The Majestic Akita- Should This be Your Next Dog?

Kodi the King

Pronounced "uh-KEY-ta", Akita's are the largest of the Spitz-type breed and are native to the island of Honshu in the Akita region of Japan. It is believed that Helen Keller brought the first Akita to the US, but I have read they were brought back to the states by American servicemen after WWII. However they got here, I am certainly glad to have had the pleasure of having two of these majestic animals be part of my family.

Akita's are excellent family dogs. Protective, fearless, intelligent, courageous and spontaneous are just a few of the words Akita owners use to describe their dogs. Human companionship is something these dogs crave. They can be aggressive toward other dogs, especially strange dogs, but can learn to live with other pets once properly introduced. My first Akita lived with a cocker spaniel and a kitten and loved them both. My current Akita has many canine and feline companions. He shares our house with a one year old female golden retriever, a male and female malti-poo, and a mutt we adopted from the humane society. We also have two cats that come and go as they please. They own the place, actually, they just let us live here.

 

As with all large breeds, there is the potential for aggression. I highly recommend obedience training at an early age. My veterinarian in Illinois had given me a small yellow paperback book- the title now escapes me- that offered some of the best advice I have ever read for obedience training. To paraphrase, you take hold of the dog, role him over on his back, and pin him down firmly until he stops squirming and ‘submits.' It is also recommended that you make a growling noise, or loud noise to imitate the growling sound an adult Akita would make. I will admit, it was difficult to hold him down firmly when he was such a cute little puppy, but I am so thankful for this advice. In my opinion, this form of obedience training must be maintained for the first year on a weekly basis at minimum; especially between 6-12 months. After the first year, it wouldn't hurt to continue this training once a month. All dogs are different, however, so the amount of time needed for this type of training will vary.

Akita's are known for their numerous ‘voices.' They use many different sounds to communicate with humans and other animals. One great characteristic about Akita's is they bark very little. They are the first to investigate any sound or activity in the house or the backyard, but they only bark when they identify what they perceive is a threat. Rest assured, when they do decide to bark, it's enough to intimidate even the most avid dog lover.

I have wanted an Akita ever since I saw my first one while I was in college. A co-worker and good friend owned a beautiful male she called Tinsai. I was so impressed with his demeanor and stunning appearance that I fell in love with the breed. Tinsai was not overly aggressive, but the first time I came to the house he remained between me and his owner the entire time I was there. After the second or third visit, he was comfortable enough with me to allow me near his owner, but he never allowed me out of his site.

My First Kodi as a Puppy

It would be nearly 8 years after my first encounter with Tinsai before I would actually acquire my first Akita. He was my boy from October 1999 until I was forced to leave him behind in Illinois when I moved to Georgia in 2002. I will never forget the look on his face when I drove off. Fortunately, I was able to leave him with a good friend on the same farm at which he had lived on for the past year. It was the best possible situation for him, but it nearly killed me.

Watching Me Leave

I could tell many stories about my first Kodi. I could tell you about the many evenings he sat by my side on the porch as we listened to the many sounds of the farm and watched for falling stars. How he chased off coyotes that got too close to the house. How he killed at least a dozen raccoons before they could get to my smaller female cocker spaniel- of whom he was quite fond. I will never forget how he tried to revive her as she lay in the snow after she was hit by a car. How he tried to prevent me from burying her. He would not let her out of his sight. For weeks after I buried her he sat near her grave every day. He was such an amazing dog.

What a Cute Puppy!

I agonized over whether or not to get another Akita. I was afraid no Akita could come close to comparing to Kodi. After telling my wife all the stories about him, she encouraged me to find another. I finally agreed with her and my search led me to a breeder in West Virginia. My new Kodi has definitely filled his predecessors' paws very well.

Yes, my current Akita is also named Kodi. He is Kodi, Jr., or Kodi II, whichever you prefer. His name is actually Kodiak, because he looks just like a bear. We call him Kodi for short and he commands attention wherever we take him.

He was three months old and nearly 30 pounds when I picked him up in November of 2003. One of the great things about Akita puppies is their ears are floppy at first. The amount of time it takes for their ears to stand up varies, but they are normally up by 6 months. Male Akita puppies will gain nearly 10 pounds a month for the first year. Males average 75-120 pounds and grow well into their first year. They are beautifully proportioned and slightly longer than they are tall.

Boy, Do They Grow Fast!

My current Kodi is also an amazing dog. He is extremely patient with all of our dogs and our small children. We live in a multi-level house and all of the bedrooms are on the top floor. Every night Kodi comes to my bed and ‘checks-in' with us and then sleeps at the top of the steps. It is as though he is daring any intruder to get past him. I would hate to see what he would do to someone who tried to hurt any of us. I do not travel often, but when I do, I am so thankful for Kodi. My wife feels very safe alone in the house when Kodi is there. If I wrestle or rough-house with my 12 year old step-son, Kodi will try to get between us and will even take my arm in his mouth and gently but forcefully pull it away from my step-son. He has never bitten or broken the skin on anyone in my house.

Little Abby and Kodi

Kodi's personality is remarkable. When you talk to him or about him he looks you in the eye. His eyes remain trained on you as if he is listening to your every word. When I work around the house Kodi tends to stay in the same room, but he doesn't crowd me. When he is ready to play he nudges me with his nose. For such a large dog he is very gentle. If I put my hand in his mouth while we are playing he does not bite. Kodi loves to "wrestle" on the floor. He loves for me to get on the floor and tackle him or just lie on my stomach and swat at his legs. This is when he uses one of the ‘voices' that I discussed earlier.

