Acquired: Pet store
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
New York, United States
Posted May 2, 2014
Diesel is one of the finest dogs I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He is the perfect example of what a well-trained Akita can be: a loyal friend and protective guardian. I must stress that consistent training and a confident, capable owner are paramount in this breed.
Akitas are strong, large, dominant dogs, and Diesel is no exception. While he is a bit older- now 13 -and responds very well to the leash, a firm grip and watchful eye is necessary. If a stray squirrel crosses his path he will give chase with all his 100+ lbs. of force behind it. Additionally, Akitas tend to be wary of other dogs and so you must pay close attention to every interaction. Akitas often don't give typical, recognizable body language signals. For example, Diesel may approach a dog with a wagging tail, directing himself to the dogs' side only moments before deciding to fight. For these reasons, Akitas are not a good breed to take to the neighborhood dog park.
With that said, the great qualities of this breed make it one of my absolute favorites. Akitas make amazing guard dogs both for their massive frame and intense loyalty. They are dependable, even-tempered dogs. With proper, consistent training they are very obedient. While the first few weeks of working with Diesel were trying, he has not tested me once in the rest of the time we've spent together.
Akitas are a working dog and so need plenty of exercise or they will act out. Their hair can get long and fluffy but there's no need for brushing. Grooming roughly once a month should be enough. Diesel is very friendly with humans, but Akitas usually tend to be rather aloof. Be sure to properly socialize yours if this is an issue.
I cannot recommend the Akita highly enough only after you've done the proper research. If you feel you have the patience and will to properly train an Akita, you will be raising a life-long friend like no other.