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.
I’m really trying to get the dog aggression out of him and I need help I’ve owned German shepherds before but never a Shepkita and this is a challenge. Already know we will have to rehome before a year old so we’re just giving it a try but I already love him and want him to be safe for my family which includes an infant my wife and I. As well as frequent visitors of all ages. I just need help with his aggression and dominant nature.
Hello Cesar, I would need more details about the type of aggression he is displaying to be of much help. What types of behaviors is he doing and is it just toward other dogs, or towards family members, towards strangers, or towards other non-dog animals. If he is acting aggressively toward your own family, then that is a very serious situation with an infant around. At five months of age, serious aggression already is very serious. If he is simply dominant and pushy and rude towards other dogs, that can turn into aggression certainly but it will be much easier to deal with and the long term outcome is a lot better for him. If his aggression toward other dogs is not serious yet and he has not harmed another dog, drawing blood, yet, then look for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog reactive dogs who all wear muzzles and are intensively socialized and their aggression tackled in an intensive environment under the supervision of a qualified trainer. That class will allow him to catch up on socialization and have his dog aggressive behavior addressed early on. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He has a free YouTube channel and several other educational resources online. Specifically start following his obedience structure. His general rules and structure for dogs. He works with highly aggressive dogs and uses a lot of structure, consistency, and mental stimulation to help these dogs. A dog that is naturally very challenging towards authority needs a lot of structure and consistency. Watch Jeff's videos and notice his methods for walks, crate time, doors, obedience training, calmness, dog-to-dog interactions, and "Place" commands. If you feel like your family, and especially your baby, is endanger, then I would seriously consider re-homing now. I never state that lightly but an infant with a dog that is showing true aggressive tendencies towards him at only five months of age and is a large breed is a very serious situation. If your dog has not shown aggressive tendencies toward your child, then work on the G.R.O.W.L. class, SolidK9Training structured obedience and manners, and getting your dog used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle to safely practice socializing him around others. When you socialize him around other people, use the "Socialize to Success" method for up-close interactions. While Courage is wearing the muzzle, you can have your guests poke long straws or thin sticks in peanut butter or soft cheese and poke the food covered straw or stick through the muzzle's holes for him to lick off as a reward and to make interactions with these guests fun for him. When he is not ready to approach the person yet, you can also slip small treats through the muzzle for him to make the presence of the guests fun for him. A basket muzzle should allow you to do this and it will let him open up his mouth while he is wearing it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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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
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