akita dog

Table of Contents

The Akita is a large, powerful dog breed with roots in Japan, known for its noble and commanding presence. Originally bred for hunting, they are characterized by their physical strength, courage, and loyalty. Akitas possess a striking appearance with a large head, erect ears, and a thick double coat, which comes in colors like white, brindle, and pinto.

Akitas are known for their deep loyalty to their families, often forming strong bonds. They tend to be reserved, especially around strangers, and can be protective. This breed requires regular but moderate exercise, along with early socialization and firm, consistent training to manage their strong-willed nature. While robust, they are predisposed to certain health conditions, making regular veterinary care important.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

10 to 13 years


Extra Large

Maintenance Level:


Shed Level

Very Higt

Best For

Akitas are best suited for experienced dog owners who can provide firm, consistent training and handle their strong-willed nature. They thrive in homes where they can form strong bonds with family members and are ideal for those seeking a loyal and protective companion. Due to their size and temperament, they are better suited for households without other pets.

Akita Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Akita is a large, strong-willed breed with a dignified and reserved demeanor, known for its loyalty and protective nature. They have a dense double coat, requiring regular grooming, and their physical strength is matched by a calm, yet alert temperament. Akitas are intelligent and can be independent, making early training and socialization important.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Akita boasts a majestic and powerful appearance, characterized by a large, bear-like head, erect ears, and deep-set eyes. They have a strong, muscular build with a thick double coat that comes in various colors, including white, brindle, and pinto, adding to their striking and dignified look.

1. Ears
Small, triangular, and erect, set in line with the neck, contributing to the breed’s alert and noble expression.
2. Eyes
Small, dark, deeply set, and almost triangular in shape, giving them a keen and intelligent look.
3. Nose
Large and black, though lighter colored noses are acceptable in white Akitas.
4. Height
Males typically stand 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder, while females are slightly shorter.
5. Coat Length
The double coat is thick and plush, with a longer outer coat and a dense, softer undercoat.
6. Coat Color
Comes in a variety of colors including white, brindle, and pinto, often with a distinctive facial mask.
7. Tail
Large and full, carried over the back in a curl or a gentle curve.
8. Weight
Males weigh between 100 to 130 pounds, and females are slightly lighter, usually weighing between 70 to 100 pounds.

Akita Temperament

The Akita is known for its dignified, reserved, and loyal temperament:

  • Loyal and Protective: Akitas are fiercely loyal to their families and can be very protective, making them excellent guard dogs. They often form a strong bond with one particular family member.

  • Reserved with Strangers: They tend to be aloof and reserved around strangers, which can be mitigated with early socialization.

  • Independent and Strong-Willed: This breed is known for its independence and strong-willed nature. They can be stubborn, so consistent and firm training from a young age is important.

  • Quiet Demeanor: Akitas are generally quiet dogs and are not known to bark excessively, although they will alert their owners to anything unusual.

  • Potential for Aggression: If not properly trained and socialized, they can exhibit aggression, particularly towards other dogs of the same sex.

Overall, the Akita’s temperament makes them a noble and faithful companion but requires an owner who understands and respects their characteristics. They are best suited to a home with experienced dog owners who can provide the leadership, training, and socialization they need.

How to Care for a Akita

Caring for an Akita involves providing regular, moderate exercise to keep them fit and mentally stimulated, consistent and firm training from an early age due to their strong-willed nature, and routine grooming to maintain their thick double coat. It’s also crucial to provide early socialization to ensure they are well-adjusted and to monitor their health closely, as they are prone to certain breed-specific health issues.

Grooming an Akita requires a few key steps to maintain their health and appearance:

  1. Brushing: Regular brushing, at least twice a week, is necessary to manage their thick double coat. During shedding seasons, daily brushing might be required to control the heavy shedding.

  2. Bathing: Bathe your Akita every few months or as needed. Their coat is somewhat self-cleaning, so they often require fewer baths than other breeds. Use a dog-specific shampoo to maintain the health of their skin and coat.

  3. Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent discomfort and maintain good foot health. Check and trim their nails every few weeks.

  4. Ear Cleaning: Clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and infections, a common issue in dogs with erect ears.

  5. Dental Care: Regular dental care, including teeth brushing and dental chews, is essential to prevent dental diseases.

  6. Paw Care: Check and clean their paws regularly, especially after walks, to remove debris and prevent irritation.

Proper grooming not only keeps an Akita looking their best but also promotes good overall health and offers a chance to check for any signs of health issues.

