The Akita is sometimes called the Akita Inu. However, there isn’t much of a difference between these two names because Akita Inu just means “Akita dog.” Given this, interested individuals might be able to guess that the Akita is one of the numerous dog breeds that are named for the place of their origin. In this case, that would be Akita Prefecture, which is a very mountainous region that can be found in the northwestern part of Japan’s main island. Specifically, the Akita is associated with the city of Odate. It is interesting to note that the Akita is considered to be a basal dog breed. This means that it is more distant though still connected to the undistinguishable genetic mixture that includes the overwhelming majority of modern dog breeds. Furthermore, Akitas aren’t one of the basal dog breeds created in recent times but one of the basal dog breeds created in not so recent times.
As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that they weren’t restricted to a single role but instead saw use in multiple roles. For example, Akitas saw use for hunting bigger prey such as elk, bears, and boars, which says much about their physical prowess. Similarly, Akitas saw use for the dog fighting that was once very popular in Japan, so much so that said activity is still legal throughout much of the country. On top of this, these dogs also served as companion animals to the Japanese warrior class. Unfortunately, Akitas took a serious hit when Japan started modernizing. Essentially, they were crossbred with foreign imports, which caused them to look more and more of their characteristic look. Eventually, Japanese dog breeders managed to restore the original look of the dog breed through the use of the Matagi as well as the Hokkaido. This led to a split into Japanese Akitas and American Akitas, which can be distinguished from one another by the fact that Japanese Akitas have the original look while American Akitas have the mixed look. Generally speaking, the two are considered to be separate dog breeds. The United States is rather unusual in that it considers the two to be different varieties of the same dog breed.
Akitas aren’t as convenient as some of the other dog breeds that can be found out there. For starters, they are best-suited for single-dog households because they can be aggressive towards other dogs. Something that is particularly true when those other dogs happen to be of the same sex. Furthermore, while Akitas can be very affectionate towards their humans, they aren’t a good choice for those with no previous experience as a dog owner. This is because they have a strong personality as well as the willingness to express that strong personality, meaning that they need to be handled by someone who can provide the proper discipline. On top of this, Akitas need regular exercise. Without that, they can become destructive as well as otherwise problematic. Combined, it should come as no surprise to learn that early training and early socialization are very important for these dogs to make sure that they are the best that they can be.
What Can You Expect to Pay For the Akita?
Purebred dogs aren’t cheap. They are seen as being more prestigious than their mixed-breed counterparts, which in turn, means that they can fetch higher prices than those mixed-breed counterparts. Having said that, there are some purebred dogs that can be considered expensive even by the standards of other purebred dogs. Akitas can be considered excellent examples because they can sell for $1,000 to $2,500. Furthermore, those aren’t the highest prices that interested individuals can come upon for these dogs. If they want to get the best of the best for whatever reason, they can expect to pay $3,500 to $5,500. In other words, it is no exaggeration to say that Akitas start at expensive before proceeding from there.
There are numerous factors that can influence the price of a dog. To name an example, the price of a dog tends to reflect the cost of a dog for the simple reason that most dog breeders are business owners who need to make a profit on their primary product. Stricter breeding, better living conditions, the provision of training, the provision of healthcare, and so on and so forth are costs, which need to be covered and then some by the sale price. Conversely, if a dog breeder is willing to spend less on those things, they can sell their dogs for a lower price while remaining profitable. This means that interested individuals shouldn’t be surprised when they get what they pay for. That doesn’t mean that getting a lower-priced dog is a bad idea, just that said animal will have had less resources lavished upon them. Something that does have an effect on what they will be like.
Of course, there is a limit to how far interested individuals should be willing to go in pursuit of a lower price. Past a certain point, there is no way that a dog breeder is providing their dogs with the minimal level of acceptable care, which is why their operations are called puppy mills. Such operations prioritize pumping out as many dogs as possible with either no regard or very little regard for said animals’ well-being. This is a huge issue because that brings about a huge increase in the chances of those dogs developing either physical issues or behavioral issues or an unwelcome combination of both. Akitas already have higher-than-normal chances of getting hypersensitivity, autoimmune disease, and other medical conditions. Unfortunately, it is very much possible for puppy mills to worsen these chances through their neglect. Even from a purely financial perspective, this is bad because it is normal for medical treatment to cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Puppy mills are an excellent reason for interested individuals to take a good look at the operations of the dog breeder that they are thinking about getting a dog from, particularly since there are seemingly-upstanding operations that can turn out to be less so in truth.
