Are Akitas a Bully Breed? Discover the Truth about Their Temperament

When it comes to dog breeds, certain labels can carry a lot of weight. One such label is the term “bully breed.” But what does it really mean? Are Akitas, a majestic and powerful breed, considered a bully breed? In this blog post, we will explore the truth behind the temperament of Akitas and debunk the myth of them being a bully breed.

Importance of Temperament

Understanding a dog’s temperament is crucial when considering a new addition to your family. Temperament refers to a dog’s inherent behavioral traits and tendencies, such as their friendliness, aggression levels, and adaptability. It plays a significant role in their compatibility with different environments, lifestyles, and households.

Background of Akita Breed

Origins and History

The Akita breed traces its roots back to ancient Japan where they were revered as symbols of loyalty, bravery, and nobility. Originally used for hunting large game, Akitas were later employed as guard dogs and even served as companions to Japanese royalty.

Physical Characteristics

Akitas are large, muscular dogs with a distinctive double coat that provides insulation against harsh weather conditions. They have a broad head, strong jaws, and erect ears. Their imposing appearance can sometimes lead to misconceptions about their temperament.

Debunking the Bully Breed Myth

Defining Bully Breeds

To understand whether Akitas can be considered a bully breed, it is important to define what the term actually means. Bully breeds, often misunderstood due to media portrayal, typically refer to breeds like Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Bulldogs. These breeds have historically been used for bull-baiting, a cruel practice that has long been banned.

Examining Akita Temperament

Contrary to the stereotype of bully breeds, Akitas are not inherently aggressive or bullies. While they possess a strong guarding instinct, they are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and a calm demeanor. A well-bred and properly socialized Akita can be a gentle and affectionate family companion.

Affectionate Nature

My personal experience with Akitas has shown me their capacity for love and devotion. I once had an Akita named Kuma who was the epitome of affection. He would greet me with a wagging tail and follow me around the house, always seeking attention and affection. Kuma’s gentle nature shattered any preconceived notions I had about Akitas being bullies.

Factors Influencing Temperament


Genetics play a significant role in a dog’s temperament, and Akitas are no exception. Responsible breeders carefully select breeding pairs to ensure desirable traits and temperament are passed down through generations. It’s essential to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes temperament when considering an Akita puppy.

Early Socialization

Early socialization is crucial for any dog breed, including Akitas, to develop appropriate behavior and adaptability. Exposing puppies to various environments, people, and other animals from a young age helps them develop the social skills needed to navigate the world confidently.

Training and Handling

Proper training and handling are key in shaping a dog’s behavior and temperament. Consistent and positive reinforcement training methods are recommended for Akitas, as they respond well to clear boundaries and positive reinforcement. It is important to establish yourself as the pack leader while still maintaining a loving and respectful relationship with your Akita.

Understanding Akita Aggression

Identifying Aggression Triggers

While Akitas are generally known for their calm disposition, like any dog, they can display aggression if triggered. It’s important to identify potential triggers such as fear, territorial behavior, or feeling threatened. Understanding these triggers can help prevent aggressive behavior and address it before it escalates.

Aggression vs. Protective Behavior

It’s important to differentiate between aggression and protective behavior in Akitas. Akitas are known for their loyalty and protective nature, which can sometimes be mistaken for aggression. Proper training and socialization can help channel their protective instincts in a positive way, ensuring they are well-behaved and discerning in their reactions.

Addressing Aggression through Training

If your Akita displays aggressive behavior, it is crucial to address it promptly and seek professional help if needed. Enlist the assistance of a professional dog trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement techniques and understands the specific needs of the Akita breed. With patience, consistency, and the right guidance, aggression can be managed and modified.

Responsible Ownership and Temperament Maintenance

Choosing a Reputable Breeder

When considering adding an Akita to your family, it is essential to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes temperament and health. Responsible breeders will provide you with puppies that have been well-socialized, properly cared for, and come from a lineage with stable temperaments.

Proper Socialization Techniques

Socialization is an ongoing process that should continue throughout an Akita’s life. Expose them to different environments, people, and animals regularly, ensuring positive experiences and interactions. This will help maintain their well-rounded temperament and prevent any potential behavioral issues.

Training and Obedience

Consistent training and obedience are crucial for maintaining a well-behaved Akita. Establish clear boundaries, reinforce positive behavior, and provide mental stimulation to keep them engaged and content. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as reward-based training, work best with Akitas, as they respond well to positive reinforcement and thrive on a strong bond with their owners.


In conclusion, Akitas are not bully breeds. While they possess a strong guarding instinct, they are loyal, intelligent, and can be incredibly affectionate family companions when properly bred, socialized, and trained. Understanding the factors that influence their temperament and addressing aggression through proper training and responsible ownership are key to maintaining their balanced and gentle nature. So, if you’re considering an Akita as your next four-legged family member, rest assured that, with the right care and attention, you’ll have a loyal and loving companion by your side.

ThePetFaq Team