Akita Lab Mix – Great Family Pet or Loyal Guard Dog?
The Akita Lab Mix is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in Japan. They are known as “Labradors” because they look like the American Staffordshire Terrier. There are many different types of these dogs, but all have a similar appearance: long legs with short tails, large heads with round faces and small ears, a flat face with sharp teeth and a bushy tail.
There are two main varieties of Akitas. One type is called the “black” breed, which means it’s a cross between the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Akita.
These dogs have a dark coat that ranges from golden brown to black. Their coats come in various colors, including white, gray, chocolate and even silver. Some are spotted with spots of other colors such as red or orange. The other variety is called the “silver” breed, which means it’s a cross between the Akita and the Labrador Retriever. These dogs have a light coat that ranges from silver to white.
Both varieties of Akitas are very intelligent and loyal companions. However, there are some differences in personality and temperament between them.
Black Akitas tend to be more outgoing than their silver counterparts; however, they’re not necessarily more affectionate either. Either one makes a good guard dog, but silver types tend to display this behavior more than black ones.
If you want a calm and confident dog that’s good with children and other dogs, the Akita is a perfect pet for you. They’re suitable for living in an apartment or a house.
Like all dogs, they do best with plenty of exercise; however, they don’t need hours of running each day, just a couple will do. They will bond closely with their owners, but they don’t require as much attention as other breeds, so they’re great for people who work long hours.
The American Kennel Club describes the Akita as a “large, rugged dog with a thick, stiff coat” and a “strong sense of integrity and loyalty.” It also says this breed is “calm and confident” and “excellent with children.” This breed’s short, thick coat requires minimal grooming.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has given the Akita the following official breed standard:
General Appearance: The sturdy, compact dog, Prussian-blue in color with skin less than one inch in thickness, with great strength and courage. Always of a suspicious nature towards strangers, it is a natural guardian and, when necessary, a powerful adversary.
The desirable size for adult males is 24 inches, and 23 inches for adult females, measured at the withers. The weight should be in proportion to the height, giving a medium-sized dog of strong but not excessive dimensions.
Difference Between American and Japanese Akitas: The American Akita should give the impression of great strength for its size. It is more heavily boned and somewhat more thickset than the Japanese Akita, which is lighter and more agile.
Although both types should give the impression of substance and ability to endure, the Japanese Akita should not appear heavy or clumsy.
The American and Japanese Akita are separate and distinct breeds, each with different characteristics. Both the American and the Japanese Akita share a common ancestry.
For a period of time, the two types were interbred, but they have been separated and are now distinctly different from one another.
The American Akita was developed in the United States by working standard breeds with farm collies and Great Danes to attain its present look. The American and Japanese Akitas were bred for hardness and endurance for work and endurance.
They are natural guardians. The American breed tends to be more independent, while the Japanese is more outgoing.
The personality of the American Akita is that of a natural guardian. They are intelligent, independent and courageous.
They are affectionate with their family but wary of strangers. They are quiet and calm dogs, but will display courage when the need arises. They should always be ready to go into action if necessary. They are reliable watchdogs and good with children.
Grooming The Akita has a thick coat that is fairly easy to maintain. It sheds large amounts during seasonal changes, but other than that it does not have a lot of extra work and grooming requirements.
It needs to be brushed two to three times per week and more often during shedding seasons. Bathe as needed.
The Akita does not have any real odor so additional attention to this is not needed. Check the ears weekly for dirt and infection and clean if needed.
Check teeth, gums and tongue as well as the paw pads for signs of problems.Nails should be checked and clipped when needed.
Exercise The American Akita is a very active dog, but this can be tempered with proper training and exercise. It needs at least a daily walk or jog and will enjoy long hikes or jogs with you as well.
While out on these, the dog should be made to heel beside or behind the person and not in front no matter how much it pulls. They have an independent streak that needs to be kept in check while they are young so that they will listen to you when they are older.
The breed does not do well in apartments and needs a yard. The amount of exercise it gets depends on how much you are able to give it.
Without enough it will become restless and destructive.
Training The American Akita dog is a very intelligent dog that learns quickly, but they can be independent minded and will not obey just for obeying’s sake. They need to see the logic in your commands.
They respond to a calm assertive energy better than shouting or physical force.
The Akita is a powerful dog and early socialization and training are necessary to curb natural instincts and to boost their confidence. They excel in obedience, agility as well as herding and tracking.
They are sometimes used as guard dogs, but this should be left to professionals as their aggressive tendencies can be a problem in this position. A bored, untrained Akita can be a real problem as well.
The American and Japanese Akitas are similar in many ways, but they do differ slightly in their grooming needs. The American tends to shed more than the Japanese.
This breed sheds year round but you will find that the summer is the worst for shedding. You will find hair everywhere at this time. The hair will also be longer than most dogs. They should be given a good brush at least twice a week to keep the shedding to a minimum.
You will want to bath these dogs as needed which is more often than other dogs due to the fact that they like to wander in muddy water. During the shed season you can brush daily and soak the hairs into a tub with shampoo.
After this you should towel dry them and give them a good blow drying.
You will want to examine the ears and eyes of the dog when bathing it. You can treat any problems you find such as infection or dirt and wipe the ears out with a cotton ball.
If the dog has any wounds or sores on its body you must treat these right away to prevent further problems.
You should also clip the nails once every two weeks or so. This is something that you should ask your local veterinarian to do for you if you have never done it before.
The ears should be checked once every month for infection and the ears should be cleaned if needed. The teeth should also be brushed at least two to three times a week. This will prevent bad breath, prevent dental disease and help control any weight problems they may have.
Weight Gain The American and Japanese are susceptible to weight gain, which can lead to a variety of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems. Obesity can also cause skin issues, difficulty breathing and a decreased life span.
It is important to measure and weigh your dog regularly. If your dog is overweight, you need to adjust their food intake and exercise to get them back to a healthy weight. You should also talk to your veterinarian about the best way to get your dog back to a healthy weight.
Trim nails and clean ears on a regular basis
Conclusion These dogs are not for everyone. They are very powerful animals that can easily injure or even kill someone if they are not trained properly.
If you are in any way uncomfortable with the idea of training and having such a large powerful dog, you should think about getting a different pet. However, if you are looking for a strong and intelligent dog, the Akita may be perfect for you.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pug Husky Mix Facts by J Crosby, SA Jackson – 2011 – books.google.com
Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide: Good Health, Loving Care, Maximum Longevity by HP Mix – thedogdigest.com
Dog by A Channing