We all have heard a dog is a man’s best friend, but which dog specifically? The consensus is Akitas fit the job description like no other breed. Originating in the Japanese cold mountains, Akitas belong to the working group. These fierce and loyal dogs hunted with their masters, protected their human families, and made excellent companions.
Throughout history, at various times, this breed has been on the brink of extinction. This can be accounted for by the fact that Akitas used to be guard dogs for the imperial family in Japan. Hence, their ownership was limited to the kingdom.
Accommodating an exotic breed into your household is as much responsibility as a thrill, if not more. These fluffy friends require special care like air conditioning to survive in the hot climate of India. We’ve discussed several aspects related to ownership of an Akita to make your experience wonderful.
Japanese Akita Inu Vs. American Akita
Essentially, the Japanese Akita Inu (meaning dog in Japanese) and the American Akita are the same breeds. However, the rift took place during world war II, when soldiers brought the breed to the American shore.
In America, these dogs were crossbred to develop a variant that is larger in size, resembles a bear face, and comes in various shades of tan and brown. The purpose of crossbreeding was to develop a guarding dog. In contrast to the Japanese Akita Inu, who was bred to be a hunter.
Due to strict breed standards and spiritual significance attached to dogs, Japanese experts do not consider the American breed to be a pure Akita. The Akita Inu is more fox-like in appearance and only comes in brindle, black and red coats.
There are no significant behavioral differences between the two breeds. However, a Japanese Akita inclines towards being more of a companion dog. Deciding which breed to go for is a personal preference; due to their ancestry, both dogs are fiercely loyal and make excellent family dogs.
How Much Does The Akita Cost in India?
In India, Akitas’ demand is increasing steadily. However, because they are rare, the purchase price is high. One can expect to pay anywhere between INR 4,50,000-10,00,000 for an Akita pup.
Factors that Influence the Buying Price of Akita in India
Akita Age: Buying a Puppy vs. an Old Dog
We can hardly blame you if you are riddled with the temptation of taking an Akita home. The first few months of the Akita life are about playtime and leisure. They are pleasant, social, and in love with everyone. Nevertheless, as they grow old, Akitas may start showing signs of aggression. When buying an Akita pup, nurturing and cultivating a balanced- temperament is in your hands.
An older Akita would have already developed his behavior and habits. Therefore, we stress ensuring the health and balanced disposition of the dog. Akitas four weeks old are the most expensive, but an eight-week-old pup can cost you a fortune too. However, the general trend is prices go down with a dog’s increasing age.
Adopting an Akita vs. Buying
Adopting is cheaper and suitable for those looking to save on the purchase price. It also comes with a feel-good factor of giving a second chance to an unwanted dog. However, with an exotic breed like Akita, one can expect the waiting periods to be seemingly unending. If you persevere and chance upon an Akita in a shelter, there is a high chance of getting a good quality dog with most first-year expenses out of the way.
In contrast, buying is an easy option to avoid long waiting periods. A breeder can offer a range of options and may even be able to get you precisely the Akita of your wishes. However, when purchasing a dog, it is essential to exercise caution.
Fun Fact: Akitas have cat-like behavior and like staying clean. Some Akita owners proudly refer to them as loving felines.
India’s pet industry is the world’s fastest-growing pet industry. As a result, this boom has brought along some unethical but common breeding practices. Therefore, buyers need to choose their options carefully.
A breeder in India must follow certain guidelines for breeding and selling dogs. Registering with the State Animal Welfare Board is the foremost requirement to be an ethical breeder. Below are some places you can get an Akita from.
Buying an Akita from Puppy Mills (Please don’t go with this option)
Puppy mills are what they sound like, factories that churn out dogs inexplicably and endlessly. Here’s the catch, though, to achieve such efficiency in breeding dogs, they abuse and overbreed to produce illegal amounts of litter per year. Caring for the dogs isn’t the mill merchant’s forte. They’d like to be excused for it and make a huge profit while at it.
Whenever you come across Akitas being advertised for unreasonably low prices, know there are two explanations. One, it’s a scam. Two, the dog is from a puppy mill.
