This breed is prone to being teased by children and what makes things difficult is that they are not sporting about it and end up attacking the children in retaliation. If an Akita bites, the most likely target would be a child visitor. The Akita is not used to interacting with outsiders, nor is it friendly with people who are strangers or irregular visitors.
The Akita is a very private dog, and as has been observed by an expert on Japanese breeds, he owes this trait to his upbringing in the typical Japanese setup.
There’s further explanation that says that the Oriental homes in which the Akitas are generally brought up, are much smaller by Occidental standards, and thus social gatherings are always held in public places. This explains the wary attitude of the dog where visitors, especially children are concerned.
Although famous for being trusted by Japanese mothers, who often leave them alone with their children, the Akita can often be very aggressive towards unfamiliar children and might even bite them when driven wild thanks to their incessant teasing. Children should be taught to treat these dogs with patience and kindness.
One positive aspect to their temperament, however, is the fact that they can eventually be made to grow tolerant towards strangers. They often make the first move towards a visitor if they are used to seeing him on a regular basis. This holds true, especially if the stranger happens to have something with him, some tidbit that might be of interest to the dog.
Their reticence comes from an innate dignity, which is quite rare in other dogs and thus they can be tamed with reason and proper tutelage.
One major flaw in these dogs is that they are extremely unfriendly towards non-family children. They cherish their own family kids but visiting children and adults lie in the danger zone and face the brunt of their tantrums. These dogs often ignore indifferent strangers, which is in a way better than their hostility.
The Akita is very food-possessive but with patient training, they can be fine pets, otherwise they tend to get bored easily and often end up going untrained.
A plausible solution to this breed’s hostility towards unpleasant strangers is training them outside of home or taking them to training classes to socialize them with unknown children and adults. One cannot expect each and every individual that happens to drop in, to be friendly with the household dog and in such a situation it is best to train the dog to be adaptable with different people.
There could, however, be a worst-case scenario when the dog does not really appreciate the training procedure and may growl at the trainer. In such a case, the trainer may even try to discipline him with a smack or a jerk of the collar.
If visiting children don’t go down too well with the dog, which is majority of the time, there should be someone to monitor his attitude towards the former. He should be made to sit and watch the family kid play with that of the neighbor’s, and thus, eventually made to get accustomed to all strangers in general.
This process is referred to as desensitization. It should be done repeatedly and with different children. The dog gradually tries to be at home with non-family kids and even when left alone without any supervision, learns to behave.
This should, however, not ideally be the scene. An Akita should not be left to be with a stranger, kid or adult, without an overseer. This would not only decelerate the training procedure, it might even backfire. The presence of the owner always makes things easier, both for the owner as well as the dog.
The bottom line is that if one happens to own a typically private Akita that does not really gel with strangers, especially child visitors, and reacts to teasing with a bite, like most Akitas do, he should take measures to train him into obedience.
All said and done, the final responsibility lies with the owner, who should make sure that the training process turns out to be successful. He should not merely impose rules upon the dog but make sure that the children and adults visiting are on their best behavior, or at least neutral towards the dog, if not overtly friendly.