Akitas need careful handling

First published in Readers' Letters

I BEG to differ with Mr Sheriff’s letter of February 11 (in reply to mine) saying Japanese Akitas make loving family pets. They don’t always.

I’m glad he can feel at ease with his family and grandchildren living in harmony with his Akita. But, like all dogs, they do have their ‘off days’ and with their weight and hunting instinct, sometimes it ends in a catastrophe, like on the Isle of Wight when an Akita made a horrendous, unprovoked attack on a child. This Akita was a much loved family pet.

I love all dogs, but would not consider an Akita as a ‘lap dog’ for an old couple. Akitas need more exercise than most dogs, and if they don’t get it they become subdued.

Mr Sheriff, where do you walk your Akita? I would steer clear of one if I met one on the forest, for safety reasons for my small dog, and I would certainly cross the road if I saw one walking towards me, as I too am an OAP.

Do all your neighbours feel comfortable about your Akita, especially if they have cats? If so, that’s fine, and I hope you enjoy more years with your beloved family Akita.

M MATCHAM, Hythe.

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