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Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Akita Inu Dog (2024)

Last updated on February 29th, 2024 at 07:36 pm

Are you a fan of big, majestic canines? Then you’ll definitely fall in love with the Japanese Akita Inu dog! This breed originates in Japan, where they’re considered a national treasure. While it’s not very common to spot an Akita in the U.S., those who have adopted one know that with proper training, the muscular Akita makes for a fiercely loyal and loving family companion.

If you’re interested in learning about the Akita dog breed, you’ve come to the right place! This post will give you the lowdown on this adorable pup. So sit tight and get ready to discover everything you need to know!

Contents show

Overview

Asian origin:Japan
Height:25-27.5 inches (male), 22.5-25 inches (female)
Weight:65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
Lifespan:10-12 years
Coat type:Double, medium-length
Colors:Brindle, red, white
Temperament:Dignified, alert, aloof
Suitable for:Thrive in cold weather, large houses, experienced owners

Kid-friendly:

Pet-friendly:

Energy level:

Trainability:

Tendency to bark:

Shedding amount:

History

The Japanese Akita Inu dog is one of the six native Japanese breeds. The history of these canines can be divided into five major eras: hunting, guarding, fighting, restoration, and preservation. After WWII, only a few pure Akita remained. Thankfully, breeders have made great strides in restoring and preserving them, with the first overseas AKIHO club being established in the US in 1970 and the Japanese Akita Inu Club of America formed in 1997.

Appearance

japanese akita inu dog

The Japanese Akita Inu is the biggest of the native dog breeds in Japan. They were originally used for hunting game in the mountainous terrain of the Tōhoku region, where Akita Prefecture is located. This breed is a sturdy and well-balanced Spitz-type dog with a dense coat, curled tail, and head. The physical features of males and females are different, with males having a strong body structure and masculine facial features. In contrast, females have a more refined form and feminine characteristics. The Japanese Akita Inu doesn’t require trimming of whiskers, styling, or color enhancements and is exhibited naturally.

Temperament

The Japanese Akita Inu is alert, independent, dignified, and self-confident. They are very loyal and protective of their family. They can be shy and distant around strangers, and some may not get along well with other dogs of the same sex. It’s important to note that Akitas with extreme shyness or aggressiveness are not considered good representatives of the breed.

Grooming

If you’re grooming a Japanese Akita Inu, expect lots of hair during their twice-yearly shedding. To help them in good condition, give them a bath and use a cold forced air dryer, followed by combing. Keeping their nails trimmed, brushing their teeth regularly, and maintaining ear cleanliness are essential for their overall health.

Exercise

If you want to have a Japanese Akita Inu, keep in mind that they have a strong instinct to chase prey and may not get along with other dogs. So, you should keep them on a leash when out in public or around unfamiliar people and animals. Taking them for regular walks and engaging them in mental exercises is also highly recommended. Despite their tendencies, with the proper training and precautions, they can be great companions for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

Training

japanese akita inu dog

The Japanese Akita Inu responds well to positive training methods. Short and varied training sessions work best as they quickly get bored with repetition. Also, mental challenges and enrichment are essential to keeping them engaged. They have a hunting background and enjoy using their natural instincts in activities like nose work, barn hunting, and lure coursing.

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

Etc.

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.

Health

The Akita dog breed is at risk of developing autoimmune disorders. Unfortunately, these conditions, like sebaceous adenitis, discoid lupus, pemphigus, uveodermatalogic syndrome, food and environmental allergies, don’t have genetic tests available. However, there have been cases of amelogenesis imperfecta that can be screened for. The national requires testing for hip and eye issues to ensure your dog’s health and also highly recommends screening for thyroid, patella, and amelogenesis imperfecta/enamel hypoplasia.

Nutrition

When it comes to feeding a Japanese Akita Inu, you have to consider the dog’s individual needs. This breed is often prone to allergies, so it’s necessary to find high-quality food that contains the right ingredients. Feeding puppies three times a day and adults twice a day is recommended.

