Akitas are a ‘double-coated’ breed meaning the Akita has an undercoat, this should be soft to touch, but dense and reasonably short unless you have a Longcoated Akita (Please see our LC Akita post from the home screen). Akitas lose all their fur twice a year we call this ‘blowing/shedding’ not ‘malting’ and for newcomers to the breed it can be quite a shock just at the sheer amount of fur that comes off them! If you don’t act and ignore your Akitas coat especially when they are ‘blowing’ then expect a scruffy looking Akita that’s dropping big clumps of fur for about two months! You will also need a good hoover. You can get that 2 months down to 3weeks and have your beautiful Akita back in no time looking flashy as ever!
Akitas are a Spitz breed, Some breeds categorized as Spitz are the American Eskimo Dog, Akita, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz, Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound and the Pomeranian. It is important to note that these dogs shed moderately, however they generally “blow” their coats in the spring and fall months. We always get asked how to groom an Akita and hows best to speed up the process. If you don’t take time and care into your Akitas coat you will find yourself finding their fur everywhere! In your bedding, all over your clothes, at your work desk, in your food even and the odd hair in your mouth! You get the point it gets everywhere! So make sure to follow these simple tips below to avoid all that unnecessary furyness.
- Tools, if you don’t have the right tools to groom your’re going to struggle and worse damage your Akitas coat! We recommend two great tools to get the job done efficiently and the best thing about them is they can be found in most pet stores/supermarkets. That’s a ‘slicker’ brush and a ‘rake’ comb (undercoat comb) they are cheap too, please avoid the ‘furminator’ many Akita owners swear by it others hate this tool, in novice hands it can be dangerous for your Akita and damage their coat. For £/$5-10 you can get a slicker and rake brush/comb and get great results from them!
- During the ‘blowing’ stage brush daily, if you don’t spend at least a hour working on their coat you will be waiting for what seems like a life time before they have finished and that sleek, smooth new coat comes through.
- The most effective way of going about brushing and combing the coat is by line combing or brushing. This is brushing the coat in sections by placing one hand on the coat and while the other hand has the brush or comb. You would then brush the coat by where your hand rest. Then move your hand up on the dog by an inch or so, there would then be a part of hair. Repeating the brushing or the combing with other hand moving up on the dog doing this in sections would make sure that you clear out the coat. Make sure that you get down to the skin which is vital. If you don’t get down to the skin you would just be clearing out the top coat leaving the undercoat untouched causing matting.
- Brush indoors in a room that is small and easy to clean, outdoors if fine but if you have neighbours you may receive complaints when they get a garden full of Akita fur, it blows all over and attaches itself very well to shrubs, walls, trees and their clothes hanging our to dry!
- Akitas should be brushed weekly to stimulate healthy coat and skin. Brushing will remove the old hair, and stimulate new. An Akita that isn’t ‘blowing’ their coat generally keeps it well, you won’t find much that has come out but a weekly brushing will avoid that and you will practically have a fur free home! The Akita is known for it’s easy maintenance as they are known to be ‘self cleaners’, but with intervention by you brushing often and maintaining good health you’re going to have a very clean, odour free Akita!
- Fish oils are great for a smooth, shiny coat on an Akita (Please read up on supplements good for a dogs coat)
BATHING YOUR AKITA
- Never use Human shampoo, always buy and use a formulated shampoo for dogs.
- Do not bathe your Akita too often because that will dry out the skin, deplete healthy oils from the coat and skin, and lead to scratching and irritation, Akitas really don’t need bathing any more than 2-4 times a year. If your akitas get muddy, use some luke warm water and a clean cloth to wash them down.
- To keep your Akitas clean looking and fresh between baths, brush vigorously and regularly, preferably daily. This is good for their coat and skin, and helps the dog look and smell good too!
- Wait until a puppy is more than five weeks old before giving him his first bath.
- Make sure water is warm but not hot. Then, fill the water to knee level.
- Never fuss too much, try your best to make it a positive experience. Reassure them that they’re going to be just fine.
