The Akita dog is one precious creature! A native of the Far East, this Japanese dog is known as a Japanese National Treasure. Yep, that’s right. In 1931, the government gave the Japanese Akita status as a National Monument. And perhaps you’ve even heard of the famous Hachiko who was an Akita in Japan that actually gained popularity for his incredible loyalty which was demonstrated by him actually waiting for 9 years for his owner to return.
Hachiko’s owner had passed away, but that didn’t stop Hachiko from waiting for the remainder of his life for him to return! Now that’s loyality!
But it also…
Stresses the point that choosing to purchase a Akita puppy or better yet adopting an Akita rescue dog comes with a lot of responsibility. It may also be more challenging to adopt an adult Akita due to their ability to bond for life.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the Pros and Cons of adopting an Akita dog so that you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not this particular dog breed is right for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Origin of the Akita Dog
As already mentioned, this Japanese breed comes from Japan. More specifically, this dog comes from Akita Prefecture, a region of Japan located in Tohoku. And here is where things get a bit “tricky”.
The Akita dog breed does come in two different strains, the American Akita and the Japanese Akita. And while many folks will often consider them the same, there is generally two schools of thought on this issue.
The people of the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club generally consider the American and Japanese Akita’s the same.
While the following kennel clubs will typically consider them two separate breeds:
- United Kennel Club
- Federation Cynologique Internationale
- The Kennel Club
- The New Zealand Kennel Club
- Japanese Kennel Club
- Australian National Kennel Club
These clubs will also view that Akita “black mask” appearance which is very popular right now a “disqualifier” for competition.
What you decide to think about the possible two Akita dog breeds is well, up to you! Either way, they are both fantastic household pets and a great addition to the right household.
Basic Facts about an Akita Breed
Country of Origin: Japan
Original Purpose: Hunting, guard dog, and dog fighting
Height: 23 to 28 inches tall
Weight: 65-120 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Working Group
Life Span: 10-15 years
Personality of the Akita Dog
Some of the common personality traits of an Akita include them being: highly intelligent, courageous and alert. In fact, this breed is often acquired to work as either a guard dog and/or hunting dog throughout the world.
If you’re looking for a great dog breed to scare off intruders or play the role of protector within your household, you’ve definitely found one in an Akita.
But let’s not…
“Pigeon hole” the Akita, because in addition to being a great guard dog, they’re also very lovable and affectionate to the ones they love which is why both of those words should also be used to describe their temperament as well.
At this point…
We should also remind folks that the personality of a dog particularly an adult Akita can be impacted by the age and circumstances in which he/she came to live with you. An Akita rescue might have different personality traits from an Akita bred and adopted directly from a litter of Akita puppies.
This is why…
If you do opt for an Akita, and you do choice to adopt an adult dog (which we highly encourage folks to do), you might want to join the Akita Clube of America and work directly with an Akita rescue center so that you can be sure of the personality of the Akita that you’re adopting.
Akitas and Kids…or other fur family members
Since we already mentioned an Akita is a guard dog, you should also know it has a history of being breed to fight as well. Which means that you’ll often find that Akita’s don’t do well with other pets particularly if they weren’t raised as a puppy with these other family pets around.
Also want to be careful owning two Akita’s of the same sex simply because this could be an invitation for problems later on. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet will generally recommend that folks who are considering getting an Akita do so as a solo pet.
So… what about kids?
To be honest, the Akita dog breed isn’t the first choice for a family. Don’t get us wrong, we love this dog breed a lot, but because they’re alert, sudden movements, and the high activity levels of children just might not be a good idea for them. Also, if you do have kids and an Akita, be sure that your kids understand the general nature of their pet and be sure that they know not to bother their Akita when he or she is eating – that’s a must!
Characteristics of the Akita breed
A few more characteristics of an Akita… well, they’re large and need to go outside a lot. They aren’t the ideal pet for an apartment life. Because they are a working dog that belongs to the “working group”, this is a dog breed that gets bored easily and need to be entertained with “jobs” or exercise.
The one thing is, however, you’ll definitely want to go through obedience training with an Akita.
Come in all colors. With a straight rather rough coat, Akita puppies could be black, red, white, or any number of other colors! To keep an Akita’s coat healthy, it’s recommended you brush this breed daily or at least a few times a week. This won’t be necessary when they are a puppy.
Akitas are also rather unique because they have what is called a double coat. Unfortunately, the top coat sheds once a year, so while your dog will have “two looks” a year (pretty stylish), it also means that they’re going to shed quite a bit.
Heath concerns for the Akita
With every dog, you have to wonder what health concerns they are predisposed to. Akitas have their own set of potential health problems that are common – and unfortunately, all those health concerns have a pretty large price tag.
What do you need to watch out for when it comes to the Akita? Here’s a look:
Akitas are at high risk for the following:
Cruciate Ligament Injury – The cost for surgery to fix this is around $2000-4000.
Entropion – This is an eyelid that rolls inward. It can cause blindness or bad eyesight. If you fix this, it will cost anywhere from $500-2000.
Akitas are really prone to skin diseases, especially then they live in warm or semi-warm climates. As mentioned, these are mountain dogs and they are used to mountain climates. Here are the top skin disorders of Akitas:
Pemphigus – This is a skin disorder that causes blistering. Since it’s ongoing, the treatment and monitoring will be too. It’s hard to say exactly how much you’ll spend in a lifetime, but it could be thousands of dollars, depending on how often your dog gets outbreaks.
Sebaceous Adenitis – This is another skin disease that requires ongoing treatment and will be recurring. A one-time treatment will probably cost $100-500. But remember; this could happen again and again.
Uveodermatologic Syndrome – This will manifest in eye problems, loss of hair, and probably vitiligo (loss of skin pigmentation). Treatment will be thousands of dollars.
An adult Akita is also prone to hip dysplasia. This can cost thousands of dollars if surgery is necessary.
Now at this point…
You may be thinking to yourself…
“Wow, maybe I shouldn’t get an Akita!”
After all, we’ve pointed out some serious issues that the Akita dog breed has, but before you jump to that conclusion you need to remember why we here at IndulgeYourPet write articles like this about other gods as well.
Because Our goal…
Is to make sure that you have an accurate understanding of what it will be like to own an Akita and know for sure whether or not an Akita will be right for you. Because remember, choosing to adopt an animal is a very serious commitment and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.
We also like to…
Point out some of the potential health issues that your Akita might develop so that you can ask your breeder or ask the Akita rescue center about these conditions to that one or two years from now you aren’t surprised by any potential medical issues that your dog may develop.
If purchased as a puppy before any health conditions arise, purchasing a pet insurance policy can be a great way to avoid any costly medical bills later on in your dog’s life and could help prevent you having to make a difficult decision about going into considerable debt or simply having to allow your dog to go without treatment!
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one. This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.
For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.