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Akita Rescue & Welfare (UK)
The Akita has astonishing good looks and with its proud stance, luxurious fur and attractive facial markings, it is easy to understand why the ownership of this breed was historically confined to the rulers of Japan. The Akita’s prowess as an ‘esteemed hunter’ undoubtedly added to its attraction.
The Akita is a working dog. Males stand between 26 and 28 inches to the shoulder and weigh between 43 -50 kilos, females are a little smaller but equally as powerful. This dog has the ability to “nose out” game, locate and flush ground birds, and with its weight, size and fearlessness, it is an efficient hunter of deer and wild boar and can hold a bear at bay until killed. This breed is not limited to hunting and has had many other roles over the centuries not least, that of guard dog and fighter.
Initially bred for dominance, stubbornness and tenacity, the Akita still retains many of these traits and is not a dog for the inexperienced, however in the hands of the right owner, it can be an intelligent, affectionate, lovable and fun loving member of a family.
Akita Rescue and Welfare, which is a registered charity, is highly responsible in the way in which they home their dogs and work closely with other well-known organisations such as the Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross and others. The trustees, co-ordinators and representatives who are spread across the UK are all experienced Akita owners and are willing to devote their time and expertise voluntarily. Anyone who considers adopting an Akita can be assured that they will have a back up service and advice line that is second to none.
Robert Stuhldreer, co-founder, trustee and one of the representatives in the London area, said:
“I certainly wouldn’t recommend an Akita to a first time or inexperienced owner. Preferably we look for previous owners of Akitas or breeds with similar characteristics.
I grew up in deepest, darkest Rutland and we always had Border Collies and Springer Spaniels...breeds that come with their own challenges. I saw my first Akita about twelve years ago and was totally captivated by him. About a year later after much research along came my boy Max (Tuscanadeel Ramblin' Fever for Widowmaker). Akitas are a completely different mindset from any other breed that I lived with or had experience of. Intelligent, STUBBORN, loyal, dominant, did I mention STUBBORN? I had to do a radical rethink about my methods of dog training -very different from biddable Collies and Spaniels.
I got there in the end and Max was the first Akita in the UK to successfully pass The Kennel Club Good Citizen GOLD Award, a nationwide scheme that that promotes responsible dog ownership. Max also won The Akita Dog Good Citizen Class at Crufts last year which was a fantastic way to end his show career.
Both my Akitas (Max and Adora, our rescue girl who is ten tomorrow) have represented the Akita Breed at Discover Dogs for the past seven years which is a great platform to talk to the general public about the potential pros and cons of Akita ownership.
They are both Blue Cross Education Dogs which enables us to go into schools to talk to children about the best ways to act responsibly towards and safely around dogs. Adora even appeared on stage in the London run of the musical 'Annie'“
The Akita may not be the perfect pet for everyone and it is easy to understand how a lack of knowledge when buying the cute puppy can result in a dog that is a liability and has to be rehomed.
Anyone thinking of getting an Akita would be well advised to get in touch with Akita Rescue and Welfare rather than to obtain a puppy from an unreliable source where little or no advice is given on the breed. It is evident from Robert’s experience that for someone who is willing to put in a lot of hard work, to carefully supervise and to keep the dog on a lead when walking in public places, that owning an Akita can be a very rewarding experience.
London Dog Forum encourages anyone who wants to know more about this glamorous breed to look at the Akita Welfare and Rescue website, which is one of the most professional and comprehensive sites of its kind. Details are listed below.All pictures have been kindly supplied by Robert Stuhldreer
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