, or have little prior dog-handling experience. If the Akita escapes or pulls against the leash, it may cause harm or injury.
Health Problems of the Akita
Although this breed is a generally healthy breed, it can nevertheless be vulnerable to some health problems, including:
- Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disorder that results in the hip joint not fitting into the socket properly, leading to pain, inflammation, arthritis, and lameness. X-rays can be used to diagnose it, and medication, surgery, or weight loss may be used to treat it.
- Eye conditions: They include cherry eye, entropion, ectropion, cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). They may result in blindness, discomfort, infection, or loss of eyesight. Eye exams can detect them, and medication, surgery, or eye drops can be used to treat them.
- Thyroid issues: They include autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) (inflammation of the thyroid gland). They may result in infertility, weight gain, sluggishness, hair loss, or skin issues. Blood tests can be used to diagnose them.
Care and Feeding of the Akita
This dog breed needs particular consideration and care, particularly when it comes to food and grooming.
Here are some pointers for feeding and caring for your Akita:
- This dog has a strong appetite and requires a nutritious diet of the highest calibre. Akita s thrive on a diet that combines dry kibble with fresh foods like grains, vegetables, eggs, yoghurt, and canned tuna. Your Akita should take roughly 25% of its calories from these fresh items.
- Two regular meals should be given to the dog daily, preferably in the morning and evening. The amount of food you should feed your dog will vary depending on its age, weight, degree of exercise, and overall health. The feeding guidelines on the bag of the dog food you’ve chosen can be followed, but you might need to modify them to suit your Akita’s particular requirements. To make sure your dog is not underweight or overweight, you can weigh it frequently and keep an eye on its physical condition.
- Overfeeding or free feeding the Akita can result in obesity, bloat, and other health issues. In the potentially fatal condition of bloat, the stomach twists and fills with gas, resulting in excruciating agony and shock. Avoid giving your dog a lot of food at once, giving it water shortly after eating, and exercising it strenuously before or after meals to prevent bloat. Also, you ought to provide your Akita with a slow-feeding bowl because overeating can also result in bloating.
- Some Akita owners think that giving their dogs a once-weekly fast can help to cleanse their digestive systems and lower the possibility of bloat. Giving your dog yoghurt or fruit in small amounts instead of its usual meals is known as fasting. Veterinarians do not, however, advise this practice because it may lead to nutritional deficits and stress in your dog. If you decide to try fasting, speak with your veterinarian beforehand and keep a watchful eye out for any symptoms of pain or disease in your dog.
- The Akita sheds its thick, coarse coat twice a year, as the seasons change, and moderately throughout the year. Regular brushing is necessary to remove dead hair from the coat and avoid matting. A slicker brush or a pin brush should be used to brush your dog at least once a week. When the Akita is shedding, you might need to brush it every day or use a rake or shedding blade to remove the loose undercoat.
- The Akita shouldn’t be bathed frequently because doing so can remove its natural oils and harm its coat. Just give your dog a bath when it is filthy or odorous, and use a gentle dog shampoo and warm water. Your dog should be properly rinsed and dried with a towel or a blow dryer set to low heat. Moreover, examine your dog’s ears once a week. If they’re filthy or waxy, clean them with a cotton ball dipped in ear cleaner.
- Regular nail trimming is necessary for dogs since long nails can hurt, cut themselves, and become infected. You can use a nail clipper or a grinder to cut your dog’s nails, but take care not to strike it quickly or cut it too short (the blood vessel inside the nail). You can ask your veterinarian or groomer to cut your Akita’s nails if you lack the necessary skills or confidence.
- To avoid plaque buildup, tartar, and dental illnesses, Akita’s teeth should be brushed daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Additional options include dental chews and toys that assist your dog in brushing its teeth and freshening its breath. Moreover, have your dog’s teeth examined by your veterinarian on a regular basis and professionally cleaned if necessary.
Does this breed have low allergy potential?
Akitas produce a substantial quantity of dander and lose their fur all year round, thus they are not hypoallergenic dogs. They also have an undercoat that is thick and loses a lot twice a year as the seasons change. These dogs may cause a reaction in those with dog allergies, thus they should stay away from them.
What about Akita and the children?
Akitas with proper training are typically quite amiable and kind around children. They enjoy playing games with young children and are considerate and attentive around them. Yet, when it comes to Akita’s behaviour around a youngster, adequate training and socialization are crucial. This dog breed is dominating, guarding dogs who might not put up with rough handling or youngster taunting. Moreover, they could develop a jealous or possessive attitude toward their owners and strive to protect them from others, including kids. This dog breed should be trained to respect children as members of the family and should always be under supervision when around youngsters.
Do Akitas get along well with other dogs?
This breed is not widely regarded as being very dog-friendly. They may be hostile or aggressive against other dogs, particularly those who are the same size or sex as them. Moreover, they could see smaller animals as prey and pursue or harm them. To stop or lessen their hostility, Akitas need early and ongoing socialization with other dogs and animals. When they are with other household pets, they could also require monitoring or seclusion. If you want a dog that can interact freely with other dogs in the park or at a dog daycare, an Akita is not a good choice.
Akitas are they conducive to apartments?
Absolutely, as long as their activity requirements are provided on a regular basis, Akitas may adjust to apartment life effectively. They can be quiet and peaceful in their homes because they are not particularly active there. To discharge their energy and avoid becoming bored or frustrated, they require a lot of room and outside activity. These might not be appropriate for persons who live in small apartments or those who spend a lot of time away from home. these dogs also require ongoing human company and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for an extended period of time.
Do Akitas shed a lot?
Akitas shed their fur occasionally all year long, but they shed more heavily twice a year when the seasons change (spring and fall). They shed their heavy undercoat at these times, and frequent brushing is necessary to remove the dead hair and avoid matting. To maintain their coat healthy and tidy, they also require an occasional bathing. Those who desire a low-shedding dog or have allergies to dog hair should not choose an Akita.
Are Akitas suitable for new owners?
No, these dogs are difficult for novice or unskilled owners to teach and handle. To become more friendly and submissive, they need their owners’ constant direction and leadership. They may not react well to harsh or coercive approaches since they can be obstinate and rebellious. Also, they exercise a lot.