House Training Your Akita Pup the RH AKITAS Way!

Tips for Housetraining Puppies


Housetraining.  UGH!  This task next to socializing properly takes the most patience.  In the old days an agressive resonse to a puppy’s mess was used by many dog owners.  Today,  rubbing a puppy’s nose in a mess is a bad idea and does not work.  Besides, its cruel and mean.  Always monitoring your pup and positive reinforcement is the best way to go with an Akita pup.

NOTE:  RH Akitas begins housetraining at 4 weeks of age.  Akitas are naturally willing to relieve themsevles in a place other than where they sleep or dwell.   We akita breeders have an easier time of housetraining akitas than other breeders do with other breeds.  Akitas are very much like CATS.  Yes, cats.  Even as adults, you’re akita will most likely relieve itself behind a tree, a bush, or something that blocks the open view.  We have an akita that always has to hide his head behind something blocking his view of us before he will do his business.  Its quite commical.

As previously mentioned, we begin the housetraining process at the pups’ 4th week of age. By the time you get your pup, he/or she will be about 90% weaned.  The following is good information to have under your belt to continue this training.

Starting Off On the Right Track +

The first course of action in housetraining is to promote the desired behavior. You need to:

  • Designate an appropriate elimination area outdoors
  • Frequently guide your dog there to do his business
  • Heartily praise him when he goes

By occasionally giving a food reward immediately after your dog finishes, you can encourage him to eliminate in the desired area. The odor left from previous visits to that area will quickly mark it as the place for the pup to do his business.

Timing Is Important!

A six- to eight-week old puppy should be taken outdoors every one to three hours. Older puppies can generally wait longer between outings. Most puppies should be taken out:

  • After waking in the morning
  • After naps
  • After meals
  • After playing or training
  • After being left alone
  • Immediately before being put to bed

Eliminating On Command

To avoid spending a lot of time waiting for your puppy to get the job done, you may want to teach him to eliminate on command. Each time he is in the act of eliminating, simply repeat a unique command, such as “hurry up” or “potty”, in an upbeat tone of voice. After a few weeks of training, you will notice that when you say the command your puppy will begin pre-elimination sniffing, circling, and then eliminate shortly after you give the command. Be sure to praise him for his accomplishments.

Feeding Schedules

Most puppies will eliminate within an hour after eating. Once you take control of your puppy’s feeding schedule, you will have some control over when he needs to eliminate.

  • Schedule your puppy’s dinner times so that you will be available to let him out after eating.
  • Avoid giving your puppy a large meal just prior to confining him or he may have to eliminate when you are not around to take him out. Schedule feeding two to three times daily on a consistent schedule.
  • Have food available for only 30 to 40 minutes, then remove it.
  • The last feeding of the day should be completed several hours before he is confined for the night. By controlling the feeding schedule, exercise sessions, confinement periods, and trips outdoors to the elimination area, your puppy will quickly develop a reliable schedule for eliminating.

Expect Some Mistakes

Left on his own, the untrained puppy is very likely to make a mistake. Close supervision is a very important part of training. Do not consider your puppy housetrained until he has gone at least four consecutive weeks without eliminating in the house. For older dogs, this period should be even longer. Until then:

  • Your puppy should constantly be within eyesight
  • Baby gates can be helpful to control movement throughout the house and to aid supervision
  • Keep them in the crate when unsupervised.

When you are away from home, sleeping, or if you are just too busy to closely monitor your pet’s activities, confine him to a small, safe area in the home.

Nervous Wetting

If your puppy squats and urinates when he greets you, he may have a problem called submissive urination. Dogs and puppies that urinate during greetings are very sensitive and should never be scolded when they do this, since punishment inevitably makes the problem worse.

Most young puppies will grow out of this behavior if you are calm, quiet, and avoid reaching toward the head during greetings. Another helpful approach is to calmly ask your dog to sit for a very tasty treat each time someone greets him.

Direct Him Away from Problem Areas

Urine and fecal odor should be thoroughly removed to keep your dog from returning to areas of the home where he made a mess.

  • Be sure to use a good commercial product manufactured specifically to clean up doggy odors. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for usage.
  • If a carpeted area has been soaked with urine, be sure to saturate it with the clean up product and not merely spray the surface.
  • Rooms in the home where your dog has had frequent mistakes should be closed off for several months. He should only be allowed to enter when accompanied by a family member.

Don’t Make Things Worse

It is a rare dog or puppy that can be housetrained without making an occasional mess, so you need to be ready to handle the inevitable problems.

