How to Obedience Train an Akita

Medium
4-12 Weeks
General

Introduction

Your Akita is a smart and strong-willed dog. He is confident. Novice Akita owners might see that confidence as stubbornness, but you can build on your dog's natural confidence and desires to learn and train him to be obedient to you. 

Obedience training has a few basic elements like 'sit', 'stay', 'down', 'come', and leash manners or learning the 'heel' command that are imperative to training your Akita to be an obedient dog. An obedient dog is one you can nurture and love for a long time. When your Akita is trained basic obedience, he will not only listen to these foundation commands, but he will also be open to learning other commands as well. You can give him advanced obedience training and teach him more difficult commands, or you can teach him fun tricks for entertainment. When you work hard with your Akita to train basic obedience, you are building your relationship with him and setting your expectations for how your relationship will be in the years to come.

Defining Tasks

Because basic obedience training builds a strong foundation for any future training, you are going to go about training your Akita several different ways. The first thing you will be doing with your Akita is potty training if he is not house trained. Once he's old enough to socialize with people and other dogs, socialization will be the next step to obedience training. Teaching him the appropriate physicality between him and humans or other dogs sets expectations. Your Akita will need to know how to act with you as well as when you're not around. He will need to know how to behave when he's in public around people and other animals and when he's on a leash or off a leash. 

Set your expectations high with your Akita because he can certainly handle them. Whether you’re starting at puppyhood or with an adult Akita, focus your training on positive input and output and rewards for good behavior.

Getting Started

When you train positive reinforcement with any dog, especially your Akita because his personality is so strong, you will need to have lots of tasty treats on hand for rewarding positive behaviors. When time allows, schedule quiet distraction-free training sessions to work on basic obedience commands one-on-one. Other times during the day, think of moments you can turn into learning opportunities. Your Akita is open to always learning.

The Socializing Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Early on
As soon as you bring your Akita home or as soon as he is old enough and vaccinated, socialize him. Take your Akita on walks with a leash, to dog parks, around your neighborhood, and to pet stores. The more your Akita interacts with other people the better-socialized he will be. A social dog is a well-behaved dog.
Step
2
Basic training
Become your Akita’s master by offering him basic obedience training. Start small and easy with basic commands such as 'sit' and 'down' and then move up to more difficult commands such as 'heel' and fun tricks.
Step
3
On a leash
Take your Akita out for walks and practice your basic obedience commands. Be sure while you're walking your Akita on the leash, he understands your expectation for leash manners. If he pulls on the leash while you're walking together, stop in your tracks and wait for him to redirect his behavior in a positive manner.
Step
4
Introduce
Introduce him to people he will see often. These people can be friends or family outside of your home, pets around the neighborhood, the groomer, veterinarian, or pet store staff. Set your expectation for him to sit before they are allowed to touch him. Be sure you allow them to pet and touch your Akita so he gets used to this kind of handling.
Step
5
Rewards
Set yourself up as the master of your Akita by giving him rewards when you see good behavior, when he succeeds at obedience commands, or is successful performing a trick. By giving him rewards for good behavior, he will begin to understand you are in control.
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The Basic Obedience Method

Effective
3 Votes
Step
1
Easy commands
Start basic obedience training with a few easy commands such as 'sit', 'down', 'stay', and 'come'. Be prepared with lots of treats to reward your Akita for good behavior and for mastering obedience.
Step
2
'Sit'
Hold a treat up over your Akita’s head slowly move it back towards his tail and watch as he sits in anticipation of getting the treat you're holding over him. When he sits, say the command and give him the treat. Keep practicing until he masters this command.
Step
3
'Down'
Start training the down position by having your Akita sit first. Once he's in a sitting position hold a treat in front of his nose and slowly bring it down to the floor, pulling it closer to you and away from him. He will likely lie down when he sees the treat down low and pulling away from him. When he does this, say the command ‘down’ and give him the treat. Be sure to practice a lot with rewards.
Step
4
'Stay'
They will take a little bit of practice. Put your Akita in a 'sit' position. Tell him to stay and take a step away from him. If he comes towards you, repeat. If he stays, even if only for a moment, give him the treat. Practice this a lot moving farther and farther away from him once he understands what you're asking him to do.
Step
5
'Come'
The 'stay' command typically joins with a 'come' or 'release' command. Once you put your Akita in the 'stay' position, he will need to know when he's free to go. Typically this will happen when you step away and offer him a treat if he comes towards you. Use the command to 'come' each time he moves towards you and reward him. Practice a lot, so he understands the command.
Step
6
Leash manners
Leash manners take a lot of practice and a lot of walks. Start your walks off short with lots of rewards as your Akita walks next to you and is well-behaved. Increase your challenges with longer walks and more distractions as he understands your expectations.
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The Play and Reward Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Exercise
Be sure to give your Akita lots of exercise. He's a highly energetic dog and needs to release this energy throughout the day.
Step
2
Playtime with you
Take some time every day to play with your Akita. If the weather is nice, go outside for a walk or play fetch in the backyard. As your little guy releases his pent-up energy give him lots of reward for playing well.
Step
3
Playtime alone
There will be times your Akita needs to play alone, entertaining himself instead of depending on you for entertainment. Provide him with enough toys to keep active whether he is inside or out.
Step
4
Engaging play
As you are playing with your Akita or as he's playing on his own, give him commands and engage with him when you can. This will set the stage for him to listen to you and begin to learn to do what you ask instead of being exclusively independent.
Step
5
Obedient training
Outside of playtime, help your Akita burn off excess energy by scheduling basic obedience training sessions. These sessions should be fairly short but highly energetic and rewarding for your Akita to learn new commands. Focus on building foundation commands such as 'sit', 'stay', leash walking, 'down', and 'come'. Then move to more advanced training, teaching him lots of tricks and fun activities.
Step
6
Treats to come
Be sure your Akita knows any time he is playing with you, listening to you, giving you his attention, behaving well, making good choices, or sitting through a training session and is successful, he's going to earn a treat. Have lots of tasty treats on hand to reward positive behaviors and reinforce obedience training with rewards.
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 04/01/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Michika
Akita Inu
3 Months
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Michika
Akita Inu
3 Months

