Contact your municipal Animal Licensing Department and find out what the requirements are to obtain a pet license. Often municipalities require new owners to register their new pets within a certain period of ownership, but will give puppy owners a waiver in order to meet age-appropriate vaccination requirements.

  • For example, California state law mandates that all dogs over 4 months of age must be vaccinated for rabies, and licensed. Licenses must be purchased for a term equal to or less than the remaining duration of the dog’s current rabies vaccination. The registered owner must be 18 years old or older.
  • Many municipalities have upper limits on the number of pets per household and reported dog bites will require Animal Control investigation. Find out what your municipal requirements are. Know your rights!
  • Some cities or counties have a Dangerous Dog Ordinance or a Breed Specific List of prohibited breeds that include Akitas. See suggested reading for additional references on this topic.

If you have a home owners association (HOA) or are renting, notify your HOA and or landlord to obtain approval of bringing a Japanese Akita into your residential complex.

  • Some residential complexes have Breed Specific Lists or place limitations like number of pets, an upper size limit by weight, or prohibit dogs under 1 year old. Find out if you face any such restrictions. For reference purpose, an adult female JA can range from 55-60 lbs. in weight and an adult male can range from 60-75 lbs.
  • For residential complex Breed Specific List, you might be able to able to make a case that Japanese Akitas are a separate breed from American Akitas and obtain a waiver. One of our members was successfully able to do so prior to signing her apartment lease.
  • If you are a renter, you may need your landlord’s permission in advance of additions or alterations to the property for safety reasons (e.g., fencing, barriers, etc).

If opting for personal liability coverage, make sure your renters/homeowners insurance covers the JA breed in the policy. Depending on coverage, policies can cover liability for damage caused by your dog, on and off your property, including bites.

  • Insurance carrier availability and coverage varies by State and County. Most insurance carriers will deny coverage if the dog has a history of aggression towards humans.
  • California insurance companies that cover JA’s are listed below. There may be others not included in this list:
    • State Farm
    • Farmers
    • GEICO

Suggested reading:

Shopping List/Check List

  • Municipal pet license
  • HOA or landlord approval
  • Optional:
    • Liability insurance