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12 Akita Pros & Cons – Vet-Reviewed Facts

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

akita dog standing outdoor

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Regarding the beautiful, stunning Akita, we’ve listed more cons than pros. That’s not because this breed is exceptionally exquisite in every way. It simply means that Akitas are for more experienced dog owners; you must be well-versed in canine behavior before you take one on.

Finding the correct breed for your experience level is extremely important, and we wanted to give you a lot to think about. If you choose to bring the Akita to your home, now you can understand your responsibility, and the particular breed will acclimate into your home life.

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Akita Pros

1. Akitas Are Incredibly Loyal to Owners

It’s hard to find a dog as loyal as an Akita. Unwaveringly, they seek the approval and company of those they imprint on. These dogs will warm your hearts with their affection for you. Appreciate the companionship with their humans. Once you bond with your Akita, imagining your life without them will be hard.

Akitas are fiercely protective of those they love. Since they bond so heavily, it isn’t uncommon for them to have a favorite person. While this might be challenging with you and others in the home, it’s certainly not in anyone’s control. We can’t always foresee how we will get along with the pets we bring into our lives.

But one thing is for certain, if you live in the home with them, you will be protected and loved regardless.

akita dog with his male owner
Image Credit: Jannissimo, Shutterstock

2. Akitas Can Make Amazing Guardians

The Akita is a top contender if you are looking for a household protector! They will protect their household with their last breath. The breed is certainly perfect for the task. However, they need training early on to make immaculate guard dogs.

This will help with their discernment so they can learn commands and obedience. These dogs are hardwired to protect those they love, so it’s up to the owners to give them the resources they need to thrive in the role.

3. Akitas Are Highly Intelligent

You’ll certainly have an intelligent pup if you get an Akita. Even though they are sometimes headstrong, their mental capacity creates a very opportunistic trainee. Most Akitas love making their owners happy, so they do very well with proper guidance.

Sometimes, enrolling your Akita in a training course can greatly benefit your daily structure. These dogs are incredibly strong-willed and will challenge your authority. Having the proper training tools necessary to assert yourself in that situation is a terrific relationship enhancement.

Plus, professional training based on positive reinforcement encourages good behavior with the use of rewards. Akitas are very dominant, strong dogs and these teachings can alleviate some challenging behavioral tendencies in the breed.

4. Akitas Are Very Affectionate

When an Akita likes you, they’re going to be extremely affectionate. You’ll have a furry snuggle buddy to partner up with on cold nights and a dog that loves to cuddle up with you on the couch. You’ll never lack love with your Akita around!

However, what’s interesting about the Akita is they are very selective about who they cuddle with. If you are a member of their regular household, they probably will thrive, showing you deep levels of affection.

However, if you come and go or don’t live with the Akita, forming a relationship close enough to foster cuddling is much more unlikely.

akita dog with her owner on the couch
Image Credit: Viktoriia Hnatiuk, Shutterstock

5. Akitas Save Good Energy for Their Families

These dogs are wary of strangers, but they make up for it with the love and devotion they give to their owners. The amount of affection your Akita shows you express the love and trust they have built with you over time. Your relationship means very much to them, and they will gladly devote their lives to ensure your safety and happiness.

All the cuddles, kisses, and good times are reserved for their family and their family alone. Even Akitas that are not aggressive with strangers can be very aloof towards them, paying them next to no mind. However, they blossom around those comfortable, communicating, playing, and existing with their pack.

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Akita Cons

Now that we have the good stuff all out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks. While owning an Akita can be very alluring because of its stunning appearance and their mental capacity, it’s not for everyone. Many folks are not up for the task and with good reason.

In order to properly care for your Akita, you have to be aware of the unique challenges that come along with them. Owning these dogs is a big responsibility, as they often don’t get along with outsiders. If you are in a position where you are forced to be around people on a pretty consistent basis, it can prove to be problematic if the situation isn’t handled correctly.

Plus, these dogs are a little high maintenance. Let’s discuss it more below.

6. Akitas Shed a LOT!

Suppose you have taken a look at the Akitas coat and thought, wow! That looks like a lot of maintenance. you’re right! The Akita sheds quite a lot, making grooming rather time-consuming. They will have a blowout twice a year when seasons start to change.

For some, this can be a lot to manage. If you don’t like the bulk of the hair on your fabrics and furniture, we suggest getting a breed that sheds less.

However, if you are devoted to the breed, you can make it work. Some people don’t care as much about having little plumes of their pup’s fur on them. If anything, it signals some deep-seated affection.

All the ways you could feel towards shedding are completely valid. However, some people are very tidy or even slightly allergic to dogs, and you can’t have all that pet hair hanging around. Ultimately, you have to decide if the excessive shed is something you will be okay with long term.

7. Akitas Can Be Aggressive

Akitas are naturally protective dogs. Whether it be toward other animals or even people, certain Akitas can become aggressive. Unfortunately, this trait isn’t always a learned behavior; sometimes, it’s just part of them.

