Akita’s are a powerful, independent and dominant breed of dog with many doting fans around the world. As they were historically used to hunt wild boar, deer and bears, it’s certain that this dog can hold their own in virtually any situation. With such an independent, large, and fearless dog a confident and consistent leader is needed to keep the Akita from testing you and everything around you. Further to this, good and consistent Akita training is needed to ensure that there’s harmony in the home if you choose this dog breed. In this article, we’ll go through some of the things you should know about this majestic breed, as well as our top tips for training and owning them.
What do I need to know about Akitas?
It’s important to know that Akitas are not that interested in being around other dogs. In fact, they can often show signs of aggression, especially if they haven’t been socialized properly from an early age. In general, they tend to be happier being an only dog, or living in pairs with another Akita. Also bear in mind that this breed can have problems with dogs of the same sex and with other animals. So, early exposure and socialisation as a big part of their training is undoubtedly very important.
While they are often aloof with strangers as a breed, they are very affectionate and protective over their family. And, they are generally good with children, as long as the children don’t see the dog as a giant toy. But, with the right socialisation and strong leadership you can have a great companion that is very loyal and loving. This is reflected in the fact that Akiras are often used as a therapy dog with the elderly and children alike.
Akitas are a versatile breed. As a result, they are a strong showing in dog competitions. They’re capable of competing in many arenas including Schutzhund, tracking trials, and agility. Creating a strong bond and showing good consistent leadership is the key to having a successful relationship with your Akita. A mutual respect is definitely needed. This involves a respect from you, as they are powerful and potentially dangerous if in the wrong hands, and a respect from the dog as they will need to listen to you and follow your instructions when asked.
Another thing to bear in mind is that this breed can become anxious when left alone. They definitely like a companion, and if you are away for a long time, this can cause anxious and destructive behaviour. So, it’s important not to leave your Akita alone for long periods of time. You should also feed them with mental stimulation to engage their intelligent mind, otherwise whining and chewing will start to occur.
It’s undoubtable that this breed can make amazing family dogs that everyone will enjoy spending time with, as long as they are in the right, capable hands! Find out more about our top tips for this breed below.
Akita training: Our Top 10 tips
As an owner, it’s important that you stay confident and consistent in your handling and training of your Akita. This is because they are a strong headed breed, and need consistent rules to thrive.
Socialisation is key
It’s vital to socialise your Akita from an early age with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. You also need to make sure that they socialise with other animals such as cats as much as possible. Doing this ensures that they get used to others from a young age, and are far less likely to have issues with them in the future.
Use their brain!
Akitas are a highly intelligent breed and giving them a job to do can help stimulate them mentally and help settle them. This will also make your Akita training easier, as they will be more mentally stimulated and happier to follow your direction! You can involve giving them a job in your day to day training. Games such as tossing a treat for them to catch or tug of war are good examples of this.
Respect is important
When it comes to Akitas, it’s important to earn their respect. They can be an assertive breed. But respect goes both ways! So, having a healthy level of respect between the two of you will keep them from testing you. But, consistency is needed. Before you get an Akita, you need to make sure that you are ready to make the commitment to be firm and consistent. However, if you are ready to do this, the rewards can be huge and you should enjoy a happy relationship with your dog for years to come!
They enjoy company
It’s important that you don’t leave this breed alone for long periods of time. This is because Akitas bond to one person, and can become anxious and stressed when that person is away for long periods of time. Encourage your Akita to get along well with the whole family any anyone else who may be visiting frequently. However, there is no denying that they can be a needy breed that loves human attention, so be prepared for this before you get one!
Akitas and kids
They are good with children as long as the children treat the dog with respect and don’t climb all over them. For this reason, they tend to be a better pet for older children who are perhaps experienced in being around dogs and know how to behave properly around them. Because of their size, they can be frightening to smaller children, even if they do have a calm temperament.
A very versatile breed
Versatility is the Akitas middle name. From agility to showing these dogs do great in competitions. Practise something new and find some hidden talents as part of your Akita training! This will also help to give them the mental stimulation that they need to thrive and be calm family pets. It also gives you something to enjoy doing together, which will help your relationship blossom throughout your dog’s lifetime.
They can be standoffish
This breed do have a reputation for being standoffish. So, it’s a good idea to introduce them to plenty of strangers when they are young. This will help to quell their natural standoffish behaviour with people who they don’t know. If you want a social dog that you can take out and about with you, working on their standoffish behaviour is vital as it will make this a whole lot easier for you!
Tips for Akita grooming
Regular grooming is required as Akitas can shed a lot. They’re not a low-maintenance breed in this respect! So, if you’re looking to add an Akita to your family, be prepared for their hair to cover basically any surface. Keeping on top of the cleaning may be quite difficult, so it’s up to you whether you would like to deal with this in your day to day life.
Some people may have a negative perception of Akita’s because of their size and reputation for being a standoffish breed. But, with proper training and working consistently with your Akita, there’s no reason why you can’t show everybody how great these loving dogs can be! All it takes is a combination of the right positive training methods, respect, and consistency to help this breed really shine.
Akita Training Video
As with any breed, Akitas can develop negative habits if they’re not trained correctly from a young age. This includes everything ranging from being standoffish to severe anxiety and aggression. Here at Royvon, we have worked with many Akitas over our 60 plus years in business, helping them to develop into the family pets their owners have dreamed of. Take a look at the video below to find out more about Akita training and how we can help dogs overcome aggression:
Blu, a furry giant of an American Akita was with Royvon for the Behaviour Modification Programme because he was showing aggression towards other dogs. One of our expert dog trainers, Ross, worked with Blu during his three-week stay to socialise him on-site at Royvon and offsite to be able to correct his behaviour. Ross worked on teaching Blu how to peacefully approach other dogs so as he’s not rushing over and charging them. As we present to you in this video, watch Blu during his departure lesson where Ross teaches his owners the positive dog training methods he used to accomplish more than positive results.
This method works for all sorts of breeds and not just Akitas! However, aggression is a typical issue we see with this breed that often results from the incorrect training methods being used early on in the dog’s life. However, we will always work with a dog and their unique needs to come up with a training programme that works for them. We work with all breeds, personalities, and sizes here at Royvon! We’ve seen dogs with all sorts of issues, from puppies who need to learn basic manners to adult dogs with severe aggression problems. You can find out more about what we offer and the different programmes by visiting our website or getting in touch today.
Darren is the Managing Director of Royvon Dog Training & Hotels. The business has been in his family for over 60 years! Darren uses this blog to share knowledge and information about dog training and more.