Anyone who is considering getting an Akita needs to know a bit about how they interact with other animals and especially other dogs. If you already own dogs, or you want to get more than one, you may be wondering “Are Akitas good with other dogs ?” There are lots of things to learn about how Akitas interact with other canines, but this is the fundamental question. Unless you understand your Akita and its feelings about other dogs, you could end up causing aggression or even a fight between your Akita and another dog.
So, are Akitas good with other dogs? It isn’t recommended that you have an Akita and another dog, no. Akitas tend to be quite independent, solitary creatures, and they do not usually take well to other dogs, even their own kind. Some Akitas will be friendlier, but most do not like canine companions.
We’re going to explore how Akitas generally interact with other dogs. We are also going to look at why Akitas tend to be aggressive toward other dogs, and the best way to introduce Akitas to other dogs when you need to do this. The important thing is to avoid aggression between both parties, and we’re going to cover the steps to reduce the risks. Finally, we’ll cover whether Akitas like to be paired up together, so you know exactly how to keep your dog happy and ensure it is comfortable.
Are Akitas Good With Other Dogs?
No, Akitas are not generally good with other dogs. Of course, there are exceptions to this; some Akitas can be friendly and loving to dogs, especially if they have been brought up with them, but most prefer to be in one-dog households and do not like others.
It should be noted that often, Akitas are not outright aggressive, but they are very easily provoked to aggression. Because they are large dogs, they are also quite dangerous to other dogs, and they will respond to smaller canines as potential prey in many cases.
They were bred as hunting dogs originally and therefore have a high prey drive, which may result in them hunting and attacking smaller dogs.
They are also rough in how they play, which increases the risk of play turning into aggression, or causing accidental injuries. Even two dogs that get along well can suddenly start to fight if one nips too hard, and this is a big risk with Akitas.
Akitas have been known to suddenly turn on dogs that they have known for years, despite long-term friendship and lack of aggression. They have little to no patience, and won’t tolerate “insults” from other dogs. They are also very dominant, which can cause problems.
Many Akitas will play well as puppies, and some will manage to maintain this into adulthood, but adult Akitas that get on well with other dogs are the exception, not the rule. On the whole, if you want to own one of these dogs, you should not have other dogs, and you should avoid using popular dog places during busy times.
That may mean not visiting the dog park, and taking your walks in more obscure spots. You should not let your Akita run off the leash in an unsecured area, because its high prey drive means it will chase other dogs and may get into fights.
Why Are Akitas Aggressive To Other Dogs?
Akitas are generally aggressive because they are a strong, domineering breed. They need to be “top dogs,” and they will challenge any other animal that they see as a threat to that leadership role.
They were bred as guard dogs, and they see it as their duty to protect and safeguard the household and their pack members – including you. Even if you teach an Akita that another dog is part of the pack, they may turn on it if they feel threatened by it.
Very few Akitas are timid; they have a tough approach to life, and you may never manage to get your Akita to take to other dogs, even if it has known them since it was a puppy. An Akita needs its human to be a strong leader in order to give it security and guidance, but Akitas are an independent breed and will not always listen to you.
Most Akitas are aggressive either because they want to guard the home or because they are dominant and want to be top dogs. Sometimes, their aggression will stem from both desires, and it can be very difficult to reliably curb this.
Even if your Akita is generally fine with other dogs, you should remain vigilant, because they can very suddenly move from playful to aggressive, without the warning signs that allow another dog to back off safely. Don’t leave an Akita unattended with another dog. It simply isn’t safe (with most Akitas) and you shouldn’t risk this.
This is particularly true if you have taken on an Akita in later life. You will have a limited understanding of how socialized the dog is and its triggers, and you will need to watch very carefully. Don’t trust your dog to be nice just because the dog you are introducing it to is polite or submissive – this may not happen.
How Do You Introduce An Akita To A Dog?
If possible, all introductions should be done when your Akita is a puppy. Puppies are much more open to new experiences and far less likely to be aggressive. Of course, this is not always possible, but if you are trying to deal with an adult Akita, you must take the socialization process very slowly, and it will require an experienced dog handler to be successful.
Bear in mind that sometimes you cannot socialize an adult Akita with other dogs successfully.
Step One) In neutral territory, allow the dogs to look at but not touch each other. Ideally, this should be done through a secure baby gate, or with both dogs on leashes. You can also give the dogs scented items from the other dog, along with treats, to start building a positive association.
Step Two) Once the dogs have got acclimatized to seeing each other, take them for a walk in neutral territory. It is best to have two people for this, one walking each dog. You should be able to separate them if something goes wrong.
Step Three) Repeat the walks until the dogs seem comfortable with each other. This may take weeks and you should not rush the process.
Step Four) Take the resident dog out of your home, and bring the new one inside and crate it. You should allow it some time to start adjusting to the home before you bring the resident dog back in.
Step Five) Allow the dogs to sniff and interact through the bars, but remove the resident dog if any aggression is shown. Give the dogs alternating shifts (using different crates) so that both are allowed free roaming time and time in the crate. Do not allow them to interact without the crate for months, until you are sure that they are okay with each other.
Step Six) When you are ready to test interactions outside the crate, have at least two people, and make sure both dogs are wearing harnesses so you can separate them easily. Reward good behavior with treats.
It is a slow process, and for the sake of both dogs, don’t rush it! Talk with a professional trainer about clicker training and other positive training methods if necessary.
Are Akitas Good In Pairs?
You may be able to keep an Akita with another Akita but bear in mind that they are perfectly happy as single dogs. You should not keep two Akitas of the same sex together, as they are very likely to fight. A male and female pairing may be okay if both dogs are sociable and willing to share their home.
Because Akitas are dominant dogs, same-sex pairs will likely spend a lot of time striving to take top place and may not be very happy. It depends on the individuals, but in general, you can’t keep two same-sex Akitas together without breaking up a lot of fights. Go for a mixed pairing, or do not keep two Akitas.
Akitas are not very good with other dogs on the whole, and it’s best not to try and keep them together. If you want to own an Akita, it is better to have just one dog and no other pets. Your life will be easier and your dog will be happier!