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If you have an Akita (or you are thinking of getting one), you may be wondering whether these dogs are calm and generally happy creatures, or if they are likely to be unhappy when you leave them alone. Do Akitas have separation anxiety? It’s important to be aware of how much time and attention a dog is likely to need and to think about whether you are going to be able to provide this. If you already have an Akita, understanding this may help you to better meet its needs and make sure it is as happy as possible.
In general, Akitas are not particularly prone to separation anxiety, although your dog may prove different if it has experienced something traumatic or lost its owner. If you have adopted an Akita from a shelter, it is more likely to suffer from anxiety, because it may have had a difficult past.
Nonetheless, Akitas are wonderful dogs, and adopting one from a shelter is a great thing. If your dog has separation anxiety, there are many things that you can do to help reassure it and make it happier even when you aren’t at home. We’re going to look at how likely Akitas are to suffer from separation anxiety, as well as how long these dogs can be left alone. We’re also going to look at the common causes of separation anxiety and how to deal with it. By the end of this article, you should have everything you need to handle separation anxiety effectively!
Do Akitas Have Separation Anxiety?
Although any dog can suffer from separation anxiety, in general, Akitas are not at too much risk of this. They enjoy the company of their humans very much, but they do not follow them around in the same way that some dogs do.
Most Akitas are happy left to their own devices, and will not get anxious if you are out of the house for a while. They are independent dogs and like to do their own things most of the time. They will not mind if you are gone as long as they have plenty of things to occupy themselves with.
That said, they are very active dogs and they need quite a lot of mental stimulation because they are clever. If you do not give Akita things to keep it occupied, you may find that your dog is more anxious about you leaving the house, or that it becomes difficult to manage.
You may notice that your Akita becomes aggressive when you try to leave the home or even nips at your ankles when you walk toward the door. You might also notice it growls or barks, or tries to block you. These are all sure signs of separation anxiety.
If you notice these, it’s likely that your dog is being left alone too much. You should work to fix this by reassuring it, giving it lots of attention when you are at home or getting someone to come and walk it when you’re at work.
Can Akitas Be Left Alone And For How Long?
In normal circumstances, you can probably leave an adult Akita alone for a few hours. Some will even manage an eight-hour workday, although this is not ideal for the dog, partly because it needs quite a lot of exercise and it enjoys being played with. Eight hours is longer than the ideal, and in general, you should aim for six hours or fewer.
If you are going to leave your Akita alone for long periods of time, you need to make sure that you are providing it with plenty of toys and leaving food and water for it. You should not leave your dog for hours straight away, but build up to lengthier periods gradually.
Akita puppies cannot be left. Like all puppies, they need to be taken outside to use the toilet, and they need lots of socialization and play. As they grow, you will gradually be able to leave them for longer and longer periods, but you must work on this slowly so that the dog does not get anxious about where you are.
A healthy adult Akita should cope with being left alone for as long as six hours, but this will not make it very happy, and you may wish to either come home during the day or get someone else to visit your Akita. However, it is worth taking the time to socialize your Akita with a new dog walker, as they do not usually take to strangers very well.
If your dog is very at ease with its own company, you may find it is okay to leave it, so you will have to tailor your approach to your dog and its individual needs. If you have taken on a rescue Akita, it is even more important to be careful about leaving it alone, especially while you are getting to know each other.
Other Causes Of Separation Anxiety In Dogs.
You might be wondering what triggers separation anxiety in the first place. There are quite a few different things that can cause it, but one common one among Akitas is the loss of their owner. This may be because the owner has died, or because the dog has been given up for adoption.
Akitas are very loyal dogs, and although they are not always particularly cuddly, they do bond closely with their owners. It is very important to be aware of this if you take an Akita from a rescue. This can be an extremely rewarding thing to do, but the dog may need extra reassurance and affection, especially in the early days.
Separation anxiety can also be triggered if a dog that is used to constant companionship is suddenly left for a long period. This will cause the dog to think that it has been abandoned, which may lead to stress in the future.
Dogs that feel insecure in their homes are also much more likely to struggle with separation anxiety and may turn to destructive behavior as a result. If you find your dog is either aggressive with you or that it starts to destroy things around your home, it may be suffering from separation anxiety.
Further causes include boredom, which is common among intelligent dogs (like Akitas) in particular. If your Akita seems anxious when you are leaving, this may be because it does not have enough to do when you’re out.
How To Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety?
So, what can you do? There are a number of ways to deal with separation anxiety. Ideally, puppies should be familiarized with the idea that people leave and come back when they are still young, so if you have a puppy, work on good habits. Similar methods may work with older dogs, although they are likely to be less effective.
Firstly, try leaving your dog for very short periods of time, without any fuss. Simply walk out and close the door for five minutes, and then go back in. Do the same thing a few times, and then gradually start to increase the amount of time that you leave for. Your dog should start to get the idea that you will come back soon.
Do not make a big deal out of either leaving or coming home. You can give your dog a pat, but even if it is very exciting to see you, don’t respond with great enthusiasm. Doing so will send your dog the message that you leaving and coming back is very important, not an everyday event, and this may make it anxious.
Thirdly, make sure your dog has lots to occupy itself with when you are gone. Giving it a new toy just before you leave can help to keep it entertained. Remember, Akitas are very intelligent, and they like having things to explore and play with.
Toys are a great distraction, and may also give your dog a positive association with you leaving.
So, do Akitas have separation anxiety? It isn’t likely, but it is possible. Any dog that has had bad experiences can suffer from separation anxiety, and even if you get an Akita as a puppy, it may get worried about you leaving.
Make sure you work on building good habits as soon as you get your dog (whatever age it is) to minimize the issues that you might run into in the future.