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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Akitas

Anybody here owns/owned one? How are they in comparison to the Doberman - personality, hardness, trainability? Are they affectionate? Is this a stubborn breed? Health issues?

Why I am asking: apparently my hubby decided that we need a "winter" breed. He got tired that my babies don't want to hike with him when it's below -10C outside. We didn't discuss bringing an akita pup in depth because I cannot see myself owning "that-much-hair" breed but his buddy at work knows some super-duper breeder in Netherlands and they have litter once in two years or so. So, this said buddy is having a puppy from their upcoming litter. My husband had a talk with this person and asked me if I am willing to consider to put our name on the waiting list in two years for a female pup. "Technically" it will be "his" dog. But you guessed right who will be doing all the cleaning, socialization and training, lol!

So, any information about this breed will be highly appreciated.

Thank you,
DM.

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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 08:34 PM
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I had a poorly bred one bought at a pet store dumped on me about 10 years ago. He was an adult when he was put in my backyard so that may have affected him.

He was VERY dog aggressive to the point of tearing down a fence to get at the neighbor dog. He was not very personable. Very independent. Not overtly aggressive with people, but not a dog to trust. I had him PTS when he started killing cats.


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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 09:37 PM
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I knew someone years ago who had one and my impression is as follows:

Extremely terrritorial and more than willing to enforce it aagainst pretty much anything that would wander into the space.

Not easily trained. Not because of low intelligence. More a matter of not being a pleaser.

Dog on dog aggression.

Undercoat blows in the spring......all over.

Requires a strong person.......and I don't mean physically.

You don't see them in the obedience or agility ring. I can think of just one.....Rateef who competed in UKC.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, guys! Just from a quick google search I found:

"....posted by Akita owner:
3. Shedding
Brad warned me it was bad. I thought, "how bad can it be? I have four cats and two other dogs. It won't be that much worse..." OH MY GOD, the shedding is INSANE. I will confess that I am a bit of a neat freak. But I vacuum two times a day and it is still gnarly! So much fur! I buy bulk lint rollers. I empty my vacuum canister daily. Still so....much... hair....." (source: Prospective Akita Owner Looking for Feedback! - The Nihon Ken Forum )

That kind of shedding is pretty much a deal breaker for me!
I found also all kind of info from people and breeders about Akita. They all agree about dog aggression issues and that Akita is not a "heart" dog as this is very independent and stubborn breed.


Well, now I have a problem. I need some alternative to Akita to present to my hubby if I say "no" for Akita pup. My hubby wants a "winter" breed (Just to clarify - winter here for us is 6 months subzero temps in the range -15C-40C with deep snow and relatively chilly summer. Also, sometimes we travel and mostly up north. So, dog has to be able to handle this weather (not to live outside)).
That said, beside winter requirements, it would be ideal to get a dog that doesn't shed like crazy, affectionate, trainable, social with dogs and people. This dog will not be a "guard" dog but will be trained to protect against wild life (coyotes/cougar/etc), so the size should be medium-large...

Please help with suggestions. I can think of Husky and Alaskan Malamute but I don't know anything about those breeds as well... :p

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 09:58 PM
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Territorial, dog aggressive, very hairy but tend to be pretty clean dogs. They're horribly independent and definitely their own dogs so not much of a people pleaser. They're intelligent and, from what I've been told, highly reactive.

That said, they tend to be one person dogs and loyal until death for the person they choose as "their" person. They make good family dogs but are aloof to strangers to a fault.

Just my experience, anyway. I love them, myself, but not the majority of the personalities I've come into contact with, unfortunately.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 10:01 PM
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I have an Akita/Husky mix. Which my hubby and I adopted from a shelter.
He is dog aggressive with strange dogs- not the ones he lives with which are a female Dobe and female Greyhound.
Not people friendly at all. Very independent and likes to be left alone.
He was also a huge escape artist until the age of 5- he is now 7.
And the shedding- I have to brush him out once a week and vacuum every other day it's a lot of work.
But all things aside we love him
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 10:09 PM
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i think you'd be hard pressed to find a "winter breed" who won't shed excessively.

i'd suggest norwegian elkhounds. medium sized dogs with a thick coat suitable for winter climates, hardy and adventurous.. good watchdogs. they're "pack orientated", good family dogs, but can be slightly difficult to train because they also are kind of independent.

i'd also like to note that they were bred to hunt wolves, elk and moose.. so i figure they can hold their own against a coyote.

something clever goes here.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkischic View Post
i think you'd be hard pressed to find a "winter breed" who won't shed excessively.

i'd suggest norwegian elkhounds. medium sized dogs with a thick coat suitable for winter climates, hardy and adventurous.. good watchdogs. they're "pack orientated", good family dogs, but can be slightly difficult to train because they also are kind of independent.

i'd also like to note that they were bred to hunt wolves, elk and moose.. so i figure they can hold their own against a coyote.
I am going to check this breed out! the "hunting" part sounds promising. Will be a major point to convince my hubby if all other criteria fits.

