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Akitas are a beautiful breed that is known to be strong, capable, and courageous, but that’s not all! Although they may seem like huge, bear-like animals, they are widely considered loyal and fun-loving animals and are a great addition to any family. If you already have an Akita or are considering finding one to bring home, and you want to know if they will enjoy the water with you and your family, it is essential to know if Akitas can actually swim.
Do Akitas Swim? Yes, Akitas do have the physical capacity to swim. However, it is important to remember that their ability to swim will depend on their age and training, as well as their personality traits and personal history with water.
In this article, we are going to discuss why your individual Akita may or may not like to swim, how easy it is to train them to swim if they enjoy cold weather, and how they typically feel about bath time. So if you want to know a little more about Akitas and their relationship with water, you have certainly come to the right place! And if you want to be a knowledgeable and conscientious Akita owner, keep reading, we have everything you need to know!
Do Akitas Like To Swim?
Before we answer the questions, do Akitas like to swim? It’s important to note that no two dogs are alike, just as no two humans are. While sometimes there are conventional characteristics of each dog breed, realistically, each animal has its own personality, tendencies, and history to take into consideration.
Whether or not your Akita likes to swim may have a lot more to do with who they are than simply what breed they are. However, there are a few innate features within Akitas that may both encourage and discourage your Akita from loving life in the water.
Why Akitas Might Love To Swim
Because Akitas are physically strong and playful, time in the water might be their new favorite activity! Compared to some other breeds, Akitas are specifically understood to be quite courageous, so they may be less timid when it comes to learning to swim and could love jumping right in.
Why Akitas Might Dislike Swimming
If you have adopted your Akita, and they seem to dislike water, there is a chance they have developed this fear from experiences with their previous owners. It’s essential that you acknowledge your dog’s personality and not just their physical abilities when it comes to encouraging them to swim.
Also, in regards to their body composition, Akitas have a very thick and fluffy coat. This could be detrimental to their love for swimming as it could possibly make them feel much heavier than they do on land, and therefore, fearful. While of course, their fur will not actually cause them to sink, it could ignite a panic and make the activity less fun for certain Akitas.
Can You Train Your Akita To Like To Swim?
As we have mentioned, there are quite a few factors to consider before assuming that your Akita will love playing in the water. While most of it is due to who they are, you can have some control as their owner by making learning to swim fun instead of stressful!
To encourage your Akita and show them that swimming is a safe activity, make sure you do not try to train them when they are too young or too old.
If they are too young, it may be quite a bit more difficult as their bodies are not strong enough yet, and it could ruin swimming for the rest of their lives. If your Akita is older and has never swum, please be cautious as they may not be strong enough anymore to hold their large bodies and heavy fur above the water.
It’s also essential that you train your Akita to swim in a location where they can walk out if necessary. A backyard pool is usually not the best option unless you are in the water with them, they are close to the stairs, and understand how to use them. Realistically, a shallow entry to a lake or a pond is the safest bet.
Do Akitas Have Webbed Feet?
An incredibly interesting fact about Akitas is that they have webbed feet. A thin layer of flexible tissue and skin connect the toes to enable them to walk more easily on the snow, almost like built-in snowshoes.
Of course, as we know, webbed feet can also help animals move more easily through the water, so this may be an indication that Akitas as a breed has always been able to swim. However, it may have also been a coping tool in order to ensure they could safely climb out of icy waters if they fell through ice patches while hunting in the snow.
Do Akitas Like Cold Weather?
Akitas don’t just like cold weather, they love it! Your Akita’s ancestors originated in the coldest climates of Japan, and they evolved to be able to withstand extremely frigid temperatures and remain completely content.
They are known throughout the canine world as “snow country dogs” and accurately so as these beautiful animals would happily play, run, and hunt all day long whenever the snowfalls. In fact, some experts say they truly become themselves in the snow and seem to go into turbo mode with renewed energy and excitement.
If you live in a warm climate, an Akita may not be the right breed to take home. But if you are truly set on loving an Akita, it’s important to make sure that you do not force them to engage in any physically strenuous activities on a hot day, specifically when the temperature surpasses 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Studies show that they can rest comfortably to temperatures up to 85 degrees, but anything hotter than that, and they will become extremely lethargic and uncomfortable.
Do Akitas Like Baths?
While it’s difficult to say for sure how your Akita will feel about bath time, as we have learned that every dog is different and has its own personality and preferences, most Akitas are comfortable in the bath as long as they feel safe and relaxed.
Bathing your Akita is true quite a lot similar to bathing an infant or child: make sure the water is warm or tepid and that the whole event has a calming effect, rather than a stressful one.
How often your Akita needs a bath really depends on how dirty they get! Although it is important to bathe them regularly, even if they don’t appear dirty or have a noticeable odor. This is especially important with Akitas as they have such a thick coat of fur that needs a lot of attention.
After a bath, it is essential that you dry your Akita’s fur with a hairdryer on a gentle, warm setting until completely dry so that no fungus will grow in the damp and thick underlayers.
After drying, you should take the time to fully brush their coat so as to remove any unnecessary fluff. In fact, brushing their fur can be done every day and it can be a wonderful way to keep your Akita healthy and create a loving bond with them.
From start to finish, your Akita will most likely come to love their bath time with you, just as your child might, just remember to be calm, kind, and trustworthy, as they are so smart that they will certainly be able to tell.
As a general rule, Akitas can and will swim. But never forget that your dog may not be as comfortable as you might expect, even though they have the physical ability, they have emotions as well and it’s important to be aware of their possible fears and take it slow when attempting to train them to swim.
The most important thing to remember when bringing home an Akita is that they are loving, adorable dogs who are both intelligent and trusting. So be kind and gentle with them, although they seem large and in charge, they are really looking to you to pave the way in swimming, bath time, and every other day too.