Akitas have a reputation for being aloof and protective of their master. Anyone with children looking at an Akita for a dog would be wise to do some research. They are a temperamental breed sometimes called the cats of the dog world. So are Akitas good with kids?
Whether Akitas are good with kids has a lot to depend upon how they have been raised. Akitas who grew up with children often do very well with them. They will be protective while keeping a careful watch. But Akitas raised without being around kids could struggle. This is a breed that must be carefully socialized to well with kids.
A few of the things that you can expect to be covered in this article:
- The pros and cons of owning an Akita. We will be going over the type of family where an Akita will be the best fit, as well as those families that probably shouldnt own one as they simply aren’t suited fo rthem.
- Socializing your Akita with kids. The best practices for introducing akitas to lots of children is in their first several months of life. This way they will see kids as a treasure and not a chore.
- Akita obedience training. Some basic skills to teach your Akita so that them and kids can hit it off right away.
- How children should behave around dogs. The four things that kids should never do to any dog.
- Akitas and babies. What to do and how with your dog when your expecting.
The Pros And Cons Of Owning An Akita
Here are some of the pros of owning these beautiful dogs.
- Akitas are rather calm dogs. This will help bring a center of peace to a home roiling with excitable youngersters. It also leads them to be quiet, so they won’t add to the residual noise of the house.
- Akitas are easy to housebreak. Known to have a very cleanly reputation. These dogs do not like messiness. This leads training them to potty outside to be much easier than with other breeds of dogs
- Akitas don’t require large amounts of exercise. While they should be walked and given a brisk run once in a while, this isn’t a breed with energizer bunny style energy. A moderately active family would do well with this dog, though an inactive family might struggle.
- A highly effective guard dog. Very large dogs, the intimidation of their size is only improved by an impressive posture and appearance. These dogs will intimidate people and become aggressive towards anyone they consider to be a harm to their family.
- Strong and silent, Akitas seldom bark. Rare in the dog world this is a breed known for hardly barking. Quiet by nature, this could be a positive trait for someone who prefers a calmer household pup.
While the pros to owning one are considerable, there are significant disadvantages.
- Aggressive if not socialized enough. Without the discernment developed through meeting a lot of different kinds of people, they could easily become terrors if not given enough social exposure. If you can’t give them a variety of experiences they need to be a good dog, then consider another breed as Akitas will not be a good fit for your family and children.
- Akitas have difficulty getting along with other animals. A very strong prey drive makes this dog a potential danger to other family animals. Small pets and cats should be considered when getting this breed. While they can be raised to get along with them, it won’t be easy.
- A very strong-willed breed requires a confident owner with dog experience. Not a dog for first-time dog owners. You should have significant experience successfully training other dogs before tackling this breed. Highly intelligent, the sky is the limit when it comes to their training as they are capable of being police dogs and other forms of work. Their stubbornness will be a large obstacle that will have to be overcome
- A Physically powerful dog. Often weighing in over 100 pounds this is a breed that for good or ill packs quite a punch. If their socialization and training go poorly then you will suffer consequences. Sadly the dog might too, so make sure you can handle a dog of this size and temperament before getting one.
Socializing Akitas With Kids
The most important part of raising a dog who loves kids lies in their socialization. Poorly socialized dogs will develop all sorts of problems. It can even get so bad that your reluctant to invite over guests.
Akita’s socialization is even more vital due to their size and power. Introducing them to lots of people, dogs, and different situations should be your highest priority from the moment you get them.
Within the first month of having your akita puppy make it a goal to have them meet 50 different people. Kids should be included in this. When they’re small they’re easy to control and lovable. This is your chance to train them when it will be easy. Once they get older it will be a lot more challenging.
The first 16 weeks of a dog’s life determines a lot of who they will grow up to be. Encourage your children to interact with the puppy every chance you get. Involve them in obedience training as well as feeding them. Bring your kids friends around the puppy as well which will increase their total kid exposure.
