When you are thinking of getting a new dog – whether a puppy or from a shelter – it is important to consider all aspects of adding this dog to your home, and training is one of the most crucial elements. Akitas are very powerful dogs and they have some negative traits, so it is important to think about training them as soon as you possibly can. A badly trained Akita is not just a nuisance but can be actively dangerous to people and animals, so you are responsible for making sure you know what you are doing.
Are Akitas easy or hard to train? Akitas are neither very easy nor very difficult to train. They are smart enough to quickly understand what their owners want, but they can be reluctant to obey. They are independent dogs, and you will have to be patient and work with them to get the results that you want.
This article will cover how difficult Akitas generally are when it comes to training them, as well as some top tips on how to train them. This will hopefully make the process easier for you once you get the dog. The tips should work for both adults and puppies. We are also going to look at potty training an Akita puppy, and how to work on reducing aggression in your Akita to help it socialize and ensure it is safe around other people and pets.
Are Akitas Easy Or Hard To Train?
Akitas are an interesting mix of being a challenge to train and easy to train. Their intelligence makes them very easy to teach, but they have an independent nature and a strong sense of “why should I?”
They can also be stubborn dogs, and this makes it important to have some experience in dog training before you try and teach an Akita how to behave. You will need to work with the dog, not against it, to get what you want. If you can’t do that, you might find an Akita impossible to train.
However, if you can persuade your dog to engage with you and your techniques, you will find that it is easily intelligent enough to understand what you want, and it can perform all sorts of tricks. Akitas pick things up fast, so it’s usually easy to teach them new commands as long as they are interested in learning.
Akitas often get bored quickly, especially if something is not challenging enough for them. You need to vary their training routines and make sure you are adding new difficulties for them to overcome if you want to keep your Akita’s attention and stop it from getting bored and disengaging with the training.
These dogs are smart enough to partake in competitions based on tricks, but your dog must respect you if it is to listen to you, and it takes a confident person to train an Akita well.
How To Train An Akita
So, how do you start training an Akita? These dogs are best trained as puppies, because they have dominant personalities, and will not be so keen to submit to you as adults. There are still plenty of things you can teach adult Akitas, but training during puppyhood is very important for things like good social skills.
Firstly, it is important to use positive reinforcement only with your Akita. Do not punish it when it does something you don’t like, but steer it away from that behavior and then reward it when it does what you do want it to do.
Next, remember that confidence is king. Akitas are confident dogs, and if they sense that you are uncertain or if you falter and give in, they will take advantage of that to get away with the things that they want to do. You must be stronger and demonstrate more willpower than your dog. Consistent rules and firmness are necessities.
It’s also good to know that these dogs are food motivated, so you can use treats as a means of engaging them with training. This increases the positive associations with training and should help them to stay focused and on-task. However, Akitas are vulnerable to dysplasia if they become overweight, so you must use treats carefully.
Try cutting treats into small portions. The reward factor is still there, but you won’t be adding a lot of calories to your dog’s diet.
Make sure that training is always a positive experience, and show your dog that you respect it, as well as that you demand to respect yourself. Don’t push your dog too hard, and don’t spend hours repeating an activity that it has already mastered. Move onto something new, and come back later if you think reinforcement is still needed.
Keeping your Akita stimulated by giving it lots of challenges will improve its mood and may make it more willing to engage with training. Be aware of how smart your dog is!
How To Potty Train An Akita Puppy
Akitas are naturally very clean dogs, so much so that some people liken them to cats. However, toilet training can be a challenge, even for experienced owners. It helps if you can take some time off work while you teach your dog, because it will need to go out every few hours, and this can be challenging with a standard work schedule.
You should then start taking your dog outside every two hours or so. Even if the dog does nothing, take it outside, especially directly after meals. Use a phrase such as “out time” to let your dog know this is a specific thing that happens regularly.
Set the puppy on the ground and try a command like “do your business.” If your dog goes, reward it with a treat, and take it back inside. Make it clear that this is not an opportunity to play outside; it has one job to do. With time, your dog will come to associate the commands with toileting and will start to wait until it is outside.
Learn your dog’s cues. Sniffing and turning are often signs it needs the bathroom. As it gets bigger, it will probably start to let you know more directly. Each dog does this differently. It may yip, scratch at the door, or nudge you – or something else entirely. It can be a long road, but you’ll get there.
Remember, positivity is key. Do not be mad if your puppy has an accident. Simply take the dog outside to finish if possible, and clean up the mess. It will learn eventually!
How To Train An Akita To Not Be Aggressive
Training aggression out of your Akita is crucial, because these are big, powerful dogs, and they can be fierce. You should socialize an Akita puppy as young as possible, getting it to spend time with both people and other dogs to reduce its aggressive tendencies.
Again, positive reinforcement is a key part of teaching your dog not to be aggressive. Reward your dog when it plays calmly or responds to strangers gently. Teach it a command to indicate that you want it to be gentle, such as “calm” or something similar.
Because Akitas are smart dogs, they should be able to pick up on your request, but don’t depend too heavily on the training, even if your Akita is generally well behaved. These dogs have a high prey drive and they are very dominant.
They can be aggressive with other dogs in particular, even if you have taught them not to be. Rough play often leads to fighting, and you should discourage your Akita from interacting with dogs unless you know that this is safe. In general, Akitas are happy being solitary dogs, and won’t particularly want to play with others.
Do not let your Akita run off its leash while you are in public. It is very likely to chase something and this could result in fights and injuries. Your dog might hurt a person, or could run into traffic and get hurt itself. It’s best to keep your dog on the leash at all times outside the house.
So, are Akitas easy or hard to train? The answer is somewhere in the middle. They can be very easy to train if they are interested and engaged, but don’t underestimate their stubborn streak. They won’t always want to listen to you, especially if they think the requests are boring, or they aren’t incentivized with food.
Approach your Akita’s training with plenty of patience, and reward them heavily when they do well. This will lead to positive results and a strong bond.