These Japanese dogs have become more and more popular in the world’s imagination. Known for exceptional loyalty, intelligence, and their infamous vocal sounds of greeting. It’s no wonder that so many people love Akitas. But it’s a good question to ask if Akitas can get along with other dogs?
Akitas can be very aggressive with other dogs. This breed does best when they’re the only dog in the household. While it’s not impossible for an Akita to get along with other dogs. It does take a lot of socialization and training. Despite that though some members of this breed will simply be too aggressive for a multi-dog household.
Sadly to say you must be very careful with Akitas around other dogs, as well as other animals in general. While training and socialization play a big part. Making it possible for a gregarious Akita who gets along with all the dogs. But this is generally the exception to the rule.
Akitas were originally bred in Japan as hunters. Bear hunters in fact. They also were used extensively in dogfighting. This has given them a very aggressive genetics. To make it worse due to their size and considerable physical capabilities, they could kill another household pet before you even had the chance to intervene.
Many owners have reported that even with considerable training and socialization that their Akitas still ended up being extremely dog aggressive. To the point that they simply don’t trust them around other canines. So if you’re wanting to bring an Akita into your current dog pack. Or want to bring home a new dog to your Akita. Do lots of research and be prepared for an uphill battle.
To try to make it work you will need to spend a lot more time training and socializing this breed. Considerably more then you would with other breeds of dog. What breeder you get your Akita from plays a very important role. It seems that some Akita bloodlines are more dog tolerant than others. While with most breeds how you raise them plays a more important role then who their daddy and mommy were. Based upon my research this is reversed when it comes to Akitas.
Carefully choose a breeder whos breeding Akitas that already have a reputation for getting along well with other dogs. Ask them a lot of questions about their personalities. Refer to this article on the best places to find Akita puppies for more detailed information on choosing a good breeder.
Why Don’t Akitas Get Along With Other Dogs?
When it comes to Akitas a lot of the reason lies under their genetics. While other factors like training, socialization, and having positive experiences with other dogs matter. The high natural prey drive along with their dominant personalities tends to play the largest part. It’s not impossible for Akitas to get along with other dogs but they often won’t. Here are a few reasons why.
- Lone wolf mentality: Most Akitas are very independent. They love their human family but most other living creatures will be seen as either prey or a threat.
- A strong-willed and dominant personality: Akitas are incredibly strong-willed, while also being very dominant. An owner must do a lot of work setting themselves up as alpha to healthily manage this breed. Other dogs will usually not have the will power to defy them and if they do then will be met with violent opposition by the Akita.
- Loyal and protective of their family: In the hands of an experienced owner there are few dogs with the loyalty of the Akita. While this is a beautiful thing it can also have an ugly side. They can get extremely territorial over their family becoming hostile to any other dog that they see as an interloper in the relationship.
Do Akitas Need Another Dog as a Companion?
The short answer is that Akitas get along just fine as an only dog. They often do not play well with others but they can be very close to their family. Lots of Akitas can be very good people dogs but fail hard when it comes to being friends with their fellow dogs.
While some Akitas can have close companionship with another dog. Most will probably be happiest having the roost to themselves. This can also make the lives of their owners better. As they don’t have to constantly worry about breaking up dogs fights. Or their Akita being a danger to the other dog.
What Kind of Dogs Might an Akita Get Along Best With?
While generally, I would recommend that you have an Akita by itself. Still, some people will have an Akita with other dogs and get along just fine. So if you are determined to have an Akita and another dog as well what kinds of dogs would they have the most compatibility with?
- Akitas can get along with other Akitas: Two Akitas might be one of the best combos. All the Akitas I personally know in a multi-dog household were Akita pairs. They will be close to the same size with the same physical capabilities. This lets you know that you don’t have to worry as much about one being able to completely dominate the other. They also will have similar personalities which means they can read each others mood better. Allowing them to stay out of the others way on a bad day.
- Get a dog of the opposite gender: It’s ideal if you have a female Akita as their generally less aggressive then the males. While your other dog is of the opposite gender. Dogs usually get along better when ones a boy and the other a girl.
- Neuter and spay: With Akitas, it’s particularly important to get them fixed. This should be done before the age of 2 however as its more effective when it’s done younger. Hopefully, this will take some of their more aggressive hormones making your Akita more docile.
- Raise them both as puppies: Doggie friendships that have developed from puppyhood tend to be much stronger. They got to get to know each other in their innocent puppy stage which will hopefully produce enough fondness to get over their more aggressive phases as they age.
Do Akitas Get Along With Small Dogs?
You must be very careful with Akitas and small dogs. They have a strong prey drive and when the small dog runs they mistake them for lunch. Of course, this isn’t always true but there is a high risk. The main problem being that the Akita could badly injure or even kill a small dog before you would even have a chance to respond. This is the greatest risk of having a small dog along with your Akita. Here are a few tips that might help you manage the relationship if you have no other choice.
- Make sure that your small dog has a safe space: The worst possible situation is that the small dog gets stuck in a corner or other tight space with the Akita. Such situations often lead to bad consequences. So you need to make sure that the little dog always has an escape route available. They also need somewhere to escape to. Block off a room or section of the house where your Akita can’t get to but the small dog can. This way they have their own place they can run to if things start to turn sour.
- Keep them separate when you leave the house: With your constant supervision the two dogs might get along but what happens when your not their? It would be terrible to come home from work to find something bad happened. So when you leave the house for a significant period of time put the Akita and the small dog in separate rooms of the house.
- Feed them separately: Akitas can get very territorial over their food. If the small dog even so much as sniffs it they could expect a terrible backlash. So make sure that you feed them separately in order to cut down the chance of a disaster taking place.
How to Train Your Akita to Get Along With Other Dogs
In order to give your Akita their best chance of being dog friendly. An often difficult task with this breed. Then extensive training and socialization must be undertaken from puppyhood. Take them to a puppy training class where they will be exposed to many other dogs. Try to ensure every experience they have with another dog is a positive one.
You need to take them around as many dogs and other people as possible. Give them lots of positive exposure. Setting your self up as the alpha over your Akita is crucial as well. They must see you as the pack leader, and see other humans as over them in order to have the best results.
This is one breed where I highly recommend you enlist the help of a professional. They can make sure your using the best training techniques and help you sort out some of the thornier dog behavior issues. Akitas require a lot of work. While there are many that are well behaved around both dogs and men. I promise you their owners put a lot of effort and research into it before they even got them as puppies.
Signs of Akita Aggression
Akitas are much more subtle with their body language cues than other dogs. Oh, they do show many of the same signs such as stiff body posture, raised fur, etc. But its harder to spot. You could say that they hide a lot of their feelings behind a mask but if you watch very closely and have some experience you can spot their cues.
- watch out for a stiffening of their front legs.
- Crease on the forehead.
- When they square their shoulder and they’ve pulled them back from their neck.
These signs are quite subtle but they can be read as the Akita preparing for an aggressive act. With Akitas, it’s just very important that you be really intune with your dog. Understanding their every quirk so that you can do your best to anticipate possibly aggressive incidents.
Many Akitas do not get along well with other dogs. There are exceptions to this rule. Be very careful when having an Akita around other dogs. Especially with small dogs as Akitas have an exceptionally powerful prey drive. Your best chance of changing this is through carefully choosing a dog bred by amiable parents. It’s imperative that you also train and socialize them extensively. Doing these things will give your Akita their best chance of getting along well with other dogs.