I watched a program a few weeks ago about a beautiful woman who had a love for tigers. After looking after some tigers all their lives one of them attacked her and almost killed her, she was rescued by a policeman who shot the tiger dead. Now you may be thinking what this has got to do with Akitas or dog training in general. Well keep reading, and I will explain.
The woman with the Tigers said she loved them like they were her children; she knew all their characteristics and was shocked when one of them attacked her for no apparent reason. I am no tiger expert but the mistake she made, in my opinion, was in treating the Tigers (wild animals) like they were human and imposing human emotions onto them. This is a mistake many people make when dog training
People do this all the time with dogs. They treat their dog as though it was human; children especially do this encouraged by Walt Disney films and other cartoon films featuring animals that behave and think like humans. This perception many people have about animals as humans are detrimental to dog training.
Not long ago a tourist in India was killed while she was stroking an elephant. The elephant gouged her to death. In the West, we are utterly deluded about animals thanks to the movie industry. Tourists in India will stroke and feed elephants because they have been brought up with Dumbo. In reality, elephants are extremely violent and unpredictable and should be approached with care if at all. This is not the view that the average westerner will have about elephants. Moreover, this distorted view is what prevents many people from embarking on a proper dog training course.
I used to walk my dogs with a guy who loved Dalmatians. He spent his life traveling around England showing off his dogs; in his spare time, he worked for a dog rescue center. He told me at the dog rescue center they hated it when a movie like Walt Disney’s Dalmatian movie, or some other major cartoon movie featuring dogs was shown in the cinema.
Shortly after the film appeared there would be a massive increase in the sale of individual dogs, if the 10 Dalmatians were showing it would be Dalmatians that were sold.
The result was within a few months, once the dog had started to get past the cute puppy stage and required taking out every day and became a little demanding. When the children got bored with it, and the adults found out that having a dog was a huge commitment, the dog was sent to the rescue center.
The problem was the children had watched the movie where the dogs were portrayed as humans with human emotions and human thinking patterns, with this kind of nonsense instilled in our children from an early age it is no wonder they have a false perception of animals. A potentially dangerous view.
When embarking on a dog training program, it is crucial that you understand how the dog thinks. The first thing you need to do when starting a dog training program is to eliminate all thoughts that your dog has human emotions; it hasn’t, that it can reason like a human; it can’t; that it sees the world through human eyes; it doesn’t. If your dog likes to escape from dog crates You can find many strong dog crates readily available these days. Strong crates are mainly made from steel but you can find lightweight ones as well.
Dogs have a completely different way of looking at the world than people. We are miles apart from each other. You need to understand this when training your dog. We are a different species.
When starting to train your dog to understand that the dog views the world, it is a pack animal and feels safe in a pack hierarchy where the strongest member of the pack is the leader, the pack hierarchy then moves down, and the dog needs to know where it stands in the pack.
Akitas as Natural Leaders
An Akita is a natural leader and will seek to take control of the pack. Your first job when training an Akita is to establish your dominance as the pack leader. There must be no doubt that you are the leader and other members of the family come next in the box with the dog at the bottom. Once the dog accepts this, it will be happy. As long as it allows you are strong enough to lead the pack, it will feel secure. The next thing it needs is its needs satisfied.
Dog training is all about setting rules and limits. About getting your dog to respond instantly to your command. Remember the crux of dog training is to get one reaction from your dog for one command.Dog Training
Dog discipline collapses when you give the dog plenty of love and affection but no training or guidelines. By giving the dog love and affection and no discipline you may think you are being kind to the dog but you are not. You are not providing the dog with a firm structure, and this will cause it to feel insecure, and an anxious dog can be dangerous. The whole point of dog training is to make the dog feel secure by providing it with a pack structure and strict boundaries to live within.
Before you start any dog training with your dog get to know its personal characteristics, with an American Akita, this is to be dominant and to lead. Once you know the dog’s nature, you can then work on training the dog to overcome its natural inclinations and to respond to your commands.
You may think you are making the dog happy by allowing it to live in an undisciplined world but you are not. Humans respond to love and affection, dogs react instinctively and are comfortable in an environment where their needs are met.
I am not saying dogs do not need love, of course, they do, but it has to be displayed correctly and within limits for the dog to appreciate it. You have to interpret dog behavior from a dog’s point of view. When your Akita comes to you and playfully nudges you. It is not playing. It is displaying aggressive behavior. It has sensed that you are weak and it is trying to become dominant by challenging you for the pack.
Start to look at your dog’s actions through the eyes of a dog. Avoid imposing human emotions or reasoning powers onto the dog. Accept that it is an animal, not a human, create precisely drawn lines for it, boundaries it cannot cross and your dog will be happy. Have fun with your dog but remember it is a dog.