The Akita breed
The Akita is a large and powerful dog breed with a noble and intimidating presence. They were originally used for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan. These dogs also tracked and hunted wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer. The breed does not back down from challenges and does not frighten easily. Consequently, they are fearless and loyal guardians of their families. Yet they are also affectionate, respectful, and amusing dogs when properly trained and socialized.
Not for Novices
An Akita is bound to shed quite a bit, and you may be wiping some drool from their face if you bring one home. Certainly, owners should be prepared for some cleanup. Furthermore, they tend to be stubborn and are not overly fond of strangers. While those can be good traits for a watchdog, they will need an experienced trainer if they are to interact with other animals or people. Novices beware. That said, dogs of this breed are faithful companions that will be attached to the right owner for life. And shower them with adoration and love. Therefore, if you and your family are up for the challenge then consider adopting an Akita. You’ll have a lifelong friend that won’t let you down.
The Akita is a big, bold dog with a distinctly powerful appearance. A large head in contrast to small, triangular eyes; and a confident, rugged stance. The mere presence of a powerful Akita serves as a deterrent to most who would cause trouble.
This breed is renowned for unwavering loyalty to their owners. Also they can be surprisingly sweet and affectionate with family members. Imagine a loving protector who will follow you from room to room, whose entire mission in life seems to be simply to serve you.
The Akita is courageous, a natural guardian of their family. Stubborn and willful, they won’t back down from a challenge. They don’t usually bark unless there is a good reason, but they are vocal, making amusing grunts, moans, and mumbles. Some owners say the Akita mutters under their breath and seem to be talking to themselves, while others say the Akita offers their opinion on all matters, from how to load the dishwasher to when the children should be put to bed.
While these charming “talking” traits are exhibited to family, the Akita is often aloof and silent with visitors. They’re naturally wary of strangers, though they will be welcoming enough to a house guest as long as their owners are home.
Socializing the Akita puppy (or retraining an adult dog) with as much exposure to friendly people as possible can help soften the edge of their wariness, though an Akita will always be an Akita—a dignified and sober presence, not a party animal.
One of the Akita’s singular traits is mouthing. The Akita loves to carry things around in their mouth, and that includes your wrist. This is not an act of aggression, but simply an Akita way of communicating with those they love. They may lead you to their leash because they want to go for a walk, for example, or act on any number of other ideas that pop into their intelligent head.
Many owners are charmed by the breed’s mouthing, but if you find it annoying, simply give your Akita a job that involves carrying something. They would happily get the newspaper or your slippers for you, or retrieve the mail or even those keys you keep misplacing.
The Akita also proves themselves unusual with their grooming habits, licking their body like a cat. And that’s not their only “feline” trait: like a tiger, they’ll stalk their prey silently, body low to the ground. This is not a dog that will growl or bark a warning before springing into action.
At 100 pounds or more, the Akita is a lot of muscular power. This is a dominating breed, and the Akita will want to dominate you. Proper training is essential, and training should be done by the owner. Because the Akita is so faithfully loyal, the bond between the owner and the dog must not be broken by boarding the dog with a trainer.
Before adopting an Akita, it is crucial to spend time researching how to train this particular breed. Akitas do not respond well to harsh training methods. If your training is respectful, the dog will, in turn, respect you.
Training takes longer
But be prepared for training to take longer than it does for other breeds. Though the Akita is highly intelligent, stubborn willfulness is a part of their personality, which can and does interfere with training. The best results come from doing plenty of homework on how to train before ever bringing an Akita home with you. This is not a breed for the timid.
The willful and determined Akita is also, despite their public reserve, a very social pet who needs plenty of time with their family. They not do well as a backyard dog. Companionship holds hands with loyalty, which is what this breed is all about. To make them live outside without benefit of family is to deny the very essence of the Akita breed. A lonely and bored Akita can become destructive and aggressive.
The Akita is not recommended for first-time dog owners, for those who want a lapdog, or for those unwilling to take charge. But for owners who can and will invest time and effort in research and proper training, the reward is a fine, intelligent companion with unwavering loyalty.
DATE OF ORIGIN: 1600s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION: large game hunting,…