  • Do not rely on harsh punishment to correct mistakes. This approach usually does not work, and may actually delay training.
  • An appropriate correction consists of simply providing a moderate, startling distraction. You should only do this when you see your dog in the act of eliminating in the wrong place.
  • A sharp noise, such as a loud “No” or a quick stomp on the floor, is all that is usually needed to stop the behavior. Just do not be too loud or your pet may learn to avoid eliminating in front of you, even outdoors.

Practice Patience

Do not continue to scold or correct your dog after he has stopped soiling. When he stops, quickly take him outdoors so that he will finish in the appropriate area and be praised.
Never rub your dog’s nose in a mess. There is absolutely no way this will help training, and may actually make him afraid of you.


The basic principles of housetraining are pretty simple, but a fair amount of patience is required. The most challenging part is always keeping an eye on your active dog or puppy. If you maintain control, take your dog outdoors frequently, and consistently praise the desirable behavior, soon you should have a house trained canine companion.

+ Contributed in part by Cedar Grove Vetrinarians

Feeding the Akita Pup

Feeding Your Puppy


At RH Akitas we use a goat milk base veterinary approved formula to supplement our 1-3 week old pups’ feedings.  We then wean the pups with this formula and canned Nutro-max for puppies to make a cereal.  The pups LOVE this stuff!  We then move on to canned puppy food only, all the while providing them a consistent access to clean water.  Next, we move on to a canned and dry puppy kibble moistened with a bit of water.  We use less of the canned as we move on into the weaning process.  Our customers always get a supply of the dry kibble and canned food in their Puppy Care Kits to they can continue on weaning their pup to the food of their choice.

Proper nutrition for your new dog is key to helping him live a long, healthy life.


Selecting a Puppy Food

Dogs are as individual as people. Large, small, young or old, despite their differences, they all need a well-balanced diet for good health. Yet dogs of different ages and sizes have different nutritional needs. This is especially significant when it comes to puppies.

The energy requirements of a puppy can be nearly twice that of an adult dog, and a puppy may not have the stomach capacity to eat enough food to meet his needs unless the food is specifically formulated to do so. Follow these guidelines when choosing a food:


Provide a highly digestible, nutrient- dense, 100% complete and balanced premium formula for growth. High-quality formulas contain such vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates your dog needs for sound and healthy development.


Feed a formula based on breed size. Puppies experience their most rapid period of growth during the first six months of life, and because growth rates differ among breed sizes, you need to feed a formula designed to address the needs of your puppy’s breed and or size.


Feed puppies based on the recommended amounts for weight and age and feed this formula until your puppy is an adult. Some pups are slow to wean – adding high quality canned food will encourage them to eat more.

Large-breed puppy nutrition
Although large-breed dogs have bigger bones than medium or small breeds, large-breed puppies do not need more calcium. Studies have shown that:

  • Rapidly growing, large-breed pups are more inclined to exhibit developmental bone problems.
  • Controlling the rate of growth is more beneficial than promoting rapid growth.
  • Moderating calcium, phosphorus and calorie levels in their diet promotes normal skeletal development.

Overfeeding and weight gain can actually contribute to developmental bone problems. This makes managing food intake very important. Research has shown that puppies are at increased risk for developmental bone problems if they are overfed.


Dry, canned and biscuits

Once you’ve decided on a premium formula, you have another choice to make: dry or canned. And what about biscuits?

  • Premium dry dog food gives you the best value and convenience while providing your dog with high-quality nutrition. Premium dry foods come in a number of bag sizes and formulas suited to size, life stage and activity level. Dry food also helps keep teeth clean and remains fresh for long periods if stored properly.
  • Puppy and adult biscuits make great treats and rewards and can add taste variety to your new dog’s diet.

Value of Premium Food +

Low-cost food may be less expensive, but it isn’t always a bargain and may not provide optimum nutrition. Premium food makes sense both nutritionally (because of consistent, high-quality ingredients) and economically because it provides:

  • 100% complete, balanced nutrition
  • High nutrient and energy density, which translates into smaller feeding portions
  • A stable ingredient profile.

High nutrient and energy density

The investment in a super premium food may initially cost more per bag, but because these high-quality formulas are high in nutrient density, your dog may need less food, which can offset the higher cost per unit of weight. On a cost-per-feeding basis, look at how much you feed each day as opposed to how much the bag costs, because nutrient and energy density will generally be lower for a low-cost food compared with premium foods.