You Talking to Me?

As with any dog, there are a few downsides to Akita's- very few, in my opinion. First of all, they have a very dense coat. Kodi sheds his coat twice annually, and you can stuff 5 or 6 plastic grocery bags full with the hair. Seriously, you could make a couple of king-sized pillows with the fur they shed! Regular brushing with a stiff bristled brush is a must. Frequent bathing is not recommended because it removes the natural waterproofing of their coat. We only bathe Kodi a couple of times per year. If you are brave enough to try it yourself, it is practically an all day affair. His fur is so thick it takes a garden hose with fairly strong pressure to penetrate to the skin. Getting all the soap out of it takes forever! Then there is drying him. I actually use an electric leaf blower, which also removes the loose fur while it dries him. He tolerates the leaf blower, but it isn't his favorite part of the bathing experience.

Another trait I've heard about Akita's is that they can be aggressive with other animals that try to take food from them. Personally, I have not seen Kodi demonstrate any sign of this trait. It actually irritates me when I give our dogs treats because the 10 pound female malti-poo and the golden retriever will both take treats right out of his mouth before he can eat them. I like that he is so patient with the others, but I don't like that he gets robbed of his treat.

Always on the Lookout

Although I highly recommend this breed and think they are wonderful family dogs, they must be trained and handled properly, especially when they are young. This is not the type of dog you have join the family without researching first. I've actually read that Akita's are not recommended for the first time or inexperienced dog owner, but I don't know that I agree with that. A little research and the willingness to put in the amount of time necessary to train him is all that is needed. There are many websites with information about these wonderful dogs and I recommend getting as much information as possible.

What a Handsome Boy!

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Comments 58 comments

New Reflection profile image

New Reflection 8 years ago from The Real World

What an amazing dog. I can see why you love your AKita so much. Great information and perspective.

Thank you for sharing your experience with these beautiful animals...


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Akita's are truly unlike any other dog I've ever had. They are definitely not for everyone, but if you are willing to put the time into training them, they are the best family pets.

Thanks for reading my hub... :-)


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Stay At Home Dad! Great hub! Having 5 dogs myself, I love reading about other people's dogs and their experiences with them. As a child I had a Spitz I called Mr White, your Kodi reminds me of him. I hooked Mr White to my sled and he pulled me all over the farm, just like the Alaskan sled dogs, I bet Kodi would do the same thing. A dog is a reflection of the owner, if the owner is well adjusted, the dog will be too. I also train my dogs the way you trained Kodi. I growl at them, and make them submissive to me so that there is no mistake who the alpha dog is. Actually, the dogs like it, they get a sense of security when they know who is head dog. LOL


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 8 years ago from Georgia Author

You are exactly right. Kodi will be five years old this month and though I do not make him submit as much these days, he will drop to the floor if I give him a particular 'serious' look.

I lived up north with my first Kodi and he did pull a sled. It was a treat for him. My Kodi here in Georgia gives my little ones rides on his back, but that is the extent of his work load.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment...


Sally 8 years ago

I have a ten year male who had ACL surgery on his right leg two years ago. He is getting older every day and has started to defecate in the house. He does not even seem to realize he is doing this,...almost as though he is just passing gas. We feed him high quality so it is not a mess, but this dog has never gone in the house before. Any ideas or suggestions from anyone?


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 8 years ago from Georgia Author

I feel for you Sally.  I have always been impressed with my Akita's bathroom habits.  I have a pretty big yard, and I have never seen one mess from him in the high traffic areas.  And he has never messed in the house, except for one time when he had really bad diarrhea- boy was that a mess!

I am sorry to admit that I have no suggestions for how to handle your current situation.  Have you consulted your vet?  You may also find info on some of the Akita websites that are on the web.  I wish I could help more, but I have not had any issues with my big guy.

 Best of luck to you... :-)


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Sally- Have you ever heard about an inside litter box for dogs? I got a small poodle puppy right before the bad weather started. Puppy pads are alright, but puppies like to play with them after they used them, and I had to find a solution for this tiny little puppy for the next 5 months or so. www.purina.com tells you how to train any dog to use a litter box. Of course they are also selling a high priced litter, i just use wood pellets from my pellet stove for litter, there is never an odor, and it works great, but I do have to pick the poop out everyday, and that is the only draw back with this method. I am sure your dog could be trained to use a litter box, I know that grosses some people out, but it is no different than a kitty litter box, and the truth is dogs are living longer and longer and when they do get old they have problems with bathroom habits. I think it is the least we can do for our dogs, they give so much love, and so many happy times to us. We should take care of them into old age, and not stick them outside somewhere all alone.


Ray 7 years ago

You can tell how much you love you Akita puppies. They do grow so fast...and having your little girl in a photo shows how (when properly trained) they interact well with children too. So many sites on line on concentrating on selling the dogs. Nice to see another one just loving them.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Hey Ray...

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on this hub. I do love this breed and recently adopted another male puppy. The Kodi I wrote about in this story passed on... and my wife and I wrestled with the prospect of getting another one for months.

In the end, we missed Kodi so much we had to find another. He is Kodi III, and has already won our hearts after only one month. He is by far the best puppy we've ever owned and is almost potty trained at just 3 1/2 months! We are VERY impressed with his demeanor and intelligence. I will probably write a hub about him soon.