- No matter what shampoo you use – even if it says it’s “safe around the eyes” avoid using it on your Akitas head. If for some reason you have to, it’s important to hold the Akitas’s chin up and rinse the soapy water back toward the neck and not down over the face to avoid getting shampoo in the eyes.
- Place cotton wool in their ears, avoid getting water in the ear canal which can lead to an infection
- Place a towel in the bottom of the bath tun to avoid slipping
- It’s vital to rinse all the soap and residue off your Akita, which can take some time with an Akitas double coat. Shampoo that dries on your Akitas’s coat or skin can be irritating, and it will also get dirty and matted. So take your time and make sure you’ve rinsed thoroughly. Make sure your Akita is dry, DO NOT leave them wet to dry naturally, this can cause health problems.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR DOGS EARS. VIDEO.
HOW TO BATHE YOUR DOGS. VIDEO
HOW TO CUT YOUR DOGS NAILS
The Long-coated Akita. There are many theories on how the long-coated Akita came to be, many believed that in the 1900s the Karafuto dog was introduced into the Akita bloodline. The Karafuto was a spitz type hunting dog, with small pointed triangular ears, hair was long, fine and thick with a very dense undercoat. These attributes are very similar to the Long-coated Akita. The Long-coat has many variations in coat length, from a slight feathering, to a huge wooly coat, sometimes reaching down to the Akitas feet. The coat will feel softer and silkier than the short coat due to the longer guard hairs and very dense undercoat, they have a very loving and kind disposition, are larger boned and extremely eager to please when it comes to training. Most breeders agree they are gentler by nature than their short-coated counter parts. The Long-coated Akita resemble extremely large cuddly teddies and are people magnets, But they are still a full bloodied Akita and will need the same levels of training and socialization, if not more so as people are drawn to them. They are often referred to as woolies or silkies, requiring a little more grooming than the short-coat. If left unkempt they will become matted and tangled, which is very uncomfortable for the Akita. They make excellent companions, whilst maintaining the characteristics of the short-coat. They have a high instinct to protect family members, quietly watching for threats, whilst appearing relaxed. They also make excellent guard dogs.Whilst the Long-coated Akita is considered a blatant fault with the majority of Judges, the Long-coat much to popular belief can be shown, But considering all the faults and disqualification within the breed, there is a huge stigma surrounding the Long-coat and it is almost never seen in the ring. In fact, until recently most people weren’t aware they even existed. This said, many breeders will have long-coats in their litters and most lines carrying the recessive gene will have fuller thicker coats. There have been a few petitions to get the Long-coated Akita recognized in a classification of it’s own and many believe these beautiful creatures should be seen in the ring. Although this throws up a lot of heated debate due to the variation in coat lengths and many breeders also fear the long-coat would become more popular than the short due to their heightened appeal.
soo watch this space !!
Written By Koda Naiya Sharpin Vez
To help spread the word of Akitas in need by working alongside Akita rescues around the world, networking them in the hope they are rescued and find that forever home they deserve.
https://www.facebook.com/va.akita.rescue Virginia, Rakki-Inu
http://www.akitaclub.org/rescue/resgroups.html Akita Club’s national registry of all groups in each state.
http://www.tikihutakitarescue.com/home.cfm Ca, Bay area
Put bluntly, there are currently too many poor quality AKITAS being bred simply for commercial purposes. These AKITAS are then sold on to naive, unprepared new owners with little knowledge or understanding of the breed and when the “cute” puppy becomes a big mischievous teenager, that is when they are likely to be sold on or given up to the already over run, crowed Akita rescues for rehoming!
If you are thinking of breeding your Akita dog/bitch, these are some of the things you need to think about:
1. How do you know your Akita dog/bitch is good enough to breed from?
In order to ensure that the Akita breed retains the qualities which make it what it is, any Akitas bred from need to be as close to the breed standard as possible. How do you know if your dog is good enough? The best way of ascertaining this is to both show and work your Akita(s). Success in the show ring under knowledgeable judges will indicate that your Akita is of good quality. You should look to achieve at least a Kennel Club Stud Book Number as an indication of quality as assessed in the show ring in the field (agility). Without some degree of show success and the ability and willingness to work effectively in harmony, dogs are unlikely to be good enough to breed from.
