We take our
responsibility for placing one of our puppies in your home very seriously. We want to make sure that anyone who purchases a pup from us is clear about your part of the bargain and are devoted
to your duties as a responsible Akita owner. Please read this section over carefully before bringing an Akita puppy into your home.
Recognize the Commitment
ownership is not something to be entered into lightly. Owning a dog is a long-term emotional and financial commitment. Before deciding that a certain dog is right for you, you must make an honest
assessment as to whether your home is right for any dog.
- Evaluate Your Lifestyle. If you get a dog, he (or she) will become a part of your
life. You need to make sure that he's suited for your lifestyle. For example, if you are athletic, you will probably not be happy with a dog that has a low energy level. If you are extremely neat,
you will probably want a dog that doesn't shed much. All aspects of your family's life - hobbies, activities, personalities, schedules - should be evaluated before you get a
- Prepare Yourself. Get ready for your new friend before you bring him home, to make
sure the transition will be as smooth as possible. Buy food, treats, a collar and leash, toys, grooming tools and other necessities in advance so your dog or puppy will have everything he
- Make a Schedule. You and your family members should decide who will be responsible
for food, water, walking, exercise, clean-up and grooming. Post a schedule of tasks in a visible area of the house to remind everyone of their responsibilities.
- Dog-Proof Your Home. Prepare your home before your new dog arrives. Move breakables
or "chewables" to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious paws and noses. Block off any area of the house that you want off-limits to the dog. Put the lid down on your toilet and
your shoes up in your closet. Block access to any house or garden plants that may be toxic to dogs.
- Set a Containment Policy. It is essential that you have a secure method of keeping
your dog on your property. Check your fence for spots vulnerable to chewing or digging. If your yard is not fenced, consider a large dog run or invisible fencing. If your property is not fenced in
some way, stress to family members that the dog must be leashed at all times when taken outdoors.
- Get a Collar. Your dog should wear a flat leather or nylon collar with a buckle at
all times, except when in a crate. (The buckle can catch on the crate and cause injury.) The collar should be tight enough that it will not slide over the dog's ears, but loose enough that you can
fit two fingers between the collar and the dog's neck. Check the fit of the collar often, especially if you have a fast-growing puppy.
- Make a Bed. Every dog needs a quiet place to call his own. Create a comfortable
area, whether a crate, a mat or a pile of blankets, for your dog to go to when he needs rest or privacy.
- Buy Some Toys. Provide your dog with a variety of toys to prevent him from playing
with your socks and shoes, your morning paper, or your child's favorite doll. Get some toys that you and your dog can play with together. We strongly recommend Nylabone brand dog chew toys. NO
rawhide whatsoever, and no plush toys. These puppies will chew right through a plush toy and if it has a squeaking mechanism inside they can swallow it. (The Nylabone toys must be changed out
frequently). Never leave your dog unattended with any toy that has small, detachable parts.
- Find a Veterinarian. You should choose a veterinarian for your Akita as soon as
possible and make sure he or she is knowledgeable and has experience with Akitas. Akitas must be dealt within a very different manner than any other breed. Have your dog examined by the vet
within a few days of his arrival. Give your vet copies of the dog's health records, and set up a vaccination and check-up schedule.
Bring Your Dog Home
- Welcome Your New Pet. At last! You've made all the preparations, and it's finally
time to bring your new friend home. Give him the best welcome possible. With love, patience and mutual respect, he will feel like part of the family in no time.
- Let Your Dog Adjust. Give the dog time to adjust to his new home. The dog is bound
to feel insecure and frightened by a change in environment, and a pup may be homesick for his mother or littermates. Show him to his crate or bed, and where to find food and water. Then leave him
alone to explore the new surroundings.
- Make Introductions. Introduce your dog to your household slowly. Many pairs of hands
petting him at once will only frighten him. Later, introduce him to neighbors, regular visitors and other family members. Give your dog a sense of who your - and your dog's - friends
- Introduce Other Pet. Other companion animals in your home should also be properly
introduced to your new dog or puppy. Don't expect them to get along right away, and don't try to force them to play together. Give them time to adjust to one another.
- Housetrain. Whichever method of housetraining you have chosen - crate training,
paper training or litter box - make sure that all members of the family enforce it consistently. Accidents happen, so have a procedure for clean-up.
- Set House Rules. Teach your dog from the beginning what is and is not appropriate
behavior. If something is "OK" today, your puppy will think it's OK forever. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved
Keep Your Dog Healthy
- Go to the Veterinarian. Set up a schedule for regular check-ups with your
veterinarian. Ask the vet questions about your dog's diet, behavior, activity level or other concerns. Contact the veterinarian at once if your dog seems ill or in pain.
- Feed a Good Diet. We recommend feeding your puppy/dog Victor Hi-Pro Plus for Active
Dogs and Puppies brand dog food or Solid Gold Wolf Cub Large Breed as a second choice. No commercial dog food with soy or corn.
