How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. February 16, 2017
How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need?
American Akita

Animal file: American Akita

The ancestors of the American Akita were bred to hunt bears, and sadly they were also used in dog fighting. Over the decades, they developed stamina and a sturdy bone structure. However, American Akita dogs are also faithful, loyal and protective of their human family.

If you commit to training your American Akita, you will enjoy the company of a friendly and faithful dog, open to living with a family and even with other household pets. This requires a thorough and very early socialization process, but it can be done.

All dogs must be trained, but it is especially critical in the case of such a strong breed. American Akitas have lots of energy to release, so in this AnimalWised article we'll go over how much exercise do American Akitas need.

You may also be interested in: Starting Canicross Training with your Dog
  1. How often should you walk an American Akita?
  2. Benefits of physical exercise
  3. Physical exercise for an American Akita puppy
  4. Physical exercise for an adult American Akita

How often should you walk an American Akita?

Many people have doubts regarding how often they should walk their dog and what is the best way to do it. Obviously, the frequency and length of the walks depends on the dog, its size, age and health. Observing your dog during the walk will be essential to determine what is the ideal time and intensity.

Walking an American Akita puppy:

When the American Akita puppy is in full socialization process and its bones are still being formed, it is very important to not to force it with excessive walking or exercising.

We recommend short walks of 10-15 minutes three or four times a day, to stimulate it without making it exhausted.

Walking an adult American Akita:

The adult American Akita is a very active dog, so you will need long walks of 30-40 minutes, three times a day. You should combine the walks with physical exercise, which we will discuss below.

When you walk your American Akita, you should leave it to roam freely in a controlled area like your own garden or an off-leash dog park. Take a look at 5 things you do wrong when you walk your dog to learn more.

How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need? - How often should you walk an American Akita?

Benefits of physical exercise

Having dogs perform physical exercise regularly is a habit that gives them multiple physical and psychological benefits. These benefits will be particularly important for the American Akita, as they are very energetic. Regular physical exercise will:

  • Facilitate proper and balanced behavior.
  • Improve the dog's health, stimulating the response of the immune system, improving cardiovascular endurance, increasing muscle tissue, and protecting bones and joints.
  • Prevent obesity.
  • Facilitate socialization.
  • Develop your relationship and trust.
  • Help the dog sleep better and be calmer at home, as it will release energy through sport.
  • Enhance its learning process.

The American Akita needs to exercise more than most dog breeds, because it has great energy and a manifested tendency toward dominance and territoriality. To balance this behavior and train it without major difficulties, doing sport and playing together will help you train and discipline your dog while still having fun.

How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need? - Benefits of physical exercise

Physical exercise for an American Akita puppy

American Akita puppies are very vital, and they need to be provided with physical exercise in order to manage all that energy and prevent becoming stressed. However, the exercise must be adapted to their vital stage.

As puppies American Akitas are playful, but you must remember that they have a strong bite from a very young age and that abrupt activities are not recommended, especially jumping, because they could cause serious damage to their joints and tendons. While your American Akita is a puppy, we recommend the following:

  • Fetch the ball: You will need a small and tough ball, suitable for dogs. Throw the ball and ask your puppy to bring it back. In addition to exercising, your American Akita will learn to respond to your call and obey.
  • Tug of war: You will need a soft cloth. The aim is to pull from one end to prevent your puppy from taking it away. The puppy will shake and toss it, applying strength and trying to rip the cloth from your hand. Your aim is to teach your puppy to let the cloth go when you say "stop", one of the basic dog commands. If you do not carry out this order at the end of the game you will notice that over time your American Akita can show growing aggression and dominance.
How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need? - Physical exercise for an American Akita puppy

Physical exercise for an adult American Akita

Your dog will need daily exercise that allows it to manage all its energy and balance its character. The best activities for this breed include the following:

  • Walk and run: The American Akita is passionate about walking, jogging and running. Do at least one long walk together every day. It is better if the Akita does not run on asphalt due to its large bone structure, which could be injured through joint impact.
  • Cycling and walking: If you like to cycle, your dog can be your best companion. It is important to accustom it gradually in order to have it follow you instead of pulling the bike. It requires patience, but the American Akita is an intelligent dog who always learns when its owner is constant and behaves like a leader.
  • Agility: This is a very popular dog sport that the two of you will enjoy tremendously. Look for the club nearest to your location and get started gradually. You will strengthen your bond and work on advanced training and discipline. However, this breed should not perform high jumps until it is at least 1 and a half years old.

Of course, you can keep the puppy games going, always discouraging aggressiveness and resistance. Remember that dogs respond better to training through positive reinforcement.

How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need? - Physical exercise for an adult American Akita

This is our answer to how much exercise do American Akitas need - quite a lot! Don't forget to take a look at the following articles:

If you want to read similar articles to How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need?, we recommend you visit our Sports category.

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Daniel McGinnis
My wife and I had an Alaskan Malamute that really enjoyed playing tug of war with me. We also used to chase each other around the picnic table and he absolutely loved it. It was me who tapped into the playfulness. As a result, he bonded with me more than with her. Are those kinds of activities recommended for an Akita or are they discouraged?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Daniel,

Tug of war can be a good game, but it will depend on how you play it. If you do play tug of war, it will need to be part of their education and training, something which is particularly important in these sometimes stubborn dogs. You should let the dog win every once in a while so they don't become frustrated, but they will always need to respond to your orders. If they do not, then you should probably not continue playing in case it encourages disobedience.
Hi , I currently own a 29 wk old Female Akita and walk her about 30 -40 minutes twice a day , Is that ok or enough ,?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jay,

Another short walk would be ideal, but you can look at their state of health and well-being. As long as they don't have too much energy, are not displaying behavioral problems and don't have any physical issues, they may be OK.
Hi , Thanks for your reply , I also notice that she doesnt go well just walking for that length of time in that she likes being free to run around for a while , so is this ok for her to run around on grass surfaces also without affecting her joints , hips , etc ? Shes only 31 wks weighs only 23 kgs ? Thank you
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jay,

Running on grass shouldn't be a problem. Are they showing any signs of pain or joint deterioration. If you are concerned, you should discuss it with your vet at their next check up.
Peter Hargis
I will put this as briefly as I can. Let us examine your 30-40 min 3 times a day. I’m assuming 1 mile/ 10 min. So your telling me 9-12 miles a day . I would love to see Any dog owner let alone a “lower energy “ breed owner do that. This is why you can’t trust what you read.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Peter,

The 30-40 mins of exercise per day is required. Your assumption that humans walk 1 mile in 10 minutes is also likely to be inaccurate as even at a brusque pace this is a long distance. The exercise regimen of an Akita does not mean you need to be walking constantly (you can take them to a dog park and sit down while they play and socialize), but it is not uncommon for a healthy human being to walk a cumulative hour and a half in a day. In fact it is a trait encouraged by medical experts to maintain our general health. Why wold this be any different for a dog with a high exercise level and particularly good metabolism?

We understand it can be difficult to get this optimum amount and there will be days where you can't quite get the ideal. However, if you can't meet the exercise needs of your dog, then you shouldn't be adopting one.
Alexis Anderson
As a pretty healthy human who runs on average 2 to 3 miles a day I would say I run an 7 to 10 minute mile depending on weather, energy, etc. I walk a mile in 25 minutes. I walk my Akita 4 miles a day. That works just fine.
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How Much Exercise do American Akitas Need?