Have you ever wondered, “are Akitas smart?” Measuring intelligence can be a challenging thing to do, and dogs vary enormously in terms of how smart they are and their capacity to complete certain tasks. It’s good to know how clever your dog is before you start trying to train it; this will give you a good idea of its capabilities and help you choose appropriate challenges for it. Akitas love a challenge, so it’s important to respect their intelligence levels, or they will get bored and disengage.
Are Akitas smart? Yes, they are! They generally score around a four out of five on pet intelligence rankings, and they are considered extremely smart dogs. They can learn a variety of complicated tricks, and they enjoy being given difficult tasks to complete. There is no question that these dogs are very clever.
We’re going to cover the ways in which Akitas show their intelligence and how you know that your Akita is a smart creature. We are also going to look at how you can test your individual Akita’s intelligence, and what you can do to help develop its brain and make the most of its cleverness by doing tricks and training with it. Finally, we’ll look at some top training strategies to try with your Akita. By the time you’ve finished, your Akita will be the smartest dog on the block, without question.
Are Akitas Smart?
Yes, Akitas are considered very clever. They may not be able to outstrip very top contenders, such as Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds, but they are definitely clever canines and you can teach your Akita many different commands.
In fact, your Akita will be happiest when using its brain, so coming up with tricks for it to learn and tasks for it to do is a great way to keep your Akita’s mood high. It likes to feel useful, and learning a new trick is an ideal way to ensure that it does.
You will probably find that your Akita learns many words and phrases just by listening to you. This might go well beyond the normal example of your dog learning the word “walk” or “dinner,” and instead could mean that your dog can anticipate what you are going to do before you do it.
Akitas often have an amazing capacity to learn even things that you don’t teach them. Don’t be surprised if your Akita works out how to open cupboards, nose through doors, and even turn taps on without any input from you whatsoever.
These dogs like to watch and absorb, and they will definitely pick up on how things in the home work.
They are also enjoyable to train because they have an almost instinctive understanding of what they should do most of the time. However, they do pair this with a stubborn approach sometimes, and they need a dedicated and experienced handler who is capable of channeling their intelligence and engaging it.
The intelligence these dogs possess makes them difficult for inexperienced owners to handle, and may work against you if you don’t know what you are doing!
A smart Akita will show its intelligence through:
- Good recall of previous training
- Speed in picking up new tricks
- Interest and success using puzzle toys
- Knowing how to get your attention
- Knowing how to get what they want
- Ability to do things without being taught (e.g. open doors)
Akita IQ Test – How Smart Is Your Akita?
Obviously, intelligence levels vary significantly between individuals, and not all Akitas are super smart. So, how do you know if your dog is a clever one? Here are some tricks you can try with it.
- Place a treat under a low piece of furniture, and time how long it takes your dog to fish it out. If the dog knows to use its paws immediately, rather than trying to stick its nose under, it is particularly clever.
- Give your dog a new command, and see how many times you have to repeat it to get the results that you want. Less than five repetitions is an indication that your dog is exceptionally smart. Most Akitas will take significantly longer than this, usually between 40 and 80 repetitions, but it does vary depending on how complex the command is.
- Put the box of treats in a new place, and see how long it takes for your Akita to associate the new cupboard with the treats. If your Akita realizes within a handful of visits that you have moved them and gets excited when you go into the new area, it is very smart.
- Place a treat under one of three cups, and then distract your dog. After five minutes or so, call their attention back to the cups and see if they go for the right one straight away.
- Put a treat under a blanket and see how long it takes your Akita to work out how to get it.
- See how your Akita responds to an object they are familiar with being encountered at an unexpected time. For example, does your Akita get excited by the sight of its food bowl if it isn’t the normal dinner time? Does it leap up if it sees you holding its leash when it isn’t time for a walk? If so, it has great object recognition!
You may be able to come up with other intelligence challenges for your dog, but these should give you a basic idea of how much is going on in its brain and how clever it is.
How To Make Your Akita Smarter
You can probably only do so much to affect your dog’s natural intelligence, but if you are keen to make the most of your dog’s brain, there are a few things that should help to stimulate its mind and exercise its intelligence.
- Always challenge it. Whatever level your dog is at, seek to get to the next level. Use treats to reward it for engagement and keep pushing it to figure new things out. Get that brain working!
- Talk to your dog a lot. The more familiar it is with your voice, the more understanding it will have of what you are saying. Talk, talk, and talk more. Your dog will absorb the sound of your voice and the nuances of what you are saying, even if the meaning is lost.
- Handle your dog a lot. Lots of physical stimulation and petting should help to engage its brain, especially when it is a puppy. This isn’t a guaranteed “smarter” technique, but it will help your puppy to focus on you.
- Look for interesting ways to switch things up. Could you move its food bowl to a new spot? Can you challenge it to find the treat? Can you make it difficult to reach its ball? Obstacles that your dog has to work around stimulate its brain and encourage it to think.
- Socialize your dog as much as possible. Going out and meeting different people and dogs will again help to stimulate its brain and ensure it is doing plenty of thinking about the world!
What Is The Best Training For Akitas?
Your Akita likely has a lot to learn, and you might not be sure where to start. If you have taken on an Akita puppy, you should begin with the basics of housetraining, followed by “sit,” “stay,” and “lie down.” These will help you to stay in control and are relatively simple commands for your dog to follow.
You can then move on to bigger challenges. For example, you might start to teach your dog leash manners and how to walk politely beside you. You can also begin on games, challenging your dog to find things that you have hidden.
Social training is also important for Akitas, as they do not usually get along well with other dogs. In a controlled environment, teach your Akita how to approach other dogs politely and reward it for calm, unaggressive behavior toward other dogs.
Akitas are certainly smart dogs, and if you have ever handled one, you will have no doubts about its intelligence. They may not be able to outdo the very smartest breeds, but they are quick learners and will pick up on your desires with little effort. You should work with your Akita, always challenging it so that it remains engaged and feels useful.