Buying an Akita from Pet Shops
The fastest way to get an Akita is to visit your nearest pet shop. You go in with a wish to own a friendly, charming and affectionate dog, and chances are you come out with an ill-raised, aggressive, and poorly socialized puppy mill dog.
Yes, unfortunately, most pet shops source their puppies from puppy mills. So it is essentially the same deal, except you pay more.
If you must purchase from a pet shop, verifying KCI papers, lineage and claims are non-negotiable. Remember to see the pup with its mother.
Buying an Akita from Middleman or Brokers
Today, pet brokers drive most sales in the industry. They keep in touch with reputable breeders and can offer various options to their prospective clients. Due to the exotic nature of this breed, this might be the best option to buy an Akita.
A broker charges 20%-30% commission on each sale. They can get you in touch with good breeders and ensure good quality Akita pups. A knowledgeable broker can verify all claims a breeder makes and the documents they provide. However, this is the most expensive way to get your Akita puppy.
Buying an Akita from Reputable Breeders
Breeders and pet parents alike can hardly resist the charm of owning an Akita. Therefore, finding a breeder who is as much in love with the breed as you are is essential. Unfortunately, there are no recognized breeders for the purebred Japanese Akita dog breed in India. However, breeders specializing in the American Akita breed may surface after rigorous research.
A major sign of an ethical breeder is that he asks you several questions related to your lifestyle, living conditions, and previous experience with dogs. Reputable breeders charge more for their dogs, but the prices aren’t undue, given the top-quality dogs they produce. Some breeders may import the Akita from US or Japan. Be prepared to lay out a considerable sum for these.
Questions to ask from a Breeder
In the words of the leading Akita breeder of the UK, the right breeder is a guarantee of your Akita’s behavior. To assist you with this, we curated a list of questions to ask the breeder.
- Do you have a license?
- How old are the puppies?
- Where do you keep the puppy?
- Were the puppies socialized?
- What are you feeding the pups, and at what time?
- Is the breed right for me?
- Can I see the puppy with its mother?
- Can I see the health certificates of the puppy?
- Can I return the puppy if I change my mind?
- How can I contact you after picking up the puppy?
Fun fact: The 2009 film Hachi is based on Hachiko, a famous Akita. Hachiko’s owner died during the commute and failed to return home. The dog waited at the station every day for nine years for his owner to return.
Analyzing your needs and expectations will help you decide which dog to choose. The male and female Akita have significant differences making them suitable for different needs.
Males are messy, rigid, and stubborn. They demand to be alpha dogs, and the reason for their impressive muscles, testosterone, is also the cause of some negative behaviors. That said, they are more social and playful than their female counterparts. Owing to their commanding stance, they can be excellent guard dogs.
Females of the breed are serious, more caring, and quiet. They aren’t as adamant as the males but are not fond of strangers. Unless socialized in time, tolerating other pets is not the female Akita’s mantra.
Although the prices don’t vary significantly based on gender, males of the breed are pricer than their fellow females.
Akitas are large or marginally giant dogs. They can be as tall as 24-28 inches and weigh between 31-59 kg. Males of the breed are much larger than their female counterparts, weighing up to 51 kg. Their fellow females never cross the threshold of 45 kg.
We’re fond of larger dogs in India, which drives the prices up for this breed. Expect to pay considerably more for an Akita that stands taller than the average.
Mix Breed or Purebred
Landing a mixed-breed Akita is far easier than getting a purebred Japanese Akita Inu. The reason for this is twofold. Indian weather is unsuitable for the Japanese dog, which has high breeding and maintenance costs for the breeders. Hence, only a few breeders are breeding/selling Japanese Akita in India. Two, increasing popularity is creating high demand and a low supply market.
As this breed is non-native, we recommend being flexible regarding Akita mixes. The perks of getting a mixed breed Akita may be fewer health issues and better adaptability to the Indian climate. And they can be cheaper too!
