The Akita or Akita Inu are native Japanese dogs known for their fluffy double-coat. But do Akitas shed?
Yes, Akita do shed. They shed naturally year-round and shed a lot two times a year when they “blow their coat”. The blowing of the coat lasts between 2 to 4 weeks.
Let us look at the detailed information about the shedding of American Akita dogs and tips for you to control or manage his shedding.
Do Akitas Shed A Lot?
Yes, Akitas shed, they shed a lot!
Originating in Japan, the Akita needed a coat that would keep them warm in the snow. But they also needed a coat that could keep them cool in the sunny summers.
Thus they adapted to have a dense double-coat for winter that can be shed in the summer. Their shedding has a striking resemblance to Shiba Inu shedding.
Can You Stop Your Akita From Shedding?
No, you can’t and you shouldn’t even try! It is a natural process and Akitas will shed regardless of what you do.
Seasonal shedding occurs at the end of spring and fall, in preparation for summer and winter.
Did you know the Akita Inu is one of the 10 Most Popular Japanese Dog Breeds?
Who Sheds More? American Akita vs Japanese Akita
Akitas come in two distinct variants, the American Akita and the Japanese Akita. A common question among Akita fans is which Akita sheds less? Considering overall shedding, both Akitas shed almost the same amount.
It might appear that the Japanese Akitas shed less. This illusion is created by the small size of this Akita. A larger dog like an American one has more hairs to shed rather than a smaller Japanese Akita.
Why Do Akitas Shed?
The main reasons why Akitas shed are:
- To replace broken and old hairs with new healthier hairs
- Adapting to different weather and temperature
The first reason explains natural year-round shedding. The second reason is ‘seasonal shedding’. Both are important and help your Akita feel warm/cool and protected.
But occasionally other reasons as below may be behind their excessive shedding.
Akitas with a healthy diet have a healthy coat. It takes a balance of nutrients to maintain such a dense coat! Contrary to what people think, dogs need more than just meat!
Actually, balanced dog food should contain the following ingredients:
- Fats (Fatty acids)
We would recommend – CANIDAE All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog Food. It has the right amount of protein and added nutrients.
Another common reason for unexpected shedding is stress. Anything making the Akita feel uncomfortable or anxious can cause stress shedding.
Owners must do their level best to create positive environments and loving homes for their Akita.
A female Akita can show erratic shedding during pregnancy. Pregnancy usually strips the dog of vital minerals that help maintain the coat.
Also after birth, the hair on the abdomen naturally sheds to facilitate the nursing of her puppies.
One overlooked reason that makes Akitas shed is the disease. A serious ailment will affect the dog from the inside and outside. A dull, patchy, poor-quality coat is a cause for concern and a reason to visit the vet.
Tips for Akita’s Grooming
Since the Akita is prone to “coat blowing”, you should expect high grooming efforts during those times. A combination of brushing and bathing will go a long way to help control Akita shedding.
During off-peak shedding, weekly brushing is enough to maintain the coat. But in the shedding season, accelerate to daily brushing.
Any brush will not do! Invest in dog brushes like Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush that are cater-made to fit Akita’s high shedding needs.
Letting your Akita shed naturally requires dedicated grooming. Here are some brushes that will help you make your Akita look and feel presentable (even in rough times).
If you own a dog, you must be fairly familiar with a slicker brush.
The slicker brush is kind of a multi-purpose dog brush. It helps the Akita shed less by collecting all loose hair and it smoothes the thick coat.
We recommend a self-cleaning one – Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
Rakes are unique brushes that allow you to access loose undercoat hairs. It is especially useful for profuse shedding Akitas.
Another fact leading to a rake’s high efficiency is its long prongs. The rake prongs suit the Akita since their coats are not exactly short.
And one more perk of using the rake is that it can massage the skin and help to distribute and stimulate natural skin oils.
We recommend – JW Pet Gripsoft Double Row Undercoat Rake
During blowing out of the coat, a shedding blade is your go-to tool. It takes out clumps of loose hair before they collect on furniture!
In addition to brushing, bathing is an important job for an Akita owner. Apart from dislodging dirt and debris, bathing removes loose hair.
