Are Akitas Good for First Time Owners? Everything You Need to Know

To truly understand Akitas, it’s essential to delve into their history and origin. Akitas have their roots in Japan, where they were originally bred for guarding and hunting purposes. They were highly valued for their strength, loyalty, and courage. Over time, Akitas have gained popularity worldwide and have become cherished companions and family pets.

1.2 Akita’s Characteristics

One cannot help but be captivated by the Akita’s majestic appearance. With their thick double coat, powerful build, and curled tail, they exude strength and grace. Akitas come in various colors, including brindle, white, and red. However, their physical attributes are just the beginning of what makes them unique.

1.3 Akita’s Temperament

Temperament plays a crucial role in determining whether Akitas are suitable for first-time owners. Akitas are known for their loyalty, protectiveness, and independence. They are typically reserved and aloof around strangers, making them excellent watchdogs. However, they can also be gentle and affectionate towards their family members.

1.4 Akita’s Physical Features

Understanding the physical features of Akitas is essential for potential owners. These dogs are large and sturdy, with males weighing between 100-130 pounds and females ranging from 70-100 pounds. Their thick double coat requires regular grooming to maintain its health and beauty.

1.5 Common Health Issues in Akitas

Like any other breed, Akitas are prone to certain health issues. It is crucial for first-time owners to be aware of these potential concerns. Some common health issues in Akitas include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and autoimmune disorders. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help mitigate these risks.

2. Considerations for First Time Owners

2.1 Commitment and Time Requirements

Owning any dog requires commitment, but Akitas demand a particular level of dedication. They thrive on consistent routines and need ample time and attention from their owners. First-time owners must be prepared to invest time in training, socializing, and meeting their Akita’s exercise needs.

2.2 Training and Socialization Needs

Training and socialization are vital aspects of owning an Akita. Akitas are intelligent and independent thinkers, which can make training challenging at times. First-time owners should be patient, consistent, and use positive reinforcement techniques to train their Akitas effectively. Socialization from an early age is also crucial to ensure they are comfortable around people and other animals.

2.3 Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Akitas are active dogs that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Engaging in activities such as long walks, play sessions, and puzzle toys can help keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom. First-time owners should be prepared for a daily exercise routine to meet their Akita’s needs.

2.4 Handling Strong-Willed Personalities

Akitas are known for their strong-willed personalities and can be challenging to handle, especially for first-time owners. They require firm leadership and consistent boundaries. Training and socialization play a significant role in shaping their behavior, but it is essential for owners to be confident and assertive in guiding their Akita’s behavior.

2.5 Financial Considerations

Owning any pet comes with financial responsibilities, and Akitas are no exception. First-time owners should consider the cost of food, veterinary care, grooming supplies, and potential training expenses. It’s essential to be financially prepared to provide the best care for your Akita.

3. Pros and Cons of Owning an Akita as a First Time Owner

3.1 Advantages of Owning an Akita

Despite the challenges, there are several advantages to owning an Akita as a first-time owner. Akitas are incredibly loyal and protective of their families, making them excellent companions and watchdogs. Their majestic appearance and unique personality make them a source of pride for their owners.

3.2 Challenges of Owning an Akita

Owning an Akita as a first-time owner also comes with its fair share of challenges. Their independent nature and strong-willed personalities can be overwhelming for those who are not experienced with dog ownership. Proper training, socialization, and consistent leadership are essential to manage these challenges effectively.

4. Preparation Tips for First Time Akita Owners

4.1 Pet-proofing Your Home

Before bringing your Akita home, it’s crucial to pet-proof your living space. Akitas are known to explore and can be mischievous. Ensuring your home is safe and secure will prevent accidents and keep your Akita out of harm’s way.

4.2 Choosing the Right Akita Puppy

When selecting an Akita puppy, it’s essential to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes health and temperament. Evaluating the puppy’s behavior, observing the parents, and conducting thorough research will increase the chances of finding a well-suited companion.

4.3 Essential Supplies and Equipment

Stocking up on necessary supplies and equipment is crucial to provide a comfortable environment for your Akita. This includes items such as a sturdy leash and collar, food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, grooming tools, and appropriate toys.

4.4 Creating a Safe and Comfortable Space

Designating a safe and comfortable space for your Akita is essential. This includes providing a cozy bed, access to water, and a secure area where they can rest undisturbed.

4.5 Establishing a Routine

Akitas thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and training. This helps them feel secure and promotes good behavior.

5. Training and Socializing Your Akita

5.1 Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training is crucial for any dog, including Akitas. Teaching them commands such as sit, stay, and come not only enhances their behavior but also strengthens the bond between owner and dog.

5.2 Socialization with People and Other Animals

Early socialization is key to raising a well-adjusted Akita. Exposing them to different people, animals, and environments from a young age helps them develop confidence and ensures they interact positively with others.

5.3 Addressing Behavioral Issues

Akitas may display behavioral issues such as aggression or possessiveness if not properly trained and socialized. Understanding the breed’s tendencies and seeking professional help when needed will aid in addressing and managing any behavioral challenges that arise.

6. Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Akitas

6.1 Physical Exercise Needs

Akitas are active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and engaging in activities such as obedience training or agility can help meet their exercise needs.

6.2 Mental Stimulation Activities

In addition to physical exercise, Akitas also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions that challenge their intellect can provide the mental stimulation they need.

7. Health Care and Grooming for Akitas

7.1 Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Routine veterinary check-ups are essential to maintain your Akita’s health. Regular vaccinations, parasite prevention, and early detection of any health concerns are key to ensuring a long and happy life for your furry friend.

7.2 Vaccinations and Preventative Care

As with any dog, Akitas require regular vaccinations to protect against common diseases. Discussing a vaccination schedule with your veterinarian and following their recommendations is crucial.

7.3 Nutritional Needs and Dietary Considerations

Feeding your Akita a balanced and nutritious diet is vital for their overall health and well-being. Consulting with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and portion sizes for your Akita will help maintain their optimal weight and prevent health issues.

7.4 Grooming Routine and Coat Maintenance

Akitas have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. Brushing their coat a few times a week and periodic bathing will help minimize shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

8. Common Misconceptions about Akitas as First Time Pets

8.1 Akitas’ Aggression Reputation

Akitas have gained a reputation for being aggressive, but this perception is not entirely accurate. With proper training, socialization, and consistent leadership, Akitas can be well-behaved and gentle companions.

8.2 Akitas and Small Children

While Akitas can be loving and gentle with their families, caution should be exercised when introducing them to small children. Supervision and teaching children how to interact with dogs respectfully are crucial to prevent any potential incidents.

8.3 Akitas’ Adaptability to Different Lifestyles

Akitas are adaptable dogs, but they thrive in an environment that provides structure and routine. They may not be the best fit for those with very busy or unpredictable lifestyles.


Before deciding to bring an Akita into your life as a first-time owner, it is important to consider all aspects of their breed characteristics, temperament, training needs, exercise requirements, and potential challenges. While Akitas can be wonderful companions, they require dedicated time, effort, and a confident owner who can provide the structure and guidance they need. With proper care, training, and socialization, Akitas can thrive in a loving home and bring joy and companionship to their owners for many years to come.

ThePetFaq Team