- Exercise. Dogs need regular exercise to ensure continuing good health. Take your dog for
walks, run around in the yard, throw a ball around - anything to get him up and moving. This will benefit his health and could prevent behavior problems.
- Vaccinate. Dogs should follow a strict schedule of vaccinations to prevent diseases. Keep
your dog current on his vaccinations, following the schedule recommended by your veterinarian. Keep a copy of your dog's vaccination records handy.
- Prevent Disease. You can take steps to prevent other diseases not covered by the regular
series of vaccinations. Depending on the area of the country you live in, your dog could be at risk for diseases such as heartworm and Lyme disease. Ask your veterinarian for advice on
- Repel Fleas and Ticks. Aside from discomfort, parasites such as fleas and ticks can cause
serious diseases. Keep your dog, his bedding, and your home free from parasites by using the method recommended by your veterinarian.
- Know Your Dog's Patterns. You should become familiar with your dog's patterns in terms of
eating, drinking, sleeping and relieving himself. Any major variations in these patterns could indicate illness and should be reported to your veterinarian.
- Provide Chew Toys. Dogs never outgrow the need to chew. Protect your possessions by
providing a variety of chew toys to satisfy your dog's urges.
- Bathe Your Dog. A clean dog is a healthy dog. Bathe your dog on a regular basis
appropriate to his breed and environment. Over-bathing can be harmful to a dog's skin. Use a good shampoo and be sure to rinse well. If bathing your dog is more than you can handle, take him to a
groomer or veterinarian for help.
- Groom Your Dog. We recommend grooming your dog at least once per week and daily during
- Clip Those Nails. Keeping your dog's nails short will keep him comfortable, prevent injury
to his feet, and may save the surface of your floors. If you can hear your dog's nails click on a hard surface, they need to be trimmed. Ask your veterinarian for advice on clipping your dog's nails
- Clean Those Teeth. To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, clean your dogs teeth
regularly. Most dogs will accept a "toothbrush" and dog toothpaste if introduced to it slowly and gently.
- Prevent Obesity. Keep your dog healthy by maintaining him at an appropriate weight.
Feed him a well-balanced diet and give him plenty of exercise. Don't give in to begging - "people food" is generally bad for dogs.
- Know Your Breed's Health Risks. You should be aware of common health problems in
your breed, how to prevent them, and how to recognize their onset. For example, some giant breeds are prone to bloat, while some short-faced breeds are prone to respiratory problems. Ask your breeder
or veterinarian for information about any signs or symptoms you should watch for in your pet.
- Protect From Poisons. Make sure that your home and yard are free from poisonous
substances, such as antifreeze, which tastes good but can cause serious illness or even death. Keep your veterinarian's number handy in case of accidental ingestion.
- Be Alert to Changing Needs. As your dog ages, his needs will change. He may require
a different diet, need more sleep, and be less active. Do what you can to keep him comfortable. Your dog may not be as "fun" as he once was, but he is the same dog you loved as a puppy. You should do
everything you can to pamper him in his final years.
- End Suffering. If, due to illness or old age, your dog reaches a point where his
quality of life is severely compromised, arrange to end his life humanely. Letting go is sometimes the kindest thing you can do. Don't prolong the suffering because you fear the pain of losing your
Keep Your Dog Safe
- I.D. Your Dog. Your dog should wear an identification tag with your name, address
and phone number at all times. This will increase the chances of your dog being returned to you if he is lost or runs away.
- Consider Microchips or Tattoos. Microchips and tattoos are methods of permanently
identifying your dog, and can be invaluable in recovering your dog should he become lost. You may wish to enroll your dog in AKC's affiliate, the AKC REUNITE service, which is the nation's largest database
of microchipped pets.
- Provide Shelter. Your dog needs a sheltered area for the time he spends outside. The
shelter should provide shade in summer and warmth in winter.
- Watch the Heat. Dogs can succumb to heat stress in a matter of minutes. Do not leave
your dog in the car when the temperature is high. When your dog is outside, he should have a shady place to lay down and plenty of fresh, cool water.
- Travel Safely. Keep your dog safe in the car by using a crate, or by attaching the
dog to a seat belt with a harness. Never let your dog ride free in the back of a pickup truck, or allow him to hang his head out of the car window.
- Find a Pet-Sitter or Boarding Kennel. Make arrangements for your dog's care when you
go away. Have a friend or reliable pet-sitter come over to tend to the dog, or find a good kennel for BOARDING. If you opt for boarding, try to inspect the facilities before you drop your dog off.
- Prepare for Disaster. Be prepared to care for your dog in the event of a disaster
such as fire, flood, hurricane or earthquake. Make an emergency kit with clean water, food, and first aid equipment. Find out in advance if the evacuation shelters in your area allow animals. If not,
- Establish an Emergency Contact. Enlist a family member or friend to take care of
your dog in the event of a sudden illness, hospitalization or other emergency. This person should ideally be someone your dog has spent some time with and is comfortable with. Leave a list of general
care instructions in a safe place.
