Print this document
A natural monument in Japan, the Akita's proud
heritage includes hunting large game such as bear, elk, and boar. This
powerful and dignified member of the Working Group is renowned for
courage and loyalty, but may not be tolerant of other animals. His
luxurious double coat can include any combination of vibrant colors.
Aloof toward strangers, they form strong family bonds. Highly
intelligent with keen sense of humor, the Akita responds best to
respectful commands and training techniques that rely on motivation
rather than force. Strong-willed and proud, Akitas are not receptive to
Akitas originated in Japan many, many years ago,
and have been designated a natural monument of Japan. They are a large, impressive breed with natural guarding
instincts. While generally
reserved with people they don't know, Akitas are affectionate but not
"clingy" with their family. They
tend to be independent, and while they will always know where you
are in your home, they are not constantly underfoot, or in your
face, needing attention as do some of the more dependent breeds.
Their independent nature means they should NEVER be allowed to roam
loose or off lead in an unfenced area. Early and constant socialization and training is a must with
this headstrong breed, as they will tend to want to make their own
decisions unless taught otherwise.
The Japanese originally bred them for hunting bear, so they have a
strong hunting instinct. This
is another reason they should never be off leash in an unsecured area,
as they will go off hunting on their own. Their
regal demeanor stems from a dominant attitude.
In other words, they feel the need to be the boss of other dogs.
They may get along well with dogs of the opposite sex that respect them;
however they will not tolerate a challenge from another dog. Despite their size,
they can do well in a smaller area, as long as they are given daily
Their thick double coat "blows" twice a year (this means
it will come out in clumps all over your house). Their grooming
needs are not excessive; regular brushing and nail trimming, with the
brushing stepped up during the coat blowing period to help get rid of
the dead coat and save some work on your vacuum!
All that being said, why would anyone want one of these large,
challenging dogs that does not appear to ‘live to please’ as
most other breeds do? The
breed does have its benefits, or what those who are suited to the breed
consider an "up" side!
Akitas are generally quiet and not prone to nuisance barking.
Despite their quiet nature, they are natural guardians. They do not need and should not have special watch dog
training. The Akita will
instinctively guard your home, which is one of the reasons they require
extensive socialization. They
need to learn that not all
strangers are threats.
The Akita, despite their generous coat, tends to be a clean breed
with not much of a "doggy" odor. Dirt
tends to dry and fall off a proper Akita coat, and they can often be
seen grooming themselves in a cat-like manner. As mentioned earlier, they do shed excessively twice a
year, when they lose old undercoat and grow new. However, the rest
of the year shedding is almost non-existent.
Akitas are an independent breed, but most have a silly side
reserved only for those people they know, love and trust. They do require being a part of a family, and should never be
a trophy relegated to the back yard. Their exercise level is
medium. They will be happy
with a good walk or jog, and are not an overly hyper breed.
Finally, this is a breed that requires respect, from family,
friends and strangers; a hard concept for some people to grasp. This
does not mean that they do not respect their owners or see them as
leaders. If trained properly, they will and should see every
member of the family as a leader, above them in the "pack
order". Unfair or abusive treatment and training will lead to an Akita
that resents you.
In addition, friends and strangers should wait to be properly
introduced. Akitas are not
given to indiscriminate friendships and do not need or want
attention from every person that crosses their path. This
does not mean that people should be afraid of an Akita. This
does mean they should treat them as the beautiful, noble breed they
are, giving them their space and respect, not forcing themselves on
For More Information see the National Parent Club
website at www.AkitaClub.org
or send an email request to: ACA-PEC@AkitaClub.org