  • Foods from reputable dog food companies such as IAMS, SCIENCE DIET, NUTRO, Taste of the Wild, Diamond Natural, etc  are fixed-formula foods as opposed to least-cost formulas. Fixed formulas have a “stable ingredient profile.” That means the recipes formulated to be 100% complete and balanced do not change with the cost of ingredients.
  • With least-cost formulations, the emphasis is on production and ingredient costs. Two bags of the same least-cost formulated food can have different ingredients and/or levels of ingredients. Plus, those ingredients may vary significantly in digestibility—this means simply that you may need to feed more just to equal the nutrition offered by a smaller amount of a premium dog food formula.

Nutrition, Skin, Coat

Feeding studies have shown that a dog’s nutritional requirements are best met by high-quality animal proteins such as those contained in chicken, fish, lamb and eggs. Our formulas are made with these highly digestible proteins, which promote excellent skin and coat condition and enhance your dog’s overall health and well-being. When your dog’s coat looks good, the rest of the body is likely to be well nourished, too.

The role of fatty acids

Fat also plays a key role in keeping your dog’s skin and coat in top condition. Fat not only provides energy, it’s a source of essential fatty acids that are necessary for the skin’s healthy structure. Fatty acids in the diet keep the skin moist and supple. Fatty acids also contribute to a thick, lustrous and healthy coat.

Important types of fatty acids

Lack of fat and fatty acids, or the wrong balance of fatty acids, can result in dry, scaly skin and hair/coat problems. A proper balance of fatty acids is key to a healthy coat. Although there are many kinds of fatty acids, a few are important to coat health and appearance:

  • Linoleic acid is an essential omega-6 fatty acid for dogs and is necessary for healthy skin. It is found in beef, pork, chicken and some vegetable oils.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, can be found in the fat or oils provided in ingredients such as chicken and corn in your dog’s food.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish oils and in flax. Although not essential to a dog’s diet, they have been found to help nutritionally manage skin and coat conditions and promote a shiny coat.

A proper fatty-acid balance

An appropriate balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat. An optimal range of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty-acid ratios is between 5:1 and 10:1, to enhance skin and coat quality and help nutritionally manage skin and coat conditions.

Feeding Instructions

Your new dog’s first meals at home are very important. Find out what formula your dog has been eating and continue feeding this food for a day or two after you bring him home. If you want to change his diet to a premium food, gradually move him from the old food to the new formula and help avoid intestinal upsets by using the following steps:

Day 1: Fill your dog’s bowl with 75 percent of his old food and 25 percent of the new premium formula..

Day 2: Mix the old food and the new premium formula in a 50/50 ratio.

Day 3: Feed your dog a mixture that’s 75 percent new premium formula and 25 percent old food.

Day 4: Feed 100% of the new premium formula.

Feeding Tips

Use the following guidelines to feed your new dog properly:

  • To feed a puppy from weaning to four months of age, offer a 100% complete and balanced premium puppy formula. To determine each serving size, start with the daily amount recommended by the feeding guidelines on the pet food label and divide that number by the number of times a day (usually 3 times) you plan to feed your puppy.
  • Serve the food at room temperature and remove the bowl within 30 minutes after he’s done eating.
  • After four months, you can feed a puppy twice daily on a regular schedule.
  • Always provide your dog with clean, fresh water.
  • Discard uneaten wet food at the end of the day.

Feeding Tips for a Teething Puppy

Puppies grow quickly and have special nutritional needs. The most noticeable period is known as the rapid growth stage, which occurs between two and six months of age. From about three to six months, most pups will lose their puppy teeth (don’t be alarmed if you occasionally find a tooth near his dish or on the floor).

During this phase, however, a puppy’s mouth and gums may be very sensitive, which could cause him to be a bit picky when it comes to eating. There’s nothing you can do except to wait out this period, even if his appetite is affected for a couple of days.

Helpful hints

Don’t switch to a new formula to stimulate your puppy’s appetite. Changing food at this time can cause additional stress and intestinal upset. To help your puppy make the change, consider the following options:

  • Mix his regular premium dry food with a premium canned puppy food to make his diet more appealing.
  • Soak dry food in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  • Feeding a dry food and biscuits help loosen the teeth so pups can get through the teething process quicker.

If his appetite loss persists, see your veterinarian before you switch food

+Info provided in part from Purina Inc.

For Our Visitors to RH Akitas

The most stable Akitas can be unreliable around strangers.  This is a trait that is common in the Akita.  Think about it. The ancient culture of the Akita consisted of a single family in a small area.(small housing/environment)  Seldom did the Akita have visitors of whom they did not know.  They were bred to hunt, protect, guard, and be extremely loyal to their owners, especially the children in the household…as a result, current day Akita’s natural instinct to guard and protect. This trait can be dampened by today’s professional breeders but can never be weeded out.

