Best Age to Breed a New Akita (Helpful Guide and Quick Facts)

Best Age to Breed a New Akita

The best age for Akita dams to start breeding is at 24 months. At the age of two, the female Akita is in her prime fertility. The heat cycles are regular, leading to a high chance of a large, successful litter.

This article details essential aspects of breeding a new Akita. It focuses on the optimal breeding age for Akitas, preparation steps for breeding, and essential tips for successful breeding.

The Best Age to Breed a New Akita(Male and Female)

The male Akita can be bred earlier, when he is about 12 to 14 months of age. This is because generally, male dogs achieve sexual maturity earlier than their female counterparts.

The female Akita, however, has to be bred later than her male counterpart. You have to wait until she has at least completed her first heat cycle. Most responsible breeders usually wait until the female Akita is at least 24 months old before they start breeding her.

As a breeder, you should wait until both the dam and the stud are completely ready to breed and can fully cope with the pregnancy that comes afterwards. This is to ensure that you get healthy and quality offspring.

Why is This Age the Best to Breed a New Akita?

The best age for Akita dams to start breeding is at 24 months. At the age of two, the female Akita is in her prime fertility. The heat cycles are regular, leading to a high chance of a large, successful litter.

Physical Maturity Protects the Mother

A 2-year-old Akita is fully mature and grown. This means key body systems are fully developed to handle pregnancy and nursing, including:

  • Bone structure and density
  • Muscle mass and tone
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Reproductive organs

If bred too young, the female Akita’s body is still growing. The demands of pregnancy sap nutrients needed for her development. Such nutrient depletion increases the risk of health complications.

When mature, the Akita’s body adapts more easily to breeding demands. She becomes strong enough to carry and nurse a litter.

Maximize Fertility and Conception

Akitas bred between the ages of two and four years have optimal fertility and conception rates.

In this age window, egg quality, uterus health, and hormone levels are ideal, creating prime conditions for conception.

Specifically, a mature female Akita will have:

  • Regular, consistent heat cycles
  • Eggs at peak viability
  • A robust uterus lining able to support embryos
  • Balanced progesterone levels to maintain pregnancy

This leads to higher conception rates and larger average litter sizes.

Healthiest Puppies Possible

When an Akita has her first litter between 2-4 years old, her puppies benefit from:

  • A healthy mom with plenty of nutrients
  • Strong prenatal care from the mother’s mature immune system
  • Sufficient milk production to nurse the litter after birth
  • A mom with enough energy to care for puppies as they grow

Why Breeding Too Young is Harmful?

The male Akita is usually ready to breed even when they are yet to reach 1 year. However, breeding them this early is not advised. This is because at this age, they are still immature. Before 1 year, the male Akita is still not fully developed. Generally, the sperm count of dogs tends to be low at the beginning of the sexual maturity of the dog.

The dams usually mate later than their male counterparts due to their hormonal cycles. Although they reach sexual maturity when they are 1 year old, it is not advisable to let them mate until they are at least 18 months of age.

This is because they are yet to reach their prime time of high fertility. When a female Akita mates while she is too young, she will have a lower overall puppy count.

Why Breeding Too Old is Harmful?

The male Akita, similar to other dog breeds is able to mate every day of his life once he has achieved sexual maturity. However, this is not advisable since as the male dog continues to age, he starts losing his physical abilities.

Breeding your dog at an old age is very detrimental as the dog is losing its viability. The quality of its sperm reduces since the motility and vitality of the sperm reduces with age. This results in a low sperm count once your male Akita is past his prime. Your dog will end up producing a litter that is genetically weaker than the litter produced by a younger Akita.

Similar to the male Akita, the ability of the female Akita to mate deteriorates with age. Although they do not go through menopause, they lose their fertility as they age. Once they reach five years of age, the fertility of the females sharply declines. This because at this age, their bodies are unable to handle the physical demands that come with pregnancy.

Furthermore, as your bitch ages, she will begin experiencing abnormal heat cycles as a result of a decline in the regularity of the estrus cycle from two times every year to just once.

Also, as she gets older, the chances of your Akita getting premature labor or giving birth to absorbed or stillborn increases. When you breed your bitch past her prime, her health is compromised, making her more susceptible to complications such as uterine inertia among other problems..

Understanding the Heat Cycle of Your Akita

Although a female Akita reaches sexual maturity at about 8 months, it is not advisable for her to mate after her first heat cycle. She should instead mate at about 18 months of age when she is highly fertile. A female Akita usually goes into heat once every six months. The heat cycle occurs in several stages, with each sign having its own distinguishing signs.

