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The Akita Breed
From the Akita Club of America


Akita Characteristics

* The Akita is a Japanese breed and in his native country, the Akita has been declared a national treasure. An Akita in a home is believed to be a symbol of good health, prosperity and good fortune. Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the United States in 1937.

* Akitas do not bark unless there is a good reason. When an Akita is barking, pay attention. Akitas are natural guardians of the home and do not require any training to turn them into guard dogs. When there is a reason to protect family and property, your Akita will act to do so.

* Akitas are inherently aggressive toward other animals and for this reason, they should not be allowed to run free or roam at will. You can exercise your Akita off leash when you are in an area where contact with other animals and people is unlikely.

* Male Akitas show aggression toward other male dogs, and female Akitas usually will not tolerate another female. Akitas can live peacefully with a dog of the opposite sex, though some Akitas prefer being an only dog!

* Akitas may consider small animals as prey and hunt them. This includes cats, rodents, birds, small wildlife and small dogs. Akitas can be raised to accept animals in residence. Some adult Akitas can even be trained to fit into a home where other animals are already established. It is, however, imperative that the Akita be closely watched around the other animals until you have established a peaceful co-existence.

* Akitas are VERY food possessive. If you have other pets, you will want to be certain the Akita is given it's own food bowl or treat well away from any other animals and that no other animal is allowed near the Akita until the food is gone.

* Akitas not raised with children are not always tolerant of small children and the Akita should never be left alone with a child until you are certain you have a dog who adores all children. Often, Akitas raised with children will tolerate their own children but may not accept the neighborhood kids. As a general rule it is wise not to leave an Akita or any large dog alone with children under 12 years of age.

* Akitas do not like to be teased and can respond by biting. Some children are allowed to treat animals unkindly, a behavior that often leads to cruelty to animals. These children should be kept away from an Akita, whose large size and hunting instincts can endanger the child's life.

* Akitas like to take charge - an inherited trait from their wolf ancestry - and may at some time, challenge you for the dominant position. This behavior cannot be tolerated and a firm, consistent correction should be your immediate response. Akitas with good temperament accept discipline well - not beating, but intelligent discipline. A good scruff shaking is an effective form of discipline for an Akita. frequently, a firm verbal command will get your point across.

* Akitas should be obedience trained BY their owner and not sent away to school like other breeds! A good obedience class, perhaps beginning with puppy kindergarten, will guarantee you a firm bond with your dog and a well behaved dog.. Remember though, Akitas are extremely intelligent and tend to get bored easily. They learn quickly, so short training periods are suggested. This keeps the dog from becoming bored. Akitas are also very stubborn and when the dog thinks it's a waste of time to "sit" or "stay" one more time, he will simply walk away! Obedience training requires patience!

* Some Akitas are talkers! They may grunt, groan and mumble to entertain themselves and you. This conversational verbalizing IS NOT growling and should not be interpreted as a growl, which sounds quite different. Akita "talking" is an endearing trait and should not frighten you. After living with your dog, you will easily distinguish between talking and growling.

* Most Akitas enjoy carrying things around in their mouth, including your wrist! They may take you by the wrist to lead you to the cookie cupboard or to their lead. It is not an aggressive act, it is an endearing trait. Try allowing your Akita to bring in the newspaper or the mail. They love to do these types of jobs.

* Akitas are very family oriented and are not happy when kept apart from the family. If you do not plan on having your dog live with you inside both your home and yard, you should not seriously consider an Akita for a pet.

How to find a reputable breeder

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