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How Dangerous Are Akitas? Tips, Socialization & FAQ

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

akita dog standing at the park

How Dangerous Are Akitas? Tips, Socialization & FAQ

It’s easy to be enchanted by the Akita’s strength, beauty, and oddly adorable curled tail, but you should never rely on looks alone to choose a new pet. In the case of the Akita, some basic research will likely inform you that this breed is frequently considered dangerous by landlords, city governments, and insurance companies. But just how dangerous are Akitas, anyway?

While no dog is naturally dangerous, some breeds are likelier to become so without proper socialization and training. The Akita is one of these breeds, and their large size makes them even more intimidating. In this article, we’ll discuss why the Akita may be considered dangerous and what you can do to ensure this breed doesn’t live up to its bad reputation. We’ll also cover whether Akitas are dangerous to other animals.

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Why Are Akitas Often Considered Dangerous?

Akitas were developed in Japan to serve as hunting and guard dogs. Because of this, they are naturally protective and territorial. The breed also displays extreme loyalty towards their immediate family.

For an Akita, part of being protective includes instinctive suspicion of people they don’t know, including strange children. Unless they are taught to respond calmly, Akitas may overreact to unfamiliar situations and people, potentially with aggressive behavior. Because of their size, aggression from an Akita will always be more dangerous than that of a smaller dog.

Akitas are also independent, stubborn dogs. They aren’t as tolerant or adaptable as some other breeds. Unfortunately, they don’t do well with kids who are too young to respect their space and boundaries.

Serious Akita Inu dog lies on the grass in the autumn park
Image Credit: Dulova Olga, Shutterstock

Are Akitas Dangerous to Other Animals?

Due to their hunting instincts, Akitas can be dangerous to smaller animals, including cats. They are frequently aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex. Akitas typically do best as solo pets.

Why Socialization Is Essential for Akitas

All dogs should be socialized starting when they are puppies to help them become confident adults. However, this process is not optional for a protective breed like the Akita. Poorly socialized Akitas are much more likely to become dangerous to those around them.

Socialization refers to the practice of exposing a puppy to as many different people and new situations as possible. By doing this, the dog gains confidence and learns to distinguish between a real threat and something unfamiliar that simply makes them uneasy.

Without socialization, an Akita can take their protective instincts to the extreme, posing a danger to others. They may also become overly fearful in unfamiliar circumstances, again triggering an aggressive reaction as they attempt to protect themselves.

akita dog walking with owner outdoor
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Other Tips for Helping an Akita Avoid Dangerous Behavior

In addition to early socialization, Akitas should start obedience training as puppies. They are smart and love their owners but can be challenging to train due to their independent personality. They may learn what you want them to do but still ignore it.

Akitas are best suited for experienced owners with the patience and consistency to manage a large dog with their own mind. They need a firm hand to guide them and a lifelong dedication to training and socialization.

It is best to prevent your Akita from interacting with other dogs without supervision, especially those of the same sex. Supervise the dog around kids and ensure the children have been taught how to respect the Akita’s boundaries.



Despite their reputation, Akitas aren’t always dangerous dogs. However, they are likelier than other breeds to display dangerous behavior if they aren’t properly trained and socialized.  Judging a dog simply by its breed is inaccurate because many other factors influence their behavior besides just genetics.

Akitas can make loving, loyal, and gentle pets in the right situation. As with any breed, it’s important to do your research before you decide that the Akita is right for you. First-time dog owners, people with other pets and young kids, and those who don’t have enough time to devote to socialization should think twice before choosing an Akita to join their family.

Featured Image Credit: Nikoleta Vukovic, Shutterstock

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