Male vs. Female Akita: Should You Get a Male or Female Akita?

Male and female Akita puppies posing on snow in winter forest.

While both male and female Akitas make brilliant family pets, there are some significant differences between them. Knowing these differences will help you decide which one would be the best fit for your family.

One of the first crucial steps to getting a new puppy is deciding if you want a male or female Akita. Keep in mind that it’s not just about which sex “is the best” it’s more about which “is the best fit” for you and your home environment.

Should I get a male or female Akita? If you want an Akita who’s quick to train, sticks close by your side in public, and gentle around kids, you may want to get a female. If you want an Akita who’s more playful, social, and likely to bond equally to all family members, you may want a male Akita.

This article is to address the differences between male and female Akita for those considering getting an Akita. So let’s dive into detail and see what makes males and females behave and think in their own way.

Male Akitas


Overview


Height: 26 – 28 inches (66 – 71 cm)

Weight: 100 – 130 lbs (45 – 59 kg)

Puppy Price: $600 – $2,000

Lifespan: 10 – 12 Years

Build: Bulkier with more muscle mass.


Temperament


  • Powerful, alert, courageous, dignified, extremely loyal, and protective.
  • Great sense of loyalty towards the owner.
  • Intolerant and aggressive towards other male dogs.
  • Hard getting along with other male dogs at the dog park.
  • Less suspicious of strangers.
  • More demanding of attention.
  • Less needy of affection to be happy.
  • Harder to train when young.
  • More aggressive during feeding.
  • More playful, especially with children.
  • More hyper during puppy years.
  • A bit more stubborn.
  • More likely to bond with all family members equally.
  • More intelligent and eager to please the owner.
  • Excels at protecting a whole family or territory.
  • Less clean and neat overall.

Female Akitas


Overview


Height: 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm)

Weight: 70 – 100 lbs (32 – 45 kg)

Puppy Price: $600 – $2,000

Lifespan: 10 – 12 Years

Build: Slimmer with less muscle mass.


Temperament


  • Powerful, alert, courageous, dignified, extremely loyal, and protective.
  • Great sense of loyalty towards the owner.
  • Intolerant and aggressive towards other female dogs.
  • Hard getting along with other female dogs at the dog park.
  • More suspicious of strangers.
  • Less demanding of attention.
  • Needier of affection to be happy.
  • Easier to train when young.
  • Less aggressive during feeding.
  • Can be a little less playful.
  • Less hyper during puppy years.
  • Less stubborn.
  • Less likely to bond with all family members equally.
  • Less intelligent and eager to please the owner.
  • Excels at protecting an individual.
  • More clean and neat overall.

Physical Differences

Males

At first glance, male Akitas look very similar to female Akitas, but there are definitely some differences. These differences are more clear in person than in pictures.

Male Akitas are about 2 inches taller on average and 30 to 40 pounds heavier. This means they’re larger dogs overall. They have a large head and a sturdier appearance than females. They also have more muscle mass, so they look a bit bulkier when compared to females.

Females

Female Akitas are smaller in size overall than their male counterparts. They are about 2 inches shorter and average 30 to 40 pounds lighter than males. Females are smoother and more elegant in appearance.

Temperament Differences

Males

Male Akitas tend to be nice and playful with other dogs when they’re still babies. However, once they start growing, they begin to show aggression towards other male and unfamiliar dogs.

Akitas are generally known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners. But an adult male Akita is quite tougher than his female counterpart.

They are naturally much more aggressive than females because they demand to be alphas, whereas females just merely want to be alphas. Keep in mind that a neutered male Akita will be a lot calmer as an adult, and less likely to have aggression issues.

Even though Akitas are not known to be generally tolerant of strangers in public, male Akitas show considerable tolerance than female Akitas.

Not only that, but they are also eager to do whatever task you may ask of them. Akitas are also famous for their cleanliness and quietness. However, males can be a bit messier than females at times.

Testosterone, an enhancing hormone, is excellent for building muscle and when you’re preventing other male invaders from your territory, but it can also affect temperament.

Male Akitas can be a bit stubborn and rigid, needing clear direction from their owners. Many Akita owners know them to be attention seekers for most periods of the day than their female counterparts.

All Akitas are natural guardians, extremely loyal, and sensitive protectors. Males are often likely to bond with the entire family members and be more protective over their home and property.

Females

Female Akitas are widely known to be more serious and intense in everything they do. They’re easier to housebreak and train early than their male counterparts.

Unlike male Akitas, female Akitas are said to be less aggressive. However, they can be very aggressive towards other female dogs and pets.

Also, females are less tolerant of strangers in public places, which can be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on the situation. They don’t socialize with visitors, new people, or even dogs they don’t know.

When they’re still babies, they may tend to get along with other dogs, but they develop same-sex aggression just like males do as they grow.

In terms of cleanliness, female Akitas trump their male counterparts. Their owners wouldn’t have to worry about frequent washing, which is a really great thing.

