Could the Akita Be the Perfect Match for You?

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 19 Jun 2020

Man and woman patting a happy Akita dog

If you're looking for a powerful and extremely loyal breed that will dote on its master, then the Akita might just be the perfect dog for you! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this incredible breed.

Breed Snapshot

  • Size: Large breed (31.7 - 58.9 kg)
  • Coat: The Akita has a dense coat that sheds profusely.
  • Energy: Akitas need around two hours of exercise a day.
  • Lifespan: 10 - 15 years
  • Country of origin: Japan
  • Breed type: The Akita is a member of the utility group. This is quite a dominant breed and is best suited to more experienced dog owners.
  • Other names:There are two varieties of Akita: the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. The breeds separated from each other in 2006.
  • Great breed for:  A large house with a secured garden, Families with older children

What is an Akita Dog?

The exact origins of the Akita are unknown, but it has been traced back to around 500 BC. They were once used for retrieving, hunting bears and deer, and protecting Japanese royalty. These beautiful dogs nearly became extinct during the Second World War, as many of them were routinely killed for their meat and pelts.

The Akita can make a great family pet for people with older children. If it is kept with a family that has young children, all interactions with the dog should be supervised until the children are old enough to understand how to treat the dog with respect.

What do Akitas look like?

These large, bold dogs are slightly longer than they are high and have a powerful appearance. They come in two varieties: American and Japanese. The Japanese Akita is smaller and lighter than the American Akita. It also has a smaller head, almond-shaped eyes, and white markings on the face. The American Akita has triangular-shaped eyes and a black mask.

This breed has a rugged and confident stance that projects an air of authority. Both varieties have a large head with a flat skull and triangular-shaped ears. They also have a thick muscular neck, strong jaw, and strong legs. The Akita's thick and plumed tail is always carried tightly over its back.  

This double-coated breed has a short topcoat and a dense, plush undercoat. The coat comes in many colours, including red, white, fawn, and brindle.

What makes the Akita special?

There is a touching story about an Akita called Hachiko who used to wait at Shibuya station each day for his master to return from work.  His owner sadly died at work one day and never returned, but Hachiko still went to wait at the station every day for nine years. When Hachiko died, a bronze statue was erected outside the train station in his honour.

How often do I need to groom my Akita?

The Akita is an exceptionally heavy shedder, and this may put some people off keeping one as a household pet. Regular grooming is therefore essential to keep the coat in good condition. Bathing is required occasionally, and the nails and ears should be checked regularly.

How often should I walk my Akita?

The Akita enjoys brisk walks, jogging, and playing outdoors. This large breed requires around two hours of exercise a day to keep it in peak condition. If the Akita is provided with plenty of regular exercise, it will be quite happy to relax around the house for the rest of the time.

How do I train my Akita?

These intelligent dogs are quite dominant and require plenty of training. Training must be conducted by the owner because this breed will only respond well to its master. They don't respond well to harsh training methods, and training can be slow because of their stubborn and wilful streak.

Quickfire Akita questions

How long will my Akita live?

The average lifespan for an Akita is between 10 and 15 years.

Can my Akita be left alone during the day?

The Akita thrives on human company and is therefore not suitable for people who are out all day. If these dogs are left alone for long periods of time, they can soon become destructive and aggressive. It may be a good idea to consider a pet care service from for your dog if it is going to be left alone a lot.

Are Akitas 'barkers'?

Akitas only bark when there is something important to bark about.

What kind of health risks do Akitas face?

The Akita is generally a healthy and hardy breed, but they can suffer from Hip dysplasia, eye problems, and auto-immune conditions.

Where can I get an Akita?

If you have now decided on this beautiful breed, you will obviously want to know where to get one from. It is important to do as much research as you can to find out where the best places are in your area for purchasing an Akita dog. Search to find reputable breeders and avoid buying from pet shops, puppy mills, or anywhere that does not allow you to meet the puppy's parents - meeting its parents will help to establish the temperament and personality of the puppies. It is best to try and visit the puppies more than once before making a commitment to one.

You can also take a look at the RSPCA website that provides full details on how to adopt a puppy or dog. 

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