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Akita Puppy and Dog Information

Aug 17, 2007
The Akita is a powerful, alert, large dog with a heavy build that can remind you of a bear. She does not need a tremendous amount of exercise and may even be suitable for an apartment if one is willing to enjoy daily vigorous walks with her. A properly fenced yard for exercise is preferable. She is good with the kids in her adopted family but she may not take to your kids friends, which scares me when you consider her size and potential for harm. She does not do well with other pets and is determined to be the top dog. She has no problem getting into a serious blood and guts dog fight. She must always be walked on a non retractable leash. As a general rule, never leave any young child alone with a dog for any period of time, no matter how short.

Sometimes the Akita is also associated with the name Inu which means dog in Japanese. The American Kennel Club lumps both the Japanese Akita and The American Akita together but many other countries consider them separate breeds. The Japanese version comes in four colors, Sesame, Red Fawn, White and Brindle. The American also comes in the Pinto color. The American type is larger and has shorter fur and more colors.

*Temperament. The Akita has devotion, alertness, dignity, large size, is fearless and was bred to be a watch dog. It can be very aloof with strangers and needs good socialization.

*Approximate Adult Size. The male stands about 26 to 28 inches tall at the withers (highest point of the shoulders) and the female stands 24 to 26 inches at the withers. The weight varies to around 75 to 115 pounds, the males slightly heavier.

*Special Health Considerations. The major health concern is hypothyroid disease (sluggish thyroid gland which can result in weight gain) which affects a high percentage of the breed and can be treated with hormone replacement drugs. Symptoms of this disease include itching, lethargy, sudden aggressiveness, and odd odor. There are also less common disorders such as hip problems, some blood disorders and degenerative myelopathy. Kidney disease can affect older dogs. Akitas require high quality meat and bone meal food, not grain based food.

*Grooming. This breed sheds twice a year. It has a short haired stiff coat that needs frequent brushing. Bathing should be infrequent as it removes the oils from the coat that waterproofs the dog.
Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease. To avoid health problems, her toenails may need to be examined weekly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmer is the best for this chore and instructions to accomplish this can be found on the net.

*Life Span. The Akita lives to around 10 to 14 years with proper nutrition and excellent care.

*History. The Akita comes from the mountains of northern Japan and is considered an old native dog breed. Early on she was only owned by the elite, the Shoguns. This dog was bred to guard, herd, fight and hunt. The animals it hunted were large game including boar, antelope, elk and bear. The Japanese government has designated this dog as a national treasure in 1931. The American Kennel Club approved this breed on December 12, 1972.

*Training. The Akita is smart and will learn quickly. They need firm training. He can become bored very easily to vary the training routine enough to keep him interested. It is a very good idea to have him obedience trained. He is currently employed in guard and police work in Japan.

*SPECIAL GOOD POINTS
Very good watchdog.
Very affectionate and courageous.
They are not barkers unless there is a good reason.
They can have a calming influence in a house.
Very easy to housebreak.
Keep themselves very clean.

*SPECIAL BAD POINTS
Aggressive to other dogs.
Can be willful.
Can be aggressive about his food.
May not accept children from outside his family.
Easily bored, they need to be stimulated.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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