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Described by the American Kennel Club as “dignified, courageous, and loyal,” the Akita ranks 52nd on their annual list of the most popular dog breeds. They are impressive canines with outstanding physical and mental strength. But are Akitas dangerous? Let’s investigate.
Are Akitas Dangerous?
The Akita is a large, powerful breed with strong protective instincts. Due to their size, temperament, and strength, Akitas can be dangerous if handled improperly.
Because of their background as hunting dogs and some owners’ poor behavior, Akitas have a negative image that makes them easily misunderstood. But most Akitas that are properly socialized and trained in a loving environment don’t pose much of a threat.
Proper training and socialization with other animals and people can turn these intelligent dogs into loving family pets that obey your commands without fail.
However, larger dogs can always hurt people or other animals more severely than smaller dogs. People who own an Akita should be extra careful in public places to avoid being provoked.
Why Are Akitas Dangerous?
Akitas carry many of the traits you would expect from hunting dogs. In their native Japan, the Akita is well known as a noble hunter and a formidable guard dog.
Hunting breeds aren’t necessarily dangerous, but in certain situations, such as being left unattended around small animals, their hunting instincts may make them more likely to attack.
Now let’s learn more about why people think Akitas are dangerous!
An adult Akita can grow up to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 130 pounds. Therefore, it takes strong adults to control this powerful breed (when they pull you).
The Akita is bold, alert, and headstrong. They are devoted to their family and friends, but territorial about their home and aloof with strangers.
Akitas are protective guard dogs by nature, so if somebody is stupid enough to trespass onto their territory without permission, they will try to start fights.
Do Akitas Have Lock Jaw?
Akitas have strong jaws. They have seriously injured or even killed other animals in the wild with a single bite. Their jaws will lock until they decide to open them.
The American Akita bite force is 350-400 PSI. It is significantly higher than the average dog bite force of 235 PSI.
Do Akitas Have High Prey Drive?
The Akita has a high prey drive. Owners should never let them off the leash when near animals or allow them to go outside unsupervised around small pets like guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, gerbils, ferrets, and birds.
Are Akitas Banned?
Akitas are banned or placed under heavy restrictions in many U.S. states because of their reputation for being aggressive. Some cities don’t outright ban this breed, but they require that you handle your pup like a dangerous dog.
You may have to muzzle your Akita when they’re in public. Some cities require that your dog wear a dangerous dog identification tag. Carrying liability insurance or displaying a dangerous dog sign at your house may also be needed.
Are Akitas an Aggressive Breed?
You should never provoke an Akita, especially while in their own home. Akitas have an aggressive gene and may react aggressively in some situations. They are also very protective of food, so they can react violently if disturbed while feeding.
Akitas can easily be trained to show aggression. For example, if an Akita is raised to be a guard dog, you can expect the breed’s aggressive tendencies to be encouraged.
It is important that you don’t encourage this side of their character or behavior. With proper training and socialization, you will have an Akita that is calm and protective rather than dangerous and aggressive.
Owners have a significant impact on the temperament of a dog. So, Akita owners must be mindful of how they behave toward their canines and train them to be well-mannered friends.
How to Train an Akita to Not Be Aggressive?
Any dog that is not well educated can become violent or badly behaved. Large, muscular dogs like Akitas are more dangerous when out of control. Failure to properly train and socialize Akita can cause unwanted consequences.
If your Akita acts aggressively towards other dogs, animals, or people, you must stop it immediately. Let them know early on that bad behavior is not acceptable.
If you’re a new owner, here are some things you can do to prevent and stop dangerous behaviors from developing:
- Learn about dog aggression, its symptoms, and how it develops.
- Make sure your Akita is getting enough exercise and other enrichment activities.
- Consult a certified dog behavior consultant for advice on how to deal with aggressive behavior in your dog.
- Another option is to sign up for a training class that teaches you how to correct your Akita’s negative behavior. We recommend the Calm Down Course if you want to transform your Akita into a well-behaved and happy canine.
- Give your Akita a thorough vet checkup to ensure their aggression isn’t health-related.
Is an Akita a Good Family Dog?
Whether or not Akitas make good family dogs depends on your family situation. If your children are mature enough to understand how to treat a dog respectfully and lovingly, an Akita is a good fit for your family.
If socialized and trained to live with other dogs when still young, Akitas can get along with them. Otherwise, it’s best to keep this breed in a one-dog family since any strange animal could be a threat to their territory.
Any dog can be dangerous if they’re poorly trained, neglected, or abused. Breed alone does not determine if a dog poses a risk; irresponsible ownership does. So the most important question is “Are Akita owners dangerous?” rather than “Are Akitas dangerous?”
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