One way of encouraging a young Akita to grow up loving children is to have the kids bribe them so to speak. Give the kids some of your dog’s favorite treats. Then have them tell the dog to sit, or some other command that you have taught them. When the dog does it correctly have the kids praise them and give them the treat. This will cause the Akita to associate kids with wonderful things.
Akita Obedience Training
Akitas have a high capacity to being trained to a very high level. Almost everything you could want a dog to do, Akitas are more than capable of accomplishing. This is because of their high intelligence.
Still yet training them is not easy. Why is this so? Because their intelligence is paired with equally strong will power. One that doesn’t just listen to you because you told them to. This requires cleverness from the owner in the dog’s training.
Train them will only positive reinforcement training. This means try to show the dog what it is that you want them to do and then reward them with treats and love. Alternatively, if there’s something you don’t want them to do, then you should redirect them to the proper behavior and then when they follow through promptly reward them.
Akitas do not respond well to harsher forms of training. Don’t be negative with your dog. This might work in the short term but can easily cause problems later down the road.
How Children Should Behave Around The Akita
It’s important that kids know what to do around dogs. This isn’t just for them owning a dog, but also for around other people’s dogs. It’s a good lifelong skill for any child to know. Here are some things you kids should never do with the families Akita.
- Children should never take away the Akitas food. Akitas can be extremely protective of their food. A lot of terrible accidents can happen with this breed concerning food. While teaching dogs as puppies to be okay with their food being taken away can be effective, it should never simply be done as a childish game or prank, the consequences could be dangerously serious.
- Avoid wakening the dog suddenly. Instantly being roused from slumber can be unsettling for anyone. This becomes especially so when we’re talking about a dog as powerful and with the traits of an Akita. Children should avoid poking or harassing the Akita while sleeping. It might make them hostile and lash out before they fully know what’s going on.
- Akitas have sensitive ears, so tell your kids to avoid shouting at them or getting in their face. Kids get loud and rambunctious in their daily play. While this is perfectly fine around an Akita as long as they have an escape route from the noise. But if they’re stuck in an obnoxiously loud situation without a way out, then their more aggressive side could come out.
- Kids should never pull on the Akitas tail or ears. In fact, pulling on the dog, in general, should be forbidden. These kinds of behaviors can be traumatic for a dog. They have feelings just like us. While they may seem okay with it at first I promise you their anger is building. So make sure your kids nor their friends do this to your canine.
These are some basic rules of the road as regards children and all dogs. Having an Akita only means these rules need to be followed all the more strictly. Make sure your kids can follow these rules. If they can’t then an Akita might not be the right dog for you or you need to never leave them unsupervised with the animal.
Are Akitas Good With Babies, Infants, and Small Children?
Having a new baby can be a stressful time for anyone. But you will do better if you prepare your Akita ahead of time. Give at least 60-90 days of preparation for your dog and house before the baby arives. You should start training your dog for baby day as soon as you know one’s coming. Of course, even though this is ideal, this isn’t always possible because of our busy hectic lives. But still, try your best.
Some basic behaviors you should be sure that your Akita knows or is comfortable with.
- No jumping. A lot of dogs can have problems with jumping on people and Akitas are no exception. This can be bad for very small children, however. They could get hurt without the dog intending to do simply by being knocked over.
- Ward off the baby’s room. Keeping your dog separate from the baby’s room can be a great idea. Especially with Akitas as they can shed a lot. This way you can give your dog a break from the child while also keeping the baby’s room fur-free.
- Never leave the dog and baby alone together for any amount of time. Babies can engage in behavior that could be extremely annoying for a dog. Just by being babies, they are walking talking versions of breaking every rule of things you shouldn’t do to a dog. They grab and pull on things, shout, and cry loudly while using their cuteness to get up into everyone’s face. Your dog could be very tolerant of this but its best not to test their patience. So whenever your baby or small child and your Akita interact make sure that your present to supervise.