Why are Akitas hard to train? Expert Tips and Solutions

Before delving into the factors that influence the training difficulty of Akitas, it is important to understand their temperament. Akitas are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and natural protective instincts. They were originally bred in Japan for guarding and hunting purposes, which has shaped their personality traits. Akitas are generally independent, confident, and strong-willed dogs.

Factors Influencing Training Difficulty

1. Strong-willed Personality

One of the primary factors that contribute to the training difficulty of Akitas is their strong-willed personality. Akitas are known for being independent thinkers, which means they may challenge authority and resist commands that they perceive as unnecessary or inconvenient. This independent nature can make it challenging to establish consistent obedience during training sessions.

2. Independent Nature

Akitas have a strong sense of independence, which can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness. Unlike some other breeds that are eager to please their owners, Akitas are more inclined to make decisions based on their own judgment. This independence can make it difficult to motivate and engage them in training activities.

3. Susceptibility to Boredom

Akitas are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom. When left unstimulated, they can become restless and engage in destructive behaviors. This susceptibility to boredom can affect their focus and willingness to participate in training sessions, making it harder to hold their attention for extended periods.

4. Sensitivity to Harsh Training Methods

Akitas have a sensitive nature and can be easily affected by harsh training methods. These methods can damage the trust and bond between the dog and their owner, leading to resistance and reluctance during training. Akitas respond better to positive reinforcement techniques that focus on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing unwanted ones.

Common Training Challenges

1. Housebreaking

Housebreaking, or potty training, can be a significant challenge when training Akitas. Their independent nature makes them less inclined to follow a strict routine, and they may require extra patience and consistency during this process.

2. Socialization

Socialization is crucial for Akitas to develop good behavior around other dogs, animals, and people. However, their natural protective instincts can make them wary of strangers, making socialization a necessary but challenging aspect of training.

3. Leash Training

Leash training can be particularly challenging with Akitas due to their strong prey drive and tendency to pull. It requires consistent training and the use of positive reinforcement techniques to teach them to walk calmly on a leash.

4. Obedience Training

Establishing obedience and reliable responses to commands can be difficult with Akitas. Their independent nature means they may question the need to follow commands consistently. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques are key to successful obedience training.

5. Behavioral Issues

Akitas may be prone to certain behavioral issues such as aggression, resource guarding, and territorial behavior. Addressing these issues requires professional guidance and specialized training techniques.

Special Training Considerations for Akitas

1. Early Start and Consistency

Starting training early in an Akita’s life is crucial. Consistency is key, as Akitas respond best to a clear and consistent routine. Establishing rules and boundaries from the beginning will help them understand expectations.

2. Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Akitas respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats, praise, and rewards to reinforce desired behaviors. This approach helps build a strong bond and trust between the owner and the dog.

3. Patience and Persistence

Training an Akita requires patience and persistence. They may take longer to grasp certain commands and behaviors, but with consistent training and a positive attitude, progress can be made.

4. Mental Stimulation and Enrichment

Providing mental stimulation and enrichment activities is essential for Akitas. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions that challenge their minds can help keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

5. Professional Training Assistance

If you encounter significant training challenges or behavioral issues, seeking professional training assistance is recommended. A professional trainer experienced with Akitas can provide guidance tailored to their specific needs.

Tips for Successful Akita Training

1. Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries

Setting clear rules and boundaries from the beginning helps an Akita understand their place in the household hierarchy. Consistency is crucial in enforcing these rules.

2. Use High-Value Rewards

Akitas respond well to high-value rewards such as tasty treats or their favorite toys. Use these rewards to motivate and reinforce desired behaviors during training sessions.

3. Keep Training Sessions Short and Varied

Akitas have a relatively short attention span, so keeping training sessions short and varied helps maintain their interest and focus. Break the training sessions into smaller, achievable tasks.

4. Incorporate Games and Challenges

Including games and challenges in training sessions can make them more enjoyable for Akitas. Engage their problem-solving abilities and prey drive through interactive activities.

5. Focus on Building Trust and Bonding

Building a strong bond and trust with your Akita is essential for successful training. Spend quality time together, engage in positive interactions, and reinforce the bond through training and play.

Common Training Mistakes to Avoid

1. Harsh Punishments or Corrections

Using harsh punishments or corrections can damage the trust and relationship between you and your Akita. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement techniques that reward desired behaviors.

2. Inconsistency and Mixed Signals

Inconsistency in training methods and mixed signals can confuse an Akita. Establish and maintain consistent training techniques and ensure everyone in the household follows the same approach.

3. Overly Comparing with Other Breeds

Each breed has its own unique characteristics and training requirements. Avoid comparing your Akita to other breeds and focus on understanding and working with their individual traits.

4. Neglecting Mental Stimulation

Neglecting mental stimulation can lead to boredom and behavioral issues in Akitas. Incorporate activities that challenge their minds and provide mental enrichment in their daily routine.

5. Neglecting Exercise and Physical Activity

Akitas are active dogs that require regular exercise and physical activity. Neglecting their exercise needs can lead to restlessness and behavioral problems. Make sure to provide daily exercise opportunities to keep them physically and mentally fit.


Training an Akita requires patience, consistency, and understanding of their unique temperament. By recognizing the factors that contribute to their training difficulty and implementing the expert tips and solutions provided, you can build a strong bond with your Akita and achieve successful training outcomes. Remember, every dog is unique, so tailor your training approach to your Akita’s individual needs and personality. With time, effort, and a positive attitude, you can overcome the challenges and enjoy a well-trained and happy Akita companion.

ThePetFaq Team