Akita Behavior Problems: Causes, Signs and How To Stop Them

sad Akita outside

Understanding your Akita’s behavior is crucial, as this breed is known for its complex temperament. Originating from Japan, this large and imposing breed was bred to hunt and guard. Akitas can be fiercely loyal to their families, which makes them excellent companions.

However, their loyalty can give rise to overprotectiveness and aggression if not carefully managed. Have you ever noticed your fluffy companion being a tad too protective or perhaps a bit standoffish with strangers or other animals? This could be the Akita’s natural guarding instinct kicking in, a trait deeply embedded in their personality.

Socialization and training from a young age are paramount in ensuring your Akita becomes a well-adjusted member of your family. Remember, this breed may not back down when challenged and can possess a strong prey drive. Combine this with a tendency toward dominance and you might see why consistent and positive training is so vital.

Moreover, because Akitas form such deep bonds, they can experience separation anxiety, which may manifest in undesirable ways. Keeping them mentally and physically stimulated is key; a bored Akita can develop stubborn behaviors and might resort to resource guarding or excessive barking and howling to express their discontent.


Hey there! If you’re a proud Akita owner or considering becoming one, understanding aggression in this breed is crucial. Let’s break down what triggers those growls and how you can keep things cool and composed.

Causes of Aggression

Why does your fluffy friend turn into a tough cookie at times? Aggression in Akitas can stem from various factors:

  • Territorial Instincts: These dogs are natural guardians. If they think their beloved human or home is threatened, they’re ready to stand their ground.
  • Fear: Just like us, Akitas can get spooked. Fearful reactions can lead to defensive aggression, especially towards strangers or in new environments.
  • Lack of Socialization: Akin to skipping out on social events, Akitas without proper social exposure can be awkward or aggressive in social situations.
  • Improper Training: You know the saying, “practice makes perfect”? Without consistent and positive training, an Akita might not learn the art of playing nice.
  • Health Issues: Sometimes aggression is a sign of pain or discomfort. Keep an eye out for any physical changes in your pooch.

Signs of Aggression

How can you tell if your Akita’s not just having a ruff day? Spot the signs:

  • Body Language: A low crouch with flattened ears? Check. Exposed teeth when there’s no dentist around? Yep.
  • Barking and Biting: Barking is their way of saying “back off”, and biting? Well, that’s a no-brainer for “you’ve crossed the line.”

How To Stop Aggression in Your Akita

Now, the part you’ve been waiting for: peacekeeping strategies!

  1. Obedience Classes: Like a school for pups, these classes teach your Akita good manners.
  2. Dog Trainer: Need a hand? A professional can help tailor a program just for your furry buddy.
  3. Positive Reinforcement Training: Treats and praises go a long way. Remember, positive vibes only!
  4. Early Puppy Training: The earlier, the better. Young Akitas are like sponges, ready to soak up good behavior.
  5. Controlled Exposure: Gradually introducing your Akita to new people, pets, and places can make social excursions less stressful.

Now you’re equipped with the know-how to handle your Akita’s aggression like a pro. Keep things friendly and consistent, and you two will be the dynamic duo of doggy behavior in no time!

Dominance Issues

Have you ever found your Akita trying to be the boss? When you’re dealing with Akitas, understanding how to manage their dominant behavior is vital to ensure a harmonious relationship between you and your furry friend.

Causes of Dominance Issues

Why does your Akita act like they’re in charge? Akitas have an intrinsic pack mentality that can result in dominance-related behavior problems. At the root are their instincts that drive them to establish a hierarchy within their “pack,” which, in a family setting, includes humans.

  • Breed characteristics: Akitas are hardwired for dominance, which historically helped them in guarding and hunting roles.
  • Lack of training: Without early and consistent training, an Akita might assume the role of pack leader.
  • Inconsistent leadership: If you’re not setting clear and consistent rules, your Akita may take the lead.

Signs of Dominance Issues

How can you tell if your Akita sees themselves as the top dog? Look out for the following signs:

  • Ignoring commands, even if they understand them.
  • Guarding resources, like food or toys, from humans or other pets.
  • Pushiness, such as nudging hands for attention or not moving out of the way.

How To Stop Dominance Issues With Your Akita

So, you’re ready to reclaim your role as pack leader. Here’s what you need to know:

Consistent training: Start with basic commands and move on to more complex tasks. Keep training sessions short, upbeat, and frequent.

  • Exercise authority: You should eat first, enter and exit doorways first, and lead during walks.
  • Positive reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime.
  • Professional help: If your efforts aren’t making headway, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer well-versed in Akitas and respect training.