Again, thanks for reading my hub...


akita mommy 7 years ago

I rescued an Akita 2 years ago from the Houston area....long story I won't bore you with. Anyway, his name is Bear and he came to live with us: two kids, a chow-shephard mix, a rottie mix, a mini-shitzu and a kitten. He loves us all and we love him. I have a question I've never been able to find the answer to....maybe you can help. When Bear sits with me on the couch or I with him on the floor, he puts my whole neck in his mouth...he gnaws at my neck. Now I have humanized/personified this as a sign of affection. Do you know if that's true? Have you heard of other akita's doing this?


Shogun's mom/Reno, NV 7 years ago

We got our 2nd akita (Tobe' pasted last Nov.13 2008) debated and debated and finally this April brought home another akita male (9 mos.old now). Can't answer Akita mommy but can tell you that Shogun does the same thing except he does it only to my husband and does it to his hand/fingers and face, while he is doing this he starts to fall asleep. No biting at all...almost as if my husband is a human pacifier. Really enjoyed your stories about all the Kodi(s). Akita's are the best!!!!


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Akita Mommy-

My first Akita always wanted my hand in his mouth. He also placed one paw on my foot whenever I was sitting. It as as though he needed to make physical contact with me whenever possible.

My second Akita did similar things, but not as often as the first.

My current Akita -Kodi III- is only four months, but already he is showing similar behaviors. He always sleeps by my side of the bed, he is always in the room I am in- or in a place where he can see where I am- as though he is watching out for me.

I would not worry about bear. He sounds like a great dog.

Shogun's mom-

Congrats on your (somewhat) new Akita pup. They really are the best dogs. Our "little" guy is now 45 lbs, and growing at an impressive rate. If he keeps going at this pace he will be a larger adult than both of my first two. He is still the best behaved puppy I have ever had the pleasure of raising.

Thank you both for reading and taking the time to comment.


Chad A Taylor profile image

Chad A Taylor 7 years ago from Somewhere in Seattle...

Ok, I am sold now! Been wanting one for years...


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 7 years ago from Georgia Author

You won't be sorry, Chad. Just make sure you have a very good vacuum cleaner and a strong resolve to make him understand you are the boss.

All the best in your search for your Akita and please send a note with a picture when you find him/her...


poplaw 6 years ago

I just got my akita a few weeks ago, its a struggle but hes learning more, toilet training is a pain in the ass


theguru-reports profile image

theguru-reports 6 years ago from Montana

Its clear you love Akitas...as do I. Good work


coco 6 years ago

u clearly love your akita, i got an akita called coco, i bought hwe when she was 4 months,(shes now 11months) shes the first dog ive ever had, although shes abit too hyper at times and does a lot of nipping and jumping, she slowly learning what's right and what's wrong, akitas truly are an amazing breed


s.d.akitamom 6 years ago

My akita pup, Dakota, is now 8.5 months old and just a little over 81 pounds. She is simply stunning and we still get folks who stop their cars to admire her when we are out walking her. She is as gentle as a lamb...well most of the time. She loves cats, dogs, kids but lately she appears stand offish with some strangers she meets. We are keeping an eye on this behavior and trying to temper it. My question is that at 8 months and 80 pounds...do you think she will get much bigger? She already looks like a fully grown dog.


Bear's Mummy 6 years ago

Hello everyone...just found this site and love reading about Kodi and all your Akita babies. I am in the UK and have a 5 month old Akita called Bear and have to admit it is the most amazing experience being a human to an Akita. We've had dogs but never Akita's and I would not trade Bear for anything! He is loving and cheeky and everything you could possibly want in a 5 month old puppy. I wonder how big he is going to be and what he will be like when he is fully grown. My only concern is having him castrated. 1 - will it stunt his growth and how much will it effect his personality? If anyone can offer any insight I would be most grateful. Akita's are the most amazing dogs and we are so lucky to have Bear in our lives.


steven staley 6 years ago

when should a male akitas ears stand erect and his tail curl and fill in. would something be wrong if this hasn't happened at 4 1/2 months


Bears Mummy 6 years ago

Hi Steven, I understand that it varies from dog to dog but maybe have a word with your breeder or vet? I had Bear from 3 months and his ears have always stood up and his tail has always been a double curl. I think sometimes they never curl, but does it really matter? I am sure you will love him no matter if he has floppy ears and a lazy tail. Now can you tell me how to stop him jumping on me and anyone one else who comes through our door? He just gets sooo excited to see someone he even does a little pee trail.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon

Thanks for sharing your Akita stories with us, and the pictures brought a tear to my eye. I had a beautiful female and I called her Keiko, in Japanese the word means peace. Got her when she was a puppy out of a litter of 12. Keiko was the most amazing and beautiful dog that I have ever owned. She passed last year at age 12 years 6 months. I am new to the Hubs but in the near future I will right a hub about my love affair with Keiko. Great Hub Bravo to you.


jackiez 6 years ago

I am a new owner of a 3 week old akita named Loki who lost his mother when he was 3 days old. He is still on a bottle and just getting his puppy teeth. I have never owned akitas before but am looking forward to having such an intellegent dog. I will be using your advise on pinning him down and making him submit is there any other advise you can give me, i know since he has been bottle fed from such an early age he will be an amazing dog, i am worried about the dog agression but if i socialize him properly could i stop this? I have always had Pitts(APBT) and never had an issue with any of them i hope to keep the trend going with Loki. Any advise would be appreciated since i do have 3 small kids i was him to be a gentle giant with them


Bears Mummy 6 years ago

Hi Jackiez - in my opinion socialization is an absolute MUST! Bear was introduced to lots and lots of dogs from the very starr and has a dof walker come every day for him and takes him out with a pack of dogs, all sorts and ages and sexes, which he gets to spend a couple of hours off lead playing doggy play with. He goes to the park with me all the time to meet other dogs and I think it is because of this he has an excellent temperment. I am always getting comments and gasps from other Akita owners that they are amazed he goes 'off lead' as they are known for their dog aggression....not my Bear tho, there is not a mean bone in his body! Make sure you are firm but fair with him and you will reap the rewards! Hope this helps. Bear's Mummy.