When we say that Akitas can be aggressive, we want to be clear on what exactly that means. They are typically just aloof towards strangers. They typically bear them no mind and don’t go out of their way to make friends with new faces. However, that doesn’t mean they will rough up the stranger.

The only thing we want to stress is that when an Akita is around someone unfamiliar, they’re going to be on high alert. They develop trust very slowly and won’t miss a cue if they feel like this person is a threat to the family.

Some body language coming from humans can trigger a dog. Even if you think it’s unwarranted, that dog senses a potential danger and is doing nothing more than trying to protect their family. The problem with that is if your dog doesn’t have good discernment and reacts poorly in that type of situation, it could have dire consequences.

So as an Akita owner, you have a moral obligation to strangers to ensure their safety around your pet. Sometimes this can seriously limit or impact the activities you do with your dog. After all, you might not want to take a dog inclined towards an aggressive reaction to a dog park or any other social outing.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the likelihood of your Akita showing some aggression so that you can plan for that accordingly.

aggressive akita dog barking in the snow
Image Credit: kamily1, Shutterstock

8. Akitas Don’t Always Acclimate to Other Pets

Akitas don’t always play well with others. Even when Akitas are socialized with other dogs, sometimes they can face issues or same-sex aggression later in life. These issues typically occur after the age of sexual maturity. Since Akitas tend to be territorial, welcoming a new dog into the household is even harder.

Essentially, the earlier you acclimate, the better, but some will never adapt to life with other dogs without there being a scuffle now and again. Still, these dogs have an incredible pack mentality and will likely thrive in companionships that started early.

However, you might have trouble introducing new members into the home. Once an Akita forms bonds, it is hard to break that mentality. So, any disruption in the normal routine can cause some confusion or jealousy. It’s important to consider if you’re bringing any new pets into the home in the next several years. One potential remedy for this would be to purchase the Akitas simultaneously so they can grow up together.

Akitas have a pretty high prey drive so that often makes them incompatible with smaller pets. Some Akitas that are raised alongside the house cat might have fun with them. However, that’s not to say that they can’t trigger your Akita’s prey drive one day. Always exercise caution when your Akita is around any smaller pets, just to err on the side of caution.

9. Akitas Are Notoriously Hard to Train

Akitas are bright, and it certainly works in their favor. We have to give them credit where credit is due. If you allow your Akita, they can easily outsmart you at every turn. Because of this deep intelligence and inclination toward prideful behavior, your Akita can give you a run for your money.

It takes a special kind of person to create a suitable training relationship. Many first-time Akita owners find that they need help navigating the situation, so they consult professionals to gather the right resources.

Because of your Akita’s natural desire to learn, some will be easier to train than others. The best thing you can do is find the best training method for your Akita and stay consistent.

10. Akitas Aren’t the Best Breed for Hot Climates

Akitas have extremely thick double coats. Let’s see what we have. They absolutely thrive in cold weather. But that’s just not the case where temperatures are toasty regularly.

Akitas don’t cope too well with warm weather and, as a general rule, they should not be walked in temperatures above 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Suppose you want your Akita to exert themselves in any way, whether it be a long hike, a jog, or another strenuous activity. In that case, the temperature should not be above 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is definitely a cold-weather dog, and their coat reflects that. There are, unfortunately, several states that simply get too hot for the Akita to thrive comfortably. So always make sure to make the best decision when you’re buying a breed with special living requirements.

akita dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Anna Goroshnikova, Shutterstock

11. Akitas Do Not Make Good First-Time Pets

Akitas are incredibly willful creatures, and are not for the faint of heart. They are particularly challenging, to say the least. But we want to stress that the breed is equally as rewarding to own. An Akita just might not be the best place to start if you are an inexperienced dog owner.

You can learn so much from an Akita; it just shouldn’t be your introduction to pet ownership. If you are an experienced owner but have trouble with your Ankita, never be afraid to seek behavioral help. Sending your dog to training will help both of you navigate a respectful relationship.

12. Akitas Have a High Prey Drive

Akitas are hunters at heart. While this is impressive in some regards, it’s incredibly damaging in others. Unfortunately, a prey drive is a behavior that simply cannot be trained out of a dog. You can come up with techniques to navigate a situation the best you can, but you can never break the dog of this instinct entirely.

It is permanently ingrained in their DNA. If you are afraid that you will put your current pets at risk, we highly recommend avoiding this breed. And these dogs are absolutely fearless. Initially, they were bred to hunt big game such as deer, elk, and black bears.

These courageous dogs are not afraid of anything, and they love the chase! If you have any potential animal in your home that could be at risk, you should think twice before bringing this dog home.

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Knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly about a breed is always good. Not every breed will be for every person. So doing the necessary research to make that call is excellent. We want to ensure we’re giving you the correct information so that you can make the best decision possible.

Akitas are amazing creatures with so much character. They fare very well with the right families. As long as you make sure that you can give your potential Akita the type of life they require, you will have a rewarding relationship.

Featured Image Credit: FunFamilyRu, Shutterstock

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