Breeding an Akita is not something to be decided on a whim. It is not something to be taken on as a money-making endeavor. Breeding should only be done to improve the breed by someone who proves his or her dogs in the show ring.
What does proper breeding mean
Breeding should be motivated by a true love for the Akita breed. Done properly, breeding is a money-losing venture. First off, you have to acquire a bitch of breeding quality, which can itself run into the thousands. The bitch then has to be shown, which means money spent on entry fees, not to mention the professional handler fees. Of course, you can show the dog yourself, but you also have to know-how, which means taking conformation classes. When your bitch is proven in the ring, she must then pass many health clearances which will prove her a worthy brood dog to the discriminating stud dog owners. She must have her hips and elbows checked (or OFA’d), and show clear of dysplasia, and she must have her eyes checked yearly (or CERF’d) for pro retinal atrophy (PRA) which is a problem in this breed. These are the minimum clearances most quality stud dog owners look for, and more and more educated puppy buyers will also ask about these tests. Many breeders do many more tests on their dogs to further ensure their health and protect the breed as much as possible from genetic diseases and disabilities.
Working knowledge is necessary for breeders
When she has passed the necessary tests, you then can start looking for a stud dog. Rather than choosing the “stud of the month,” it is necessary to find a dog who is a good choice for your particular bitch, who has strengths where she has weaknesses, and who is a good match for her genotype and phenotype. A good breeder should have a good working knowledge and understanding of genetics, and how certain traits and problems can be passed on. Of course, no one can predict everything. Otherwise, we would have perfect Akitas. But education is very important.
Important Steps: Timing of Breeding, Prenatal and Veterinary Care
When you have found a good match for your bitch, then you have to pay a stud fee, which for quality, the proven stud can be very expensive. Hopefully, the breeding will take, but it is not unusual for it not to. Timing of the breeding is very important. Your bitch should be at her peak fertility to have the most successful results. If the breeding takes and your bitch is pregnant, you then must provide her with prenatal care from a veterinarian and prepare a place for her to whelp. When your bitch has her pups, consider that there may be unforeseen medical complications, and you may have as many as ten or twelve new mouths to feed for a minimum of eight weeks, not to mention their shots and veterinary care.
New Homes for new Akita Puppies
The Akita pups then must be sold to carefully screened homes. A breeder must also be prepared to take responsibility for those pups for the length of their lives. If one of your puppy homes decides for some reason they cannot keep the dog, it is your responsibility as the breeder to take the Akita back into your own home or find a new home for the dog. This extends for the entire life of the dogs you have brought into the world. You should also be expected to keep one or more of the Akita puppies from each of your breedings – if not, what was the purpose of the breeding? It should add to your breeding program. Also, a reputable breeder will be there for guidance and to answer any questions the new owner may have, also for the entire length of the dog’s life and beyond. They want you to learn; they want you to know and to understand the love and devotion breeding dogs require.
As you can see, reputable breeders do not make money from breeding. Money doesn’t even enter as a factor. It is a love of the breed, and a desire to improve upon the dogs already out there that motivates the truly dedicated breeder. Their first and foremost concern is for the dog. Would you want to purchase your dog from anyone less devoted than that?