hello, I actually have a bunch of questions , don't know where to begin

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I can give you some advice on a starting point. I know it may seem overwhelming right now, but everything will start to fall into place as everyone in the household adjusts. You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home and start to house train. Puppies start learning from birth and good breeders begin handling and socialization right away. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. When training is started at 7 to 8 weeks of age, use methods that rely on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching. Puppies have short attention spans, so training sessions should be brief, but should occur daily. Puppies can be taught to “sit,” “down,” and “stand” using a method called food-lure training. We use food treats to entice the dog to follow its nose into the proper positions for “sit,” “down,” “stand,” and “stay”. How do I get started using food lure training? Small pieces of food or a favored toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. Provided the reward is sufficiently appealing, the puppy can be prompted to give the desired response by showing the puppy the reward, giving a command, and moving the reward to get the desired response. For example, food held up over the puppy's nose and moved slowly backwards should get a 'sit' response; food drawn down to the floor should get a 'down' response; food brought back up should get a 'stand' response; food held out at a distance should get a 'come' response; and food held at your thigh as you walk should get the puppy to 'heel or 'follow'. By pairing a command phrase or word with each action, and giving the reward for each appropriate response, the puppy should soon learn the meaning of each command. How often should I give the command? Ideally you should give the command phrase once and then use your food to move the puppy into positions. Once the puppy has performed the task, add in verbal praise and an affectionate pat, which are known as secondary reinforcers (see below). If the puppy does not immediately obey on the first command, then you are likely proceeding a little too quickly. If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are acceptable before it needs to obey. Keeping a leash attached can help to gain an immediate response if the puppy does not obey. "If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are acceptable before it needs to obey." Remember that, early in training, your puppy does not know the meaning of the word. Therefore you could just as easily teach your puppy to sit with the word bananas (or sit in any other language) as you could with the word sit. The key is to associate the word, in this case “sit,” with the action of placing the hind end on the floor. How should I phase out the lure and food rewards? At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command. Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat. At first, begin training in designated sessions throughout the day, with a variety of family members. All rewards should be saved for these training sessions. Over time however, you should begin to ask your puppy to perform the tasks at other times. How much time should I spend training my puppy every day? You do not necessarily need to train in a set session daily. Rather, integrate these tasks throughout the day. A goal to strive for is at least 15 minutes of training every day. These can be short 5 minute sessions spread throughout the day. Try to have all family members ask your puppy to do these tasks. Remember to try to train in every room of your house. You want your puppy to “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay” everywhere, not just in the training location. Practice in all locations you would like your puppy to behave and feel comfortable and relaxed in the future. Use these training tasks as you integrate the puppy into your life. For example, ask your puppy to “sit” prior to receiving her food, “sit” before you let her in or out the door, and “sit” before you pet her. These are times when your puppy wants something and is more likely to comply. In this way, you are training your dog all the time, throughout the day and also establishing predictable rules and routines for interactions and helping the dog to learn who controls the resources. Training your puppy prior to getting each requested necessity, helps to prevent problems. Having your puppy sit before getting a food or treat prevents begging, while teaching your dog to sit before opening the door can prevent jumping up or running out the door. Be creative. The time you spend training your puppy now will pay off when you have an adult dog. To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committedto reinforcing the training tasks on nearly a daily basis for the first year of your puppy's life. The more you teach and supervise your puppy, the less opportunity it will have to engage in improper behaviors. Dogs do not train themselves, when left to choose their behavior they will act like dogs. What can be done if my puppy is too distracted or excitable to control? Training should begin in a quiet environment with few distractions. The chosen reward should be highly motivating so that the puppy focuses entirely on the trainer and the reward. Although a small food treat generally works best, a favorite toy or a special dog treat might be more appealing. It might also be helpful to train the puppy just before a scheduled mealtime when it is at its hungriest. For difficult or headstrong puppies, the best way to ensure that the puppy will perform the desired behavior and respond appropriately to the command is to leave a leash attached and to use a head collar for additional control. In this way, you can prompt the puppy into the correct response if it does not immediately obey, and the pressure can be released as soon as the desired response is achieved. When should I start socializing my puppy? Socialization should begin as soon as you get your puppy and often this means at 7 weeks of age. Puppies naturally accept new people, other species and introduction to new situations during the socialization period which occurs between 7 and 14 to 16 weeks of age. This period provides an opportunity for a myriad of introductions that will provide positive memories that last a life time. Puppies are eager, exploratory and uninhibited during this period and it is important to take advantage of this enthusiasm. Be sure to protect your puppy during this period and ensure that all experiences are positive, fun and not fear evoking. Why does my 16-week-old puppy seem afraid? There is a normal, natural fear period that begins around 14 to 16 weeks. During this period, a puppy may become wary and suspicious of new people, species or experiences. This is a normal adaptive process. Watch your puppy closely for signs of fear (cowering, urinating, and refusal of food treats). Avoid pushing or overwhelming your puppy during this developmental stage. Should I also consider training classes? Pet owners who are novices at training can begin a training program with these few simple steps. It takes repetition, time and perseverance for the puppy to predictably and reliably respond to commands in a variety of situations. Consider only classes that use positive training techniques. However, a training class serves many functions. Trainers can demonstrate techniques and help guide you through the steps in training. They can help advise you on puppy training problems, and can help you advance your training to exercises that are more difficult. The puppy will be learning in a group situation, with some real life distractions. And, considering human nature, the pet owner who takes his or her dog to a puppy class will be forced to practice (do their homework) throughout the week if they do not want to fall behind by the next class. Finally, a training class is a good place to meet and talk to other new puppy owners and see how all puppies behave. Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.

