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So you're thinking about adding an Akita to your family?

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

  
Tyson Savage- CGC

Let's do big dog- stuff!
 
 
Barked: Sun May 30, '10 8:55pm PST 
Let's open up a thread for potential Akita owners! Questions? Concerns? Just want to know more about the breed? There are a few Akita mommies and daddies on here, me included (mommy), who would be happy to be informative!
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Eva

Happy Girl
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 5, '10 1:39pm PST 
No questions, but I haven an Akita/Pei Mix! Her name is Eva and you can really see the Akita in her!
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Tyson Savage- CGC

Let's do big dog- stuff!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 12, '10 7:12pm PST 
You can! Wow she's a very pretty pup!
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Tidus

Love is ice- cubes and pine- cones.
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 25, '12 11:02am PST 
We are in the earliest state of thinking and just researching but would love some more information. I already own two male shibas. Hopefully you can answer some questions for me;
1. What should I know about owning an akita, what to you are the most important things a person needs to know?
2. How are they with small dogs? My shibas are big for the breed and very used to playing with large dogs, in fact they do better with them then small dogs do to their style of play. I thought adding the akita as a puppy would help but I've heard of predatory drift in large breeds, should I be concerned?
3. I've heard that they are dog aggressive and shouldn't live with other dogs. I assume this is hype and like any other breed (like shibas) when socialized properly and come from a good breeder should have no problems. If they really do prefer to be the only dog though let me know!
4. I've also heard that they shouldn't live with the same sex dogs, is this really true?
5. It would also be my first large breed dog, any tips or things I need to know/ consider with owning a large breed dog in general?

Like I said I am in the earliest stages of research and just want to see if this is even feasible and realistic and get some research any info you can give me will help and be greatly appreciated!!
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Member Since
02/01/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 1, '12 2:04pm PST 
There are several things to understand about Akitas. I got a puppy while my girlfriend had a 7lb. Chihuahua and since they grew up together my Akita, Whiskey who grew to 140lbs. never hurt a hair on the little one's head. However, he was dog aggressive but I don't think I socialized him near enough. I heard the other day that, by the time your dog is 6-8 months old you should introduce them to 100 people and 100 dogs. I would suggest taking your puppy to a group puppy training class and continue to socialize it. Training is absolutely IMPERATIVE! And, not the training that is available to most dogs - find a trainer that has experience with large, potentially aggressive breeds. Akitas have amazing personalities and are among the most loyal breeds out there but care needs to be taken during their puppy stage to ensure they acclimate to being a responsible member of your family.

One last thing. . .crate train your Akita from the very beginning. . .

Edited by author Wed Feb 1, '12 2:06pm PST

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Member Since
02/01/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 1, '12 8:41pm PST 
Hello,
I have an 11 week puppy and I can't get him to stop biting. HELP!!! I've given him toys and sprayed him with bitter spray. He keeps chewing away at us. I've gently held his mouth shut he yelps and continue attempting to bite us.

Chrissy
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 10:33am PST 
Chrissy,
My first suggestion would be to redirect him,when he chews on you,tell him no,and give him a toy. If he wont take the toy,playtime is over and you ignore him until he is calm and try again. If that doesn't work crate him or separate him from you for a time out. Also be aware that Akitas mouth,not bite to show affection. He can be corrected to stop that as well. We chose not to and find the very careful mouthing a very endearing thing. It may take awhile for him to learn but keep at the methods I advised,showing an Akita agression does no good and spraying him with bitter spray is just cruel and not a training method at all. I have owned and researched the breed for 16 years and currently have 2 of them. To get respect from an Akita you have to earn it by being firm and fair and consistent in dicipline and show them respect and affection.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 10:54am PST 
Tidus,
They can be fine with smaller dogs.
The thing about same sex agression is true and even if it doesn't show early on,it can show up at adolescence. My female was fine with all other dogs until she hit age 2 and a half,now she will not tolerate other females at all. Even one she was previously a wonderful playmate with.
The thing about them meeting at least 100 different people and
dogs by the age of a year is a good guideline.Socialization shouldn't end then,it needs to be a lifelong thing as they can become overly protective of both their people and their territory without continued socialization. I hope this helps a bit.Continue your research and understand as fully as you can what you are signing up for owning an Akita,they are difficult,stubborn,willful and if raised properly worth every bit of the hassel of getting them to be what you want. Also know that you have to earn their loyalty and respect,they are not like other breeds who live to please their people,they prefer to teach their people how to please them and reward their people by doing what is asked,eventually,when they feel like it.laugh out loud
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Keno, NPC

