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Some of our Akitas currently looking for new homes.

Akita Behaviour & Temperament - Page 20

TRAINABILITY

 

Of course, to accomplish all this, an Akita must be trainable. Personally, I think trainability is an innate characteristic of all dogs and that all dogs are trainable. Puppy Aptitude Testing helps match people to dogs and dogs to training methods, which is one reason I strongly advocate its use.

Some combinations of people and dogs just do not work well together, such as a dominant dog with a shy, timid person. Likewise, a very dominant person may overwhelm an omega bitch. Occasionally, you may encounter the person who Ian Dunbar describes perfectly as "dog dim." A short conversation will tell you that they haven't got a clue as to why dogs do anything nor do they have a clue about how to get them to do anything!

If they are otherwise suitable, they can learn a lot provided they will read or watch videos. Appropriate reading material, such as Mother Knows Best and a good training book or video can provide a basis for understanding their dog. It's a good idea for you to provide this material for their review before they pick up their puppy and for you to question them closely to make sure they understood it. These owners will require a disproportionate share of mentoring to stay on track. Just as some people cannot learn a foreign language, a few of these people will never have a clue about their dog's real personality.

Fortunately, dogs are very adaptable and better at understanding people than we are at understanding them.

Training Classes

When we discuss training, I caution new owners that an Akita is not going to sit at your feet with shining eyes that beg you to tell him what to do. Compared to training a Border Collie, training an Akita is an uphill climb. Does that mean they are not trainable? Certainly not!

On the other hand, finding a suitable training class and utilizing it successfully can be difficult for a newcomer. Because most instructors are obedience competitors, they tend to have the breeds that work well in OTCH competition, which means most have Goldens or Border Collies, followed by Poodles, Shelties, or Aussies. Training these breeds is very different from training an Akita.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with a number of training classes, before you sell puppies, take a tour and watch how the people train. Look at the types of dogs in their classes and how well they progress. Talk to the trainers about Akitas and see if they are receptive to having your puppies in their classes. Pick up brochures from those with whom you are satisfied and give them to your puppy-buyers.

In placing puppies, we can't rely on the new owner's love for his dog to keep the dog in his household throughout the dog's life. We have to see that the ew owner learns to control the dog and gains some understanding of how they can work together.

Formal training needs to begin in puppyhood. First, dogs are learning regardless of whether they are in class. Secondly, a 50- pound puppy is much easier to deal with than a 120-pound adult.

 



 

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