They were developed to hunt big prey like wild boar and bears. Helen Keller was inspired by the Akita's loyalty and bravery, and brought the first few Akita back to the US. Military people serving in World War Two also were impressed by the Akita and brought the dogs home with them.
Akitas require a skilled and devoted owner. Their power and tendency towards dominance with other dogs, as well as their strong guarding instincts and independent nature, can make them difficult for a novice dog owner to handle. That said, your Akita is an extremely intelligent and adaptable dog capable of learning new ways of doing things, even late into life.
If your Akita is showing guarding behavior around you on walks or when visitors come to your house, but is behaved with visitors and strangers once introduced, you need only give your Akita instruction in how and when guarding is appropriate.
Akitas tend towards aggression with same-sex dogs and dominance in with dogs in general. There may be a limit to how much restraint you can expect from your Akita, so be realistic in your training goals.
Learn what motivates your Akita. Find a food that has a smell that will distract her from whatever she is focused on, or see if she loves tug enough to play instead of behaving aggressively. If your Akita has very strong guarding instincts, you may have more success teaching her when to be aggressive than overcoming aggression altogether.
Cleo is a great addition to my family, she is the second one I have had. But we have cats that live outside, Cleo sleeps inside with us. She has killed two kittens in the last few months. They usually will hide or climb a tree but when they are too lax she kills them. Can I stop this behavior? My previous Akita also did the same thing, no other signs of aggression just doesn't want to see any cats.
Hello Julie, You would need to create an avoidance of cats in order to stop the behavior from happening. Because she is killing them due to prey instinct, you cannot change the underlying cause, instinct, but you can manage the behavior by teaching her to avoid cats in general. Look up Jamie Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training's Youtube Channel. He has several good videos on stopping chasing and live stock killing behaviors. He uses remote electric collars to teach avoidance of those animals so that the dog leaves them alone even while the owner is not present. You can use gentler methods to stop the behavior while you are around, which he also demonstrates a bit, but few things are effective at stopping killing behaviors outside of remote electric collars. If you choose to do this, then hire a professional trainer who is extremely knowledgeable about remote collar training and who uses both positive training and fair discipline in his training. You will need both as well as clear communication. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?