How Long Do Akitas Reproduce? (Explained and Quick Facts)

How Long Do Akitas Reproduce

If you’re thinking about breeding your Akita you likely have some questions about their reproduction cycles. Or maybe you’ve been trying to breed your Akita with little to no success and are wondering what you can do to help them get pregnant.

Akitas generally can have up to three successful, straightforward pregnancies between the ages of two and seven. And there are some important things you should know about their reproductive cycles and how to ensure your Akita is ready to be bred and has a safe pregnancy and produces healthy pups.

The reproduction and pregnancy process in Akitas is fascinating. But it’s important to keep your Akita healthy and to become familiar with the breeding process and type of litters they have before you start your breeding journey with your Akita.

When And How Long Can Akitas Reproduce?

Like most dogs, Akitas should be full-grown and fully ready to reproduce (at least two years old) when they are bred for the first time. And the age of seven is the recommended upper limit for breeding your Akita.

There should be at least one year between successful mating sessions, and no Akita should have more than three litters of puppies in her lifetime.

How Long Does The “Heat” Last For Akitas Reproduction?

Female Akitas go into “heat” approximately once every six months. This “heat” period lasts about three weeks or so. Their gestation (pregnancy) period lasts an average of 58 – 63 days.

Factors That Affect How Long Akitas Can Reproduce


It can be extremely dangerous for your Akita to get pregnant before the age of two and after the age of seven. If your Akita is bred outside of this time period there can be issues with the pregnancy, loss of puppies, as well as birthing complications which can lead to organ failure as well as the death of the Mom Akita.

As your Akita ages, they run the risk of developing health problems common in Akitas — most commonly hip dysplasia — but also certain immune disorders or hypothyroidism that can complicate pregnancy leading to loss of the pregnancy or extreme pain for the pregnant Akita.

Health and Genetics

The health and genetics of an Akita play a major role in its ability to reproduce:

  • Hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and immune disorders in Akitas can lower their fertility and make carrying litters to term risky.
  • Nutrition: Providing high-quality nutrition supports reproductive health. Akita diets lacking key nutrients can lead to delayed puberty and irregular heat cycles.
  • Vaccinations: Ensuring your Akita receives all necessary shots protects them from diseases that can impact pregnancy. Discuss with your vet any special vaccines needed for pregnant Akitas
  • Parasites: Internal/external parasites can reduce litter size and increase the risk of miscarriage. Routinely deworm and use flea/tick prevention.

Environment and Stress

In addition to physical health, an Akita’s environment and stress levels influence their reproductive lifespan:

  • Noise and disruption from loud environments or frequent stress can reduce the fertility period of Akitas. It’s important to minimize external stress during breeding.
  • Overcrowding, with too many dogs in one place, leads to disease spread and aggressive mating, which shortens their ability to reproduce.
  • If female Akitas have frequent litters without enough recovery time, they may become unable to reproduce by the age of 5 to 6 years.

The Impact of the Number of Litters on Reproduction

Repeated pregnancies strain a female Akita’s body and lead to increasing reproductive problems:

  • Uterine Exhaustion: Each pregnancy weakens the uterus, raising the risk of miscarriage and complicating embryo implantation, potentially ending fertility.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Frequent pregnancies and prolonged heat cycles interfere with hormonal balance, which can impair ovulation in Akitas.
  • Nutrient Depletion: Nursing and repeated pregnancies deplete a mother Akita’s nutrients, causing smaller, weaker litters and weakened immune systems.
  • Pelvic Floor Issues: Frequent pregnancies stretch and weaken Akita’s pelvic muscles, increasing the risk of uterine prolapse during birth.
  • Mammary Tumors: Nursing many litters leads to continuous prolactin release, which raises the risk of mammary cancer in Akitas over time.

Therefore, having multiple litters in a row poses risks for even a healthy Akita mother. Limiting litters protects reproductive capacity and supports longevity.

What Should You Do If Your Akita Gets Pregnant?

See Your Veterinarian.

If your Akita gets pregnant there are a few key steps you need to complete:

If you purposely bred your Akita you should have a good idea of when the pregnancy occurred and therefore how far along your Akita is. But if your Akita fell pregnant without your knowledge you will need your veterinarian to date the pregnancy.

Watch For Signs Of Pregnancy.

Your Akita will generally show no signs of pregnancy until at least five to six weeks. Akitas generally do not carry their pregnancies in their loin area like most other dog breeds. Instead, their pregnancy is basically hidden under their ribs for the first while, then drops down into their bellies when they get closer to giving birth.

Either way, it’s a good idea for the veterinarian to see your dog to make sure the pregnancy is progressing nicely and that your Akita doesn’t have any health issues. Your vet will also want to monitor her pregnancy as it progresses or give you detailed instructions for what to watch for.

A Clean Environment.

Some Akitas can be prone to infections and immunity issues and this can be especially dangerous during pregnancy. While you should always make sure your Akita has a comfortable, clean sleeping area, this is especially important during pregnancy.

After seven weeks of pregnancy, it is extremely important to introduce your Akita to their whelping place. A box of at least 4 feet, 6 inches by 3 feet should be prepared, and this box should be even larger if your Akita is larger in size. This will allow plenty of room for your Akita to lay on her side — and for their puppies to lay and roam slightly once they are born.

You’ll want to set this up early to give your Akita a chance to check out the box and get comfortable in it so it’s a natural place for her to give birth. If your Akita seems at all unhappy with the box, move or alter it until she takes to it. Her comfort during this time is of high importance.

Give Them Lots Of Water And Healthy Food.

Your Akita will likely be extra thirsty and hungry during their pregnancy. While their water needs may increase as soon as they get pregnant their extra food needs shouldn’t come in until the second half of pregnancy — unless your Akita is underweight.

Always ensure you keep fresh, clean drinking water nearby for them and feed them regular meals of healthy food. Check with your veterinarian for proper food recommendations and amounts during pregnancy.

What Should You Do If Your Akita Doesn’t Get Pregnant?

If you’ve tried to get your Akita pregnant without any success here are a few things to consider:

Is Your Akita In Heat?

When your Akita goes into heat, she will likely display a variety of symptoms such as:

  • swelling in the vulva area
  • bloody discharge
  • excessive licking of this area
  • mounting behaviour
  • change of tail position
  • agitated or aggressive behaviour
  • more frequent urination than usual

This heat period lasts about three weeks and should give you ample time to breed your Akita during this time. If you would like to be extra specific on the timing, you can ask your veterinarian for an ovulation detector to determine the exact time of ovulation and plan to breed two days after that.

Is The Semen Your Akita Is Receiving Good Quality?

Perhaps it’s not your Akita who is unable to get pregnant, it could be an issue with her mate. If you’ve chosen to breed with a dog who is too old or has health problems their semen could not be strong enough to impregnate your Akita. Find another reputable source for semen or have the male dog tested.

Is Your Akita Healthy?

If you’re trying to breed an older Akita it’s possible they could have trouble getting pregnant as fertility does decrease as your Akita ages. And, of course, as with humans, some Akitas will have small to large health issues which could be preventing pregnancy, no matter their age. It’s best to see a veterinarian for a full check-up for insight into why your Akita isn’t able to get pregnant.

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