The Japanese Akita is not like any other dog. Whatever dog you may have owned in the past, an Akita is a different proposition and will require different skills if you are to train it successfully. Moreover, training for this dog is a must.
The Akita is a strong willed and powerful dog that will dominate you unless you train it correctly. The old saying that there are no bad dogs just bad owners is correct and as far as Akitas go a bad owner is a liability to himself and those close by.
An untrained or poorly trained Akita is a danger to everyone. Japanese Akitas are dominant, stubborn and can be aggressive so they require proper training from the start if you are to turn it into a loyal and friendly dog that they can become with the right owners.
The Japanese Akita is a very smart breed and will soon get bored with repetitive games; you need to keep an Akita engaged. If you are considering owning a Japanese Akita, be aware that you will have to spend some quality time with it to keep it happy.
The Akita naturally dominates those around it. It will dominate other dogs and also seek to dominate you if you allow it too. This is why you need to establish your authority very early in the Akita’s life; then the Akita will seek the role of pack leader. If you allow this to happen your life with an Akita will not be pleasant.
On the other hand, if you train the dog correctly from an early age and you establish your control over the dog then you will have a wonderfully loyal and protective dog for life. The loyalty of the Akita is unquestionable. It will stand by you through thick and thin, once you establish your relationship with an Akita it is for life.
The dog has many wonderful characteristics that make it a pleasure to own but it has to be handled correctly from the beginning if you are to enjoy your ownership of the dog.
Akita dogs are beautiful creatures. They have a strong, robust, regal bearing about them. Having been raised to perform many functions in Japan, today’s Akita makes a wonderful, loyal companion as a pet. This article discusses the real advantages of owning an Akita dog.
A well-trained Akita is a beautiful dog to own and will fit into any family, becoming an integral member of the pack. By nature, the Akita is loyal to its pack. The Akita’s loyalty is total. The dog will not hesitate to protect a member of its family if there is a threat.
Its intelligence is well-known and if harnessed properly can be utilized to your advantage. The dog will enjoy joining in family fun and games. You will need to keep your Akita mentally engaged to keep him happy.
Nuisance Barking – One of the beautiful things about an Akita is that it is not a nuisance barker. It will not bark just for the sake of barking. It only barks if there is a threat near. Usually, when an Akita barks, you need to investigate.
It is a dog that will be quiet happy to be left on its own while you go out to work. It is not a dog that needs to be running around all the time. It can be quiet docile on occasions. I have had much smaller dogs that required more exercise than an Akita.
- 1 How Much do Akitas Cost to Care For
- 2 Selecting your Akita Puppy
- 3 Akita Diet
- 4 The Akita As A Guard Dog
- 5 Teaching Your Akita To Heel
- 6 Akita Facts
How Much do Akitas Cost to Care For
How much does it cost to keep an Akita? This is a question that many people ask, and it is a real issue that you need to answer before going ahead and getting an Akita. Owning an Akita is different from owning other dog breeds in many ways. Mainly because of the sheer size and aggressive nature of the dog. Money wise however the cost of owning an Akita is not too much in comparison with other dogs.
Assuming the Akita is healthy and you do not have any substantial vet’s bills to pay then the biggest cost of owning an Akita is in its food. Feeding an Akita has got to be done right. If you are buying an Akita, then you need to be aware of its diet which some people may find demanding.
Diet & Food Costs
You cannot feed an Akita on cheap supermarket own brand cans of dog food. This dog food is, not to put too fine a point on it, crap. It is full of additives and other nasties. An Akita will not fare well on this kind of food. In fact, its health will suffer costing you unnecessary vet’s bills not to mention mood changes in your Akita.
It has indeed, been proven in some experiments that a well-balanced diet is the most important factor in keeping your dog healthy and its behavior reasonable. The nature of an Akita is a dog aggressive dog, so you need to ensure it has the right food to keep it happy and not send it on mood swings.
The food you will need to feed your Akita is fresh food. The Akita thrives on fresh meat and fish mixed with vegetables. You should be prepared to prepare the Akita’s food when you are making your own. The good news is that the Akita does not eat much in comparison to its size. Remember when preparing your Akita’s food to ensure there are no small bones in it.
