Akitas are famed the world over as Japanese bear-fighting dogs. For centuries villagers have used them as protection from roaming carnivores and as guardians from rampaging hoards. Today, the Akita has drifted away from the role as protector and toward an existence as docile family companions. Raising an Akita puppy can present a challenge for even the most experienced dog owner, but the loyalty of the breed is well worth the struggle.
Fit your Akita puppy with a collar as soon as you bring her home. A sturdy collar will allow you to attach a lead to your pup and will make identifying her and containing her much simpler. Clip her lead on the collar and let her drag it around to get used to the feel of weight on her collar. When she is comfortable, hold the lead gently and follow her around so someone walking beside her does not frighten her.
Set your puppy's crate in a quiet, undisturbed area of your home. Akitas can be a little territorial when it comes to their personal space, so placing her crate where she can rest in peace will put her at ease. Include a few of her favourite toys so she does not get bored while resting.
Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. Akitas can be piggish eaters and a routine will allow you to monitor her intake. Feed her at the same time every day and always be sure she has access to clean water.
Section off a portion of your yard for a potty area. One small area will give your puppy the ability recognise that place as his potty location and she will go there each time she has to go.
Take your puppy out often to avoid accidents in the house. Your puppy is still growing and her body is very small, so frequent trips to the potty area are necessary. Be sure your pup goes outside after each meal and upon waking as this is the time she will have to go the most. Stand quietly and let her go without any distractions, praising thoroughly when she does go.
Teach your puppy simple commands to make her more obedient. Skills such as sit, stay, lie down, come and heel are invaluable as your dog grows, so start her young. The lie down is a good command to start with. Hold a treat in your hand, and give the command to lie down. Move the treat down toward the ground, and your puppy should follow. As soon as she is down, praise and give her the treat. Repeat this process until she lies down without you luring her down. Continue this process to teach each command, offering plenty of reward and praise once they are performed properly.
Socialise your puppy by taking him on frequent outings with you. Akita puppies can be rather shy if they are not allowed to meet people and visit a variety of locations, so let your puppy accompany you as soon as she is fully vaccinated. Trips to the market, to fuel up your car and even the dog park will let her see a number of new things, easing any fears she might have.
- Be sure to work with your puppy often. Akitas are intelligent but bore easily, so keep your sessions short and varied.
- Do not try to rush your puppy's training. It can take months for your dog to learn how to behave without mistakes, so be patient with her.