Living Condition

japanese akita inu dog

The Japanese Akita breed enjoys spending time outside and thrive in cold weather. If it snows, they’ll run around and play in it. They even have slightly webbed toes that help them walk on snowy drifts. When indoors, these dogs are okay with following their owner or relaxing on the floor. However, their large size and strength make them unsuitable for inexperienced owners.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Japanese Akita Inu Dog

1. The Akita Symbolizes Health, Happiness, and Long Life

In Japan, the Akita breed is so highly regarded that when a baby is born, the family is often given a statue of this majestic dog in the belief that it will bring health, happiness and longevity.

2. Visitors Can Meet Akita Inus at Many Establishments in Akita, Japan

If you’re an Japanese Akita Inu lover, you’ll be delighted to know that you can visit some of the cutest Akita dogs in the world in the Akita prefecture of Japan. These locations include the Akita Dog Museum, the Akita Dog Visitor Center, and the Ani Ski Resort. You can also see them while relaxing at the Furusawa Hot Springs or staying at the Royal Hotel Odate. 

3. Helen Keller Introduced the First Akita to America in 1937

A famous author and political activist, Helen Keller, brought the first Akita dog to the United States in 1937. She was inspired by Hachiko, the loyal canine who became famous for waiting for his dead owner at a train station for nine years. 

Japanese Akita Inu Puppy for Sale

japanese akita inu dog

There are not many trustworthy Akita Inu breeders in North America. As a result, some people choose to buy a puppy from overseas. A Japanese Akita Inu can range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the breeder, the puppy’s lineage, and their show potential. 

Becoming a dog parent is one of the most memorable moments of life. But before bringing your new best friend home, it’s vital to have all the right things to make sure the adoption is really smooth and makes them feel right. You may feel overwhelmed by tons of puppy products on sale and not sure what items your puppy actually needs. That’s why I’ve compiled this minimalist puppy checklist to help you get started.

Conclusion

The Akita Inu is a large dog breed from Japan. They have some unique features, like thick necks, erect triangular ears, and upright curled tails, making them look cute and cuddly. However, these canines are confident, strong-willed, and not friendly to all animals. Therefore, the Akita is not recommended for first-time dog owners or families with small kids.

FAQs

Is a Japanese Akita a Good Family Dog?

The Japanese Akita Inu can be a good pet for families. However, they may not be a good choice for novice owners. These dogs are large and robust, so socializing and training them is essential. Also, if you have young children, you need to keep a close eye on them when they’re around Akitas.

How Much Does a Japanese Akita Cost?

The price of a Japanese Akita Inu dog can vary depending on the breeder, their lineage, and location. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3,000 for an Akita puppy.

Why Is Akita Inu So Expensive?

The Japanese Akita Inu is an expensive breed for a few reasons. The main reason is that there are not many breeders who specialize in them. They are not easy to breed and care for.

Are Akitas Stronger Than Pitbulls?

Akitas are considered a strong breed but not always stronger than Pitbulls. Strength can vary from dog to dog, and comparing two different breeds is not easy.

Which Is More Aggressive Japanese or American Akita?

This question has no definitive answer, as aggression can also vary from dog to dog. However, some experts believe that American Akitas may be more aggressive than Japanese Akitas. 

Are Akita Dogs High Maintenance?

The Japanese Akita Inu is considered to be a high-maintenance breed. They require regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming. They also need a lot of exercise and training.

Are Akitas Good Indoor Dogs?

Akitas can be good indoor dogs, but they need a yard where they can run and play. They are also not good at being left alone for long periods.

What Are the Safety Concerns for an Akita Owner?

Akitas are powerful dogs, and it is vital to take precautions to ensure that they are safe around people and other animals. This includes socializing them early, training them properly, and supervising them closely around children and other pets.

