FAQ Page2012-12-05T17:20:13-07:00
Is it okay to take my Akita to a dog park?2020-09-02T18:48:44-07:00

No.  Dog parks are not appropriate places to socialize your Akita. You don't know how the other dogs behave, or how the other owners will react. You are responsible for the safety and actions of your dog.  Dog parks are a perfect setting for a dog fight. We strongly recommend against it.

What type of collar should I use for my Akita?2020-09-02T18:44:45-07:00

A properly fitting slip collar or martingale is the appropriate collar for an Akita.  A slip collar should be snug enough to just barely fit over the head so that it does not slip down to the base of the neck.

A buckle collar is great for identification but should never be used for walking your Akita as they can easily slip out of them. Harnesses are not a safe means of handling your Akita as not only do you not have control of your Akita, but they can escape from them.

What should I do if I cannot keep my Akita?2020-09-02T18:42:01-07:00

Please contact the breeder of your Akita first. If your Akita’s breeder will not assist you, contact Akita Club of America Rescue (ACAR)  for recommendations.

What happens to my Akita if I pass away?2020-09-02T18:40:55-07:00

It is very important to include a plan for your pets in your will and estate planning. Many pets are sent to shelters and often euthanized during the confusion surrounding a death.

How should I plan for emergencies?2020-09-02T18:39:33-07:00

In a visible place in your home, you should post emergency contacts for your pets which include veterinary info, basic information for your Akita, and person who will be responsible in your stead. Also keep this information on your keychain or wallet.

Why is a microchip important?2020-09-02T18:38:23-07:00

A microchip identifies your dog if he or she ever gets lost.  When a dog is found, the shelter or veterinarian will scan for a microchip to help that dog find its way home. Please be sure to keep your contact information current with the microchip registry (such as AKC Reunite). If your dog is lost, notify your local shelters and rescues as well as social media groups for your neighborhood and city. Place signs at major intersections.

When should my Akita be spayed or neutered?2020-09-02T18:33:34-07:00

This depends on your situation. If you are unable to prevent an accidental pregnancy or if dealing with a female in heat is more than you can manage, you should spay between 6 to 9 months of age. Males should be neutered around 12 months of age.

What routine medical care should my Akita receive?2020-09-02T18:31:19-07:00

The guidelines set by the American Veterinary Medical Association are that your Akita should have annual heartworm and internal parasite testing, year-round broad spectrum parasite control (fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites), dental care as needed, and vaccinations. Vaccination recommendations will vary around the country depending on disease risks for that area. Discuss the appropriate vaccination schedule with your veterinarian.

As your Akita ages, more frequent visits to the vet may be appropriate.

Am I allowed to own an Akita where I live?2020-09-02T14:28:09-07:00

It is very important that you check local breed restriction laws before getting an Akita as some counties, cities, and states restrict ownership of certain breeds. You should also check with your home owner’s insurance and with your landlord if you live in a rental property.

How long do Akitas live?2020-09-02T14:27:05-07:00

Akitas tend to live 11-13 years.

Are Akitas good with other animals?2020-09-02T14:25:28-07:00

Many Akitas are natural hunters and as such have high prey drive, so cats, small dogs, and other small pets must be introduced with caution. Akitas can also be dog aggressive, especially same sex dog aggressive. This aggression may not develop until the Akita is fully mature. It is not advisable to have two Akitas of the same sex in the same household.

Is the Akita the right breed for me?2020-09-02T14:24:15-07:00

Akitas are not appropriate for everyone. Some say not a "beginner" dog. While Akitas are wonderful family pets because they are intelligent, affectionate, quiet, and clean, they can be head strong, are independent-thinkers. The typical Akita has a high prey drive  and may not be good with other dogs, especially of the same gender.

More Questions? Contact an Akita Expert2020-09-02T18:26:15-07:00

If your question is not answered here or you need additional help, please contact aca-pec@akitaclub.org and we will try to help you.

Does this mean the 2020 National will not be held?2020-06-18T14:56:38-07:00

At this time the ACA president and the chair for the site coordinating committee are in discussion with the host hotel to cancel the contract.

Will the 2020 National be rescheduled?2020-06-18T15:05:12-07:00

If the contract is canceled, it will not be rescheduled.

What about the 2020 judges; what will happen with them?2020-06-18T15:06:32-07:00

We are currently trying to find a solution that works for the judges and for the club.

What will happen to any achievements or awards earned during 2020?2020-06-18T15:07:06-07:00

We will not skip recognizing achievements or awards occurring this year. However, no decision has been made regarding when and how those accomplishments will be recognized.

Will this affect the 2021 National?2020-06-18T15:05:55-07:00

To the best of our knowledge, this will not impact the 2021 National. It is still expected to be held in Topeka, Kansas.

When will you know where the 2023 National will be held?2020-06-18T15:07:44-07:00

At this time, naming a location would be speculation. The club president and the site coordinating committee chair are negotiating with the host hotel in Indiana. While it is the board’s desire to hold a national at this location sometime in the future, we do not know if that is possible. When we know, we will notify the club members.

Why can’t the club hold a national for those who want to attend, even if not many attend, and let those who are not safe stay at home?2020-06-18T15:10:04-07:00

The minimum cost to hold a national would be the same if 10 people attended or 1,000 people. The difference is if it is underattended, the club would lose money. ACA guaranteed the hotel that it would sell a minimum of 635 rooms, $75,565, and $12,000 plus gratuity in food/beverage sales, bringing the minimum required to almost $90,000. Without member support, the minimum would not be reached, and ACA would have to pay the difference to the hotel.

