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Is an Akita a Good Family Dog? 22 First Things To Know

Last updated on December 16th, 2023 at 02:43 pm

If you are wondering: Is an Akita a good family dog? You’re in the right place! In this article, we will break down everything you need to know before adopting an Akita dog.

Is an Akita a good family dog?

Their charm and intelligence make the Akita Inu become a desirable pet of many dog lovers. They are suitable for specific family situations. An Akita is a great family dog for families with older children who understand how to treat them respectfully. They are excellent guard dogs but not recommended for first-time owners.

The Akita history

The Akita’s known existence goes back to the 1600s when they were originally bred in Japan as guarding and hunting dogs. When a Japanese child is born, the parents will usually receive a small statue of an Akita. It represents health, happiness, and long life.

Or did you know the story of Hachiko. Let me tell you.

Touching story about the Akita dog named Hachiko

Hachiko, or Hachi (his nickname), was born at a farm in 1923 and one year later adopted by Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo. Hachiko and Ueno soon became best friends. They would meet at Shibuya Station every day after Ueno commuted home.

This routine continued until one day, Ueno died suddenly and unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage while at work. Of course, Hachiko had no idea about his owner’s death, so this loyal dog kept returning to Shibuya Station throughout the rest of his ten-year-long life until he died in 1935.

He touched the hearts of people all over the world and was remembered in worldwide popular culture as a HERO. We have a weepy, wonderful film about his story “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” that you have to watch at least once in your life.

Japanese Akita size

Japanese Akitas are large dogs, typically standing 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighing between 75 and 120 pounds (34 to 54 kg) for males and 70 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg) for females.

Japanese Akita coat types

The standard coat of Akita dogs is short hair. They have a double layer with a soft, dense undercoat and a short topcoat. However, the Wasao dog, which is very famous and influential in the media, has long and swollen hair. This is a long-haired breed of mutant Akita Inu called Muku hair.

Japanese Akita colors

how to train an akita

There are four types of Akita Inu colors identified by the Japan Kennel Club: red fawn, brindle, white, and sesame. Red fawn is the most popular color and sesame is the rarest.

Japanese Akita lifespan

The Japanese Akita has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.

Japanese Akita temperament

Japanese Akitas are intelligent, courageous, loyal, and willful. They hate to live in groups, rather be alone and never back down from any challenge. This breed is surprisingly sweet, affectionate, and loyal with owners but naturally wary of strangers.

They have a complex temperament and are one of the most challenging dog breeds to raise well. Their facial expression and body language are subtle and very hard to read, than most other canines. In addition, Japanese Akitas have an independent mind and many of them want to be the boss.

They can be stubborn and are prone to aggression if you aren’t training them well from an early age. But keep in mind that the Akita temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and living environment.

Japanese Akita drool

The Japanese Akita is a tight-lipped breed so they do not drool excessively. But like any dogs, they can drool a lot when they see delicious food.

Japanese Akita shedding

Shedding heavily in Akitas occurs in the fall and spring. In the fall, you will see a change in your dog’s coat and a higher incidence of shedding in preparation for the coming winter months. In the spring, your dog’s coat will become lighter in preparation for the warm weather in summer.

You’ll find their fur all over your house, on clothing, furniture… in these periods. During this time, you need to comb your dog and vacuum the house often. If your family member has a problem with dog allergy, Japanese Akita dogs might not be the best choice for you. However, more grooming and good hoovering can keep shedding under control.

Japanese Akita grooming

grooming an akita

It is important to groom Japanese Akita early and regularly, especially in their heavy shedding events. They are shedders, so frequently vacuuming will be your new lifestyle if you decide to live with this breed. 

Weekly brushing will help reduce the amount of fur in your home and keep the Akita coat healthy. Besides, they also need bathing every six weeks to three months or more if your dog moves in a mud puddle or something smelly. Trim their nails once a month and clean their ears weekly.

Japanese Akita exercise needs

Most Akitas don’t need much exercise like many other large breeds. Thirty minutes to an hour a day with brisk walks, and romping in the yard is sufficient for them. In addition, puppies should avoid jumping or jogging on hard surfaces until at least two years old when their joints are fully formed.