PJ 6 years ago

Hello, wow great page and thanks so much for telling us about your lovely Akita. I now have a 8 month old Akita. She is doing great and growing up by the day. Your story is amazing and I really enjoyed reading your post about your amazing Akita. Your Akita has amazing temperament, what kennel did you get your akita from? Did you simply find a puppy and purchase it or did you do a lot of research before finding this pup?


ANNE 6 years ago

hey, guyz, i just got my first akita, her name is akina (japanese), she's 3 and a half months, black and white, last night i brought her home. as she entered the house she started walking arround, in each room, in the bathroom, everywhere, back and forward, when i wanted to go to sleep i closed de bedroom door leaving the rest of the house for her.she felt lonely and she was trying to cry(not actualy crying , like other dogs, very noisy)so i decided to open the door, she came inside, and she fell asleep in the bed at my feet.in the morning i found a poop in the balcony( good thing she didn't drop it in the house).i had a german shepherd before, and im inlove with the breed, i wanted again one, but it happened for one friend to have akita puppies, so i didn't say no.is big difference between these 2 breeds, but each one is special in it's own way, akina stood next to my bed all morning when i was trying to catch some more sleep.she doesn't play with things that don't belong t her. i nottinced she very fast learner, but only on her own interess.i tried to trick her with a little dog food.if she got it as a trick she's quiting the idea.smart dogs


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello All!

Thank you for taking the time to comment and tell me about your Akita babies. They truly are amazing animals. I appreciate all of your insights and understand your frustrations. Raising any dog, especially Akita's, is like raising a child. They need constant discipline and praise as well as clear and consistent expectations. I am currently without an Akita in our home because of our attention to the Golden Retrievers and breeding them. I do not have the proper amount of time to devote to an Akita nor the room. Four Goldens take up a lot of space and our house isn't that big. (=

I apologize for not getting in here sooner and properly responding to all of your wonderful comments. Thanks again for sharing and all the best to all of you.

SAHD


Anh Pham Azam 6 years ago

Hey, I want to know, can akita's withstand cold like Canada - outside? And can akita withstand hot weather like Houston - outside? What do they prefer better. Thank you so much for your time.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Akita's are definitely better built for cold weather. Their coat is very thick. I lived in Illinois with my first Akita and he slept in the snow during the day. It probably wasn't as cold as it gets in Canada, but I am sure he would do fine.

As for a warmer climate, I owned an Akita here in Georgia as well for 6 years. He did not like the heat, but he could tolerate it long enough to go out and use the bathroom. He slept on one of the floor vents most of the time when it was hot.

Hope this helps...


Shogun's mom/Reno, NV 6 years ago

Love and laugh at all the stories and info bits. Shogun is now 19 mos. old. Just abit over 100lbs. His left ear stands up only when he is checking something or someone out. I don't really care if it never stands up. Gives Shogun a more loveable bear face. I let him run loose in a closed off field (gotta get them birds). He does not wander far, if he can't see me he comes looking, spots me and off he goes again. Shogun is such a clown at times. You can always tell when he gets that devilish look in his eyes...it's hard to get mad at him when he does get into something. I did teach him one trick, he has learned how to open his crate/toy box. It only took about a day and a half. And, Yes, he is a mama's boy from the tip of his curly tail to that kissable nose.

Love and kisses to all you Akita lovers.


Kathy Kron 5 years ago

I too love Akita's though both have passed. I need to ask you a question but want to preface by saying that my intent is not to be mean. Why did you leave your first Akita behind when you moved to Georgia? As a child my family was very mobile and we ALWAYS moved (1,000 -2,000 miles several times) with a large dog, two children and several cats - and this was before they had vans. I understand when people move to another country where there is a quarantine (sp?), but I don't understand it at all when it's just cross-country. Although you left him with a familiar person and in a familiar setting, as you know most dogs (and especially Akita's) bond forever with their "first love". Did you keep in touch with your friend and follow the dog through his life? If you did I would like to hear that he lived out the rest of his life in great happiness. Again, I don't mean to be mean, pass judgement or make you feel sad or guilty, but I'm trying to understand. I also want to impress upon others who read this that if you really love your dog please make every effort to take your dog (and cats) with you. You may be able to justify that it is in their best interest, but animals do not rationalize like we do, all they know is that the one they love the most has left them and they feel a sense of abondonment that many never get over. If people can move with children or even move with so much as a couch - they can move with a dog(s).

Have you ever seen the movie "Hatchi"? It stars Richard Geer and Joan Allen and it's about an - you guessed it- an Akita named Hatchi. The movie would be considered by most quite boring simply because it's told (in a way) from the dog's point of view. Still, it is a moving testament to the loyalty of this breed. The story is in fact based upon a true story of an Akita that lived in the early 1900's in Japan. As a fellow Akita lover I recommend it - it is very touching and real. Kathy


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Kathy!

You ask a great question and I should have addressed this when I wrote this hub. Here is the (not so) short answer.