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 10:33 PM
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What about some of the hairier members of the hound group? Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound? Or a larger terrier? Airedale perhaps? or a giant schnauzer? I'm not sure what sort of temperatures they can withstand though, I think they would be fine in New Zealand but I think my weather is pretty tropical compared to where you are! I don't think those dogs blow as much coat as any of the super hairy breeds lol...

and just because I am a picture freak I will add some pictures cos these guys are just too cute!!

Wolfhound


Deerhound


Borzoi


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Schnauzer


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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 11:15 PM
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If the only real criteria is a dog that will deal well with the cold and won't need a sweater.. that's a lot of possibilities, just about any dog with a longer coat will do. Heck, my corso would be a great fit, he thrives in the cold.

If you want something intelligent that will nicely match up to your dobie, you can't beat the GSD. If you want some thing less shedding, how about an Airdale, great dogs, very intelligent, most I know do well in snow. I also really like Black Russian Terriers although they also can be aloof. They have a personality simillar to a rottie but with a touch of an airdale spunk and humour. What else do you want out of the dog?

Akita, for sure not a dog for every one, very independent and hard headed with aggressive and territorial tendencies. I know some people use them up north to bear hunt, think about the type of dog that takes.

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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 11:20 PM
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what about an unclipped poodle? Lots of fur... NO SHEDDING i see someone else beat me to suggestion of the non shedding large dogs.

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 11:28 PM
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Do not forget Bouvier Des Flanders if hand stripped twice a year they do not shed as much as a GSD.Farm dog guard live stock also herd cattle,excellant watchdogs.

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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 11:35 PM
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We had an Akita for 12 years. We decided to change to Dobermans for several reasons. Akitas like Dobermans are extremely faithful dogs and I would have trusted her around any person regardless of age. But when it comes to other animals they can be stone cold killers, even though she was well socialized as a puppy as she grew up she became extremely unpredictable with other animals, if any animal wandered into our yard it was more than likely that we would find the body the next day, we would never hear a sound, she would kill cats, raccoons, skunks and anything that could get into our fenced yard, there was never any blood, she would sneak up or walk right up without a sound, grab them and break their necks.

Their shedding is a nightmare in the summer, they have a double coat of fur and can literally fill a room with hair. 2 years later I still find bits of her hair.

They are beautiful dogs and if you want a faithfull companion they are great, but if you have other animals I would strongly recommend not getting an Akita.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 12:13 AM
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What about a Karelian Bear Dog? It is a winter dog for sure and should have the natural desire to protect against wildlife. Wind River Bear Institute: Karelian Bear Dogs, Bear Shepherding

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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 12:32 AM
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The number one thing that jumped into my brain about Akita's....DOG AGGRESSIVE...I have yet to meet one, male or female that wasn't DA.

Now, since we're thinking of hairier dogs....big ones....ones that are velcro and guardie, yet get along well with others.....what about a Black Russian Terrier?? They have to be groomed like a Giant Schnauzer, but they are certainly people dogs...actually, I'd think closer in personality to a Dobie than say a GSD...(Oh, and did I mention beautiful?? )

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:10 AM
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In my experiance they are a much "sharper" and more agressive than a doberman. I love them to look at, or as a only dog, but I would not want to manage one with other dogs or animals. Just personaly. I have heard the same of Karelians. They are not easy dogs.

If you want a dog that looks like an Akita and can deal with the hair I would go to a well bred Malamute. Much softer in temperment.



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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:26 AM
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For something entirely different--a newfoundland, though I doubt if they'd guard; if you're into the guarding, a Kuvasz
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:48 AM
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I love the appearance of an Akita--one of my very favorite breeds, if we're talking hairy dogs.

BUT, I totally ditto everything that's been said above, about their traits and temperament.

There was a local gal a few years ago, who insisted she was going to make a service dog out of her Akita pup.

I evaluated the pup for her, and declined it--failed all aptitude testing. I told her she could wait and work on major socialization and we could re-eval.

Last I heard, she'd taken the dog out of state several places, it continued to fail evals, and she found some yank-and-crank K9 center, who "guaranteed" to make the dog into a service dog.

Dog ended up biting someone badly in public, and she has a liability mess on her hands, dog was not ordered euth'd, though, and sits in her backyard.

Anyhow, sorry for the ramble. I think your husband might be happy with a well-bred Mal, if he likes that Northern look.

They aren't my cup of tea either, but he might like one.

I'll second the suggestion on Bouviers--I really like that breed, nice animals.




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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:54 AM
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Bernese Mountain Dog The downside is that they have a very short lifespan, and a multitude of health problems. But they are very affectionate, get along with other animals, can be aloof with strangers, but usually friendly to all. And they love the cold. Does your hubby want an off leash hiking buddy? If yes, Sibes, Malamutes, Elkies, etc wouldn't be a good fit. I have a very good friend with Elkies, they are a neat breed... Very barky, tho...and not the easiest to train lol. But they are a fairly healthy, hardy breed.

