Smart, courageous, and loyal are just some of the words used to describe this noble dog. The Akita Inu is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world!
This Japanese mountain dog was originally bred as a hunting dog and used to hunt for animals such as elk, boar, and the small Yezo bear.
Despite being good at tracking down a kill the Akita also have a calm and obedient nature which made them a great choice to be used as guards for Japanese royalty during the feudal era.
In this guide, we have covered all you need to know from the purchase price, cost of basic supplies, medical or veterinary costs, costs of food, training, pet insurance, and any other cost you may incur when owning an Akita Inu so you can make an informed choice if this is the right dog for your family.
Akita puppies are hard to come by as they are banned in some states and generally, proper purebred dogs are only sold by reputable breeders so it is advisable to do your research.
The average price you can expect to pay for an Akita puppy is $1024.
As with any dog, your costs in the initial year will include all your Akita puppies’ vaccinations, the cost of basic supplies such as puppy food, toys, food, and water bowls, grooming tools, a dog bed or crate, collar, harness, and leash, etc.
An Akita has a lifespan of between 10 and 14 years. When working out the lifetime cost of owning one you will have to factor in the cost of general veterinary checkups, high-quality dog food, and pet insurance. This will help you to budget correctly and determine if an Akita is the right dog breed for you.
Here is a quick summary of the average costs. You can read a more detailed description below:
- The cost of an Akita Inu puppy from a reputable breeder is between $450 and $2000, making the average cost for this breed higher than other breeds at $1024.
- Akita dogs are considered large dogs, and the cost of raising one could be up to $200 per month.
- The initial year costs are usually more as you will need to include the costs of puppy vaccination and spaying/ neutering. Hence you can expect to pay around $1800 in the first year and around $1400 per year thereafter.
- Based on these figures the lifetime cost of Akita ownership can be around $15,000.
|The average cost of owning an Akita Inu|
|Average cost to purchase a puppy||$1024|
|Years after the initial year||$1400|
All about the Akita Inu
Akitas are glorious and regal-looking dogs making us as humans naturally drawn to them purely based on their appearance. Akitas are a strong and powerful breed and therefore generally not recommended for first-time dog owners.
Based on their history in hunting and guarding, these dogs require an owner with experience and skill set on how to manage this kind of breed as they don’t necessarily transition well to high levels of obedience and training which is why we don’t see them used in the Police Force or Military, though they are incredible natural watchful and protection dogs.
If raised well and socialized an Akita will tolerate other pets or dogs however, they do have a high prey drive making them rather demanding and more of a liability if you are planning on taking them to the park or out on a walk.
You will need to have your Akita attend training and obedience classes so that not only your dog but you as the owner know how to handle a situation where other dogs or animals may be involved.
Akitas are considered to be good around children but keep in mind this is a large and powerful dog so supervision is always advised as they may not express aggression towards your child but may get excited or happy, they become very boisterous and can play very rough.
Don’t let all this put you off, Akitas can be very loyal and loving pets that are capable of forming strong bonds with their family members when trained and handled correctly.
Breed and genetics
As we have already discussed above the Akita breed is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with its origin in the mountains of Northern Japan. The name Akita directly translates to ‘autumn ricefield’. They are an independent, powerful, and domineering dog breed that is not very forthcoming with strangers but loving and steadfast in their loyalty to their family.
With looks good enough to serve a royal, these strapping spitz-type dogs stand between 24 to 28 inches high at the shoulder and weigh between 75lb to 120lb. Akitas come in a variety of colors white, sesame, brindle, and red fawn.
They have a dense undercoat and a straight thick outer coat. They have a broad head that some might describe as massive but is balanced by their rear with a full curled-over tail. An Akita has a very alert-looking expression because of their shining eyes and erect ears.
On the whole, Akitas are generally healthy when compared with other dogs though like most purebreds, they have a predisposition to some genetic disorders. Potential health issues that Akitas are more prone to include;
Uveodermatologic Syndrome, which involves weakness of the muscles and often leads to respiratory failure.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a non-painful condition that progresses slowly and results in blindness.
Von Willebrand Disease is a condition that makes one bleed more easily than normal.
Other immune disorders that affect their skin, namely pemphigus foliaceous, Zinc deficiencies Sebaceous adenitis, ending in complete loss of hair, and VKH/ uveodermatologic syndrome.