The majestic and regal Akita, with its bear-like looks and the ability to produce the most intimidating ‘stare down’ in the animal kingdom has an incredible ability to protect and guard.  Although we as breeders wish to dampen and calm this inherited trait to keep it in check, we do not want to eliminate it all together. This is part of what the Akita is and just like the herding instinct in herding dogs cannot be stripped away, nor can the guardian and protector trait be stripped from the Akita.  As one Akita breeder/veterinarian suggested, “An Akita should always be treated like a loaded gun when strangers come over.”


We love to have visitors and welcome anyone to set up an appointment to come over to visit our “kids” or a puppy they may have purchased.   To keep our dogs safe, to keep you safe and to keep our insurance company happy – we have set forth a few guidelines that we ask you to fully comply with when visiting the RH AKITAS property.

1) Due to the common locality of various viruses such as the parvo-virus, we will not accept any visitor that has lost a pet or has been in contact with a sick canine species in the last 6 months. As well, special timing is taken to insure pups are at their strongest when visitors do come over to visit. (read below #2)

Many canine viruses are found in the soil – placed there by infectious animals – tame or wild.  We have known of entire litters that have died because Parvo was introduced into their homes by visitors carrying the virus on their shoes/slacks etc. Interesting enough – it is not uncommon for a human being to unknowingly carry Parvo virus particles on their clothing.  It is everywhere and it is deadly to young canine species!  Also, please note that we close our kennel to visitors if we have a litter of pups that are soon to arrive and are younger than four weeks old. Sounds excessive but our pups are very very important to us as well as their new masters. Therefore, we do take every precaution.

2) Visitors are welcome when the litter of puppies is past FOUR week of age.  No exceptions.  This is to insure the mom and the puppies have sufficiently stabilized.  The puppies eyes will be open at that time and most importantly – their IMMUNE systems are at their strongest from ingesting maternal antibodies through the mom’s milk. (colostrum)

3) During a female akita’s heat, it is not surprising to see that one of our males has bent the metal bars on their kennel doors to get out and locate this female!  The Akita is strong and we take no chances here at RH Akitas.  Therefore if we have our kennel open to visitors –  ……..

  • We will not have more than TWO visitors at a time on the property. We must be present at all times during your visit.    (sorry large families – here is an example of why)

Not too long ago – we had a family of 7 visit RH AKITAS.  First thing that happened was the 5 year old boy ran up to King Kori’s kennel slipping both his hands and arms through the fencing.   If an akita does not know a person, an akita will become territorial and may become upset. Although our dogs have never bitten anyone or shown aggression, an upset Akita cannot be predictable.  The boy was grabbed by the parents quickly.

Soon, our visiting family split up into groups of high strung happy people – innocently barking back at our Akitas, running up to kennels, screaming, talking fast and loud, throwing baseball caps around and getting loud strange rings on their cell phones while next to the kennels.  To say the least  – all of our Akitas were on edge.  The next thing that occurred during their visit is a canine phenomenon found in oriental breeds like the Akita and or Huskies. This phenomenon is what we call, “in-fighting” a fight that occurs between the two otherwise friendly cohabiting akitas that go into guard/protect mode due to an outside influence (such as strangers visiting or entering the property,  another dog entering the property etc.).  This phenomenon was addressed in the movie, “Eight Below” when a few of the dogs were unable to be put together on the sled leads.   Although it is rare and doesn’t happen often it does happen and when it does – it can have severe tolls.  Not only were our visitors indirectly placing themselves in an unsafe situation – our dogs were were going to get hurt.

We hope you understand why groups are not preferred on the property.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Please don’t show up with a bus of relatives thinking you can have two people exit the bus at a time to enter the property.  We’ll smile and tell you to come back another time with only two people in your party.  J  Just be cool.

  • Children under 16 are not allowed in the kennel area or near any adult Akita on the property. No exceptions.
  • Please keep your hands away from any adult Akita. Do not ever reach into their kennels to pet or touch. Even if you are greeted with a wagging tail – do not put your hands, face, nose, feet, toes, etc….anywhere near an adult akita.   Most of our Akitas would welcome a pat on the head but again – we do not take chances when they do not know and you do not know them.
  • Absolutely no family pets allowed at RH Akitas. Our “kids” will quickly go into protect/guard mode. It will not be fun for them, us, you or your pet.
  • Give us a week’s notice to set up your appointment. Please note – a Weather event, the arrival of a new litter, a litter soon to arrive or personal change in schedule may cancel your appointment to visit us. We will contact you to re-schedule in advance if need be.

RH Akitas is not responsible for any injuries sustained by our customers while visiting our property due to falling, tripping, etc… by not following the above guidelines.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.