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.
Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the US in 1937.
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 prey and hunt
them. This may include cats, rodents, birds, small wildlife and smaller dogs. Akitas can
be raised to tolerate animals in residence. Many adult Akitas can 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
Akitas are natural guardians of the home and
SHOULD NOT be trained as a guard dog. When there is a reason to protect family and
property, your Akita will act to do so. Guests welcomed in your home when you are present
will NOT be welcomed by the Akita when no one is home. Your gates should be padlocked at
all times to protect the Akita and to keep unwelcome neighborhood children from entering
and teasing the Akita.
Akitas can be inherently aggressive towards other
animals and for this reason, they should never be allowed to run free. You can exercise
your Akita off leash only in a protected area, being sure to follow the leash laws at all
Male Akitas show aggression towards other male
dogs, and female Akitas usually will not tolerate another female. There are always
exceptions to these rules, but it is safer for the Akita to not mix same sex dogs. Akitas
can live peacefully with opposite sex dogs, although some Akitas prefer being an only dog!
Akitas can be very possessive of food, toys, and
treats around others. If you have other pets, be sure the Akita is given its own food and
water bowls and keep these and other treats away from other animals. Akitas generally will
not share food with others, so give them their space when eating.
Akitas not raised with children are not always
tolerant of them. NEVER leave an Akita alone with a child even if the Akita appears to
love all children. Accidents can happen with an animal as large as an Akita. Often Akitas
raised with children will tolerate their OWN children but not strange children so it is
wise to never leave an Akita, or any large dog, alone with children without adult
supervision. Because of the Akita's protective nature, it may decide to protect
"his" child(ren) from others who are picking on or upsetting the Akita's child!
Akitas are large, powerful dogs. They don't
always realize how big or powerful they are and can cause injuries without meaning too.
Puppies and some adults are very clumsy and tend to crash into things when playing.
Akitas are very "tuned in" to their
family. They will show concern when a family member is upset, sick or
injured. They will seem to guard the person until they have returned to
normal. They will check up on you regularly!
Akitas do NOT like being teased and may respond by
biting or growling.
Some Akitas consider eye contact a challenge and
may react aggressively. Like people, Akitas prefer to have their own "space" and
don't care to have "their space" invaded by strangers. Don't challenge an
Akita by "getting in his face", making eye contact, or crowding him. Some
will warn you once or twice with a low growl or bark, some will try to get away, others
may not warn at all.
Akitas are a dominant breed and like to take
charge. Akitas, like their wolf ancestors, are pack animals and establish a pecking order.
At some point the Akita may challenge family members for the dominant position in the
family "pack". This behavior cannot be tolerated and a consistent, firm
correction should be your immediate response. Akitas with good temperament accept
discipline well from those it loves - not beating, but intelligent discipline.
Frequently, a firm verbal command will be all that is needed. Once you have reaffirmed
your and the Akita's positions in the pack, you normally will not have any more
challenges. Typically, adolescence is when the Akita thinks he needs to take over.
Akitas should be obedience trained BY THEIR OWNERS
and NEVER sent away to school. A good obedience class will guarantee you a firm bond with
your Akita and a well-behaved Akita in the end. Remember though, that Akitas are extremely
intelligent and bore 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 its a waste of time to "sit" or "stay" one more time, it will
simply walk away! Be sure you are working with an obedience trainer who understands Akita
temperament and has patience. Akitas may respond with aggression if treated harshly-do not
hit or kick any dog, that sort of behavior means YOU have lost control of the situation.
Akitas are dogs, and unlike humans do not have the
same short term memory as humans. Do not discipline your dog hours after an incident-the
dog will NOT associate the discipline with an incident which occurred hours earlier in the
day. If you can see and catch your Akita 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 your dog to not come when called. Do NOT use its name when disciplining it, you
want the Akita to associate its name with love and affection, not punishment. The
"come" command is important and someday may 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 with praise and love.
Some Akitas are talkers! They may grunt, groan and
mumble to entertain themselves. Many Akitas "woo" to greet you and others it
loves and it should not be interpreted as growling. Akita 'woo' is an endearing trait and
should not frighten you. After living with your Akita you can easily distinguish between
"woo" and growl.
Most Akitas enjoy carrying things in m their
mouth, including your hand, arm, and wrist. They may take you by the wrist to lead you the
cookie cupboard or to the front door for a walk. It is NOT an aggressive act, it is an
endearing trait. Akitas also like to nibble or "flea-bite" those that they love.
It's not an aggressive act either, and while it can be painful when they pinch
skin, they are showing affection to you! Most will learn to "flea-bite"
when you have long sleeves on and avoid doing so to bare skin.
Akitas have a sense of humor so don't be surprised
to see you Akita do something really strange to make you laugh! Many like to sneak
up behind unsuspecting people and nip them on the bottom. If this happens, you will
see the Akita running like crazy with a very large grin on his face! He will come
back later to apologize, but will pull his sneak attack again at a later date.
Akitas are VERY family-oriented and are not happy
when kept apart from their family. If you do not plan on having your Akita live inside
your home, you should not consider adopting or buying an Akita. When left alone in a yard,
the Akita will regress in socialization and his/her boredom may cause destructive
Akitas are not usually hyperactive and fit into a
sedentary household; but exercise is important so plan on giving your Akita walking or
playing time. Dogs left alone outside simply sleep until you return for them.
Akitas can live for 10-14 years with good care and
proper nutrition. Feed only a good all-natural food that contains no ethoxyquin or soy and
is moderate in protein. The origin of the Akita is Japan where fish, rice and sea plants
are a diet staple and the ideal diet for an Akita. If possible, they should be fed twice a
day to avoid bloat. Their diet should be supplemented with kelp, digestive enzymes and a
multivitamin daily for optimum nutrition. Obesity is dangerous for many health reasons.
Many of the Akitas in Akita Rescue are affected
with hypothyroidism which is easily treated by inexpensive twice-daily thyroid hormone
therapy. This condition is often the TRUE reason the Akita has lost its home in the first
place. A simple thyroid panel will determine the existence of the condition.