Temperament

The Akita are primitive dogs. Do not expect to train a sheepdog. It is often said that the Akita is not a dog to take as first dog. However, if you are informed and know the race, there will be no problem. Kira is our first dog and we love her with all our heart, we did have not had any insurmountable problems during his education. 🙂

Independence

From my personal experience, I can tell you that the Akita never obeys you perfectly because he actually has an independent nature and will. He will often do exactly what he wants. But he will also surprise you more than once by his expressiveness and intelligence.

He is also a very loyal dog and loves his family unconditionally. It is often said that the Akita is a cat-dog. This is partly true. Our Akita often follow us from room to room to be near us.

Pet dog

This is the main function of the Akita nowadays. This is a wonderful dog, often quiet, that needs few exercise. We take our dogs out morning and evening for 15 minutes so they can relieve themselves and they have a big walk per day (about 1H, more on WE).

We take them everywhere the weekends and on holidays. The Akita live very well in apartments and easily adapts to all situations. In general, they are very lazy but love to walk and play. The Akita is also an excellent watchdog. When Kira sees something suspicious, she stands firmly on her legs and warns us with a bark or remains silent, watching the source of her discomfort. When we show her that there isn’t anything to be afraid of, she calms down. Usually a “I saw / heard, it’s all good” is enough.

A puppy goes through fear phases. There are normally two phases during growth, at 2/3 months, the other at 5/6 months.

Do not force your puppy to confront what frightens him by dragging over. Put yourself between the puppy and the source of fear, let him approach if he wants to and explore at his own pace. Do not cajole or scold him, it would just show him that he has reason to be afraid. Remain calm. If your leash is long enough or if you are two people, go touch the source of fear to show the puppy that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Sociability

This is a very important point for Akita. We socialized Kira as soon as possible so that she could learn dog language and like to be with other dogs. Before her vaccines, we presented her our friends’ dogs (social and friendly). After her 3 months, we took her to the dog park regularly (under constant supervision to avoid accidents).

The dog park is often demonized by educators, however it is a very good place to socialize your dog. You just need to keep an eye on him constantly and do not to panic at the first altercation, if you don’t like the ambience in the park, simply leave. The best is to find a dog park under the supervision of a dog trainer.

Ideally, when your puppy has his vaccines, make him meet as many friendly people and animals as possible. Even before his latest vaccines, take him with you to places rarely visited by dogs to prevent diseases.

He must make positive contacts with other humans or animals (eg your cats).

Despite your best efforts, your dog may change at puberty and becomes less friendly with others. It’s not your fault, it is a trait of the breed. Just be prepared for the change it if it occurs.

Education

It is essential to take obedience classes if this is your first dog. The ideal is to go to pappu class and base 1. But beware, do you know how you will train your dog?

  • Traditional education
  • The positive method
  • The Clicker
  • Other…?

We use rewards and punishments with our dogs and it works well. We reward good behaviors with treats, “Good dog!” or cuddling. We punish by ignoring the dog and saying “NO” or by removing a toy. Never hit your Akita, this is not a dog that will let you mistreat him. You will lose his respect and he will become unmanageable and aggressive! We also advise against the choke collar because of Akita’s fragile throat and  they choke easily.

Recall

You will have to work on this all the time but I advise you not to leave your Akita off leash. Not because he won’t want to return to you, but because he will return at his own pace, without haste or he will go squirrel hunting. You may take your dog off leash depending on the situation and the character of your dog. but be aware that it is illegal in most provinces to have a dog without a leash.

Also, you should fence your garden.