Akita Temperament [Review]
The Akita is an appealing dog that has intrigued dog lovers across the world. This old dog breed has Japanese roots, and they were used for different purposes throughout history. There aren’t many other dog breeds with such rich, colorful, and interesting history; these dogs were once celebrated and treated like royalty, and in the other moment, they were killed and used for dog fighting.
It would be impossible for a breed to play so many different roles in history and not have a temperament for each of these roles. Other than their size and strength, Akita is known for their fantastic temperament. The Akita temperament is celebrated, especially in Japan, as one of the world’s most loyal and brave dog temperaments. If you are thinking about getting one of these dogs, there are a few Akita temperament traits you should prepare for.
If you are interested in Akitas, you probably heard the story about Hachiko, the world’s most loyal dog. Hachiko was an Akita Inu dog, and he exhibited some of the typical Akita temperament traits. The movie is accurate in its depiction of the character of these dogs, and all future owners should know what they are getting themselves into before they actually go and get one of these dogs. Akitas have a strong and wilful temperament, and we will go through some of the key characteristics these dogs have.
Hachiko is one of the most famous dogs in the world. Check out this article - 7 most famous dogs in history.
We will place loyalty as the key characteristic all Akitas should have. The story of Hachiko wouldn’t be so good if the dog had no love and loyalty for his owner. However, this temperament trait is one of the most dominant traits in this breed. The loyal temperament Akitas have, makes them one of the coolest dogs you can ever wish to have. There is nothing these dogs won’t do for their owners, and rehoming an Akita is sometimes impossible. Even after their owners leave them, either because of abandonment or death, these dogs will remain loyal to them.
The loyal part of Akita’s temperament makes them loyal friends as well. These dogs might have some distrusting issues the first time they meet someone, but if you take your time to win them over, they will never forget you. An excellent description of Akita loyalty came from Sherry Wallis, whose family is involved with breeding Akitas, and she said,
“Dogs that belong to friends I travel with, greet me enthusiastically every time I see them, even though months or even years may pass between meetings. Akitas never forget a friend.”
Want to read more about the Japanese Akita? Check out the Akita Inu breed profile.
Akitas played (and still play) the role of a protector and guardian. That would be impossible if the dog weren’t brave. The second defining part of the Akita temperament is their bravery. People have used these dogs for personal protection for years, and guard dogs need to be brave. They need to have enough confidence to jump into action if their owner or their family is threatened. However, confidence goes hand-in-hand with bravery, but it is a slightly different temperament trait. Confidence is a temperament trait that allows these dogs to be silent guards, unlike other guard dogs that will be loud and noisy if something suspicious comes their way.
Akitas are brave in many different ways, but the most important thing future owners should know is - the Akita will not hesitate to spring into action if anything threatens their owners. That might be a great thing, but that also means future owners will have to train their dogs and desensitize them to different situations that are not actually dangerous or threatening (the mailman is usually not a threat).
Japanese Akita is not the only type of Akita. Check out the full profile of the American Akita.
Luckily, another temperament trait of the Akita breed is confidence. This temperament trait makes them a different type of guard dog. Other guard breeds like the German Shepherds, Boerboels, or Rottweilers will be very loud and bark at anything going on in front of their front doors. Akitas are different; they are silent protectors who are confident enough not to jump on outside “city” sounds. They will calmly observe the situation before deciding they have to jump into action. It is no wonder samurai loved these dogs. The quiet dignity and confidence are the markings of great warriors, and the mighty Akita shows all of these characteristics.
Akitas are heavy shedders. Check out this article that will help you survive the shedding season with an Akita - Shedding season must-haves.
While some guard dogs might not be that cool around kids, true Akitas should accept them as a part of their family. Children from their immediate families will always be protected. In fact, if the dog has to choose between guarding owners or kids, the dog should always choose protecting kids. They understand their owners are dominant people that can probably fend for themselves, and they will see kids as those that need protection.
Even children that are not from their immediate family should be pretty safe around Akitas. These dogs should have a natural affinity towards children, and there are many examples of dog-aggressive or human-aggressive Akitas allowing kids to do to them whatever they like. In ancient Japan, Akitas used to stand guard over babies and kids while mothers and fathers worked in the field. Liking kids should be one of the defining Akita characteristics.
Akitas of the old were used for dog fighting, and that is simply because these dogs are powerful and have the instinct to bicker and scrap with other dogs. Through selective breeding and sometimes crossing, Akita owners wanted to create a somewhat more dog-aggressive breed. However, after the Tosa breed was used against Akitas in fighting pits, Akita owners saw their dogs would go extinct if they continued these practices. Nevertheless, this character trait remained with modern-day Akitas. These dogs are sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex.
Do you want to know more about the bloody Akita history? Check out this article - Akita Inu dog fights in Japan.
Luckily, modern dog breeders are working to make these dogs a lot more family-friendly. They select puppies with milder temperaments as the primary breeding dogs. That means they will be producing dogs that are less aggressive towards other dogs and humans. In the past 20 years, the Aktia breed went through a lot of change. These dogs are a lot more tolerable and trainable than dogs from 20 years ago. Other breeders and owners can notice this breeding practice.
Akitas are a breed that has a powerful and exciting temperament, and it is undoubtedly one of its most attractive qualities. These dogs can be strong-minded and might need an experienced owner that will know how to handle them. However, the breed is going through many changes, and modern-day dogs are a lot milder than they used to be. Akitas are finding their new role in the modern world. It will most likely be the role of the silent, confident, family protector - a similar role they played throughout history. Luckily, these dogs are becoming more trainable and accepting of strangers and other dogs.
World Dog Finder team