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14 Akita Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

Akita dog standing at the park

14 Akita Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

Akitas are a beautiful Japanese dog breed with many redeeming qualities. This breed is incredibly beautiful, and its loyalty and affection toward its family members is unmatched. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with Akitas. They have very specific needs and require a certain kind of owner to thrive. These large dogs do not do well in just any household, so prospective owners need to familiarize themselves with the pros and cons of this breed before signing the adoption papers.

Read on to find 14 pros and cons of owning an Akita to determine if this is the right breed for you and your lifestyle.

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The 7 Pros of Owning an Akita

1. They Are Very Loyal.

The Akita is a profoundly loyal breed that develops deep bonds with their favorite family members. They thrive on human companionship and have developed a reputation for being protectors of the family. This loyalty, coupled with their imposing size, makes them fantastic guard dogs.

young girl petting an akita inu puppy at home
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. They Are Affectionate.

In addition to being loyal to their family members, Akitas are known for their affectionate nature. They love being around their family and well-known friends. They aren’t afraid to show their colorful and goofy side when they’re around their favorite humans but don’t expect strangers ever to see that side of your Akita.


3. They Are Intelligent.

Akitas are highly intelligent dogs. They’re always on alert and constantly learning about the people and world around them. Most Akitas pick up on new commands and tricks rather easily, especially because they have a deep-rooted eagerness to please their owners. However, knowing that they aren’t always a breeze to please is important because of their independent nature.


4. They Are Independent.

The Akita’s independence can be a pro or a con depending on how you view it. It is unlikely that your dog will ever suffer from separation anxiety, but their independence can sometimes make it challenging to train them.

akita inu dog
Image By: Malen Billoni Ahumada, Pixabay

5. They Are Beautiful.

The Akita is one of the most beautiful dog breeds. They resemble big teddy bears as puppies but grow into strikingly gorgeous adults. These elegant dogs have a big, dense, plush double coat, making them cozy to snuggle up with.


6. They Don’t Bark Much.

Akitas are not excessive barkers. They will only let you hear their voice when it is absolutely necessary. They don’t bark out of boredom or excitement like other breeds. You’re most likely to hear barking when newcomers step foot onto your property.


7. They Are Clean.

Like other Spitz-type dogs, Akitas are fastidious groomers who often engage in self-cleaning behaviors like cats. They don’t typically need baths as often as other breeds, but don’t let that fool you into thinking grooming your Akita will be easy (see point 1 under “Cons of Owning an Akita” below).

happy akita inu dog resting at the park
Image Credit: Kristina Chizhmar, Shutterstock

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The 7 Cons of Owning an Akita

1. They Shed. A Lot.

Akitas have a thick double coat that will lose hair moderately throughout the year. They blow their coats heavily twice yearly, typically in the spring and fall. Since Akitas are a large breed, they have a lot of hair, making grooming an essential part of your weekly tasks to keep shedding at bay. You’ll need to always keep a vacuum on hand to keep the hair from taking over your home.


2. They Need Constant Entertainment.

Akita, along with other large and intelligent dog breeds, bore easily. A bored dog will do anything to keep its body and mind busy, including getting himself into all sorts of trouble. Owners must be prepared to provide a constant source of entertainment to keep their pups busy and out of trouble. Akitas need at least two hours of exercise daily to maintain good mental and physical health.

akita dog walking with owner outdoor
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

3. They May Be at Risk of Developing Certain Health Conditions.

While Akitas are generally a healthy and hardy dog breed, there are some conditions they may be prone to developing.

Hip dysplasia is common in large dog breeds. This orthopedic condition affects the hip joint and can cause limping. Your vet may recommend surgery to correct the issue if it severely affects your Akita.

Hypothyroidism is another condition often seen in Akitas. It occurs when their bodies don’t produce enough thyroid hormone. It can be monitored with routine blood work and treated with lifelong medication.


4. They’re Not Suitable for First-Time Dog Owners.

Akitas aren’t a great dog breed to choose if you’re a first-time dog owner. They can be challenging, especially for people with limited experience around dogs. Akitas require socialization and training to be well-behaved. Their size can make them difficult to control for the uninitiated.


5. They May Be Prone to Bouts of Aggression.

Akitas may be intolerant of other dogs, especially those of the same sex. They may be dominant toward other dogs and show signs of aggression around other animals and even toward people. Because of their large size and strong bite, having a poorly socialized Akita around other animals and children can be incredibly dangerous.

Aggression, however, can sometimes be out-trained with proper socialization and training from a young age.

white akita dog barking and lying on the grass
Image Credit: Fernando Tanji, Shutterstock

6. They’re Wary of Strangers

While Akitas are incredibly loyal and affectionate toward their favorite humans, they do not form relationships quickly. They can be wary of strangers and may not warm up to the idea of having guests in their homes. Their natural guardian tendencies can make them aloof and even aggressive around strangers.


7. They Have a High Prey Drive.

Akitas were initially bred to hunt large game, like boars and bears. While your dog may not participate in such activities, the hunting instinct is still deeply engraved into his DNA. Due to their size, temperament, and strength, this breed can be incredibly dangerous if improperly handled. Owners need to be very careful whenever they’re out in public with their dogs, as they can be a flight risk if they see something they deem worthy of hunting.

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Final Thoughts

Akitas can make a beautiful companion dog in the right household with the right owner. They’re typically best suited for families with experience owning large breed dogs and in the hands of owners willing to put in the effort to train, socialize, and exercise their dogs from a very young age.

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Sources

Featured Image Credit: Nikoleta Vukovic, Shutterstock

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