Akitas are a very beautiful and popular breed of dog, but they are also large and strong creatures, and that might lead you to ask the question “are Akitas aggressive?” Before you get any dog, but particularly a large dog, it is crucial that you understand whether you can handle it and how likely it is to show aggressive behavior. If you don’t do careful research, you could end up with an out-of-control dog, and injuries or worse to deal with. Don’t get a dog without understanding its behavioral tendencies!
So, are Akitas aggressive? Unfortunately, they are a breed that is considered quite aggressive, yes. Not every individual will show aggressive tendencies, but Akitas usually have quite a short fuse, and they were bred as guard dogs, so they will show their temper when annoyed by something.
Today, we’re going to cover Akita’s aggression and why they tend to be quite aggressive dogs. We are also going to look at how this behavior develops from when they are young, and then cover some top tips for limiting aggression in your Akita. It is possible to curb this breed’s natural tendencies to a degree, although you must always treat them with caution. Finally, we’ll cover whether you should consider an Akita a dangerous creature or not. Hopefully, you will learn everything that you need to know about the negative aspects of an Akita’s personality.
Are Akitas Aggressive?
Akitas are aggressive dogs, yes. Obviously, all dogs are individuals, and you may find that your Akita is quite gentle, but it is very unusual for Akitas to be timid or shy. They usually try to establish themselves as leaders, and they will do this through aggression in most cases. They like to be head of the pack!
Because Akitas are large dogs, it is easy for them to use aggression to get their way. They were bred to hunt and guard, so there was no reason to try and soften their aggressive instincts (indeed, quite the opposite) and that has led to dogs that are quite ready to snap at other dogs or even strangers at the slightest provocation.
Akitas are usually very loyal to their owners, so it is unlikely that your Akita will be aggressive toward you, but if it feels something is threatening you or another member of its pack, it will respond with its teeth.
These dogs are also notorious for being extremely food aggressive, and you must never feed them around other dogs – even their own kind. You should always feed your Akita in a separate space, and not allow anyone to approach it while it is eating. Try not to take food off your Akita for any reason if you can avoid it.
Usually, an Akita’s aggression will be limited to other dogs and smaller animals, but they are not the gentlest breed even with humans, and you should be cautious about bringing strangers into your home without warning, especially if your Akita is particularly strong-willed.
If you get an Akita as a puppy, make sure you take the time to socialize it very thoroughly. If you take on an adult Akita from a shelter, you need plenty of experience and may have to commit a lot of time to your dog to ensure it is safe around other people.
Why Is My Akita Becoming Aggressive?
Usually, as puppies, Akitas are not particularly aggressive. They will play with their litter mates and parents happily, and will manage introductions to other dogs and even other pets well. They are also much easier to control because they are so much smaller than adults.
However, as an Akita grows, it will start to try and establish itself as the leader of the pack, and at this point, aggression sets in. Each Akita wants to lead, and obviously, this is impossible, so they will start to fight with each other and with other dogs.
Unless your Akita is socialized well as a puppy, it can be extremely difficult to handle this aggression, and you may really struggle to train your dog away from it as an adult, because its habits will be strong, and it will be less willing to experience new things.
That’s why you should always spend a lot of time socializing an Akita if you get it as a puppy. Introduce it to other dogs and other people as often as you can, and spend a lot of time touching and stroking it so that it becomes familiar with this. Hopefully, such familiarity will reduce aggression later in life.
It can be very rewarding to take an older dog from a shelter, but it’s important to be able to handle one. Talk to the shelter in detail about the dog’s needs and behavior, and make sure you have the experience to deal with aggression and dominance.
How To Train An Akita To Not Be Aggressive
Good training is key to every dog, and no matter what age your Akita is, you should spend time working on its manners with it. Even if you have had your dog from a puppy and it is usually gentle and polite with other dogs, it never hurts to keep going over old ground and reinforcing its training.
Akitas have short fuses, and you rarely get much warning before they snap, so use positive reinforcement techniques to remind it that the reward for being patient is worth keeping its temper for.
So, what techniques can you try? Get a friend or family member to help you out with these things so you can separate the dogs if necessary, especially when handling an adult Akita.
Start by letting your dog smell items that have the scent of another dog on them. Give your dog a treat so that it forms a positive association with that scent.
When you have done this a few times, take your dog somewhere neutral, and have another person bring a dog along. Allow the two dogs to see each other from a distance, but don’t allow them to approach or interact. Do this a handful of times.
Next, start letting your dogs approach each other, rewarding them for good behavior. Do not allow them off their leashes, in case you need to separate them. You can then move toward walking with other dogs, and keep rewarding good behavior.
If your Akita starts to show aggression, remove it from the situation. Do not shout or punish your dog, but just walk away. Ignoring your dog for a while will show it that its behavior was not acceptable, and should help to discourage aggression.
Always choose positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior, rather than negative reinforcement to discourage bad. This is far more effective, especially with intelligent breeds like Akitas.
Are Akitas Dangerous?
Any dog can be dangerous, but Akitas are large and powerful canines. Coupled with their aggressive tendencies, it is fair to say that they can be dangerous in the wrong hands. However, you should remember that good training and good handling are the keys to a controlled and happy dog.
Don’t assume that an Akita is dangerous, but don’t approach an Akita you don’t know and don’t let strangers approach your Akita. It is important to take precautions, and you should always have your Akita on a leash when out and about.
Because of their high prey drive, they will chase and attack other animals, and you may lose your dog if it runs off. It could hurt somebody else’s pet or even a child, and you need to be very cautious about allowing it out of your control.
This is true even of Akitas that are gentle and reliable. Do not trust your dog too much; it is up to you to recognize the danger this large breed poses and to take steps to mitigate that risk. While Akitas are gorgeous, intelligent, and very special dogs, you do need to keep them under control.
Akitas are aggressive dogs, yes. They will fight for their place at the top of the pack and will attack almost anything that tries to take food away from them, especially unexpectedly. It’s important to keep an Akita under control and be aware of the risk that this breed can pose.
That said, Akitas are intelligent dogs, and with good training and expert handling, it is perfectly possible to steer them away from their aggressive tendencies and keep everyone safe!