Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Attended conferences / shows, Books
California, United States
Posted September 7, 2012
Akitas are a large breed originating from Japan where they were bred to hunt Pandas. It would make sense that they would have a dangerous job like that because every other dog would listen to its owners when they try to tell them to leave the bear alone. Not an Akita, they would hear their owner telling them to come back and give them the dog-middle-finger and keep on harassing the bear!
I have worked with several Akitas so far and the result has been the same on all accounts. The Akitas I worked with were very affectionate, loving dogs, but as headstrong as the day is long. I have not met a breed more stubborn than the Akita in all my years training dogs. If an Akita doesn’t want to do something, it just is not going to. This makes training Akitas quite a challenge. However, once you find something that motivates them such as a super tasty treat or an incredibly fun toy, then you may have some luck. But sometimes even finding that motivating item can be quite a challenge as well and then they may only work for you for a few minutes. The trick to training Akitas is to break up your training sessions into short intervals lasting as long as your dog will. Instead of training for 20 minutes straight, maybe have your dog sit for its food, then lay down to go outside, or shake for a treat. Through repetition and consistency, you will have success!
Akitas also require regular grooming, as they do shed a lot seasonally. They are generally a quiet breed, but will bark and protect their home when they feel their family’s safety is threatened. This breed is prone to alpha tendencies, which may include aggression, so socialization and training are a must.