A purebred Akita is on the high end of the spectrum. Especially if they are imported, you are likely to pay a fortune for these dogs.
Puppies can be categorized into two buckets: A show quality Akita and a pet quality Akita. A show-quality puppy is up to the breed standards of the KCI and costs more.
The descendants of a show-quality dog or an award-winning dog tend to be expensive too. It is important to remember that most pet parents do not need a show-quality dog. A pet quality serves our fancy just fine.
Coat Colors and Markings
Akitas’ double coats make them fluffy and adept at surviving in the harsh winters of their native land. Red fawn is the most popular color Akitas occurs in. Common colors include black, chocolate, brindle, white, and sesame.
Markings include white, pinto, and black. American Akitas tend to have black masks over their face, which isn’t found in the Japanese strain of the breed. Common colors such as red fawn will cost you less than the rare solid colors like black and white.
As a general rule, prices in the metros like Banglore and Mumbai are high. However, since this dog is an exotic breed and extremely rare in India, in rural areas, the availability of this dog may just be nil. Consequently, this drives up the purchase price of the Akita in metro cities.
Certification and Warranties
As crucial as KCI papers for a dog are, they do not dictate the price of an Akita. If a breeder is advertising the KCI papers and using them to charge more, we advise you to look for another one.
It is essential to verify the papers, as there have been countless incidents of fake documentation. Since Akitas are an exotic breed, we do not recommend making any online transactions. Inspecting all aspects of the dog, the breeder, and the prices thoroughly is encouraged.
Fun Fact: Akitas are considered to be spiritual dogs. They are a symbol of good health and happiness. In Japan, when a baby is born, the family receives a small statute of Akita to signify health, happiness, and long life.
Yearly Maintenance Cost of Owning an Akita
Akitas grow up to be giant, robust, and muscular pooches. To keep their mind, body, and soul healthy, we must be aware of all aspects of owning an Akita. This breed can be a lot of work for responsible pet parents who keep their Akitas in their best shape. And as a prospective Akita owner, you need to be ready for the expenses of having the most loyal dog, physically, emotionally, and financially. The yearly maintenance cost of ownership of an Akita adds up to INR 5,76,000. Let’s arm you with all aspects that ownership of an Akita entails.
Dog Food Factor
Akitas can eat a lot. To keep up with their active lifestyle and impressive build, a balanced diet with high protein and vital nutrients is non-negotiable. As an Akita owner, dog food costs will be your highest recurring cost, adding up to INR 8,500-10,500.
Home Food vs. Purchased food
Homemade food alone cannot fulfill this giant breed’s calorie and nutrition requirements. A combination of homemade and commercial dog food is recommended to fit the dog’s age.
When preparing food at home for your Akita, we recommend being mindful of the protein content. Talking to your vet about your dog’s requirements is also advised. A vet can provide personalized information for your dog and his needs.
The commercial dog food is prepared considering all the essential macro and micronutrients that this breed requires. However, these dog foods tailored to the specific breed tend to be more expensive. In contrast, homemade food is an economical option.
Portion Size and Daily Frequency
Akitas tend to suffer from bloating. This condition concerns the feeding time of the dog. As an Akita owner, you must be very careful about the feeding time and frequency of your puppy’s health. It is best to consult a vet if you run into any issues.
The chart below gives a general idea about the Akitas feeding frequency and portion size.
Although Akitas are considered a healthy dog breed, there are some ailments the breed is predisposed to. These include Autoimmune diseases such as Autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Sebaceous adenitis, etc. Hypothyroidism is also commonly observed in Akitas. For this reason, regular vet visits should be the owner’s priority. Choosing a vet specializing in exotic species is better suited for your dog. Remember that Akita requires special care due to their furry coats and significant differences in the living environment.
It is better to pay for the vaccinations of your Akita than to pay for the treatment, as most diseases are incurable or have expensive treatments. The common diseases against which the dog can be vaccinated include – Rabies, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Canine Distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and kennel cough.
A vet can issue your dog’s vaccination schedule based on age and requirements. A vaccination in India can cost you INR 750-1,500.
