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Old 12-30-2012, 04:34 PM
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Default Personal experiences with Akitas?

Anyone here every owned one or known one well?

My husband is not really a dog person, but grew up with an Akita and would like to have another one day. I've not really done any research on the breed, and have never known one personally.

Are the temperament issues that I've heard about with akitas ill-founded? I know they're one of the more controversial breeds out there, but what's fact and what's fiction?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:43 PM
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I think it depends a lot on both where the dog comes from and the handler. I think most saavy handlers going through the right breeder (or getting an adult rescue from a knowledgable rescue), can handle an akita temperament. They're also not as common as other somewhat aloof or protective breeds, like a chow chow, shar pei, etc...so as far as I know temperament problems aren't as rampant.

I've known a few, mainly watered down city dogs who really liked people and other dogs. That's not common, or standard.

The better-bred ones I knew (not very well, although a coworker grew up with one and spoke of him a lot) are protective, aloof, and dislike strangers (and non-family dogs coming into their territory or personal space), but they were definitely stable. The kind of dog you could trust with your family's children and take out in public easily. But they were also dogs that weren't going to take a lot of crap (letting strangers in their house unwelcome, letting people get into their face over and over and over)...the kind of dogs who would definitely give a lot of warning before taking action and only use necessary force, but they're not about to tolerate some new person coming in and roughhousing with their owner or some drunk yelling guy get too close.

They bond really, really closely with their people. Aloof with strangers, but heart-and-soul-willing-to-please their people. Smart as heck, too smart for a lot of people.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:55 PM
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I have heard good and bad things about them.

I think they are GORGEOUS dogs, beautiful beautiful. But you have to be careful with breeders.

My grandma will not allow one near her house. When she use to show Aussies, an Akita attacked and killed an Aussie in a show ring. It literally ripped the throat out of the Aussie and started to gut the poor thing in front of hundreds of people.
^^^ That is one of maybe 10-12 bad stories I've heard about them.

I have heard 2 good stories about them. One being when I was like 15-16 years old and daddy and I went into Petsmart, a man had a beautiful Akita male, HUGE son of a bitch to. That dog was so unbelieveably sweet, it was insane. He let me pet him, love on him, and give him treats. He did tricks for all of the people in Petsmart.

If I remember correctly, they were bred to hunt/kill bears? So they are strong, powerful animals.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:14 PM
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The only one I have personal (I say personal, but I don't mean me, I mean family) experience with aside from seeing them at various AKC shows is my uncle used to have one.

Satchmo. My uncle is a big gardener, and Satch would lay in the front yard while he gardened. The doberman down the street (this was in the earlier 80's, so I'm thinking probably not a squishball of a dog) got out and came running up and attacked my uncle. Satch was already up and across the yard before the dog got a good hold on my uncles leg, and he slammed into him and then killed him right there in the street.

They always talk fondly about him, but he bloated before I was born, so I never actually met him, and that story is my uncles version of what happened.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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Thank you for your input y'all. I want to take personal accounts/other's knowledge into consideration while doing my research. This dog would be many years down the line, so I plan on researching the heck out of them. I like their looks and the sound of their temperaments (when stable and well-bred). I've been around and lived with guardian breeds, no problem there.

Unfortunately I have never met one in person. When I was a child, my dad worked with a guy who owned one. From the owner's stories, the dog sounded pretty unstable. My dad (who is very dog-savvy) refused to let me meet the dog in spite of my begging to do so.

Realistically, this future dog would still most likely be my primary responsibility, despite my husband's fondness for the breed, so it has to fit my criteria of what I LIKE as well.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:39 PM
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Definitely try to meet some.

I also do know someone who was bit rather badly by an akita while breaking up a dog fighting. I forgot about that until just now. I'm not sure the exact circumstances, a fight broke out in our dog day care (all dogs were temperament tested before coming in, and I never saw anything more than a harmless scuffle), and this girl grabbed the Akita, I'm assuming by the collar...and he turned on her. It wasn't just a quick bite, I don't think she needed stitches but did need medical attention and I think was sprained. Not that the incident says much about the breed, or the dog, as I don't know the circumstances...but it was one of the few really bad bites I've seen.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:17 PM
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one of my co-worker's mom breeds Akitas and she talks very fondly of them. That's about all I've got. Sorry! I think they are beautiful dogs, just too big and too furry for me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:34 AM
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Akita are very intelligent, stable dogs when bred and raised properly. I have known Akita who were stable, and I have known Akita with some issues. The breed tends to be a one-person dog, and won't always readily accept handling by non-owner humans unless properly conditioned. Akita are a guardian breed, and they do need to be socialized and taught what is a real threat and what isn't. An Akita with proper temperament isn't given to wanton violence, they tend to only use force that matches threat level. DA isn't faulted in the breed, but there are a lot of breeders trying to breed away from it.

I knew an Akita at FOHA, a big male with one eye. He was a bit strong on the leash, but he was a nice dog. He was good with me, but did snap at one of the guys who was trying to be all Caesar Millan with him. This breed doesn't take kindly to the use of bullying tactics or harsh training methods. There was a large male who boarded at the kennel where I work named Grendel. He did not like you to enter into his space, but if you let him out with you he was ok. We would walk him and then put him back, we didn't try to do anything else with him. And I remember one other HUGE male who came to grooming place when I worked there, he was a big teddy bear. I've never met a truly dangerous Akita thus far.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:50 AM
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I have experience with one personally. Her name was Princess LOL and I LOVE this dog. She is exceptionally well behaved, did 4H with the families daughter and is just a mellow, aloof dog. Protective when needed. I don't know how to explain it but when she walked in the room it was like wow what a cool dog. And you could do anything to her she was very tolerant but if you acted like you were going to hit 'her girl' shed put herself in between them calmly and give a "look" and trust me you wouldn't try it
Very cool dog
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:59 AM
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Well what have you heard about their temperament?

I grew up around five of them, all from good breeders and owned by the same person, an experience Akita owner but not much for training and the like. I practically lived there for about six years and the owner is actually Mira's namesake . The older three were adults when I met them, the younger two were gotten as puppies during that time.
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