The American Akita is a large, powerful dog that was initially bred as a fighting dog. Today, the breed is most often seen as an excellent family protector and companion. The American Akita’s history dates back to ancient Japan, where it was used to hunt bears and wild boars in remote mountainous areas of Honshu Island.
The American Akita is a modern breed, but there’s more to this dog than meets the eye. This blog post will answer all of your important questions about the breed.
- What Is An American Akita Dog?
- American Akita Temperament
- Are American Akitas Good Family Dogs?
- Are American Akitas Affectionate?
- Are American Akitas Good With Small Children?
- Are American Akitas Good With Babies?
- Are American Akitas Good With Other Animals?
- Are American Akitas Good With Cats?
- Are American Akitas Good With Other Dogs?
- An American Akita Socialization
- Is American Akita Dangerous?
- Is American Akita Strong?
- Are American Akitas Good Guard Dogs?
- How Much Do American Akitas Bark?
- Is American Akita Easy To Train?
- American Akita General Appearance
- American Akita Health Problems
- Are American Akitas Hypoallergenic?
- American Akita Care
- Do American Akitas Shed?
- American Akita Lifespan
- How much does an Akita cost?
- How Much Does It Cost To Adopt An American Akita?
- American Akita vs. Japannese Akita Inu
What Is An American Akita Dog?
The American Akita breed is a strong, confident, and dignified dog and an excellent family protector. They are often used for police work due to their intelligence, protective instincts, and trainability. The breed has roots in Japan, originally known as the “Akita Inu,” which means “dog of Akita.”
The American Akita is considered to be one of the most important and influential dog breeds in history.
American Akita Temperament
Known for their loyalty and affection, American Akitas is a breed reserved in personality but warm with owners.
Here is the list of important temperamental traits and facts of an American Akita:
- affectionate to family
- loyal to owners
- alert at all times
- needs an early socialization
- aggressive towards strangers
- high prey drive
- aggressive to other dogs
- not friendly to cats
- not best for homes with small pets
- not best for small children
- not best for a household with a baby
- not suitable for apartment living
- sensitive to noises
- doesn’t like to stay alone for longer times
- dwell well in cold weather
- not suited for hot climate
- sheds daily
- sheds seasonally
- high drooling potential
- barks occasionally
- healthy breed
- prone to obesity
- very playful
- higher exercise needs
Considering all the above facts about an American Akita dog breed, you can easily determine if an adult Akita dog or Akita puppy is the right fit for you or your family.
Are American Akitas Good Family Dogs?
The Akita is a bold and stubborn dog, naturally suspicious of strangers but extremely loyal to their family.
They are best suited for households where they will be the only dog and families that can provide them the love they need.
This breed requires strong leadership because he may become aggressive with other dogs and people without it.
This is the reason why the American Akita dog may not be the best choice for new families without the experience of raising dogs.
Are American Akitas Affectionate?
Akitas are very affectionate, but they reserve their love for those in the family circle.
A person outside of this group is likely to be treated with aloofness or distaste at best and extreme hostility if triggered by a particular event.
They’re born ready to lay down their lives for people that they care about.
Akitas are naturally playful and affectionate with their human friends. They love to spend time bonding, whether it be cuddling or playing fetch!
Akitas love being around humans, and they are always finding ways to show off their silly side. They need human companionship to thrive!
Are American Akitas Good With Small Children?
The Akita is excellent around older children. They are playful but careful, loyal, and patient with kids.
It’s important to teach them how to be gentle when playing rough or taking toys away from the dog as some dogs may become toy possessive, so it should only happen in an adult-only environment.
There are some things parents must know before getting one as their new pet.
American Akitas can make great family pets, but they are not the best breed for small children like toddlers due to their large size.
Their behavioral traits and tendencies to protect young ones from harm are why Akitas are not suitable for very small kids.
With adequate training in a loving environment, these dogs should act safely around your kids as any other pet would.
Playing with an American Akita is a great way to have fun, but adults should always supervise these interactions.
When it comes to kids and pets, safety needs are at the forefront of every parent’s mind. Working together can be exciting for everyone involved.
Are American Akitas Good With Babies?
The American Akita is not the best breed of dog for babies.
They are big, strong, and stubborn, with room to become aggressive if needed.
That said, consistent training from a young age can help Akita dog behave around babies.
