a powerful protector...

Akitas are large sized dogs, originating from Japan. They have big heads and strong features. With webbed feet, they are excellent swimmers and have been used by fishermen, hunters, ranchers, the Police and disability agencies (as service dogs).

Akitas are good watchdogs, rarely barking without reason, and are excellent guard dogs. They are very protective of their owners and will protect them from perceived dangers. Although not usually aggressive with people, they will be aggressive with their food and should be fed away from other pets and children.

Akitas are very dominant, can be aggressive with other dogs and like to be TOP dog. It is very important that these dogs are socialised early, and obedience trained. As the owner, you must be seen as the top dog if you are going to be successful in handling an Akita. Walks should always be on lead. This is a hunting dog! Akitas are usually fine with other household pets but will dominate them.

Akitas need company. They see their lot in life as the family guardian and so they need a family around most of the time. They do not like change, so if you are going away, rather than kennel them, you might be better off finding someone who will dog sit in your home.

These dogs present two main challenges for their owners. Firstly, they are not that easy to train, being headstrong and requiring considerable patience during their early life. They do, however, house train easily.

Secondly, they are huge shedders. Their entire coat literally falls out in clumps two to three times a year. They need daily brushing and are better suited to a warm bed in a kennel outside when their shedding is at its worst. Confining them to certain areas of the house will limit the amount of clean up you will have to do.

Regular exercise is important, preferably daily. With enough exercise, a good diet and plenty of attention, Akitas will live for about 12 years. Your Akita will reward you by 'talking' to you rather than barking, and by leading you, often by the wrist, to show you what it wants. Don't be surprised to find that your Akita takes your wrist gently in its mouth and leads you to the dog biscuits!

<ul> <li>Very large, heavy dog</li> <li>Great watch dog and guard dog</li> <li>Very protective and loving</li> <li>Can be aggressive</li> <li>Heavy shedder</li> </ul>