Females love to be close to their owners and family members just like the males, but unlike the males who can follow you from room to room, they know how to give you space when needed.

They don’t have a stubborn attitude like the males; they tend to understand your emotions and behave appropriately. Their training can be made a bit softer with easier guidance and directions than males due to how they tick and behave.

Trainability

Males

Males have extreme strength and endurance and need a dedicated and robust training plan to channel their energy. But it can be very difficult to keep their attention when they’re still young because they become easily bored with training.

Thus, they don’t have adequate time for training. So you may find it hard to keep your dog’s attention while training him when he’s young. For these reasons, male Akitas is generally considered less easy to housebreak and train when they’re younger.

Because Akitas are so intelligent, it is good to start training them when they’re 7 to 9 weeks old so that they will learn to obey your teachings when they grow old.

Since male Akitas appear to be more social and playful around their owners, they are more easily distracted when walking off-leash.

They also possess the instinct of wanting to control their environment during training, so you must be very careful not to allow them to roam at will. They really love cold climates so you can take advantage of that period.

Males are always willing to please their owners and are excited about their next task. Given their loyal nature, they have the urge and desire to do what you’re asking of them.

Females

Female Akitas are known to be more focused, serious, and obedient than males. They are easier to housebreak and train, in fact, you can trust them to be alone, and generally, be successful with more extensive training when they are younger.

Because females are more difficult to distract than males, they tend to do better during off-leash training. However, they tend to be less enthusiastic to complete the next task given by their owners. This is because they tend to get bored easily, just like males.

Female Akitas are more connected with their owner’s emotions and therefore respond more positively to light correction and praise during training than males. Akitas can be so notorious for being particularly difficult to train, but females seem to be so easy to train.

Health Differences

Males

Males Akitas can be more prone to hip, bone, and joint problems than females. This is probably due to their extra weight and size (30 to 40 pounds heavier). Obesity, as one of the most common health problems, greatly influences a dog’s lifespan.

If properly taken care of and given good nutrition, an Akita will live from 10 to 12 years. Their supposedly short lifespan is attributed to the fact that the bigger a dog is, the more pressure is placed on their heart, and the shorter their life span is.

In terms of body structure, Akitas are very tough and healthy overall. Notwithstanding, you should conduct vital health tests on them regularly.

Due to males’ relative weight and size, they’re prone to certain conditions such as hip dysplasia and gastric dilatation-volvulus, commonly called bloat (a life-threatening condition that affects overweight and deep-chested dogs).

There’s clearly no correlation between sex and lifespan of dogs. Therefore, the lifespan expectancy will remain the same between males and females until a new study proves otherwise.

Females

Due to their lighter and smaller size and weight, females tend to be a bit less prone to hip, bone, and joint problems than their male counterparts. There are even suggestions that females live longer than males due to a lack of strain of a huge bulky body on the heart.

They are also less likely to develop gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat) during their lifetime than males. You should also frequently conduct certain health tests on your female Akita.

Male and female Akitas seem to be equally prone to the other major disease that affects the Akita breed, including cancer, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, and auto-immune diseases such as sebaceous adenitis and hypothyroidism.

Before you purchase your dog, ensure to find a good breeder to purchase from. This is because good breeders will know almost everything about their dogs, as well as being able to pass health checks. It is very important due to the breed’s popularity as well as some genetic health issues.

With Children

Males

Males often tend to be more carefree and goofy than females, so they can be clumsy around children. Although Akita lore tells about how dogs acted as babysitters while their mothers worked in the fields, this does not mean they should be left with kids without supervision.

Generally, it is not wise and safe to leave them with children, especially males, because they’re usually large and may endanger your child’s life.

A large male Akita can accidentally injure a child, and the injuries can be very severe if the child is bitten severally. Less aggressive males can be created by subjecting them to constant training and careful early socialization with children. When they’re raised with children, they’re always tolerant, loyal, and playful with them.

Male Akitas are very affectionate and devoted to children and can go to extra lengths to protect them. Keep in mind that it’s also dangerous to leave them with kids because Akitas, especially males, are very food possessive.

Females

Since females tend to be a bit more serious than males, they can be more well-behaved and cautious around kids. However, if they’re not properly trained, they can be as lethal, aggressive, and dangerous as their male counterparts. To prevent any event of an accident, it is generally not recommended also to leave females with children.

Female Akitas are more likely to bond strongly to one individual in the house, most especially with a child. While on the other hand, males will bond equally to all members of the family. Females are not usually adapted to play with kids frequently, as they will need to get their space sometimes.

With Other Dogs

Males

Naturally, Akitas are inherently not usually comfortable with having other dogs around. Males can be a bit more likely to attack other dogs to determine dominance.

Akitas are generally known for their same-sex aggression issues, especially the females. But this can be addressed if a male Akita lives in a house with a female dog and not another male.

Also, if there is more than one male in the house, make sure they’re neutered in order to prevent constant fights. Socialization should be more focused when they’re young to create a close bond and relationship.