Why can’t ACA wait until the middle or end of summer to see how the coronavirus is affecting the country before making a decision?2020-06-18T15:10:47-07:00

There is no advantage to waiting but there is a disadvantage. Waiting will not change the state of the coronavirus. Outbreaks will continue to occur until a vaccine is developed. It’s highly unlikely that a vaccine will be developed by October 1. The disadvantage is it eliminates options for the hotel and will obligate them to enforce the contract. If cancelled now, the hotel will have time to resell the rooms. Even waiting one or two months greatly reduces the resell period. At that point, the hotel will opt for the easiest solution: enforce the contract, and we know we cannot meet the minimums if held to the contract.

Why are OFA hip scores important?2020-01-24T22:02:02-07:00

excellent vs dysplastic hips

The x-rays show two dogs, one of which has healthy hips (in red). The other is severely dysplastic (in purple). Ethical breeders do OFA testing of hips to avoid this outcome. It’s why we encourage anyone thinking about getting a puppy from a breeder to be SURE a puppy’s parents have OFA or PennHIP tests for their hips. OFA testing is expensive for breeders, but it is critically necessary to avoid hip dysplasia. The dog on the left has OFA Excellent hips; she is an akita from a reputable breeder whose parents and grandparents had health tests. The dog on the right is a German shepherd from a backyard breeder.

The hip is what is called a “ball and socket” joint. The head of the femur is a round ball that can fit into the socket in the pelvis. You want that socket to fit as tightly as possible. To understand why, make a fist and cover it with your hand, holding it loosely. Twist your fist. It will only be able to move a certain amount, and it will only move in the socket. It won’t move up and down or in and out. Now do the same thing, but only cover your fist with your fingertips. See how much more you can move your fist around? That movement is bad, because it puts additional, uneven wear and tear on the joint. It creates a lack of stability. This is the joint assembly a dog is going to walk on for its entire life - hips like the ones on the right will wear out by age 5, necessitating costly surgery to help limit the dog’s pain. It is a painful disease that is difficult to treat.

Please, if you are choosing a puppy from a breeder, get your puppies from OFA tested parents and reputable breeders. It will save you so much heartache down the road.

  • Thanks to ACA Member Madison Schaeffer for this explanation.
  • Thanks to ACA Member Connie Gaddy for the "excellent" hip xray image
  • Thanks to ACA Member Elizabeth Fulghum for the "severe dysplasia" hip xray image
How much do Akitas shed?2019-09-19T19:06:23-07:00

Akitas are a "double coated" breed, much like Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Samoyeds.  These dogs have a top coat called guard hair, and a soft, dense undercoat.  The under coat is nature's insulation, that cools and warms the akita. About twice a year, Akitas shed or "blow" their coats. The amount of hair they let go can be surprising. Regular brushing or blowing out with a forced air dog dryer (outside, of course) helps keep the dog hair dust bunnies down, but for a few weeks each "blow" there is a considerable amount of coat shed.

Anita Palmer shared this photo of the result of a good brushing!

Chrissy Delgado shared this photo of one of her Akitas next to fur she brushed out!

Why should I  buy a puppy from a Show Dog Breeder if I only want a pet? 2019-09-18T16:41:30-07:00


The reputable breeder of Champion show dogs has invested a great deal of time, money and energy into producing puppies that he or she has worked to ensure will be healthy examples of the breed.  They can't keep every puppy they cause to be born, so some are available as pets to people like you. The differences between the puppy from a reputable breeder and back yard breeder (BYB) puppy (such as you find on Craigslist or in some Facebook groups) are:

  • Reputably bred puppies come from parents who have been health tested - minimum OFA, patella, CERF.  BYB puppies rarely are.
  • Reputable breeders are conscientious about breeding good genetic lines. They have researched pedigrees to reduce the risk of genetic illnesses like hip displaysia, entropion, or temperament issues like rage syndrome. BYB breeders don't care - they just want to sell puppies.
  • Reputable breeders show their dogs in AKC events to various levels of Championship - which means the dogs have been judged worthy of breeding by a minimum of three qualified AKC judges. BYB breeders do not show their dogs, so they do not compete against other dogs by any ethical outside entity to determine their worthiness to reproduce.
  • Reputable breeders are members of clubs like ACA, and agree to adhere to ethical breeding practices. Back yard breeders do not.
  • Reputable breeders will mentor, stay in contact and follow up with puppy buyers for the lifetime of the dog. Back yard breeders do not.
  • Reputable breeders will offer and honor health guarantees on the puppies they place. Back yard breeders do not.
  • If you can't keep the dog for any reason at any time during its lifetime, the Reputable Breeder will take the dog back. The BYB will not.
  • Reputably bred dogs do not end up in rescue. BYB dogs do.
  • Back yard breeders are only after the money, are not interested in the health of either the parents or the puppies.



How big is an adult Akita?2020-09-06T20:42:25-07:00

According to the Akita Breed standard:

  • The male Akita should measure between 26-28" at the withers and typically weighs between 100-115 pounds.
  • The female Akita should measure between 24-26" at the withers and typically weighs between 75-90 pounds.

Like people, some dogs are taller and some are shorter, weigh more or less. This is a guideline given by the Akita Standard. You can read the full Standard here:

What does a dog title mean?2019-09-18T15:47:54-07:00

"What Is A Title Really?

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher Title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores.

A Title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honour the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in the record and in the memory for about as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard. And though the dog himself doesn't know or care that his achievements have been noted, a Title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

A Title says your dog was intelligent, and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed. And a Title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with him because he was a good dog, and that you believed in him enough to give him yet another chance when he failed, and that in the end your faith was justified.

A Title proves that your dog inspired you to have the special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a Title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.And when that dear short life is over, the Title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials before or after the name.

A Title is nothing less than love and respect, given and received permanently.

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