Want to Own Akita Dogs? Here's How Much They Cost

Posted by Erin McDade
Akita dog sits in the grass.

Akita dogs have a reputation for being an expensive breed of dogs.

But how much does an Akita dog cost? The Akita is a large breed of Japanese dog, known for being highly intelligent and protective watchdogs. They originated in the Akita province of Japan around the 17th century and were only owned by members of the royal family--They were used primarily as guard dogs and hunting dogs. They have broad chests, thick double coats, curled tails, and can come in many different colors such as white, black, red, brown, pinto, and brindle.

Helen Keller brought the first Akita to America in 1937 after visiting Tokyo and seeing the statue of Hachiko that had been erected in 1920. Hachiko belonged to a professor in Tokyo and walked to and from the train station with him every day. After the professor died at work, Hachiko continued this routine daily until he died nine years later (in fact, Hachiko was the inspiration for the Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark"). The Japanese Akita is typically called the Akita Inu while the American Akita is simply called the Akita.

Average Akita Puppy Prices

Purebred Akita puppies from reputable breeders will vary between approximately $600 and $2000, depending on the breeder, bloodline, American Kennel Club (AKC) papers, and verifiable family health history. Females are typically more expensive than males, as they can be used for breeding/selling additional puppies. Before purchasing an Akita puppy, verify that they are coming from a high-quality Akita breeder, even if they are a normal family or amateur backyard breeder.

The average cost of an Akita puppy is approximately $1000 according to PetBudget.com. In addition, you will need to purchase all of the supplies necessary to care for a puppy which can average approximately $500.

Feeding Expenses

The Akita is a large dog breed, averaging between 60 and 120 lbs in weight and 24-28in in height. In fact, they almost disappeared after WWII. In Japan, food rationing made it difficult to feed the large dogs. Today, the average yearly cost of food for an Akita puppy is $415, while the average yearly cost of dog food for an adult Akita is approximately $380.

Grooming Expenses

Akita's shed often and need to be groomed frequently; Akita dog owners should be prepared to vacuum their fur off of your furniture on a daily basis due to their double coat of a soft undercoat and coarse outercoat. The Akita is a very clean dog and should not be given a bath unless they absolutely need one. Also, only use dog shampoo to prevent damage the natural oils on their skin. In addition, they need to be brushed every day with a firm brush. They need to have their teeth cleaned every other day, their ears cleaned weekly, and their nails checked and clipped once a month.

The average yearly cost for grooming expenses for an Akita dog is approximately $240.

Health Expenses

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Akita puppies will need to have regular checkups for deworming and vaccinations; it is recommended for all pets to spay or neuter unless you are working as a recognized breeder. Akita dogs are not prone to many health issues, and purebred dogs with AKC papers will have significantly fewer issues than a Akita puppy from a puppy mill. Adult Akita dogs are prone to health problems such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and eye problems. In addition, veterinarian recommend that all pets be microchipped and given monthly heartworm and flea/tick medication.

The average costs of vet bills and medical/health supplies for an Akita puppy is approximately $915 for the first year (including spay/neuter) and $750 for subsequent years. The average cost of pet insurance, should you choose to get it, is $565 per year.

Training Expenses

Akita owners should be aware that Akita's are very loving with their families, however they are naturally extremely protective and are not naturally inclined to socializing with other people or animals. They can be aggressive to other people and animals if they are not extensively socialized. Akita dogs also need a significant amount of training. However, they are very intelligent, willful, and stubborn, and are not for amateur trainers. The Akita is also an active breed that needs several long walks per day or a large fenced yard. You may need to hire a dog walker for walks during the day or board them if you are going out of town overnight.

The average cost of training an Akita dog is approximately $1,255, the average cost of a dogwalker is $20 per walk, and the average cost of boarding is $40 per day.

So, How Much Does an Akita Dog Cost?

Owning an Akita is not for everyone, and this Japanese breed of dog needs a lot of time, energy, and love over their 10-12 year lifespan. On average, owning an Akita will cost you approximately $4,000 for the first year (including the puppy cost) and approximately $1,500 for subsequent years just to cover all the basics.

Do you have an Akita? Show us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: 10 Popular Japanese Dog Breeds

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Want to Own Akita Dogs? Here's How Much They Cost