The Akita is a very large breed of dog that is very powerful dog and exhibits a great deal of confidence. Its intimidating look is only one reason why the breed is often used as a guard dog, the other is that they are very loyal and protective their owner and family. Today, there are two types of Akitas; one is the American Akita while the other is the Akita Inu. Though both hail from Japan, the original breed is the Akita Inu. Over the years, interbreeding with other dog breeds is what created the American lineage we know today. These are two distinct breeds and they should not to be confused with each other. It has been found through DNA testing that the Akita is one of the oldest breeds and dates back to the feudal Japan era when it was used to protect and guard royalty. They were also used for hunting, as well as they were used in for dog fighting until it was outlawed. You are probably familiar with the breed, but here are seven things you didn’t know about the Akita Inu.
1. Akitas almost became obsolete
Akitas have been one breed that was being crossbred to create different breeds, especially during two different times. During the early 20th century, Akitas were often crossbred with other strong breeds to create a better fighting breed of dog. During the second World War, Akitas were being bred with German Shepherds in an attempt to save the breed due to a decree that declared all non-military dogs be destroyed. Due to this decree, only about 20 real Akitas were left in Japan until breeding began again and repopulated breed.
2. They don’t back down
Akitas are very courageous, willful and stubborn. These characteristic traits mean that if he is ever challenged, he will not easily back down, nor will he get frightful easily. They are strong physically and mentally and willing to stand their ground no matter what. If in the wrong situation, these characteristics can be dangerous for other animals or people, which is why training your Akita is important, starting at a young age.
3. Akitas are mouthers
Akitas are known to be mouthers. They love to walk around carrying something in their mouth, which can also be your wrist. When Akitas do this to their owner, it is not to show aggression toward you, but rather, a way of communicating with you. When your Akita takes yo by the wrist, it is often his way to try to tell you what he wants, such as to lead you to the door to go outside, or take you to his bowl, showing you that he wants to be fed. They also do a lot of communicating with sounds; moaning and groaning, and even making noises that sound like they are talking to themselves.
4. Do not do well with other pets
Akitas are a bit territorial and they do have the hunting instinct inbred in them. Other animals, especially small animals or other dogs (especially same sex), are often targets for them. Akitas can become aggressive towards other animals and dogs, and they should be socialized early on to help them learn how to be around other pets or animals. Even with proper socialization, you should always have your Akita on a leash and be aware when there is another dog around. Keeping control of your Akita is critical due to its strength and nature.
5. Loving and gentle
Although Akitas do have the ability to get aggressive, they are, by nature, normally a calm, gentle and quiet dog. They are not extremely active dogs, though they do require exercise, and they do not bark excessively. Typically Akitas only bark when they are trying to alert you to someone coming or to a unsettling situation. Akitas are typically wary of strangers and have a great intuition for detecting when someone means harm, which is why many people like to get Akitas for protection of their family.
6. Can be slow to train
Akitas are highly intelligent dogs, however, that being said, they are stubborn and willful and can give you a challenge when it comes time to train them. It is important to start training right away and to realize that it may take longer than with other breeds. Akitas require patience and consistency, when it comes to training them.
7. Not a breed for everyone
If you are a novice dog owner, an Akita is not the breed to jump in and start with for dog ownership. Akitas require someone who knows how to handle large breeds of this nature, as well as breeds that have the potential to be aggressive. If you don’t have control over your Akita, it won’t take long for your dog to figure this out and will take advantage of your incompetency. Before you know it, your Akita will have control over you.