2. Is your dog Kennel Club Registered?
Although KC registration is not a guarantee of quality, the lack of KC registration is usually an indication of poor quality commercial breeding. KC registration is at least a strong indication that the pedigree of your dog is accurate and honest. This will help in checking the health records of your dog’s ancestors. Without KC registration, this will be impossible.
3. Have the appropriate health tests been carried out on your dog/bitch?
If your dog is KC registered and has proved its quality in the show ring and on the trail, has it had the appropriate health tests for the breed and satisfactory results achieved?
Hip dysplasia is not a major problem within the breed although, of course it does occur very occasionally, and the way this situation can be maintained and improved is by every breeder hip-scoring his/her dogs under the BVA scheme. The current breed average hip score is 13. No ethical breeder would breed from a dog whose hip score was in double figures or where the scores of dog and bitch added together came to 20+.
Eye Problems – again, these are not common within the breed, but, unfortunately are not unknown. Both Primary Glaucoma and Hereditary Cataracts. Other conditions for which testing is recommended are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), PPM (Persistent Pupillary Membrane) and CD (Corneal Dystrophy).
It is not enough to ensure that your dog and its prospective mate have good hips and clear eye tests. You also need to look back several generations to make sure that you have four or five generations all clear of issues. Eye problems in particular can sometimes skip generations and suddenly reappear in the litters of dogs with clear eye tests. It is crucial that earlier generations are also clear.
4. How Many Litters Has Your Bitch Had?
How old is the mother and how many litters has she had? No bitch should be bred before the age of 2 years or after the age of 7. There should be at least a year between successive matings and no bitch should have more than three litters in her lifetime.
5. Can you afford to have a litter?
Although commercially minded breeders regard breeding as a money-making enterprise, the reality is that if things go wrong, you could end up losing thousands on a litter. If for example the mother needs a caesarian and as a result rejects the pups so that you have to spend 2 weeks or more handfeeding them every couple of hours 24/7, it is going to cost you a bomb in vet fees, puppy milk, baby bottles and probably in terms of time lost from work.
6. Do you have a waiting list?
The puppy farmers, backyard breeders and naive/stupid/greedy “pet” breeders are finding it more and more difficult to sell their pups in our current financial climate. Before you even think of breeding, you should ensure that you have homes waiting for any of the pups that you are not going to keep.
7. Letting the puppies go to their new owners
Puppies should never go to their new owners until they are at least 8 weeks of age. This is crucial in terms of the important lessons the pups are learning from their mother at this stage.
8. Taking Back Your Breeding
Even when you have sold your pups to the best possible homes, disasters can happen and people sometimes find it impossible to keep their Akitas(s). Are you in a position to take back any dogs which have been bred by you at any time in the future, no matter what age they are? Ethical, responsible breeders will always do this.
These are just some of the factors you need to think about before breeding your Akita. Akitas are being over bred especially in the UK, why add to this over populated gene pool? True Akitas lovers will not breed unless all for the right reasons, to improve and this being achieved in an ethical breeding scheme. If the above are not carried out then you will be labeled a BYB(back yard breeder) and surely you don’t want the blame of ruining the Akita breed and it’s future, do you? Think twice before considering breeding. There’s too many out there and as a result too many suffering and the Akita rescues full to capacity don’t breed, keep them our secret keep their numbers down!
Who’s in charge?
