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"If you would like to discover some facts about akitas, this site will provide you with some very useful information about their characteristics, temperament, advice on grooming, training, including other akita issues".
Akitas, are exquisite and captivating animals. Their thick luxurious double-coat, huge bear-like face, strong, powerful stature and regal composure are a few ways of describing their incredible characteristics and show dog breed qualities.
They also make wonderful, loyal and affectionate companions as many akita owners will tell you. They are also intelligent, have a playful nature and a protective temperament, which make them well suited as family pets.
Whether you already own an akita or someone who is seriously thinking of getting an akita, the fact that you are reading this proves that you are taking responsible action towards finding out as much as you can about akitas and have an interest in their characteristics, habits and welfare as well as other akita issues.
If you are already an akita owner, you will already be aware of what is involved in keeping akitas as pets and are therefore in a good position to give valuable advice to new owners of akitas and/or people thinking of getting an akita. As you will know, taking on a dog requires a great deal of consideration. It is very important to gain as much information as possible about a chosen dog breed and akitas are no exception to this. I am sure you will also agree that It is advantageous to choose a dog breed that will fit in comfortably with your current lifestyle and personality.
If you are new to akitas, it very appropriate that you read up as much as possible about keeping akitas as pets. However, if you get the opportunity to talk to people who already own akitas, you will be in a very good position to learn from their experience and to gain valuable advice about all aspects of akita rearing, such as their characteristics, habits and grooming requirements, health and general welfare, that could prove very worthwhile to you.
So, do you know of any owners of akitas? If so, try to get in contact with them to talk to them about their knowledge and experience of keeping akitas.
If you currently reside in the US, then you could get in contact with the Akita Club of America, who will be able to provide you with some useful information about getting in touch with other akita owners. If you are located outside the US, then contact your nearest Akita Club to gain all the information you can about these dogs.
Think of Akita-World as being another useful information resource for gaining useful advice about akitas.
I hope that you will enjoy reading through the information on this site and that you will come back regularly to check out what new topics have been added to the site.
A good starting place for providing information on akitas is with a history of akitas' origins.
Akitas originate from Japan and have a long history spanning several centuries. Although it is difficult to give a detailed history of akitas, there are plenty of descriptions of dogs resembling akitas of today existing around a thousand years ago in Japan. These akita type dogs were raised primarily as hunting dogs and given the title of 'esteemed hunter' by the Japanese. There was a period in Japanese history when ownership of akitas was restricted to rulers, who lavished them with luxuries and decorated them with special collars to display the owners' status.
Akita type dogs were raised in many Japanese regions, although it is the ones produced in the mountainous areas of Akita Prefecture that seem to have had the greatest influence on the modern Akita. They were originally known as 'Odate dogs' and their name changed to 'Akita-inu' in 1931 when they were declared a Japanese national treasure and given official breed status.
Following World War II, their popularity rose in America and other western countries when American servicemen introduced them to their own countries. This interest led to the Akita Club of America being established in 1956 to act as a parent club to the breed and devised a breeding standard for them. In 1972, akitas achieved their own unique breeding status from the American Kennel Club, which resulted in less Japanese akitas being imported to the west and an increase in selective breeding of akitas occurring in the west. Consequently, American akitas were bred to be larger in stature than Japanese akitas.
The ideal characteristics of a standard akita are a heavy boned stature, comprising of a large triangular broad shaped head that is bear-like in appearance. The akita has small triangular wide set erect ears that tip slightly forward and small almond shaped eyes that compliment their triangular shaped head, which can be one color or have markings on it. The akita's nose is broad and black, though liver colored noses are sometimes present in some akitas; a pink tongue and tight black lips. The akita has a thick, short muscular neck that widens down to the shoulders and its back is straight and level. The length of the body is slightly longer than it is high, the females having the longest bodies to provide for puppies. The akita has a thick tail that is curled back to give balance to the large head.
The standard male is approximately 26 Ė 28 inches high, the female stands at around 24 -26 inches high.
The male weighs on average around 95 to 100 pounds and the female around 75 to 90 pounds.
The akita's thick, luxurious double-coat is one of its best features. Akita colors vary ranging from white, pinto, brindle, spotted, red, silver, fawn or any other color or combination of colors, giving each akita its own unique appearance. The upper layer of the coat is made of coarser hair than the undercoat which is usually a lush, often softer, silkier, dense type hair, sometimes of a different color to the top coat, except in white Akitas. The thick double-coat contributes to the overall large and powerful appearance of the akita.
Long coated akitas
There are also long coated akitas that have a longer coat than the standard coated Akita. In such cases, the akitas' long coat gives it that big bear look that it keeps throughout its lifetime, from when it is a puppy right through to adulthood.
Although long-coated akitas are not highly regarded within the showring, their owners often
show a preference for them, which is not only due to their huge big-bear look. The long-coats are reported to have slightly improved temperaments to standard coated akitas, which give them wonderful qualities as pets. However, standard and long-coated akitas generally make good pets when they are introduced to the right type of owner and household.
