Are Akitas Good With Kids? 8 Tips to Build Healthy Dog and Kid Relationship
No, Akitas are not the ideal dog breed for kids. This breed is big sized and when their protective and dominant personality kicks in, they might be dangerous to have around children. But with that said, these dogs still have a good potential to become great family pets. All it takes is proper training and socialization while they are still young.
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Signs That You Need To Keep The Kids Away From Akitas
The reality is, children should not be left alone with a big dog, especially if you’re unsure about your dog’s behavior. And with dogs like Akitas that aren’t your typical family dogs, this breed likes their privacy and independence. When these dogs feel uneasy or reluctant towards children, they will show signs such as the ones listed below:
When a dog wants you to stay back, they will show obvious signs like growling, gnashing, and baring their teeth. This is also an indication that your dog may be a threat or on the verge of acting aggressive. This may be due to a couple of reasons like food, possessiveness, or being territorial and thus, should be taken seriously.
One sure way to tell if a dog is aggressive is if they do that deep growl noise. Almost like giving a warning. If a dog does this, remove the kids from the situation abruptly and evaluate why they may be acting that way to be able to avoid instances like that again.
Usually, owners are aware of their dogs’ behaviors whenever they are placed in certain situations. However, when a dog suddenly acts out in a way that surprises you, you need to keep an eye. Maybe your dog is suddenly upset with other pets in the house or starts chewing on furniture. Look for signs that aren’t in line with your dog’s normal behavior. If this happens, better see the help of a professional. It’s hard to trust a dog around children when they are unstable with their behavior.
History of Being Aggressive
Some dogs have a history of being aggressive and it can’t be helped, it’s not their fault either. But if you know that your dog has already bitten someone it’s best to keep children away from them. The truth is, children are triggers. They might yell, hit, or play rough and a dog that’s too sensitive like an Akita will not be happy with these things. If this is the case, it’s better to remove the dog and children in this certain situation.
Stiff Body Posture
You can tell if a dog is happy and playful through their body language. A dog that is friendly is usually bouncy and jiggly. But when a dog has a stiff body posture, it could mean a couple of things. It might be that they’re uncomfortable, shy, insecure, or scared and all of these things might lead to aggression. So, before upsetting the dog any further and potentially causing a bigger problem, withdraw the dog from the situation that made them feel edgy.
Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Kids
It’s not impossible to develop a friendship between kids and Akitas, it’s just that there may be reasons behind why it looks like they don’t like children. Hence, a proper understanding on why Akitas may seem unfriendly towards little tots will give you a better perspective on how to deal with this problem.
Lack of Socialization
It doesn’t matter what breed of dog you have. A lack of proper socialization from puppyhood to adulthood will result in an anxious dog that appears fearful of anything that is unfamiliar. This often leads to serious behavioral problems and aggressive tendencies. If this is the reason why a dog may seem unfriendly towards children, it’s better to keep them at both ends for the meantime until this behavior is corrected.
Maybe it’s not about the dog or their temperament. Maybe it’s because of their negative experiences in the past that has made them unapproachable. A dog that grew up knowing they are loved and nurtured will be different from a dog that has been abused and neglected. Their “unfriendliness” is just a way of defense against anything that they think is a threat.
For instance, if a dog with past traumas encounters a child that innocently pulls their tail without warning, they might become upset and start barking or worse – this might even prompt them to bite.
While Akitas are extremely loyal to their families, they also love their independence. This noble dog breed likes their alone time. Unlike other dogs that develop a constant need to be around where their owners are, they’re fine with having their own space – as long as they can still see you from across the room. With that said, a child who have no boundaries is a walking stimulus for a dog who doesn’t like being disturbed. For this reason, it’s best to keep a dog’s space enclosed so that kids can’t bother them when they want to be by themselves.
Tips to Promote Healthy Relationship Between Kids and Akitas
If you want to get an Akita and also have children in your home, you need to be equipped with the challenges that lie ahead. While it is known that Akitas are not the best dog of choice when you have children in your home, promoting a healthy relationship between the two is not an impossible task. To help you further, here are some tips that can help in encouraging friendship with Akitas and kids.
Consider Your Child’s Age
One of the first things that needs to be considered before bringing a pet to your home are the kids. Do you have a kid? If so, how old are they? A child’s age can play a critical role in determining whether your family is ready for a pet.
