The Akita is a breed renowned not only for its majestic appearance and powerful stature but also for its unique and often surprising habits. Originating from Japan, where they are revered as a national treasure, Akitas have been historically used for hunting large game, guarding, and as symbols of good health, happiness, and long life. These dogs are known for their loyalty and complex personality, which include a range of behaviors that might seem unusual to those unfamiliar with the breed. Understanding these distinctive traits can help owners and enthusiasts appreciate the full depth of their character and provide better care tailored to their specific needs. This article delves into seven of the most unusual habits of Akitas, exploring the reasons behind these behaviors and their implications for those who live with these noble animals.

1. Silent Watchfulness

Akitas are known for their dignified and reserved nature, often observing their surroundings in silence. Unlike other breeds that might bark or whine when something catches their attention, Akitas prefer to watch quietly, making them excellent watchdogs. This habit stems from their history as hunting dogs, where silence was a valuable trait. In a home environment, this means they can be less disruptive compared to more vocal breeds, but it also requires owners to be attentive to their subtle cues to understand their needs and emotions.

2. Cat-Like Grooming

Akitas have a cat-like habit of grooming themselves, which is quite unusual for such a large dog breed. They often lick their paws and fur, trying to keep clean. This behavior not only helps them maintain their coat but also reduces the amount of grooming required by their owners. However, excessive grooming can sometimes indicate anxiety or skin issues, so it’s important for owners to monitor this behavior to ensure it doesn’t become a health concern.

3. Food Carrying

Akitas often exhibit the peculiar habit of carrying their food away from their bowl to another location before eating it. This can be traced back to their instincts as hunting dogs, where moving food might have helped protect a valuable find from other predators. For Akita owners, this means setting up an eating area that accommodates this preference for privacy and security, or training to minimize this behavior if it becomes problematic.

4. Aloofness with Strangers

Akitas are naturally wary of strangers, a trait that makes them excellent guardians of their home. They can be very reserved, even standoffish with people they don’t know, which contrasts with their affectionate behavior towards family members. This unusual habit requires that they be socialized from an early age to ensure they can distinguish between normal and threatening scenarios, reducing stress for the dog and its family.

5. Strong Prey Drive

Despite their size and sometimes lumbering appearance, Akitas have a strong prey drive. This can manifest in chasing smaller animals, cars, or anything else that moves rapidly. This instinct can be surprising to those who expect the Akita to be a placid companion and requires careful management through training and secure containment measures to prevent accidents.

6. Resource Guarding

Akitas can exhibit a strong habit of guarding their possessions, from toys and food to space and even people. While this can be seen as a loyalty trait, it can become problematic if not managed properly. Teaching them to trust and share through consistent training and positive reinforcement is crucial to mitigate overly possessive behaviors.

7. Immense Loyalty and Bonding

One of the most endearing yet challenging habits of Akitas is their tendency to form an intense bond with one particular family member, often following them relentlessly around the home. This loyalty is heartwarming but can lead to separation anxiety when their chosen person is absent. Ensuring that Akitas feel secure and comfortable even when they are not with their favorite person is important for their emotional well-being.

Akitas are as complex as they are majestic, with habits that can be both fascinating and challenging. Understanding these traits is essential for anyone considering an Akita as a companion, as it helps in providing a nurturing environment that respects the breed’s history and natural instincts. Properly cared for and understood, Akitas make loyal, loving pets whose unusual habits only deepen the bond with their owners.

Arlene D.

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