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Akita

Akita

A Dignified & Loyal Companion

Docile, adaptable, protective

Akitas are bold, independent, and affectionate, large dogs. This tenacious breed may be reserved with strangers and other dogs, but if they’re properly socialized at an early age, they are friendly with other pets. This breed needs human companionship, and doesn’t do well when left alone. Akitas are great for experienced dog handlers, active individuals, and families with older children. This breed has a short double-coat and can live outside in temperate and cool climates. Akitas make excellent companions, however they require daily mental and physical exercise.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs. 


Breed Details

Height:23-28 in. Weight:65-115 lb Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: These are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Akitas often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


These protective and affectionate dogs need a strong leader, daily exercise, and enjoy time spent hanging out with their family. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

Positive Traits:

• Loving and loyal to their owners

• Quiet—not much of a barker

• Docile and devoted

• Protective; excellent guard dog

• Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

• Large, strong, and athletic

Negative Traits:

• Must be properly socialized as a puppy to avoid aggression as an adult

• Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

• Aggressive toward other animals

• Coat sheds heavily and needs to be brushed regularly

• Doesn’t do well in the heat

• Is a bit “mouthy”—likes to carry and chew things

Whether you are considering adding a new Akita to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Akita will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Akita you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Akita could encounter:




Akitas are large and powerful dogs that require a firm and consistent leader to give them the early training and socialization that they require. They are natural guard dogs that do not bark without reason. Due to their thick double coat, this breed does not thrive in the heat. Akitas prefer to be with their family. They do not do well when left outside alone. Akitas are generally healthy but can be prone to some diseases, like hypothyroidism, and hip dysplasia. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Akita shows signs of the following:

• Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

• Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

• Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

• Lameness with or without swelling

• General reluctance to run or play

• Stiffness or reluctance to rise/sit/use stairs

• Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

• Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

• Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

• Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

• Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

• Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

• Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth 

  • Care

    Routine Care: These are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Akitas often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    These protective and affectionate dogs need a strong leader, daily exercise, and enjoy time spent hanging out with their family. Females may be significantly smaller than males.

    Positive Traits:

    • Loving and loyal to their owners

    • Quiet—not much of a barker

    • Docile and devoted

    • Protective; excellent guard dog

    • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    • Large, strong, and athletic

    Negative Traits:

    • Must be properly socialized as a puppy to avoid aggression as an adult

    • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

    • Aggressive toward other animals

    • Coat sheds heavily and needs to be brushed regularly

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

    • Is a bit “mouthy”—likes to carry and chew things

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Akita to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Akita will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Akita you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Akita could encounter:




  • History

    Akitas are large and powerful dogs that require a firm and consistent leader to give them the early training and socialization that they require. They are natural guard dogs that do not bark without reason. Due to their thick double coat, this breed does not thrive in the heat. Akitas prefer to be with their family. They do not do well when left outside alone. Akitas are generally healthy but can be prone to some diseases, like hypothyroidism, and hip dysplasia. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Akita shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Stiffness or reluctance to rise/sit/use stairs

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth 

Akita Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Akita breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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