Species group: Working Group dogs
Other name(s): Akita Inu; Japanese Akita; Shishi Inu
The Akita, the tallest of the Japanese dog breeds, was developed in the 1600s by a Samurai seeking to create a guardian dog with a warrior's spirit. When the sport of dog fighting came into fashion in the 1800s, the dogs were bred to be larger and larger. As a result of this heritage, the Akita is a powerful, protective breed that must be socialized with care. Its aggressive instincts means that it should probably be reserved for the single pet home with a responsible owner who possesses a good grasp on canine psychology.
In 1927, a group formed in Japan to restore the original appearance of the Samurai "Akita Matigas" look. As a result, the Akita is slowly diverging into two separate breeds-- the Akita Inu, which is more like the older Japanese breed, and the American Akita, which retains the larger size of the fighting dog heritage. In 2006, the Kennel Club (UK) recognized the Japanese Akita Inu and the (American) Akita. Most other countries worldwide do the same. However, the American Kennel Club (US) still regards the two forms as members of the same breed.
These dogs are loyal. The famous Hachiko is forever memorialized in Tokyo as the dog that waited nine years at Shibuya train station for its owner to come home after the man suddenly died at work.
Appearance / health:
There is no mistaking the distinctive Akita. He is powerful, well-balanced, large, alert and heavy-boned. Somewhat longer in body than height; his back level; his neck is thick and proportionally short; his massive head is triangular shaped, though balanced with the size of his body, flat and heavy; his jaws large; his muzzle is broad and strong; and he has a shallow grove going up the forehead from the his well-defined stop. His black-rimmed, dark brown eyes are small, wide-set and triangular shaped; his ears are erect and angle forward; he has a scissors bite; his lips are black; his tongue, pink. His legs are muscular, large-boned, and powerful. He has a large curl tailed, set high, which can be either a single or a double curl.
It should be noted that males are distinctly masculine in appearance, while females are notably feminine.
The coat of the Akita requires considerable grooming. Do not over-bathe as this will remove their coat’s natural waterproofing. Brush regularly to control shedding. The Akita has a heave shed twice yearly.
Akitas require a moderate amount of daily exercise, whether in the form of a walk or jog, or a good romp in an enclosed yard.
Some of the more common health issues in the Akita can include:
Behavior / temperament:
The first thing that should be kept in mind about the Akita is that they were bred for fighting as well as for a very good temperament. The Akita can be described only as fiercely devoted to their owner(s). While this seems a desirable trait to many, in the Akita it can lead to aggression towards people other than their owner(s). This is one breed where extensive, consistent socialization as a puppy, as early as possible, cannot be emphasized enough to prevent the later development of aggression, shyness to a grossly undesirable degree, suspiciousness, and even outright aggression toward other people.
All that said, the Akita is typically a dignified, composed, courageous, faithful, playful, and affectionate breed with their owner(s) and they will protect them with their life.
The Akita is rated high in learning rate; medium in obedience; high in problem solving. The Akita can be very domineering; therefore, an experienced owner who knows how to be firm, fair, consistent, and alpha is a necessity for the Akita. Please note the use of the phrase “experienced owner.” The word “owner” is pointed out because the training of an Akita cannot be left to a trainer or handler unless the only person you want them to obey is the trainer or handler! This is a “hand’s on” breed when it comes to training.
It is imperative that the owner(s) of the Akita establish their authority as soon as the puppy is acquired and maintain that dominance throughout the life of the dog. If the owner(s) do not establish that alpha position and, instead, entrust the training of their dog to a trainer or handler, the Akita will never see his owner(s) in the alpha position and the owner(s) will never be fully in control of the dog.
This is also the time when the puppy must be heavily socialized to people outside the family, as often and as regularly as the owner(s) can make it happen, even if it mean rearranging their usual schedule in order to get this vital socialization need met.
The Akita is known to challenge his owner(s) where matters of obedience are concerned – he is headstrong and his natural high level of intelligence will cause him to occasionally question your authority. Many owners have found that it necessary to physically take their Akita down in the proper manner of showing dominance, including shaking their scruff. You cannot force the Akita to do anything; instead, you must show them what they are to do. Never, ever hit or otherwise physically harm your Akita, or any dog, in order to show your dominance as doing so does not have the desired effect; rather, it will demonstrate to the dog that you are to be feared and, if you are feared, the natural sequence of events is that you will eventually be bitten.
It vocalizes with many interesting sounds, but it is not an excessive barker. The Akita is far more likely to growl and grumble at strangers and intruders rather than bark. However, a bored Akita will become more vocal.
great protectors, excellent watch dogs, calm, intelligent dog, loyal family dog, quiet
headstrong dog, dog agression, shedding, patient grooming, dominant breed, apartment, weak owner
attention lover, perfect running partner, oneperson dog, training requires patience, double coats
Nikki was a great family dog. She loved all children and animals. When my daughter was born, she never cried because Nikki would come get me when she started to wake up. When my daughter was playing on a blanket she laid on the corner of the blanket and would pull my daughter back on it if she started to crawl off of it. When our cat had kittens, she helped the mama clean off the babies. Once she was staying at my sister-in-laws house when someone tried to break in. Nikki woke my sister up quietly growling then chased the robbers away. She was perfect in every way..
From starvina83 Jun 26 2015 4:11PM
Steroids are old school
In my opinion, steroids such as dexamethasone for conditions that involve chronic pain and inflammation are ineffective. Steroids will help pain by reducing inflammation it is true. Steroids are great for those one time acute injuries that need a quick anti-inflammatory. If your pet is suffering from hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis then, steroids are not going to help without injuring another part in the body. If hip dysplasia is a chronic problem then steroids is not a chronic treatment. This is the reason. Steroids, if used over a long period of time, can suppress the own body's ability to produce its own hormones needed. If a patient will be having surgery soon then, use of steroids prior to surgery and after surgery for a short time is not a bad thing. Using steroids when surgery is not going to be an option can cause a side effect that could decrease your pet's quality of life. .
From JMalone CVT 10 days ago
When dealing with any fear, aggressive or otherwise, distance is your friend. Find out how far the dog needs to be away from the subject of their fear and work from there.
I recently worked with a dog who is fearful of people and dogs on walks outside of his home. My mentor trainer and I took him to a field along the beach. Oso, the dog, watched people pass by and was rewarded when he brought his attention back to mom.
Many times, dogs learn to bark because it makes the scary thing go away. You want to show them that the scary thing will leave without barking. If the dog does begin to bark, move him away and treat when he focuses on you.
Desensitizing a dog that is afraid can be a long process. The older the dog or the more bad association the dog has with the stimuli only makes it worse. Be patient and remember distance is your friend..
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