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Bruce
American Akita
1 Month
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Bruce
American Akita
1 Month

How do I make my dog disciplined and mannered??

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, a well-trained dog is well-mannered and disciplined. The best way to achieve that is to take your dog to obedience classes. I have seen the most out of control dogs become charming, disciplined pets after classes with a professional trainer. Group classes are not expensive and also allow your dog to become confident and form a bond with you. Until Bruce is old enough, you can begin with these lessons at home: https://wagwalking.com/training/sit https://wagwalking.com/training/perform-the-down-position https://wagwalking.com/training/come-when-called-1. Ensuring that Bruce gets lots of walks and playtime is important as he is an energetic and strong minded breed that will thrive on exercise. Mental stimulation is needed - buy treat toys that require a challenge to get the treat. Finally, teach him to heel when walking; it's a-1 for discipline. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel/ Good luck and have fun!

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Nedas
American Akita
3 Years
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Nedas
American Akita
3 Years

When a friend comes over, my dog is very protective and he doesn't really allow strangers inside, he nearly bit my friend so i want to teach him the difference between a threat and a friend

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nedas, Many dogs who seem protective are actually being possessive of their owners and guarding them the way a dog would a toy. A truly protective dog that bites friends is often either not socialized well around other or being possessive of their owner. If the dog is protective and really can't tell the difference between a friend and stranger a lot of desensitization around people in general is needed so that he learns what looks normal in human behavior and what is not, likely while wearing a basket muzzle for safety - this is best done with the help of a qualified trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior issues and has a large enough stuff for the dog to get to know various "strangers - i.e. the staff" and be desensitized to them. If pup is possessive, which is more common, then this is partially a respect issue. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator, Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training and Sean O Shea from the Good Dog on YouTube. They all have tons of videos on aggression. I HIGHLY suggest hiring a professional to help you through this process with the aggression. The protocol will likely involve having pup work for everything in life by doing a command like sit first -like being being petted, fed, walked, played with, practicing a lot of obedience that builds respect, trust, self-control, and calmness, like a structured heel, long Down Stay, Place, crate manners, not rushing through doorways, Sit Stay. Desensitizing pup to the presence of other people while he is doing something like heeling or Place and calm. Carefully doing things like the video linked below to discipline outbursts and reward calmness around people. Using tools like a basket muzzle and back tie leash to keep everyone involved in training safe. Always take safety seriously. Any truly good trainer is serious about safety. Check out this video by Jeff Gellman, who specializes in aggression. Here he demonstrated safety measures (a back tie), when to have people reward a dog (during calmness and not during aggressive displays), and how to appropriately use punishment when treating aggression (with good timing, calmness, and in combination with positive reinforcement for calm behavior and with the appropriate safety measures for your guests). Aggression video: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Possessive dog drop off at training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tiHairtYUc Same dog after a lot of structure, protocol like the first video linked above, lots of obedience, and gradual desensitization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8juiJ-Hq8dI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mika
Akita
4 Months
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Mika
Akita
4 Months

