Adopting a dog is a big decision, especially when the dog is as complex to understand and as intelligent as an Akita. Akitas can be difficult to “get” because they are quite different from other dogs, and their behavior is often confusing or even misleading, even for experienced dog owners. One of the common questions about these dogs is “are Akitas loyal?” This can be surprisingly complicated to answer, and you might find yourself questioning whether your dog is truly yours at times. Despite that, Akitas are rewarding pets as long as you are capable of handling them.
Are Akitas loyal? Yes, they are very loyal dogs, and they were actually bred as guard dogs. They are automatically wary of strangers, but when it comes to their “pack,” they are intensely faithful and they are sometimes called the most loyal dog in the world!
It can be tricky to read the Akita’s behavior as loyalty sometimes, and with any dog, there will be a learning curve as you adjust to its behavior, and it establishes itself in your home. We are going to look at how Akitas show their loyalty, and whether they are likely to bond with just one person, or the whole family. We are also going to look at some of the more confusing ways in which they behave. Our goal is to enhance your understanding of your dog and its actions!
Are Akitas Loyal?
Akitas certainly are loyal dogs. They were bred as guard dogs, and are famous for the protectiveness of their families and homes. Indeed, there is a famous story about an Akita named Hachiko, which would meet its owner at the station every day after work.
The dog’s owner passed away while at work, but the dog continued to go to the station every day to wait for its owner. This continued for a full ten years, until the dog’s own death, and is upheld as an example of how extraordinarily loyal and loving an American Brindle Akita can be.
They are highly intelligent dogs and form strong bonds with their owners. If you take an Akita on in its later life, it will probably take some time to get it to trust you, but thanks to their intelligence, it is possible. Adopting a dog from a shelter can be extremely rewarding, and Akitas do not do well in shelters, because they are often aggressive with other dogs.
If you take on an Akita, you must be committed to your relationship with it. While circumstances can change for anyone and there’s no shame in having to give up a pet because of this, you shouldn’t take on an Akita unless your life is stable and you think you can offer it a permanent home.
How Do Akitas Show Their Loyalty?
Despite the fact that they are very loyal, you might not always see it in their daily actions. Akitas rarely show their loyalty by following their owners from room to room and always hanging around by their feet. They are independent creatures and like to do their own thing at times.
You will often only see an Akita’s loyalty in subtle ways – as in the case of the dog walking to the station every day to meet his master. Your Akita may be waiting eagerly for you to come home, even if it is then happy to do its own thing once you are at home.
Your dog will often demonstrate extreme protectiveness toward you and toward your home. Strangers will be treated with suspicion, and if your Akita has not been well socialized and trained in good manners, it may become aggressive toward anyone it doesn’t know. This stems from a desire to protect you because it is so loyal to you.
You may often observe that your Akita watches you closely when you are out of the house, or when you are leaving. It might stick close to you during walks, especially if other dogs or people are nearby. It may share its toys with you, and will often sit beside you at home.
Akitas love to play, and they are very smart dogs. Spending lots of time with your dog, playing and training, and challenging its intellect, will help to build strong bonds.
You will probably find that you don’t need to teach your Akita anything about guarding your home. Safeguarding you and your family will be second nature to it, and you might actually have to try and do some training in the opposite direction so that your dog doesn’t behave aggressively toward strangers and visitors.
Are Akitas Loyal To One Person Or The Whole Family?
This depends very much on the dog and the family dynamics. If one person spends a lot of time with the dog, taking it for walks and playing with it, the Akita is likely to bond particularly closely with that person, and will probably show most of its loyalty to them.
However, Akitas will bond with other family members too, and in a home where everyone interacts with, feeds, and plays with the dog, it may form strong relationships with everyone. Akitas are not guaranteed to either be one-person dogs or family dogs.
On the whole, Akitas will be attached to and protective of all members of their household, but they are not friendly toward strangers. You will have to spend plenty of time socializing your Akita if you want to keep it from becoming aggressive toward people it does not know.
If you are a single-person household, you don’t need to worry about your Akita not getting enough stimulation. It will be happy to bond with just one owner, and as long as you give it enough exercise and fun, it won’t mind being part of a small pack.
Although Akitas can bond closely with children and become very protective of them, they aren’t particularly good with young children. They don’t have enough patience, and you should only get an Akita if the children in the household are older.
Never leave a small child alone with any large dog, but particularly Akitas. Their moods can flip very abruptly, and this could result in tragedy. Even if your Akita is closely bonded with your children, do not take this risk; it is still possible for them to suddenly attack.
Behaviors Which Are Often Misunderstood As Disloyalty
Akitas are independent canines, and this can be misinterpreted as disinterest in their humans. They can be strong-willed and very much know their own minds. They can also have quite an attitude and sometimes will simply ignore orders with a “so what?” approach to your commands.
It is important to have some experience of dog ownership before you decide to adopt an Akita. Their body language can be hard to read, even for experienced owners, and many people liken them to cats rather than dogs. They may not seem interested in you and might go off and do their own thing even when you are trying to play with them.
However, this is simply because they are independent dogs, and they are smart enough to entertain themselves at times. They like to engage in creative play, and if they consider what you are doing to be boring, they will just leave and find something else to do.
Their aloof attitude toward you and everyone else is coupled and strengthened by the fact that they are not a particularly cuddly breed, and they may prefer not to be handled too often, especially if they haven’t been touched much as puppies.
You may find that your Akita is not keen to climb up on the couch for a snuggle after a long day, but prefers to choose its bed or the floor. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but many Akitas are not considered “cuddlers.”
Again, this is not because your dog doesn’t love you, but just because it does not particularly enjoy physical affection.
Akitas are extremely loyal dogs, but they may not always seem that way. They can behave as though they are disinterested in you, and may prefer to do their own thing at times, even going so far as to play alone rather than with family members.
However, they are great guard dogs and form very intense bonds with their owners, which can last beyond the death of the owner. If you have an Akita, you should not doubt that it loves you and wants to protect you!