Remember, it’s all about mutual respect. With patience and firm, loving guidance, you’ll be on your way to a well-mannered Akita.

Prey Drive

Have you ever wondered what drives your Akita to zoom after squirrels in the park? Let’s dive into their prey drive, which is a strong instinct to chase and hunt prey.

Causes of Prey Drive

Akitas have a lineage that comes straight from hunting dog royalty. Their ancestors were bred for hunting game, which means that the urge to hunt is hardwired in your furry friend’s DNA.

  • Heritage: Akitas were used for hunting bears and other large game in Japan.
  • Instinct: This breed possesses innate behaviors like stalking and chasing that arose from their hunting background.

Signs of Prey Drive

So, how can you tell if your Akita’s prey drive is kicking in? Watch out for these unmistakable signs.

  1. Intense Focus: Your Akita locks eyes on a target with unwavering attention.
  2. Stalking: Low to the ground, they’ll proceed with stealthy movements toward their “prey.”
  3. Chasing: Once they spot something moving, they can’t resist the urge to give chase, often at high speed.

How To Stop Your Akita From Chasing Small Animals

Curbing the prey drive in your Akita may sound challenging, but it’s quite doable with consistent training and plenty of exercises.

  • Training: Start obedience classes early to instill impulse control.
  • Exercise: Regular, vigorous exercise can help keep those prey-driven energies in check.
  • Leash: Always use a sturdy leash on walks to prevent any unexpected dashes after squirrels or birds.
  • Mental Stimulation: Engage your Akita’s mind with puzzle toys and games to tire out those brain cells.

Remember, while you might not eliminate the prey drive, you can manage it with love, patience, and a good game plan. Happy training!

Separation Anxiety

You love your Akita’s loyalty and devotion, but did you know their strong attachment could lead to separation anxiety? Let’s take a paw-friendly stroll through what causes this behavior, the signs to watch for, and how to help your furry friend find their happy place when you’re not around.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

Akitas are not just furry friends; they’re stick-with-you-no-matter-what kind of companions. Their independence can sometimes fool you into thinking they’ll be okay alone, but surprise! These pups can experience separation anxiety due to:

  • Lack of exercise: Akitas are energetic and need regular exercise to burn off steam. Otherwise, it’s like winding up a toy and not letting it go.
  • Inadequate training: Training helps build self-confidence. Without it, your Akita might feel like they’re trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded.
  • Boredom: Akitas are intelligent and need mental stimulation. Without it, it’s like they’re scrolling endlessly through a TV with no channels.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Keep your eyes peeled for these signs while stepping out, they’re a big red flag that your Akita misses you more than peanut butter misses jelly:

  • Vocalization: Excessive barking or howling that says, “Hey, where did you go?”
  • Destruction: A chewed-up couch isn’t a DIY project; it’s a sign of stress.
  • Potty Problems: If your house-trained buddy forgets where the bathroom is, it might be anxiety.
  • Pacing or Restlessness: If your Akita is walking the floors like they’re rehearsing for a marathon, they might be anxious.

How To Stop Separation Anxiety In Your Akita

You can turn your dog’s frown upside down by following these steps. Your Akita’s tail will be wagging again in no time:

  • Obedience Classes: These classes are like group study sessions, but for good behavior and they help strengthen your bond.
  • Consistent Exercise: Daily walks are like hitting the reset button for your Akita’s stress levels.
  • Toys and Puzzles: Give them toys that are like interesting books—they keep your Akita’s brain busy until you return.
  • Consult a Professional: If your homemade fixes are a flop, a dog breed consultant can be like a super nanny for your pup’s emotions.

Remember, it’s not just about keeping your Akita entertained; it’s about helping them feel secure even when you’re not there. Your best pal depends on you, just like you depend on that morning coffee to start your day bright.


Ever met an Akita with a mind of its own? If you’re nodding, then you’ve encountered the classic Akita stubbornness. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this, and understanding what makes your Akita tick is the first step in navigating this trait.

Causes of Stubbornness

Akitas are regal dogs with a strong sense of independence, which is a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s part of the Japanese Akita’s dignified charm, but sometimes it manifests as outright stubbornness. Here’s why your Akita might be planting his paws firmly on the ground and not budging:

  • Willfulness: Born as leaders, Akitas may not naturally look to you as the pack leader.
  • Lack of Training: Inadequate or inconsistent Akita training can reinforce stubborn behaviors.
  • Lack of mental stimulation: A bored Akita is a stubborn Akita. Make sure their sharp minds are kept busy.

