Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an Akita puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Akita!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Akita dog breed

Buying or Adopting an Akita

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is an Akita the right breed for you?

Akitas: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Akita Health Problems


Are YOU right for an Akita?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No other dogs in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Extra safety precautions – ongoing supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your Akita, especially the presence of strange dogs who might start something your Akita might finish in a tragic manner
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Akita stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; or dog agility classes.
  • Brushing – moderate
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a smaller dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Akitas are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with heavy shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Akita to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the proper Leader-Follower relationship with your Akita, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Akita?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Akita be?


Where can you buy or adopt an Akita?

Akitas are a pretty common breed in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Akitas rank 46th. Unfortunately, many people acquire an Akita on impulse, based on the appearance of the cuddly-looking puppy or the handsome adult. In most cases, that turns out to be a big mistake.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Akitas are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Akitas may be turned over to Rescue because of dominance issues, or aggression toward other animals. Owners often give up their Akita when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Akitas are sometimes found here, but Akita Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. When an Akita turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy an Akita from a show breeder, who breeds Akitas to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy an Akita from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Akita puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have a normal thyroid

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Akita ends up with cataracts and hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Akitas are sometimes found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Akita Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Akita puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Akita puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.