Hollywood strikes again! For decades, the film industry has provided mini product “booms” by featuring certain consumer products in their movie releases. Today’s boom focuses on people interested in acquiring Akitas. Of the top ten websites listed by major search engines for Akita Puppies all relate to selling the animals. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, there are challenges with owning and training Akitas. Finding the best sources for proper information can be a bit of a hit and miss.
Attention on the Akita breed has grown exponentially with the release of the Richard Gere film, Hachi. The story, with which Hollywood has taken a lot of liberties, is a rewrite of Japanese tale. The legend of Hachiko is the story of an Akita who’s loyalty to his master, Dr. Eisaburo Ueno a professor at Tokyo University, was unending. Each day, the dog accompanied his master to the train station. Each night, the dog returned unprompted to the station at the time of his masters arrival. Tragedy struck when Dr. Ueno suffered a stroke at work and died in 1925. The dog’s loyalty to his master was so great, he returned to the train and waited there each night for his master to return. This vigil continued for nine years until the dog’s death in 1934. There is a bronze statue of Hachiko erected at his rendezvous meeting spot outside the Shibuya railroad station to honor his loyalty. The movie, much more so than Gere’s performance, has multiplied consumer focus on Akitas.
Your interest in Akita puppies should lead you to a reputable breeder. These experts can help you understand the unique nature of the dog. The AKC, American Kennel club, classes the Akita as a working dog. Growing to nearly 120 pounds (male) and 100 pounds (female), these dogs have been used more and more as guard and security animals. Akitas are aggressive and loyal. Proper training is essential for a good experience with your dog. You must become the “Alpha” dog. Akitas are natural loaners, not pack animals and are likely to challenge your leadership. Consistency in training is a must from the beginning. Don’t be afraid to get the help you’ll need, as Akitas have a stubborn streak. You won’t find more loyal animals, but as an owner, you must be willing to put in the work and time.
Breeders are your first source of information on this dog. Get as much material as you can about the care and handling of Akita. Preparing for your Akita puppy will lead to great satisfaction on your part, and the dog too. You will love these animals.