How to Brush a Japanese Akita

Fine a soft place to brush your Akita, rather than making him sit on hard driveway pavement.

Fine a soft place to brush your Akita, rather than making him sit on hard driveway pavement.

Your Akita's famously fluffy tail and double coat is a thing of beauty, but without regular brushing, it can also end up in poor condition, and all over your furniture. Brushing your Akita once a week is sufficient, though daily brushing is best during shedding season in the fall and spring.

Remove dead hair from your Akita's coarse outer coat, sometimes referred to as his guard coat, by brushing his entire body with a slicker or pin brush. The metal pins on a pin brush pull dead strands while encouraging new hair growth by stimulating his skin. Start at his head and chest using firm, gentle strokes in the direction of hair growth.

Continue brushing down his back and over his hindquarters with the slicker or pin brush. Since his tail tends to bushier than the rest of his coat, you'll want to brush it as well. Leave his tail in its curled position and brush the entire length using short, gentle strokes. Brush his legs last, as loose hairs from other areas can accumulate on his legs and thighs. Start at the top of his legs and work toward his feet using short, gentle strokes. You'll see small clouds of fur moving further and further down his legs as you work toward his feet.

Prepare his undercoat for combing. Note that combing his undercoat is only necessary during the fall and spring when he sheds. Ruffle a light mist through his entire coat with a spritzer bottle so it dampens his undercoat. Those fine, ultra-soft hairs in his undercoat are collect more easily in a comb when damp, instead of flying everywhere. Even though your Akita has a naturally thick coat, since you're dampening his insulating layer, it's best to perform this during warm weather or a heated garage.

Place the wide-toothed metal comb down to his skin and comb his entire coat following the same pattern as you did with the slicker brush, while using short strokes, gentle strokes in the direction of hair growth. The density of your Akita's undercoat can lead to the occasional stray tangle, especially if he hasn't been brushed in a while. If you encounter a snarled area while combing, break the section into several smaller areas using small ultra-gentle strokes until the comb moves smoothly through his fur.

Items you will need

  • Spritz bottle
  • Slicker brush or pin brush
  • Wide-toothed metal comb

Tips

  • Whenever possible, and especially if you're brushing your Akita for the first time in several weeks, groom your pooch someplace outside, where you don't mind creating several clouds of dog hair.
  • Give your Akita lots of praise as you brush his fur. If he seems testy, break up the brushing or combing session into multiple parts. Since removing all his loose hair during shedding season can take a few hours, multiple sessions are especially useful for your sanity and your dog's patience.
  • To minimize shedding and maximize coat healthy, only shampoo and condition your Akita after you've thoroughly brushed his coat.
 

About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

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