How much do Akitas cost? That’s a question we get all the time when people see our American Akita, Haga. Budgeting for a furry friend like an Akita should be one of the first things you do before running off to a breeder or shelter to get a new dog, but when people ask this question, they are usually only thinking about the purchase price of the puppy, when in reality, that’s where the costs begin. In this article, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about how much you should pay for an Akita puppy, and what other costs you can expect to incur in your first year and beyond of Akita ownership.
How Much Do Akita Puppies Cost?
It has been said that champion Akita Inus in Japan can sell for as much as $75,000. Fortunately American Akitas in the states are much cheaper. If you’re looking at various online puppy marketplaces, you will see a wide range of Akita puppies, prices may range from $600 all the way up to $3,500 or even more. If you think that’s bad, take a look at some of the most expensive dog breeds on this list. You may be wondering why there is such a large discrepancy in the prices of these Akita puppies. It typically comes down to one thing: The amount of time, effort, and resources the breeder has put into not just the puppies themselves, but the parents.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a puppy from a breeder that shows their dogs. Why? Because dog shows are about dogs conforming to breed standards. If an Akita is a show champion, that means they check all of the boxes for the standards of being an Akita. This helps to keep the breed in tact. Imagine if there were no more Golden Retrievers, or no more Poodles, because people let them mix with other breeds until there were no more of the original breed left. That would be a tragedy.
But the truth is, showing your dog to win a championship is expensive from a financial and time investment standpoint. This price is typically reflected in the price of the puppies, particularly if you are paying for a stud fee.
This is why we caution potential Akita owners on buying a puppy just because it’s cheap. Inexpensive puppies usually cost more in the long run due to the multitude of health issues they may have as a result of not coming from a well constructed breeding program.
Typically what you can expect to pay for a quality dog from a reputable breeder is $1,200-$2,500. Anything less than $1,200 indicates that the breeder is probably just looking to make some quick cash, and are likely a “back yard breeder.” Anything more than $2,500, you have to start asking yourself why. If you plan on showing your Akita, you may be willing to pay top dollar for the exact puppy you want, but if you just want an Akita as a companion or pet, you can usually find a really great dog from an ethical breeder for much less than that.
With that said, just because someone is charging top dollar for a puppy, doesn’t mean they’re a reputable breeder. Make sure to always do your homework before buying a puppy. You can watch our video on how to find a good breeder by clicking here.
As we mentioned above, once you buy the puppy, your expenses are really just getting started. Here’s a breakdown of all of the expenses in incurred in our first year and a half owning an Akita.
- Puppy purchase price: $2,500
- Transporting the puppy from Idaho to Illinois via plane: $400
- Travel, food, lodging, gas driving from New Hampshire to Illinois: $1,000
- Crate, toys, collar, leash, dog bed etc.. $1,000
- Puppy health plan from Banfield: $780 ($65/month)
- Pet insurance: $600 ($50/month)
- Dog Food: $600 ($50/month)
- Toys: $300 (estimate)
- Dog Training Bootcamp: $1,500
- Day care $2,500 ($50/week)
- Random vet expenses $500 (estimate)
- Neutering and Gastropexy: $1,200
This is obviously a list of expenses we have incurred, however, your situation may have additional expenses to consider. For example if you are out of the house for long hours due to work, you may need to hire a dog walker, or bring your Akita to a day care service more frequently.
If you travel a lot for work you may need to board your Akita on a regular basis (we actually don’t recommend getting an Akita if this is the case).
You may rent an apartment or condo that has a pet fee.
The point is there are many things to considering when budgeting for a dog.
How to Save Money
Of course many of these expenses are more or less one time expenses. For example, you will only buy the puppy once (unless you decide to get more Akitas!), you will likely only need to buy one dog crate, and one good collar/leash. You will only need to do a neutering or spaying on your Akita once, and will only need to do a gastropexy once.
There are other places where you can find some cost savings, like choosing to train your dog yourself rather than hiring a professional. This might be a good option if you have plenty of dog ownership experience, but Akitas can be a difficult breed, and hiring a professional can give you a big leg up. Things like pet insurance or Banfield’s health plan of course, are optional. I would highly recommend pet insurance however, as it can cost you much more in the long run, not to have it. For example if your Akita were to tear their ACL, the surgery to repair it could be as much as $4,000.
We’ve always had dogs in our household and even still hiring a professional trainer set the perfect foundation for us to continue our Akitas training, and what it cost in money saved us in time and frustration!
You may also be able to find an Akita breeder much nearer to you, which will reduce your travel and acquisition expenses, however Akitas are somewhat of a rare breed, and reputable breeders are even rarer still. Consider the fact that there isn’t even an Akita breeder on the Akita Club of America’s approved breeder list in every single US state…that’s how uncommon they are.
Adopting an Akita vs. Buying an Akita Puppy
Another way you may be able to reduce costs of owning an Akita is by adopting one instead of buying a puppy. While we don’t think there is anything wrong with purchasing an Akita puppy from a reputable Akita breeder, we do also support adopting an Akita that needs a good home. There are many reasons why someone might surrender an Akita to a shelter, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a “bad” or even difficult dog. (For a list of Akita rescues, please see our Get An Akita page)
Adoption fees are typically much less than purchasing an Akita puppy, and many of the medical expenses you incur in the early years of puppy ownership, have already been taken care of either by the previous owner or the Akita rescue itself.
Whether you choose to buy an Akita puppy, or rescue an Akita from a shelter or Akita rescue, whether you decide to train your Akita yourself, or hire a professional, owning any pet, Akita or otherwise, is a huge responsibility and requires time, effort, energy, love, and yes, money. When considering if you should bring a dog into your home, there is much more to consider than just the purchase price of the dog! The last thing you want is to spend the time and money getting an Akita, falling in love with it, and then later realizing you can’t actually afford to care for your Akita in the way it deserves!
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