A dog’s energy levels are among the most important factors to consider when choosing the right dog for you, along with its size, temperament, shedding levels, etc. It would be best to consider your own activity levels and lifestyle when picking a breed and think about whether you’ll find a potato couch or highly energetic dog annoying. Also, the leading cause of misbehavior in dogs is when their exercise needs are not met. To release pent-up energy, they often resort to destructive behaviors such as digging, chewing everything, and excessive barking. Are you looking to get an Akita, or do you already have one? Either way, let’s find out whether their energy levels matches yours.
Are Akitas high energy? For working dogs, this breed is not super high energy. Even so, they still require exercise to stay in shape. This includes 30-45 minutes of daily walking with additional purposeful activity and play. If you can provide up to two hours of physical activity daily, that would be great. Don’t forget to provide mental exercise to prevent boredom and challenge their minds.
Akitas are muscular, double-coated dogs who are known for their dignity, courage, and loyalty. While they can be sweet and affectionate with their human family, they are often intolerant of other animals and wary of strangers. This makes them excellent protectors and valued companions. With these and more amazing characteristics, who wouldn’t want to own an Akita? But before you bring one home, you need to understand that it’s a lifetime commitment, and your dog will depend on you for all their needs. Dogs with a lot more energy than their owners often don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation, leading to many behavioral and health issues. In this article, I’ll take you through Akita’s energy levels and exercise needs so you can determine if they are the right breed for you, depending on your energy levels and lifestyle.
Are Akitas High Energy?
Akitas (all markings, patterns, and colors) were initially bred as guard dogs and used for hunting, and though today’s ones are domesticated, they can still perform these functions. Many would assume that the Akita is a high-energy dog with these characteristics in mind, but that’s not the case. As working dogs, Akitas have the stamina to put in an entire workday, but they’re generally medium-energy dogs. Such dogs are easy-going most of the time but will have bursts of energy from time to time. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to choose a dog whose energy levels align with yours, as well as your lifestyle.
Most people will do well with a medium-energy dog because they enjoy playing and socializing. They may have occasional periods of racing around the house and barking but will calm down fairly naturally within a short time and with minimal encouragement from you. If you’re looking for a dog to play with or go for a walk with, the Akita is your best bet.
While it may not be super hyper, the Akita still requires daily exercise to be happy and healthy. Their exercise needs are moderate, so a jog or a brisk walk around the block every day may suffice. But if you can offer up to two hours of physical exercise, the better. This can be spent walking, jogging, running, playing fetch or tug-of-war, etc. This breed also loves a challenge, meaning you can set up an agility or obstacle course in the backyard to keep both their bodies and brains active. Frisbee toss is another great physical and mental activity requiring movement, skill, coordination, and timing.
The Akita is highly intelligent, and as such, it will need a varied and engaging exercise routine. Otherwise, they become bored, which has the same negative effects as not exercising them at all. That is, they turn to destructive behaviors like digging and chewing on everything.
Is an Akita The Strongest Dog?
At about 100 pounds or more, the Akita has a lot of muscular power. They have large bones and can be pretty dominating; as such, they require a firm and consistent leader to provide the early training and socialization they need. This breed also has a scissor-shaped jaw with a bite force between 350 and 400 PSI. This is such a powerful bite, and if the Akita bites, its jaw won’t open until the dog decides to release. The Akita is not naturally aggressive, but it can be if provoked. This makes it a dangerous dog to mess with.
Akitas were initially bred to hunt bigger game (boars, bears, dear, etc.) and protect their family. They were also once the superior fighting breed, and even today, the Akita will defeat a Pitbull in a fight. Though the Pitbull has more muscular power, if the Akita gets a hold of its neck, it can instantly crush it thanks to its powerful bite force. Akitas also know how to use their weight and fight in a way that conserves stamina.
The Akita is large and powerful with a noble and intimidating presence. They also don’t frighten easily or back down from challenges. But even so, they are not the strongest breed of dogs around. Others like Saint Bernard, Mastiff, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Bulldogs, and Kangals are more powerful. Some may not be as big as the Akita but have a more powerful bite force, making them more dangerous.
Some people might overlook these strong breeds of dogs due to intimidation, but they make incredible companions with the right amount of exercise, training, and attention. In that case, if you want to keep the Akita or any other big powerful dog, ensure you are ready and able to provide for their needs. Otherwise, you’ll have a potentially dangerous dog in your home!
How Do You Exercise an Akita?
Unlike many large dog breeds, the Akita doesn’t necessarily require hours of running to maintain optimum health; he does well with moderate exercise. The most basic way to exercise your Akita is to take them for a walk around the neighborhood. This will help burn excess energy, keep their muscles strong, and allow them to sniff, as well as socialize. Two or three moderate-length walks every day is a good start.
Going for the same old walks can be boring for you and the dog, so include occasional running and hiking. I’m not saying you take them for a sprint, but jogging or a short run will do them some good. Hiking, on the other hand, also provides for an excellent bonding experience. That being said, avoid taking your Akita puppy on runs and hikes until they are two years old because such strenuous exercise can put unwanted strain on their developing joints.
Exercising your Akita doesn’t have to be a chore. A bit of playtime can also help release excess energy, starting with the good old game of fetch. Akitas love to chase; therefore, chasing their favorite toy or ball will keep them occupied for hours while burning those calories. Make the game more exciting by switching between frisbees, sticks, and balls.
Tug of War is another way to release excess energy while building muscle bulk in the long run. Strong muscles protect the joints and tendons, helping to prevent potential injury. Be sure to control the game, so your Akita doesn’t become too aggressive.
Last, but not least, consider agility training. You can set up an agility or obstacle course in your backyard and include tasks like the weave, hurdle jumps, tunnels, or jumping through hoops. This will do wonders when it comes to training them while giving them the physical and mental exercise they need.
When exercising your Akita, there are a few things you need to consider. First, Akitas have instinctive aggression towards other animals and strangers. As such, they’ll need constant supervision when outdoors. It’s important that when exercising outdoors, you do so in a securely fenced area. When walking or jogging them around the neighborhood, they should always be on a leash. Secondly, avoid exercising your Akita outside when the weather is hot because they are double-coated and prone to overheating. And this can result in heat stress or even heat stroke.
How Long Should I Walk My Akita?
We already answered the question are Akitas high energy and have seen that they need moderate exercise to stay healthy. But how much exactly do they need? As mentioned earlier, walking is the most basic way to exercise your dog as it allows them to socialize, release pent-up energy, burn calories, and stimulate sights, smells, and sounds that they come across. So, I’ll use that as my basis for how much exercise your Akita needs.
The length of the daily walk should be at least 30-45 minutes. This can be done once a day, although if your schedule and activity levels allow, you can provide up to two hours of daily exercise spread over two or three walks a day. Note that I keep saying daily walks and not a long walk at the weekend after not exercising your dog the entire week. This will not only overwork your dog but also leave them with pent-up energy and bored the rest of the days. And as you already know by now, you don’t want such a dog in your house given all the destruction they can cause. Dogs like routine, so try to schedule daily walks at around the same time every day.
The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy Akita adult; a puppy has different exercise needs. Their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing, and it’s important not to overexert them with excessive walking or exercising. Short walks of 10-15 minutes are enough to stimulate your Akita puppy without making it exhausted. Be sure to monitor your puppy on the walk for signs of exhaustion such as panting and lagging, and end the walk if they seem too tired.
Another category of Akitas with different exercise needs is the older dogs. As the dog gets older, their energy levels decrease, and they become less active. They still need to remain active, but no long strenuous walks.