Hi! Ive been reading up a lot on Akitas and stuff to watch out for/how to train them and I just came across a few questions. My dog is 4.5 months old and very obedient. He knows sit stay and come and were working on down/leash training. He barely is obstinate with us. We also make sure he meets a few new people a day and he is constantly in a social environment as of the moment. He is also crate trained. That being said, I go back to work soon so he will be alone around 8 hours or less a day during the work week. Do you think this will affect his temperament? Also, am I socializing him enough or should I do more? I am just very concerned because he is SO mild mannered now, but Ive heard that can change from when he's a puppy to when he is an adult

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kyra, First, be aware that a puppy can only hold their bladder for the number of months they are in age plus one - meaning that at four month of age he can't hold his bladder for more than five hours during the day, so you will need to plan for a walker or come home during lunch. - You may already know that though s it sounds like you are being very conscientious - which is great. As far as your other questions, leaving him alone shouldn't effect temperament too much as long as you are very intentional during the time when you are home. Continue to make socialization a priority during the first 18 month of his life. The first 4 month are the most crucial but for a breed like an Akita it needs to continue intensively until adulthood, and ideally by adulthood he will be well mannered and social enough you can continue taking him places for the fun of it for the rest of his life to maintain it but it won't have to be quite as intensive by then. It's great that he is mild mannered and he very well may grow up to be more mild mannered than some Akitas but a lot of the temperament issues associated with really driven breeds are related to sexual and mental maturity that happens closer to 1-2 years of age - meaning it's early to tell for sure, but being mild mannered now will likely make it a bit easier. Once he reaches adulthood, if you have a relationship of trust and respect with pup, have prevented socialization issues, and taught obedience before then, then pup is far more likely to listen and be more relaxed as an adult - it's not that the issues and drive aren't potentially still there but that the dog trusts you and lets you handle situations instead of trying to take charge themselves - leading to less possessiveness, aggression and reactivity. With a driven breed, socialization is super important and obedience is important, but equally important is to give pup structure and boundaries - teaching things like impulse control through a long Place and Down command, a structured heel where pup not only doesn't pull but also walks slightly behind you and actually follows your leadership, learning to focus on you and obey around distractions, enforcing rules the first time you give them with consistency. None of this should require anger or harshness - but a calm, consistent, confident attitude, where pup knows that when you give a command you mean it and you will calmly enforce that command every time. The socialization you are doing now sounds great. I would add joining a puppy play group or kindergarten class that sets aside time for off-leash puppy play with other puppies under 6 months of age. The play should be moderated - interrupting puppies if things start to get too rough or a pup feels overwhelmed, until they all calm down, then letting the more timid pup go first to see if he feels like playing again, before letting the rest of the pups go again too. The benefits of these classes are mostly for socialization than just obedience - as a trainer I attended someone else's puppy kindergarten class with my youngest dog for the purpose of socialization, even though my pup already knew all of the obedience and I later off-leash trainer her myself - it made a huge difference in her confidence and gentleness around other dogs later in life. Puppies play with other puppies differently than adult dogs do, so they learn important skills interacting with puppies, plus if you can find a class that practices having owners handle each others puppies and give treats that can help with stranger socialization and getting used to touch. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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?
Akita Inu
1 Day
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?
Akita Inu
1 Day

Hi we are looking for our first puppy as a family. We currently have 2 cats and 1 child aged 8 who is used to dogs. We fell in love with a American akita at a rescue shelter. I’ve heard a lot of stories on how hard Akita’s are to train, but once trained they are rewarding dogs. Do you think it’s wise to get a Akita as a first puppy. We are all animal lovers but these to us seem to be another level of dog. We are more than happy to put the time and effort into training but we also both work. My wife who is a teacher will have six weeks off in the summer and that’s when we plan to purchase the puppy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chris, Not knowing you personally I cannot say for sure. I can tell you that Akitas do tend to be more prey driven and not all of them are alright with cats, even when raised with them. They can also be more dominant, strong-willed, and have more of a tendency toward aggression toward people and other dogs if not raised with enough structure, socialization, and consistency. They can be a lot of dog, but they can also be very loyal. That loyality can be wonderful but it can also make friend's kids coming over difficult if your dog feels protective of your child. Akitas were orginally bred to hunt powerful, large game like bears. Each dog is different though. The Akita at the rescue may not fit the typical characteristics, and might turn out to be mild mannered, but that is very hard to predict in a puppy without knowing the parent's temperament. It might be worth contacting members of your local Akita club if you have one, or a pure bred Akita rescue and asking honest questions about the temperament from those who have them to help you decide. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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luna
Akita
1 Year
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luna
Akita
1 Year

