Akitas are a relatively low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming needs. They typically blow their coat, or shed out the undercoat, twice a year. The hair situation may seem out of control at those times, but otherwise they rarely shed and have the almost cat-like quality of cleaning themselves.
Use a stainless steel comb with wide-set teeth and a pin brush to groom your Akita from top to bottom. Pay special attention to the area at the base of the ears. The thick undercoat here is prone to developing mats. Frequent brushing should prevent mats from developing, but if they do, work them loose with the comb, working on a small section at a time. Other areas to watch for mats are where the legs join the body and under the collar.
Spritz With Water
The thick, fluffy undercoat of the Akita gives him a very regal appearance, but it also can be tough to manage. The hair that makes up the undercoat becomes airborne when combed out, leaving you covered. To keep the hair in check, spritz your Akita lightly with water from a spray bottle before you begin combing. The moisture will prevent the hair from flying all over the place, but not prevent it from coming out. When you are finished, swipe your hand over your dog's coat to collect the damp hair you've combed out.
Take It Outside
While Akitas don't shed much, aside from the two times a year they are blowing coat, the hair they shed is very fine. By brushing him outside, you can minimize the amount of hair in your house. No matter how careful you are, or how much you spray him down, if you comb him in the house you will need to follow up with a broom or vacuum. By brushing him regularly, however, he will learn to wait patiently and you can get the job done quickly.
Akitas are clean-natured dogs. If they get in something dirty, you will probably see them cleaning themselves like a cat. Their thick coat repels dirt, making it easy for them to stay clean. With this in mind, save bathing for times when it is necessary. If your dog rolled in something especially stinky, muddy or plain gross, he probably needs a bath. If you are considering bathing him just because he hasn't had a bath in a while, spend a little extra time grooming him and maybe spritz him with a scented leave-in conditioner. The Akita's thick coat takes a long time to dry and it can be difficult to get the soap out of his double coat, making baths a challenge.
- Akitas: Dan Rice, DVM