The Akita dog breed was originally bred to guard Japanese royalty. Strong and imposing figures, their appearance alone can act as a deterrent to people with ill intent. Affectionate and loving with their families, Akitas can be a rewarding companion, but they have a strong will and a complex personality that can make them a challenge to train. While they do not bark much and are a clean housemate, they can be dominant and strong willed. Akita Inus are not ideal pets for the first-time dog owner.
Akita Activity Requirements
Akitas do not require the same level of physical activity as other breeds of comparable size. Several brisk walks a day will suffice, and they should be allowed to run a few times a week. Because of their aggressive tendencies toward other dogs, dog parks are not the best place to exercise an Akita. A fenced-in, private yard is the ideal space for him to run.
Despite the fact that they don't need too much running time, apartments are not the best home for Akitas. They are large and require space, and can feel confined in tight areas.
Akitas are among the “banned” breeds that many insurance companies may not cover. Home owners should check their policies and consult with neighborhood associations before adopting an Akita.
Akitas are a challenge to train, as they are strong-willed and dominant. They are not for the timid or inconsistent leader. Strength and confidence are the key to working with this breed, as they can sense a pushover from a mile away. They will make their trainer prove themselves as the leader before accepting commands.
Originally bred as protectors, Akitas are instinctively wary of strangers. Early socialization is a must, so that the Akita can learn what is “normal” behavior from a stranger and what is “abnormal” behavior. They must know the difference between a friendly visitor and an unwelcome stranger, or they will generalize all strangers as bad.
Akita Behavioral Traits
Aggression toward other animals is the biggest issue with an Akita. They do not give any signs of distress before they attack, so they may be playing well one minute, but then seemingly turn on a dime if pushed too far. Akitas should be the only pet in the house to prevent aggressive and potentially violent attacks.
Food aggression is also common among Akitas. Children should be taught never, ever to approach an Akita while eating or chewing a bone.
Akitas do not bark. They are known in the dog world as the “strong, silent type.” Those who appreciate a quiet dog will appreciate the Akita.