Are Akitas Indoor or Outdoor Dogs?

Akitas can be indoor or outdoor dogs.

Do Akitas Shed a Lot?

Akitas shed moderately throughout the year, but they shed heavily twice a year.

Which Is Better American Akita or Japanese Akita?

The best type of Akita for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. A Japanese Akita may be a better choice if you are looking for a gentler and more affectionate dog.

How Do I Get My Akita to Stop Biting?

If your Akita is biting, seek professional help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. They will be able to help you identify the cause of the biting and develop a training plan to help your dog stop biting.

Are Akitas Bigger Than German Shepherds?

Akitas and German Shepherds are both large dog breeds, but Akitas are generally slightly larger. 

Do Akitas Have Sensitive Stomachs?

Some Japanese Akita Inu dogs can have sensitive stomachs. They may be prone to food allergies and sensitivities, which can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and gas. If you think your Akita may have a sensitive stomach, you need to feed them a high-quality diet that is easy to digest. You should also avoid giving them table scraps or fatty foods.

How Smart Is a Japanese Akita?

Japanese Akitas are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn. They are also very loyal and devoted to their owners. However, they can also be stubborn and independent, making training challenging. Therefore, you must be patient and consistent when training a Japanese Akita Inu.

Are Akita Dogs Stubborn?

Many Akitas are stubborn.

Is an Akita Better Than a Husky?

Akitas and Huskies are both large, powerful dogs with thick coats and a lot of energy. They are both intelligent and trainable but also have some critical differences. Akitas are more stubborn and independent than Huskies, requiring more consistent training. Huskies are more outgoing and better suited for homes with active families.

Should I Get a Shiba or an Akita?

Akitas are larger, more powerful dogs than Shibas. However, your best breed will depend on your needs and preferences.

What Is the Lifespan of an Akita?

The average lifespan of an Akita is 10 to 12 years.

Why Are Akitas So Special?

Akitas are special dogs that possess many admirable traits. They are dignified and noble, symbolizing good health, happiness, and long life in Japan.

Do Akita Dogs Bark?

Yes, Akita dogs bark. They will bark to alert their owners to danger or let them know they are hungry or need to go outside.

Are Akitas Fearless?

The Japanese Akita Inu has a fearless nature. This is due in part to their history as hunting and guard dogs. 

Do Akitas Talk Like Huskies?

Akitas and Huskies are both known for their unique vocalizations. However, they do not “talk” in the same way that Huskies do. The Akita typically communicates through sounds like barks, growls, whines, and yodels. On the other hand, Huskies are known for their “woo-woo” sounds.

Why Is My Akita So Aggressive?

There are a number of reasons why a Japanese Akita Inu dog might be aggressive. Some common causes include:

      • Fear or anxiety
      • Lack of socialization
      • Possessiveness
      • Medical conditions

If you are concerned about your Akita’s aggression, consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.

Do Akitas Smell?

All dogs have a certain amount of natural odor. However, the Japanese Akita Inu is not known for being particularly smelly breed. With regular brushing and bathing, you can keep clean and odor-free.

Can Akitas Walk Off Leash?

Akitas should not be walked off leash unless they are very well-trained and have a strong recall. Catching a Japanese Akita Inu can be difficult if they take off running.

Do Akitas Like Long Walks?

Akitas are working dogs who need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. Most Akitas will enjoy long walks, hikes, or runs. 

How Long Can Akitas Hold Their Pee?

The amount of time a Japanese Akita Inu can hold their pee depends on several factors, including their age, health, and activity level. However, most adult Akitas can hold their pee for 4 to 8 hours.

Are Akitas Hard to Train?

Akitas are intelligent dogs, but they can also be stubborn and independent. This can make them challenging to train. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, Akitas can be trained to be well-behaved dogs.

Are Akitas Dominant Dogs?

Yes, Akitas are considered to be dominant dogs. They are strong-willed, independent, and may try to assert dominance over other canines or people. This is why it is crucial to socialize them from a young age.