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate what role the Alpha plays in your Akita pack, or family. Let’s start with understanding how a dog perceives the world around him and how that world will best function for him. To begin with the domestic canine has been trained and bred over the last few thousand years with companionship, loyalty and lack of aggression, in mind. Through hundreds of generations, man has attempted to eliminate the dog’s wolf like tendencies. So that he may live in harmony with that human family without difficulty. The problem of course is that you’ll never completely breed the natural Wolf instincts out of the canine. What are these instincts? First, all canines are pack animals. This gives them a base visceral instinct towards responsibility to its pack. Dogs feel like it’s their job to protect and watch over their pack so that no harm comes to the Alpha. This quality is one of the things we love the most about our Akita’s. You see, the Akita is the most natural guard dog in the world today. This is due to their close DNA connection to the Wolf. Dog experts will warn against “Guard Training” an Akita, since this could confuse the natural behaviors of the breed. So the trick to a calm well-trained and, most importantly, well behaved Akita, is to create, as close as possible, a pack like atmosphere. This is so the animal can relate and find comfort, security and be contented. To try and bring this into perspective, let me explain that the biggest problem with any dog’s behavior is that they are afraid. Not cowardly, but naturally cautious. They must be on alert for danger at all times. A frightened dog is a dangerous dog! Let’s examine how a pack is structured to function in alleviating their fear .The top of the order, within the Wolf hierarchy, is the Alpha male. This senior male Wolf is not just the boss in the eyes of the other Wolves. He is in fact, God. To the other wolves all things good or bad come to them from their Alpha. Next in order is the Beta female. This female is typically the oldest and chosen by the Alpha male for that position. Nothing happens in that pack, unless the Alpha consents. Her job is to teach the young, and advocate for the other females also keep order in the pack. By creating this structure all the other wolves have a sense of calmness and security. The stronger and stricter the Alpha, the more the pack is calm. If at any point they lose their Alpha male, or their beta female, the disruption to the hierarchy within the pack becomes more noticeable by the hour. The other wolves start to become insecure, skittish, nervous, and generally aggressive. This is because they have lost their natural protector and provider. This insecurity will go on until a new alpha male is established. Typically this is done through young males fighting each other until one rises to the top, and assumes command. This also will most likely create a new beta, chosen by the new alpha. A Wolf pack without this hierarchy is doomed. This is a natural occurrence and there is no example in nature where a Wolf pack is run by “Majority rule” or “Every man for himself”. If you, as an Akita owner, want a well behaved loyal non-aggressive Akita, you must learn to mold your family into an Akita pack, at least in the eyes of your dog.
” How to establish yourself as the Alpha to your Akita”
If your dog is a puppy 8 to 12 weeks old, then this process is a simple one. At 12 weeks call your puppy over and gently, while petting her or him, cover the side of his face with one hand while expanding the other to completely control the side of the puppy’s body. Gently steadily using as much strength as necessary but not abruptly, press the dog onto his side and hold him there. At this point I make it as clear as possible; you absolutely, positively have to hold that dog, so that you decide when he is to stand up. At this point your puppy will whine, wiggle, and do everything it can to regain control and stand. It is this process of you preventing your puppy from standing when it feels like it that establishes you as its Alpha. At some point, and it may take up to five minutes, your puppy will submit. You will be able to tell simply because the puppy literally seems to die. Goes completely limp and waits for you to let him up. Two important points; first, always be talking sweet to your puppy. Two, never allow your dog to stand up on its own during this process. If he does, he wins, and regains his alpha status. If you do this once a week until your dog is six-months-old then do it once per month till he turns a year old, you will be that dogs Alpha for the rest of his life. You will notice each time you perform this, it will get easier. By the time your dog is six months old he will come to you when you call, and as soon as your hands are placed on the side of the dog, he will drop and submit.
