When to start?
Right after you take the puppy to your place. From the first days in a new house, step by step, you should start socializing your little friend: instill an understanding of the internal hierarchy, make it clear who is the “alpha”, what are their toys, and what are only yours, where are their bowls, and what are exceptionally yours, teach the “place” command and so on. It is not a full training yet, but a dog education, the basic knowledge that a young friend of yours must learn so they could join the family as smooth and quickly as possible.
First week for initial adaptation will be enough. Akita puppies are by nature very curious and easily interact with people. Therefore, if a week later you notice your puppy is still anxious and avoids communication, you will have to contact an animal psychologist.
Welcome, Dog Handler!
You can introduce the American Akita puppy to the training guru right after the immunization quarantine (1-2 weeks depending on the vaccine). Note that it is not necessary to immediately start training outdoors. Quite the opposite: it is more favorable to organize the first “lessons” at home, so that your pappy is less distracted and could focus for interaction with the dog handler.
Trust the experience of your fellow owners of this breed: the sooner you start, the softer the basic adaptation period will pass. The main thing is to understand that the harsh methods of training (fear, force, etc.) are outdated long ago. They are the reason to the popular belief that training before six months is unnecessary, since stress overload cannot be avoided. Therefore, dear friends, look for adequate and competent specialists who keep up with the times, and start practicing as sooner as possible: why should you wait until your puppy develops bad habits, which you still have to uproot.
Two-month puppy. What to do?
Since your puppy is still in isolation at home due to the immunization, you can devote your time for home training.
Well, of course, the very first step is toilet training. In our case, the napkin. This must be done, as even after walks continue, you should mind that physiologically Akita puppies are not able to hold for a long time and answer the call of nature only 2 times a day. You will have to wait at least six months, or even a year, so a napkin can be a great help. Remember that the first successes need to be consolidated for quite a long time, following a special method of toilet training.
Next. Collar and leash.
What are my boundaries?
This is it – the keystone of your life together. Perhaps, the most difficult moment in education. You should know: everything you allow to your cutie pie will become a stable behavioral habit for an adult pet. No, he will not overgrow: everything you teach in childhood will shape the dog’s further behavior. So, what should you pay prior attention to:
- Our hands are not a toy! You cannot grab and bite human hands even during the game. This applies equally to any limbs.
- These are your toys, and these are mine! You can only play, bite and drag your own toys. Furniture, clothing, skirtings are not toys.
- I sleep in the morning – you sleep too! Do not let the puppy wake you up whenever he wants to, do not get fooled by plaintive whining, gentle licking and other manipulations, otherwise you will not be the master of your time, but the dog.
- Learn how to quietly leave home. Your puppy may go crazy and howl. The more you get nervous before leaving, persuade them and go all fuzzy wuzzy, the more difficult it will be for them to let you go.
Important: don’t get overboard. Discipline is necessary, but excessive austerity and constant punishment can build up cowardice and aggression. Always remember that at this tender age, their mental health is still very unstable. Less punishments, more rewards: only praise and encourage with sweets and games.
Three-month puppy. Meeting the outside world.
Hooray! Finally, you can go for a walk now – it is a very important step in the animal socialization.
Really carefully (start with 10-15 minutes a day) introduce the puppy to the various manifestations of the world around them: from a quiet courtyard, go to noisy crowded streets; from single cars to busy roads. He should see other animals as well: react adequately to cats, birds, adapt to canines. It is very important that your puppy sees and gets used to such things from childhood, stays calm during your joint trips and does not try to escape in panic.
Again, pay special attention to steady stress factor increase, in steps, so as not to injure the puppy’s delicate mental health. Gradually increase the walking time and with it the time the dog is in crowded places. Remember, vacation outside the city in the bosom of nature for a long time can turn out to be the other side of the coin: health benefits are undeniable, but the puppy grows out of the city noise and will have to re-adapt.
Important socialization steps:
- Get accustomed first: find a friendly owner with a calm dog for the first acquaintance. Don’t be tempted to jump into a big doggy party right away.
- Teach your puppy that outdoors they can only take food from the owner. Any treats from the ground are forbidden. This golden rule may even save your dog’s life in the future.
- Business before pleasure. We go for a walk to do animal’s business at first place, and not just for entertainment and games. We do not take home “what’s ours”.
- You cannot pester everyone: not all people and dogs crave communication with your pet.
Always remember: at this age, it is very important to regularly repeat all the commands you have passed and continue to patiently work on behavior reflexes: even if it seems that you have mastered a certain skill, repeat it over and over again.
Four/Five-month puppy. Mutinous behavior again or who is the boss?
- Heel! Your dog must learn to walk alongside you: at any pace, with or without a leash.
- Come! Unquestionable return to the owner.
- Discipline: commands “Sit”, “Down”, “Wait” by voice and gestures. Aimed at developing the dog’s ability to control itself, calmly wait for the owner.
- Certain actions prohibition: barking, attempts to put anything into the mouth, obtrusive behavior.
Six-month puppy. Teenage rebellion.
Puberty, hormones and all other pleasures – be strong, you have got a teenager who will question the established hierarchy and try to undermine the designated boundaries. Allow one or two rules violation, and the dog will stop following commands that have been worked out.
You need to be extremely careful, as at this age it is so easy to ruin your relationship and loose trust by being harsh. Be patient: now all the flaws become visible, and a lot you will have to repeat. Delicacy, moderation, system approach and motivation are your principles.
And, of course, look for a specialist familiar with the modern canine training system for dogs, based on principles of animal psychology.