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Akita: is it the right dog for you?

Akitas are intelligent dogs that know their own minds and love nothing more than exercise and stimulation. Characterised by their thick fur, curled tail and pointed ears, there are 2 varieties of Akita – the Japanese strain and the American strain.

Place of origin: The mountainous regions of North Japan

How big do Akitas get? 60 – 70cm

How heavy are Akitas? 32 – 59kg

Akita life Expectancy: 10 – 15 years

Colour: White, Brindle, Red Fawn, Fawn, Red, Sesame, Pinto

Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.

How much exercise does an Akita need?

Akitas have lots of energy. Regular exercise will not only keep them fit and healthy, it will work wonders to prevent boredom!

You’ll need to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour a day walking your Akita. They love to jog with their owners but are best kept on the lead.

Training: how to train an Akita

Akitas demand respect, as well as love, from their owners. Their intelligence should be met with a training routine that is stimulating and challenging. If Akitas get bored, they can result to behaviour like barking or chewing.

Their independent nature can make them difficult to train, so we recommend training your Akita while they’re very young.

Due to their demanding nature, Akitas are not suited to first-time pet owners.

Grooming: do Akitas shed?

The Akita is a double-coated breed with a dense, plush undercoat and a short topcoat. They shed heavily so we advise owners to invest in a good vacuum cleaner!

You can keep the excess fur to a minimum by brushing your Akita once a week and bathing them every few months. As they’re quite heavy and often persistent dogs, you may need the help of a professional grooming service.

Don’t forget to complete your Akita’s grooming regime with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Akita temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

It’s in an Akita’s nature to be protective. They’d do anything for their pack… in this case, for you, their owner. They might intervene when children play-fight and they might suspicious of other dogs or pets.

Akitas are best suited to a one-pet household and to an owner who loves to spend time with them. Take care to avoid leaving your Akita alone with young children or other pets. They have a keen hunter’s instinct and can run off without warning if they see an animal they’d like to chase, so keep them on the lead when walking through populated areas (and pay attention if they bark).

Cost of owning an Akita

When considering the lifetime cost of Akita ownership, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow £100 to £150 a month to cover the ongoing costs of owning an Akita. Our vets have drawn up this handy guide to save dog owners money.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet. 

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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