AKITAS WERE BRED TO HUNT AND HAVE A STRONG PREY DRIVE.
Akitas have a history of being bear hunters in their native Japan. This instinct
continues to thrive in today's Akitas. You should expect your Akita to exhibit these hunting behaviors and, given the
opportunity, they will kill small animals. This includes the family cat, guinea pig, etc, as well as the local wildlife
and neighborhood pets that wander into the Akita's territory.
AKITAS ARE NATURAL PROTECTORS - PROTECTION TRAINING AN AKITA CAN CREATE A
TICKING TIMB BOMB.
A mature Akita will defend his pack and territory. You and your family are
included as members of his/her pack. Around 12 - 18 months of age, you will notice that your Akita is beginning to bark
at strangers and stand between you and what he perceives as a threat. This is the protective aspect of the personality.
Do not expect your Akita to growl and snarl.
Protection training an Akita very often "short-circuits" his brain. The protection
facet of his personality goes into hyperdrive and EVERYTHING is seen as a threat. This dog becomes a threat to everyone,
including his owner. If you want a dog that will protect you and your family, be patient and wait for your Akita to
grow up. The natural instinct is already there.
AKITAS ARE VERY PACK-ORIENTED.
Much like wolves, Akitas think of themselves as members of a pack. Each pack
member has a certain status within the pack and is treated according to that status. Your Akita should ALWAYS be the lowest
member of the pack.
Puppies are, by nature, already the "low man on the totem pole". It is easy
to keep your Akita at this status if you apply yourself. BASIC obedience training (such as a "Kinder-Puppy" class) goes
a long way in helping your Akita to understand that everyone else in the family is his boss. By giving your Akita a
command (such as "Stay") and making sure he listens reminds him that he is not in charge. Encourage ALL members of the
family to participate (especially the children.) Do not allow the Akita to sleep on the bed with family members - this
gives the Akita the impression that he is on an equal level with his other pack mates. Sleeping in the same room is
ok if you choose to allow it, but the dog should remain on the floor.
Consult with an Akita breeder for more information on living in harmony with your
SOCIALIZATION IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO TO RAISE A WELL
ADJUSTED, HAPPY AKITA.
Socializing your Akita means taking him to new locations, allowing him to meet
lots of people, and helping him to become accustom to strange situations.
A reputable breeder will have already begun the socialization process before your
puppy comes to your home. It is important to continue this! It is as simple as taking your puppy for a walk in
the neighborhood and allowing him to greet the people he meets. Encourage him to be friendly and not to fear
sudden noises and movements. Shopping centers (especially PetSmarts. PetCo's etc.) are great places for socialization,
as are local schools. It is not recommended to take an Akita to a Dog Park due to the Akita's inborn dog aggression.
Before taking your puppy anywhere for socialization, be sure he is properly vaccinated.
ALWAYS BE VIGILANT AROUND CHILDREN.
A well-tempered Akita is usually fine with children and will often become your
kids' defender. While it is comforting to know that your Akita would protect your children with his life, it can create
sticky situations. Children play rough and an Akita can easily interpret this as someone threatening a pack member (your
child.) For safety, it is always advisable to keep the Akita separate from your children when rough-housing is likely
to occur. Also, neighborhood children and extended family members are STRANGERS as far as the dog is concerned.
They do not necessarily lump ALL children into the same category as your children.
Educate visitors in your home on how to properly greet a dog (allowing the dog
to sniff a hand that is slowly presented palm down approximately 8 inches from the dog's nose. DO NOT reach over top a dog
to pat or scratch it's head prior to allowing the dog to sniff!!!) and keep the dog separate from the activities unless you
are ABSOULTELY certain the Akita is comfortable with everyone.
Dog bites happen lightening-fast and often with little to no warning. The
results can be devestating. Pain, injury, disfiguration, death, legal ramifications, and the death of the dog are all
consequences that can arise from a dog bite. Be smart - DO NOT put yourself and your family on this heartbreaking position.
Take precautions ahead of time.
SOME HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE COMPANIES DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OWNERS OF CERTAIN
Many insurance companies have started denying coverage to families that own dogs
of certain "banned" breeds. Insurance companies claim these breeds are too high-risk as demonstrated by statistics
of reported dog bites. This is a highly controversial subject in the dog world.
As a potential owner of any breed of dog, it is your responsibility to check with
your insurance company before bringing your new puppy home to see if your homeowners coverage is affected.
Do not make everyone miserable when you have to choose between a new insurance company or giving up your new family member.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING BEFORE YOU BUY.
Akitas grow from that cute little ball of fluff to a large dog in a short period
of time. Expect your puppy to be 85 - 100 pounds or more and be tall enough to lay his head on your diningroom table
when he is full grown.
The life expectancy for an Akita is 9-13 years. There are health problems
in Akitas which can reduce that life expectancy. Akitas bond strongly to their family and frequently
have a very difficult time adjusting to a change in ownership. It is important that you commit to caring for your Akita
for the duration of his life before you continue searching for a puppy.
Remember that Akitas are pack oriented and dog aggreessive. These are things
you will need to deal with on a daily basis when owning an Akita.
Supporting the Akita through Education, Responsibility, and Love