My girl akita is a year and a half old and is very attached to me....she sits, does paw, and comes to me when we’re in the house. if we are outside and she gets off of a leash she does not come i have to chase her. she barks at friends and family coming in the house and will not stop until they leave which makes everyone very uncomfortable. i don’t know how to make her stop barking at people who are not a threat.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alison, For the Come, check out the Reel In method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall For the barking, first work on adding more structure, self-control and boundaries into her routine. Things like a long Place command and structured heel, so that she learns to let you handle things more and listen to commands even when she doesn't feel like it. Certain types of obedience exercises can be a good way to increase respect and trust without being overly confrontational: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Especially work on a structured heel and a long Place command, where he can stay on place when you walk in and out of the room and around distractions. Place can help manage behavior when guests are there and teach self-control and calmness. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and different types of aggression to help you implement the training related to guests - many trainers are only experienced with fear based aggression and you likely have some dominance- based, possessive, or territorial aggression going on too, and they are treated a bit differently than fear. People Aggression protocol video- notice the back tie for safety (your guest should never be put at risk. Only train with the correct safety protocols to keep everyone involved safe. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Parker
Akita
5 Years
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Parker
Akita
5 Years

I have had Parker since he was 8 weeks, he is now 5 years old. I had guests over yesterday and he became aggressive towards the men. As they were leaving he followed them out and I ran after him he did not run away however when I grabbed him he bit my wrist. He has never done this. What should I do? He has no aggressive behaviors prior to this. Lately more people have been around him and he has seemed a bit uneasy though

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kayla, Has he been exposed to men he did not know in your home before? If not, this is likely not a new issue specifically, but simply the first time you have seen it. I suggest working with a professional trainer in person for such behavior. He needs to evaluated to see where the issue is - with just men, being protective of you, specific to his territory, something specific about those men - like age, personality, race, or clothing, or something else. Once its understood what's going on, then training scenarios can be set up with the proper safety measures - like a back tie leash or basket muzzle, and practiced in the needed location - at the training facility if just exposure to lots of men is needed, or at home is it's an issue specific to your home, or anywhere that you are present - if the issue is specific to you. Look for a training group that specializes in aggression and has access to several people who can practice being "strangers" around pup, to work through the issue. Look for someone who comes well recommended by their previous clients and is used to working with large, driven breeds. What you experienced with the wrist bite is called redirecting. Some dogs who are otherwise fine with certain people or dogs will redirect their aggression toward whoever is closest when in a state of high arousal. That means that certain precautions like a basket muzzle or a back tie leash - opposed to holding the leash, when working on this behavior, will need to be in place to keep everyone safe. Check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training and Thomas from the canine educator. Both have Youtube channels and specialize in aggression. That training may not apply completely in your situation but you can learn more about aggression in general, then work with a qualified trainer. The type of aggression matters - resource guarding vs. fear for instance. In terms of how you need to train. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lutcho
Akita Inu
3 Months
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Lutcho
Akita Inu
3 Months

Hello , My Akita inu is 3 months old. He knows many obedience commands like site , down , come etc, he obeys them always only if he knows i have a treat or a toy , but never listening to me without them. I train him every day for 1 hour on obedience and play with him a lot. What can i do to let him listen to me ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lucien, First, know that what you described is normal for basic obedience, especially at this age - the initial goal is just to teach pup what a word means and motivate them to learn. What comes next is intermediate obedience. For intermediate obedience, you will gradually work up to distractions and pup developing the skills to obey in those situations too - at first the distraction might be someone walking through the room, a squirrel in the yard, a leaf blowing by, ect...Start with less distracting environments, then gradually move onto harder environments and spend intentional time practicing in each of those new environments until pup can focus there too. For example, in your home without others around is easiest, your backyard is a bit harder, your front yard is even harder, your neighborhood is even hard, your home with guests present is even harder, a pet store is even harder, ect...Go out of your way to practice at the current level pup needs to learn at and to create the distractions pup is ready to learn to overcome during training sessions when you can control things - so that pup can also respond when things are more out of your control in every day life, but keep the distraction level what pup is ready for at that point in the training so pup can still succeed with your help - the goal is to guide pup and provide consistent, calm boundaries at this point. Second, you may need to switch some of your training methods now that pup knows the commands and is sometimes choosing to disobey. For example, when teaching Sit I would first recommend using the Treat Luring method from the article linked below. Once pup knows that method well and has worked up to some distractions, I would enforce my command using the Pressure method from that same article when pup chooses to disobey something they know. The pressure method will still reward some but will also give a gentle consequence for disobedience to encourage pup to obey even when they don't find it as fun. Be patient with pup and know that a 3 month old puppy is skill developing their attention span and ability to learn so I wouldn't be too strict at this point - keep things more positive and very gradually transition to intermediate methods for commands over the next 4 months - especially as you near 5-6 months. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Some other methods to help enforce commands when pup is ready: Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Turns method for Heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel The Leash Pressure method for down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down If pup doesn't know these commands really well already, start by using the treat luring methods with each command before using the slightly firmer methods to proof that command once pup has learned the command and just needs to be reminded. Right now you can also keep a drag leash without a handle (for safety reasons to get caught less around the house) on pup while you are home. That way when you give a command like Come and pup ignores you, you can calmly walk over to them and lead them back to where you were - gently teaching them that they need to listen in every day life too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Eos
American Akita
2 Years
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Eos
American Akita
2 Years

My akita is a 2 year old female. I’m asking for guidance due to her inability to listen to her owners, my partner or me, when there are distractions such as other dogs. She is an Akita so yes, when it comes to female dogs she plays way too aggressively/ asserts her dominance (chewing on the neck or sitting on their head to pin them down) but has never physically (emotionally, maybe) hurt another dog, male or female. After traumatizing the other dogs she’ll attempt to befriend them & most times try to play with them.