When's Dinner? - Lunch? - Breakfast?
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 18, '12 5:31pm PST 
My Akita will be seven in April and I began socializing him around 10 weeks old (got him at 8 weeks). He went to the dog park, to the trails near where we live and even doggie daycare two - three times per week. He met many people and many dogs, but when he turned two, he became aggressive towards other dogs so he got kicked out of daycare! frown I still take him for walks, but I have to make sure I tell the person with a dog coming towards us that mine does not get along with other dogs (course, it proves a bit difficult when the other dog is off leash GRRRR!). Breaks my heart, but otherwise he's the best dog I've ever been owned by. LOL Training is essential with this breed, but like others have said, it needs to be gentle but firm. They are loyal dogs and fiercely protective of their family. But, they are also silly and very entertaining dogs. When he was younger, he was also very destructive and had bad separation anxiety, but we worked through it all. Too add up all the money I've spent replacing things he tore up/ate, would take me all day, but Keno, my Akita, is worth every penny I have ever spent on him. Research the breed, they are not for everyone, but if you feel up to the challenge of having one as a family member, it's worth it, I promise. wink
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 18, '12 8:19pm PST 
Oh, one thing I should also put in...

While I wouldn't necessarily say this is - common - in the breed, it is something to watch out for: Pemphigus Foliaceus. It is an immune disorder where the skin attacks itself. If it goes untreated, it can be fatal. Unfortunately, Lobo has this. We have a holistic vet, and the meds are actually pretty cheap, but it's constant upkeep and takes serious dedication. It didn't show up until he was about four years old, either, so watch for that.

Honestly, naming off /every/ health issue in Akitas would take too long. They are a generally hardy breed, but they have a lot of problems that /can/ show up. Definitely get an Akita from very reputable, respectable, trustworthy lines and watch for popular sires/dams, inbreeding(too closely or too often), and the usual things you want to look for.

And about Akitas getting aggressive with same-sex: Yes. Before Lobo was three, he was wonderful with all dogs. He used to pretty much ignore dogs at dog parks. After two-three, though, I can only have him with dogs he already knows - and even then I need to be watchful and careful. He's never been in a true-blue dog fight (the one time he came close, he didn't use his teeth at all) but obviously you can never be too sure.

Chrissy,
Like Mika&Kai said, nomming is an affectionate gesture. Lobo is very mouthy, but has ASTOUNDING bite inhibition. The only time he doesn't pay attention to the strength of his teeth is when we're rough-housing. But take note that when I say rough-housing... think of two college boys throwing each other around for fun. It looks scary, but it's all fun. It also helps that Lobo and I worked on forming a close bond before I tried to do any training.

Oh! I have a funny story about Lobo. So, I'm reading a training book (The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training by Gail Fisher if anyone's interested - personally, I think clicker training is absolutely astounding for stubborn breeds such as Akitas, but that's another story) and in it, it talks about how laughter can be reinforcing for a dog. I was thinking about it, and I can totally see it! For the years we've had Lobo, I never got on that ground and rolled on my back (I was into dominance before I found clicker training) but once I stared doing that, Lobo started feeling more comfortable "tickling" me. He uses the front of his teeth to nip at my sides and my legs. At first, it was a rare occurrence, but I always laugh (it tickles!) and now, any time we play, he does that same thing whether I'm standing or laying. He's absolutely adorable. laugh out loud

Hmm... I think one major question I would have is: What makes a good quality Akita breeder?
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