BASIC AKITA INFORMATION
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Welcome to the Akita, a companion dog experience like no other. Whether your goal is a family pet, a show dog, or obedience competition, I am excited about your interest and obvious good taste. The material in this section of the Website as well as that following should help start you learn about my breed...the Akita.....JOTEI :0)
MEET THE AKITA
The Akita originates from Japan and has an uncanny likeness to dogs from ancient Japanese tombs. As befitting its spitz-like heritage, the Akita is bold, independent, stubborn, and tenacious. An Akita is completely devoted and will protect family members. It is reserved with strangers and can be aggressive to other dogs. The Akita needs mental and physical exercise every day. Given plenty of exercise and training, the Akita can be a quiet and well-mannered house dog, and a great positive influence to your life!
Physical Appearance (Also, see The Breed Standard)
The Akita always makes a lasting first impression. Akitas are large, powerful dogs with substantial bone and musculature. The broad chest and neck serve as a solid base for the Akita's large head, the Akita's most distinguishing feature. The broad skull and the short muzzle form a blunt triangle when viewed from above. The massive head in combination with the small triangular shaped eyes and small erect ears give the Akita an intimidating, yet dignified, expression.
The Akita is a very balanced looking dog, being only slightly longer than it is tall. The tail is curled and carried over the back, which serves to balance with the dog's head. Typically the male Akita is substantially larger than the female. The males range in weight from about 100 to 130 pounds, while the females range from 70 to 100 pounds.
The double coat of the Akita has the appearance of the typical northern breeds. It is short to moderate in length, but very dense and consists of two layers. The undercoat is very soft and is the primary insulator, while the outer coat, or the guard hair, is slightly longer and coarser. The Akita is very well suited to the coldest of climates, and while it might not enjoy hot weather, its coat does lighten considerably in the warmer months to compensate for the heat.
The personality of the Akita is very complex. While temperaments vary, most would agree that the Akita is very intelligent, extremely loyal, and can exhibit aggressive tendencies. The aggressive tendencies are almost exclusively towards other dogs of the same sex. Typically, Akitas are not aggressive towards people, but do have a very well developed guarding and protective instinct. Akitas also have a high and well developed prey drive. An Akita is not likely to shower affection on someone that is not a member of his family or a close friend that he sees frequently.
The loyalty and devotion displayed by an Akita is phenomenal. The typical pet Akita will follow you from room to room, yet has the uncanny ability not to be under foot. Your Akita lives his life as if his only purpose is to protect you and spend time with you. This trait is evident in the tale of Hachiko.
The Akita as a House Pet
Even though Akitas are large, hardy dogs which can withstand the elements, they have been bred for centuries to be house companions. The two most outstanding characteristics of the Akita as a house pet are that they are very clean and that they are very easy to house break. Akitas have been described as almost "cat-like," they are so clean and odorless. This may also be one of the reasons why they housebreak so easily. Most Akitas respond so well to housebreaking that they are trained in a matter of weeks.
As far as the family children are concerned, there are a few worries. Akitas are devoted, patient friends and protectors of children. Akitas are typically very gentle with children, and it is said that Japanese mothers often left their children with only the Akitas to watch over and protect them.
Of course with a new baby entering into a home with an Akita, proper introductions and precautions should be taken until the Akita understands the situation. Young children should never be left unsupervised with large dogs of any breed, as the potential for an accident is not worth the risk.
Is the Akita the Dog for Everyone?
Right about now, you are probably thinking . . . What's the catch? Well, the Akita is not the right dog for everyone. The person who assumes responsibility for an Akita MUST be able to take control of the dog at an early age. This means that the person has to be the dominant party in this relationship.
Dominance is more a state of mind, but you must also be prepared to physically dominate the dog if necessary. Akitas, as with most dogs, live their lives in a pack environment, whether the pack be animals or people. If you are not willing to be the leader of the pack, the Akita most certainly will. So the Akita owner must have the energy and will to keep a firm, consistent discipline as the dog matures. A little work and persistence in training in the early months with an Akita will reap you huge benefits as a well behaved member of the family down the road.
Is the Akita the Right Dog for You?
Before you buy an Akita puppy, THINK:
What do I want my dog to be like?
How will this dog fit into my lifestyle?
What is my living situation?
Consider what your needs are and what the dog's needs will be. Do they conflict?
Think of the dogs you've enjoyed owning in the past. Were they easygoing or intense? Self-willed, or independent; outgoing or reserved; placid or energetic?
Then ask yourself if you have the TIME needed to devote to socializing, training, and loving your dog.
The Akita is an extremely intelligent, large, energetic, and strongly territorial dog whose life is oriented toward his owners. If he is the right dog for you, he is one of the most rewarding breeds to own, but this is also a demanding breed, and should not be casually added to the household on a whim.
Will you enjoy owning an Akita?
If you are looking for a bright, sensitive, responsive dog with whom you will be able to spend time, will be able to train and will be protective and loyal and devoted to you and your family for the rest of his life, then perhaps you will enjoy owning an Akita.
The Akita can be a guard dog. He feels that one of his jobs is to protect his family. You don't need to train him to do this; it comes naturally to him. He will be watchful of people on your property, expressing suspicion with a low rumble; Akitas are not barkers. They quickly learn to differentiate between strangers and friends. Akitas are not tolerant of other dogs especially those of the same sex.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD AN AKITA BE ALLOWED TO ROAM THE STREETS UNATTENDED!! (Nor should any dog!)
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