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I recently adopted an Akita - any advice?
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TOPIC: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice?

I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 21 Jan 2014 22:11 #9399

Hello everyone, I am new on here, very pleased to have found this website and the forum.
I recently adopted a lovely Akita from a local rescue shelter - she is 7 or 8 years old, they couldn't tell me her exact age because she was brought in as a stray. She is called Akira and is a very friendly and smiley dog and I want to help her as much as I can but know very little about Akitas. She has been with me for about 6 weeks now and after a period where she seemed to be coming out of herself and being quite demonstrative, she is becoming more reserved. I am not sure whether I could be doing more for her or whether I should expect her to tend towards being reserved? and not sure how much walking I should be asking her to do? I have been trying to give her 3 walks a day - morning and evening about 45 minutes and about 20 minutes midday - and not sure whether that is too much? Can anyone give me a couple of basic pointers? There is lots more I want to ask but didn't want to try to ask for or take on too much information at once. If you've got this far thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I am very much looking forward to hearing back from anyone who can offer me any advice.
from Betty and Akira x

Re: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 22 Jan 2014 13:13 #9403

Hello and welcome Betty and Akira:)

Thank you for helping Akira, it's usually hard to find homes for the more mature boys and girls

I'll try to give you as much information from my own axperience of being owned by an akita (21 years! ) Akira could just be feeling a bit confused, akita's can take time to settle into a rutine, they do love a regular rutine we don't need a clock in our house because we can tell the time by Asia's rutine So try to establish a regular rutine for her, it sounds like you've already got a walking rutine which is good but I think maybe, at her age, she doesn't need 3 walks a day you might be tireing her out a little, perhaps cut out the midday walk, I have a two walk a day rutine with my 9 year old girl and it suites her fine she gets 20 mins in the morning and 45 mins in the evening, but my husband takes her for a long country walk on Saturday and Sunday, we always make sure she gets some human socializing as well, just by walking her where people are it's sounds like Akira will like a bit of extra fussing from the odd stranger or two

Akita's do love to sleep a lot, they can be a bit lazy, also it's best to keep her on an exending lead because most Akita's don't do recall, once they're off on the trot or run they just keep on going, they're very independently minded and can be prey driven, so if they see a squirral (or with Asia's way of thinking...small terriers ) they don't want to stop the chase they can still have a great time on an extending lead, but you'll need a very strong one, they can still swim and paddle if they want to How does her "reserved" ways show themselves, bease it might just be that she feels settled and confident now and just wants to slink of for a kip, my Asia is always trying to slink upstairs for a kip on the bed and she'd be there all day and night if I didn' get her back downstairs and put a gate across the stairs to stop her from going up there again it could look like she's being reserved but she's just being a her usual sleepy and relaxed akita self

Please ask anything you need to know and someone will have the answer for you and Akira
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The following user(s) said Thank You: betty brown

Re: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 24 Jan 2014 11:57 #9406

Hi Bensons Mum and Asia,
Thank you so much for your kind reply. It was really helpful and very reassuring and I have taken your advice and cut out midday walk, think it suits her. It was also very useful to know that Akitas don't do recall - with not knowing Akira's history becasue she was a stray, I haven't let her off the lead and with the infromation you gave me I won't try it. I had thought about an extending lead but like you suggested I had thought it would have to be very strong! and I didn't like the thought of trying to reel her back in, if you know what I mean,. What I am thinking of doing is trying training classes - Mrs Dog seems to have been very well trained, while she will pull on the lead I can tell her no and she has not so far shown any sign of agression, but I thought it might help me get to know her more.
I am interested that Akitas tend a bit towards laziness, have you found any kind of play that Asia likes? Akira doesn't seem interested in toys, balls or toilet rolls - do you have any ideas?
Anyway thank you again it was really kind of you. I hope you and Asia are well, sending you our best wishes,
Betty & Akira WOOF!