Even so, it’s never recommended that parents leave their child unsupervised when an Akita puppy is present.
Are American Akitas Good With Other Animals?
Akitas are bred for their hunting instincts. Therefore, they will not tolerate any other dog of the same sex, and some won’t even accept dogs that aren’t the opposite sex either.
This breed has a strong instinct to chase animals like cats and rabbits when they’re trying to run away.
If you train them wrong or let something go wrong in another step of their life, then Akita’s can seriously injure or kill these creatures with ease.
Are American Akitas Good With Cats?
American Akita dog is known to have strong prey drive and unpredictability, but if Akita is socialized from a young age with cats through play sessions, then the dog may be able to get along well.
Make sure that your American Akita doesn’t feel threatened by new cat introductions because of their impulse-based behavior, or you could end up with an unhappy household in no time.
Are American Akitas Good With Other Dogs?
The American Akita dog breed isn’t always great with other dogs, but some training may help change that.
The American Akita dog breeds can be more difficult to train than other dogs.
If you are patient, train the Akita carefully, and set up situations where your pet is comfortable with other dogs, then this breed of dog might work for you.
That said, Akita dogs best behave when they are the only dog in a household.
An American Akita Socialization
The Akita dog is a loyal friend and companion that will love you unconditionally for years to come.
These dogs are more comfortable being the only pets, so they make great additions as single companions.
Because of this trait, these dogs need socialization from an early age, starting with the puppy stage.
Socialization will make them and everyone else around them safe.
Socialization Of An American Akita Puppy
The window of learning in an American Akita puppy’s life should not be missed.
Between 3-20 weeks, puppies can experience new smells, sights, and sounds without becoming afraid.
Akita Puppies who miss socialization may never learn how to communicate with other dogs, animals, and humans. They are very likely to encounter anxiety, fear, or aggression later in their lives.
- To promote socialization, puppies should be pet and handled by as many people as possible.
- Introduce your Akita puppy to new people every day, making the experience fun and unthreatening. Focus on setting up pleasant encounters with unfamiliar men and gentle children more than anything else.
- When you are training your puppy, expose them to lots of different sounds to get used to the world around them.
- Keep in mind not to overwhelm him with all these new noises at once, though! Instead, slowly let their ears adjust by exposing them slowly and gradually over time.
- Remember that whenever a lot is going on, like children playing or people yelling from television, make sure it doesn’t happen for long periods of time because this might be overwhelming for little puppies who want everything quiet.
- You can prevent resource guarding by teaching your Akita puppy to tolerate having people approach the food bowl while the dog is eating.
- Akita puppies should be left alone every day to learn to enjoy their own company and avoid developing separation anxiety.
- American Akita is not a dog that likes being alone, and teaching them this will make it easier for the dog in later life when their owners have to leave the house on occasion.
Socialization Of An American Akita Adult Dog
For whatever reason, your Akita dog might not have been socialized as a puppy. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t be friends with other dogs and enjoy free playtime together.
- Take your American Akita dog to a daily walk, and introduce it to other dogs
- If you know that they tend to act aggressively towards other animals, then using a muzzle can be helpful
- Every week, introduce your Akita to one new activity; this will help the dog to become more sociable and remain calm and well-mannered
- Be patient and use only positive reinforcement as the socialization can take a long time
Is American Akita Dangerous?
American Akitas are serious dogs, and they don’t like to show their emotions.
This makes them especially dangerous because there’s no warning before an attack – you never know when it’ll happen!
They’re known for attacking other dogs, in particular, so keep your dog on the leash in Akita’s territory!
They are naturally wary of strangers, especially ones they don’t know well, so it’s important not to let them off-leash in public areas without supervision from a human.
Akita dogs will bark at anything that gets too near it or acts as though it might be going after its food dish when eating time rolls around.
Most are also very protective over their territory, so make sure not to let strangers wander onto your land without supervision from someone who knows how to handle this breed properly.
Is American Akita Strong?
American Akita is a robust dog breed.
The American Akita has an intimidating, scissor-shaped jaw. This means that its bite is mighty and painful to any human or an animal it may come into contact with.
As a result, the dog doesn’t open their mouth until they decide to do so.
This can be a scary sight for those who are unfamiliar with the breed of canine!
Are American Akitas Good Guard Dogs?
