The Akita has an excellent temperament towards people. Initially bred for guarding, they are fearless in guarding their human family and their territory. Courageous, intelligent, and loyal, this breed will be willing to lay down their lives to protect their owner. Needless to say, the Akita enjoys the companionship of its human family. While the Akita has a sweet and friendly side, they can be strong-headed and a bit stubborn, although early socialization and training can help with that. They also have a reputation of being somewhat aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex, not to mention they are naturally wary of strangers. Akita’s personality can be overwhelming and confusing, which is why today, we’re going to answer one simple question.
Are Akitas affectionate? Yes, they are. However, their affection is often reserved for their human family with whom they form strong bonds. On the other hand, the Akita stays alert and wary of strangers and will likely treat them with distaste and aloofness. Some Akitas are really friendly and even play with people they don’t know, but that is likely because they were raised that way.
If you’re looking for a dog to cheer you up with lots of love and affection, the Akita is a great choice. This dog breed is known for its sweet nature and fearless display of devotion towards its owners and those they consider part of their pack. They are independent and adaptable to any living situation, as long as their needs are being met and they have the companionship of their human family. Stay with me as I discuss the true character of the Akita so you can decide whether or not they are the right dog for you. With that being said, it’s always worth remembering that every dog is an individual and might differ slightly from the breed’s standard of personality.
Are Akitas Affectionate?
The Akita is a super affectionate dog, but their affection is reserved for their masters and the people closest to them. They identify you as their pack leader and the rest of the family as part of their pack. You become the center of their attention and will gain their respect and loyalty. Akitas love to spend time with their human family; they cherish their company, give lots of hugs and kisses, and act playfully and goofy around them.
Because Akitas were bred to be guard dogs, it’s only natural for them to be aloof and wary towards unfamiliar people. They don’t show affection or get along with strangers because they instantly assume them as a threat to their master and can’t trust and be close to them. Their guarding instincts, together with the fact that they have dominant personalities, also mean they might not get along with other animals. Akitas are prone to be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. The good news is if an Akita puppy is exposed to various people and animals while growing up, they may realize that not every stranger or unfamiliar animal is a threat. Proper training is also essential as it teaches your Akita to behave a certain way upon commands.
Reasons Why Your Akita Is Not Affectionate
We’ve seen that these dogs are naturally affectionate and friendly towards people they know, but what if your Akita seems estranged to you? If you feel your dog doesn’t like you, the first step is to analyze your relationship. Has something changed, or have you always felt estranged from your dog? Is this a new puppy/dog? It can be challenging for a dog to show affection at the beginning of the relationship. After all, the link between you two has not yet been well established.
On the other hand, if your ever-affectionate Akita is suddenly not acting that way, there could be a couple of reasons why. Perhaps they are not feeling well and are uninterested in eating, playing, and even lost interest in you. Bad experiences and past trauma may also cause your Akita to become less affectionate. It could also be a build-up of problems that you didn’t address early on.
How Do Akitas Show Affection?
Akitas are affectionate but not too clingy like other dogs. While they appreciate spending quality time with their human family, they are not attention seekers like the Chihuahua. Their personality might have you thinking they don’t love you, but the truth is they have their own unique ways of showing affection, as explained below. Be sure to pay attention to what they do; you may realize that it’s simply an act of affection unique to them.
The Infamous Lean – The Akita doesn’t like to be touched much, but you’ll notice them start to lean on you when they are relaxed around you. This shows that they trust, cherish, and love you the most.
They’re Never Too Far – Have you noticed that your Akita follows you everywhere you go? It’s because they love you and enjoy your company and don’t want you to leave them. By keeping an eye on you like this, they are also making sure that you’re okay.
They Are Empathetic – The Akita is born to serve, please, and protect you, so they can easily tell if something is off about their favorite human. Akitas don’t like to cuddle endlessly, but they have an instinct to take care of you when you need them the most. So, whether you are sick, sad, or feeling angry, expect your Akita to be right by your side.
They Readily Make Eye Contact – When your Akita stares directly into your eyes, it’s a way of hugging you with their eyes, which means that they love and adore you very much. This doesn’t mean they’re glued to you 24/7. They will still stare and try to go after prey if they spot one but return to you when the distraction disappears.
They Will Jump on You – When you come back home after a long day outside, your Akita will jump all over you dearly, wag his tail, and even lick and give you kisses. It’s just a way of them saying, “I missed you and I love you.”
Do Akitas Bond With One Person?
Akitas so dearly love their owner beyond imagination. Have you heard about the famous Akita dog, Hachikō, who continued to wait for his master at the train station long after he had passed away as it was their tradition?
This extreme loyalty is ingrained into this breed. Akitas love, cherish, adore, and are protective, devoted, and affectionate to their owners. But while they will love every family member, Akitas tend to form strong bonds with one person. This is especially true for the female Akita. In fact, one can compare the kind of bond they form with one individual to that of Velcro dogs. This is why they are called one-person dogs.
But natural predisposition isn’t the only cause for this behavior. Some Akitas get overly attached to one family member and remain aloof towards others through learning or experiences. For instance, rescue Akitas from difficult situations are likely to over-bond to one person in their new home. This could be the person who seems less threatening, most sympathetic, the one they bonded with first, or the one that offered them the most comfort. Others learn this behavior because one person, often unknowingly, rewards clingy behavior. Of course, if you are always feeding, grooming, exercising, playing, and generally caring for the dog, it only makes sense they will bond more with you than the rest of the family members.
Why One Person Dogs Is Not A Good Thing
Many owners are flattered by these extreme displays of love and affection towards them alone, but this can be problematic. When left by their most favorite person, these dogs may mope, hide away, become stressed and uncooperative, and even refuse to eat, even if there’s another person at home. It’s important to help your Akita spread the love so they can receive optimum care and love. Start by splitting the chores for everyone to get a chance to bond with the dog. You also want to reduce the contrast between your presence and absence, as this feeds separation anxiety.
How Do I Bond with My Akita?
So, you already know the answer to are Akitas affectionate? But will you be able to build a strong bond as the one Hachikō had with his owner? Let’s look at a few dog bonding tips that will help you foster a good relationship with your Akita.
Train Your Akita – Training is the key to having a well-behaved dog, and the best part is you get to spend plenty of time with them. As your Akita masters the tricks and learn commands, and you reward them with love, praise, and treats, you’ll be establishing a deep connection between the two of you.
Physical Contact – Physical contact through petting and grooming your dog is a great way to create and strengthen your bond. Your Akita may be hesitant at first since they don’t necessarily love being touched all the time. But with gentle encouragement and affection, your dog can grow to love the attention and the experience.
Put A Little Love into Feeding Them – The way to an Akita’s heart is through their stomach. So, by preparing healthy, tasty foods, you’re showing that you are their provider and that you care.
Understand Your Akita – There’s so much to know about the Akita, but each one will have their own preferences regarding favorite food, games, etc. It’s important to learn the ways of your individual Akita, like what non-verbal cues do they give when they are happy, stressed, sad, or angry? A true understanding of your dog will help you take better care of them, thus helping that bond to stay strong.
Spend Time Together – Spending time with your Akita, especially in enjoyable ways, will definitely strengthen your bond. There are several ways to achieve this, including through daily walks, playtime, training, enrolling in dog classes, etc.
Be Patient – Akitas are affectionate and loving towards people they know. It may take time before your new dog becomes fully welcoming, so be patient and trust in the process.