Some of our Akitas currently looking for new homes.

Akita Behaviour & Temperament - Page 23



Another problem is the Akita's slowness in generalizing from a specific learned behavior. For instance, when you begin teaching the sit, your dog may be beside you in the heel position. Then you teach him sit in front, then sit when he is away from you. A German Shepherd will quickly learn to sit anywhere because he generalizes well. He is able to make the connection that the same action is called for regardless of where he is spatially. He will seem to understand the concept of "sit," so to speak.

Akitas, on the other hand, take much longer to go from the specific to the general. Instead of expecting the dog to grasp the concept, you may have to break the exercise into many component parts and teach each as a separate step and then, chain them together. Some Akitas seem to have an "Aha!" experience and suddenly get the point, while others never have a clue.

They may have more trouble with some exercises than others. In discussing this subject with a friend who is training an Akita in Open, she said she thought it applied to the problem she had with teaching the quarter turn. In this exercise, the dog and handler stand in a heel position with the dog sitting. The handler then shifts her position, in place, a quarter turn to the left. The dog must get up and reseat itself in the proper heel position.

All the class Goldens learned to scoot into position without ever really getting up, whie Teresa was still trying to teach her dog that when Teresa moved, the dog had to move too. Obviously, they need to try a different training method that takes into account a slower ability to generalize.



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