With the proper training, this type of canine could be used as an excellent guard and watchdog!
The American Akita is oftentimes very territorial, and it will make its presence known when someone unfamiliar approaches.
If the person doesn’t back down or continue approaching, the American Akita dog might retaliate aggressively!
To know how to handle this breed properly means to know how to train them.
Training should be done with strict consistency to learn what’s acceptable behavior for people they know and strangers on their territory.
This may not always work depending on circumstance, but it is a good start if you want your Akita’s temperament to be tamer around guests or visitors.
They can be protective/aggressive because of fear which can lead to biting out of aggression.
How Much Do American Akitas Bark?
American Akitas are not trouble barkers, and they bark as needed.
Their quiet nature is great if you’re living in a crowded neighborhood. However, proper training and exercise will keep them from going off on the neighbors too often!
Is American Akita Easy To Train?
American Akita is a dog breed that has high levels of intelligence. This means that they are easy to train if you make it fun for them; otherwise, the training will be hard.
They learn at such an accelerated pace.
Akitas are stubborn animals and will only respond to positive reinforcement training. Therefore, when you train your Akita, make it a bonding experience that is rewarding for them.
Any type of punishment would be just as likely to have an Akita absolutely refusing to listen at all!
With improper training or no training, American Akita can become aggressive and even dangerous for those within its territory.
They need someone to teach them how to behave not to break any laws while protecting their land from trespassers who may have bad intentions towards their family.
The most important thing you can do when considering adopting this animal is making sure it’s adequately trained right off the bat, so there’s less chance for regret later on.
American Akita General Appearance
These dogs are big, powerful, flexible, and alert with a heavy bone structure.
The broadhead is characterized by a deep muzzle and small eyes, which are also characteristic of the breed.
Additionally, they have erect ears carried in line to the back of the neck and a long curled tail matching their large body that completes the look for this breed.
American Akita Size
The American Akita is a dog with impressive stature. They grow to be 130 pounds! Females tend to weigh less than males on average, like most breeds.
- Males reach 26 to 28 inches and weigh 85 to 130 pounds
- Females reach 24 to 26 inches and weigh 70 to 110 pounds
American Akita Colors and Markings
The American Akita is a beautiful breed that comes in shades of black, white, and brown.
They can have distinctive markings on their face, like the mask covering its nose and mouth, which makes it look fierce!
Nine color and marking types have been identified for American Akita:
- American Akita Coat
American Akita Coat
The American Akita dog has a short to medium dense coat. Its thick undercoat makes it well fitted for colder climates but will thin out greatly through warmer periods.
The outer coat (called guard hair) is slightly longer and rougher than the inner layer of fur.
Some American Akitas have long coats, which is not by the American Kennel Club show standards but makes them charming in their own way.
American Akita Health Problems
If you were wondering, “Do American Akitas have health problems?” the truth is yes, they do.
Some of the health problems potentials for American Akitas include:
- Hyp dysplasia
- Bloat (GDV)
- Eye problems (Progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, ectropion, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada, and other)
- Skin problems (such as sebaceous adenitis)
Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip socket develops abnormally and can eventually cause arthritis, lameness, or both.
When a dog’s stomach fills up with food, certain fluid, or gas and twists, it creates GDV or bloat. Without warning signs that the condition is about to happen, this can quickly progress into an emergency vet visit and be fatal.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disorder that can cause blindness in some dogs, including Akitas. There are many different types of PRA, and symptoms vary from dog to dog, but the most common symptom is progressive vision loss.
Ectropion can be a problem for those with droopy eyelids since it causes the lower lid to roll outward. This exposes delicate tissues that are not protected by an upper lid and lead to dryness in these areas.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when your Akita dog’s intraocular pressure increases, causing severe pain and loss of vision.
Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome is a disease that can affect Akita dogs. It includes many different symptoms, including retinal detachment, acute iridocyclitis, or choroiditis. In addition, the ocular lesions may be characterized by depigmentation of the retina and iris as well!
Sebaceous adenitis is a rare condition that causes crusting cornification, leading to progressive hair loss.
Hypothyroidism is when the body’s natural thyroid hormone production gets disrupted. Signs can involve skin conditions, weight gain, hair loss. Fearfulness and aggression are two prevalent signs of hypothyroidism, but there may also be other behavioral changes.