It wasn’t until we moved about a year ago that she has been expressing more aggressive behavior towards other dogs. She is never aggressive towards any humans, shy at first but never aggressive. Any suggestions how to combat this aggression as she meets more dogs?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. I think the best way to move forward is to consult a trainer in your area who specializes in dogs that display aggression. It's important to get an evaluation from a trained professional who can see Eos one on one to figure out why the sudden increase in aggression. Akita's do well with structure and instruction and you may see her thrive on the attention and mental stimulation. Once you see the trainer and have the situation under control, put Eos in classes like agility or tracking and this will give her great enjoyment as well as socialization under training. In the meantime, take a look at these: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-an-akita-to-not-be-aggressive and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-rottweiler-to-not-be-aggressive. Good for you for looking into this right away, before the aggression becomes even more of a challenge to fix. All the best!

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Xander
Akita
4 Months
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Xander
Akita
4 Months

How do you control nipping? We have teething toys and bully sticks that he loves, but when we sit together and I pet him he often nips at my hands. I do my best to move slowly and I tell him no when he nips and I stop petting him, but what I am doing is not effective. Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Douglas, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method - found in the same article linked below. As soon as pup is good at the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the "Pressure" method from the article below to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to look for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Aki
Akita Inu
1 Year
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Aki
Akita Inu
1 Year

AKi has just returned(3 days ago) from puppy school. At first he executed the commands perfectly. But now I have problems with the "down" command. I have no doubt that he knows the command, but he deliberatly chooses to disobey me and I think that is quite a problem. I also do not know how to react when he does not execute the command, even at the tenth try. Should I leave him alone? Or should I insist even more?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, First, you can check with the school to see whether they practiced around distractions, or could only perform the command without distractions (a basic level vs. intermediate level of obedience). If pup can't do the command around distractions, pup will need to practice it around distractions - starting with easier distractions first and working up to harder ones. If pup can do the command around distractions and is just choosing to disobey you because they aren't used to having to listen to you, check out the article linked below and the Leash Pressure method. Only use this method if pup has never shown any form of aggression toward you. Another option I suggest integrating is having pup work for life rewards by having to do down first - have pup Down before feeding meals - and wait pup out, not putting the meal down until they comply. Have pup Down before leashing and taking on a walk or before tossing a toy, ect...Use every day things that pup wants as rewards and motivators to Down before giving those things to pup. It might take 10-15 minutes to get a down out of pup the first time. A bit of calm stubbornness can go a long way to showing pup without being too harsh that you mean what you say and pup needs to listen. When using the leash pressure method, do not force pup to the ground, the goal is to simply apply enough pressure that not obeying is uncomfortable, so that they will eventually choose to lie down - because you aren't forcing pup to the ground but waiting, expect this to take a few minutes the first time. When pup obeys and finally lies down, praise and reward the Down as if pup did it right away. Down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Athena
Akita Inu
1 Month
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Athena
Akita Inu
1 Month

What's the best way to stop biting ? And is it normal for a dog to feel a bit down during it's first couple of days in a new home

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vasilije, Was pup orphaned or rejected by their mother? Why was pup sent home with you at 4 weeks old? A 4 week old puppy isn't ready to leave it's mother yet. Many 4 week old puppies are not fully weaned yet and eating and drinking could be an issue when not with mom. I would consult your vet as soon as possible to talk about pup's eating and drinking schedule and make sure pup is getting enough food often enough, and isn't getting dehydrated. Puppy replacement milk can be bought and bottle fed to pup. In the very least pup probably needs to be eating "gruel" a bit longer - which is a mix of dry dog food and puppy replacement milk, which creates a soft mush. Puppies this age also need to eat a lot more frequently than 8 week old puppies do (8 weeks is the standard age for re-homing pups). I am not a vet, so consult your vet as soon as possible - don't wait, as pup may not be getting their needs met if you are following the standard schedule for an 8 week old puppy, instead of a 4 week old one. In terms of biting, because pup is so young, the biting is 100% developmentally normal at this age, and when with a litter of pups the puppies would learn how to control the pressure of the mouths better through play and interactions with each other, pup is missing some of that not being with the litter still. Check out the bite inhibition method from the article linked below. Expect to actively work on teaching pup how to control the pressure of their mouth over the next three months. As soon as pup is able to join a puppy kindergarten class, I highly suggest enrolling pup in one that has off-leash puppy play time, to help pup learn better socialization and bite inhibition from the puppies. Bite Inhibition method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Finally, all puppies have to be given a series of de-wormings. These are typically done during the time at the breeders before 8 weeks when pups go home. Because pup is so young, they likely need to be de-wormed again, so consult your vet about that too. (I am not a vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocky and bandit
American Akita
2 Years
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Rocky and bandit
American Akita
2 Years