- Make a Will. You should make arrangements for the safety and care of your pet in the
event of your death. Don't assume that a family member will step in to take care of the dog.
- Take Pictures. Of course, you will want a picture of your dog to grace your desk or to
send as a Christmas card. More importantly, a current photo will be invaluable in the event that your dog is lost.
Be a Friend
- Play! Dogs, of course, love to play. Set aside
time each day for play sessions. Apart from the obvious benefit of having fun together, play also provides an outlet for your dog's energy.
- Go On Walks. Take your dog on frequent walks. He
will enjoy exploring the neighborhood and will benefit from the exercise. Make sure that you have a good strong leash and that you maintain control of the dog at all times.
- Talk to Your Dog. Your dog won't understand your
words, but he will enjoy the sound of your voice. Talking to your dog will make him feel involved. You can also use different voice levels to praise or correct your dog's behavior.
- Give Treats. Your dog will always appreciate a
treat, and treats can be used as a supplement to his regular diet, as well as an excellent training aid. We recommend when giving your dog treats to only give them 100% duck jerky, salmon jerky, or
chicken jerky. Happy Hips is a good brand to use. Any other treats are basically junk food and will make your dog unhealthy.
- Love Your Dog. Your dog will love you no matter
what. Return the favor.
- Switch Out Toys. Keep your dog entertained by
rotating his toys. Put "old" toys out of sight for a month or two and then bring them out again - your dog will enjoy them just as much as when they were new.
- Give Your Time. You are the center of your dog's
world. You may be tired after a long day at work, but your dog has spent the day anxiously awaiting your return. Reward that loyalty with your time. Pet him, talk to him, play with him, laugh with
him. Let your dog know you value his company.
- Find the "Spot." Scratch your dog's belly often.
If you find the "spot," so much the better.
- Leave the Radio On. Try leaving the radio or
television on when you leave your dog alone. The noise will keep him company.
- Plan Activities With Your Dog. Include your dog in family
activities. Take him to the park or on outings to the beach, or to special activities such as the "Dog Olympics" or dog parades. Your dog will love being out and about with you.
- Give a Massage. Dogs love to be petted, and recent
studies have shown that structured massages may be beneficial to your dog's health and behavior. They may also be very relaxing for you!
- Make That Tail Wag. Your dog's tail is a barometer of his
emotions. Do what you can to keep it happily wagging.
- Go On Trips. Dogs can add another element of fun to a
family vacation. Check ahead for lodging that accepts dogs. If flying, ask about travel accommodations for your dog when you make your reservations.
- Ease Separation Anxiety. Your dog will want to be with
you at all times, but for most people that simply isn't possible. Help your dog get used to being alone. Leave him each day with a minimum of fuss. When you come home, greet him calmly. This will
teach him that your leaving is not something to be concerned about.
- Give Kisses. Give your dog a kiss, and see how many you
get in return.
- Get Another One! Dogs are pack animals by nature and
generally enjoy the company of other dogs. Your dog may benefit greatly from having a companion to play with. Be as conscientious about getting a second dog as you were about getting the first;
multiple dog ownership isn't for everyone, and some dogs do better as an "only."
- Don't Let Your Dog Down. You aren't a dog owner just at
Christmas, or on the weekends, or in the afternoon, or when you have spare time. You aren't a dog owner just when the dog is behaving, or when he's a cute fuzzy puppy, or when he's winning awards.
When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life. If you can't keep that commitment, don't make it. And once you've made it, don't break it. Your dog's life depends on
Train Your Dog
- Be The Alpha. Dogs need to know who's boss - and
that boss should be you. You and your dog will be much happier together if you establish yourself as the leader of the pack.
- Teach Basic Commands. Teach your dog basic
commands such as sit, stay, come and down. Training your dog will not only make your life easier, but will also fulfill your dog's desire to learn and please you.
- Socialize Your Dog. Expose your dog to different
people and settings regularly. Take him to the park, to the pet store, on a walk through town. Praise him for accepting petting from friendly strangers, and for behaving calmly around other dogs. The
more your dog learns of the world, the more comfortable he will be in it.
- Go to Class. Obedience classes can be a great
experience for you and your dog. You may even discover that your dog has a great talent for learning, and be able to compete in obedience, agility or tracking events.
- Praise Your Dog. Because your dog loves you, he
wants to please you. Praise him lavishly for obeying commands and behaving well. Using positive, rather than negative, reinforcement will help your dog enjoy learning.
- Supervise Play With Children. Children and dogs
can be great companions, but they also require supervision when playing together. Your dog may be "good with kids," but what if he encounters a kid that is not good with dogs? Very small children
should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how stable his temperament.
- Give Your Dog a Job. Keep your dog active and
alert by giving him tasks to do. Teach him to fetch the paper, carry groceries in a pack or empty the dryer. Make him sit before getting a treat or lay down before going outside. Giving your dog a
sense of purpose and accomplishment will increase his sense of well-being.