I’ve done some reporting this week on the case of an Akita attacking a 5-year-old child in Addison Township. (Click here to see the blotter item we published earlier, second item down. Full story here)
One of the officials I spoke with said the photos of the mauled boy are “brutal.”
Should we consider including Akitas in breed bans? Or huskies too, because they were responsible for the death of a small toddler a few years ago in Waterford Township?
I think the resounding answer from people would be a very strong no.
While I am not entirely sure what makes an attack by Akita or a husky or mutt somehow less offensive than a pit bull attack, I do know one thing — anyone who decides to own a powerful breed dog needs to be a special person.
If I were interviewing someone who wanted to buy a powerful breed puppy from me, I’d be looking for people with these traits:
Experienced, knowledgeable, active and vigilant.
I’ve heard that the owners of this dog have made the decision to euthanize her (the Akita is a 6- or 7-year-old female). It’s the right decision, I feel.
I don’t intend to say the owners didn’t have any of the characteristics I listed above. Accidents can and do happen.
However, I ask everyone who wants or is considering bringing an Akita or Husky into their lives, or who currently owns one of these breeds, to be aware of these breeds’ high energy and high prey drive.
Children with quick, jerky movements can trigger that prey drive in a snap.
I don’t know what happened out in Addison Township. I won’t speculate.
But if you own an Akita or Husky or plan to own one, please be prepared to provide up to an hour of vigorous exercise, preferably running, per day. Be vigilant around children and provide plenty of other outlets for the dog to expend energy and satisfy its predatory drives.
With the right owner, dogs of these breeds can make great companions.
Learn more Akitas and Siberian Huskies from the American Kennel Club.