Neutering or Spaying Surgery Cost
Breeding dogs, especially exotic breeds, is not everyone’s tea. It requires knowledge of dog behavior, breed information, health concerns, and much more. Neutering/Spaying your Akita is advised.
Spaying your Akita requires expert vet care, and this shouldn’t be taken lightly. This one-time expense can cost up to INR 5000-10,000.
A vet can issue a card with deworming dates and the names of the tablets administered. To ensure the good health of your dog, regular deworming is essential. This procedure is inexpensive and can cost INR 100-200 for each tablet.
Preventive Medications Cost
Fleas and ticks are annoying and a threat to the dog’s health. Fortunately, there are medications available to prevent your dog from getting infested. Flea powder and ticks medication may cost you INR 500.
Additionally, other preventative medication costs may add up to INR 1,500. The price of ear drops may be INR 150.
Housing and Confinement Cost
Akitas are large breeds and require an XXL-sized crate. A 48-inch crate is best suited for this strong-willed dog that can cost you INR 2,500-5,000. In addition, expect the monthly electricity bill to skyrocket when you run the AC 24/7.
After a long day, tiring day at playing and winning everyone’s hearts, your Akita requires soft and comfortable bedding to sleep in. This can cost you anywhere between INR 1,500-2,000.
The right accessories make the management and handling of your dog easier. However, there is a wide variety of accessories available; which one should you choose? Below, we have discussed some factors before buying accessories for your Akita.
Collar and Leash
Because of this dog’s high activity levels, a collar and leash are extremely important. Collars can cost you INR 200-500. A retractable leash to make the long walks pleasurable can you up to INR 500-600. A collar and leash sets are available starting from INR 600.
Your Akita must train rigorously to become a well-behaved dog with a stable temperament. A top-quality, sturdy training harness can be a helpful tool during this time that can cost you INR 1,400-1,600.
Getting a chew toy or dental toys would be suitable for your dog. However, all dogs aren’t the same and may prefer one toy over another. Investing in some good quality toys is desirable.
Depending on how much you spend, the monthly cost of buying toys for your Akita can add up to INR 250-500.
Getting an exotic breed has become a popular trend. For this reason, professional grooming services have become popular and expensive. Each grooming session may cost you INR 500-2000.
Akitas are a clean breed with minimal grooming requirements. So learning to groom your dog is the more economical option. Akitas shed moderately and blow out three times a year on average. Due to this, brushing 2-3 times per week is advised. A grooming kit may cost INR 500.
The monthly cost of shampoo and conditioner is expected to be INR 400.
Fun fact: The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, owns an Akita named Yume.
Akitas require at least 60 minutes of activity daily. In case of time constraints, hiring a dog walker is a good option. A dog walker can charge INR 2,500-5,000 per month.
Nevertheless, spending time with your Akita doing activities they love is crucial to building a deep bond with your pup.
Training and Socialising Class Cost
In ancient Japan, Akitas were hunter dogs. Today they still feature in the world’s most dangerous dogs list. This points to the importance of training your Akita. They can be whatever their environment lets them be.
Popular for being standoffish towards strangers and having high same-sex aggression, your Akita needs early socialization to overcome their instincts and learn good behavior. The training and socializing class cost may be INR 5,000-7,000 per month.
You can use treats to train your Akita and enforce positive habits. Treats can be homemade and commercial; the former may cost you less. A high-end commercial treat can be expensive, costing upwards of INR 1000.
Pet insurance can help you deal with any unforeseen mishaps you may incur. However, good insurance that covers health costs, theft, and liability can cost you INR 5,000-15,000 yearly.
Indian Railways is a cheap and comfortable way to travel with your dog. However, considering the temperature tolerance of Akita, an air-conditioned coach may be expensive.
Air travel is high-end. An international ticket may cost INR 2,00,000-3,00,000. While domestic travel may cost upwards of INR 20,000.
Daycare facilities provide food, boarding, and a kennel area. They also fulfill any special requirements asked for by the pet owner. Depending on your location, these services may cost INR 500-2,000 daily.
