Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Kennesaw, Georgia, United States
Posted November 2, 2014
Let me preface my review with a warning. Akitas are easily among the most loyal and wonderful breeds, but they are NOT for the laid-back, fair-weather dog owner. Akitas need and respect a STRONG leader and trainer. If that is you, then you will likely be a good match and will be lucky enough to own one of the BEST breeds there is!
My Akita named Koki is very much the poster-child for the breed.
1. Akitas hardly ever bark. The only time my dog makes a noise is when he really wants to tell me that he needs something, or he sees a cat. People always comment on how nice it must be, and let me tell you, it is. He has never woken me up once!
2. Akitas as extremely smart, so they can learn a command extremely quickly. However, because of their stubborn nature, they do not have that "live to please you" attitude many other breeds possess. My dog often refuses to do what I am asking him to do, even though he knows full well how to do it. This requires a strong and dedicated trainer to try to correct.
3. Although extremely social dogs who love to be around people and hate to be left out, Akitas are often at the very same time aloof. My dog can not stand to be without me. However, because of the intelligence of his breed, he loses interest with toys and with games quite quickly. He appears to be "aloof" because Akitas do not constantly crave affection like many other breeds. They do however love companionship and can be very loving when you show them affection!
4. Koki is a great guard dog because he looks big and scary. However, he has never acted aggressively toward a visitor. He will occasionally jump up and give them a "hug" to greet them. He is great with kids and adults. However, many Akitas are more protective, so be careful to train your dog for good social manners.
5. Koki like most Akitas has a VERY strong prey drive. This means he will chase most small animals and even kill them for fun if he gets the chance, especially cats. It's in their nature as dogs bred for hunting and as a breed that is very closely related to their wolf ancestors.
6. Koki has never had any major health problems until recently he was diagnosed with kidney disease. Please feed your pet a grain-free diet, it will drastically reduce their chances of getting this. The biggest danger to an Akita's health is bloat, like most large dogs. Be sure to limit their activity after eating to help prevent this
7. Akitas shed A LOT. Koki sheds pretty much year round, "blowing" his coat two or three times a year and leaving us with a snow storm of fur in the house. Akitas have two thick layers of fur. One is a dense, wool-like under coat. This is what comes out and gets EVERYWHERE. Be prepared for garbage bags full of fur. It is easier just to take them to the groomer a few times a year.
8. Like most akitas, Koki is a very dominant dog. This means he gets along GREAT with dogs that are submissive and also small dogs, but if the other dog is also dominant, they will fight for the title. Akitas are very notorious for this. Be prepared to deal with a LOT of training or deal with the occasional dog-on-dog scuffle if you aren't a strong trainer. They WILL dominate you unless you establish your place as the pack leader. This means you have to show them you mean business. Don't let them run over you, and they will eventually obey. They respect a strong leader.
9. Akitas are HIGHLY loyal and will always watch your back. They are known for becoming extremely attached to their owner. They will be an incredibly loyal companion for life! This also means that they can get very depressed if they are left without you for a matter of hours. Make sure you spend plenty of time around your akita.