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14 Akita Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

akita dog standing at the park

14 Akita Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

Akitas are beautiful dogs with many redeeming qualities, and their loyalty and affection toward their family members are unmatched. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with Akitas. They have very specific needs and require an experienced 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 they are right for you.

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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 around their favorite humans, but don’t expect strangers 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 relatively easily, especially because they have a deep-rooted eagerness to please their owners. However, knowing they aren’t always a breeze to please is important because of their independence.

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 canines. As puppies, they resemble big teddy bears but grow into strikingly gorgeous adults. These elegant dogs have an oversized, 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’ll most likely hear barking when newcomers step 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 sheds 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 vacuum frequently to keep the hair from taking over your home.

2. They Need Constant Entertainment.

Akitas, like other large and intelligent dog breeds, bore easily. A bored dog will do anything to keep their body and mind busy, including getting 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 2 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, they may be prone to developing some health conditions. Hip dysplasia is common in large breeds. This orthopedic condition affects the hip joint and can cause limping. If it severely affects your Akita, your vet may recommend surgery to correct the issue.

Hypothyroidism is another condition common 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 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 for the uninitiated to control.

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 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 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 engraved into his DNA. Due to their size, temperament, and strength, Akitas can be dangerous if improperly handled. Owners must be very careful whenever they’re out in public with their dogs since they can be a flight risk if they see something they deem worthy of hunting.


Final Thoughts

Akitas can make a beautiful companion dog in the right household. 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. When trained and cared for properly, Akitas are loyal, affectionate pups.

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Featured Image Credit: Nikoleta Vukovic, Shutterstock

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