Whenever they are left alone they rip the stuffing out of the couch and go to the bathroom on the floor they never went inside the house before but now do very often how do I get them to stop ruining the furniture and going in the house??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maggie, Both pups need to be crate trained in separate crates. and crated when you cannot supervise. You won't be able to make forward progress until the current bad habit is stopped when you aren't there to enforce boundaries, so crating is a must to begin with. Chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Introducing a crate: Work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever a pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As they improve, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pups learn sooner. Whenever they cries in the crate, tell the crying dog "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If pups cry at night (in the crate - where they need to be sleeping for now if accidents or destructiveness is happening then too) before it has been 8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell that dog Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diesel
Akita
8 Years
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Diesel
Akita
8 Years

My grandad has adopted an 8 year old Akita, we were told by the dogs home he used to live on the streets, he is gernally very very well behaved, calm and friendly but my grandad is having issues with him walking on a lead - he becomes aggressive when other dogs approach him and will not listen to my grandad and becomes very difficult to hold, rearing up on his legs and barking very deeply. I believe this is because Diesel is in a new territory with a new person and he is being protective and asserting himself in his area, but my grandad needs and wants to train him to obey him properly when other dogs are near by, and to walk on when he is told to - Diesel is a stubborn sniffer, and can go 3-4 minutes at one spot - can you advise the best way to teach Diesel to stop pulling when other dogs are near until he is told to walk on and to respond to being told to walk on when he is engrossed in sniffing something for too long?
Many thanks
Beth

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thanks for the great pictures. He is a big boy! And yes, this makes it important to have full control when walking him. Teaching Diesel to heel is essential. This guide has a couple of great methods that are very effective. Try the Turns Method:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Have grandad use this practice method on every walk. Whenever someone else walks Diesel, they need to do the same. As for the meeting other dogs, the Passing Approach Method is a good one to work on: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. If control of Diesel is not accomplished with this training, consult a trainer for in-person help. With Diesel's size, it is important to have him comfortable, obedient, and listening. Good luck!

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Rosie
Akita
2 Months
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Rosie
Akita
2 Months

She pees Alot in the house, is it bad to have water out all the time, and how often and how much should we feed her, she goes out alot too

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! It is fine to have water out all day, but keep in mind that puppies usually have to go potty about 20 minutes after they have water. And 30 minutes after solid food, even treats. So limiting meals to twice a day, and being mindful of treats will help with potty training. Also cutting off all water about 2 hours before bed time will help with night time accidents.

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Hennessy
Mutt
11 Weeks
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Hennessy
Mutt
11 Weeks

I am finding it really hard to train my puppy . He is being very stubborn and doesn’t come to me anymore when I yell his name .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Skylar, When puppies are very little they naturally tend to follow you around. As they get older, you are competing with other distractions they are starting to notice in your environment - it's normal for pups to come less at that age, and that's when additional Come training needs to begin. Check out the articles linked below Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More come - long leash and premack principle sections especially: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jordy
American Akita
2 Years
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Jordy
American Akita
2 Years

Jordy doesn’t come back to me when he’s ran out the house or got of the leash, he’ll run away until we can physically catch him and he won’t listen to our demands to stop and come back. It’s really concerning as I’m scared he’ll be hit by a car or get involved in a scuffle with another dog when I’m not there to stop it and I have a baby on the way so it’s not practical to keep chasing after him

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on teaching recall. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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BONNIE
American Akita
9 Weeks
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BONNIE
American Akita
9 Weeks

Why is it that sometimes she will urinate in the garden and others all over the house ?
Why is she chewing everything and nips at my children ?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, congratulations on your new puppy and welcome to the world of puppy antics. Yes, puppies often have accidents everywhere and they also don't know when to hold back on the nipping. The Akita is a headstrong dog and Bonnie will need lots of training. It is never too early to start. Begin with training her to sit and use the command before everything. Before receiving her meal, before getting on her leash to go outside, before playtime, etc. This will develop respect. To train her not to nip, work on the Leave It command described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. Buy her textured teething toys to soothe her gums and make sure when she starts to nip that she is distracted with a toy instead. For the potty training, any one of these methods will work: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Timing is everything - take her out first thing, after a meal, after a nap, after playtime and so on. Take her very often, praise her when she has success. She will catch on. As well, the Akita needs lots of exercise, so once the vet verifies her vaccines are all up to date, take her for a few long walks a day to give her the exercise she needs. Start her obedience classes at the same time. Good luck and happy training!

