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How Much Exercise Do Akitas Need? Vet Approved Care Tips

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

How Much Exercise Do Akitas Need? Vet Approved Care Tips

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

The Akita is a loyal, intelligent, protective dog breed that can make an excellent family pet. They love spending time with kids and adults alike, and they don’t get too rowdy when indoors. Before deciding whether this is the right breed for you, though, you should learn more about them, like how much exercise the average Akita requires for health and happiness.

This dog breed is energetic and requires a minimum of 1 hour of exercise daily, though owners should strive for up to 2 hours of daily exercise. Here is information about an Akita’s exercise needs, a few exercise ideas, and other important things that every prospective owner should know.

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Why Akitas Need at Least an Hour of Exercise Each Day

The Akita is an ancient Japanese dog breed that was originally bred to hunt boar and bears. They required a great deal of stamina and energy to be successful. They are still great hunters today and have the same type of stamina and energy that they did when they were first conceived. These muscular dogs need daily activity to stay strong and agile throughout their lives.

While not all Akitas require the same amount of exercise to stay healthy, the average dog should get no less than 1 hour of activity to avoid becoming overweight, out of shape, and even ill. Keep in mind that this recommendation is for healthy adult dogs. Puppies, seniors, and those with medical conditions have different kinds of exercise needs.

Akita dog
Image Credit: Anaite, Shutterstock

Exercise Requirements for Puppies

A different approach should be used when exercising puppy Akitas rather than adults because they are rapidly growing, and too much impact on their bones and joints can be damaging. Research indicates that there are potential links between excessive exercise and orthopedic problems in large dog breeds like the Akita. So, your puppy should avoid activities like jumping and long 2-hour hikes until they are fully grown. Shoot for a 30- to 45-minute (1 hour, tops) brisk walk or the equivalent each day. Ask your veterinarian for specific puppy exercise recommendations.

Exercise Requirements for Seniors

Senior dogs slow down and become less active. Their joints start to get sore if they exercise too much. They simply don’t need as much exercise to stay happy and healthy anymore. The older an Akita gets, the less exercise they will need. Near the end of their life, they may only be able to muster a slow jaunt around the yard once or twice a day. It’s important to pay attention to your dog’s cues when exercising them. If they slow down or start panting during a walk, it’s time to head home. Adjust their exercise according to their activity level and interest. Never hesitate to consult with your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns.

akita dog standing at the park
Image Credit: Nikoleta Vukovic, Shutterstock

Exercise Requirements for Akitas With Health Problems

The exercise needs of dogs with health problems should be assessed on a case-by-case basis with the help of a trusted veterinarian. Certain health problems won’t get in the way of regular exercise. But lung issues, obesity, high blood pressure, and other issues could result in the need to make exercise adjustments. It’s never a good idea to “guess” how much exercise an ill dog should get, as too much is just as bad as too little.

The Best Form of Exercise to Focus On: Walking

Walking is a safe and effective type of exercise that all Akitas can enjoy. Walking outdoors with a human companion provides dogs with much-needed mental stimulation, as they get to see birds and squirrels, other humans and dogs, and other elements that intrigue them. Walking also offers an opportunity to bond with their human companions on a deeper level due to the one-on-one time. This type of exercise is easy on the joints too, which is beneficial for large dog breeds like the Akita.

dog owner and akita dog outdoors
Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock

Other Types of Exercise Options to Consider

Walking is one of the best types of exercise for dogs of all ages, but it isn’t the only kind that healthy adult dogs can participate in. Incorporating a variety of different types of exercise into your intelligent and energetic Akita’s life will help ensure that they stay physically and mentally satisfied as they make their way into their senior years. Here are fun and engaging options to consider:

  • Fetch in the yard
  • Tug of war with a rope
  • Practicing on the agility course
  • Swimming in the pool or ocean
  • Hiking on wooded trails
  • Jogs on the beach
  • Playtime at the dog park

Indoor Exercise Options for When Going Outdoors Isn’t Possible

Sometimes it can be tough, if not impossible, to get outdoors for exercise due to the weather and other factors. However, there are several ways that you can provide your pup with indoor exercise, even if it is mostly for the mind. After all, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Mental exercise can also help release pent-up energy even when your Akita can’t get out for a long walk. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Engage in an interactive puzzle toy together.
  • Hide treats or small toys and have your Akita find them.
  • Incorporate obedience training into your evening routine.
  • Get a couple of new chew toys, and play fetch or tug-of-war with them.
  • Make a mini agility course out of cardboard boxes to practice with.

dogster paw dividerFinal Thoughts

Akitas are large, active dogs that require daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Therefore, they should get at least 1 hour of exercise each day if they are healthy adults. Exercise adjustments are likely necessary for puppies and seniors. It’s always a good idea to work with a veterinarian when planning your Akita’s exercise routine for each phase of their life.


Featured Image Credit: Kristina Chizhmar, Shutterstock

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