For Akitas, they are better suited with children that are way past the toddler years. A child that’s already grown up and can understand what’s okay and not okay can live harmoniously with dogs that have temperaments like Akitas.
Respect The Dog’s Personal Space
You can tell when a dog wants to be left alone and when they do, respect their personal space. Little children can chase after them even if the dog has shown disinterest. When you see this happen, explain why they need to leave the dog alone. If they won’t listen, it’s better to create an enclosed space for the dog that is away from curious little humans.
Show Kids How to Approach Properly
Kids learn by example and if you show them the correct and proper way to approach a dog then that’s a good start. Show them the gentle manner of petting and where to touch a dog. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re trying to create a bond with a dog, always touch their chin, chest or shoulders first and never their head which they can mistake as a threat. Explain to little kids that hitting, riding, teasing, and intentionally pestering the dog is never okay.
Keep Their Toys Separate
It’s better for your kids and dogs to keep their toys separate, not only for hygienic purposes but this also prevents unpleasant circumstances. A dog should know which toys they can play with, so you can keep theirs in a small basket near where they sleep. Dogs can also grow possessive over their toys and wouldn’t want anyone to touch what they consider as theirs. If the kids decide to play at the same time while the dog is also playing, have them play separately. This just makes sure that both can keep the harmony going while they’re busy playing.
Maintain Calm Interactions
When kids and dogs are over excited about playing, this can lead to accidents rapidly. Teach kids how to interact with pets calmly. Bear in mind that dogs feed from human energy, if you’re feeling active, they’ll mimic the same energy. This also applies to kids who tend to be hyper most of the time. If you see that playtime is getting out of hand, break them apart.
Not All Dogs Like Hugs
Every dog is different. Although there are a lot of dogs that like being petted and touched, it’s unfair to assume that all of them welcome this kind of human gesture. There are dogs that dislike hugs.
The truth is most dogs will only tolerate a hug but don’t necessarily appreciate it. They might not like the feeling of being enclosed in a hug as it might make them feel trapped. Unless your dog likes this kind of interaction, it’s best to tell kids not to do this. Especially with Akitas that has a reputation for being aloof.
Teach Kids to Ask Permission
At a young age, teach kids to ask permission before they want to interact with an animal, especially those that are unfamiliar. If they’re allowed to, kids must first allow the dog to sniff their hand before going in. This simple act teaches kids to be respectful, and when they are, dogs will acknowledge that.
Regardless whether you have an Akita or a Labrador, you still need to supervise when kids play with pets. Especially those that are below 10 years old. It’s hard to trust dogs with kids and vice versa because both of them can be unpredictable. So, you need to become the stable force in the middle so as to ensure that their interaction remains balanced.
Things Kids Shouldn’t Do Around Akitas
If you have an Akita and a child at home, there should be certain ground rules that need to be imposed to make sure that things remain peaceful in the household. These rules are primarily for the kids. And as a parent to both the little humans and the furkids, it’s your responsibility to make sure that these rules are implemented.
Shout and Scream
Anyone would be annoyed to hear shouting here and there non-stop, so why would you expect tolerance from a dog? If a dog is noise-sensitive it can be extremely unpleasant for them. Tell the children to keep their voices down for the dogs and for everyone else in the house too. If noise can’t be managed at times,make sure there’s a quiet place for your dog to retreat.
Again, playing could be a good way to encourage friendship between a child and a dog but the problem arises when play time gets rough. One way or another, one of them might get hurt and you want to avoid this from happening.
Find out ways where dogs and children can play gently with each other. A game of tug of war is discouraged because dogs can increasingly become competitive and active. Playing fetch while children remain stationary is a good choice and creates a good bonding experience for the both of them.
Wake Them Up From Sleep
Name someone who likes being startled while they’re sleeping. Probably no one, right? The same thing goes for dogs. A dog gets easily startled when you wake them up abruptly and when this happens, they might react negatively out of surprise. It’s just a common reflex. Teach kids not to disturb dogs when they are sleeping or having a good rest.
Punish Them For Accidents
Kids usually mimic what they see their parents do and they might feel that they too can discipline a dog. While training and discipline are vital, punishment is never encouraged when dealing with a dog. This is counterproductive and may backfire in the end.
When a dog feels that they are being punished, they may develop fear and anxiety. Something that you want to avoid at all costs. If you see kids doing this, stop them right away and explain why they shouldn’t do it again. And instead of punishment, use positive reinforcements such as giving the dog a treat every time they obey a command or go outside to potty.