If you have a family, one of the most important things about choosing a new dog is its ability to get along with and be trusted with children. This is true whether you are getting a puppy or an older dog from a shelter, and it is crucial to do some thorough research to ensure that the new dog will be happy, and your children will be safe. Failing to check into this could result in a stressed dog and unhappy or even injured children. Don’t skip this step!
Are Akitas good with kids? In general, no, Akitas are not great dogs to have around children. They do not have limitless patience, and they can be somewhat possessive about food and toys. However, with careful socialization, you can encourage an Akita to be friendly with children, especially if you get a puppy.
Although Akitas are not brilliant with children, it is possible to increase their ability to be good family dogs. We are going to look at why Akitas are not great with children, so you can find ways to mitigate these issues, and we’re also going to cover some training techniques to help your dog get along with your children. We will look at what you can teach your children so that they respect the dog, minimizing any risk of conflicts between the two. Finally, we’ll assess whether Akitas make good family dogs on the whole.
Are Akitas Good With Kids?
Unless an Akita has been brought up with the children since it was a puppy, this breed is not particularly good with kids. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, Akitas can be quite possessive over toys and food. They will not take kindly to a child-snatching something from them, and children may not be able to understand that they shouldn’t do this, which can lead to conflict.
Secondly, Akitas are big, powerful dogs, so if one takes offense, it can do a lot of damage very quickly. They are heavy, muscular, and strong, and if one attacked a child, it might really hurt it.
Akitas generally have quite short fuses, and their behavior is not like that of other dogs. They may not give your child much time to back off before snapping, and your child might not notice the warning signs.
They also are not enormously cuddly dogs, and as small children may have issues with boundaries and knowing when to respect that a dog does not want to be touched, this can be problematic. If your child is capable of knowing how to be gentle and calm, they are more likely to get along with an Akita, but it is important to assess this first.
If you are thinking of getting a puppy, you are more likely to have success in integrating them with your children. A puppy is much more adaptable and will often welcome play and new experiences. As the dog gets older, it will remain used to your children touching and hugging it, and will be more accepting of this behavior.
However, if you intend to get an older dog from a shelter, it is unlikely to cope with children unless it comes from a home with children.
Be cautious about introducing an Akita to your children, and take the personality of both the dog and the children into account, even if the dog has lived with kids before.
How To Train Your Akita To Live With Kids
It is best to get a puppy if you want to teach your Akita to live with kids. Although adopting adult dogs from shelters is very rewarding, it is unlikely that an adult Akita will adjust to a home with kids (unless they have come from one) and this could cause stress for both you and the dog.
You can get puppies from shelters, and they can then be trained to deal well with children. Always use positive reinforcement training, and never shout at or scold your puppy for its behavior. Instead, use treats to show it how to play well with your children.
Getting your children engaged with the training is important if they are old enough. Get them to give your puppy treats, and ensure that it obeys them as well as you. This will establish some mutual respect between the child and the dog, and show the dog that the children are to be treated well.
Don’t allow your Akita to play rough with your child, even if they both enjoy it. This should be firmly discouraged. If your Akita nips at your child, your child should “yelp” and move away, and then ignore the Akita for a while. This is how puppies show each other that they have bitten too hard, and it will discourage biting.
How To Teach Your Kids To Live With Akita
Just as you need to teach your Akita to respect your child, you must teach children to respect Akitas. These are a proud breed and they will not respond well to being used as toys. Do not encourage your child to climb on or poke your Akita.
Your child can interact with the dog in many ways, helping to feed it, brush it, walk it, train it, and play with it, but you must ensure your kid understands that the dog has feelings and that these are respected.
Encourage your child to watch your dog’s body language, and talk to them about what it means. Establish some firm rules that are easy to understand. For example, if your Akita goes back to its bed or crate, your child must leave it alone. This gives the dog an escape and your child a clear signal to stop playing.
Teach both parties this. If your Akita learns it can move away and this will be respected, it is more likely to do so.
Your kids must not be allowed to tease the dog under any circumstances. Taking away food or toys is asking for trouble, and you should not permit them to do this. Make it clear that the dog could hurt them if they don’t respect it, and if your child doesn’t pay attention, discourage them from interacting with the dog.
Don’t let your child play with the Akita unless you are there to supervise. This helps to reduce the risk of accidents and ensures your child is behaving appropriately and following the rules that you have set.
If your kid has friends over, make sure these standards are maintained for everyone’s safety. It may be best to keep them away from the Akita if possible, since these dogs rarely take to strangers, and children from other families may not respect the same rules, which could lead to an accident.
Are Akitas Good Family Dogs?
On the whole, Akitas are not good family dogs. There are many that prove this rule wrong, of course. Akitas that are well trained and have been brought up with children can be great guardians and very protective, but it takes a lot of work to achieve this, and it is not guaranteed to be effective.
You should not assume that an Akita will be good with children, or with other pets. In general, this is not the case. These dogs prefer to be in single-person or at least single-pet households, and often don’t cope well with kids.
If you want an Akita to be a member of a big family, you need to be prepared to put an enormous amount of work into training and socializing it well, and ensuring that the whole family respects it. You are probably looking at a minimum of fifteen months’ work with your puppy, and with other family members.
If you cannot commit this, it is best not to get an Akita. There are many dogs that are better for children to play with, and you can consider getting an Akita when your kids are older. Without time commitment and careful supervision, Akitas are not the safest dogs to have around young kids.
So, are Akitas good with kids? It depends on both the dogs and the children to a degree, but on the whole, not really. Akitas do not have enormous amounts of patience, and children may struggle to respect the boundaries that the dog sets, which can lead to problems.
If you want an Akita to be part of your family, you will have to adopt a puppy and put a lot of work into training it. Even if you do this, make sure you never leave a child unattended with a dog.