The first sign of the heat cycle of your Akita is vaginal bleeding, signifying that your dog has entered her heat cycle. This is then followed by swelling of the vulva. This lasts for about two to three weeks. This makes her more attractive to the male Akita.

However, she will not be inclined to mate until a week to 10 days later. At this stage of their heat cycle, females may be slightly aggressive.

The bleeding then subsides and the females start showing increased interest in mating. They become more receptive when a male partner is introduced. This usually happens between the 11th and 13th days of the cycle. She will then start flagging her tail and getting closer to the male partner, indicating that she is ready for mating.

How Often Do Akitas Go Into Heat?

Akitas, on average, experience their heat cycle every 6 months. However, this varies among Akitas, typically occurring every 5 to 8 months.

How to Prepare Your Akita When It Comes Time?

Use this breeding prep checklist as your Akita’s heat cycle nears:

Step 1: Vet Checkup

Schedule a pre-breeding vet examination about 1-2 months before your Akita’s heat cycle. This will check for:

  • Overall health and body condition
  • Reproductive health and organ function
  • Diet and supplements needed pre-breeding

During the exam, the vet will review your Akita’s genetic history and test for conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Step 2: Immunizations

During the pre-breeding exam, update all vaccines and immunizations to protect both the mother and her future puppies.

Some key shots include:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvo
  • Bordetella

Step 3: Parasite Prevention

Treat your Akita for both internal and external parasites:

  • Internal: Dewormers eliminate intestinal parasites
  • External: Flea/tick medication applied monthly

Pups can easily pick up parasites from mom without prevention.

Step 4: Nutrition Plan

Supplements like folic acid and fatty acids support conception and healthy fetal development. Probiotics aid digestion for maximum nutrient absorption.

Increase the mother’s calorie intake after birth to support nursing and milk production, keeping her full and energized.

Step 5: Grooming & Nail Care

Brush the coat thoroughly to reduce shedding and improve skin circulation. Also, trim her toenails to prevent scratching or injury during breeding and nursing.

Step 6: Secure Housing

Puppy-proof your home or a special birthing area in preparation:

  • Line floors for easy cleanup
  • Safely block stairs/dangerous areas
  • Include plush whelping bed and pads
  • Set up containment fencing with food/water nearby

Consult with your vet to determine if a cesarean section or specific birthing supplies are needed in advance.

Breeding/Mating (When, Where and How)

If you intend on breeding your Akita during the Summer, you should plan the breeding to take place during the cooler times of the day, preferably early morning or evening. It is advised that you avoid feeding the dog for at least four or more hours before the breeding takes place.

The place where the mating is to take place should be quiet, small and confined, to prevent injury of the dogs, especially the male, during mating. You should also ensure that children are not around the breeding pair, to avoid the risk of injury to curious children, since the male Akita is often not considerate to distractions when approaching a female for mating.

The dogs should then be left to get acquainted with each other by giving them time to play with each other. This will increase the chances of the dogs to accept each other, making the whole mating process a whole lot easier.

Once the dogs mate, they should not be allowed to breed again on the same day. This allows the male to rebuild his sperm count. The mating should then be repeated at least one more time, about 24 to 48 hours after the first mating to increase the chances of conception.

How Many Puppies Do Akitas Usually Have?

The number of puppies that an Akita female has in a litter usually varies depending on the individual dog. The average number is between 7 or 8 puppies in a litter. However, there are Akita females with litter sizes ranging from 3 to 12.

How Long are Akitas Pregnant for?

The Akita has a gestation period of between 58 and 63 days. However, following the gestation chart of the Akita is a challenging task. This is because although most dog breeds whelp on the 63rd day, this dog breed does not follow the rule book.

Some of them may whelp as early as on the 56th day. When giving birth, they tend to take long breaks between puppies. The lengths of these periods of rest varies, ranging between 2 to 6 hours.

Handling Akita Puppies

The Akita should not be vaccinated or given any form of medication while the puppies develop in her uterus without the consent of your veterinarian. In case your Akita has not shed naturally around her breasts, you should trim any excess fur around these areas before the puppies are born.

The place for whelping should then be selected wisely, preferably a secluded area such as a corner in a rarely used room or in a spare room. If you have children, you should caution them against bringing their friends close to the puppies since the mother might be over protective.

The whelping spot should be spacious enough to accommodate the Akita and her litter. It should be large enough such that the puppies are not in the way of their mother to avoid them being pressed against the wall or being rolled on by their mother. It should have guardrails to prevent the puppies from getting out and should be smooth to avoid injuring the puppies.

When feeding the puppies, you should do so with sterilized baby bottles. The baby bottles should have an opening large enough to allow milk to drip slowly. As you feed the puppy, you should hold it on its stomach in your lap.

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