To see the full list of the diseases and disorders that can affect an Akita dog, please visit akitarescue.org.
Are American Akitas Hypoallergenic?
American Akitas are not the best fit for allergy sufferers as they shed daily.
They are also shedding seasonally, which means that Akita’s dander will likely provoke an allergic reaction among those who suffer from allergies.
People with dog allergies can still own this breed, but they will need to take precautions such as wiping down the bed area where the Akita dog sleeps every day and generally keep the house clean.
American Akita Care
The American Akita breed of dog is mostly low maintenance, but some things require care.
Owners should feed their American Akitas high-quality food no matter what type of diet to ensure their health and happiness.
Some dogs are more prone than others to getting overweight, so watch for any weight or calorie consumption changes if this applies to them while also limiting treats because they can lead to obesity problems.
The diet you feed your pet has to be appropriate for its age and weight.
Puppies need more calories than senior Akita dogs, so some experts recommend that older pets eat a “light” or less calorie-dense food, which helps defend against kidney disease.
Your vet will help choose foods if your American Akita has any specific health problem like diabetes to create an eating plan tailored specifically for its needs.
American Akita’s are fairly clean dogs and don’t have much of an odor.
Trimming their nails as needed is important as overgrown nails can be painful for them to walk on, but they also need regular brushing because Akitas tend to shed fur around the house. They’re still dogs, after all!
One of the most popular debates in Akita dog ownership is how often one should bathe their pup.
However, the general rule for American Akitas is to bathe them once a month as needed- more if they get really dirty or stinky!
Do American Akitas Shed?
The shedding cycle of an American Akita happens twice a year, and during this time, they will shed their coats excessively.
This process is called seasonal hair loss or seasonal shedding. It usually starts after winter when light levels are low and ends at summer’s end as days grow longer with more natural sunlight exposure.
Daily brushing will be a necessity for the American Akita. The breed sheds seasonally, but they also shed daily as well.
American Akita Lifespan
American Akitas have a “normal” life expectancy of 12-15 years, which is excellent for a dog that size.
They are one of the healthiest breeds around, with an average lifespan in this range because they aren’t prone to cancer like many other large dogs.
How much does an Akita cost?
Not all American Akitas are created equal. You’ll find some American Akitas for around $600 and others that will cost you over $2500.
First-rate American Akita breeders can charge up to $5k for a dog with impeccable bloodlines or papers.
The price depends on the breeder’s location, buyer’s location, demand at each time of year (hot seasons often bring higher prices), what papers accompany an Akita dog from their parents, or even how healthy they were as puppies- if any health issues have popped up down the road due to a genetic issue like heart disease in past generations.
Some people would say an American Akita puppy is worth whatever someone else wants to pay for it- but knowing your options ahead of time can help both buyer and seller come together with terms that suit them best.
A potential owner should be aware of the Akita dog breed’s traits and make sure that a new Akita puppy is well-behaved and the breeder puts effort into socializing a puppy.
Where To Buy An American Akita?
When buying an American Akita dog from a breeder, it is safest to purchase a puppy that has been verified by the breeder’s genetic testing.
The buyer should also make sure their new pet comes with proof of health and any information about its lineage before taking him or her home.
If something happens in the future where you cannot care for your Akita dog anymore, always be certain that he can come back into his old living space if necessary and have someone else committed to finding them another family when needed.
Look no further than the American Kennel Club Marketplace for an American Akita puppy.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt An American Akita?
Adopting an American Akita from a shelter or rescue organization is much cheaper than buying one from the breeder.
For about $300, you’ll get to take home your new best friend, who is already spayed/neutered and microchipped.
As a potential pet owner of an Akita dog, please make sure that the future new canine is well behaved and has no history of aggression.
Where To Find An American Akita For Adoption?
Many clubs and rescues across the USA have adult Akita dogs available for adoption. However, finding an Akita puppy to adopt is rare.
American Akita vs. Japannese Akita Inu
Japanese Akita Inu is smaller than its American counterpart.
For example, Japanese Akita Inu has finer bones and come in three colors – white, white-faced red, or brindle.
The coat color for an American Akita can be anything from cream to black with any number of variations between them, such as sable browns, fawns (also known as “chocolate”), goldens, etc.
No matter what they look like on the outside, both Japanese Akita Inu and American Akita dogs share many similarities that make them members of one family.