When considering which breed of dog to bring into your family, it’s essential to take your lifestyle into account. Many factors come into play, such as the size of your home, your daily routine, and the activities you enjoy. For instance, if you live in a tiny apartment, you wouldn’t want to adopt a St. Bernard, and if you love spending time in the water, you’ll want a breed that shares your enthusiasm.
One breed that many dog lovers have their hearts set on owning is the Akita. Akitas are a type of spitz dog originating from the Akita prefecture of Japan. These beloved dogs were first introduced to North America in 1937, when Helen Keller was gifted an Akita while visiting Japan. They are now recognized as a working dog by the American Kennel Club and were even declared the national dog of Japan.
Given their history, it’s no surprise that Akitas were bred for specific purposes, such as hunting large prey and pulling sleds. But where exactly do they stand on swimming? Do they take to the water naturally or shy away from it?
Well, it all depends on the individual dog. As a general rule, Akitas were not bred for swimming. These dogs were designed for use on land and were primarily used for hunting and transportation in northern Japan, where swimming wasn’t a significant concern. However, some Akitas have demonstrated a strong affinity for water and swimming, while others remain hesitant or even frightened of the water.
When deciding whether or not your Akita will enjoy swimming, it’s important to consider their coat type. Akitas have plush double coats that can become heavy when wet, leading to discomfort and difficulty regulating body temperature. While some dogs may take to swimming naturally, others will require some assistance to grow comfortable with the experience.
If you’re interested in teaching your Akita to swim or at least tolerate being in the water, there are some tips you can follow to make the experience a positive one. For starters, it’s a good idea to invest in a life vest for your dog. This will keep them safe and give them a little extra confidence in the water.
Once you have the life jacket, you can start to bribe your dog into the water with treats or toys. Start by letting them wet their paws in shallow water before encouraging them to venture in deeper. It’s important to move at a pace that your dog is comfortable with and never force them to do anything they’re not ready for.
Of course, safety is key when it comes to ensuring your Akita’s enjoyment of the water. Be sure to avoid swimming in water that’s either too hot or too cold. Additionally, always supervise your dog while they’re in the water to ensure they don’t venture too far out or encounter any hazards.
With patience and understanding, your hesitant Akita may just turn into a water-loving dog. Remember that each dog has its own temperament, and just because Akitas weren’t bred for swimming doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy it under the right circumstances. By taking the time to introduce your dog to the water in a positive way and ensuring their safety at all times, you can help them grow to love swimming and all that the water has to offer.