Having said this, the supply of dogs can be very important as well. After all, if there are more dog breeders producing a particular kind of dog, that should mean a reduced price for each dog because of the reduced competition for each dog. The issue is that people who want an Akita won’t be dealing with all of the dog breeders out there that produce Akitas. Instead, chances are good that they will be dealing with the dog breeder in the local region that produce Akitas. This is a potential concern because that means a much smaller number of operations producing a much smaller number of these animals, meaning that they will have that much less bargaining power. Theoretically speaking, interested individuals can check out more dog breeders by considering those that are situated further away. In practice, that comes with its own complications. For example, transportation costs can be expensive in their own right. Similarly, that makes it more difficult for them to get a good look at the dog breeder’s operations. Suffice to say that there are trade-offs from said decision because there are always trade-offs from such decisions.
Moving on, certain Akitas will be more popular than others, which can make for higher prices than others. For instance, American Akitas are often seen as something other than a true Akita, so it should come as no surprise to learn that American Akitas are often less expensive. Something that may or may not matter depending on exactly what interested individuals are looking for. Similarly, Akitas can have either standard-length coats or long-length coats, though this one can be a bit more complicated. On the one hand, long-length coats are considered to be a fault in the show ring; on the other hand, long-length coats are caused by a recessive gene that also makes for sweeter temperaments. As such, it isn’t necessarily clear which one is preferable for which people, particularly since long-length coats are also so much rarer because they need both the sire and the dame to be carriers. Other factors such as age can matter as well, so it is a good idea for interested individuals to also look into those for a cheaper Akita that is nonetheless well-suited for their personal preferences.
Other than buying an Akita, the other option for getting an Akita would be adopting one. This can be a bit of an issue since they aren’t the most common dog breed in the English-speaking world. Still, interested individuals might be able to increase their chances of finding a suitable candidate for adoption by using online resources that are specifically meant to connect dogs and would-be dog owners. Other than that, dogs that have been sent to animal shelters and similar organizations might have issues that will make taking care of them more complicated. If they are available for adoption, chances are good that those issues will be manageable. Even so, that means that interested individuals will need to make more of an effort to take care of them. In exchange for a smaller number of choices as well as an increase in the chances of issues, interested individuals can expect a much lower cost from adopting an Akita versus buying an Akita. At most, they might be expected to pay a few hundred dollars. That will be a better deal than what they can get outside of puppy mills, which effectively means that will be a better deal than what they can otherwise get from a purely financial perspective.
What Other Costs Can You Expect From Owning an Akita?
As always, interested individuals are going to need to get everything ready for their Akita before they bring their new dog home. There are various ways for them to reduce the cost of these things. For example, they might be able to get better prices on certain items by spending more time shopping around both online and offline. Similarly, since they should be experienced dog owners who are about to establish what should be a single-dog household, they might have some things that can be used by a new dog. At the end of the day though, interested individuals are going to need to spend a fair amount of money on supplies and accessories. They shouldn’t be surprised if their start-up costs hit $500, though the actual costs can be either lower or higher. Fortunately, subsequent years should be much cheaper with the average being around $225 instead.
Interested individuals can expect to see something similar for their Akita’s medical costs, which is to say, a higher number in the first year followed by a smaller number in subsequent years. Unfortunately, this isn’t guaranteed to be the case because older dogs are likelier to develop medical problems, thus resulting in higher medical costs. Initially, interested individuals shouldn’t be surprised to see their Akita’s annual healthcare costs hit more than a $1,000, particularly since both spaying/neutering and gastropexy can be quite expensive. Later, annual healthcare costs should be closer to $750, though that will be for preventative healthcare rather than medical treatment. Since medical treatment can be so expensive, it can be a good idea for interested individuals to get pet insurance, which costs about $565 on an annual basis but can see considerable variation because of how premiums are tied to perceived riskiness. By doing so, they will be covered in case their Akita develops something that needs to be take care of. Besides these things, interested individuals might want to look into the cost of training for their Akita. As mentioned earlier, Akitas can be big problems if they don’t get the right training as well as socialization, meaning that this is more important for them than for other dog breeds that are more biddable by nature. The issue is that training can be very expensive, which can be particularly bad because it should be happening towards the start of things. Group sessions will be much less so than one-on-one sessions.