Males are also more protective of their territory than females are. They will go after unknown male dogs who come onto your property, and they won’t back down if another dog initiates a throw down. 

Females

Even though female Akitas are a bit more cautious with new dogs they meet for the first time, they’re also less likely to get involved in dominant confrontations with others. It may be really difficult releasing your female Akita from your side to go play with other dogs.

If you have a female and a male dog in the same house, the female will likely get along better with the male than with another female. So, it’s rare to have alpha dog issues with a female.

Like males, same-sex aggression between females is common, or even more than males on male aggression. According to studies, aggression issues between females are much more severe than between males.

Once dominance is determined, males will stop fighting, but females will continue to fight until they severely injure each other.

It is important not to have two female dogs in the same house, or better still, make sure there is at least a two-year age gap between them. This will bolster the chances of them getting along with each other.

With Other Pets

Males

Males can be a bit more likely to attack other pets around the house if they are not introduced to them at a very young age. They may consider small pets as threats to their territory.

They also see them as prey and can hunt them down at will. For example, an adult male Akita is very much likely to be aggressive towards a new cat brought into the house.

Some male adult Akitas can be trained to fit into a household where other pets are already established. However, the Akita must be closely watched around the other pets until peaceful co-existence is established.

Females

Although female Akitas can be less aggressive towards other pets than males, that doesn’t mean they can also tolerate another pet’s presence. If they are properly trained and socialized with these pets from a young age, there are chances they may get along and co-exist peacefully.

Which Is Better for a Family?

This is a very tough question to answer, and there is either no right or wrong answer. In a family environment, both male and female dogs do exceptionally well.

They are both devoted and loyal to their masters as well as other members of the family. Seriously, it’s up to you to decide whichever dog best fits your lifestyle.

In an environment where little children or a male canine is present, a female can fit perfectly in that situation. However, every dog and circumstance is usually different. So it’s a little deeper than that.

The following are the potential advantages each dog can have in a family environment.

Advantages of Male Akitas in a Family Environment:

  • Love going out frequently – great for active families.
  • Usually bond evenly to all members of the family.
  • Will easily get along with female dogs in the house.
  • Loyal and devoted to all members of the family.
  • Can be friendly and tolerant of children if properly trained.
  • Alert, courageous, and protective of the entire household and property.

Advantages of Female Akitas in a Family Environment:

  • Usually, bond strongly to one specific family member.
  • Will easily get along with male dogs in the house.
  • More cautious around kids.
  • Easier to train when young.
  • More protective and loyal to her master in public – less trusting of strangers.
  • Less hyper during the early years.

If you already have a dog in your house, it might be good to get a dog of the opposite sex. But if you must get a dog of the same sex, you should ensure that the dogs are fixed, and their age difference is at least two years. Just bear in mind that it’s best to keep two dogs of the opposite sex.

If you have children in the house, make sure you supervise their activities with male dogs in order to prevent any unforeseen accident. Females are calmer and more cautious around children. If you are the active type, males are always happy to join you on endless outings.

No matter what sex you choose, just focus on socializing them as much as possible in their early life stages. If you do that, then it’s almost impossible to make a wrong choice. If they are properly socialized, you will get the best out of them.

Also, don’t hesitate to introduce them to the family, new people and other pets. You’ll definitely have a loyal, devoted, and loving Akita when he or she is grown up.

Which Is a Better Guard Dog?

This is another difficult question to answer. Any Akita is a natural guardian of the home. You do not require any training to turn them into guard dogs.

This question is so hard to answer because their ability to do well in guard work depends heavily on their environment and individual temperament rather than what sex they are.

Another factor to consider is the type of guard work they will be doing. For some moment, let’s dive into this topic as much as possible and discuss this by examining all the known differences between the two sexes when it comes to guarding work.

Below are points that can make each dog better in guard work, depending on the circumstance.

Advantages of Male Akita Guard Dogs:

  • Larger, energetic with more muscle and strength.
  • Better at defending an entire territory or home.
  • Boasts of a stronger and lethal bite.
  • More motivated to protect an area from intruding dogs.

Advantages of Female Akita Guard Dogs:

  • Better at protecting a specific individual, usually her master.
  • More intelligent.
  • More suspicious of strangers.
  • More agile and alert.

It just depends on what you want your dog to do for you when it comes to protection. Let’s say you’re looking for a dog to protect your whole property and home, then a male Akita might be the best option.

However, if you want personal protection dog who’s motivated to protect just a single person in the family, then you might be looking for a female Akita. Females are inclined to be better personal protection dogs, while males are generally guarding dogs. 

Final Thoughts

The most important reason for writing this article is to guide you to choose rightly. Generally, Akitas are very adaptable dogs with a whole lot of socialization when they’re still young.

Therefore, whichever sex you choose, considering that you socialize them adequately and put extra effort in, you’ll be happy with your choice at the end of the day.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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