A dog is one species that you are likely to find in every home. Dogs have become part of the family where dog owners take care of them in the same measure they take for their children, starting from feeding to daycare and even to housing. There are various breeds of dogs around that attract different people. It doesn’t matter how many different breeds of dogs you have ever kept until you have Akita, there are some crucial things you may never understand. Akita is a powerful dog species with an intimidating presence. Akita originated from Japan where they were regarded as the best species to guard royalty and nobility in feudal Japan. Being fearless and energetic, Akita was used in hunting black bear, wild boar, and deer.
Interestingly, Akita is fearless thus used as a guardian of his family. Japanese refer to Akita as a ‘national treasure’ as they are a symbol of prosperity, good health, and good fortune. The first Akita to be noticed in the United States was in 1937, which was believed to have been brought by Helen Keller. They were not seen again until after World War 2 where they were brought by GIs. Since then, Akitas are everywhere in American homesteads. They are easily noticeable due to their affectionate and amusing nature, but not everybody understands them.
Having a glimpse of Akita is not enough to understand about their nature, and that’s why we have collected 20 things only Akita owners would understand.
1. They are big dogs
Akita owners have a very exclusive knowledge about how big Akitas are. Akita puppies are small and cute, but they grow very fast over a short period. For a mature male Akitas, they measure at least 25 inches at the withers with 100 pounds in weight. Females weigh 80 pounds and are at least 23 inches at the withers. With this in mind, it’s only an Akita owner that can understand the speed at which they grow, and thus cannot keep one if they don’t have a yard, or if they live in a small apartment.
2. They don’t bark unless with a good reason
Many people keep dogs because of security reason. They believe that a dog will always create awareness in case of insecurities. Thus, to many, a dog is a guardian that protects a home when people are soundly asleep, the reason being they bark to scare away intruders. Contrary to many people’s perception, an Akita owner understands that Akitas don’t bark. They are very friendly in that they groan, grunt and make noises as a way of communicating, but rarely bark. As a matter of fact, an Akita owner pays attention when they bark because something must be amiss. Probably, there could be a person within that your dog doesn’t recognize, another animal in the yard, or even something else. This is something that only Akita owners understand, and take anything close to barking seriously for security measures.
3. They are temperamental
With their great body strength, Akitas are temperamental. They tend to be moody from one time to another which happens for various reasons. For instance, male Akitas become wild towards male dogs and so is female Akitas towards female dogs. However, this should not be mistaken to selfishness. Akitas are not mean but only like to be in control. Akita owner will tell you precisely that their dogs become temperamental when they are threatened by others, or when they are challenged. Therefore, it’s only an Akita owner who understands that Akitas are one breed of dogs that should not be allowed to run freely, or walk in a place where they may have much contact with other animals and people. With this knowledge, Akitas are not everybody’s species especially grandparents who can’t withstand their stubbornness nature.
4. They regard small animals as prey
If you are the kind of people passionate about small animals such as birds, cat, and squirrels, then Akita is not a breed to look for. An Akita owner will tell you that Akitas regard small animals as prey and hunt them. With one in your homestead, you’re always worried about small animals you left at home because you are not sure whether the Akita you have will turn them to meat. However, the good news is that Akitas can be raised and trained to fit in a home with other animals, but must be closely monitored to ensure a peaceful co-existence. An Akita owner also understands that ducks, birds, and chicken are meals for an Akita, as it is impossible for any dog to befriend a fowl.
5. They are naturally guardian of homes
Having a dog in your homestead is the best thing to ascertain security, even if it calls for you to train your favorite dog. However, don’t be shocked when an Akita owner tells you that they never trained their dogs because they are naturally guard dogs. As mentioned earlier, Akitas don’t bark regularly but are the best when it comes to guarding your home, as they hunt low to the ground without noise. They become wild in the presence of strangers, meaning that inviting visitors to your home in your absence is a bad idea because your favorite Akita can attack them and spoil the fun. Similarly, an Akita owner is the only person who understands how important it is to have gates locked to protect the neighboring children from your Akita or other people that might get into your compound without your consent.
6. For Akitas, eye contact is a sign of aggression
Many dog owners have many techniques of disciplining their dogs, one of them being eye contact. Many breeds of dog view eye contact as a warning and waver away from anything bad they could be doing. However, an Akita owner will tell you to try anything as a disciplinary action against Akita but not eye contact, or if you must, the eye contact must not last for few seconds. Any eye contact with your Akita sends a message of aggressiveness, and the situation could become dangerous. Even though not all Akitas are like this, the breed is known for it, and you must be prepared for consequences if planning to bring one in your home.