Re: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 24 Jan 2014 17:39 #9407

I'm so glad my bit of knowlege was helpful

The retractable extending lead that we use for Asia is just like the thickness of an ordinary dog lead, we did use one of those ones that were like thick piece of string but it snapped as soon as she decided to take off after a squirral she had no training at all when we got her but the thicker retractable lead is perfect and very strong, it costs more but she gets lot's of freedom on it

Training classes sounds like a good idea, it will be great for her doggy socializing, is she good with other dogs, akita's can be dog aggressive so you'll need to keep a close eye on her body posturing My first akita Benny went to training classes and he got his Good Citizen Dog certificate but his early onset arthritis stopped him getting his begginers certificate

As for toy ideas my old Benny loved his food ball, Asia just took hers to bed and chewed the "indestructable" ball to shreds to get the food out but a kong sometimes keeps her happy Most akita's don't "do" retrieve, they might bring it back a couple of times but after that they just think to themselfs "I've brought it back twice and you just keep throwing it away again!! " so they don't bother anymore I can get 3 retrieves from Asia Another toy my old Benny liked was empty plastic bottles, they make a great noise when they chew on it Asia just loves to carry her big teddys around with her, soemtimes she'll chase one if I throw it for her, but not very often I think if Akira likes treats a food ball will be of interest for her, but make sure it's the largest one in case she wants to take a short cut to the treats like Asia did
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Re: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 26 Jan 2014 10:53 #9408

Thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it ! Your Akitas sound absolutely lovely. Benny sounds like he was an absolute joy, I am so impressed that he got his Good Citizenship certificate. And Asia sounds like she has got a wonderful sense of humour, That sounds like a good idea about the Kongs, there is a pet shop fairly close by that sells them, I think I might nip up there today and get one for Akira. One of the nice things about this pet shop is that you can take your dog in with you!!! however I went in with a friend last week (without Mrs Wolf) and they had big glass cases at the back of the shop FULL of bunnies and guinea pigs, not sure whether it's kind to anyone to make introductions with Akira!

So far Akira does seem very tolerant of other dogs. The only time she seemed aggressive was when a dog in a garden we were passing came up to the fence and barked at her quite aggressively, she barked back but let me move her on - I know that two days before I took her out of the rescue kennels she had been bitten by another dog on the nose, the people at the kennels weren't clear exactly what happened but it sounds like Akira was outside another dog's pen and the other dog bit her through the wire fence, don't know who "started it" but she really doesn't seem more than mildly interested in other dogs (although she sometimes gets excited by birds sitting on the ground!) so I'm hoping that we might be okay with classes - but thank you for the advice, if and when we go I will keep a close eye on her and her posture.

and also for the information about extending leads. Will see what the pet shop has in.
Hope you and Asia are having a really nice day and better weather there than it is here very grey and wet, luckily Akira doesn't seem to mind gloomy weather so we pile into our wellies and take it on the chin!
Happy woofs, Betty & Akira x

Re: I recently adopted an Akita - any advice? 28 Jan 2014 17:52 #9417

Thank you Betty, my Benny was a very special boy, he tought me a lot about the akita breed and yes, my asia is a very funny girl and at the age of nine she's still surprising me

Did you get madam the kong? and are the bunnies and quinea pigs still in one piece

It's good that Akira is okay with dogs so far, one thing I've learned, and it's omething to keep an eye out for, with akita's and other dogs is that they tend not to give much of awarning, if any, when they want to have a pop at saomething, they just go fo it, their some body posturing but not much in the way of growling or teeth showing, my old Benny was very good with other dogs, but he did have a few pops akita's also tend to be response gogs rather than instagators of fights,
Benny was like that and Asia is the same, they also have very long memories, my Asia was attacked by a white terrior last year, he ran out of a garden and had a right go at her, sjhe was very good and didn't react because I managed to keep her calm until the lady came and got her dog, but now, everytime we pass that house Asia is on tip toe looking for the terrior I sounds like Akira has put her trust in you when the dog barked at her, she sounds like a very loyal and trusting girl

Did you manage to find that exta strong retractable lead?

The weather is very cold right now and rain is due again, but just like you I put my walking boots on and Asia dons her waterproof coat and off we go in the rain and wind, I soon warm up by walking fast, but Asia holds me up so many times by stopping to have a long lingering sniff, how much information is in one blade of grass!!! I usually allow a few peemail sniff stops at the start of the walk then she's moved on at most stops
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