If you’re thinking of bringing home an Akita, the amount of time you spend vacuuming your floors and grooming your beloved four-footed family member is undoubtedly an important consideration.
So, do Akitas shed much?
Yes, Akitas shed a lot, making it challenging for people who are Type A cleaners.
I’ll help you understand why Akitas shed a lot, how to maintain their coat, and strategies to reduce shedding in your formerly fur-free home.
How Often Do Akitas Shed?
Akitas shed twice per year, once at the beginning of winter and the other at the beginning of summer. The shedding process can be as short as two weeks and as long as two months.
That means if you have an Akita that’s a long-term shedder, you could spend up to four months of the year having to vacuum your house more frequently and staying extra on top of their grooming routine.
Of course, if you’ve spent time around dogs that aren’t hypoallergenic, you know that dogs drop their fur year-round. Akitas are no exception.
So, regardless of the time of year, it’s crucial to regularly groom your Akita to help manage the amount of fur they leave around your home.
Factors Affecting an Akita’s Shedding Rate
Here’s some surprising news: despite being the same breed, not all Akitas shed the same. Instead, their shedding habits depend on several factors, including:
- The climate
- How often you groom them
Understanding the Akita’s Coat
The American Kennel Club classifies Akitas as having a double coat with fur that’s a medium length. They grow this double coat because they’re from Japan, where they traditionally needed thick fur to protect them so they could hunt and fight in the winter.
Double coats work by having a soft-to-the-touch undercoat with short hair. These hairs are often fast-growing.
They then have a longer topcoat, which grows slower. When you find an extra mess of hair on your floor from Akitas twice per year, you’re likely seeing most of the undercoat, as this is the one that sheds more frequently.
While it can be tempting to want to shave your Akita’s coat, doing so can be harmful to them. Having a double coat prevents cool air from reaching your dog’s skin, given that the difference in speed of hair regrowth offsets their ability to have cool air reach their skin.
Furthermore, Akita’s lose their protection from sunburn when you shave their coat. For this reason, it’s always best to groom dogs with double coats but never to shave them.
All About the Akita’s Baby Coat
There’s nothing like the soft feel of an Akita’s baby coat. But, sadly for your hands and floor, this adorable fur doesn’t last forever.
So, if you bring your Akita home as a puppy, you can expect them to live without heavy shedding until they reach 6 – 12 months old. At that time, they’ll shed their baby coat, which is separate from their bi-annual shedding.
That said, they sometimes shed their baby coat around the same time that they’ll shed as an adult. So, make a note when it happens so that you can check if they have their first adult coat bi-annual shedding about six months from that time.
That way, you can better prepare to tend to your Akita’s coat in the long term.
How Cross Breeds Impact Shedding?
Akitas are intelligent and loyal dogs. But if you’re thinking of welcoming home an Akita mix to receive traits of other dogs, it’s wise to consider a mix that doesn’t shed a lot.
Akita crosses with the least amount of shedding have a hypoallergenic parent since these dogs shed little, instigating fewer allergies among the allergy-prone.
The most common low-shedding dog to mix with Akitas is the Poodle, with the crossbreed aptly taking on the name “Akipoo.” Unlike Akipoos, Poodles have hair instead of fur.
While Poodles shed some, most of their hair continually grows instead of falling onto the floor. Plus, the hair that does fall becomes trapped in a Poodle’s dense, curly coat. Unlike Akitas, Poodles need regular trims to keep their coat from matting.
From a shedding standpoint, the worst dog breeds to mix with Akitas include:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Golden Retriever
If you’re looking for something between these breeds and the Akipoo, purchasing a Dalmakita (Akita mixed with Dalmatian) is a great choice. That’s because Dalmatians shed year-round, but they don’t undergo the two massive seasonal shedding periods that so many other dog breeds do.
How To Reduce Akita Shedding?
Let me start with this—there’s no such thing as an Akita that never sheds. However, you can take specific steps to reduce the amount of fur clinging to your business suit and clumping on your floor.
1. Brush Your Akita Every Day
Yes, it may sound like a lot of work if you have a busy schedule. But not only will daily groomings keep hair off your floor– it’s also an excellent opportunity to bond with your Akita.
