How to Train an Akita to Stop Biting

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

It's pretty common for Akitas to nip and bite, especially when they are puppies and still teething. While Bowser might not think much more of biting than as a normal part of play, his sharp teeth can, in fact, be quite painful. If you don't break this habit while he is a puppy, by the time he gets to be an adult, his bites can cause serious injury. Bear in mind, while teething puppies will chew on just about anything they can get their teeth on. The chewing helps to relieve his pain in much the same way it helps a teething baby. 

Defining Tasks

Your first job is to discover why Bowser is biting. In young pups, it is usually because they are teething or playing. In the wild, they cut their teeth biting and chewing on anything they can find and will learn to control play biting with the help of their litter mates. But in your home, this is just not acceptable behavior. In an older dog, biting is part of the hunt and survival, but again this is not necessary in a domesticated situation. Bear in mind, you are trying to train your dog to do something that is completely against his nature. Be patient, stay calm and keep working with him until he finally stops this unpleasant behavior.

Getting Started

While you will need a few supplies to use during training, the most important of them you cannot buy. These are time and patience. You need to make sure you set aside time every day for at least one training session until Bowser finally learns not to bite. It will help to have a few supplies handy as well:

  • Treats – For rewards
  • Chew toys – Chew toys, bones, or a combination of both
  • Quiet room – This training is best done in a nice quiet room or corner of your yard

Keep working with Bowser, don't give up if he seems like he isn't getting the idea. This is the time to try a little harder--he will figure out, it just might take a little extra time. 

The Hey, You Bit Me Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Choose a training time
Choose a time every day that you can set aside specifically for training Bowser.
Step
2
Time to play
Start your training time playing with Bowser. You need to get him good and excited.
Step
3
And now the bite
It shouldn't be long before Bowser gets so excited he starts nipping or biting you. Keep in mind tiny nips may not hurt, but they turn into bites that can be extremely painful.
Step
4
Time for your cue
The next time Bowser bites, say "Ouch!" in a firm voice. Do not sound angry, just firm enough to establish your place as the Alpha in your pack.
Step
5
Redirect his attention
Each time Bowser goes to bite you during play, redirect his attention using a chew toy or bone. This will help Bowser learn his boundaries with biting and he will eventually limit his biting and chewing to his toys and bones.
Recommend training method?

The Understanding Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Why?
Start by observing Bowser to help you understand why he is biting you in the first place. Puppies bite as they teethe, adult dogs may bite if they become overexcited or if they have been backed into a corner they will bite out of fear or anger.
Step
2
Just say no!
There are a couple of ways you can let Bowser know you are not happy with being bitten. You can talk to him in his own language and "Yelp!" or you can speak to him in English and simply tell him "No!" in a firm voice.
Step
3
I don't want to play
Once you do this, turn away from Bowser to let him know you don't want to play anymore. Wait for him to calm down and then give him a treat.
Step
4
I can't calm down
If Bowser seems to be having a problem calming down, put a baby gate across the doorway and go into another room where he can't see you. Wait there until he calms down.
Step
5
Back at it
Return to working with Bower, repeating the training again and again until he finally learns that biting is not acceptable.
Recommend training method?

The Good Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Treats go in your palm
Palm one of Bowser's favorite smelly treats and call him over. Let him get a good whiff of the treat before you close it in your fist.
Step
2
Give it your best shot
Bowser is going to do just about anything he can to get at the treat, including nipping at your hand. But, do not let him get it.
Step
3
Never mind
After a while, Bowser is going to get tired of trying and will simply give up and walk away.
Step
4
Good boy!
When he does, tell him what a good boy he is and then let him have the treat.
Step
5
Repeat the lesson
The rest is all about repeating the training until he figures out he only gets a reward when he doesn't bite. This may take some time, but stick with it Bowser will eventually figure it out and stop biting.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Zeus
American Akita
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeus
American Akita
13 Weeks

Whenever I try and stroke my pup he starts to nip. I've tried yelping saying no and removing him from the room but he still does it constantly as he's getting older the nips are starting to hurt more and more we have had him since 9 weeks old and have been doing the same routine with the nipping but it isn't getting much better

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
397 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, First, check out the article that I have linked below. Use the "Leave It" method. Once he learns "Leave It", when he starts to bite, tell him to "Leave It", if he disobeys, then use the "Pressure" method" - also found in the article below, to gently discipline him. Practice petting him with a thick glove on so that you can follow through without pulling away. When you pull away and stop petting him when he bites he might be learning that he can get you to do what he wants by using his mouth - stop touching or brushing him in this case. Using a glove and the "Please" method AFTER he understands "Leave It" if he disobeys "Leave It" will let you continue to pet him and gently discipline him until he stops biting. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, it sounds like he needs to practice being handled. Get his breakfast or dinner kibble food, call him over, gently touch him somewhere with one hand and at the same time feed him a piece of kibble from your other hand. Practice touching his ear, touching his paw, touching his belly, opening his mouth (carefully), touching his tail, touching his collar, and touching everywhere else. As he improves, then touch him first, then give him a treat right after as a reward. Praise him softly when he lets you touch him. Practice this as often as you can. You can feed him his entire meal this way. Continue practicing this as he grows into an adult during the first year or two of his life. As a puppy you can do this every day when you are home with him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Angus
Akita
3 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Angus
Akita
3 Years

He has bitten 2 children in the last month. He has never done that before and we don’t know what caused this behavior to start. We put him in obedience school when he was young, unfortunately we stopped the training. We got busy and just dropped the ball. We can not tolerate biting, but desperately want to keep the dog. Please advise.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
397 Dog owners recommended

Hello Robin, You need to hire a professional trainer to help you in person. How severe were the bites? If the bites did not leave a mark, the case is less serious. The temperament issue still needs to be addressed and taken seriously but it will be safer to address. If he drew blood both times, that is definitely more serious and training needs to be done carefully. If there were multiple punctures or rips in the flesh, that shows a definite lack of control and makes him a very dangerous dog. Kids are more likely to be bitten because of their unpredictable body language and movement, sometimes lack of respecting a dog's personal space, and generally less well respected size and voices. If he ran up to the kids and attacked without being provoked or frightened, kids are less likely to defuse a threat by standing still or avoiding eye contact like an adult would in the same situation. If they panic, run or stare at the dog, the dog is more likely to attack. When that is the case, the dog is probably a threat to adults too but simply hasn't yet because adults usually respond differently to a dog's threat - that would make it a general aggression issue and not only specific to kids (being specific to kids might be a socialization issue or dominance issue). When training be aware that the aggression might be exhibited with adults too in the wrong situation if it was unprovoked with kids and he rushed them first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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