Good quality dried dog food is also an excellent source of nutrients for your Akita. When deciding what to feed an Akita just be sensible. Your Akitas need a balanced diet just like you. Ensuring it has a good diet will go a long way to keeping it healthy and balanced.
Before taking the plunge and buying an Akita make sure you have the time to prepare its food. Work out the cost of buying it meat and fish along with vegetables and dried food. I always advise people only to buy their Akita from a good breeder. One of the reasons among many is that a breeder will be able to advise you what to feed the Akita.
The cost of keeping an Akita is no more than other dogs. There will be more cost when it is a puppy because you will have to factor in training costs. Don’t neglect training for your Akita. Overall, though, the cost of owning an Akita is not too much.
Selecting your Akita Puppy
When you are looking for your new Akita dog, it is so easy to become taken in and emotionally connected with the cute little puppy. This is the time to stop and think and put on your cool head. Choosing an Akita puppy should be a rational decision, not an emotional one. Keep kids out of the decision-making process when selecting a puppy.
Check Out the Breeder
One of the first things you need to do is check out the breeder. Please don’t tell me you are taking an animal of someone in the street. It may look cute but if the mother’s ancestry cannot be traced you could be taking a dog on with a lot of natural behavior or health issues.
Choosing an Akita puppy is a big decision. You are going to have to live with the dog for a long time so you need to employ all the criteria you would apply when choosing a car. Making sure your dog comes from a good dog breeder is essential in my opinion.
Mental & Health Problems
The reasons that good breeders will have bred all negative issues out of their dogs. You are unlikely to get dogs with mental or health problems from good breeders. They will have filtered such animals out. You need to know where the dog has come from when choosing a puppy. This is especially crucial if you are going to buy a big dog like an Akita. You cannot afford to have a big dog around who has aggressive issues.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
Finding a good reputable breeder will take some research on your part. This is normal, and you should engage in it. When looking for a good dog breeder then don’t be fooled by nice flashy adds in dog mags or great, nice looking websites, these mean nothing and can easily be put up these days.
Don’t be taken in by power words like “Proven bloodline” or claims to be members of associations. Unethical breeders depend on people who are choosing a puppy not doing any in-depth research and can easily convince naïve buyers that they are quality breeders.
You want a breeder who is registered with your country’s top breeding associations. Remember though that this is no guarantee of quality; it simply means that the breeder is registered. For many associations, this simply means they have paid a sum to record. Moreover, do not be fooled by the constant use of bloodlines, even poor quality dogs have blood lines.
So what constitutes a good breeder? You should have a list of questions for your breeder, and he should be happy to answer them. (It always amazes me that most people will spend time researching a new vac before buying it but will purchase a puppy from anyone because it looks cute.)
What Makes a Good Breeder?
Before choosing an Akita puppy you need to know as much as you can about what makes the Akita tick, remember this is not a lapdog, this is a big dominant member of the pack and he knows it, so choose your puppy wisely. A good breeder will be well connected with the dog world and will probably have awards for breeding quality dogs, though a new breeder may not have these yet.
He should have all the answers to your questions about diet, health, training, shows and any other questions you have.
I’ve heard it said that going to a top breeder can cost a lot of money and it’s not worth it. Well I totally disagree on two points, one that they cost a lot of money. This is not true. Good breeders are not necessarily expensive, many show their dogs and breed for a hobby, happy to cover their costs with a small profit.
If you choose to buy your Akita from some local pet shop, you could be getting a dog with a lot of inherent health problems you are not aware of and even mental problems. These could end up costing you dearly in the long run.
A dog with health problems could cost you much money in vet’s bills and a dog with mental issues could destroy your quality of life and result in you falling out with your neighbors. You would not buy your car from outside of a junk yard with a sign on it scribbled on some cardboard and stuck into the wipers on the window screen. Why purchase a dog from just anywhere?
