Akitas are a playful and affectionate breed that is loyal to their family members. They are known to be reserved to strangers and sometimes even defensive. The Akita is a breed with a very thick coat to stand cold weather. Which is why I thought it might be a good idea to research if Akitas are good for hiking.
It surprised me, but I found Akitas can be a great hiking companion if trained well. The best temperatures for hiking with your Akita pal are between -15°F and 80°F (-26°C and +26°C). During hot temperatures, most of them don’t feel the need to walk long distances. Their thick coat makes is too hot for them.
Pros and Cons for hiking with an Akita
|Pros for hiking with an Akita||Cons for hiking with an Akita|
|High tolerance for being uncomfortable||Often can’t stand warm temperatures|
|Their thick coat keeps them warm during winter hikes||Can be defensive to their family|
|Enjoys long hikes in cold weather||Not the stamina for long hikes during hot summers|
|Not known to be an agile breed|
Let’s discuss the cons of Hiking With an Akita First
Akitas are not Known for Being Agile
The Akita breed is not known as an agility breed like border collies are, but they are in the top agile dog breeds anyway.
People who have tried agility training often say they their Akita liked it very much.
So what to do when you want to start hiking? It’ is best to start on the easier hiking trails, but you might quickly find out your Akita loves the challenge and is ready for the next step. As extra you can try agility training with him. It’s a great way to get some exercise and training and perfect for the bond between you and him.
Despite the fact they are made for speed they also have superb control over their feet. They can walk in control over any terrain including rocky.
Hunting is all about agility in predators. Akitas are considered one of the best-hunting dogs there are. From this fact alone we can understand they are agile. When a trail is a few days long his stamina may not last, but this is dependent on how well trained he is.
Every expert will suggest Akita as one of the best cold climate hiking companions. Hot conditions though is another story. Their double-layered coat is no drawback for their agility though.
Their superb bone structure makes them naturally agile.
Akita Are Defensive to Their Family?
Having another pet around them they are raised with they will probably be fine with them. They are considered defensive to their families.
Being defensive to their families can result in aggressive behavior to other pets or even humans. Being raised with another cat or dog is not a guarantee that he will get along fine with them. You can not always trust them with other pets around, which is why they should not be off-leash when hiking.
Akitas have a strong will. They need very strict socialization and behavior training before you take them on a hike, but even if you don’t training is advisable.
Not the Stamina For Long Hikes
Akitas are dogs with heavy bones, thick necks, and large heads. There build doesn’t immediately make them the ideal partner for long hikes. They are strong dogs made for sprints.
Many owners of Akita claim their dog doesn’t like jogging, but they like walking for hours. Which is what hiking is all about.
Temperatures play a big role in its stamina. During cold winters your Akita probably loves to walk for hours even trough snow, but during hot summers it is a different story. Their thick double-layered furry coat will make them feel uncomfortable. Make sure you bring enough water to cool him. And don’t be surprised if he wants to stop after two or three kilometers.
If you frequently hike with your furry pal, after a while he might even enjoy carrying a backpack for you.
At What Temperature Can I go Hiking With My Akita?
If you have read our Akita post, You may know that Akitas have a double-layered coat so they can easily stand the cold mountain temperatures.
Because of this fact, it seems apparent that they are not compatible with summer hiking or hiking in regions where the temperature is high due to climatic conditions. As per facts, for long hiking with Akita temperature conditions between -15°F to 85°F (-26°C to +26°C) will be suitable.
As the temperatures will increase their stamina and redundancy will keep decreasing or you can say they are indirectly proportional.
Now let’s discuss the pros of hiking with an Akita
They Have a High Tolerance For Being Uncomfortable
This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Akitas have a high tolerance for being uncomfortable.
Being on a hiking trail with your boy you won’t notice very quickly how warm he is, apart from him slowing down. Make sure you bring enough water for him to drink and cool him down.
I read a story about an Akita that was bitten by another dog. His owner didn’t notice his dog was bitten until he by accident touched him at the injured wound. He then noticed the blood, but his dog didn’t give a kick.
They can probably hike for hours in warm temperatures through rough terrain. You have to be careful not to make the hike too long.
Akitas Are Born For Winter Hikes.
If you are the type of person who likes to go hiking in wintertimes in the snow then an Akita could be the best dog breed to bring along.
They origin from the cold and snowy mountains in Japan. Their stamina and enthusiasm excel at temperatures below 32°F (0°C). Their thick coat keeps them warm in the cold conditions.
Do Akitas like walking?
Akita like most dogs doesn’t like being enclosed in a dog house or leashed all the time.
If you want your Akita to be happy then he needs to go outside for a walk at least three times a day. If you live in a house with a large garden in which he can roam easily then he will be ok with not being taken outside. I would still advise you to do so though.
Akitas inhibit an alert personality and love to do lots of exercises.
When you take him out for a walk, unleash their chain and let him roam freely for some time. They don’t normally run or jump too much, but they will walk so quickly after being released. Allowing Akita to walk and roam freely will boost the mood of your pet as well as it will make them more loyal to you because they like walking freely.
Since they love walking you might say they are also natural hikers, but what about hiking off-leash?
Are Akitas Obedient Enough to Stay of the Leash
Akitas love freedom, but they don’t like always being leashed on. They are nominated under the category of hunter dogs, so they have a natural urge to lead.
It is not easy to train an Akita
They are known for being loyal to their owners. That’s why they will not leave you after leashed off. But after leashed off they become independent and a problem can occur when another dog arrives.
Akitas are repellent to the same sex if there is a bitch around, he won’t be aggressive toward her.
If your dog is socialized well with other dogs then this problem will not arise.
Akitas are very good natural hikers and they keep marking trails while hiking. They have also a very nice grip, so they don’t feel any problem even in irregular terrains.
When leashed off they will try to lead you instead of following, if not trained. Hiking with a trained Akita is going to be fun for you as well as it will also improve bonding between owner and dog.
Despite your Akita is obedient enough to stay leashed off, the owner should follow some instructions while hiking with Akita. Akitas are hunter dogs so they can be distracted after seeing any prey, the only way to avoid this is to feed your dog sufficient so they don’t need to be distracted toward any prey.
If you are going to a crowded region, there is always the danger of your Akita attacking a stranger.
When someone makes eye contact with them, they take it as a challenge and attack, also they don’t allow children or other strangers to come closer to themselves. As an owner, you must acknowledge these issues related to Akita. If you are sure your dog doesn’t show any tendency like this, then only leash off your Akita at any crowded place.
Are you the type of person that likes to hike in colder temperatures or do you prefer the hot climate to go outside?
If you prefer the first and you don’t mind the time it takes to train an Akita they can be the best buddy to come along your hiking trips.
Do read the points of hiking with him off-leash and his aggressiveness against other people, before considering getting one. These two you definitely must get under control to keep the hiking fun.