I lived on a 1500 acre farm in Illinois. My beautiful boy Kodi was free to roam the countryside and was rarely ever penned up. My closest neighbor was over a mile away and he would wander over there, every now and then, to romp through the pasture with their Australian Shepherd. We was such a great dog.

There were a few circumstances in play when I moved to Georgia that were out of my control and were not in Kodi's best interest. I had no plans to move that summer, but a teaching job that was absolutely perfect fell into my lap (it was definitely God's handiwork). Having almost no time to search for a place to live, my best friend (who helped me get the interview) graciously offered me a room at his place until I could find my own.

My friend had a small house, a small yard, and a small dog named Stanley. Stanley was an evil little thing that really didn't like anyone and I knew Kodi would have a major problem with him if Stanley tried to bit me or showed any aggression towards me. For the record, I had been bitten by Stanley on a prior visit, so we had a little history. I did not like Stanley.

On top of that, my friend's wife would not allow Kodi to stay inside. That meant he would have to be penned or tied out in their tiny yard that had no fence. Illinois does not get very hot in the summer (compared to Georgia) and I felt it would be very unfair to uproot Kodi and subject him to such a miserable existence, even if it was temporary.

Luckily, a good friend was interested in renting the farm house in which I lived with Kodi. He and his wife fell in love with Kodi and asked me to leave him with them. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but in the end it was the best one for Kodi.

I went back to see him about one year after I left. I was unsure if he would remember me. I was even driving a different vehicle. As I pulled in the drive, he ran up to the door and followed me until I stopped, just like he does for any car that comes in, and as soon as I opened the door he lit up! It was just like old times and we wrestled in the snow for 20 minutes. I was so glad that he remembered me and I am pleased to report that he looked great. He is loved and well cared for with his new family.

And that, is why I left him in Illinois. I had actually thought about trying to bring him down after I got my own place, but he was doing so well with his new family I couldn't do it. It would have been very unfair and selfish of me.

And that... is the rest of the story.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment and thanks for the movie tip. I plan to watch it as soon as Netflix can get it to me.

All the best in 2011! -SHD


Bears Mummy 5 years ago

Dear SAHD - your story has brought a tear to my eye. I can not even begin to imagine how heart broken you must have been to leave your baby behind, I love my boy more than words can say and my heart goes out to you. Bear now has a new sister to love and play with and her name is Mooshi. She is now 8 months old and is a Tibetan Mastiff. If anyone thinks Akita's can be stubborn and wilfull you haven't seen anything until you raise a Tibby. She is however the apple of Bear's eye and they are joined at the tail!! He cleans her face every morning, brings her his toys and treats and moves out of the way to let her eat his food!! Bear has however developed a Big Brother syndrome and sadly now can not be let off lead if Moo is about as he has shown his aggressive and protective side by growling and bearing his teeth to other dogs. So off to training we went and is doing much, much better but unfortunately has not done himself any favors in the freedome stakes. Never mind, he is still loved beyond belief and is still my Boo Boo who will cry if you cry and is the happiest boy when you come home and such a chatter box!! Love to all. Bears Mummy.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Hey There Bears Mummy! Good to hear from you again!

Much has changed since I wrote this hub. My beautiful boy Kodi (the Akita for whom I wrote this hub) has passed on. If you read through the comments you may have seen that we added a third Kodi to our family. He was only with us for a few months because we found out my wife was pregnant right after we brought him home. And... the gentleman who now owns him had lost his boy after 14 years and our third Kodi looks exactly like the one he lost. We just had to offer our Kodi to him and he was very grateful.

Well, just before out little girl was born we rescued a young bull mastiff male. We had never had a bully, but I had always been intrigued by them. He was a wonderful dog and much loved, but he was quite different from our Kodi. We also have English Cream Golden Retrievers (2 females and a male). We breed them, and our male did not like having our bully around. He constantly went after him and violently attacked him. We soon realized that we needed to find him a new home before someone got hurt. Check out our website when you get a chance at www.babyfacegoldens.com.

On a whim, around my birthday in mid-january, I went online to see if there were any female Akita pups in our area. I really missed my Kodi bear. I found a beautiful little female not far from my house and I just had to have her. Luckily, my wife is tolerant of my dog obsession and we brought little Dakota home. I've never had a female Akita, and there are some little differences, but she is everything I love about Akitas and quickly winning us over. I will definitely write a hub about her when she is a little older. Hopefully, the information will help someone considering an Akita and unsure of which sex to choose.

I looked up the Tibetan Mastiff. WOW! What a magnificent looking animal! I am definitely interested in your experience with her and would love to see pictures and a hub about her someday. Are you on Facebook? We could keep up with our pups there as well. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10000017405...

Hope all is well in the UK and take care of yourself. -SAHD


Bears Mummy 5 years ago

Hi SAHD!! Yes on Face Book and will add you as a friend!! You will be able to see pics of both the babies...must get some new ones on there this morning. Did your bear babies talk all the time? I think its called chowing or something like that. Bear is always talking.....when i come home he talks, when moo is being mean to him he talks, when he wants to play with her he talks. i must try and video it, he makes me laugh! In fact when we turned the lights out for bedtime last night we lay there in the dark laughing as bear was 'talking' in his sleep!!!

Sooo happy to hear you have a new lady (LOL) in your life, I know mine would be empty withouy my two.

See ya on FB soon!!!


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 5 years ago from Georgia Author

My Akita's were all talkers... especially Kodi II. It is such a unique trait. My little lady is "talking" to me at this very moment. I think she is ready to go outside or she is hungry. BRB

Ok... she needed to go outside. I am amazed at how quickly she has learned to let me know when she has to go out. She is just barely 4 months old. I have always been impressed with how quickly Akita's house train.