If you combine this technique with alpha behaviors such as; your dog never eats first, your dog never gets further than 50 feet from you, you are first, not the dog, to walk through your door, and your dog never shares the furniture with his alpha, never! If this is done properly you will never fear your dog running from you again nor will you worry about your dog’s behavior. Why? Your dog now has a responsibility. He must spend every waking moment trying to please you and gain favor with you because you have now become his God. Why you ask will the dog stay within 50 feet of you at all times? Simple, try and put yourself in his mind and imagine if God came to you and said I will be living with you from now on. Also you will need to protect him against any danger. How far from him would you drift? How close would you want to be to him? How often would you allow him out your site? Truthfully, wouldn’t you have a unique sense of wellbeing? I mean how safe are you and your Family now? This is how your Akita feels around you, his Alpha. Opening your front door is no longer a way to escape. Instead it is a portal where danger can enter and your Akita will prevent that from happening. If you find this hard to believe I offer the following example; my three-year-old Akita bitch “Maggie” will not under any circumstances ever leave my home while I am in it unless I order her out in which case she will go reluctantly, never let the door out of her sight and beg to come back in as soon as I let her.
The procedure to Alpha an older dog becomes trickier. First you must evaluate the animal. If he or she is an “Aggressive” then you must work with the dog to calm him down and socialize the Akita. While doing this, you should start establishing yourself as your dogs Alpha, with your behaviors. These include, but are not limited to, not allowing your dog on the furniture. Not allowing the dog to sleep in your bed. Not allowing your dog to step in front of you while walking him or when you are entering or leaving your home. When you start to feel the comfort level in the relationship between you and your dog is a calm, gentle one , then I would suggest that you go to your favorite quiet room, talking sweet to your dog, hold on to the scruff of his neck and place your hands on his right hip. Take extreme caution not to allow your dog access to your flesh. If your dog acts aggressive and you feel that this is too dangerous, do not continue. Wait until a better time, and try again. Always stay patient when training your Akita. This may take numerous times but it is imperative that your dog understand that he will be placed under your control completely. Always remember to a dog, gentle discipline is interpreted by him as your love. The great Dog Trainer, Caesar Milan says” To a dog, discipline is love”. In conclusion, I will leave you with this. You are in possession of one of God’s greatest gifts. By all accounts the Akita is one of the oldest canines, but what you don’t know, is that the Akita is spiritual. This dog will read your emotions, your thoughts, your moods and your health. He will spend the rest of its life doing everything it can to gain your favor, see your smile and make you love him with all your heart. Oh, I know, they get really big and most people who have two cents worth brains are cautious around them. But remember, just because the dog can cause damage does not mean he will. No, you’re happy, calm Akita is literally, a “Teddy Bear”. Be careful not to yell at your dog in anger and NEVER strike him. This behavior will create an aggressive Akita.
Yes, once your dog is established in your pack you now have the most natural protective barrier between danger and your family.
If the U.S. founding Fathers would have all owned Akita’s, then the 2nd amendment would read “All citizens have the right to own and proudly display an Akita”, guns would be an unnecessary, useless deterrent in comparison to the Akita’s World.
Victor J. Lockwood
The Japanese Akita Inu. (above)
So many people ask what is the difference between the two breeds, so many get them confused! Once you know the differences you won’t ever struggle again! Here we will keep things simple for you. So about the Japanese Akita Inu (JAI)
- The Japanese Akita’s colors are limited to brindle, white, and red with white markings. Are only allowed to be red, white or brindle with no pintos or black masks. Red and brindle dogs are required to have white shading on face, chest, inside of legs and under tail
- Have a more ‘oriental’ look to them, especially in their face. Many say like a ‘fox’
- Are smaller, less boned and not as heavy than the Akita(American)
- BREED STANDARD. General Appearance
Large, well-balanced, sturdily built dog of Spitz type. Very slightly longer than high.Characteristics
Dignified. Broad head with relatively small eyes. Thick, triangular ears pricked and inclined forward. Distinctive tightly curled tail and markings.
Aloof, docile and faithful.
Head and Skull
Head appears as a blunt triangle when viewed from above. Broad skull, free from wrinkle, with cheeks moderately developed. Defined stop with a distinct furrow. Muzzle straight, of good depth, tapering gradually. Lips tight. Nose large and black, except in white dogs where flesh coloured nose is acceptable.
Relatively small, almond-shaped, moderately set apart and dark brown. Eye rims dark and tight.
