Why Don’t Akitas Fetch? Common Reasons and Training Tips

Akitas are a Japanese breed known for their noble appearance and strong loyalty. Originally bred for hunting large game, Akitas have a rich history as working dogs. They were used for bear hunting, guarding, and even as companions to royalty. Akitas are known for their strength, intelligence, and protective nature.

1.2 Unique Temperament and Behavioral Traits

One of the defining characteristics of Akitas is their independent and self-reliant nature. Akitas are not typically known to be highly obedient or eager to please like some other breeds. They have a strong sense of self and can be quite aloof with strangers. Akitas are also known for their loyalty and devotion to their families.

Section 2: Exploring the Fetching Instinct

2.1 The Natural Instinct of Fetching in Dogs

Fetching is a behavior that comes naturally to many dogs. It taps into their innate prey drive and desire to chase and retrieve objects. Dogs have been selectively bred over centuries to enhance this instinct, making it more pronounced in certain breeds.

2.2 Why Akitas Don’t Innately Fetch

While many dogs have a natural inclination to fetch, Akitas are not among them. Their hunting instincts are focused more on larger prey, and their independent nature makes them less interested in playing games that require them to bring something back to their owner. This doesn’t mean that Akitas cannot learn to fetch; it just means that it may require some extra effort and training.

Section 3: Common Reasons Why Akitas Don’t Fetch

3.1 Independent Nature and Self-Reliant Behavior

As mentioned earlier, Akitas have a strong independent streak. They are known for their self-reliance and can be less inclined to engage in activities that they perceive as not serving a practical purpose. Fetching may fall under this category for Akitas, as they may not see the point in bringing an object back to their owner.

3.2 Prey Drive and Hunting Instincts

Akitas have a strong prey drive and were historically bred for hunting larger game. Their instincts are geared towards tracking, capturing, and guarding. Fetching small objects may not align with their natural hunting behaviors, and they may not find it as stimulating or fulfilling as other activities.

3.3 Sensitivity to Physical Discomfort

Akitas are known for their stoic nature and resilience, but they can also be sensitive to physical discomfort. If an Akita is experiencing any pain or discomfort, they may be less likely to engage in activities like fetching that require physical exertion or jumping. It’s important to ensure your Akita is in good health and free from any underlying medical issues before starting fetch training.

Section 4: Training Tips to Teach Your Akita to Fetch

4.1 Building Trust and Establishing a Connection

Building a strong bond and trust with your Akita is crucial before attempting any training, including teaching them to fetch. Spend quality time with your Akita, engage in positive reinforcement training, and create a positive association with you and the training process.

4.2 Positive Reinforcement and Reward-Based Training

Akitas respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Use treats, praise, and rewards to motivate and encourage your Akita during the training process. Make it a positive and enjoyable experience for them.

4.3 Starting with Basic Retrieval Exercises

Start by introducing your Akita to the concept of retrieving objects. Begin with a favorite toy or treat and encourage them to interact with it. Reinforce any interaction with praise and rewards. Gradually progress to throwing the object short distances and encouraging your Akita to bring it back to you.

4.4 Gradual Progression and Advanced Training Techniques

Once your Akita is comfortable with basic retrieval exercises, you can gradually increase the difficulty and distance. Start incorporating verbal cues, such as “fetch” or “bring it back,” and continue to reward and praise your Akita for successful retrieves. Consistency and patience are key during this process.

4.5 Overcoming Specific Challenges and Resistance

Every Akita is unique, and some may face specific challenges or resistance during fetch training. Adapt your training techniques to suit your Akita’s individual needs. If your Akita is not showing interest in fetching, try incorporating their natural hunting instincts by using toys that mimic prey or incorporating scent-based games.


While Akitas may not have a natural inclination to fetch, with patience, training, and understanding of their unique temperament, it is possible to teach them this game. Remember to focus on building a strong bond, using positive reinforcement, and adapting your training methods to suit your Akita’s individual needs. Enjoy the journey of training and bonding with your Akita, even if fetching isn’t their favorite game.

ThePetFaq Team