The Akita: A Complete Guide

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Are you looking for a wolf-like dog that is strong, intimidating, yet loyal to its family and extremely protective?

Are you living in a colder climate area? The ancient Akita breed might be just what you are looking for.

This is a powerful, large dog breed that even though he has a terrifying appearance, comes with a noble and caring nature towards his family.

Originally, this breed was designed for protecting feudal Japan’s royalty and noblemen. They also used him for wild boar and black bear tracking and hunting.

The main trait of this dog is that he can’t be scared off easily and that he knows to hold his ground extremely well.

On the other hand, he can also be respectful, affectionate, and even funny if you start training and socializing him early.

An Akita dog eating hay
Akita is a great companion dog.

However, is this enough information to make the decision of taking one into your home? Do you want to get much more familiar with this breed and make sure he isn’t too much of a dog for you and your family?

Read our guide and find out everything that comes with this breed, including how to find high-quality Akita puppies from reputable breeders.

But first, let’s start with the puppies and what to keep in mind when looking for one.

The Akita Puppies – Before You Buy…

First of all, buying a puppy, of any breed, is the easiest part. Before you make the purchase, you need to get familiar with some extremely important things.

For example, can you afford an Akita puppy? Do you know how to find a breeder that won’t just rip you off and sell you a low-quality puppy with a plethora of genetically heritable health issues?

Can you take care of the puppy?

Once you have these answers, you can move forward to buying the puppy. Let’s start with the price range.

What price are the Akita puppies?

The average price range for an Akita puppy goes from $750 to $2000. But, for a well-bred puppy that is registered with the AKC, you can expect a price tag of around $1000.

Of course, if you want a puppy that will be an excellent breeding material or a dog show champion, you should expect the price to be much closer to the $2K mark, or even higher.

But, if you find a puppy that is offered for under 6 or 7 hundred dollars, avoid buying it from those breeders.

You will most likely be dealing with backyard breeders or puppy mills, which produce low-quality pups with horrible health problems.

How to find reputable Akita breeders?

An adult Akita laying down
Akita is ready to fight off even a bear if needed.

Finding a reputable breeder doesn’t have to be a tough task if you know what to pay attention to when searching for one.

The first thing that can tell you a lot about the breeder is the actual puppy sale ad.

If the ad is always available and you can always see available litters and puppies for sale, you are looking at a puppy mill ad.

That is the worst case scenario because the puppies that come from places are always low-quality and in most cases sick.

The owners are only interested in money and they don’t take the dogs to regular vet checkups or test clear the breeding dogs for inheritable health conditions.

Another scenario you should avoid is backyard breeders. But, you can spot one only after visiting him.

For example, if he doesn’t seem that interested in your story and your lifestyle in general, it is probably because he just wants to sell the puppies and doesn’t care where they are going.

Their pups are not necessarily low-quality, but these “breeders” are usually without a proper experience that is essential for breeding a litter that will be of good health, and with great genes.

Also, since they just want to get money out of the entire process, the dog food they feed the pups is in most cases low-quality.

They don’t want to spend their profit on high-quality food, and the puppies are usually underdeveloped and may suffer from serious health issues later in their life.

So, how can you recognize a reputable breeder?

First of all, as soon as you meet him, he will want to know more about you so that he can make sure he wants his puppy to be taken to your home. He needs to know that you can take proper care of the pup.

Also, without even asking him, he will show you the complete medical history for both the parent and the entire litter.

You will see if the pups have been cleared of parasites, if they had all the necessary shots, and if the parents were cleared for genetically heritable health conditions.

If you find such a breeder, you can rest assured that the puppy you take home is healthy, with good genes, and doesn’t have any hidden health conditions that might show up later in his life.

3 Little-known facts about the Akita puppies

After getting to know more about the price range and finding a reputable breeder, let’s see if you are familiar with some little-known facts about Akita puppies.

  • They have a complex temperament 

When it comes to raising and understanding Akita puppies, they are one of the most complicated breeds.

They have a “primitive” way of thinking and behaving, as well as an “undefined” body language, all of which makes predicting their actions and reaction quite hard.

You will find that your Akita tends to be dominant, even from the earliest of days. You will have to prove yourself as a worthy leader and a person whose mindset is strong and unbreakable.

Otherwise, you will discover soon that the dog is the Alpha in your home.

  • If you look them in the eyes for too long they might react with aggression

Another thing about the Akita puppies and the Akitas, in general, is that prolonged eye contact can cause them to react aggressively.

So, don’t be surprised if your puppy starts growling or “attacking” you if you look him directly in the eyes for more than a few seconds.

  • They love the winter

Akitas are born for the winter and spending time in the snow. You will notice that as soon as the temperature drops, your Akita turns on the “turbo mode”.

If you happen to live in an area where the winter is snowy, your Akita will be really happy and spend the entire day outside.

Physical Traits of the Akita

A close up of an Akita's face
Akitas are really playful and affectionate with kids.

And now, the main highlight of the breed, the physical traits. It’s all about physical when it comes to Akitas, and their size is their main “weapon”. So, let’s see how big they are.

How big is a full-grown Akita?

The Akita is a big dog. With a size range of 26 to 28 inches, and weighing up to 130 pounds, this is one breed intruders don’t want to mess with.