Do Akitas bark a lot?

They are silent hunters and endurance runners. Akitas are big but not loud. They only bark when necessary. As a result, they serve as effective early warning signals. That’s why everybody said they are excellent guard dogs.

Are Akitas easy to train?

The short answer is NO. Training an Akita is challenging because they are stubborn and bored easily. Training needs to start as soon as possible. If Akitas are not trained properly, they can hurt others and become a nightmare to walk.

100% it is not easy to train an Akita dog, but possible if you spend enough time, energy, and patience with the right method. These canines do not respond to the harsh training method well. You should use the respective method.

If your training is respectful, the dog will, in turn, respect you. Positive reinforcement training is essential here. It can come from treats, toys, rewards, or affection… Mix them well to bring the best result. Make sure training is fun with your Akita.

akita shedding

Using high value and rewards to keep them motivated, convince your dog that it is always better to listen to you. Ideally, you should teach them to consistently and accurately follow your commands until it becomes their habit.

Another thing to notice is that Akitas tend to use their mouths to carry things around, including your wrist. This is not a signal of aggression. It is just their way of communicating. But your dog needs the training to know it’s okay to chew toys, but not on people.

In addition, socializing the Akita puppies or retraining adult dogs with other dogs and people as soon as possible is essential to help soften the edge of their wariness. A well-socialized Akita tends to be less aggressive and more friendly.

If you are struggling to train your dog because you don’t know where to start and what is the “real” thing you need to do, we recommend you take this SpiritDog Masterclass Bundle to find all the answers, support, and training for the problems you’re facing with your dog.

Are Akitas aggressive to humans?

Akitas can be aggressive if they aren’t raised properly. They rarely become aggressive with family members but unfriendly towards strangers. Anyway, they were originally bred in Japan for hunting and protection purposes. 

With family members, they are loyal, affectionate, and playful. They enjoy every moment with you and want to participate in daily activities as an excellent companion. But Akitas are naturally wary of strangers and easily become aggressive to protect against anything they perceive to be a threat.

Is an Akita a good family dog

These dogs are not aggressive with visitors if family members are home. But it’s best to leave soon if their owners aren’t around you. The securely fenced yard is important both for the safety of your dog and other people. 

However, it is possible to reduce their natural tendency for aggressive behavior with early socialization. The sooner and more often they meet friendly people and dogs, the less likely they will become aggressive.

Not just because your Akita is well-socialized early, doesn’t mean they can be around other dogs without supervision. Also, when you’re introducing them to new people or someone they haven’t seen in a while, it’s best to introduce them in a neutral location rather than at home.

Are Akitas good for first time owners? 

Akitas are not recommended for first-time owners and timid. The large size and their stubborn character make Akitas more difficult to manage than other dogs. But for the owner who can invest time and effort in research, proper training, and providing loving discipline, you’re a good fit. 

Are Akitas good with kids?

Akitas are good with older children who understand they have to treat them well with respect. Many dogs don’t tolerate any nonsense and mistreatment. They take social status seriously and don’t have much patience with kids who disrespect or invade their personal space. Adults have to supervise any interactions between dogs and kids.

Are Akitas good with other dogs?

Akitas tend to be aggressive with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. You should never leave two males or females alone together. They love to be the only pet in your house. Of course, each dog is different, but it’s better to train them to act appropriately or even enjoy another dog’s existence.

Are Akitas good with cats?

No, Akitas are not good with cats. They were bred to hunt so they have strong instincts to chase and seize cats. The simplest and safest way is to keep this breed as an only pet.

Do Akitas like water?

Many Akitas like water and are strong swimmers. However, 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.

Do Akitas like the cold?

Yes, most Akitas like the cold. The breed originated in the mountains of northern Japan that were widely known for wind, snow, and low temperatures up to -30 degrees. Therefore, they are very suitable to live in this type of weather.

Can Akita live in hot weather?

can akita live in hot weather

Dogs are highly adaptable and adjust themselves to the weather of any place, so although Akitas are known to be the dogs of cold areas, they can adapt to hot temperatures as well.

We’ve just walked through everything you need to know to help you answer the question: Is an Akita a good family dog? I bet you already know your answer.

Last but not least…

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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