Training an American Akita
Animal file: American Akita
Few dogs are as faithful and loyal as the American Akita, with their evident protective instinct and willingness to go out their way for their human family. These are characteristics which need to be taken into account when you try to train them.
However, we should also mention that these dogs are naturally territorial and dominant. If you haven't got one with a stable and balanced character, a male American Akita will easily find confrontation with other male dogs.
In this AnimalWised article we'll give you some basic guidelines that you should follow when training an American Akita. Keep reading!
Plan the basis of their education
Even though Akitas are largely unrivalled in their loyalty and protectiveness, in some countries these breeds are considered potentially dangerous dogs. However, nothing is further from the truth. There is no such thing as dangerous breeds, only irresponsible owners. Training a robust and strong dog such as the American Akita isn't particularly difficult, but it does require a firm commitment and an owner who does not easily accept defeat.
The first rule you should always apply is to be firm with your Akita. Under no circumstances should you let them twist your arm. Together with your family, you'll need to summarise the rules that apply to them (they can't jump on the sofa, can't be given food at the table, etc.) The whole family needs to be aware of these established rules and always abide by them. Failure to do so leads to confusion, with the dog unsure of their role in the family.
The American Akita, just like any other dog, needs huge amounts of affection and companionship. But of course, they need a strong, authoritarian and disciplined owner. If you don't meet these requirements, your best bet would be to adopt a dog of a different size or characteristics.
The cornerstone of dog training
One thing is having a firm owner, and something quite different is an angry owner that lets them-self get carried away by human emotions. This is of no interest to us when it comes to training a dog.
The cornerstone of dog training should be positive reinforcement, which can be summed up in the following way: a dog shouldn't be punished for their mistakes, but rewarded for their successes. A good example of the application of positive reinforcement is clicker training, although other methods also exist.
It goes without saying that you can't start rewarding your dog for good behaviour when they are already an adolescent or a fully grown adult. Correct training includes positive reinforcement from the outset, and should begin from approximately 4 months of age. However, they should start learning their own name as soon as possible, as this will help with the rest of the process.
Socializing an American Akita
All puppies need to be socialised so that they can enjoy life to the full in your company. This requirement, however, is even greater in the American Akita.
This dog will perfectly put up with children's games, live with other pets in the same house without any problems, and will overcome their territorial instincts towards male dogs at their owner's commands. However, in order to reach this point it is essential to socialise them early on.
Your puppy should be in contact with other members of their human family as soon as possible, which obviously includes any small children you have at home. The same applies to other animals. They should be put in immediate contact with any other household pets, and should be given early yet progressive contact with other animals. Always trying to make the first contact a positive one.
The socialisation of the American Akita should not be considered a secondary requirement, but the most important part of their education.
Training the American Akita
The Akita is a highly intelligent dog, but when they are a puppy, just like any other dog, they will have difficulty in staying focused for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, forget about any training plans you may have that include long sessions.
5 minute sessions, 3 times per day, in an appropriate environment which is free of distractions. This is all you need in order to train your Akita. The first objectives that you should obtain in the training are the following:
- Respond to your call
- Sit, stay still and lie down
- Don't jump on people
- Let them have their toys and food without getting aggressive
After 4 - 6 weeks from the start of training, it's important to start introducing new commands, since Akita's need to be given new challenges so they don't get bored.
Exercise for an American Akita
The American Akita is a really energetic dog with a strong and robust body. They therefore need lots of discipline, and the best way to give this is through physical exercise. Find out what the correct exercise for an American Akita is.
Your Akita needs to do daily physical exercise. Not only will this help their training and education, but it will also help your dog healthily manage their vitality without being stressed, aggressive or anxious.
Once your American Akita properly understands all of the training commands, they will need to be reminded of them regularly. Spending a few minutes a day repeating them will suffice.
Once they have mastered the base of their training, you can start testing it out with advanced commands, fun tricks or get them started with agility training. This is a great way to keep stimulating their mind. In the same way, you can include intelligence toys such as the Kong in their day to day life.
We hope you enjoyed this informative article. If you have an American Akita, we'd love to see photos! Send us them on Facebook!
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