People often have a misconception that simply because you live in an apartment that you can’t keep a big dog. Akitas are indeed large dogs but this doesn’t necessarily prevent them from apartment living. There are many factors involved in making a good apartment dog with size being only one of them. So can Akitas live in apartments?
Akitas while being big dogs are fully capable of being kept in an apartment. The size makes an important variable, but so does the energy level of the dog and their temperament. The Akita does need to be constantly well socialized, as the prey drive of Akitas can be strong. Without that socialization that might mistake the neighbor’s small dog for prey.
Some people might think it’s cruel to keep a large dog in an apartment. After all they’re big so they need space to roam. Keeping them cooped up all day would be awful, wouldn’t it?
But there are many other considerations to think about. Most dogs spend a great deal of time sleeping. Whether one is in an apartment or a full-blown house, doesn’t really change the quality of sleep.
Without a yard will they be able to get the exercise they need though? Well, it’s possible that an apartment dog might even get more exercise and have more fun. The reason being that it’s easy when keeping a dog in a house to simply open the backyard door and let them out. Then let them back in. Many house living dog owners may fall into a routine where they ignore their dog for a large amount of the time.
Apartment living though requires a certain awareness of your dog and relationship with them. Because you’re in such close quarters it makes you very aware of their moods and quirks. Not to mention since letting them out requires you to consciously walk them, this makes their exercise often of a higher quality than that of a house dog.
Size alone doesn’t make living in an apartment with a large dog impossible, but there are many important considerations to think about. Here are a few tips to help you.
Factors to Consider
When figuring out whether you can live with an Akita in an apartment, you need to be honest about your lifestyle. If you just want to stay inside all day watching tv, which there’s nothing wrong with that, then things are going to be difficult. It would much easier to keep an Akita in that situation in a house.
But if you like going out for brisk walks multiple times a day, then having an Akita companion could be a match made in heaven.
The energy and temperament of the dog will also need to be considered. Some dogs will struggle a lot more in an apartment. Age will need to be considered as well. A slower older dog will do a lot better than a young rambunctious youthful Akita.
Akitas do Best With Experienced Dog Owners
Akitas do not make good dogs for first-time dog owners. Being in an apartment only heightens this tension. Their very strong-willed, which will make training them difficult. They aren’t like a golden retriever, which is much easier to train, you will have to teach them what you want them to do many times. Combined with perfect consistency. It’s not that there not intelligent they just have a strong personality, and the desire to do want you to isn’t at their mental forefront.
In addition, they can be very naturally aggressive dogs. They were, after all, bred to hunt bears even though it has been a long time since they were used for that purpose. Still, that ingrained toughness and aggression have stayed with them. So knowing how to train them well is a must. The first four months of a dog’s life is when they’re most open to correction. Mess up their training during that time and life will be difficult.
They Need Daily Excercise
With an apartment bound Akita, having a schedule is a very good idea. They’re going to need to be given at least 3 walks a day. Each walk should be at least 20 minutes long, with lots of time for sniffing. Smelling things will stimulate a dog’s mind. When they are sniffing, thousands of bits of information are being downloaded into their brains. This is like their worldwide web. Every creature that passed by leaves their own trace, which your dog thinks about.
Setting these walks at specific times of the day helps your dog know when they will get to go out. They can’t really tell time, but they do know a certain order of events. So they may know that after you drink your coffee in the morning its walk time. That way their joy and expectation of the event can build and they know that if they’re patient it will come.
Without this their ability to hold their bladder will suffer. If you are told that you have to wait to go to the bathroom but you don’t know how long, then it’s going to be a lot harder to wait. If you know that you only have to wait for a certain period of time however then it can become much easier.
There Will Be Lots of Shedding
Akitas have very fluffy coats. This can make them amazing snugglers, just imagine rubbing up against all that soft fur. It can cause problems when they shed, however, especially for those with allergies or an aversion to finding hairs on their clothing.
Expect most of your clothes and furniture to often be covered with a thin or even thick coat of hair. While there are some solutions to this, like regular vacuuming and using a lint roller, it will be a constant battle. Being in an apartment that fur is going to get anywhere. At least with a house, there may be some parts that are spared. But for apartments this is unlikely.
Akitas Will Need Lots of Socialization
On the one hand, living in an apartment can make socialization much easier. With so many people and other animals living right next door, your dog will never be short of friends to make. The regular walks will help with this. As each walk won’t just be exercise but also a social function. Your dog will know your neighbors even if you don’t really want to.
While apartment living makes socialization easier it also makes it more necessary. In a house, it’s possible that your Akita won’t need to interact with other people and animals that much. But in a complex, they will be surrounded by them.
Without that necessary socialization your Akita’s natural protective instincts could run out of control. A desire to protect their family could be twisted into hostility to your neighbors. Nobody wants people to be afraid of coming around them because of their dog. In a country house, it might be desirable depending upon your personality but in an apartment, it would be dangerous.
Plenty of socialization will help bring out the more positive aspects of your Akita. Tempered by experience and friendships their protectiveness will turn into profound loyalty. This is expressed through an ability to know the difference between the friendly person next door and the mugger stalking you in the shadows.
Visit a Dog Park Regularly
Apartment living turns dog parks into a cornucopia of benefits for you and your dog. Not having a yard, a dog with a dog park will still not be disadvantaged. A nice green pasture where they can run to their heart’s content off-leash makes a fairy tale land for a dog. While walks are great, the leash aspect causes them to not hold a candle compared to free running.
With so much space to run around in, your dog’s excess energy will quickly be burned off. This will make your life happier as they won’t be so exuberant next time you want to watch tv.
Exercise isn’t the only benefit to expect from a dog park, however. Having so many people and different dogs around will definitely help with your dog’s socialization. They will gain new experiences and with a bit of luck new friends as well. You the owner could also make new friends. Other dog lovers like yourself who could become allies in helping your Akita have the best life possible.
Akitas Need Toys
Boredom, when you’re a dog, can be terrible. Dogs were made for chewing and playing. All-day long if possible. Without providing your Akita with a great collection of toys and chewable items, they will be left to their own devices to come up with fun ways to pass the time.
These pastimes without your direction could be things you don’t like. Chewing on socks and pillows is one possible result. One unfortunate owner with bored dogs came home only to find their stockpile of toilet paper shredded and splayed all around the living room. This was particularly disheartening as this was during coronavirus quarantine and toilet paper was scarce.
To prevent this give your Akita toys with exciting effects like squeaking. As well as things they can chew on. They will do these things regardless. It’s just by being proactive you can have a say on what objects are used for these purposes.