The Akita is a heavy-boned and burly dog of imposing stature. They have dense coats, come in many colors, and stand usually between 24 and 28 inches tall. The head is massive and broad with erect ears and dark shining eyes, whilst the tail is full and curves over. 

A quiet dog that is often wary of strangers and intolerant of other animals, the Akita can be, in the right hands, a great companion breed. They have a silly, and affectionate side with family and friends, but need early socialization with people and other dogs. 

Ranked by the American Kennel Club as the 47th most popular breed out of 147 that they recognize, the Akita is certainly found in many homes. However, this does not mean that they are a suitable breed for everyone, and this should be addressed. Are Akitas good family dogs?

As a family dog, the Akita will certainly be playful, affectionate, courageous, and protective; a great addition to any ‘pack’. They do, however, need to be only taken on by families that can provide firm and loving discipline. If you have young children, the Akita may not be the best breed for you as they can if mistreated become a liability. Mistreatment, it should be noted, does not have to be intentional, children, especially younger ones, can be heavy-handed and hurt an Akita, resulting in them responding in the same manner back. 

Are Akitas Aggressive?

Bred originally in Japan with the express purpose of being a powerful hunter of wild boar, deer, and the much-feared Yezo bear, the Akita certainly has the capacity for aggression. It is in their genes according to ‘Akitas’ author Dan Rice, and may be difficult, possibly even impossible, to change!

Are Akitas Dangerous?

The truth is that any dog breed in the wrong hands could pose a danger to other dogs, animals, and humans. This is especially true of those breeds that have been encouraged to be aggressive in the past, such as the Akita. However, this does not mean that they can’t make good family pets and that they are inherently dangerous. Rather, they can be trained to be gentle and loyal family additions so long as they are treated with respect. 

Are Akitas Good With Children?

Akitas are definitely not the best choice of dog breed for those with young children. They do not, as mentioned earlier, you see, react well to being mistreated, even unintentionally. Akitas that are smacked, have their tails pulled, or are climbed on by young children, may feel they are under attack and react with aggression.

It would also be prudent to point out at this time that Akitas do not respond well to those near their level, which small children are, coming close to their faces and staring at them. To them, this behavior is a sign of aggression on the person starings part that they will respond in kind to. 

Well trained Akitas, however, are a good match for older children so long as they do not abuse them or act aggressively towards them. Akitas love to play, act silly, and expend loads of energy, and who better to do that with than an older child?

Are Akitas Difficult To Train?

As the Akita is physically powerful, stubborn, reserved with strangers, and protective they require firm but fair and consistent training from an early age. This training should start from the moment your Akita Puppy walks into your home and should use the right training method. Be warned, it is not easy to train an Akita, but perfectly possible, though traditional training methods will not work.

The usual method used to train a dog would be to reward their obedience with a treat. This, however, will not be an appropriate route to take with an Akita as they will see it as behaving for their own personal gain. It will mean that their good behavior is not guaranteed when they see the result of any action they take being more valuable to them than the treat. 

Rather, when training an Akita, you should use the ‘respect method’. This method of training teaches your dog to respect you as a leader and just through using commands and praise. You should be aware, however, that ‘respect’ training is not something you can get almost right, it has to be consistently correct to be successful. 

Are Akitas Hypoallergenic?

It is believed that up to 10% of all Americans may have allergies to dogs. This means that for many families their dog being hypoallergenic may be a priority. After all, nobody wants to suffer allergic reactions to their beloved pooch that may stop them from being with them. 

Unfortunately, however, many people do not realize that allergies to dogs are not all caused by hair, but rather, you could also be allergic to:

  • Proteins – found in a dogs saliva or urine
  • Dander – microscopic flecks of skin just like dandruff on humans
  • Outside Influences – grass, dust, pollen, dirt etcetera that is found clinging to your dog’s skin

This means that even low or non-shedding dog breeds are not completely hypo-allergenic. There, in fact, really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic breed. Some breeds, however, are more suitable than others, if the allergy is to hair or dander, as long as they don’t shed a lot.

Do Akitas Shed A Lot?

As dog breeds go, Akitas are clean and tend to have very little odor. They also don’t require a lot of grooming despite having a thick and luxurious double coat. They shed minimally throughout most of the year, but do have at least two ‘blowouts’ a year.

A ‘blow out’ will involve your Akita shedding so profusely that its hair will come out in clumps all over your house. Not a good time for those who need a more hypoallergenic breed. However, more regular grooming and a good hoovering regime at this time will help keep the shedding under control. 

Do Akitas Drool A Lot?

Honestly, all dogs drool to some extent, and there would be something wrong if they didn’t. After all, doesn’t your mouth water when you see a tasty morsel? Course it does, and so does your Akitas causing them to drool. However, Akitas are a tight-lipped breed so they should not be drooling excessively. 

Akitas may also drool because of the following factors:

  • A hormonal response to dogs in the park, for example
  • A response to anxiety/motion sickness
  • Due to tooth decay/mouth disease
  • Due to heat/heat stroke
  • A hormonal response to breeding (usually dogs with floppy lips)
  • Following drinking
  • Due to panting after exercise

Do Akitas Bark A Lot?

No, Akitas will not bark unless they have a good reason to. When they do, however, they will be very vocal. Akitas, nonetheless, are not a silent breed, unless around strangers, as they are known to sing, talk, and mutter regularly. 

Owners often report that Akitas have an opinion on everything and will certainly voice it. This often sounds like grunts, moans, and mumbles, but can from time to time also be singing, AKA howling! 

Are Akitas Good Guard Dogs?

Absolutely, you will not need a security system if you add this breed to your family. They are fiercely loyal, brave, attentive, and very sharp, guarding comes to them naturally.

As a guard dog, the Akita will investigate any hint of an intrusion into their family immediately. They will, however, unlike most breeds do this silently. Barking will only ensue when they have located the cause for their alarm when they will make plenty of noise. You should always take an Akita’s barking seriously as there will be something wrong. 

Do Akitas Need A lot Of Exercise?

Possibly surprisingly, the Akita is not a highly active breed and due to this only requires moderate exercise. A brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood at least once a day will suffice and meet the Akitas needs.

Akitas also love to play in a garden exploring the sights, sounds and smells. You should be aware, however, that gardens should be kept very secure as the Akita will not respond well to strangers entering. They are also quite the adept escape artists so ensure your Akita cannot get out. 

Did You Know?

  • The ‘Inu’ that is occasionally added to the Akita name simply means dog
  • When a child is born in Japan, the parents will usually be gifted a small statue of an Akita. It signifies health, happiness, and long life
  • The first Akita in the US was owned by a military officer and named Taro
  • Helen Keller was given an Akita in 1937 that she named Kamikaze – bo – kami for short. 
  • The most famous Akita was named Hachiko. When his master died he waited at the train station for him to come home for 9 years, before passing away himself. A movie was made telling this tale ‘Hachi: a dog’s tale’ but be warned before watching it, it will have you sobbing in your popcorn!