Akitas that are kept for showing or breeding purposes, have to comply with descriptions set out by the American Kennel Club. There are various faults and disqualifications that can occur that put them at a disadvantage within the show ring or as potential breeding parents.
The following are examples of what are considered faults or disqualifications in akitas.
A narrow head (fault)
Lack of pigmentation on the nose or total lack of pigmentation on the nose (disqualification)
Drop ears (disqualification)
Protruding upper or lower jaw (disqualification)
Light bone structure (fault)
Uncurled tail (disqualification)
Elbows turning in or out or loose shoulders (faults)
Long coat (fault)
Ruff or feathering around the legs (fault)
Color smudges (fault)
Male akitas measuring less than 25 inches (disqualifications)
Females less than 23 inches
What is the correct temperament for an Akita?
The American Kennel Club states that the correct akita temperament is that of being alert, quite aloof, especially towards strangers, protective of family and property, territorial, dominant towards other animals, intelligent, loyal, proud, affectionate and stubborn. Due to their intelligence, dominant and territorial nature, akitas have the ability to make great guard dogs, with very little training.
Akitas are tolerant of children in families and can make wonderful play friends for them. The only drawback is that they can start acting a little aggressive when they are around strange children or adults, who they could perceive to be a threat to the family. To keep the akita's aggression under control, it is recommended that it start receiving training in socialization skills while still a young puppy. Akitas should always be kept on a lead when they are within distance of other dogs, due to their dominant and aggressive nature. It's also important to try to get them used to being around other people when still young puppies, in order to prevent unnecessary aggression in them when they are older dogs.
Akita grooming - How to keep your Akita looking its best
Despite their long coat, grooming akitas is fairly straightforward in comparison to other medium or long-haired breeds. Their coats are odorless and apart from a regular weekly brushing to keep their coats looking their best, they require very little trimming. Other than that, Akitas shed their undercoats twice a year and replace it with a new one, which give them a shaggy appearance with clumps of hair sticking out. During that period, a daily combing with a metal comb or brushing with a pin brush will assist in removing the old fur. Also, bathing an akita on a warm day can help to quicken the process of shedding its hair.
To wash the Akitaís double coat, wet the coat thoroughly and shampoo into lather. It's a good idea to use a sensitive type shampoo to wash the dogís face to prevent any irritation. Try to prevent water running inside the akita's ears by holding the earflaps forward. Rinse all of the soap from the coat to prevent itching from occurring. Dry the dog with clean towels and if necessary, use a warm setting on the dryer to complete the process of grooming your Akita.
There are certain things you can look out for while grooming your akita such as bald spots, flaking skin, sores or lumps and callouses, which could be signs of some kind of health problem. If you come across anything different, you are advised to seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
important aspect of akita grooming is keeping their nails short enough to prevent them clicking and touching the floor when they walk. The majority of Akitas donít enjoy having their nails trimmed, so it is a good idea to start trimming them when they are puppies, to get them used to it when they are larger. The back legs require more attention than the front since they are used less for digging and scratching. Purchasing a sturdy nail trimmer can usually do the trick, though If in doubt about your ability to perform a competent enough job, you can get your veterinarian to do the job or at least show you how to do it the proper way.
In any case, t
aking your akita for an annual trip to the veterinarian is required to keep it in good condition. It also needs to have the necessary vaccinations to prevent infections such as distemper and various other illnesses occurring. Puppies need to be vaccinated on a more regular basis until they reach a certain age, about 16 months. Having your akita spayed or neutered is recommended prior to its first year - females prior to the age of one and dogs at approximately five months of age.
The initial weeks in the puppy's new home are important for the owner to start training it to behave properly around the home. You can read up as much as possible about dog training prior to purchasing your akita about how to train it correctly. You can also contact the Association of Pet Dog Trainers for information about how to proced.
Akita dog training, like any other dog training involves a lot more than teaching them to sit, lie, stand and so on. It's very important that they are able to associate human words with the desired behaviour. An akita needs to know why they should obey your words and should be motivated to show interest in learning. It is possible to get your dog professionally trained, although it is recommended that you try to do it yourself, with a qualified instructor if possible. It's a good idea to get all the household involved with the process of training your dog so that everyone knows what to expect from the dog. Try to make the training sessions exciting and not too long-winded. You can use a treat or toy to help train the dog to obey to reward them for positive behaviour.
Tell your dog what you want them to do and then reward or praise them when they get it right. Let them know where they can perform their toilet duties, what they can chew and where they are allowed to play as soon as the puppy or dog is introduced to the home. If done successfully, the dog will get to the point where it doesn't need to be motivated to carry out the desired actions and will start performing them naturally. Nevertheless, continue to praise your akita and offer rewards for doing a good job. In time, the dog will become involved in all types of activities and can start to enjoy itself as part of the household.
Discover How To Transform Your Stubborn, Out-Of-Control Dog Into A Loyal, Obedient 'Best Friend' That Obeys Your Every Command -- And Start Seeing Results Your Very First Day!
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Another worthwhile book to read:
'A new Owner's Guide to Akitas' by Barbara J Andrews
Akita-World All Rights Reserved. Copyright: Andrea Scott 2004