|21.5 and 28 inches in height, from 55 to 130 pounds
|Friendly and intelligent but supervision required
|High / needs daily physical and mental activity
|thick and double-layered, medium in length
|lifespan of 10 to 13 years
|Good with children
Have you ever wondered what you’d get if you combined the loyalty and intelligence of a Labrador Retriever with the dignified strength of an Akita? Enter the Labrakita, an intriguing mix catching the eye of dog lovers worldwide.
In the next sections, we’ll dive into the world of the Labrakita, uncovering everything from its distinctive characteristics to its specific needs. Did you know that according to a recent survey, mixed breed dogs like the Labrakita are rising in popularity, now accounting for a significant portion of pets in American households?
As a Labrajoy reader, you’re likely seeking to understand not just the appeal of this mix, but also the practicalities – how to best care for a Lab Akita Mix, anticipate their needs, and ensure they lead a happy, healthy life.
Let’s explore together why the Lab Akita Mix might just be more than a passing trend, delving into the heart of what makes this mix a topic worth your attention.
What is Akita Lab Mix?
Labrakita is bred from a combination of the Akita Inu and Labrador Retriever. Stands out as a large, big-boned dog, renowned for its thick double coat.
This breed inherits distinct traits from both its parent breeds: the family-friendly nature of the Labrador and the loyalty and work ethic of the Akita. Characterized by a sturdy build, the Labrakita may feature a thick tail, which could either curl like an Akita’s or remain straight.
Their ears vary, sometimes appearing as shorter, folded versions typical of Labradors or staying upright, reflecting their Akita lineage.
These dogs often have lighter markings around their muzzle and chest, and their short coats add to their striking appearance. As a relatively new designer hybrid, the Akita Lab mix is not widely found, adding an element of rarity to this breed.
History of Labrador and Akita Mix
The Labrakita is a modern creation, a designer breed with little documented history due to its recent emergence. Let’s look at the history of her parents:
Labrador Retriever History
Labrador’s history starts in Newfoundland, Canada, in the 1700s, initially served as a hunter and retriever. These dogs were adept in waterfowl retrieval and, through crossbreeding, evolved into the well-loved Labrador Retriever recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917.
Labs are known for their affectionate and intelligent nature. They quickly became America’s most popular dogs, admired for their ability to connect with families and their versatility in various tasks.
On the other side of the globe, the Akita has its roots in 17th century Japan, specifically on the island of Honshu. Initially bred as hunting dogs, Akitas were crossed with larger breeds like the Great Dane, enhancing their capability to hunt formidable prey such as wild boar, bears, and deer.
Throughout history, Akitas became revered for their loyalty, serving as guard dogs and protectors. Their existence was threatened, nearly leading to extinction, until Japan initiated a significant reformation in the 1920s.
The breed gained international attention after World War II, especially in the United States, thanks to soldiers bringing Akitas home from Japan.
Physical Characteristics of Labrakita
Image credit: raiden_the_labrakita / Instagram
1) Labrador Akita Mix Height and Weight
The Labrakita presents a significant variation in size and build.
Labrakita stands between 21.5 and 28 inches in height, with a weight range from 55 to 130 pounds.
This notable range is due to the distinct size differences of their Labrador and Akita parents.
Males tend to be on the larger end of the spectrum, often reaching 24 to 27 inches in height and weighing between 60 to 120 pounds, while females usually measure 22 to 25 inches tall and weigh 55 to 100 pounds.
|24 to 27 inches
|60 to 120 pounds
|22 to 25 inches
|55 to 100 pounds
2) Color and Coat
The Labrakita can exhibit a diverse array of hues.
Or the Akita’s shades, which include:
Their coat, thick and double-layered, can vary from short to medium in length and may change as the dog ages, reflecting the dominant genes of the parent breeds.
3) Grooming Requirements
Grooming the Labrakita is an essential aspect of their care, given their thick, double coat that sheds heavily, particularly during seasonal changes. Weekly brushing is recommended to minimize shedding and maintain coat health.
This breed’s coat may or may not be waterproof like a Labrador’s, but it requires regular maintenance regardless. Bathing should be done monthly or as needed, without over-shampooing to avoid dry skin.
Keeping an eye on their nails is important too, with monthly clipping often necessary. The Akita Lab mix is not hypoallergenic, thus requiring consistent grooming routines, especially for those with allergies.