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Shinju
Akita Inu
12 Weeks
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Shinju
Akita Inu
12 Weeks

Hi, our Shinju is 12 weeks old and she is very well behaved. She can already follow the commands of sit, lay, stay, give paw(s).. we are very happy with her. The only problems is walking with the leash.
If we leave her walk free, she follows very well and always come back, but in the moment we walk her with the leash, she suddenly starts sitting or even laying down and doesn't want to walk anymore.
Any suggestion how to correct this behaviour?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Frederica, Check out the article linked below. It sounds like pup needs to get used to the feeling of the leash. Start with the drag method. One pup is good with that, use the Pressure method to teach pup to come toward you when the leash gets tight. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chaos
German Shepherd/ American Akita mix
9 Weeks
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Chaos
German Shepherd/ American Akita mix
9 Weeks

New dog owners just wanna start off on the right foot with potty training and obedience training. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use a crate to help with potty training Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Kuma
Akita Shepherd
3 Months
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Kuma
Akita Shepherd
3 Months

My dog has a bad habit of following my other older dogs around without respecting their space even when they bark and growl and him. Also, he doesn’t understand how to stop biting too hard and snapping/jumping when he gets too excited.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ysenia, I recommend teaching pup the Out command- which means leave the area, Leave It, Place, and crate training pup. Out - follow the how to teach out section first, then use the section on how to use out to deal with pushy behavior, to enforce pup leaving the older dogs alone if pup doesn't obey your out command. I recommend you be the one to moderate the dogs together and teach pup to give them space instead of leaving it to the older dogs to do in this case. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave it: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Brody
American Akita
12 Weeks
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Brody
American Akita
12 Weeks

Basic training

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. You can get started with training as soon as possible. Teaching one to two commands per week over the next couple of months, and spending about 20 minutes per day working on commands is all you really need to do to get the basics learned. The internet is full of great information for training. You can search "teach my dog sit, positive reinforcement" and you will find great articles. Do that for every command you want to teach your dog.

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Odin
Akita Inu
2 Months
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Odin
Akita Inu
2 Months

He is always trying to bite though he never bites hard but when I try to pet him the usual reaction he does is open his mouth to try to bite, I read a lot trying to find the best way to make this thing stop so I take him out daily for an average of 50 minutes, tries giving him toys whenever he opens his mouth to try to bite and tried some "body language" and firm "no" but. Taking him out helped somehow but the issue i think is still considered "very often". I appreciate the help

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Kane
American Akita
8 Months
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Kane
American Akita
8 Months

Very stubborn, won’t come when I tell him too. He does sometimes, but its a hit or miss.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall for running away. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Kira
Akita Chow
5 Months
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Kira
Akita Chow
5 Months

We adopted her from a family member who purchased her from a breeder. she is 5 months old. We have three teenage kids and an 11 year old german spitz. We are familier with poms, spitz, labs, cockers, pittie mixs. We (including teenagers) need to know how to properly socialize her. We have had a mix that was so protective that we had to re-home her. We just dont want her to become sooooo protective that we cant have anyone on our property or in our house....we do have friends and our kids have thier friends over often.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Check out the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads There is a section in that book that talks about socialization. Generally, I recommend introducing her to at least 100 different people, bringing treats along with you or her own kibble and having people start by tossing kibble at her paws, then hand feed each time they interact to help her learn to love people. I would then instruct people to tell her to Sit and then pet or treat reward when she sits to teach polite manners in the process too. A good puppy class is also great for socialization. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Because of Covid, you can also practice socializing her on a 6 or 8 foot leash outside with people to keep a bit of distance, or choose a puppy class that is held outside where participants can space out more. Generally even taking her places where she sees people in the distance, and rewarding her for calmness and healthy curiosity while out can also help, such as practicing Heel near a Farmer's market or park. If she is a bit shy, check out this article as well, especially the sections on Humans. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-socialize-a-shy-dog/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Koda
American Akita
6 Months
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Koda
American Akita
6 Months

How do I get my dog to react better to my commands?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kenya, I need a bit more information to answer your question. How is Koda reacting right now when you give commands? Do they know the commands well enough? Are they disobeying when distracted? Are they struggling to learn the commands to begin with? Are they acting fearful? Are they acting aggressive? Sometimes the issue is that pup doesn't understand a command well enough, using a different training method or practicing more can often improve that. Sometimes their is an underlying respect issue, the method from the article below can often help. If there is an aggression issue more safety measures like a basket muzzle and help from a trainer will be needed. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If pup is fearful or aggressive, I would need more information to address that, and I recommend hiring a professional trainer to help in person for aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Keni
Akita
3 Years
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Keni
Akita
3 Years

So when I try get to him to meet new people he tends growls, and that’s worry’s me he gonna hurt the new person

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaicee, For the type of training you are needing, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues or animal behaviorist to work with you in person. Look for someone who is experienced with aggression, who comes well recommended by their previous clients, and works with a team of trainers or staff so that counter conditioning around other people can be safely practiced with a variety of people to help pup generalize the training with a wide variety of people. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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