Can Akitas Be Friendly? Unveiling the Truth about Their Temperament

When it comes to discussing the temperament of Akitas, there is often a lot of debate and misconceptions. Some people believe that Akitas are naturally aggressive and unfriendly, while others argue that they can be loving and gentle. As an Akita owner myself, I can attest to the fact that their temperament is not as black and white as it may seem. In this blog post, we will delve into the truth about Akita temperament and explore the factors that influence their friendliness.

Historical Background of the Akita Breed

Origins and Purpose

To truly understand the temperament of Akitas, it is essential to delve into their historical background. Akitas originated in Japan and were initially bred for hunting bears and boars. Their strong and independent nature was necessary for them to excel in their hunting duties. Over time, Akitas also served as guard dogs and even participated in dogfighting. Understanding their heritage gives us insight into their innate characteristics and instincts.

Factors Influencing Akita Friendliness

Genetics and Lineage

One of the primary factors that influence an Akita’s temperament is their genetics and lineage. Like any other breed, Akitas possess certain predispositions that are inherited from their ancestors. If an Akita comes from a line of aggressive or poorly socialized dogs, it may be more challenging to shape their friendliness. However, it is important to note that genetics alone do not determine an Akita’s temperament, and proper training and socialization can make a significant difference.

Early Socialization

Early socialization plays a crucial role in shaping an Akita’s temperament. Exposing them to various environments, people, and animals from a young age can help them develop into well-rounded and friendly individuals. Positive experiences during their critical socialization period, which typically occurs between 3 and 14 weeks of age, can greatly influence their behavior in the future.

Training and Obedience

Another vital factor in determining an Akita’s friendliness is the level of training and obedience they receive. Akitas are intelligent and independent dogs, which can sometimes make them stubborn. However, consistent and positive reinforcement-based training methods can help mold their behavior and encourage friendly interactions. Proper training also ensures that they understand boundaries and commands, which is essential for their overall temperament.

The Importance of Proper Training and Socialization

Starting Early: Puppy Socialization

When you bring home an Akita puppy, it is crucial to prioritize socialization from the very beginning. Exposing them to different people, animals, sounds, and environments can help them become comfortable and confident in various situations. Puppy socialization classes, supervised playdates, and controlled introductions to new experiences can all contribute to building a friendly and well-adjusted Akita.

Training for Good Behavior

Training an Akita is an ongoing process that requires dedication and consistency. Teaching them basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come can provide a foundation for good behavior. It is important to use positive reinforcement techniques that reward desired behaviors rather than resorting to punishment. Akitas respond well to treats, praise, and affection, making them eager to please their owners.

Addressing Behavioral Issues

Despite proper training and socialization, behavioral issues can still arise in Akitas. It is crucial to address these issues promptly and seek professional help if needed. Aggression or unfriendliness may stem from fear, anxiety, or past negative experiences. With patience, understanding, and the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist, these issues can often be resolved or managed effectively.

Common Misconceptions about Akita Friendliness

Aggressive Reputation

Akitas have gained a reputation for being aggressive, which has led to misconceptions about their overall friendliness. While it is true that Akitas possess a strong protective instinct, it does not necessarily equate to aggression. A well-socialized and properly trained Akita can be loving, loyal, and friendly towards their family and those they have been introduced to.

Differentiating Aggression and Protective Instincts

It is crucial to differentiate between aggression and the protective instincts that Akitas naturally possess. Akitas are known for their loyalty and willingness to protect their family and territory. This protective nature can sometimes be misunderstood as aggression, especially if they are not properly socialized or if they perceive a threat. Understanding their instincts and providing appropriate training and guidance is essential in shaping their behavior.

Signs of a Friendly Akita

Positive Socialization Indicators

A friendly Akita will display positive socialization indicators, such as being comfortable and relaxed in various environments, interacting calmly with people and other animals, and showing curiosity towards new experiences. They may approach new situations with confidence and exhibit appropriate body language, such as relaxed ears and a wagging tail.

Good Interaction with People

A friendly Akita will interact well with people, both familiar and unfamiliar. They will be approachable, accepting of physical contact, and not display signs of fear or aggression. A well-socialized Akita will enjoy spending time with their family and may even show affection through gentle nudges or leaning against their loved ones.

Acceptance of Other Animals

Akitas can coexist peacefully with other animals if they have been properly socialized and introduced. A friendly Akita will display tolerance and acceptance towards other animals in their household, whether it be other dogs, cats, or smaller pets. They may engage in calm and respectful interactions, or simply coexist peacefully without displaying aggression.

Building a Strong Bond with an Akita

Establishing Trust and Respect

Building a strong bond with an Akita is crucial for fostering their friendliness. This bond is built on trust and respect, which can be established through consistent training, positive reinforcement, and spending quality time together. Akitas thrive on forming deep connections with their owners and will often reciprocate with loyalty and affection.

Maintaining Consistency and Routine

Akitas appreciate consistency and routine in their daily lives. Establishing a regular schedule for feeding, exercise, and training can help them feel secure and comfortable. Consistency in expectations and boundaries also contributes to their overall temperament and friendliness. A well-established routine can help minimize stress and promote a harmonious relationship with your Akita.

Respecting Boundaries

Respecting an Akita’s boundaries is essential for maintaining a friendly and trusting relationship. Akitas value their personal space and may become defensive if their boundaries are crossed. Understanding their body language and providing them with the space they need is crucial. This not only ensures their comfort but also prevents any potential behavioral issues from arising.

Akitas and Children

Supervision and Education

When it comes to Akitas and children, supervision and education are key. While Akitas can be gentle and loving towards children, it is important to ensure that interactions are always supervised. Teaching children how to properly approach, handle, and respect dogs can help prevent any potential accidents or misunderstandings. Open communication and education about responsible pet ownership are essential for a harmonious relationship.

Teaching Respectful Interaction

It is crucial to teach both children and Akitas how to interact respectfully with each other. Children should be taught not to disturb an Akita while they are eating or sleeping, and to give them space when necessary. Likewise, Akitas should be trained to understand that children are to be treated gently and with care. Positive reinforcement and rewards can be used to reinforce appropriate behavior from both parties.

Creating a Friendly Environment for Your Akita

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Akitas are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation to maintain a balanced and friendly temperament. Providing them with daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys can help channel their energy in a positive way. Adequate exercise also contributes to their overall well-being and can help prevent behavioral issues that may arise from boredom or pent-up energy.

Positive Reinforcement and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in shaping an Akita’s behavior and promoting friendliness. Rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, and affection can motivate them to continue exhibiting positive traits. Using force or punishment-based training methods can have detrimental effects on an Akita’s temperament and should be avoided.

Providing a Safe Space

Every Akita needs a safe space where they can retreat to when they need some alone time or when they feel overwhelmed. Providing a designated area, such as a crate or a specific room, can give them a sense of security. It is important to respect their need for privacy and ensure that they have a quiet and comfortable space to relax in.


In conclusion, Akitas can indeed be friendly, but their temperament is influenced by various factors. Genetics, early socialization, training, and proper care all play significant roles in shaping an Akita’s friendliness. By understanding their background, debunking misconceptions, and investing in their training and socialization, you can foster a friendly and loving relationship with your Akita. With patience, consistency, and respect, you can unlock the true potential of their friendly nature.

ThePetFaq Team