To get double the benefit from daily grooming, brush your Akita outside so that you don’t have to battle with cleaning up the mess afterward. Win-win!
2. Take Advantage of Non-Slip Rugs
Non-slip rugs have a rubbery surface that’s a magnet for trapping hair. Furthermore, you can throw many brands of them in the washing machine. So, try placing a few of these non-slip rugs around your home where your Akita normally lays.
Not only will they reduce the amount of fur that falls on your carpets and furniture, but you’ll also contain a significant amount of hair that otherwise would have been everywhere else.
3. Use Furniture Coverings
I know it doesn’t sound glamorous, but sometimes there’s no better replacement for saving your home of excessive fur than using furniture coverings. The good news is that you may only feel the need to use them during your Akita’s two shedding cycles.
Provided that you groom your Akita daily during the rest of the year, your furniture will likely hold up well enough cover-free.
Tips for Grooming Your Akita’s Coat
Now that you know the answer to “do Akitas shed much?” is a resounding “yes,” below are some options for you to groom your pooch effectively.
Try a Vacuum Attachment
If your Akita doesn’t shy away from the vacuum cleaner, vacuuming their fur is an excellent way to control hair around your home. Don’t use just any attachment, though—certain companies make dog-safe vacuum attachments so they’ll be gentle on your dog’s skin.
Every Akita owner knows the feeling of getting Akita fur stuck in their nostrils from flyaway hairs as they groom their pet. So, try lightly coating your Akita’s coat in water using a spray bottle before you embark on brushing them.
Alternatively, spray-on leave-in conditioners are another excellent choice for wetting their coat while also moisturizing it.
Doll Them up With a Coat
Assuming that you don’t keep the inside of your house sweltering hot, it’s helpful to put a t-shirt or dog coat on your Akita to control their fur. Keep in mind that you should use this method on special occasions, as it’ll get uncomfortable for your dog if you leave it on long-term.
However, if you have company coming over and want to give your house a good clean, tossing one of your t-shirts or a dog coat on your Akita is a wonderful way to keep it looking fur-free.
Buy Multiple Tools
When selecting the tools to brush your Akita, it’s best to start with a dematting comb, especially if they have a lot of knots in their fur. A slicker brush can also do the trick, although they have sharp points, so they’re better suited for groomers.
Then, use a shedding rake to cut through the fur. Shedding rakes do an excellent job of pulling up dead hair that standard bristle brushes can’t reach. Finally, finish off your grooming using a pin brush, which has balled ends and penetrates deep into the coat, offering a beautiful finishing touch.
- Dual-Sided Design: Start with 9 teeth side for stubborn mats and tangles and finish with 17 teeth side for thinning and deshedding. Achieve faster and more professional dematting and grooming results
- Skin Friendly to Your Pets: Our Dematting Brush is designed with Sharpened but Fine Rounded Teeth, allows you easily and safely remove mats, tangles, knots, loose hair without irritation or scratching
- Effective Dehedding Tool:This undercoat rake gently removes loose hair, and eliminates tangles, knots, dander and trapped dirt.Perfect solution for dogs and cats with thick fur or dense double coat...
- Comfortable to Use: Lightweight and Non-Slip rubber handle for comfortable holding and stability.You will absolutely enjoy your grooming time with this pet brush
- Great Gift for Pet Lovers: Our pet grooming brush for dogs is a must-have pet brush for all dog, cat and pet lovers. The ideal gift for your friends and family, they will love it!
Pull Out Your Blow Dryer
Blow drying their coat isn’t for all Akitas, as you don’t want to traumatize them if they’re afraid of it. However, if you have a low-key Akita, consider using a blow dryer to get any extra hairs off after bathing them.
That way, more dead fur will land on your floor at that moment compared to dragging out the situation throughout your home in the upcoming days if you towel them dry.
Are You Ready to Care for an Akita’s Fur?
So, do Akitas shed much?
Yes, they do.
Bringing home a dog of any breed comes with many responsibilities. However, Akitas require extra care because of their thick coat that sheds throughout the year and a heavy shed twice annually.
As long as you have the time to groom your Akita daily and don’t mind vacuuming your floor and furniture more often, an Akita will fill your home with lots of love and cuddles.