Look forward to keeping up with you on FB and hope all is well in the UK.


Bears Mummy 5 years ago

Just been on your Baby Face web site, you must send me a puppy!!! lol. Gorgeous. I'll be on Face Book this weekend and add you as a friend. Crufts is on starting tonight and I cant miss that for anything. LOL!

When Mooshi wants to go outside she knocks on the door!! And then she knocks again to get back it. Bear just stands there looking at you with his Boo Boo face as we call it. He is such a sucky baby for an Akita. makes me laugh.

Cant wait to get back home from work, the sun is shining here and we are taking the kids (dogs we dont have human children sadly) to their favorite woods for a walk. Then its dinner, glass of wine and Crufts. Bliss. You must think me insane!


neil 5 years ago

hi stay at home dad

loved reading your page on how to train akita pup, i just got one yesterday , she is lovely thing is she is 9months old , and came from a house with children , very friendly but very excitable , this could do with being new to me and my house?? , any advice on how to deal with this , thanks


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Neil!

Congratulations on your new Akita baby. I, too, have a 9 month old female Akita in my home and I know exactly what you are talking about. This is my first female Akita, so I am learning as I go, but her general disposition and attitude is still very similar to the boys I've had. My baby girl, Dakota, has just gone into heat for the first time and she is very excitable and a little grouchy right now.

I cannot stress the importance of the submission exercise I talked about in this hub. Akitas are very smart and they expect to be in charge. She must learn the chain of command and be reminded of her place periodically or she will assume she is in charge. Unlike other breeds, Akitas often think they know better than you how to handle any given situation, and she will take the lead if she has not been taught to look to you for guidance. Do not put off the submission training and be very firm. My wife used to get upset with me because she thought I was too rough with my male Kodi. It was only after she saw the results of my efforts that she understood what I was doing was not hurting Kodi and was completely necessary.

Do not be surprised or concerned if she decides to challenge your authority from time to time. Take those challenges very seriously and address them immediately. Akitas are wonderful dogs and excellent protectors, and they want to know what you expect of them.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but my experience has been consistent with what I have read and what other Akita owners have told me about their dogs.

I wish you the best with your new Akita and thanks for reading this hub. =)


attdivaSo  5 years ago

So nice to read all of your stories. I do have a male Akita that I adore. We got him at 2 months ,felt in love with him at hello! His name is Kobe. The movie Hachie was so good! He does a lot of things like him. Funny like he love to look at us his head upside now! Look at us in the eyes...n yes love to suck on our hands or just hold it in his mouth. He is now 6 months n he is a joy. Potty train at 3 months, n know all the command at 4 ...walk nicely with us.My only question is I need to socialize him...I was in an area with not much dogs but now its changing. How do we start the first fews times? I am so scare he will jump on a dog n I wont be able to restraint him. He does live with 2 other dogs n 2 cats n is gentle. Do I over worry? n also do they grown until 1 years old usually or stop before. Its doesn't matter ,,,just wondering. He is huge already n its ok. More to love!


Bears Mummy 5 years ago

Hello attdivaSo - I can not stress enough the HUGE importance of socializing your Kobe, this is something you MUST DO!! There is no other way to say it other than do it and do it now. First of all if you are scared that Kobe will jump on another dog then you are showing him that there is something to actually be scared of, you must NEVER do this with an Akita, or any other dog for that matter. They will pick up on your fear and try to protect you, that is wrong, you are there to protect them, you are the pack leader and not the other way around, ever. Yes you over worry, and I am sorry if I am sounding harsh but if you have ever had an Akita before you know what i mean and if you have not then you need to know, sooner rather than later. Akita's need LOADS of interaction with all types of dogs, male, female, small and large and all of those experiences need to be positive, he will look to you for this. When he has good interaction with another dog make sure you praise him and reward him immediately. If it is a negative reaction he shows then a very firm no is required again immediately. If he shows signs of being aggressive, as the majority of Akita's eventually do then you must keep him on a long leash, and continue to reward, praise and correct where needed. My Bear was off lead, daily with a lots and lots of dogs and did great until he was 15 months old and we got a puppy, he then developed big brother syndrome and now is not allowed off lead. This is something we accept and work with. I do not know of many akita's that remain off lead all of their lives, especially males, they are few and far between. Also Akitas have selective hearing, in other words they like to do what they want to do when they want to do it and generally have terrible recall when out in the park or are running free so I also recommend you take Kobe to obedience classes sooner rather than later, this will also strenghten your bond. Now I am not saying all Akita's are the same, but 9/10 owners will be able to relate with what I am saying. You MUST solcialize him now and be prepared for the day when he is no longer able to be off lead. My Bear has never damaged another dog but he has pinned one down, only the one and it was only pinning it down but that was enough for me to say 'this is the day Bear lost is freedom of being off lead'. Good luck, all the best and Akita's are the most amazing breed, they talk, they lean in for cuddles, they are clever and happy babies. BTY - bear is 2 and still growing and filling out.


Gerti's Mom 4 years ago

What a great post. We added an Akita to our family two years ago. She was a rescue dog and we were a bit unsure how she would do with our 3 children. We found out that she enjoyed being a member of our family, you would have thought she was ours from puppyhood. She had big paw prints to fill after our Chow passed after 14 years. We love Gerti and she is the best dog, I agree that Akita's could be a great oh for anyone willing to invest time and love.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Gerti's Mom!