Labrakita Temperament and Personality
Image credit: labrakita / Instagram
The Labrakita showcases a complex and varied temperament, reflecting traits from both parent breeds. They inherit the Labrador’s exuberant and playful nature alongside the Akita’s more reserved and headstrong demeanor.
This mix can be loving and affectionate with family, yet potentially independent and wary of strangers.
The Labrador Retriever’s influence may make the Labrakita less inclined to solitude. These dogs thrive on companionship and can develop anxiety if left alone for extended periods. This anxiety may manifest in destructive behaviors, such as chewing.
The Akita’s traits contribute to the Labrakita’s protective nature, potentially leading to standoffishness or aggression toward unfamiliar people and a territorial attitude toward other dogs.
They also inherit the Akita’s strong protective instincts, making them excellent guard dogs who are vigilant about their family’s safety.
Like their Labrador parent, they can be tempted to chase after scents or small animals, though this prey drive may be less pronounced in Labrakitas with English Lab lineage.
Due to these traits, it’s advisable to keep Labrakitas on a leash during outings.
Regardless of which parent breed they more closely resemble, Labrakitas require consistent socialization and training from a young age. This helps them integrate into various social settings and adapt to different environments.
While Akita Labrador Mixes are generally good with children, their large size and varying temperament necessitate supervision during interactions with younger family members.
Early and continuous training, alongside positive reinforcement, is key to nurturing their best qualities.
Due to their unique blend of temperaments, predicting the behavior of Labrakita puppies can be challenging, but with commitment and patience, they can become well-rounded and loyal family pets.
Labrakita Life Expectancy and Health Issues
Image credit: milo_the_labrakita / Instagram
Labradors have a lifespan of around 10 to 14 years, while Akitas share a similar life as them, also living about 10 to 14 years.
The Labrakita has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
As with any breed, they are predisposed to certain health conditions, some inherited from their parent breeds.
Prospective Labrakita owners should ensure that both the Akita and Lab parents have undergone health screenings for common genetic issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, and regular eye exams.
Common health concerns in the Lab Akita mix include:
|Common Health Concerns
|Progressive Retinal Atrophy
|This degenerative eye condition can lead to blindness, particularly in older dogs. Other eye-related issues like glaucoma and cataracts are also potential risks.
|Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
|This is a developmental condition where the joints do not form properly, potentially leading to arthritis and discomfort.
|Cranial Cruciate Disease
|This knee problem, where the cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, can cause pain and limit mobility.
|A life-threatening condition where the stomach twists, leading to rapid swelling. Immediate veterinary intervention is necessary if bloat is suspected.
Other health issues that may affect Labrakitas include:
|Other Health Issues
|Entropion and Ectropion
|Conditions affecting the eyelids, lead to discomfort and potential corneal damage.
|Conditions affecting the eyelids lead to discomfort and potential corneal damage.
|A thyroid disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland.
|Seizure disorders can also be a concern.
Training and Exercising your Labrakita
Image credit: beni_labrakita / Instagram
Training Tips and Techniques
Training a Labrakita requires a balanced approach, blending firmness with positive reinforcement. Start obedience training early, focusing on basic commands in a distraction-free environment.
Short, frequent training sessions maximize effectiveness, countering Labrakita’s potential stubbornness. This breed’s intelligence, inherited from its Labrador parent, facilitates training but may be tempered by the Akita’s independent streak.
Socialization is key, especially for Akita Lab Mix with a dominant Akita lineage, which can be more reserved or aloof with strangers.
Introduce them gradually to various social scenarios, including visitors and relatives, to foster a well-adjusted temperament.
Labrakitas require 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous daily exercise. Split this into two or three sessions if needed.
Without sufficient physical and mental stimulation, Labrakitas risks becoming overweight, depressed, or engaging in destructive behaviors.
They thrive in activities that challenge them physically, helping to mitigate potential negative behaviors like property damage or nibbling on items.
Ensure they have ample opportunities for outdoor activities, such as treks, beach outings, or visits to the dog park.
Behavioral Challenges and Solutions
Labrakitas may face behavioral challenges due to their mixed heritage. Predatory instincts, particularly in those with a stronger Akita influence, may not suit households with small pets.
