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If you are thinking about getting a dog – of any kind – you need to spend a great deal of time doing research about the breed and what it is like to own one. No matter what breed of dog you get, you will need to invest time and energy into it, but some breeds take considerably more work than others. You might be wondering about Akitas, as many people fall in love with these beautiful breeds, but aren’t sure whether they can commit enough time actually own one of them and look after it properly.
Are Akitas easy to take care of? They are in some ways, but they can also be a handful in others. They are stubborn dogs and are not good for owners who are inexperienced or weak-willed. With a firm and confident owner, an Akita can be a reasonably easy dog, but otherwise, they are nearly impossible to handle.
We are going to look at every aspect of Akita ownership today. We are going to cover the ways in which this dog is easy to look after and train, and the challenges that you are extremely likely to face as an Akita owner. We are also going to look at how much time these dogs tend to need, and whether they are good for beginners. Finally, we’ll cover some top tips for taking care of an Akita and some things you really should know before you adopt one.
Are Akitas Easy To Take Care Of?
Akitas are reasonably easy to take of once they reach adulthood because they are quite independent dogs. Most are happy to be left to their own devices for hours (although you should never leave a dog for more than four hours at a stretch). Your Akita will probably play by itself, entertain itself, and often even sit by itself. Although they are an extremely loving breed, most are not cuddly, and won’t mind if your attention is on other things for most of the day.
However, owning an Akita isn’t always straightforward. These big dogs need a good bit of exercise, at a minimum of two hours a day, and you cannot allow them to run free, so you will need to walk them long distances. You will have to be quite fit and healthy yourself unless you have a large and secure yard for the dog to play in.
Akitas can be unreliable when out and about, as they have an extremely high prey drive and they will chase and attack any smaller animals, or sometimes even larger dogs. They can be quite aggressive with other dogs, especially if they weren’t socialized well as puppies, and this makes them difficult to handle at points.
Additionally, Akitas are very intelligent dogs, and it isn’t unheard of for them to get into things that they shouldn’t around the home. If you are out of the house, you may need to think of ways to keep your Akita entertained and engaged with toys and puzzles, or it may become destructive.
Are Akitas Low Maintenance?
This depends a bit on your opinion, but often, Akitas are not considered low-maintenance dogs. Although they do not need excessive amounts of grooming, their thick coats do need brushing a couple of times a week, and because they are adventurous dogs, you may find that you need to bathe them reasonably often.
As well as the exercise requirement, you will also need to think about training your dog. How much it will need depends on whether you are adopting an adult or a puppy, but both will need quite a lot of time and energy.
It takes time for Akitas to bond with and trust humans, so you will need to invest heavily in your new dog regardless of its age. Spending time with it is crucial for forming a strong relationship, and this will be needed for all other elements of training. Your dog must respect you, and for this, it needs to love and know you.
A puppy will also need lots of time in terms of housebreaking, socializing (since these dogs are not naturally good with other dogs or animals), playing, and training. Ensuring your Akita has a good recall is particularly important, because this breed has such as strong prey drive.
Often, you will be committing most of your time for a full year after getting a dog, although this does depend on the individual. After that, the commitment will lessen considerably, because your Akita will be settled and used to you, and you should have a strong bond with it.
However, it will still need your time, love, and attention, and you must always prioritize your dog’s welfare when you can.
Are Akita Dogs Good For Beginners?
No, Akita dogs are not good for beginners. They require an experienced, confident trainer if they are to become confident, calm, obedient dogs. Most are stubborn and outgoing, and it is very rare to meet a shy or submissive Akita.
This will therefore require careful handling and a good understanding of dogs. It should also be noted that Akita’s body language is often quite different from how other dogs express themselves, and therefore some people find them hard to read.
If you plan to take on an Akita, it is a good idea to spend as much time as possible handling one first. If you know a friend who has one, ask if you can dog sit for a week, or walk the dog regularly. Talk to your local shelter if you are thinking of adopting, and ask to spend time with the dog you’re considering.
An Akita that is not well handled can be unmanageable and even dangerous, especially because they are such big dogs. Do not get an Akita if you haven’t owned a dog before. While beautiful, loyal, and loving, they are definitely a challenging breed and they are not something you should take on without a good level of experience and confidence.
Take Care Of Your Akita – 10 Things You Must Know
So, how do you do your best for your Akita and look after it? Here are some things that you should know about these dogs that will help you to care for them effectively.
- Akitas were bred as guard dogs, so they have strongly protective instincts, and may take a while to warm up to strangers.
- Akitas do not readily back down when they are challenged. You will need to ensure you are working with your dog, and not trying to dominate it.
- They are talkative dogs, although they mostly communicate in grunts. Pay attention to their vocalizations to improve your understanding of them.
- Akitas are keen to mouth things. Be careful that you don’t encourage this excessively, and redirect it into useful carrying behavior if it annoys you.
- Remember that they are stubborn creatures, and it is often better to redirect training than to keep going if your dog is not engaged.
- These dogs are very food aggressive. Do not feed them in the same room as other animals, and do not allow children or pets to approach while they are eating.
- They are intensely loyal dogs and like to be with their families. While they don’t show a lot of outward affection, they are very dependent on their owners and love them deeply.
- Socializing your dog with care when you first get it (especially if it is a puppy) is a good way to make it more comfortable with other animals, but it will never be a highly social dog.
- Akitas often groom themselves like cats do, and they shed a lot, so you’ll need to be prepared to clean up after them regularly! They also lose their undercoats twice a year.
- They respond best to kindness and care while training. Use treats and praise, rather than punishments or scolding, to encourage your dog to do what you want. You need your Akita to respect you, and you must also respect it, if you want to successfully train it.
So, are Akitas easy to take of? Akitas are not the easiest dogs, although many of their traits make them low maintenance and fun. You will find that your Akita is reasonably independent when it is established and happy, but most need quite a lot of care and attention before they reach this point, or they will misbehave and prove impossible to handle.