7. They are family oriented
Many people keep dogs because they are part of the family, but an Akita owner will tell you something you didn’t know that Akitas are family oriented. They are respectful, affectionate and amusing. They are also wonderful family dogs as they love the people they live with. Interestingly, they are very protective and loyal to their family. However, they are not used to being away from their families, meaning that there should be someone to take care of them when you are not around.
8. They are food possessive
Just like human beings, dogs love food. Food is something that a dog wants to have time and time again. If you are used to having other breeds of dogs apart from Akita, there is so much that you don’t know especially about Akitas and foods. It is only an Akita owner who understands that Akitas are exceptional when it comes to feeding. If you are an animal, it’s important to understand that you must treat Akita well away from other pets, and most importantly, feed them on their own bowl as they hate sharing. An Akita doesn’t like seeing other animals around when eating, and thus, you must keep them away or be ready to watch what happens. Another important thing an Akita owner understands is that even though Akitas are friendly to family children, they are aggressive having children around when eating. They will tell you that eating time is not the best time for your children to play around with the Akitas because they can easily attack and injure them.
9. They are never teased
Dogs are regarded as part of the family and are therefore part of the family’s daily activities such as camping and hunting. Being part of the family, children are always free to play around with their favorite dogs without any restrictions. Some children tend to treat their dogs unkindly, but given that these dogs are docile, they watch and walk away. However, an Akita owner understands that Akitas are different from other dog breeds. They will warn you to warn your children against teasing them, as they can respond to biting. Those children who are cruel to other dog breeds should be kept as far away from Akita as possible. Reason being, Akitas are large dogs with naturally hunting instincts that can easily endanger the life of a child.
10. Akita’s obedience training is different from that of other breeds
Many dog owners recognize that they indeed have a dog in their home if that dog is trained. Most of them buy a trained dog or take their untrained dog into training. Training usually takes a lot of time before the dog can master different skills. However, an Akita owner is the only person who understands that training done to other breeds of dogs is different from that of Akita. Akita needs to have obedience training from the owner, and not to be taken away to school for training like other breeds. As mentioned earlier, Akitas are family oriented, and a good obedience class from the owner strengthens the bond between them with the results being a well-behaved dog. Akita owners understand that Akitas are very intelligent but get bored easily. They learn quickly, meaning that they only require shorter training periods compared to other breeds. This also prevents them from being bored. These dog owners will tell you that Akitas are stubborn and when you repeat the same thing for a long time during training, they walk away. Thus, obedience training requires you to be patient and obey what your dog wants.
11. They have a poor short memory
Naturally, human beings have a good short memory, and in addition to their intelligence, they tend to connect the dots on what happens in their life. However, just like any other dog breed, Akitas don’t have the same short memory as human beings. An Akita owner understands how foolish it looks to punish your dog minutes after an incident has happened. Reason being, the dog cannot associate the discipline with an earlier incident. This means that any time you find your Akita in the wrong place or doing something awful, an effective discipline should be immediate. For instance, if you come home from work and find your Akita busy digging a hole at the wrong place within your homestead, you should discipline it on the spot and not after it greets you. This is because, your Akita cannot associate the discipline with the act of digging a hole, and neither can it learn how bad it is to dig a hole within the homestead.
12. Socialization is an important thing you can do to raise a happy Akita
Naturally, dogs are sociable, and that’s why they are regarded as part of the family. They tend to walk around the neighborhood to have a whale of time with other dogs, which is good. However, it’s not worth assuming that all breeds of dogs are the same and can socialize with other dogs easily. Akita owners are the only people who understand how hard it is for an Akita to socialize with other dogs. Akitas have a self-loving nature and only want to be alone or with a company of an opposite-sex Akita, but not any other dog from a different breed. Owners will also tell you that socializing their Akitas by taking them to new locations, helping them familiarize with strange situation, and meeting new people is not a walk in the park. Akita owners want to raise their Akitas in a sociable manner, but it’s not easy. Reason being, they cannot take their Akitas for a walk as they can get aggressive towards other people and animals as well.
13. Akitas have a long life expectancy
Akita is an exceptional breed of dog that requires special attention in almost everything. An Akita owner understands that the life expectancy of Akita ranges from 10-12 years, but must be under good care and proper nutrition. Akita originated from Japan, and therefore, Japan’s staple food such as fish, rice, and sea plants must be included in their diet. Feeding should be done at least twice a day, and dry foods must be soaked until it expands to prevent obesity. Obesity is a dangerous health problem among the Akita breeds as it leads to knee problems that require surgery. And just like other dog breeds, Akitas are prone to diseases such as gastric torsion, that requires you to know the symptoms and talk to the vet.
