Are Akitas Good With Kids?

By John Martin - November 17, 2023

Akita with owner

If you’re thinking of bringing home a dog, it is very important to consider a few factors i.e., the breed of the dog, size, temperament and most importantly if the dog can get along with your family, especially your kids. While most dog breeds are kid friendly, others do not adapt very well to homes having young kids.

In short, some breeds are better for families with kids rather than others and choosing the right breed is extremely important. The question is, “are Akitas good with kids?” In this article, we’ll discuss in depth whether this dog breed is suitable for homes with children.

In terms of their temperament, Akitas are known to be silent and aloof with strangers; however, they have a reputation of being very protective of their owners. And, if you’re planning to get an Akita and you have kids, then it may be a good idea to do a lot of research and understand the breed better before you bring one home.

So, the answer to the question if Akitas are good with kids is that this breed may not be the best for homes with kids. As we discussed earlier, Akitas are large and powerful dogs that grow up to a height of around 28 inches and a weight of around 80 to 100 lb.

They are very intelligent dogs but can be rather headstrong and their protective nature can make them aggressive at times. They can also become rather possessive of their food and toys. They don’t like to be fussed over and played with.

It is extremely important that your Akita is taught how to behave properly right from when he is a puppy and socialization with other dogs, people and experiences are also very important. With proper socialization and consistent training right from when your Akita is young, this breed can make excellent family pets and be safe to have around kids.

However, you must always supervise the interactions and play between your Akita and kids. And, you must teach your children how to behave around your pet. In general, Akitas are more suitable for families with older kids. We will discuss in detail some of the common questions we encounter when considering Akitas as pets, especially in families with kids.

Are Akitas Friendly Around Kids?

The answer to this both yes, as well as no. The key difference is the way your Akita has been raised, trained and socialized. The important thing is socialization and if your Akita grew up around kids from when he was a puppy, there shouldn’t be any issues. And, it is even better if your kids are well behaved with your pet.

If your Akita has been raised around kids, they tend to be protective of them, keeping an eye on what they’re up to. Akitas who have not had the chance to be around children can find the energy and noise of your kids rather overwhelming and may not take it very kindly.

The reserved, calm and dignified temperament of the Akita may be conflicting with most kids, which is why it is not really recommended to bring home an Akita if you have smaller kids.

This is because the breed does not stand any nonsense and does not really like the idea of kids climbing all over them even in play. However, for families without kids or with older kids, Akitas make excellent family pets.

Are Akitas Dangerous Around Kids?

This essentially depends on nature, temperament and how your Akita has been raised. An Akita has quite a complex personality, which can make it a challenge to raise them.

Akitas are renowned for their guarding instinct and this combined with their reserved and protective nature and powerful build makes them very good guard dogs.

And, if this guarding instinct is not controlled and becomes indiscriminate, then it can be dangerous for kids. However, this instinct of the Akita can be controlled effectively via regular and effective training.

Akitas usually choose a family member that they perceive as being close to and when they feel that someone is threatening their loved one, they can attack them, even if it is a child.

The reserved nature of the Akita does not show any signs of him being upset or give any warning that your pet is going to attack. So, if your Akita attacks suddenly, you may not be able to step in and control him.

It is also very important to remember that the Akita is a large dog and even if he likes playing with your child, he can knock them over accidentally. Also, kids should understand that Akitas are quite possessive when it comes to their things such as food, toys, etc. and your child should not try and snatch something away from your pet, even if he is well trained because he is sure to react badly to this.

Training Your Akita to Behave Around Your Kids

Akitas are very intelligent dogs, making them highly trainable. However, this breed is not very easy to train. They possess a streak of stubbornness and will not simply listen to what you tell them to do.

Akitas like being the assertive one in the relationship and they get easily bored during training. You need to be very inventive and clever when training your Akita.

Akitas respond well only to positive training methods and must be respected. Usually, harsh training methods don’t work very well with this breed.

You must also teach your kids to respect your pet and make them understand that your pet does not like to be teased.

It is a good idea to include your kids when training your Akita so that even your pet realizes that they should obey your kids when they give commands.

You should teach your kids not to touch your pet’s food while he’s eating because Akitas are food aggressive. However, your kids can give your pet his favorite treats during training for doing something well so that your Akita associates your kids with good things.