Relatively small, thick, triangular, slightly rounded at tips. Set moderately well apart, pricked and inclining forward.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Thick and muscular, of moderate length, without dewlap. Pronounced crest blending with back of skull.
Shoulders well developed, moderately laid back. Elbows close to chest. Well boned. Forelegs straight when viewed from the front.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers. Level back. Chest deep, forechest well developed, ribs moderately sprung. Well tucked up. Loin broad and muscular.
Strong, muscular with moderate angulation. Well developed thighs. Moderate turn of stifle. Strong hocks, well let down, turning neither in nor out.
Round, arched and tight with thick pads. Turning neither in nor out.
Set high. Thick, full and of good length. Tightly curled over the back. Uncurled tail highly undesirable.
Smooth gait with strides of moderate length. Vigorous and powerful. Stilted gait undesirable.
Outer coat coarse, stand-off and straight. Slightly longer at withers and rump. More profuse on tail. Undercoat soft and dense. No indication of ruff or feathering.
Red-fawn; sesame; brindle; white. All the foregoing colours except white must have whitish coat on the cheeks, the sides of the muzzle, the inside of the legs and also the undersides of the jaw, neck, chest, body and tail (Urajiro).
Height at withers: dogs 64-70cms (25 ¼-27 ½ ins); bitches 58-64 cms (22 ¾-25 ¼ ins).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum
Meet Arrow, he’s our new Japanese Akita Inu puppy. He’s between 7-Weeks old on these shots. He’s such a sweetheart but can be a big pain in the rear too! Bringing a new puppy into your home isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. They need lots of love and attention, so if you’re thinking of an Akita puppy, think long and hard about it first. Do you have the time, do you have the patience for one? Will you be home all day for one? You can’t get a puppy if they’re going to be left alone for long periods of time. And remember an Akita isn’t like any other dog breed, RESEARCH them first, it is a must! Arrow developing really well into a very handsome young boy! We hope one day to get him in the show ring but first he needs puppy classes to learn some obedience! We always advise new comers to the Akita breed to seek a professional dog trainer or seek a local dog club that holds dog training classes, there’s never one too far away, they’re great fun and you and your Akita will learn lots! If an Akita puppy isn’t socialized at a young age with people, dogs, children and other animal and knows his right from his wrongs, trust us they will walk all over you. The last thing you want is a problem Akita. These are big powerful dogs and very dominant if you’re not his leader he will be yours. We currently have an 8 year old Akita, Alexus, she’s not letting him push her around and we are working hard to make sure they will co-exist peacefully. So far things are going great, Alexus has never been a mum and now Arrows here she’s got a child to look after, it will be good for her and him. We believe he will keep her young at heart, and give her that boost she needed. She has a new friend to keep her company. But if you struggle with one Akita and are thinking of another make sure you’re truly ready, twice the workload! We will keep you update on Arrow’s progress. He’s such a darling, very cheeky , playful and already trying to prove himself! We sure do have our hands full.
Welcome to Akita World, here we only have one passion and that’s AKITAS!
Akita World was set up to unite lovers of the Akita from around the world. We aim to promote and protect this breed to our fullest! We have set up this Blog to expand our presence over the internet, in the hope we reach more people but more important to help more Akitas! If you didn’t know we started off on Facebook back in 2008 and have grown in popularity ever since, now with over 60, ooo fans worldwide, the biggest Akita sites on facebook, a youtube channel, twitter account, blog and an exciting website in the making. Over the years Akita World has done some fantastic things, we have found many a fur’ever home for those in need of re-homing, raised thousands for Akitas needing medical treatment, been a place of comfort to those who have sadly lost their Akita, helped hundreds of people weekly with friendly advice, promoted Rescue and ethical breeders to those looking at bringing an Akita into their lives and much much more. We hope you enjoy visiting here, we want to bring you happy Akita blogs, helpful information blogs and anything we feel you would enjoy blogs! As all ways, we send you lots of AKITA LOVE!