Training an Akita effectively involves understanding and respecting their unique temperament and characteristics:

  1. Start Early: Begin training and socialization as early as possible. Akitas are more receptive to learning and socialization when they’re young.

  2. Consistency is Key: Be consistent with commands and rules. Akitas are intelligent and will quickly notice any inconsistencies in training or behavior expectations.

  3. Firm, Positive Reinforcement: Use firm yet positive reinforcement techniques. Harsh methods can lead to stubbornness or aggression. Reward good behavior with treats, praise, and play.

  4. Socialization: Expose them to different people, animals, sounds, and experiences early on. Proper socialization is crucial for preventing their natural wariness from developing into aggression.

  5. Establish Leadership: Akitas respect strong, confident leadership. Establish yourself as the pack leader in a calm and assertive manner.

  6. Avoid Physical Punishment: Physical punishment can damage your relationship with your Akita. Instead, use redirection or time-outs for unwanted behaviors.

  7. Obedience Training: Focus on basic obedience training, such as sit, stay, come, and leash training. This builds a foundation of good behavior and communication between you and your Akita.

  8. Patience and Understanding: Training an Akita requires patience and understanding. They can be independent and may not respond as quickly to commands as some other breeds.

Remember, each Akita is an individual, and training should be adjusted to suit their specific personality and learning style. Regular training sessions not only teach good behavior but also provide mental stimulation and strengthen the bond between you and your Akita.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of an Akita involves several important considerations:

  1. Balanced Diet: Provide a well-balanced diet suitable for large breeds. High-quality commercial dog food, specifically formulated for large breeds with high energy levels, is typically appropriate.

  2. Portion Control: Monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, a common problem in large breeds. Follow feeding guidelines based on their age, weight, and activity level, and adjust as necessary.

  3. Consistent Feeding Schedule: Establish a regular feeding schedule, usually two meals a day for adult dogs. This helps maintain their digestive health and weight.

  4. Avoid Overfeeding: Be cautious with treats and human food, which can lead to weight gain. Treats should be given in moderation and should not exceed 10% of their total calorie intake.

  5. Fresh Water Availability: Ensure that fresh, clean water is available at all times.

  6. Special Dietary Needs: Pay attention to any specific dietary requirements or sensitivities your Akita may have. Some Akitas may require special diets due to health issues like allergies.

  7. Regular Weight Monitoring: Keep an eye on their weight and adjust their diet as needed. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor their weight and overall health.

A well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining the health, energy levels, and longevity of an Akita. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian for personalized dietary advice, especially if you have any concerns about your dog’s health or nutrition.

Caring for the exercise needs of an Akita involves a balanced approach to ensure their physical and mental well-being:

  1. Regular Exercise: Akitas need daily exercise to stay healthy and prevent boredom. This can include walks, play sessions, and opportunities for off-leash exercise in a secure area.

  2. Mental Stimulation: They are intelligent dogs and require mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors. Incorporate training exercises, puzzle toys, and interactive games into their routine.

  3. Moderate Intensity: While they need regular exercise, it should be moderate in intensity. Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia, so activities should not be too strenuous on their joints.

  4. Socialization Opportunities: Socializing with other dogs can be beneficial, but should be done cautiously, as Akitas can be dominant or aggressive toward other dogs, especially those of the same sex.

  5. Avoid Overheating: Their thick coat makes them susceptible to overheating. Exercise them during cooler parts of the day in hot weather and provide plenty of water.

  6. Consistency: Establishing a consistent exercise routine helps maintain their physical health and manage potential behavioral issues.

  7. Leash Training: Given their size and strength, effective leash training is important to ensure safe and enjoyable walks.

A balanced exercise regime, combining physical activities with mental challenges, is essential for keeping an Akita healthy, happy, and well-behaved.

Creating an ideal environment for an Akita involves catering to their specific needs and characteristics:

  1. Spacious and Secure Area: Akitas benefit from having a spacious living environment, preferably with a securely fenced yard where they can safely exercise and explore without the risk of escaping.

  2. Indoor Living: They are family-oriented and should live indoors with their human family, not isolated outside. They thrive on interaction and being part of daily activities.

  3. Regular Exercise: Ensure they have access to regular exercise to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. This includes daily walks and playtime in a safe, enclosed area.