God bless you for taking in an Akita rescue! She will be a blessing to your family. I am going to add a new male Akita baby to my family this weekend. I cannot tell you how excited I am and I will definitely write a hub about him before long.

Have a great week!


Sue Herdman 4 years ago

Hi, I'm thinking of getting an Akita, i have done a lot of research so know what's in store. Would you advise me getting a Labrador puppy at the same time so they can grow up togther.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Sue!

This is a very good question. I raised my Kodi with a golden retriever (Max). They were born one day apart, so they were as close in age as you could get. They were both male and acted just like brothers. We had them both neutered, but the inevitable happened and the boys had a few good battles to establish the alpha. Kodi was always the winner of the battles, and though their fights sounded vicious, Kodi never made a mark on Max.

So... to answer your question more directly, raising them together will definitely increase the odds of them getting along as adults. My Kodi never had an issue with any dog, as long as that dog understood it's place.

I am also not sure how the dynamic would change if you are talking about a female Akita instead or if you the Lab is the opposite sex of the Akita.

If you decide to go for it, just do so knowing that there is a chance for conflict. I would also choose the Akita very carefully. My new little guy has a wonderful temperament. I did a lot of research and choose my breeder very carefully based on temperament. Paying a little more for a high quality breeder will save you much frustration in the future.

Best of luck to you and your new babies. There really is no dog like an Akita. =)


Sue 4 years ago

Thanks for your reply, we live on a farm and the hardest thing for me to accept is that our Akita will never be able to run free and explore. We had an Akita which we did everything wrong with, we loved her too much and she was the Alpha, she ended up killing our neighbours 2 Jack Russells, they showed their teeth and came at us and she was just protecting us. We had to have her put down. I have read everything i can on Akitas, and i now know that she will never be of the lead and we will have to get a large secure area for her to runaround in. She did what your Kodi did and check everyone was in bed at night then lay on the 1st landing to protect us, she loved to hold your hand gently in her mouth when crossing the road. I miss her so much. But need to think seriously before getting another.


Phillip 4 years ago

Great post, my family and I are currently looking into an Akita as we speak. We have 2 dogs at home now, a french bulldog male and cocker spaniel female, they get along great and never fight, they share the same food bowl, eat together, play together, sleep together you name it.

You mentioned temperament in one of your replies and paying a lil extra for that great puppy. My question however is how do you research that? Anyone can say their puppies are of great temperament but how can you really know?

If theres any advice you can give, it will greatly be appreciated.

Also thank you for the great tips and advice you shared. Will definitely be using those techniques once we have found out Akita!


dog rules 4 years ago

I was reading and Akita Mommy, NO, this behavior is very bad for an Akita. Quick correction, without words,pinch the neck of the Akita like a bite.... Make a noise that means no, a growl something. If this were a child the dog could easily cause damage. Akita's are very smart so it shouldn't take more than a day or two days to stop this behavior. Their mother does not allow it so their owner should not...

I have two mixed Akita/Cane's, one is very much Akita the other is very Cane. One used to like to take my hand in her mouth (gently) but I stopped that cause she is awesome strong and I'm kind of little. They both however like to hold their leash in their mouth when walking lol. They have been trained and are only 1 year old but I know in my heart of hearts they will never be off leash girls. They live with three other dogs pretty well, only the Pug seems to bug them and it's because she is old (16) and grouchy. They love their Pom and the pom luvs them. The Rottie however, well she is a very good girl and teaches them the rules of the house. My Akita mixes were potty trained by 9 weeks old. I did a bad thing by taking on two litter mates (at 6 weeks old) thinking one would be homed and the pug would pass away. Guess what, the pug is still kicking and running the place and the puppies well, they are mine, they know it, my family knows it and I now have 5 dogs.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Phillip-

Sorry it has taken so long for a response from me. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to predict temperament. If possible, it is always a good idea to meet the parents of any pup you are considering. I have no way to prove my next statement, but it seems that dogs with champ bloodlines and/or parents that have participated in a show have a better disposition. This is not to say that an Akita that is not from champ bloodlines won't be a wonderful dog, but I have had experience with this and of the Akitas I have been privileged to own over the past 20 years, the two for which I paid big money had champ bloodlines and were excellent dogs. That being said, my first Akita was from a backyard breeder and he was a magnificent dog.

Bottom line with any dog is training. There is nothing more important than socializing at a young age and getting the puppy into as many new situations as possible. Teaching a young dog not to fear new sights, sounds, people and smells cannot be overstated.

I took my 11 week old Golden Retriever to the park for the first time yesterday. I also took my 14 week old Akita. Layla, the GR fought against the lead from the time we got out of the car, 'til we got to a bench. Kodi, my Akita, is used to getting out and he was very comfortable with the new experience. Layla was terrified at first, but it only took about 30 minutes for her to relax and understand that there was no danger. She enjoyed the attention from the kids at the park and within an hour was asleep under the bench. The transformation from terrified to comfortable was very obvious and a great reminder of the importance of taking pups as many new places as possible.

Best of luck with getting your new Akita. They really are amazing dogs.

