American Akita Dog Breed
The American breed is different from the Japanese dog breed but they do have many similarities. This pages focuses on the American breed.
They were bred as hunting dogs but have also been used as guard dogs (this comes naturally) and as herding dogs. They are considered a working dog breed. Unlike some other Working Dog Breeds they were bred to work alone and as a result they prefer to be the only pet in the house. They can be trained to get along with other household pets.
Personality and Attitude
They were bred as a hunting dog in Japan centuries ago. Because of this breeding and their large size they need early and ongoing training. The good news is they are intelligent and trainable.
They are extremely loyal to their families and are not suited as an outdoor dog since they want to be with their owners. They are quite affectionate to their owners and make good watchdogs as they will bark to protect their territory. If you are up for giving your dog a daily walk and early training they could be a dog that would be fine in a small home.
Without early training and regular reminders, it may try to assert its dominance. Males are especially prone to this. For this reason it is a good idea to adopt a female if you are concerned about the size and dominance factors. Females are smaller and less likely to try and assert their position in the family.
The early training also involves socializing them to other animals as they have a strong hunting instinct. Even a well trained Akita should not be allowed to roam off leash as they may harm other pets.
Children need to be taught how to behave around this breed. As a large and powerful dog the consequence of it feeling threatened or teased could be severe. This goes for all dogs, but the larger the breed, the more important this is.
They can be a great pet for the right people.
Size and appearance
They are large and stocky dogs normally standing from 24-28 inches (61-71 cm) at the withers and weigh between 700-130 pounds (32-59 kg). Males are usually at the higher end of this scale with females at the lower end.
They have a large, broad head that is bear like. Their ears are upright and triangular. Their coats are quite thick and their tails curl up over their backs. They have any color of coat with one commonality – the colors of their coats are rich and clear
Health and Lifespan
Just like all dogs, they are at risk for some health problems most common health issues that can be found in the Akita breed include:
- Eye Problems (retinal folds and retinal dysplasia)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Polyarthrities (joints)
- Skin problems
Just like other dogs it is important that you commit to regular veterinary care, good nutrition and regular exercise. Your Akita will live about 12-14 years if well cared for.
Where to Get One?
An Akita Rescue is a great place to start. A breeder is a good choice as well. I recommend considering adopting from a rescue because you’ll get a dog whose personality is known and that has some training and veterinary care. A breeder is also a good choice because they will help you determine if that is the best breed for you and will do the preliminary health checks on the breed
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