Especially during the shedding season, bathing is a great way to also massage the coat and stimulate the shedding of the unwanted winter coat. It can help the shedding progress move a bit faster and smoother.
We would recommend a natural oatmeal-based shampoo.
Should I Shave My Akita?
No, you should never shave Akita. Shedding (any type of shedding) is best left to happen naturally.
If you shave your Akita, you will disturb his natural temperature regulating system.
Akita Coat Characteristics
Just like the Shiba Inu, the Akita is a Japanese breed famous for its double coat. And wherever there is a double-coat, there is bound to be seasonal and natural shedding.
An Akita’s double coat features an undercoat and an outercoat. Both hair layers have a role to play. Let us tell you about the two layers.
The undercoat is dense, made from thick and very soft hair. This layer of hair is much shorter than the outer coat. This fluffy layer will be the one to shed at the beginning of the summer and winter seasons.
The outer coat is a layer of coarse hairs that appears to stand upright.
These hairs are straight and continue to cover the Akitas body. This outer coat comes in a variety of colors which makes the Akita so appealing.
How to manage the cleaning? – Shedding Akita
During seasonal Akita shedding, expect your effort on house-cleaning to increase drastically.
Akita’s hair will stick to any soft furnishings. Sofas, pillows, bed sheets, curtains, and carpets are at risk. What’s worse is that the hair may come off in tufts that appear like cotton wool balls.
They exhibit static attraction and will require a force to be removed completely! This makes your job even harder.
Luckily the market is flooded with modern tools to combat dog hair and fur. Let us help you with tips and tricks to manage his shedding.
Vacuum cleaners have become part and parcel of owning a double-coated dog such as the Akita. Powerful suction easily sucks up the ‘sticky’ hair the Akita sheds.
If your Akita mostly spends time indoors, a vacuum cleaner will likely save your life! It also saves time and makes this tiresome job easier.
– Lint Roller
A lint roller removes hair by sticking to it, something dog hair famously does to clothes! It is the best emergency clean-up tool for me.
If your Akita loves your clothes, run a lint roller over yourself before heading out to the office. Use it on anything that has fabric (even the sofa).
– Rubberized Gloves
A creative and much-needed creation is rubber gloves.
These wearable gloves come with small projections on the underside. You can easily wear them and glide your hands over the sofa to remove clumps of hair your Akita shed off.
They can also double-up as an Akita grooming tool. Rubberized gloves are convenient since they are washable, reusable, and portable.
– Furniture Coverings
Akita’s hairs on your furnishings are inevitable.
If you cover it all up, the chances of getting hair on them are lower. You should have some old bed sheets or rugs that you are willing to sacrifice in the name of cleanliness!
Throw these to wash and exchange them for another covering.
– Rugs and Mats
If you have an obedient Akita, you can coerce him into sitting at a particular spot on the rug. This helps to concentrate all the hairs on the rug making cleaning less labor-intensive.
Other Dog Breeds That Shed Like The Akita
It’s not that Akita is the only dog who sheds a lot.
In fact, any dog with a double coat is bound to suffer from this type of extreme shedding. Examples of some double-coated dog breeds are:
- German Shepherd Mixes
- Shiba Inu
- Siberian Husky
- Border Collie
- Alaskan Malamutes
Unfortunately, the Akita is NOT hypoallergenic. Although the Akita shows average natural shedding throughout the year, they blow their coat twice a year. This means Akita is not the best dog for people with sensitive sinuses!
Some dog breeds can become quite smelly after time.
And Akita does not fit in this category at all. In fact, they can perform some self coat cleaning to maintain hygiene. This keeps their coat somewhat decent and odor-free!
The Akita breed is not known to bark much. When wary or threatened they will definitely make their voices heard. This includes strangers or suspicious activities, otherwise, they are capable of being quiet dogs.
Akita’s barking also depends on his upbringing. Training should start when he is a puppy.
Honestly, no dog is naturally aggressive, they are made to act aggressively! It all boils down to the upbringing of the dog. An abusive home is the leading cause of dog aggression in the USA.
Having said that Akita dogs have a high prey drive. Positive training and a confident owner can ward off such behavior.