Is Akita a difficult dog?

Sit tight and prepare yourself, because I’m about to reveal the truth about a majestic creature that, at first glance, may seem an enigma out of a fairy tale. No, it’s not a unicorn or a griffin. It’s an esteemed member of the canine family known as the Akita. Hold steadily onto your cup of tea as we dive deep into the captivating world of this special breed, debunking myths and exposing the question that puzzles all potential Akita owners – “is the Akita a difficult dog?”.

Pause for a moment as we embark on a quick trip back in time, to Japan in the 1600s, to meet the first members of the Akita breed. Named after the mountainous northern region of Honshu Island, these dogs were treasured by Japanese royalty and nobility for generations. Fun Fact: Helen Keller, the prominent American author, and activist, was gifted an Akita during her visit to Japan and it eventually became the first Akita dog in the United States.

One of the most apparent features of Akitas is their sheer size. They are powerful dogs, with compact bodies and a demeanor that screams alertness. Yet, anchoring all that bulk and burliness, is an almost poetic gracefulness and silent dignity. Their deep-set eyes are sharp but composed, portraying their depth of intellect, and oh, they have a tail that curls over their backs, giving them an endearing, playful appearance!

But the burning question among potential dog owners always is – “Does this stunning beauty translate to an equally stunning temperament and manageability?”

The straightforward answer is that Akitas are not difficult dogs per se. However, they do have certain distinctive personality traits that may come across as challenging to those unfamiliar with the breed. Like any other dog breed, Akitas have specific requirements, and it’s essential to understand these requirements before bringing one into your home.

Firstly, Akitas are known to be fiercely loyal to their families. This might sound like an excellent trait (who doesn’t want a loyal friend, right?), but it also means that they can be territorial and protective. This breed takes ‘guard dog duties’ seriously. They are naturally wary of strangers and other dogs. Early socialization and obedience training can help in managing this behavior. A well-socialized Akita is likely to be a more confident and relaxed companion.

Secondly, let’s talk about the “Akita attitude”. Akitas are independent and somewhat stubborn. They are intelligent, but they aren’t ‘people-pleasers’. Akitas aren’t the type to follow every command without question. Trainers need to be patient, firm, and use positive reinforcement techniques to ensure the dog respects and not fears them. Remember, they were bred for guarding and hunting. In essence, they are thinking dogs that like to analyze situations and react accordingly.

Similarly, Akitas thrive in an environment with structure and routine. They need physical activity – a good walk or play session every day to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit. However, they are not hyper-active. They prefer quiet environments and are known to be aloof, almost cat-like.

One of the challenges of owning an Akita is grooming. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. Regular brushing is necessary, especially during the shedding season, to keep their coat healthy. Don’t worry, ‘furminating’ can be as fun as it sounds!

Lastly, Akitas are generally healthy. However, like any other breed, they are predisposed to some medical conditions like hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, autoimmune thyroiditis, etc. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet are essential to ensure they live a long and healthy life.

In conclusion, Akitas can be demanding due to their distinctive personality traits and needs. They are an amazing breed but aren’t suitable for everyone. It’s advisable to do your homework before deciding to take one in. With the right expectations and preparations, owning an Akita can be an incredibly rewarding experience that caters to those who love the challenge and want a companion rather than a ‘pet’. Being loved by an Akita is an honor to be earned, yet once achieved, the bond is indeed extraordinary.

Remember, every dog has its day, and for the Akita, that day could be TODAY in your life! Just remember, as with every loyal friend, they require time, commitment, understanding, and yes, plenty of belly rubs and doggie treats!

As the Japanese Akita proverb goes, “A dog has loyalty, an Akita has faithfulness.” Now that you have decoded the enigma that is Akita, are you up for this intriguing yet exciting challenge?