To get your puppy registered, you must go through the criteria prescribed by the KCI. The cost for this procedure varies from INR 400-1,000. You can also get your dog microchipped for an additional INR 1,000.
Some other essential items include food storage containers, food, and water dish, pee and poop cleaner, etc. These items add up to INR 2,500-4,000.
Hidden and Related Costs of an Akita Puppy Ownership
The growing trend of purchasing exotic breeds is alarming. Owning a non-native breed is viewed as a status symbol today. People rush to buy these puppies without proper knowledge, and when their fancy passes, they abandon these dogs. Therefore, we urge you to make an informed decision as a responsible dog lover.
Apart from the previously discussed tangible costs, the intangible aspects of owning an Akita puppy need to be accounted for. An Akita is a dignified and courageous dog who demands respect and will not be teased. They need an assertive owner to show them their place in the pack.
These dogs are active and require you to spend quality time with them. This also includes daily exercises and long walks. All in all, Akitas are a lot of work. An owner should be dedicated to taking care of them. When done right, owning an Akita is a rewarding experience.
Important Things to Consider Before Buying an Akita
The teddy bear-like appearance and calm and gentle temperament of an Akita puts a charm on everyone. That and the heart-winning companionship stories of Akita owners are enough to make any dog lover rush to bring these adorable pups home. However, as a responsible pet parent, here are some things you should consider before purchasing an Akita:
- Akitas are excellent with family members, but with strangers, they can be aloof and standoffish. They are not overly social dogs and do not mingle easily.
- Akitas were hunting dogs, and that instinct isn’t entirely lost on them. They may prey on small animals. Early training and socialization are essential constituents of having a good Akita experience.
- Akitas possess thick furry coats that make them weather resistant. They are heavy shedders and blow twice or thrice a year.
- For Akitas, eye contact is a challenge, and being a courageous breed, they do not back from a fight.
- They are highly possessive of their space, food, and toys. Kids who disregard their boundaries shouldn’t be allowed near them.
Benefits of Bringing an Akita Puppy at Home
Akita fever is on the rise and quickly affecting several people all over the world. Have you been infected yet? If not, let’s help you understand why it may be a good idea to hop on the bandwagon.
- Described as one of the goofiest dog breeds of all time, owning an Akita allows you to experience loyalty like never before. They’re affectionate and very protective of their family, making them excellent guard dogs.
- Akitas are calm, clean, and gentle. They don’t bark without good reason, an uncommon trait for a spitz-type dog.
- Akitas are intelligent dogs making them easy to train. They’re always learning and eager to try new tricks.
- If you want a dog who will follow you everywhere, this breed is the one for you. Nothing pleases an Akita more than a happy master.
- They’re amusing and famously talkative once you get to know them. Be confident about your brand new shoes, as Akitas can be pretty vocal about their opinions.
Do Akitas bark a lot?
Unlike their Spitz cousins, Akitas are not barking dogs. They’re quiet and calm and often regarded as silent hunters by some.
Are Akitas good family dogs?
Potentially Akitas can be excellent family dogs due to their loyal and affectionate nature. However, we do not suggest leaving them alone with kids, as Akitas are very possessive about their food and toys. All the boundaries that kids tend to ignore.
Can Akitas survive in India?
Akitas hail from the snowy regions of Japan. India’s hot and humid climate is not ideal for an Akita. If you must own one keeping them in adequately cool environments is desirable.
How are Akitas with other pets?
Akitas have high same-sex aggression. They do not tolerate other dogs or pets unless they are socialized. It is ideal for Akitas to be an only pet.
Are Akitas suitable for first-time dog owners?
Generally, large dog breeds like Akitas can be challenging for first-time dog owners. Hence, sensible for the inexperienced.
Summing it Up
The essence of this breed can be best described by three words: powerful teddy bears. An equally dominant and powerful owner will bring out the best in them. If this sounds like you, get ready to have the concepts of companionship and loyalty redefined by your Akita’s standards.