You should also ensure that along with learning to obey commands such as ‘come’, ‘stay’, ‘sit’, etc. when your children are around, that he should not jump. Teach your Akita the ‘down’ command to ensure that he doesn’t jump up and accidentally hurt your kids.

  • Socialize your pup with other animals and your children.
  • Encourage your pup to bond with your kids under supervision.
  • Teach your pet to behave when around your kids and reward him for his good behavior.
  • Teach your pet firmly, but gently and teach him what is right and wrong.

Teaching Your Children to Behave Around Your Akita

As much as you need to train your Akita to behave properly around your kids, likewise, your kids must also understand and learn how to behave around your pet. You should teach your kids that they should not:

  • Reach into your pet’s food bowl or snatch his food while he’s eating. The consequences of doing so can be quite serious because these dogs can be extremely protective about their food.
  • When your pet is sleeping, your kids should never wake him up, poke him or harass him. Doing so may make your Akita hostile to your child.
  • The Akita’s ears are very sensitive, so your children should not shout or yell at your pet. Shouting at your Akita can make him aggressive.
  • Your Akita’s tail is as sensitive as his ears and so it is very important to teach your kids not to pull your pet’s tail as this can traumatize him and make him hostile towards your kids.
  • Teach your child that he/she must never pull, hit or climb on top of your pet and encourage your child to handle your pet gently.
  • Encourage your child to bond with your Akita by walking or playing with him.

Teach your child to form a physical connection with your pet via gentle handling, patting or rubbing. Teach your kids to treat all animals with respect, including your Akita.

Make sure that they understand that dogs can be dangerous and how they would like to be treated. Make your kids understand that their behavior and actions can harm your dog and in turn, they can get harmed themselves.

Factors to Consider When Bringing Akita to a Home with Kids

If you decide to get an Akita and you have kids at home or are expecting one, then here are a few factors you must take into consideration.

  • Your Akita requires strong leadership and firm handling for which you must be prepared to be the pack leader and take charge. Sometimes, the dominant personality of the breed may make Akitas too much for people. And, if your pet does not respect or obey you, then it is most likely that he will not respect or obey your child.

  • If your pet sees your child as a threat, he can become aggressive. You should be aware of this and ensure that you have measures in place so that both your kids, as well as your Akita are safe.

  • Akitas are large-sized dogs and are powerful too and can harm your young child accidentally. So, you must consider your kids’ age before deciding to bring home an Akita.

  • In general, Akitas are calm and reserved dogs and they may not like the boisterous energy of your children.

  • The most important thing to consider when bringing home an Akita is the age of the dog. You must decide whether you want to get a pup or an older dog. If you decide to get a puppy, then there is no way to know what his temperament will be like until he is fully grown; however, your puppy will be accustomed to your children and become a well-adjusted dog.

    In the case of an older Akita, you will be able to understand his temperament, but you can socialize him and train him to get along with your kids.

  • If you have an Akita at home and become pregnant, then give your pet a lot of time to get used to the idea of a baby. Allow him to explore your baby’s nursery and smell your baby’s stuff. Once you bring your baby home, then make sure that your pet understands that your baby’s room is off limits.

  • Akitas tend to shed a lot and this could be a major problem if your child is allergic. And, if you don’t want your child to be inhaling or swallowing the hair, be prepared to be brushing and vacuuming a lot.

Are Akitas Good Family Pets?

If raised properly, with proper training and early socialization, Akitas can be good family dogs. However, Akita owners should practice firm handling and discipline. Akitas may not be the best dog breed for families with younger kids and can be dangerous if mistreated.

Akitas may do better in families with older children, who have been taught to behave around your pet and treat him gently with love and respect.

The Final Word

In conclusion, Akitas as a breed are loyal and wonderful dogs; however, they are not suitable pets for everyone. And, they may not be best suited for families with younger kids.

Akitas are not the easiest dogs to train; however, if you want a well-behaved dog, then he requires a lot of training. Socialization is also extremely important and the more your pet experiences new animals, people, smells, noises, environments and situations, the better it is both for him and for you.

It is possible to raise an Akita in a home with young kids; however, this requires a lot of work and experience. You must ensure that you do your homework and understand everything you need to know about the breed before you bring home an Akita.

It is important to understand that your pet is going to be with you in your home for several years to come and so, you must be completely sure that you can give him the commitment, love and support he needs to be a loving companion for you and your children.