Here, we will go into detail on the basic, yet very important commands in regard to Akita dog training. Sit and Stay will be of the utmost importance. Why? Because when you are taking steps needed in regard to controlling aggression, those commands are essential and absolutely needed.
Down and Come are also important because this is a very dominant breed.
An owner must establish himself as the leader and this is done to a huge extent, by having your Akita immediately follow these directives.
It can create a bad situation when this breed sees only 1 person as the leader…
He will then believe that all other people in the home are either at his level or, worst case scenario, below him. For this reason, every person in the home should be involved with this Akita dog training.
Children can watch and when old enough and confident enough and seen as leaders (usually around 10 to 12 years old) can then become involved. Up until then, children should be involved in feeding and entering and exiting the home so that they are not seen as subordinates.
The Goal: Your dog will sit squarely on his or her hindquarters and remain there until released.
1. Stand or kneel right in front of your dog, holding a treat in your hand a little higher than their head.
2. Slowly move the treat straight back over the head. This should cause his nose to point up and his rear to drop. If his rear does not drop, keep moving the treat straight backward toward his tail. The instant his rear touches the floor, release the treat and mark the behavior by saying, “Good Sit!” in a happy voice.
3. If he is not responding to the food lure, use your index finger and thumb to put pressure on either side of his haunches, just forward of his hip bones. Pull up on his leash at the same time to rock him back into a sit. Praise and reward him while he is sitting. Then, give the release word of “OK”. It is important that you control when they are released. This holds true for all Akita dog training.
4. Once they are consistently sitting, wait a few seconds before rewarding. Remember to only reward when they are in the correct position of squarely sitting on the floor.
Trouble Shooting – If they jump at your hand that has the treat: Hold the treat lower, so that he can reach it while standing.
If they keep getting up before you have given the release word: In a gentle but firm manner, keep placing your dog back into a sit. Once he has learned the behavior, he should not break his sit until released. Be sure to not give the treat until he has been in the position for a count of 3.
Tip – Once taught this, should be expected before each meal is given. This reinforces your role as pack leader.
The Goal: Your Akita drops to rest on both his chest and belly or askew on his hip.
1. With your dog sitting facing you, hold a treat to his nose and lower it slowly to the floor.
2. If you are lucky, he will follow the treat with his nose and lie down, at which time you can release the reward and praise him by saying, “Good Down!” Remember to only give the treat while they are in the correct position – lying. Do not give it to him if he gets up – that will be too late and he will think that you are rewarding the action of rising up. If he slouches instead of lying down, slide the treat slowly toward him on the floor between his front paws or away from him. It may take a little time but he should eventually lie down.
3. If he is not responding to the food lure, put slight pressure on his shoulder blade, pushing down and to the side. Give praise when he drops to the floor. It is always preferable to coax him into position himself without your physical manipulation.
4. Once your Akita is consistently lying down, gradually delay the release of the treat. With your down lying down, say, “Wait…wait” and then “OK!” and release the treat. Varying the time before treating will keep them focused. The Akita should not move from the down until you have given your release word of “OK”.
Trouble Shooting – My Akita doesn’t remain down! – If he stands up, don’t reward him, and put him back down. Standing on his leash will cause him to self-correct if he tries to stand up.
Tip – If you want him off of your sofa or another spot he has jumped up onto, use “Off” and not “Down”.
This is one of the most important elements of all Akita dog training.
The Goal: They hold their current position until released.
What to Expect: The tone of your voice and your body language will be a big part of getting your message across. Be firm and consistent.
1. Start with your Akita sitting or lying down, as he is less likely to move from those positions. Use a leash or harness to guarantee control. Stand directly in front of him and in a serious tone, say “Stay”, holding your palm flat, almost touching his nose.
2. Move a short distance away, keeping eye contact, and return to him. Praise him with “Good Stay” and give him a treat. Be sure to give the praise and treat while he remains in the sitting and staying position.
3. If he moves before you have released him, gently but firmly put him back in the stop where he was originally told to stay.
4. Gradually increase the time you are asking them to remain still, as well as the distance between yourselves. Being successful keeps motivation high and gives self-confidence, so if he is breaking away, go back to a time and distance he is able to achieve.
Trouble Shooting – My Akita keeps getting up! – Use very little verbal communication when teaching this skill. Talking evokes action and you want inaction. Solid body language will convey your seriousness.
He breaks his stay a second before I release him! - Do not show him the treat until you give it to him, as it may pull him forward. Vary your pattern; sometimes return to him and leave him again without rewarding.
Tip – “Stay” means: do not move a muscle until I release you. “Wait” is a less formal meaning: Remain in that general area for a short time. Such as “Wait until I get out of the car before you jump out”.
The Goal: When you speak this word, they come immediately to you. In completion, this ends with them sitting in front of you. In order for this to be consistently obeyed, your status pack leader needs to be definite. Always reward your Akita for obeying your “come” command, whether it is with praise or a treat. Not obeying this should be viewed as a major infraction and should end with your physically bring your dog to the spot from where you originally called him.
The practice and enforcement of this should continue for life.
1. While on a 6 foot leash command him to “Come” and reel him in quickly to you, where he will be praised with a very happy and enthusiastic “Good Come”. You must say this in a happy tone, but firm and with conviction. Give the command only once.
2. As your dog improves, graduate to a longer lead.
3. When you are ready to practice off-lead, do it in a fenced area. Let the leash be attached, but do not hold onto the other end. If he does not obey when you say it one time, go to him and firmly lead him back to the spot where you give the command. Do not give a reward if your Akita does not perform the command on his own, the first time you say it. Put the long lead back on him and require him to do 5 successful “Comes” before attempting off-lead again.
Trouble Shooting – Once off lead, he runs off! – Do not give chase. If you do, that will only encourage him. Stand your ground and demand that he come. Dogs respond to a leader.
Do I have to enforce this command every time I use it? Yes. If you are not in a situation to enforce it, do not say it. Instead, just call your dog’s name or use “C’mon boy” or “C’mon girl”, a less formal “command” that will not ruin this training if he or she does not listen.
Tip - Call your dog to “Come” for good things. Never call “Come” for a bath if he or she hates baths or to go for a trip to the vet…Go and get your dog instead!
Help for Training Needs
The Akita is a dominant dog and it is important that an owner clearly establishes the fact that it is the human who is in charge. If this is not done, this breed can take over. Can you imagine a dog this big, walking around as if he is the leader of the home?
This is best done during the puppy years. For this breed, it is recommended to begin training at 8 weeks, although beginning at any age is preferable to no training or inadequate training. More than any other purebred, specific methods must be followed to: Teach proper behavior (housebreaking, commands, socialization, and inhibit destructive behavior) while at the same time establishing your leadership role.
The following resources are highly suggested for you to achieve this.
Highly Recommended Resources for Akita Puppy Training Needs (All on Amazon)
TrainingSocializationChewing and Nipping
Housebreaking & Important How to introduce all elements How to prevent these behaviors
Command Training. Great for of the world and change from forming & how to reverse
this breed. Works on both any negative views already any that have already developed.
training AND leadership formed. Excellent resource. Very helpful.
establishment at the same time.
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