Dog Rules-

I agree that it is probably not a bad idea to discourage the mouthing Akita Mommy wrote about, but I have never been concerned with my Akita's insistence of having my hand in his mouth. Every Akita I've ever had has done this. Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

~SAHD


severingmike 4 years ago

i found a 1 to 2 year old Akita in the pound and i was wondering if the would bond with my 4 year old daughter and my 3 cats and my 2 small dogs and my German Shepperd can anyone give me some advise plz


Bears Mummy 4 years ago

@severingmike: my suggestion would be to introduce them at the pound first if that is possible. obviously you cant do this with the cats but maybe the dog has been cat tested whilst at the pound? not sure about how they go about it across the pond. here in the uk dogs are usually dog and cat tested. it may be they all get along really nicely but there are so many factors to consider its hard to give a direct yes or no. im sure you understand. i would try if at all possible to make introductions outside the home over a number of weeks and if you feel confident then bring the akita home with constant supervision and boundaries until you feel comfortable to let all mix freely. do you have the time to take is slow?


pilar leo 4 years ago

I LOVE ANIMAL SO MUCH ,BUT I AGREE ABOUT AKITTAS ARE ONE OF THE BEST DOGS I EVER HAD,I HAVE 4 OF THEM NOW,I NEED HELP ,ONE OF THEM CAME FROM MY MON ,SHE JUST PASSAWAY AND DOG IS ABOUT 8 YEARS OLD ,BUT MY DOGS DONT WANT ACCEPT HIM ,I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO ,I CAN GIVE HIM AWAY IT BE SO HARD FOR HIM RIGHT NOW..


Dog Rules 4 years ago

Wow, Pilar sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I can understand your need to care for her beloved Akita. You didn't say if yours were males or females? There is a big difference. I have females and think they would be more willing to accept a male (he would be different). Me personally, I would keep the male separate when I wasn't home to supervise. When home I would start by figuring out which one is starting the ruckus. If it is the new male, tether him to you and start teaching him the "new rules". Do this only if you have control over your other three. I use noises and a swift (not painful) kick to get my two most energy dogs back in line. I still tether my highest energy puppy every night and make her lay down peacefully.

It takes a lot of work. Joining an only dog in with a group is hard. Don't give up yet. They are very smart. And as a side note, try not to feel sorry for him. You may both be grieving but he needs you to show him what you expect. Your others may sense your giving him more "luving" and they will try to stop that. Good luck. and again so sorry for your loss.


Dog Rules 4 years ago

Help! Last month I took "Little Puppy" (86 lb Akita/Cane mix) to the vet for what I thought were signs of hip dysplasia. The vet thinks her hips are fine but her back leg knees are bad. She has smaller back legs than front legs. She has a lot of trouble standing up (hardwood floors do not help at all). The vet thinks surgery on both her back knees may be necessary here soon. They are not blown yet but man she struggles. I found out that the owner of her parents went to great lengths to keep her alive. She was the runt and her mother refused to feed her for several days. He got some special mix and kept her alive and made the mom feed her and take her back. She couldn't walk like the other puppies and was a bit sneaky in getting food and toys.

I'm just heartbroken and soon to be broke fixing her legs. She is the sweetest and best behaved of all my dogs. She does like her walk but has to be monitored for fatigue. Last week I was trying to help her up and she tromped on my foot pretty good. Xrays showed no break but much bruising.

Anyone have experience with fixing both knees in the back legs? I still think they are wrong and its hips.


Dog Rules 4 years ago

Seems my post didn't make it. Does anyone have experience with double knee replacement on both back legs? My Little Puppy, sweety, needs both replaced.


auroara akita 4 years ago

Hello all and especially stay at home dad. I just purchased my first Akita pup, a beautiful brindle female (10 weeks old). I purchased her from a well respected breeder in Georgia with a lot of champions in her bloodline. I also live in Georgia south of Atlanta. I have breed and raised German Shepherds for 15 years and truly love them. After a long discussion with my wife and 10 year old daughter we decided to try the Akita. Were going on our second week with her( Auroara Jingle, we call her A.J) and couldn't be more pleased. She is awesome I immeadiatley began house training her by giving her a command every time we would go outside and she was housebroken within a week. She is playful but not to the point of annoying sometimes shepherd pups can be quite a handful. I have a male shepherd(5years old) who wlecomed her to the house once she rolled over and submitted to him. Im currently a Police Sergeant and have been a prior K-9 officer who has worked with extreme alpha dogs ( Belgian Malinios to be exact). I have began using your technique of rolling dogs on their back and holding them down for years, It works great, however I took several nasty bites from the adult K-9s when I would aquire them for service. I was wondering since this is my first Akita and it being a female what differences have you noticed between the male and female Akitas. Just for the record I think the Akita will be my new favorite dog.


Gail 3 years ago

I came on here all getting ready to thank you for this blog, but now i'm just upset. I don't understand, you got rid of your 2nd Akita so you could breed golden retrievers? Why, if he was so wonderful? Now i'm just really confused.


Stay at Home Dad profile image

Stay at Home Dad 3 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Gail!

I apologize for the confusion and for upsetting you. My second Akita is a wonderful boy and he is living with a man in Atlanta. The main reason I let him go, was because the man with whom he now lives had lost an Akita that looked just like my second Kodi. He is a single man and he lives for hiking with his Akita. I knew that Kodi II would have much more one on one time with his new owner than I could possibly provide. I have a young family, and my time is more devoted to my human babies.

I also knew that there could potentially be issues with a male, unaltered Golden being in the house and I did not want to take the chance of a conflict between the boys that would cause harm to either of them or my children.

I eventually found a way to have the best of both worlds. I now have 4 female Goldens and two males. The girls live with me, and the boys live with friends. My girls and my Akita get along just fine. =) Does this make sense?

I would definitely recommend an Akita to anyone willing to invest the time and effort to train him/her. I hope this clear things up a little. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

~SAHD

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