Understanding the Akita Temperament: What to Expect

Understanding the Akita Temperament: What to Expect

Are you considering getting an Akita as a pet? It’s important to understand the temperament of this magnificent breed before making a decision. In this article, we will delve into the Akita temperament and provide you with valuable insights on what to expect when bringing an Akita into your home. Whether you are a first-time Akita owner or an experienced one, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to ensure a harmonious and fulfilling relationship with your furry companion. Read on to discover the key traits, behaviors, and characteristics that make the Akita truly unique.

The Akita Temperament

History and Origin

The Akita breed originated in Japan and has a long and fascinating history. Initially, they were bred as hunting dogs and were used to track and hunt large game such as boar, elk, and even bears. Akitas were highly valued for their strength, agility, and unwavering loyalty. Over time, they became a symbol of nobility and were often given as prestigious gifts to important figures in Japanese society.

Physical Characteristics

Akitas are known for their robust and powerful build. They have a large and muscular body with a broad chest and sturdy legs. Their thick double coat provides excellent insulation, making them well-suited for colder climates. Akitas have a distinctive bear-like head with a broad forehead and small, triangular-shaped eyes. Their ears are erect and set high on the head, adding to their alert and attentive appearance. Males typically stand around 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 24 to 26 inches.

Personality Traits

The Akita temperament is often described as dignified, independent, and strong-willed. They are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families, making them excellent guard dogs and companions. Akitas are naturally protective and will go to great lengths to defend their loved ones if they perceive a threat. However, this protective nature also means that they can be wary of strangers and exhibit territorial behavior.

Despite their independent streak, Akitas are highly intelligent and can be trained successfully with consistent and firm guidance. They thrive on positive reinforcement training methods and enjoy tasks that challenge their problem-solving abilities. Akitas can be stubborn at times, so patience and consistency are key when training them.

While Akitas are generally calm and composed, they can also be quite playful and affectionate with their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and are known to be gentle and patient with children. However, early socialization is crucial to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and accepting of new experiences and individuals.

It’s important to note that Akitas have a dominant nature and may not get along well with other animals, especially dogs of the same sex. Proper socialization and supervision are essential when introducing them to other pets to avoid any potential conflicts.

In conclusion, understanding the Akita temperament is vital for anyone considering this breed as a pet. With their rich history, strong physical characteristics, and distinct personality traits, Akitas are a unique and remarkable breed that requires dedicated training, socialization, and responsible ownership to thrive as loyal and loving companions.

Training and Socialization

Training Methods

When it comes to training your Akita, it is important to understand their unique temperament and utilize the most effective methods. Akitas are known for their intelligence, independence, and strong-willed nature. Therefore, it is essential to establish a firm and consistent training routine from an early age.

Positive reinforcement is highly recommended when training Akitas. This involves rewarding your dog with treats, praise, and affection for demonstrating desired behavior. Akitas respond well to this method as they are highly motivated by rewards and appreciate the positive attention they receive.

Consistency is key when training Akitas. They thrive in an environment with clear rules and boundaries. Establishing a routine and using the same commands consistently will help your Akita understand what is expected of them. However, it is important to avoid harsh or punitive training methods, as Akitas can become stubborn or even aggressive if treated harshly.

Another effective training method for Akitas is clicker training. This technique involves using a clicker to mark the desired behavior, followed by rewarding your dog. The clicker serves as a signal to your Akita that they have performed the correct action, making it easier for them to understand and learn.

Socializing with Humans

Socializing your Akita with humans is crucial to ensure they become well-rounded and friendly companions. Akitas are known for their loyalty and protective nature, which can sometimes lead to aloofness or suspicion towards strangers if not properly socialized.

Start socializing your Akita from a young age by introducing them to various people in different environments. Encourage positive interactions by rewarding your Akita for calm and friendly behavior around new individuals. Expose them to different situations such as walks in busy areas, visits to parks, and interactions with family and friends.

It is important to teach your Akita appropriate behavior around humans. This includes discouraging jumping, mouthing, or any other unwanted behaviors. Positive reinforcement and redirection techniques can be used to guide your Akita towards more desirable behavior.

Socializing with Other Animals

Akitas have a strong prey drive and can be dominant towards other animals, especially those of the same sex. Proper socialization with other animals is essential to prevent aggression or territorial behavior.

Start socializing your Akita with other animals at an early age. Gradually introduce them to well-behaved and friendly dogs or cats in a controlled and supervised environment. Use positive reinforcement to reward your Akita for calm and appropriate interactions with other animals.

It is important to closely monitor your Akita’s behavior during socialization with other animals. If any signs of aggression or dominance are displayed, seek professional help from a dog trainer or behaviorist to address the issue promptly and effectively.

Remember, training and socializing your Akita requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By utilizing the appropriate training methods and providing ample opportunities for socialization, you will help your Akita develop into a well-behaved and confident companion.