The kind of food dogs thrives on varies from one breed to another. No single diet will do for every dog. The health and well-being of your dog depend largely on a diet you are feeding an Akita. With this in mind, it is common sense that you will ensure your Akita gets the kind of food suited to the breed. If you are feeding an Akita the same food as you used to feed your old bulldog, then don’t be surprised if the Akita does not thrive.
Feeding An Akita
When the Akitas were used as a hunting dog, it engaged in a hard, strenuous activity and required lots of energy foods. Its primary meat source was deer, bear, wild boar and fish. Rice was its main source of carbs. Knowing about the history of the Akita breed will help you when it comes to deciding about feeding your pet, and what diet to provide to ensure it remains healthy.
Healthy Diet & Diet Chart
Today the American Akita is used mainly as a domestic pet and guard dog. It no longer chases bears or boars through wild woods, so it does not require as much food. A proper diet for the Akita is fresh meat and fish along with good vitamin supplements from your pet shop. Feeding an Akita is not difficult and doesn’t require any special measures.
It is a wise to prepare a diet chart for your Akita and take some time doing it. What you feed your Akita will impact on its health. Buy good quality meat for your dog and cook it. Not only will your dog thrive on this, but you will also save much money by not having to visit the vet very often. By feeding an Akita the right foods, it will remain healthy and active for years. Feed it garbage, and you will be in for a whole lot of problems and not just physical problems but mental issues as well.
Diet plays a significant role in maintaining your Akitas health and is not something to be taken lightly. Avoid buying cheap food from the supermarket; it is likely to be full of preservatives. If you do not want to spend too much time cooking for your Akita, discuss with your breeder the best foods to buy for the dog. Some people swear by a raw food diet. I have never tried this so can’t comment feeding An Akita raw food.
The Best Diet for your Akita
Your breeder is a vital source of information for you, don’t neglect him/her. Your breeder will be able to tell you the best kind of diet to give your dog. Your breeder will be happy to help prepare a diet sheet for you to give your pooch.
A little time spent researching your pooches dietary requirements will save you much money in vets fees over the long-term and ensure your dog has a happy and healthy life. With a little forward thinking feeding an Akita does not take up much time.
The Akita As A Guard Dog
The Akita makes an excellent guard dog and can easily be trained as a personal protection dog. The story that is always associated with the Akita is the one where Japanese mothers used to leave the Akita to look after their children while they went into the field to work. I do not know how much truth there is in this, but there’s no doubt that the Akita makes an excellent guard dog.
Protecting the Home
It requires virtually no training when it comes to protecting your home. Once an Akita has become a member of your family and it has established its position, then it will protect your home instinctively. People whom you allow into your home when you are home will not be allowed near your home when you are away if the Akita is patrolling.
The Akita has a natural and powerful instinct to protect its family and patch of land. It is territorial and will attack anyone whom it feels is a threat to its pack and land.
The Akita is also a dog that barks very rarely. It will only bark when it senses trouble when an Akita barks there’s something it does not like going on, and the deep-throated bark of an Akita is enough to frighten any would-be burglar away.
You need to take some precautions if you are leaving your Akita at home alone for periods of the day while you are at work. If the dog is allowed to patrol your backyard, then put some signs up warning people that the dog is loose. You will also have to make some provisions about your mail. No sensible mail carrier is going to enter a garden where an Akita is wandering about.
Take measures to make sure the Akita cannot escape. Padlock the gates. The Akita is the perfect guard dog, better than any alarm system on the market. If you want to train your Akita further as a personal protection dog, then this will require specialized training but the Akita is ideally suited for the role.
Teaching Your Akita To Heel
Teaching your Akita to heel like all training takes time and patience. I have heard dog owners complain about the time required to train their dogs. They obviously didn’t do their research before getting a dog. They thought their dog would arrive already trained like a consumer product. Unfortunately, that is not the way with dogs. We need to train them and we especially need to train a big dog like an Akita.
The Akita must walk at the side of you calmly at all times. It is not acceptable to have an Akita pulling you as you are walking on the lead. This is a sign that the pooch is dominating the owner; as a responsible Akita owner you should never allow this to happen. I do not approve of training that involves harsh treatment for any dog and especially not for an Akita. The Akita will respond poorly to harsh treatment; it is not a dog that will allow itself to be bullied.