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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
I love the appearance of an Akita--one of my very favorite breeds, if we're talking hairy dogs.

BUT, I totally ditto everything that's been said above, about their traits and temperament.
that's totally how I feel about the Akita. I think they are one of the most stunning breeds out there...who was the top winning Akita bitch last yr? I was blown away by her. But I would never own one, the temperament does not appeal to me at all.

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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 04:31 AM
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Beauceron
St Bernard
Bernese mountain dog
My lab BATHES in snow
German wirehaired pointer or a lot of the hunting breeds.
Airedale
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post #22 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobermasha View Post
Thank you, guys! Just from a quick google search I found:

"....posted by Akita owner:
3. Shedding
Brad warned me it was bad. I thought, "how bad can it be? I have four cats and two other dogs. It won't be that much worse..." OH MY GOD, the shedding is INSANE. I will confess that I am a bit of a neat freak. But I vacuum two times a day and it is still gnarly! So much fur! I buy bulk lint rollers. I empty my vacuum canister daily. Still so....much... hair....." (source: Prospective Akita Owner Looking for Feedback! - The Nihon Ken Forum )

That kind of shedding is pretty much a deal breaker for me!
I found also all kind of info from people and breeders about Akita. They all agree about dog aggression issues and that Akita is not a "heart" dog as this is very independent and stubborn breed.


Well, now I have a problem. I need some alternative to Akita to present to my hubby if I say "no" for Akita pup. My hubby wants a "winter" breed (Just to clarify - winter here for us is 6 months subzero temps in the range -15C-40C with deep snow and relatively chilly summer. Also, sometimes we travel and mostly up north. So, dog has to be able to handle this weather (not to live outside)).
That said, beside winter requirements, it would be ideal to get a dog that doesn't shed like crazy, affectionate, trainable, social with dogs and people. This dog will not be a "guard" dog but will be trained to protect against wild life (coyotes/cougar/etc), so the size should be medium-large...

Please help with suggestions. I can think of Husky and Alaskan Malamute but I don't know anything about those breeds as well... :p
I owned a husky, and her BFF was an Akita.
Both were very hard heads, escape artist and but the Akita was more like to be alone.
A husky won't do the guard thing, they are pretty much everybody is friend.
And husky do shed. When my husky left, it takes months to get rid of all the long white hair, until there came a Doberman who sheds as much
Anyway, I'm living in a hot weather, so I would like to suggest the GSD, nut I'm not sure how they do in the cold weather. Be warned: GSD shed, too!

No assumption ---

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post #23 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 07:14 AM
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We looked at the Akita when we were looking for an outdoor farm dog but the temperament was a bit much with the Dobes and if one ever got hold of one of the Wheatens it wouldn't have a chance. We ended up with an Akbash and we love her so much. She is very loyal and great with the other dogs , cats and our horses. she spends all morning doing chores with me, never leaves my side and is naturally boundary trained. She is just enough dog to keep strangers away but I don't worry she will bite anyone. Plus she loves the cold weather.
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post #24 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 07:40 AM
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I believe you will find that the Malamute has about the same problems as the Akita. I speak from experience. The shedding in the spring is impossible to deal with. Think of those pics of Bison at Yellowstone in the spring with clumps of hair hanging off of them. No matter how much you comb out dead coat there's always more coming. They don't do well in hot climates. So summer fun is limited. Again the territorial issues and dog on dog aggression is high. Cat killer expert. They love to fight. Notice how they are chained out when not pulling. There's a couple of reasons for that. I loved my Mal but for trainability, intelligence, devotion, easy keeper, good with other breeds and animals you just can't beat a dobe.
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post #25 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 07:47 AM
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Okay I have to say as it is a no brainer for me German Shepherd. Brave, loyal, intelligent and very hardy in any weather. Generally good with other animals They shed but it's worth it. (my favorite breed)

Next: One of the Belgium shepherds. Generally good with other animals. They shed but also not like an Akita.

Next: Australian shepherd (some lines can be larger than others), they are also very brave, loyal and highly intelligent. I have had three. All were incredibly easy to train. Gus my male was 58lbs. Good with other animals. I had another male that I co owned Ranger. Ranger was 64lbs and he treed a cougar, yup! There are also aussies who have excelled in Sch! One in fact made it on the national platform (2nd or 3rd I forget now). They shed but not like an Akita. All my aussie guarded our property against coyotes with a vengence and they got along well with most other dogs.

Next: German Shepherd (oh right I already mentioned that lol

Next: Bov: No shedding (can be a little stinky though)

Next: Giant Schnauzer: No shedding (doberman like in temperament)

Next: Collie, they shed once a year. They will protect your property from coyotes but probably not your home from burglars but hey you have a doberman already. They are extremely loyal

Next: Dutch Shepherd: Very Mal like.

Next: Beauceron. LOVE this breed they were on my short list. They have fur and can take the cold. They are tough dogs, brave, loyal and attractive.
I prefer a dog who is devoted and biddable so that is my list for you and that is why I left out the husky type breeds.
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