So, if you get an Akita puppy, expect it to grow into a fearless, huge home protector that doesn’t even have to do that much to scare all that are not welcome in your home.

What is the life expectancy of the Akita?

Unfortunately, lifespan is not the Akita’s strongest side. Unlike small dog breeds, who can live up to two decades, this breed lives from 10 to 12 years.

But, there are many cases where they lived even a few years longer with a proper diet and regular exercise.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Akita

If you get an Akita puppy, you can expect it to grow up into a confident, bold dog with a powerful appearance.

In fact, their appearance is what makes most troublemakers back down when faced with them.

They are also famous for their unquestionable loyalty towards their owners, and the completely unexpected affection and sweetness.

Can you imagine a scary looking beast that loves you and just wants to go everywhere with you because its main purpose of existence is serving you?

Also, the Akita is born to be a guardian and every part of its DNA is making him stay alert all the time, even though he might seem slow and relaxed.

They are aware of their strength, and they don’t need to react right away. Patience for the prey is something they are best at.

But, once they realize they have to react, it’s full-on beast mode and there’s nothing that will stop them from protecting their family.

Also, even though they don’t bark much unless needed, of course, they do produce funny sounds that make them look and sound like they are constantly grumbling something.

However, these “I know how to do it better” talks are usually happening when the Akita is alone with his family. When there are guests in the home, they are quiet, reserved, and observing.

Therefore, to avoid any possible incident, socializing the Akita puppy is a must. It needs to be exposed to as many friends and other animals as possible in order to soften up a little.

But, he will always be suspicious when strangers are around his family.

One of the things Akita also likes doing is carrying things in their mouths. They will bring you your newspaper or letters, and even help you find the misplaced remote control for the TV.

But, this habit will many times include your wrist. For example, he will take your wrist with his jaw when he wants to show you something, or when it’s simply walking time and he is leading you to the door.

Don’t mistake this with aggression or dominance, it’s simply how they communicate with their human family.

Now, one of the things that most find strange about this breed is their cat-like behavior when it comes to grooming. They lick themselves like cats.

Furthermore, when they stalk prey, they look like a tiger, with the body lowered to the ground, and with a silent attack instead of a bark or a growl, like most other dog breeds do.

As for training, just remember that the Akitas are dominant and will question your authority every time they can. Therefore, you need to show yourself as the family’s Alpha and train them with a firm, yet gentle hand.

Aggressive training is not something you want to practice with the Akita.

Another thing you should be aware of is that this breed’s loyalty lays in the closeness to the family, and that includes physical closeness as well.

If you don’t allow him to enter the house and leave him in the yard, they will get offended and not develop the loyalty levels they are famous for. In fact, they can become aggressive if they are not with the family nearly all the time.

Akita Diet

The best diet for an Akita includes fresh food and no preservatives. They will develop great if you include meat and fish in their diet.

Also, it’s a good idea to add some fruit and high-quality supplements, to let your Akita have his daily dose of happy vitamins.

You should try and avoid the commercial “food for all dogs”, as it is in most cases preservatives filled.

If you do, however, decide to go with such food, just make sure you check the packaging for suspicious and unhealthy ingredients.

How much Exercise does the Akita need?

Even though this breed is not famous for being hyperactive, they do, however, need regular walks and exercise.

At least half an hour to a full hour daily will do just fine. Your dog will develop properly, and it will stay even calmer when indoors.

You can go for a half an hour walk, or a 15-minute jogging session, and include some 15-minute playtime in the yard as these dogs don’t get along with other dogs in the park.

To keep your Akita interested in the exercise, it’s best to include various exercises and games each day.

The Akita Health and Conditions

The Akita breed is generally considered a healthy breed. But, like any other dog, your Akita can suffer from certain health issues. Here is what you should keep in mind.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat or Gastric dilatation-volvulus
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Hypothyroidism

These are exactly the conditions and illnesses you should ask the breeder about and ask for health test clearances.

My final thoughts on the AkitaAn Akita dog running towards you

With the health section, you have reached the end of our Akita guide.

So, have you by now gained a better understanding of this breed?

Do you still think that this is the dog you want to welcome into your home?

If you still have some doubts, check out our short summary of everything we talked about today.

You should be able to make an informed and right decision at the end.

From the Akita breed, you can expect dogs that are willful, bold, wary of strangers, yet extremely family protective.

They are intelligent, alert, and ready to fight off even a bear if needed, just to keep his human family safe.

But, when it comes to their attitude towards other dogs, they can be rather aggressive. This especially goes with other dogs that are the same sex as your Akita.

Despite their dominant nature, these dogs are really playful and affectionate with the kids, and they love being their big protectors, as well as keeping an eye and being a part of everything that goes around the house.

With a firm training and early socialization, your Akita will keep its main, protective traits intact, but his aggression will mellow out.

And, in the end, you will have a great companion that lives to keep you and your family safe and to always be around you and be a part of whatever you are doing.

What are your thoughts now? Do you think that you have what it takes to be an Akita owner?

Do you know someone interested in getting much more familiar with this breed?

Feel free to share our guide on social media so that more people can realize exactly how great are these dogs and why they should consider them if they are looking for an extremely loyal and dedicated companion.

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