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How to Potty Train an Akita Puppy?

Updated on October 5, 2012

Akita pups are not like other dogs

Training an Akita can be a daunting task. As a breed, Akita dogs are very, very stubborn. This is mostly because they are a northern breed dog and the Japanese prized independence in their dogs. If taught early enough, however, an Akita puppy can be trained effectively.

Learn some techniques to help you train your precious - but headstrong - little tyke. Whether it's a Japanese or American Akita, all can benefit from these techniques.

The three keys are

  1. Patience
  2. Food/praise
  3. Schedule

Potty training a puppy is like toilet training a child. After a while you get a general idea when they need to relieve themselves.

Akita Pup

Where's the Akita pup?
Where's the Akita pup?

You need patience when potty training an Akita pup

The first thing you're going to need is patience. A lot of it. The second thing you're going to need is some puppy treats and a leash.

Before we get into the basics, let's learn a little bit about dog psychology to help us out.

Pretty much all dogs have one thing in common: They want to please; you, other dogs, whatever. Some dogs like Labs have this instinct more than other dogs. Akita pups have the same need, but it's not nearly as strong. They have a high intelligence and they like to use it. They like to be masters of their own destiny.

Food - the ultimate attention grabber

This is where food comes in.

Just like you and I, food stimulates the pleasure/reward system in the brain in the Akita - effectively over-riding otherwise rational thoughts. Humans have, for thousands of years, been using this to domesticate and train animals. Even stubborn Akita pups.

Rule #1 - Never, ever get angry at your Akita. Never. Akitas don't take kindly to being pushed around. He may be a pup now, but that little bundle of fluff will soon become a 100 # adult that will command your respect. It's best to engineer a mutual respect for the little tyke now.

So, you've got your puppy, your patience and your bag of treats. What now?

Set a schedule. Write it down and stick to it. It helps greatly if you can be around for a week or two, but even if you can't, you can teach others to help you out.

Akita pups (and all pups) need to go out often

How often does an Akita pup need to relieve itself?

Every 4-6 hours.

The trick is to get the dog used to going out on a set schedule. Here's an example: 6 AM, noon (maybe earlier if he's really young), 4-5 PM and then again right before you hit the sack.

The other trick is two-fold: Take the pup out a few minutes after meals. His elimination system will be stimulated at this time. Secondly, watch for signs that the little tyke needs to go: sniffing around in a corner, turning around (when you know he's not going to lay down) and (when training starts to kick in) going toward the back door (or the one you always take him out.)

Some Akita's will learn to tell you when they want out. My Akita comes up to me and licks my hand (or my face if I'm asleep) and prances around a bit. All dogs are different and yours might yip or paw at the door.

Training to go out on command

When it's time to take the Akita pup out, put the leash on it and say (in a happy, upbeat voice): "Come on, Buster, let's go out."

The Akita will hear: "Buster, out."

My wife has our Akita trained to the word, "OK," and it's funny to watch when she inadvertantly lets it slip and the dogs race to the back door.

Don't be afraid to disturb the dog if he's sleeping. Just like humans, dogs build up their bladder during sleep and release it when they wake up. You're also training the pup to go on your schedule.

So, you take your pup outside and set it on the ground (early on, you will want to carry it otherwise it might have an accident at the door and the training opportunity will be lost). Make sure you have the treats in your pocket or something where the dog can't see it (it will sniff it, however).

Patience is the key to potty training your akita pup

Now what?

This is where the patience comes in.

I had a small northern breed dog that I trained to go on the words, "hurry up!" But this is much more difficult with the Akita. Puppies will generally relieve themselves at the first opportunity, but an adult can hold their bladder and stand around seemingly uninterested.

Wait until the pup is nearly finished with her business and then begin praising her, walking toward her with the treat in your fingers. This is a good time to train the puppy to take the treat from you gently. Ideally, you want to train her to take it with the foreteeth rather than just gulping it down.

Conclusions for potty training your Japanese (Akita Inu) or American Akita Pup

That's pretty much it. Keep at it, don't give up and if you catch your pup having an "accident," quickly pick it up, use your magic words ("Come on, Buster, let's go out!") and set it right where you want it to finish.

Use praise, not anger to train your Akita, and you'll have a much happier relationship.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You are absolutely correct about Akitas being stubborn. We had one many years ago and it had to have been the most stubborn dog I've ever come across. He was actually very affectionate, but if he didn't feel like doing something there wasn't much we could do about it. Brings back memories. Thanks

    • Crewman6 profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent advice, and intelligently presented. I can tell you really care for your Akita. Thanks!


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