Akita

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Akitas 2011

Akitas 2011

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Akita Profile

KC Group: Utility Group

History

An ancient breed, the Akita is the largest of the six Japanese spitz-type dogs. A powerfully built dog, the Akita was originally developed to hunt bears in Japan. Used in male and female pairs they held game such as bear, boar and deer at bay until the hunter arrived. Today they are regarded as loyal companions and pets, protectors of the home and a symbol of good health and are also used by the police.

Description

Height: dogs: 66-71 cms (26-28 ins); bitches: 61-66 cms (24-26 ins)

A large, powerful dog, the Akita had heavy bone and a lot of substance. Their head is large and broad, with eyes that are relatively small, and small pricked ears. They have a deep, wide chest, strong, powerful shoulders and hindquarters, and a body that is longer than high. Their feet are very tight, thick and well-knuckled. A large and full tail is set high and carried over the back in a full or double curl. Movement is resilient and vigorous with strides of moderate length. They have an outer coat coarse that is straight and standing off the body, while their undercoat is soft and dense. The coat at their withers and rump is approximately 5 cms (2 ins), slightly longer than on rest of body more profuse on tail. They have no ruff or feathering. Any colour, including white brindle or pinto, is acceptable, but colours should be clear and brilliant with well defined markings, with or without mask or blaze.

Character/Temperament

They are alert at all times, dignified, courageous, and aloof, tending to show dominance over other dogs. The Akita is loyal and devoted to their family and friends and can be tolerant and patient with children, but they are reserved and aloof with strangers often treating them with caution. Akitas can adapt to many different situations and can be marvellous watchdogs (typically not barking unless there's a good reason) and companions. They may go through a wary period at about 10 months of age and a great deal of socialising from a very early age is required. Attending regular training classes is strongly recommended. This breed cannot be fed and forgotten - it must be given a chance to be a member of the family, requiring love, training, and exercise. Akitas are dominant dogs and tend to be aggressive towards other dogs, especially of the same sex. They are not a breed that can be allowed to run free without a lead, walking them on long "Flexi" type leads is adviseable. The Akita is a large, impressive and strong working dog. Its heritage must be taken into consideration by a prospective dog owner. Probably more dog than a first-time dog owner may want to try, the Akita is for assertive, dog-oriented people.

Breed Health

Canine Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Akitas are subject to hypothyroidism and allergic skin diseases. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and central progressive retinal atrophy (CPRA) have appeared in a number of breeds, including Akitas. Entropion (eyelids rolling inward) and ectropion (eyelids rolling outward) can also be problems. Other disorders include immune-mediated blood disorders, sebaceous adenitis, pemphigus foliaceus, lupus, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo and congenital enamel hypoplasia (sometimes called "Akita teeth"). As with other large, deep-chested breeds, Akitas are prone to bloat. Bloat is a serious condition where the stomach rotates, closing off both ends, and starts to produce gas; this condition can kill quickly. Some preventive measures include feeding your dog in smaller multiple portions (two smaller meals a day being better than one large meal a day), refraining from exercising your dog immediately after his meal, and either soaking kibble in water before feeding or ensuring your dog doesn't drink a lot of water immediately after eating. Breeders in the UK should test Hips and eyes and only breed from those with good results. Lifespan 10-13 years.

Breed Care

The Akita's double coat is thick and warm and is shed twice a year. If your potential Akita is to live in the house, then you must be prepared for the coat loss. Most of the coat loss will only take a few weeks to get out with warm baths and regular raking and brushing of the coat. This will also promote the growth of the new coat more quickly. The best tools to use when he is blowing his coat (shedding the undercoat) is a rake, comb and slicker. There are long coated Akitas (a fault) that require more grooming; wooden rakes with several rows of metal teeth work well on their coats. Hair on the bottom of the feet should be trimmed to preserve the characteristic tight "cat foot" of the breed. The Akita needs very little grooming except when blowing coat. No trimming or shaving of coat hair is required or recommended.

Exercise

It is debatable how much exercise an Akita needs but a large fenced-in yard is ideal for this breed. Two walks lasting at least 15 minutes each a day should be enough to keep your Akita fit and healthy. Puppies should not do road work before they are 18 months old.

Training

A strong, independent and willfull breed that will test the boundaries of the pack in an attempt to become the alpha. They learn very quickly, but can soon become bored and with their independent nature may not reliably perform a command after they have learnt it! To keep his interest, training exercises should be kept short and varied, giving him new challenges as often as possible. Early socialising and regular training classes are a must with this breed. Akitas do not respond well to harsh methods of training. Motivational methods, with patience, kindness, consistency and firmness work well.

 

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