14. The breed is prone to a common disease
It’s not worth to discuss the healthy part of the dog breeds without mentioning the opposite side which is the illness. Diseases are common in various breeds of dogs, but an Akita owner understands that Akitas are prone to hypothyroid disease which affects about 70% of the breeds. This disease is associated with various symptoms such as lethargy, skin and coat problem, musky odor, itching, and sudden onset aggressive behaviors. Unless you have been keeping Akitas for a long time, you can hardly notice this disease. The existence of hypothyroid disease is determined through a blood test that includes T3 and T4 thyroid levels. An Akita owner is also a person that never misinterprets skin condition for allergies because they are sensitive and talk to their vets to check for sebaceous adenitis, sarcoptic mange, and hypothyroid disease.
15. Akitas are hyperactive
Many dog owners desire to bring a dog into their homes as a playing toy with their children. This is true because many children enjoy the companion and play of a dog, but not all dog breeds are compatible to playful boys and girls. It is only Akita owners who understand that Akitas are hyperactive, making them perfect fit in a sedentary household. If you happen to be the kind of person who wants to play with your dog every time, Akita is definitely out of equation. However, despite the fact that Akitas are hyperactive, they require regular exercise for optimum health. Take your Akita for an outdoor activity once in a while, and it will remain as healthy as you want it to be.
16. They are affected by stress
Many dog breeds are active making it almost impossible to notice any signs of stress. If you’ve had a different breed of dog but Akita, and you never noticed when it was stressed, believe me that you are far away from qualifying to keep Akita. It is only an Akita owner who understands that Akitas are a large breed of dogs, but sensitive and adversely affected by environmental changes or stress. Stress can trigger autoimmune diseases such as epilepsy, liver disease, von Willebrands disease (VWD), sebaceous adenitis (SA), thyroid disease and hypothyroidism, and therefore, any signs of stress should be taken seriously and consult a vet for a checkup.
17. They love carrying things in their mouth
Just like any other dog breed, Akitas are no exception when it comes to carrying things around in their mouth. They do not mind carrying anything within their power, even if it’s your wrist. As stated, Akitas are aggressive but carrying your wrist in their mouth is an adorable trait as they lead you to a cookie cupboard or on a playing field. At times, people may realize that their mouthing is annoying, but as an Akita owner, you realize that they need to have something in their mouth and you can give them a job. For instance, you can give your Akita an opportunity to bring the newspaper, as this will not only make it active but will also give it an opportunity to do a job they love.
18. The method of disciplining Akita is different from that of other species
With dogs being somehow stubborn, dog owners tend to discipline by calling them harshly. This method is believed to be successful to all kinds of dogs, but Akita owners will tell you otherwise. Calling an Akita in a commanding manner only keeps it a mile away from you and at the same time makes it to start fearing your presence and they may end up avoiding you. The primary purpose of bringing an Akita into your home is to have a companion, but calling it for discipline will make it to view you as an enemy and a bad image to be around to. However, the ‘come’ command is important for Akita, although it should not sound like a threat. A polite call makes your Akita to be obedient, and anytime it comes, you should reward it which is a way of punishing it and then appreciating it. By doing this, your Akita learns to be respectful and maintains its friendly nature with you.
19. They are very calm dogs
It would be good for nothing to talk to a person about how calm Akitas are especially if that person has heard negative things about them. Truth be told, Akitas are naturally protective which makes them a perfect family guard; they are also protective and dominant by nature, but they are very calm given that they don’t have much energy. They are loving and sweet, making them calm and gentle. Akita owners will tell you that there is no other breed of dogs with similar qualities like Akita, as it is the best to cuddle with you at home and enjoyable to have in the yard with kids.
20. They are alpha dogs
Akita owners are probably patient, kind and firm people to live harmoniously with these dogs. Naturally, they are breeds that require dominance. This is because, they have already inherited the dominance trait from their wolf ancestry, making it a challenge for people to provide them with what they want. It is only Akita owners who understand that their dominance nature cannot be tolerated in a home with the man as the head of the family, children and other animals. They correct this behavior through a firm and consistent response. Intelligent discipline is subjected to these dogs without necessarily having to beat them up. Most of the owners apply various forms of disciplines, such as quick choke chain correction, verbal command, or a good scruff shaking.