HELP/ADVICE - SHOULD I GET AN AKITA PUPPY? Questions

Discussion in 'Akita' started by Nancy Onisko, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Nancy Onisko

    Nancy Onisko New Member

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    HELP/ADVICE - SHOULD I GET AN AKITA PUPPY?

    My husband and I have been looking for a cool dog for months now and I found a gorgeous 6 wk old female akita that I fell in love with. I have 5 cats so I was thinking a puppy would be best so that they are not intimidated by her and also so she learns to respect them early. We are also looking for a dog that we can go for jogs with (not long runs - may 1-2 miles) and play fetch/frisbee.

    I have read lots about how headstrong and sometimes aggressive akita are. We have always planned to hire a professional trainer but the more I read, the more I am wondering if, even with training, I run the risk of having a dog that could hurt my cats, doesn't like to run on a leash and who will be standoffish or even aggressive toward other people and dogs.

    I really need to hear from some Akita owners about whether your dog gets along with cats, will go for jogs with you, whether they will play with you (fetch/frisbee) and if you can rewire their hardwired instinct to be aggressive toward other dogs and small animals. Are they at least sweet to their family??? I really loved this puppy but I also need to know that she won't disrupt our entire life.

    Thank you.
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  3. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    Hi, it sounds as if I am just the girl for you to chat to
    I hope I don’t bore anyone else who reads this because once I get going I can rattle on
    My husband and I got our male Akita at 8 weeks old, he is now 9 months....Yoji
    I can tell you of our experiences and I hope it doesn’t make him sound a bad dog. They have a complex character and as long as you are aware of your own dogs traits they are a wonderful dog, we love him
    We don't have any other animals, so, I can’t comment on that point
    For the first 18 month they have to be walked slowly and short distances, this is due to their soft growing bones
    They are know for NOT playing fetch although they will throw a ball about for a minute or so, if you throw it they will run after it a couple of times and then either ignore it or look at you as if to say “ you threw it you get it “ Yoji does just this
    Akitas are not a dog to let off the lead, they are so inquisitive and headstrong their recall can be hit and miss, so, for me don’t risk it.
    In the house he is the softest thing, quite relaxed and calm even, especially for a pup
    We have the privilege of early retirement, so, he doesn’t have long spells alone, with that he doesn’t suffer separation anxiety either
    We keep him well excercied and entertained with various toys which is one of the reasons he hasn’t destroyed anything in the house
    Yoji is ok and has played with other female dogs and even after castration is male dog aggressive, we know this and manage it
    So, to round things up.......and this is only my opinion and I’m looking forward to hear what anyone else thinks, if you can put the ‘fetch games’ and “jogging” aside I think a puppy would grow up to accept the cats, I say this not from experience, but, from lots of photos I see
    Have a look a a web site called Akita Rescue & Welfare it’s a great group
    Please keep in touch and let me know what you decide
    Oh, one last point, we crate trained Yoji, it was a great success and now at 9months he is hardly in it, even at night
    If you have a photo please share it with us
    Philippa
  4. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    I had a cat and ferrets with my Akitas with no problems, though if given the chance would chase strange cats ,there is always the exception but they aren’t big into playing, they tend to think for themselves and have a very low tolerance for repetition, so training has to be done in short bursts, as for jogging I don’t see any problems but not advised to start too young.

    Temperaments vary depending on breeding and environment but they are by nature a dominant breed with high prey drive and known for being aggressive to strange dogs. They need a confident and firm hand,
  5. jessa620

    jessa620 New Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    I'll echo the previous comments, they are such intelligent dogs they can outsmart you. That being said Akitas are lovely. You just have to understand what you are getting into.

    The male Akita I grew up with was great with our cats but one of the cats hated him. He learned to ignore him after careful and controlled introduction. The other cat became his best friend and they wrestled and played for hours every day. It's really dog and situation specific.

    My female Akita had a stronger prey drive and could probably have learned to ignore cats. We just didn't own any when she lived with us. I wouldn't have trusted her with small animals unsupervised though.

    As for leashes, yes, always leash an Akita unless you live in a sparsely populated area and have recall trained. They don't generally like to come when something more interesting is afoot. Which means anything besides you!

    They may lose interest in fetch but that doesn't mean they can't play. Mine loved to run and be chased and play hide and seek. We were scent training her which was also fun.

    I wouldn't get an Akita because they seem cool. They aren't for the faint of heart, as my mother would say. They are amazing dogs but they are extremely smart and strong willed. If you're willing to spend the dogs lifetime managing and providing it with structure, love and discipline then yes. Get an Akita. They don't grow out of their personality. They grow into it.

    As for aggression they have some of that bred in. My girl would not have been ok if I was not ok. We adopted her and this seemed her default, if mom was in danger she would move to protect (even when I didn't need it). That being said, she was more on alert than aggressive. I'm not sure you can rewire what a dog is, they just are. The same way humans are.

    Good luck in your search! I've found this community helpful and I am sure you will too.
  6. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    jessa620 likes this.
    What great advise Jess, our Akita is 9 months old and has all the traits you mention. As soon as we got him we socialised him everyday, but, even with that, some people he is happy to be touched be, but, he barks at certain people and even growls at others and there is really no reason for this
    Sadly, with that it makes us wary whilst out and tend to keep ourselves to ourselves as I don’t like to risk him being naughty
    The same with dogs, as he is a puppy he wants to play, but, his play is a bit more boisterous that’s some and he really doesn’t like other male dogs, so again, we give other dogs a wide birth
    He changes personality as soon as we step out of the house, on red alert/guard
    I would say they are his worst parts
    He is so good in every other way and for a 9 month old I think he is brilliant
  7. jessa620

    jessa620 New Member

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    Hey Philippa!
    I'm so happy to hear you're doing so well with your boy, he's so stinkin cute! I've followed your journey through your posts and Yoji sounds absolutely lovely.
    You also brought up an excellent point about socialization, that really is so important with a dominant/aggressive breed. While it isn't always possible if it's an older dog, it sounds like the OP is in your shoes and definitely could benefit from careful contact with all sorts of people and, when appropriate, dogs.
    I also forgot to mention that Akitas are known for being "aloof". What that means is really subjective though. My male loved people but strangers were fine for about five minutes, then he lost interest. My female didn't want them to touch her and just watched them until she determined everything was "safe" again. Any puppy will disrupt your life, OP. We stopped having more than 3-4 people over because our girl couldn't deal. We managed her constantly. I'm not trying to discourage you at all, Sakura was one of the best things to ever happen to me. It's a reward with a lot of responsibility. Worth it, but there may be some minor sacrifices. You just need to figure out what you're willing to do. And like Philippa said, socialize!!! Lol, sorry I'm a big fan of puppies experiencing as much as they can. It helps some down the road.

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