So let’s have a look at teaching your Akita to heel. Start by holding the lead in your left hand with the dog sat next to your left leg. While keeping your left hand on the leash, hold the looped end of the lead with your right hand. Use your left hand to keep your pooch in close to you. Now follow these steps:
Say “Heel” and move off on your left foot, keeping the Akita close to you take six steps then stop, make the Akita sit down next to you. This is the “heel” position.
Verbally praise the dog. Lots of verbal reinforcement is the key.
Repeat the process, Teaching Your Akita To Heel.
The objective is to get the dog to walk calmly beside you. As the dog improves gradually increase the distance you walk with him.
Remember the Akita will become bored quickly, so short, intense lessons are the way to go. don’t spend an hour doing the training, break it down into short time scales so the dog stays interested. Once the training is over praise the dog, stroke him and give him a treat. this will indicate to him that the training is over and he can relax.
Because of the dog’s natural domineering character you will get some dogs who will pull you where they want to go. this should never be allowed to happen. If you give an Akita the opportunity to dominate you it will take it, so nip this behaviour in the bud straight away. To stop the dog pulling, simply stand still, keeping the dog tight against you leg and refuse to move. There will probably be a battle of wills between you but that’s ok just stand your ground and refuse to move until the dog moves at your pace.
You must be the leader. it’s up to you when you walk and how fast you walk. If you are out walking your dog and he starts to pull then stop and refuse to move until he calms down. Teaching your Akita to heel will take some patience but it’s something you must do because apart from it being more pleasant to walk with a trained dog it reinforces your position as pack leader.
The Akita is a Japanese breed
The dog has been declared a national treasure in Japan
The Japanese believe that having an Akita in the home is a symbol of good health, prosperity, and happiness.
The Akita arrived in the USA in significant numbers after the second world war when they were brought home by returning GIs.
They are large dogs and certainly not for everyone. You need to have an assertive personality, or the Akita will take control.
They have tremendous body strength.
They can weigh over a hundred pounds.
They some feline characteristics. They groom themselves like a cat they also hunt like a cat, silently without growling.
The dog will see small animals as prey and hunt them. If you have other small animals in the house and you introduce an Akita you will need to watch it carefully until it is well trained. If the dog is brought up with small animals it can be trained to coexist with them, but be warned, this is a hunting dog, and if it takes a liking to your cat, anything can happen.
The Akita is naturally territorial and needs no training to protect your home. Once it has established that a place is its home, it will defend it from intruders. The problem is these can include your friends or children’s friends. You may need to lock it away when visitors come. If left alone in the garden make sure the gates are locked and there are signs posted.
The dog is inherently protective and will show aggression to other animals, especially male dogs. Keep it on a leash when in a public place at all times.
The Akita is a possessive dog, when it is feeding do not disturb it. Keep children away while it is finished, never attempt to take food away from it or it is likely to become aggressive, and an aggressive Akita is a frightening thing.
You should never leave an Akita alone with children unsupervised, this applies to any large dogs, remember these are animals.
The Akita has had many roles throughout its life; it has been a hunting dog, a guard dog, a fighting dog to name just a few of the roles it has had.
The Akita likes to be the dominant dog, the leader of the pack. To have a good relationship with an Akita you have to establish dominance over it, it has to accept you as the pack leader; it will challenge you for the position.
If the Akita takes to control your life with the dog will not be pleasant. Good discipline is essential to ensure the dog knows its place. Obedience training is a must for this dog.
Obedience training should be given to the dog but do not act aggressively towards the dog; this is likely to trigger an aggressive response, a firm commanding voice and plenty of training are the key to gaining the Akita’s respect.
Remember to treat your Akita like a dog, not a human. If it does something wrong, then you need to discipline it immediately not hours down the line.
The Akita gets bored very quickly, it is an intelligent dog so requires interaction to keep it stimulated. When training the dog keep the training sessions short and exciting.
The Akita is a social dog that likes to be among family members, it like family interaction and needs to be a part of the pack.