Common Behavioral Issues


Aggression is one of the common behavioral issues that some Akita owners may encounter. It is essential to understand that aggression in Akita dogs can manifest in various forms, including territorial aggression, fear aggression, and aggression towards other animals or unfamiliar people.

To address aggression in Akitas, it is crucial to start with proper socialization and training from a young age. Early socialization helps them become familiar with different people, animals, and environments, reducing the likelihood of aggressive behavior in the future. Positive reinforcement training methods, such as reward-based training, can also be effective in teaching Akitas appropriate behavior and managing their aggression.

If aggression issues persist or escalate, it is recommended to seek professional help from a certified dog behaviorist or trainer experienced in dealing with Akita temperament. They can assess the specific triggers and develop a tailored behavior modification plan to address the aggression in a safe and constructive manner.

Separation Anxiety

Akita dogs are known for their loyalty and strong bond with their owners. However, this deep attachment can sometimes lead to separation anxiety when they are left alone. Symptoms of separation anxiety in Akitas may include excessive barking, destructive chewing, digging, or attempts to escape.

To help an Akita cope with separation anxiety, it is important to gradually accustom them to being alone for short periods. This can be achieved by practicing leaving and returning in a calm manner, using positive reinforcement, and providing them with engaging toys or puzzles to keep them occupied. Additionally, creating a safe and comfortable space, such as a designated area with their bed and favorite toys, can help alleviate separation anxiety.

In severe cases, medication or assistance from a professional dog behaviorist may be necessary to address separation anxiety effectively. They can provide guidance on behavior modification techniques, recommend training exercises, or suggest products like calming pheromone diffusers that can help reduce anxiety levels.


Dominance is another behavioral issue occasionally observed in Akitas. Akitas are naturally strong-willed and independent dogs, which can sometimes result in attempts to assert dominance over their owners or other animals.

To prevent dominance-related problems, it is crucial to establish yourself as the pack leader from an early age through consistent and firm training. Using positive reinforcement methods, setting clear boundaries, and teaching obedience commands can help establish your leadership and prevent dominance behaviors.

Regular exercise and mental stimulation are also essential for an Akita’s well-being and can help prevent dominance issues. A tired and mentally stimulated Akita is less likely to exhibit dominant behavior.

If dominance issues persist, consulting with a professional dog behaviorist can provide valuable insight and guidance. They can assess the specific situation, provide individualized training techniques, and help address any underlying causes contributing to the dominance behavior in your Akita.

By understanding and addressing these common behavioral issues, Akita owners can create a harmonious and fulfilling relationship with their beloved pets. Remember, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when dealing with any behavioral challenges.

Tips for Living with an Akita

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

One of the most important aspects of living with an Akita is providing them with regular exercise and mental stimulation. Akitas are a highly active and intelligent breed, and without proper outlets for their energy, they can become bored and develop behavioral problems.

To keep your Akita happy and healthy, it is recommended to engage them in daily exercise routines. This can include long walks, jogging, or even playing fetch in a securely fenced area. Akitas also enjoy mental stimulation, so consider incorporating puzzle toys or interactive games into their routine to keep their minds engaged.

Grooming and Health Care

Maintaining the grooming and health care needs of your Akita is crucial for their overall well-being. Akitas have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and keep it in good condition. Brushing their coat at least once or twice a week will help remove loose hair and distribute natural oils, promoting a healthy coat.

Additionally, Akitas are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential to ensure early detection and proper management of any potential health problems.

Providing a Structured Environment

Akitas thrive in a structured environment where they have clearly defined rules and boundaries. Establishing consistent routines and training them with positive reinforcement methods will help in shaping their behavior and preventing any unwanted habits.

It is important to provide your Akita with a designated space that is their own, such as a comfortable bed or crate. This will give them a sense of security and a place to retreat to when they need some alone time.

Additionally, socializing your Akita from a young age is vital to help them become well-adjusted and confident around other people and animals. Exposing them to various environments, people, and situations will help reduce their natural aloofness and promote friendly behavior.

By following these tips for living with an Akita, you can create a harmonious and fulfilling relationship with this loyal and majestic breed. Remember to always provide them with the love, care, and attention they deserve, and you will be rewarded with a devoted and happy companion.

Understanding the Akita temperament is essential for anyone considering this breed as a pet. With their unique blend of loyalty, independence, and protectiveness, Akitas require a firm yet gentle hand to ensure they grow into well-rounded and well-behaved dogs. By being aware of their natural instincts and tendencies, owners can better understand and meet the needs of their Akitas, resulting in a strong bond and a happy, harmonious relationship. Whether it’s their unwavering loyalty or their strong protective instincts, Akitas are truly one-of-a-kind companions that will bring immense joy and love to their owners’ lives.