The Akita is a a Double Coated breed, meaning; The Akita has an undercoat, this should be plush, thick and reasonably short. The outer coat is called a guard coat or outer coat. This coat is a bit longer, more course and should carry a healthy sheen. This is the coat that will sometimes be a bit longer on the withers and the tail.
Grooming your Akita. First and foremost, your Akita should be brushed weekly to stimulate a healthy coat and skin. Brushing will remove old hair, and stimulate new growth. This will also help rid your house of loose coat that may be dropped through the course of the year. The Akita is known for it's easy maintenance, but it still requires proper care for healthy clean skin.
The Akita will blow it's coat and bring in a new coat two to three times a year. This can be somewhat overwhelming to the new Akita owner, but if you take care of your dog through this time frame, it really isn't that bad!
When your Akita is blowing it's coat, it is best to brush him/her daily with the proper tools. Bathe your Akita in a warm water bath, and rinse with a conditioner at least once a week, ending with a powerful blow dry. This will help to rid your home and your dog of the unwanted loose hair. If this cycle is followed for a few weeks it wont take you that long to speed the blowing process up. Thus helping your dog to bring in a new wonderful healthy coat and ridding your yard and home of that unwanted fur ball stage.
Use a mild soap and make sure it is diluted for easy application and rinsing. The best way to do this, is take an old clean milk jug, and fill it half full with warm water, add your shampoo (as directed) and Luke warm water will always help when rinsing your dog. Never use hot water, as you may scold your Akita. Also, it is VERY important that you completely rinse ALL the soap from your Akita when bathing him, as soap left on the skin is an irritant and can cause sores or loss of hair! It is often smart to put cotton in the ears, as water in the ears can cause ear infections, but remember to remove ALL the cotton after the bath. Using a tearless shampoo is the only way to go, as your Akitas head and face should be cleaned. Never start your bathing procedure with the head, as it will often make the bathing experience unpleasant. Start by wetting your Akita near the withers and gradually soaking the head, never spray directly in the face. Towel dry your Akita and allow it to shake (shake a lot!) As this will remove all the excess water and also allow your dog to try and rid any water from it's ears. Most Akitas love this time... they feel so good after a deep scrubbing....some will even rub and roll around in the grass if given the chance!
You can purchase a cleaning solution from your veterinarian. This ear cleaning solution is inexpensive and easy to use. Take a cotton ball and wet it with the solution and clean the ear each time you bath your Akita. Do not go to far into the ear canal, as the deep inner ear canal should only be cleaned by your vet when necessary. It is always better to clean the ears before the bath, this way, your bathing will rid the coat around the ear of the unwanted solution. If you ever smell a fowl odor coming from your Akita's head, he may have an ear infection, check with your veterinarian.
The Akita is to have a "Cat Like" paw. But the paw and it's structure can be deformed and even damaged by neglect. You should trim your dogs nails at least once or twice a month to ensure healthy toes and joints. Long nails can add to a flatten appearance in the paw, and even crippling in the bones if not kept properly. Long nails cause discomfort when walking and can curl back into the pad if left to grow to long. If you start training your puppy at an early age, this will not be a terrible experience as an adult! There are many tools to make this job easier: Nail Clippers can be purchased at most pet supply stores, and some people even choose to use a Dremmel Tool with a sandpaper bit (the stone bit is not recommended, as it retains heat and does not file as quickly). The Dremmel Tool grinds the nail short and smooth, as not to leave a rough surface. If you choose to use a Dremmel, it is HIGHLY advised that you start this training very early, as most adult Akitas will not stand for this easily unless they are familiar with the process. Always reward your dogs with a treat or play time after doing their nails, this often makes the experience much more pleasant.
Many New Akita Owners do not realize just how much hair the Akita will loose during a given shedding/blowing cycle. However, we recommend you NOT brush your Akita inside your home or in the grass as it can be harder to clean up... A porch, garage, or other flat surface maybe easier.
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