Factors affecting the cost of an Akita puppy
Here are some things that can affect the Akita Price in the US.
If the parent Akita Inu are imported from Japan the cost of their puppies will automatically be more however you can rest assured you will be getting a purebred Akita Inu no doubt. Another factor would be the genetic quality of the parents and Akita puppy, referring to whether the puppy comes from a champion lineage or is a mixed breed.
If you are considering getting an Akita we recommend purchasing one from an American kennel club-assured breeder as they meet the requirements and have them go for health screenings before selling them.
Asking for medical records from the parent’s health screening also helps you have some insight into the puppy’s genetic makeup and if it has any genetic predispositions. You would need to think very carefully before taking on an Akita puppy with any health conditions in the family line.
A breeder’s reputation plays a large part in the cost of his puppies because you can be guaranteed to get a well-bred dog that will have had all the necessary testing and been well cared for when buying from a reputable breeder
The area in which you live also plays a part in the Akita dog price as it will depend on whether there is a breeder situated near you or if you will have to either travel yourself to go and collect the dog or have it couriered to you. It is advisable rather collect the dog yourself if at all possible to avoid being scammed and this way you can also see the puppy before you commit.
Lifetime costs of an Akita Inu
In your Akita’s early days, it’s a good idea to continue feeding your new puppy the same food that the breeder was feeding as this will be what they are used to eating, if you would prefer a different brand of food you can introduce the new food gradually by mixing it in with their normal food, instructions on how to covert your dog to their new food can usually be found on the packet.
The monthly cost of food will be largely dependent on the brand of dog food you choose to feed your puppy as well as the size of your puppy. A 3-month-old Akita will require around 3 – 4 cups of kibble per day split into 3 meals.
If you choose to give your puppy wet food they will need 1.5 to 2 cans a day. Please keep in mind that if your choose you choose to use wet food also incorporate kibble as it helps to clean your dog’s teeth and keep their gums healthy.
By adulthood, your Akita dog will weigh between 75lb to 120lb which means that they will need around 4 cups of dry dog food per day divided into 2 – 3 meals. Amounting to approximately 100lb – 180lb for an 80lb dog.
The cost of kibble for an 80lb dog will be between $150 and $170 per month.
After the first year, the medical costs that you can incur will normally be for general checkups and annual vaccinations.
As dogs age, they tend to have a lot of plaque build-up on their teeth and they may need to have a dental procedure for teeth cleaning or extraction of rotten teeth.
A routine visit can cost between $50 – $250 the range being quite large as prices will differ depending on where you live and what treatment your pup required during the checkup.
Investing in pet insurance helps to alleviate the risk of large and unexpected costs and helps you keep your dog in good health as they will usually cover a general check-up and vaccinations. So money will never have to be an issue when your dog’s health is concerned.
Pet insurance costs are normally a small monthly payment, costing between $500 and $1000 per annum depending on the insurance company and package chosen.
Training can be a challenge when an Akita is involved and requires someone with understanding, experience, and patience. If possible find a trainer that is familiar with this breed and get involved with the training yourself so you know how to handle situations faced outside of the training sessions.
Some Akita may be more tolerant of other dogs but if yours is not, it may be a good idea to attend private training sessions before joining group sessions and socializing your Akita.
Attending training will not only help your Akita puppy to become properly socialized and tolerant of other animals, dogs and humans but will also help them learn house manners and allow you more control over your dog.
You can expect to pay between $30 – $50 per group session. Private training will cost you more, due to them being one on one sessions usually between $45 – $120. Puppy training with boarding can cost up to $2000.
Something these dogs need a lot of is grooming! They can shed an immense amount of hair every day and are prone to shed their coat once or twice per year. If you aren’t a fan of being covered in hair, the Akita breed might not be the one for you.
Brushing will have to form part of your routine as it will help reduce the shedding however, grooming can take up to half an hour. Having them professionally groomed regularly will help keep the shedding to a minimum, though this would need to be done regularly and could end up costing a fair amount.
Aside from the daily brushing and ear cleaning that will need to be done weekly, they will also need bathing and nail trimming now and then. The total cost of basic grooming is between $80 – $100.
In summary, you can expect to pay anywhere from $450 – $2000 for an Akita puppy, around $1800 in the first year, and up to $1400 per year thereafter, making the lifetime average cost $15000.