An Awesome Book… about AKITAS

You may remember the post where I mention that we got something in the mail.  I’ve been spending quite a bit of time perusing this book – because it’s a ginormous resource on Akitas.  The book even has a website.

I must confess something: The first thing I thought and felt was not, “Wow, this book is the definitive book on Akitas!” or “This book is a valuable part of any Japanese dog breed owner’s collection.”  It was more like:

SQUEE!!! I GOT SOMETHING IN THE MAIL!  BECAUSE OF MY BLOG!  I. GOT. SOMETHING. IN. THE. MAIL.  THIS DAY IS AN EPOCH IN MY LIFE.

You know, the kind of mature response that marks me as the serious blogger that I am.

Fortunately for my overtaxed nervous system, this book is everything that Darryl promised and I’m really glad that she introduced me to it.  I’m going to make a few comments on a couple of things (dear Dog, not on the whole book – I don’t have that kind of lifespan):

First of all, Barbara Bouyet, the book’s author, is pretty much the last word on Akitas, from what I’ve read.  I don’t know Barbara, but I found out a little about her at her website Akitas-4-U.com.  She got into Akitas in 1977.  I was born in 1977.  She’s been involved with almost 1,500 Akitas.  I’ve been involved with 2.  Maybe 20 if you count the number of Shibas I’ve goo-gooed at over the years.  I’ve got breed-experience envy like you wouldn’t believe.  Bouyet is also heavily involved with Akita rescue.

Being a Shiba owner, I felt that the information on socializing and training Akitas was good advice.  There’s some sharp stuff in there about Alpha rolls and positive vs. negative reinforcement that I feel is equally valid with either breed.  (Of course the fact that the Akita is a breed that often hits the 100 lb mark is a point well taken.)

I’m not too much into holistic nutrition, although I have a healthy (ha ha, you get it?) respect for the principles.  I feed Tierce dog food that looks like Corn Pops because he does well on it – better than raw, better than Orijen or Go! Natural.  However, the chapters on proper feeding of the Akita and the elements of a good diet were fascinating.  I also paid particular attention to the information about auto-immune disease developing from vaccines, since as some of you know, we have been dealing with Tierce’s problems after his rabies shot in late 2007.

Akita: Treasure of Japan II is the definitive work on the Akita, from history to modern-day issues facing the breed, including rescue, disease and alternative nutrition, including the BARF diet.  ‘Nuff said, because this glowing review has been articulated by better writers than myself.  It is a worthwhile read for dog owners in general for the information it contains about dogs, their behaviour and health.  Go read it.  And go say hi to Darryl of Kari-On Akitas & Shibas, who sent it to me and who is full of awesomeness.

Not about Shibas, but close

The Man Who Saved The Breed: The battle for the Akita, the samurai of dogs

This is a news story that alerted me to the book “Dog Man: An Uncommon Life On A Far Away Mountain.  It’s about a man and his Akitas and, if my search inside books.google.com is any indication, there is no mention of Shibas at all.  However, from the reviews, it provides a great deal of information on life in Japan and the Japanese attitude towards their dogs.  The author spent a great deal of time with Morie Sawataishi and his wife, Kitako, learning about him and his work with Akitas.

I’m hoping to find this at the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  Once I do, I’ll come back and tell you fine people what I think of it.

Google Books Excerpt