Are Akitas One Owner Dogs?

In general, Akitas are one-family dogs, deeply loyal to those in their inner circle. 

How Are Akitas With Strangers?

Akitas are naturally suspicious of strangers and may be wary of them or even aggressive towards them. 

What Is the Legend of the Akita Dog?

The legend of the Japanese Akita Inu dog tells the story of a loyal Akita named Hachiko who waited for his owner at a train station every day for nine years after his owner died. Hachiko became a symbol of loyalty and devotion in Japan; his story is still told today.

Can Akitas Swim?

Yes, Akitas can swim. They have webbed feet, which help them to propel themselves through the water. However, not all Akitas enjoy swimming, and some may be afraid of water. If you are unsure whether your Akita likes to swim, start them off in a shallow pool or lake where they can get their feet wet.

Can You Have 2 Akitas?

Yes, you can have two Akitas, but make sure that they are well-socialized and not the same sex.

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Akita Dog?

Pros:

      • Loyal and devoted companions
      • Intelligent and trainable
      • Good with children (when properly socialized)
      • Protective of their family and home

Cons:

      • Can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially same-sex dogs
      • Can be stubborn and independent
      • Requires a lot of exercise
      • Not suitable for first-time dog owners

Should Akitas Be Bathed?

Yes, Akitas should be bathed to keep their coat clean and healthy. However, you should use a shampoo designed explicitly for dogs, as their skin can be sensitive. You should also avoid bathing your Akita too often, as this can strip away their natural oils and make their skin dry and itchy.

Are Akitas Shy?

The Japanese Akita Inu dog can be shy, especially around strangers. They are naturally suspicious of new people and situations. However, with proper socialization, Akitas can learn to become more outgoing and friendly.

Do Akitas Like Fish?

Yes, Akitas can like fish. Some Akitas may enjoy eating fish as a treat, while others may not be interested in it at all. It depends on the individual dog’s preferences.

Do Akitas Like Cuddles?

Some Akitas enjoy cuddles, while others prefer to have their own space. It really depends on the individual dog’s personality. 

What Do Akitas Like to Play With?

Most Japanese Akita Inu dogs like to play with toys, including fetch, tug-of-war, and puzzle toys. They also enjoy playing frisbee and agility games.

At What Age Do Akitas Get Aggressive?

The Japanese Akita Inu dog can show signs of aggression as early as eight weeks old. However, it is more common for Akitas to become aggressive between the ages of 1 and 3 because this is the time when they are going through puberty and developing their adult personalities.

Why Does My Akita Growl at Me?

There are some reasons why your Akita might growl at you. The most common include:

      • Fear or anxiety
      • Possessiveness
      • Pain
      • Playfulness

Are Akitas OK With Children?

The Japanese Akita Inu can be OK with children, but it is essential to socialize these large dogs from a young age and teach them how to interact safely. They may not be as patient with children as other breeds.

Are Akitas Clingy?

Some Akitas can be clingy, while others are more independent. It depends on the individual dog’s personality. 

How Do I Make My Akita Friendly?

The best way to make your Akita friendly is to start socializing from a young age. This means introducing them to new people, animals, and situations in a positive way. 

Will an Akita Turn On You?

It’s rare for a Japanese Akita Inu to turn on their owner. They are very loyal and devoted dogs, and they typically only become aggressive if they feel threatened or scared. 

Why Does My Akita Sit On Me?

Akitas are very loving dogs. They may sit on you to show their love and affection. If you pet your Japanese Akita when they sit on you, they will learn that this behavior is rewarded.

How Do I Know if My Akita Is Happy?

Your Akita’s happiness can be determined by several signs. Some of the most common include a wagging tail and loose body language.

Sources

  • https://visitakita.com/meet/
  • https://akita-inu.com/
  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/japanese-akitainu/
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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