Akita: A Puppy You’ll Forever Love

The beautiful country of Japan has given the world such wonders as Sushi, the Selfie Stick (thank you!), and the QR Code. Here at Petland Kansas City, we want to thank Japan for giving us our personal favorite—the Akita! The Akita is a large, purebred dog famous for its dignity, courage, and unyielding loyalty. Akitas […]

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The beautiful country of Japan has given the world such wonders as Sushi, the Selfie Stick (thank you!), and the QR Code. Here at Petland Kansas City, we want to thank Japan for giving us our personal favorite—the Akita!

A cute row of Akita puppies stretch out on a white background.

The Akita is a large, purebred dog famous for its dignity, courage, and unyielding loyalty. Akitas are one of our favorite dog breeds. They’re patient and loving towards children. And they have fierce watchdog instincts. This makes the Akita an ideal family dog. Akitas offer both companionship and protection to their families. 

Read on to learn about the Akita’s personality, temperament, and trainability. And everything else that has convinced us the Akita is a puppy you’ll love just as much as we do!

An Akita has a cream and pinto coat, pointy ears, and a curly tail as it stands next to its owner on an autumn day.


As a large dog from the “working group” of canine companions, the Akita stands 24 – 28 inches tall. The males of this breed can weigh as much as 130 lbs. And the females tend to be smaller and lighter at roughly 70 – 100 lbs. Regardless of height and weight, the Akita has a grand presence thanks to its muscular physique and thick, bushy fur. Its tail curls up over its lower back. And it has an alert, discerning facial expression. 

Akitas in good health can live up to 14 years, which is longer than the average lifespan of a dog. In Japan, Akitas have become symbols of good health, happiness, and living a long life. This breed resembles the Spitz canine family. The Akita’s appearance and temperament help this companion breed to be a formidable warning to trespassers. This speaks to the Akita’s keen intuition and high degree of loyalty.

A little girl in pigtails lays on the floor and pets an Akita to show that the Akita dog breed is good with children.


Dog breeds that have been deemed and used as “watchdogs” share specific characteristics, of which the Akita also possesses. The main characteristic is that the Akita will be loving, playful, and highly affectionate with its human family. Akitas regard strangers with a cautious eye. And they are ever ready to protect their families if a stranger poses a threat. 

For this reason, Akita owners are advised to provide ample socialization to their Akita throughout its puppyhood. By exposing your Akita to new people, places, and things while your puppy is developing, you can help shape its temperament to be calm and tolerant towards strangers. Opportunities for socialization occur during every walk around the block. We recommend that you take some dog treats along. Ask neighbors and pedestrians to interact with and pet your puppy Akita. And promptly reward your fur baby with a treat for its friendly, mellow behavior. 

The Akita is a wonderful family dog. But if you have young children, be sure to teach them how to interact with your new Akita puppy. Children should always respect the Akita’s space during mealtime and never infringe on or touch the Akita’s food bowl. We recommend that new puppy owners respect the innate personality of their Akitas. Train their puppy Akitas. And miss no opportunity to socialize their newest family member. These owners will end up with an adult Akita that is highly affectionate towards the family. Well-behaved with new people. And self-controlled with strangers and other dogs when it encounters them on walks and at dog parks. 

A family pets their Akita as they play in the autumn leaves on a crisp day in October.


Did you know that there’s such a thing as a “Dog IQ”? Just as humans can be tested for their intelligence, dogs are as well. What’s interesting about the Akita is that though the breed ranks at #53 in intelligence, it exhibits a kind of “street smarts” unique to some watchdog breeds. This is the result of the Akita’s faithfulness to owners, intuition, and ability to discern threatening versus non-threatening situations. Many Akita owners will insist that their Akitas are way smarter than a #53 Dog IQ position. And we at Petland Kansas City would tend to agree! 

We’ve seen this most frequently during Akita puppy training. Akita’s are eager to please their owners, and this quality aids in successful puppy training. If you bring home an Akita puppy, you’ll quickly discover the bonding potential of puppy training. You can train your Akita at home or bring him to a professional puppy training program. Like the one offered at Petland Kansas City. We’d like to mention, if you get your Akita puppy from our location in Overland Park, you’ll also receive 6 Weeks of puppy training for free! 

