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New to Akitas.

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!

  
Winn

Baby polar bears- aren't even this- cute!
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 23, '11 4:49am PST 
Hi there all you lucky Akita pawrents. I am new to the world of Akitas and wondered if anyone had any super secret Akita-only tips to share.
I'm currently fostering, will probably be adopting, a young female Akita, maybe a mix?, we just aren't sure. I've done a ton of reading about them in the past week and they sure seem like, and she certainly backs this up, fantastic dogs! Not totally dissimilar to the Siberian Huskies that I know and love. I was just wondering if anyone could share some little quirks or insights that you may have into the breed as a whole.
I'll tell you a little about my specific questions.
First off I'm wondering if anyone else thinks she may be mixed breed, or if she's just young and doesn't look quite right yet.
Also if anyone has a guess as to age that might be helpful as far as feeding and training are concerned. The rescue was guessing around 2 or 3, but I think she might be even younger and not quite done growing. I haven't had her weighed yet, but I'm ballparking around 75-85 lbs, also her hind legs are a little longer than the front and a groomer friend of mine who loves the breed said she thinks she will "even out" after she finishes growing.
On that same front, what supplements do you all use for joint health? I have read a lot about the health concerns and joints seem to be a big issue especially for the bigger guys.
Any other specific precautions as far as health? I'm not sure there is anything that can be done about their high instance of auto-immune problems, but other thoughts?
Anything else that you have observed/learned over the years? I find breed enthusiasts to be an excellent resource for breed specific questions, and your personal experiences can be more helpful than all the reading I have done! Thanks!
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Mika

As long as they- think they're- the boss
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 23, '11 11:27am PST 
Winn,
Welcome to the world of Akita's. Yes,they are amazing and also very similar to husky's. They are in my opinion not any less vocal but will bark less than the Husky's I've been around. As far as Quirks in my 16 years with the breed each seems to have their own,but be prepared all are somewhat independent and will at times seem to out think you. From the photo you posted I can't guess age but in general Akita's will appear thinner and more leggy until around age 3. I don't really see a mix just slightly off standard Akita. Unless you plan to show that's not to me an issue.Always and continually socialize.Akita's are pretty much one person yet great family dogs they just happen to have one person they bond more with than the others. My Mika is my husbands girl and will follow,listen and be more affectionate with him than anyone else.My Kai is my boy and is more bonded to me. Aside from your basic research a few things you should be aware of is thyroid problems can creep up usually after age 5 so it's a good idea to have a baseline done at 2or3. Allergies can be very off the wall and random most common is fleas. Spherocytosis is also found in some Akita's so if the rescue hasn't had her spayed yet you might want to have a blood test done because if they have it anesthesia can be deadly (it's genetic so if they don't have it at birth it's not ever going to be an issue.Please p-mail me if I forgot anything you'd like answered.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 12, '11 2:31pm PST 
Mika's pretty much answered it, ha.

I just wanted to add that Akitas were originally bred as guard dogs, and tend to be very watchful of strangers. Lobo will start to growl very lowly if someone lingers by our front yard for too long. That being said, if we humans let a stranger in, Lobo is happily wagging his tail and accepting pets (keep in mind that Lobo is also part husky, and akitas aren't this friendly). I've heard that they're also gentle with other children, but clearly love their own human family's children more so.

In Japan, mothers would often leave their children in the care of their Akitas while they went to buy groceries for food. Obviously, that requires a lot of trust and understanding, so you can see why the Akita Inu is a popular 'family dog.'

My aunt new someone who took care of Siberian Huskies and Akita Inus. She said that the huskies would turn on each other, but the akitas would defend their families from other dogs. I think akitas are more pack-oriented than huskies, but otherwise, yes, they're pretty similar. In my experience, Sibes have also been a little easier to train, if you can reign in all that energy. Akitas, while loyal, don't really like listening and would rather curl up at your feet than watch you make an ass of yourself trying to train them laugh out loud

Speaking on personal experience, of course. Lobo was very difficult to train. I would recommend bonding first, and then training. That's what worked for Lobes and I. We had to first get to know each other, and I had to earn his trust before he decided that I was worth following. It didn't take long, though, ahah. But of course, he does have husky in him.

I'm also new to Akitas, so this is all personal experience from meeting other Akitas, my own research, and of course Lobo.


EDIT;;
I wanted to make sure you also knew that there are two distinct "types" of Akita. There's the heavier, larger American Akita, and the lighter, smaller Japanese Akita. Lobo is a Japanese Akita mix. You'll mostly find American Akitas (duh) here in America, but it's not impossible to come by respectable, knowledgeable, trustworthy breeders who breed Japanese Akitas.

Edited by author Wed Oct 12, '11 2:42pm PST

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Winn

Baby polar bears- aren't even this- cute!
 
 
Barked: Thu Oct 13, '11 4:17am PST 
Hi Lobo, you're a serious cutie, I wish there were more pictures on your page smile

We think the Winnie might be mixed with some Sibe as well, but I don't think we'll know for sure till she gets a little older and we see how she looks. She is definitely as smart as a husky, and gets bored (as you mentioned) as easily as one. She actually seems fairly trainable, after only 3 weeks she has almost stopped jumping entirely, knows that she isn't allowed in the kitchen, knows "sit", "lay down", and can even do "stay" about half of the time. She is a total "velcro" dog, and seems to be getting quite attached to us already. She and our other pup even seem to be figuring each other out and playing together much more than they were at first.
So far no issues with food (other than her getting a little over excited about treats, but we are working on that), and she hasn't had any accidents in the house other than the first night which i think was just marking behavior.
I'd say that overall she is doing great, and we are quite happy with our gentle giant!
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Thu Oct 13, '11 11:16am PST 
Lobo's owner is too lazy to post up all of his awesome pictures. I have tons, though, haha.

A lot of what Winn does, sounds like Lobo. He catches onto things amazingly, he just doesn't always like to do them. Brilliant, a genius, so incredibly smart that I'm kept on my toes, but stubborn. He's also a velcro dog, sticks by my side, and must know where I am at all times.

I'm happy to see that Winn is good with your other dog. Just because Akitas are *typically* dog aggressive, does not mean that all of them are. Lobo's only problem with dogs are the other dominant ones. He likes to make sure everyone knows he's boss (we're still working on his rudeness) but he's still playful with dogs he does get along with.

She sounds like an amazing dog. Whatever you're doing, keep it up! applause
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 6:07am PST 
Winn,
Akitas are very smart and all of mine trained quickly. They just like to do their own thing from about age one and a half to age three.
Also there must be something in it for them to do the things you want.
With the treat issue try feeding her small bites from your hand and handle her food as well.Use your hand instead of a scoop for kibble and don't be afraid to feed her small bites of anything from your hand.
When I first got into Akitas the wisdom was let them alone while they eat because they tend to be food agressive and being near their food will make them resource guarders. I have found the opposite is true. The more you handle their food and they see that good things come from you the better they bond and they are less likely to have food issues at all.Mika was raised the old way and although she's gotten much better about food she still gets a little snippy with Kai getting too close from time to time. Kai was raised the new way and has never shown any signs of a food issue and would gladly allow Mika to share the same food bowl. We have to have two only because of Mikas issues.
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