Signs of Stubbornness

Knowing the telltale signs will help you identify a stubborn streak in your furry friend:

  • Ignoring Commands: Even if they’ve mastered the ‘sit’, a stubborn Akita might glance your way and seemingly say, “I think not.”
  • Pushing Boundaries: Marking over where you’ve just cleaned or barging ahead on the leash to show who’s boss.

How To Relieve Some of the Stubbornness In Your Akita

Now for the million-dollar question: how do you stop an object at rest that wants to stay at rest? (Newton might not have been talking about Akitas, but he might as well have been!) Here are some strategies:

  1. Consistency Is Key: Always be consistent with commands and consequences.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior—it’s like saying “yes” in doggy language.
  3. Respect Training: Teach your Akita to respect you as the leader; it’s more about mutual understanding than command and control.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If you’re at your wits’ end, dog training centers offer tailored programs for willful breeds like the Akita Inu.

Remember, every dog has its day, and with patience, your Akita’s stubborn days can be well-managed and maybe even a quirky characteristic you come to love… well, sometimes!

Resource Guarding

You’ve probably seen your Akita get a little tense when it comes to their favorite toy or during mealtime, right? Well, that’s resource guarding for you. It’s a possessive behavior that’s quite common in dogs, but you can manage it with some know-how and patience.

Causes of Resource Guarding

Resource guarding in Akitas stems from their instinct to protect what they value, such as food, toys, or even their favorite spot on the couch. Consider it their way of keeping their prized possessions safe. Various factors could trigger this behavior:

  • Competition: If your Akita feels they need to compete for their resources with other pets or even people, they might start guarding them.
  • Fear or Anxiety: Sometimes, past experiences, like not having enough food, can cause your Akita to become possessive over their meals.
  • Genetics: Akitas are known for their strong protective instincts; it’s just part of their charm.

Signs of Resource Guarding

Recognizing the signs early can help you nip this behavior in the bud. Watch out for:

  • Body Language: Is your Akita stiffening up or giving the side-eye when someone approaches their food bowl?
  • Vocalization: Growling, barking, or even low grumbling sounds can be a giveaway.

The more subtle cues, like a head turn or lifting their lips slightly, might be easy to miss, so keep those eyes peeled!

How To Stop Resource Guarding

Don’t worry; with positive reinforcement training and consistency, you can help your Akita play nice. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Obedience Classes: These can provide a structured environment to teach your Akita good manners and how to share.
  2. Managed Exposures: Gradually introduce the idea that it’s okay to give up their toys or food through trading games and rewards for good behavior.

Remember, always be patient and never punish your Akita; we want them to associate sharing with positive experiences!

Barking and Howling

If you’re the proud owner of an Akita, you’re likely familiar with their bold and expressive communication style. Ever wonder why your pooch makes all that ruckus?

Causes of Barking and Howling

Akitas, known for their territorial nature, use barking as an alarm to signal their concern over something they perceive as a threat. They also engage in other vocalizations to express themselves. The triggers for these behaviors often include:

  • Territorial Response: Spotted a stranger or an unfamiliar dog? Your Akita is likely to sound the alarm.
  • Separation Anxiety: Yes, your furry friend can miss you that much!
  • Lack of Exercise: Boredom can lead to a noisy pup. Regular exercise is key!
  • Inadequate Training: Akitas need consistent training to understand when to be quiet.

Isn’t it interesting how something as simple as leaving the room can turn your Akita into a vocal virtuoso?

Signs of Barking and Howling

You’ll know your Akita is engaging in these behaviors when:

  • The fur on their back might stand up.
  • They may pace back and forth or appear agitated.
  • The intensity of their barking can vary with their mood – from soft warning barks to full-blown howls of concern.

Remember, it’s not just noise; it’s a dialogue!

How To Stop Barking and Howling

Tired of the canine concert? Try these tips to encourage a more serene soundscape:

  1. Socialization: Expose your Akita to different environments and new faces. More friends, less fuss.
  2. Remove Distractions: Close the curtains to block the view of that tantalizing mailbox where all the action happens.
  3. Professional Help: Enrolling in a dog training center can really up your game. Expert advice goes a long way!
  4. Toys and Puzzles: Keep their minds busy and mouths occupied.
  5. Routine Exercise: A tired dog is a quiet dog. Regular walks and playtime can work wonders.

Who knew that a simple game of fetch could be the key to peace and quiet?

Remember, addressing barking and howling in Akitas is part of the adventure of being a dog parent. With a little patience and a lot of love, you’ll both find your way to harmony.