AKITA FACTS

Akita's were initially breed in Japan for pit fighting, and
when that declined, they were used for hunting bear and
boar, usually as a pair (male and female). Female Akita's
weigh between 65-80 pounds, males average 90-120
pounds. These are large powerful dogs that are
dominant by nature, as well as inherently dog aggressive
(especially to the same sex).

Is an Akita right for your family? Read the FACTS below
to help you make that decision. Keep in mind that all of
these are true, but to varying degree per dog. For the
first time Akita owner, we recommend a female Akita,
especially if there are children under the age of 12 years
old in the household.

1. Akita's are very family oriented dogs and are not happy
when kept apart from the family "pack". If you do not
plan on having your dog live with you both inside your
home and yard, you should NOT seriously consider an
Akita.

2. Akita's being a dominant breed, like to take charge and
may, at times, challenge you for the dominant/alpha
position, especially between the ages of 8 months to 2
years, and more so in males. This behavior should not
be tolerated, and a firm, consistent correction should be
your immediate response (e.g., scruff shake or pop on
the nose) for dogs under 1 year old. For dogs over 1
year old, a squirt in the mouth with bitter apple, and a
low, deep NO reprimand does the trick. Akita's with
good temperament accept discipline well - NOT
HITTING/BEATING - but intelligent discipline. Akita's
respond better to positive training techniques, such as
treats. If you feel you need to strike your dog to make it
listen, then you've lost control and should seek training
advice.

3. Akita's should be obedience trained BY THEIR
OWNERS, and not sent away to school. Akita's are
extremely intelligent which makes training easy. They do
however, become bored easily so training sessions
should be kept short (15 min's). Akita's can be very
stubborn and when the dog is asked to do something
he/she feels is a waste of time, or is not to his/her
benefit, it will not do it. Training requires PATIENCE!

4. Akita's do not bark unless there is a good reason.
When an Akita barks, pay attention! They are very
protective of the family, especially of children. They are
wonderful watchdogs by nature, and should not be
trained as guard dogs.

5. Some Akita's like to talk to you. They may grunt,
groan or woo wooo to greet you or communicate to you.
This is an endearing trait and should not be confused
with growling.

6. Akita's have a strong prey drive, and even though it
may have been raised with the family cat, other small
animals will be considered prey.

7. Because Akita's are inherently aggressive to other
animals, they should not be allowed to roam freely or be
off leash. We do NOT recommend invisible fencing for an
Akita as they can run through it with modest effort, but
more importantly, it does not prohibit animals or
people/kids from entering the Akita's territory. Nor
should an Akita be tied up outside for an extended period
of time as this increases their level of aggression.

8. Not all Akita's like children, even if they're raised with
them. Even Akita's that adore children may be less
tolerant of kids not considered part of their family pack:
i.e., neighborhood kids, visiting relatives. Dogs react
differently to young kids. Dominant dogs such as the
Akita, treat children under the age of 12 years old as
subordinates. Akita's (or any dog) should NEVER be left
alone with children or strangers.

9. Akita's do not like to be teased and may respond by
biting. Some children are allowed to treat animals
unkindly (e.g., grabbing, pinching, pulling, screaming at,
kicking), a behavior that often leads to cruelty to animals.
These children should be kept away from an Akita whose
large size and hunting instincts can endanger the child's
life.

10. Akita's can be very food possessive. If you have
other pets or small children, you will want to make sure
that the Akita receives its food or treats well away from
the other animals, and that no one is allowed near the
Akita until the food is gone.

11. We strongly recommend crate training. Akita's love
to chew (e.g., chairs, wood objects, shoes) especially
puppies. Crates are considered the dog's safe place, and
should not be used for discipline. Use treats to entice
them into it, and feed them in it until they are comfortable
about going in and out.

12. When keeping another dog with an Akita, it usually
more harmonious to have opposite sexes (i.e., male and
female).

13. Some Akita's are escape artists. They'll either climb
out or jump out as Akita's can jump 5 feet. Others may
dig their way out; if they can get their heads under a
fence, the rest of the body will follow.

14. Some Akita's may have the propensity for digging, so
expect your yard to resemble a lunar landscape.

15. Akita's blow coat (shed hair) twice yearly in great
quantities. This generally last 3-6 weeks, but a warm
bath and lots of brushing can hurry it along.

16. When you get your Akita, acclimate it slowly to being
handled by brushing it, cutting/sanding toenails and
brushing teeth from early on. It's much easier to do this
on a 20-pound puppy than trying to do it on a 100 pound
adult. Akita's are food motivated, so treating during
these processes usually works wonders. Lots of
patience and a little TLC go a long way.

17. Akita's are not considered hyperactive; they are low
activity indoor dogs and moderate activity outdoor dogs.
For optimum health, regular exercise is important.

18. Akita's can live up to 10-14 years old with proper
nutrition and exercise.

19. Akita's are loyal, excellent watchdogs and a wonderful
companion who enjoys affection, but does not crave it.
Once an Akita has owned you, you will never switch to
another breed!

Rosenbaum03/18/00


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