With the Akita dog breed, you’ll find that you can train your Akita far beyond the basic commands. This faithful, loyal, and eager dog breed will gladly learn your house rules. Your Akita will quickly pick up on your wishes, and happily assist you in any way it can! Many Akita owners who enjoy taking their Akita on hiking and camping trips have found that they can establish rules of conduct for their dogs. This enables their Akitas to accompany them completely off leash without the risk of disobedience!


The Akita dog breed enjoys hiking and swimming in the great outdoors, looking out across a stream in the wilderness.


Akitas are strong, energetic, and active dogs. Since they belong with the “working group” of dogs as established by the American Kennel Association, this indicates that an Akita can handle rigorous outdoor exercise and activities. The Akita dog breed needs about 2 hours of daily exercise. For runners and joggers, you’ll have an excellent jogging partner if you get an Akita. Akitas are also known to enjoy swimming, and they can withstand cold temperatures, which makes them great for companions while you cross-country ski, snowshoe, or go for wintertime walks and hikes. 

As a playful family dog, the Akita also loves to play with its family in the backyard, whether it be games of fetch, tug-of-war, or just rolling around with the kids in the snow to make snow angels. Akitas show their families their exuberant and sometimes “goofy” sides during playtime, which also helps them burn off energy to meet their exercise requirements. 

Mental exercise and stimulation is also a consideration for Akitas. This is why they really sink their teeth into training and learning things in order to be an excellent and true companion to their families. You can also satisfy your Akita’s need for mental stimulation by giving him a dog puzzle, Kong toy, or other game that he can engage with solo.   

An mature, older woman sitting on a blue couch snuggles with her purebred American Kennel Club registered dog.


The Akita has a thick, coarse, double-layer of fur that’s neither long nor very short. It’s best described as “dense.” This thick coat protects the Akita from harsh climates, both very hot and very cold, as the fur will buffer the heat of the day and also insulate the body warmth of the dog when it’s freezing out. 

Due to the texture of the fur, Akitas should be brushed regularly to remove fur and help reduce shedding around the house. Akitas that go unbrushed can end up with dirty, matted fur that’s difficult to deal with. Akitas also require regular bathing. Depending on how much time your Akita spends outdoors, you may find that bathing him once per week is necessary. Most Akita owners bathe their dogs once every six weeks, however. 

And many owners opt to take their Akitas to professional dog groomers that have the tools and ability to wash their dogs to the skin by either submersion or power washing. Without these special grooming tools, it can be virtually impossible to wet the fur down to the skin, because the coat is so thick and coarse. Akitas never need haircuts or trims, because their fur does not continue to grow past its genetic length of about an inch. Our last tip regarding grooming your Akita is that, no matter how hot the temperatures get outside, never shave your Akita. Your Akitas fur is designed to keep him cool during the summertime, thick as it may be. 

A dog sits loyally next to a mother and son as they relax in their living room, showing one of the best dog breeds for families.


Akitas do best with older children and can easily get along with other dogs when those dogs are residents prior to the Akita puppy coming home. Since Akitas are naturally territorial and protective, if you add another puppy to your home once your Akita is fully grown, this will spell trouble, as Akitas are not tolerant of new dogs that enter their “territory.” The same applies for bringing cats and other pets into the home. 

An Akita is right for you and your family if you trust your children can learn how to treat and interact with the Akita puppy. If you have babies or very young children, be sure to never leave your children alone with your Akita. Akita’s are loving, loyal dogs, but could get hyper or confused by a screaming or crying child. It’s always best to supervise your Akita around your children and vice versa. 

Petland Kansas City’s opinion as to whether the Akita purebred dog breed will be the best choice for your family boils down to how active your family is, as the Akita requires a substantial amount of daily exercise and outdoor time. If you and your family enjoy family hiking trips, long walks around the local park, and if you or other members of your family want a furry jogging partner, then you’ll love the companionship of an Akita! 

Interested in meeting our Akita puppies? Stop by Petland Kansas City in Overland Park and our knowledgeable pet counselors will love to introduce you to our playful Akitas, as well as other breeds that may best match the lifestyle of you and your family! Our Akitas are American Kennel Club registered and certified.

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