Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted May 22, 2014
A somewhat popular breed, the Akita is a well-sized dog with a good temperament. There are, as with any sort of animals, drawbacks to owning one; the owner, ideally, should have some solid experience of mid-to-large sized dogs and must be prepared to be firm with the animal. That's firm, not abusive (naturally).
Akitas, while friendly with those they know well, tend not to take easily to strangers, or to small children and animals. They can be aggressive, even with careful training, and will lash out at annoyances or things seen as prey. Therefore a quiet, orderly household with no other pets and minimal one-on-one contact with very young children is perhaps called for. Of course, socialisation as a pup can train out some of this tendency, but it's never fully gone, so one must take precautions.
Grooming can be a chore, and is perhaps best left to a professional groomer. If such services are unavailable for whatever reason, be prepared to work steadily at brushing, trimming, and otherwise maintaining the Akita's coat. A good, supervised jaunt in clean water now and then, while appreciated by this water-loving breed, will not substitute for a good bath. However, over-bathing is to be avoided; this is not a bath-a-week breed.
There are rewards to owning an Akita, of course. They are friendly and often playful, enjoying a good walk with their owner and a good game of fetch. Their vocalisations, while not completely outside the realm of typical dog sounds, are different enough to be entertaining once they get going.
Above all, Akita's are loyal, desiring your attention and affection. They are not above being a bit cuddly, even on occasion seeming to believe that they're a lapdog when of course they're far from that.
If you're a longtime dog owner looking for a challenge with your next pet, the Akita might just be the dog for you.