Yes, many Akitas like water and are strong swimmers.
But they are not the type of dog that will run and jump into every body of water they see, as some other breeds are known.
In addition, every dog has different preferences. Watch your dog’s cues and body language to measure how much they like water.
Are Akitas waterproof?
Akitas have a two-layer waterproof coat.
The outer coat is short and straight.
The undercoat is soft, dense, and located close to their body, providing excellent insulation for them in cold weather.
Can Akitas swim?
Yes, most Akitas can swim. They have the physical abilities to swim and strong survival instincts to swim.
The only thing holding them back will be their mind. But your love with the right training can help your dog overcome their fear.
Do Akitas like to swim?
Many Akitas like swimming.
But in most cases, this breed prefers to be on land or in the snow.
In addition, whether Akitas like to swim or not also depends on their age, personality, training, and past experiences with water.
Keep in mind that every dog – like a human – has different likes or dislikes. It’s okay if your dog doesn’t like this sport.
Are Akitas good swimmers?
Akitas are strong swimmers.
Did you know Akitas have webbed feet? Interestingly, it helps them walk through snow and navigate other harsh terrains for their breeding history work in the mountainous regions of Japan.
But webbed feet are also great for swimming as this will give your dog an advantage when learning to swim and go through water.
Moreover, with their courageous and strong physical powers, they can be taught to swim much easier than you think and become strong swimmers.
A minus point of Akitas in this sport is theirthick coat! A thick coat increases drag when moving through water. In addition, the water will press down on their coat more and can make the dog feel like they are sinking.
Should you let your Akita swim?
Yes, you should. But don’t push them too hard, let them go at their own pace.
However, puppies and old dogs or those with health problems should not swim for their own safety if the vet does not suggest.
Benefits of swimming for Akitas
You might find yourself preparing for all entertaining summer activities including pool days, trips on the beach, or days on the lake… It’ll be so much fun if they enjoy swimming with you.
Otherwise, swimming is a great activity to keep your Akita entertained and healthy.
In general, Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia, and almost all dogs will develop some joint pain or arthritis as they age.
Water therapy is the way that many veterinarians recommend to keep their joints active and healthy and relieve some of the discomfort caused by these joint problems.
Anyway, if your dog can swim, it will make life a lot easier.
What are the best places to take your Akita for a swim?
Before you start teaching your dog how to swim, you need to find the best location for this activity first.
The ideal location for your dog is a calm, distraction-free, and comfortable area for them to enjoy swimming time. Furthermore, it is an environment where you feel you have a high level of control.
Instead of worrying about your Akita preferring to chase toys, animals, or aggressiveness with other dogs and strangers, swimming in an isolated environment will help your dog stay calm and focus on the task of swimming.
Be sure to supervise your Akita, especially if there are small children or other animals around.
Only introduce them to shallow water first until they feel more comfortable.
There are some places you might consider:
You might wonder: Can Akitas swim in chlorinated pools?
Yes, they can but ensure the pool uses a normal chlorine level that is safe for swimming.
Some public pools have specific days that allow you to bring your dog in for a swim.
But most public pools probably won’t allow dogs. So you can use your own, a willing friend or neighbor.
Lakes and Oceans
Great options! A lake or a beach with calm waves can be a great place to help your dog feel more confident in the water.
You may want a life jacket for their safety. However, you do need to supervise them carefully.
Certain times of year may not be suitable for swimming, some places can be heavily polluted and there can be rocks or tides that are unsafe for you and your Akita.
Special Hot Tubs
Like I said before, many vets recommend water therapy for dogs. And the tub is a great option if your dog has some health issues because you can control everything.
These tubs are typically warmer to create a relaxing bath-like environment for your dog while also allowing them to paddle around or move their limbs to ease their pain.
Anyway, you should consider taking your Akita to a dog pool first before taking them to the lake or beach trips.
How to teach your Akita how to swim?
The most important thing is to KEEP IT FUN!
Here are three basic steps to guide you and your dog on swimming:
Once you’ve found a suitable location where the water is nice and calm, get yourself in the water (on a shallow surface with limited distractions) and have some fun before calling your dog over to you with a sweet voice.
At this stage, we want your Akita to feel as comfortable with water as possible. It will help them trust you and build their excitement to go further into the water.
You should spend a long time in this step and repeat it over several sessions until your dog is eager to swim in deeper water.
Now let’s move to the next step.
When your Akita wants to swim into the deeper parts, you need to be with them every step of the way.
Place your hand gently under the dog’s belly, lifting them slightly in the water. Your comforting touch will make them feel more relaxed and put you in a great position to help them when they meet any difficulties.
Let your dog paddle around freely.
Toss their favorite toy to the water’s edge. When your dog is more comfortable, increase the distance gradually until your dog swims like a champion.
Again, keep it fun!
What should you do after your Akita finishes swimming?
Once your Akitas has finished swimming, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that your dog’s skin and coat remain healthy.
If you choose to swim in an area with large waves, you need to monitor for signs of seasickness like vomiting or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian if you see any signs or symptoms.
In addition,bathing your Akita after a swim is extremely important to wash off any chemicals like chlorine from a pool, salt from the sea, or bacteria from freshwater.
Their thick coat can hold a lot of water leading to a stinky smell. You have to dry them as best as you can.
Also, if your Akita has been swimming in wild waters, their fur may have bugs and debris. Brush their fur to remove this.
What to keep in mind when your Akita goes swimming?
Safety is the number one priority!
Don’t throw your dog in the water.
Keep the sessions short and stop at the first sign of exhaustion from your dog.
Tips for you when taking Akita swimming!
Most Aitas can learn swimming quickly, but some will not. Here are some tips you should use before taking your dog swim for the first time:
Have So Much Fun!
Play with your Akita in the water and make them feel like they’re having a great time. Then they are willing to spend their love on this sport and love to swim.
Get A Life Jacket
It sounds funny when a dog wears a life jacket. But why not?
Wearing a life jacket will not only keep them safe in the water, but it will also help your Akita learn to swim better.
Many dogs make mistakes like using only their front paws to paddle and their hind legs to grasp the bottom of the water. This way is inefficient.
But when a life jacket helps them to float, it naturally lifts their hind legs, where they can begin to understand how to kick.
Once your Akita sees the effect of using all four legs to swim, they will likely never go back to the old way.
Do Akitas like water? Yes, many Akitas like water and can learn how to swim easily because they have webbed feet.
Whatever your dog’s breed is, training is a must if you want to eliminate bad behavior and create the obedient, well-behaved dog of your dreams. You can choose suitable online classes from these20 reputable SpiritDog Training coursesto learn how to “successfully” train your canine using science-based positive methods, or grab the free guide below.
Miha is the founder of Pet Chao, a place connecting all the Asian dog breed enthusiasts out there! She has a strong love for Asian canines and wants to give them the life they truly deserve. She believes educating ourselves is the key to improving our pets' quality of life.