Slow, steady socialization with other dogs can alleviate some of these instincts. To combat potential negative behaviors like chewing or digging, provide ample exercise and mental stimulation.
If behavioral issues like aggression or excessive guarding emerge, seek guidance from a professional trainer or behaviorist to ensure a harmonious and safe environment for your Lab Akita Mix.
Living with a Labrador Akita Mix
Image credit: milo_the_labrakita / Instagram
Compatibility with Children and Other Pets
The Labrador Akita Mix, a blend of the friendly Labrador and the dignified Akita, can be a good family pet, yet requires careful handling, especially around children and other pets.
Supervise interactions with children, as the breed’s size and strength could inadvertently lead to rough play.
Early socialization is key to helping them get along with other pets, but be cautious, as the Akita’s strong prey drive may surface, particularly around smaller animals.
Teach children to respect the dog’s boundaries and ensure they understand appropriate ways to interact.
This mix is best suited for families with older children who can understand and respect the dog’s space and strength. Regular training and socialization help mitigate potential challenges in their interactions with other pets and children.
Housing and Space Requirements
A Labrador Akita Mix, given its size and energy levels, needs ample space to thrive. A home with a large, securely fenced yard is ideal, providing them with room for exercise and play.
This breed may not adapt well to apartment living due to their need for regular physical activity and space to roam.
Ensure they have a comfortable and quiet space inside the home where they can retreat and relax. Regular outdoor activities, including walks and playtime in a spacious environment, are crucial to maintaining their physical and mental health.
Consider the available space and your ability to meet their exercise needs when deciding if a Labrador Akita Mix is a suitable pet for your home and lifestyle.
Lab Akita Mix Dietary Requirement
Image credit: scoutthelabrakita / Instagram
The Lab Akita Mix requires a diet rich in protein to support muscle growth and maintenance. Choose high-quality dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient to ensure they’re getting adequate protein.
Include a balance of carbohydrates for energy, fats for a healthy coat and skin, and fiber for digestive health. Be mindful of their portion sizes and feeding frequency, as this breed can be prone to obesity.
Adjust their diet based on their age, activity level, and health needs, and always provide access to fresh water.
Supplements can play a vital role in the Labrakitas diet, particularly if they are predisposed to joint issues like their Akita parent. Consider glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for joint health, especially as they age.
Omega fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, support skin and coat health. Always consult with a veterinarian before adding supplements to their diet to ensure they are necessary and appropriate for your dog’s specific health needs.
A well-balanced diet is the foundation of good health, with supplements serving as an adjunct, not a replacement.
Adoption and Buying Guide for Labrakita
Finding a Reputable Breeder
When seeking a Labrakita, prioritize finding a reputable breeder who upholds high standards in breeding practices.
Labrakita puppies from a breeder can cost around $500 to $1000.
Look for breeders who provide comprehensive health clearances for both the Labrador and Akita parents, ensuring they are free from hereditary health issues.
Visit the breeding facility to observe the conditions; a good breeder will maintain a clean, nurturing environment. Ask for references from previous buyers to gauge their experience.
A responsible breeder will also show genuine interest in where their puppies are placed, often asking questions to ensure a suitable match.
Considerations for Adoption
Adopting a Labrakita can be a rewarding alternative to buying from a breeder. Check local shelters and breed-specific rescues, as they may have Labrakitas or similar mixes looking for homes.
We at Labrajoy always recommend that you adopt a dog before you buy from breeders.
Understand that adoption might mean less information about the dog’s genetic background and health history. Be prepared for a potentially longer adjustment period as rescue dogs can come with unique behavioral traits or past experiences.
When adopting, assess the dog’s temperament and how it interacts with you and your family.
It’s important to consider your lifestyle and whether it aligns with the needs of a Labrakita. Provide a patient, loving environment, and be ready to invest time in training and socialization to help your adopted Labrakita thrive.
In conclusion, the Labrakita presents a wonderful opportunity for those seeking a loyal and energetic companion. While they may require dedicated training and plenty of space to thrive, the love and loyalty they offer in return are unmatched.
If you’re considering welcoming a Labrador Akita Mix into your life, prepare for a rewarding journey full of learning and affection. And if you already have one, we’d love to hear about your experiences!
Share your Labrakita stories in the comments – let’s celebrate this magnificent mix together!