  4. Mental Enrichment: Provide mental stimulation through interactive toys, training sessions, and activities that challenge their intelligence.

  5. Climate Considerations: Their thick coat makes them more suitable for cooler climates. In warmer climates, provide a cool, shaded area and avoid excessive exercise in the heat to prevent overheating.

  6. Safe Interaction Space: If there are other pets, especially other dogs, ensure there’s enough space for safe interaction, as Akitas can be dominant or aggressive towards other animals.

  7. Comfortable Resting Area: They should have a comfortable, quiet place inside the house to rest and sleep, away from drafts and too much noise.

  8. Routine and Consistency: Maintain a consistent routine for feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks to provide a sense of security and structure.

By considering these factors, you can create a living environment that caters to an Akita’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being, ensuring they are a happy and healthy companion.

Akita Health

The Akita is a robust breed but, like all dogs, they have specific health concerns to be aware of:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This genetic condition, where the hip joint does not fit properly, can lead to arthritis. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition.

  2. Hypothyroidism: Akitas may be prone to hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems.

  3. Autoimmune Diseases: They are susceptible to a variety of autoimmune diseases, which can affect various parts of the body, including the skin and blood.

  4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This eye disease can lead to blindness. Regular eye exams are recommended to detect any problems early.

  5. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): Like many large breeds, Akitas are at risk for bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. Knowing the symptoms and seeking immediate veterinary care is crucial.

  6. Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood-clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding from minor injuries.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and appropriate exercise are key in maintaining an Akita’s health. Being aware of these common health issues can help owners identify problems early and seek prompt veterinary care.

Akita Breed Comparison and Consideration

The Affenpinscher origin story begins in 17th century Germany, when these tiny working dogs were bred to kill mice and rats. But whether by Affenpinscher intelligence or pure cuteness overload, they made their way indoors and into the hearts and homes of their parents.

As Affenpinschers joined the ranks of European house pets, various Affenpinscher clubs formed in France and Germany. The American Kennel Club welcomed them as an official breed in 1936, shortly before World War II. The war detracted from the breed’s popularity for some time, but Affenpinschers’ qualities of cuteness, playfulness and loyalty helped them make a comeback in recent years.

Here’s a fun Affenpinscher fact: In 2013, an Affenpinscher named Banana Joe made breed history by snagging the Best in Show award at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Since then, Affenpinscher popularity has skyrocketed.

Thinking of adding an Affenpinscher to your home? Generally, you can expect an Affenpinscher puppy to cost between $650 and $2,000 for a pup who’s been screened for health and temperament issues. Check out the AKC’s website to find a reputable breeder. If you plan to buy an Affenpinscher puppy from a breeder, prepare a list of questions about the dog’s health, personality traits and any training (housebreaking, for instance) that has been provided. You can also seek out local Affenpinscher rescues to find a loving dog to adopt or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter.


American Akitas are generally larger and have more variety in coat colors, while Japanese Akitas have stricter breed standards in terms of size and color, typically being red, white, or brindle.

Akitas are naturally wary of strangers and can be aloof. Proper socialization from a young age is essential to help them become more comfortable around new people.

Their thick coats make them more suited to cooler climates, but with proper care, like providing air conditioning and avoiding excessive exercise in heat, they can adapt to warmer environments.

Akitas can be dominant and may not do well with other pets, especially dogs of the same sex. Early socialization and training are key for a harmonious household.

Despite their size, Akitas have moderate exercise needs. Daily walks and play sessions are sufficient to keep them healthy and happy.

Akitas require regular grooming, including brushing a few times a week and more frequently during shedding seasons, to manage their thick coat.

Due to their independent and strong-willed nature, Akitas benefit from firm, consistent training from an early age. They respond well to positive reinforcement methods.

Akitas can be good with children, especially if raised with them, but interactions should always be supervised due to their size and strength.

Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, and certain eye conditions.

Akitas can adapt to apartment living as long as their exercise needs are met, but they are best suited to homes with more space.

Top Takeaways

Affenpinschers are clever, entertaining pets who make great companion dogs. They are trusty, spunky little sidekicks for families without young kids, and these lionhearted dogs are eager to stick by your side, offer snuggles and make you laugh morning, noon and night.

Top Akita Names

These names reflect the Akita’s Japanese heritage and strong characteristics, adding a unique and meaningful touch to your dog’s identity.

Female Names











Male Names











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