Boston Robb

Passion is the Genesis of Genius

The Dog Bred To Neutralize A Bear

I had heard of Akita's but never really knew too much about them until I met my wife. In our home, we always had German Shepherds. And still to this day, one of my favorite dogs. But the Akita has now found a very special place in my heart. Originally bred in Japan to help hunt bears, this dog commands reverence. This dog is majestic. And not just for their dominating power, but for their loyalty & devotion. Unlike any other dog I've met. As a working breed, Akitas were also used by the Japanese as "Nanny Dogs". Scholars maintain that in ancient Japan while women worked in the fields, the Akita would stay in the home and play nanny to the children. This dog is rightfully a national treasure in Japan, and their lineage is Royalty. 

This is Ayla. Our devoted & beloved Akita. When I got her she was weeks old. I used my vacation time from work to bond and work with her on training. She instantly bonded with our family. And I was extremely nervous about this breed before we had decided on getting an Akita. Our of my anxiety, I read everything I could, listened to podcasts and talked to people. I did my due diligence because of the brute force packed into these furry bear-like dogs. But something about these dogs is so different than any other dog I've ever been around. Not only do they have an intimidating presence up close, they have a divinity to them. It's like the dog knows it comes from a long line of Japanese Emperor's. 

Here we are at the breeders home where he AKC Prize winning Akita's live.

Close to the end of the video, you see a HUGE white dog in one of the cages (my wife pans past him). That dog looked like a polar bear in real life.. No joke, the dog was over 6 feet when he stood up. These dogs can be intimidating. 

I knew from the get go, owning a dog like this was a responsibility as big as the akita itself so I took nothing for granted and brought in some professional help. My friend worked with the military training dogs and taught me how to work with my akita. It took meticulous repetition but worth every disciplined second working with my akita. The love from an Akita is incomparable, its magic. I imagine it's a feeling you'd have if you had an actual pet bear. 

The training is what every dog needs. If you have or may get a pup, do yourself a favor and read Cesar Milan's books on training dogs. He has a few podcasts that are great also. It will help you see things from the dogs view & really help them live happily as your companion. 

When my daughter was born, we trained more. But Ayla, our akita, was naturally inclined to love our baby. And Ayla did, more than I ever knew she would. Ayla would curl up around her while Claire watched movies, she would lay with her while she read books, Ayla seemed to adopt our daughter. They were better than best friends, a friendship only a dog & baby could have. 

The raddest friendship. Ayla & Claire. 

The raddest friendship. Ayla & Claire. 

Peas in a pod. And this is the dog that was originally bred to neutralizes bears when hunting. It is amazing the power they possess and what gentleness they have. I love this breed so much. Ayla would watch over Claire, you would witness this dog actually keeping an eye on the baby. It was surreal. 

We do not have Ayla anymore. And we miss her like crazy. But we are an Akita family now. And when our time is right, we will find another Akita to join our family. 

Akita's were only introduced to the US when Helen Keller received one as a gift in 1937. These dogs have a primitive bloodline, proven through recent DNA testing. If this dog is interesting to you, there is a movie called Hachi : A Dogs Tale (haha wicked funny pun), but the movie is based on a true story (just Hollywood-ized) about a loyal Akita who's owner passed away when he was at work. The dog would see his owner off and meet him on his return at the train station. So when his person didn't come home, the akita went to the train station every day waiting for him until the dog passed away. There is a statue of the akita at Shibuya train station in Japan commemorating this dog's loyalty. It's unreal how rad these dogs are.   

This last video still makes me laugh... a sad laugh, I miss this sweet girl so much. It was a rad feeling knowing this sweet powerful pup was always watching over my wife and kids. Here is Ayla trying to figure out what is wrong with her human...