Akitas look like big teddy bears and make great companions. This breed, originally from Japan, has been in the United States for 84 years and have made their mark in that time. The American Kennel Club (AKC) admitted the Akita into show classifications in 1973.
Are Akitas good apartment dogs? Yes, by all standards, Akitas can do well in apartments as long as they get plenty of exercise, have a place inside to go potty, and have “their space” set aside with their toys and bed.
Akitas have a distinctive temperament and can be easily trained. They rank high in intelligence are protective of their families. However, some landlords may not view this breed positively. Read on to find out more about the Akita and how to care for one in an apartment.
Are Akitas Good Apartment Dogs?
Akitas can make good dogs for an apartment with some special accommodations by the owner. I have found that some solid planning for an Akita will help the dog and owner adjust better. Here are some things to consider regarding living with an Akita in an apartment.
Akita dogs are large and can weigh between 75 to 120 pounds when fully grown, although the females are a little smaller than males. They can be 24-28 inches tall and are powerful in muscle structure as well.
It can be challenging to have such a large dog in an apartment. It depends on the size of the apartment but larger dogs want bigger spaces both inside and outside to move around. The size can also be an issue for your landlord as some have stipulations on the size of dog allowed in their rentals.
Puppy Proofing the Apartment
I have found that dogs that feel they have their space tend to be calmer and do better in any living space. That is especially important when it comes to apartments because you don’t want an anxious dog to become loud or destructive.
Set aside a space just for your dog. It’s best if it’s a space with tile or vinyl floors but it will work as long as it’s tidy. Keep your dog’s bed there, along with his toys and maybe even his dog bowls for food and water. I use baby gates to keep my dog out of certain areas where they could get into trouble.
One of the toughest things to do as a puppy parent is to make sure all dangerous items like electronics, cords, and small things they could choke on are out of reach. Look around the apartment from the dog’s eye level and remove anything they could reach.
An important tip I have is to hide their food and make sure it is in a place where they can’t get to it arbitrarily. Dogs will sniff out their food when they are bored and will make a mess with it. Put it in a cabinet or closet that your dog can’t open.
Akita’s Need for Exercise
The Akita is in the working dog class, so they need a job to keep them entertained. That means they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation as well as daily structure.
For a working dog, their job may be to retrieve their toys and drop them in a box or going for a walk every morning and afternoon. It may be learning skills like retrieving. All of these things are highly important to a dog like the Akita.
Akitas are one dog breed that needs moderate to high exercise daily. They love long walks and do great on hiking trails. I have found that swimming is a great way to exercise with an Akita, especially as it gets older and has more problems with joints. Swimming is a low-impact activity an Akita can do its whole life.
I can tell you from experience with a lot of different dog breeds that one of the best things you can do to stimulate your dog’s mind and body is to enroll your Akita into obedience training and then agility training. Smart dogs thrive off the different activities and these types of classes give these dogs the chance to play in a large space with other dogs.
Obedience and agility training for dogs is a bit of a misnomer. From my experience, these classes do more to train dog owners on how to communicate with their dog than training the dog to do activities.
When you learn how to communicate with your Akita, your dog will become a better dog whether you are in an apartment or a house.
Most dogs need one to two hours of exercise a day and, to be honest, I think people need that too. Taking a break from the apartment to go for a walk or to the park will do you both good.
Can Akitas be left alone?
Akitas can be left alone for a certain time as long as they have plenty of food, water, toys, and things to keep them entertained. No dog can be kept in an apartment for an extended period because they will need to go out after about four hours.
One thing I do is maintain a puppy pad in the bathroom for my dog to use while I’m away. Not only does it keep my dog from making messes but it also gives him a sense of security that his needs are met.
I have also discovered that dogs need to know the routine if you are going to leave them alone regularly. For instance, if they are trained early in puppyhood that the routine is to get up, walk them, feed them, and then you go to work with a set time for you to come home, they will handle the absence much better.
The key to this being successful is for you to keep to the schedule. Dogs can’t tell the exact time but they know when you are supposed to be home. Changing that by going out with friends for a drink or running errands after work will distress the dog.
For me, the first few minutes after I get home is the best time to play with my Akita. He is happy and anxious to go outside and play. He has the energy to burn off and spending some time playing outside or going for a walk in a nearby park helps me relieve my stress from work.
Are Akitas allowed in apartments?
It depends on the landlord and their view of Akitas or pets in general. Many apartment managers have height and weight restrictions on pets and that will knock Akita’s off the approval list.
The general list of restricted breeds in apartments includes the Akita. It tops the list so apartment managers using the list as a guide for approval will not allow an Akita in an apartment.
The primary reason for the discrimination against this breed is that they are large, powerful dogs and tend to be protective. They don’t necessarily bark any more than other breeds but will protect their owners and property. While this makes them great watchdogs, it also builds a negative reputation.
While a watchdog tends to alert owners to a situation rather than intervene, most people don’t understand the difference between that and a guard-dog who does intervene.
Are Akitas good for first-time owners?
They can be a good choice for first-time dog owners depending on the owner and the amount of effort they are willing to put into exercising and training the dog.
Akitas are alert, docile, friendly, and responsive so a dog owner that wants a companion dog that relates to them will love this breed. Someone who loves to exercise will also do well with the Akita.
The type of person who is not suitable for the Akita breed as a first-time dog owner is someone who gets frustrated easily doesn’t know how to handle a big, muscular dog, or someone who wants a low-maintenance dog.
I can tell you any breed will require ongoing care, but some breeds need more than others and the larger breeds will require more time for exercise and mental stimulation. They are not couch-potato dogs.
Are Akitas good apartment dogs? The Akita is a wonderful breed for those seeking a playful, intelligent companion. They bond with their owners quickly and love to learn, which keeps me on my toes.
This will be especially true if you live in an apartment because you have close neighbors and a landlord to keep happy as well
With solid training and socialization, your neighbors and landlord will learn your Akita is a good asset to the community