Ask Victoria – Akita doesn’t like strangers or being groomed

April 5, 2011

Karen from North Wales writes:  We have a 22-month old Akita and he hates being groomed or bathed – he snaps and snarls.  He is adorable in every other way at home but he’s not great with strangers – he bares his teeth if they want to pet him.  He has never been hit (I know this as we have had him since a pup) but it is unnerving when out on walks when people he doesn’t know come toward him to say hello.  Most people we have met have been dog owners and understand.


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14 thoughts on “Ask Victoria – Akita doesn’t like strangers or being groomed

  1. Kris

    I had a problem with a new foster that would snap at strangers that would try to pet him. When I took him to training, the first thing we taught him was the touch command. That taught him that a hand coming towards him isn't going to harm him and may have something good in them for him.

  2. Leslie

    As an owner of another Asian breed (Jindo mix) who is wary with strangers, I wonder if the distrust of strangers is also breed related... I have learned that many of the Asian breeds (especially Akita's) tend to have this wariness with strangers. My dog is OK with adults, but has always been afraid of children. I rescued her when she was about a year old so something could have happened before I got her. I will try these suggestions with my dog and kids. Thanks Victoria!

  3. Rohini

    My Dog will never listen to us without my dad around.
    1) He used hit him if he doesnt listen
    2) he barks or attacks others in my house (not always, only if some one comes and if we try to control him)
    3) only my dad can bathe him
    4) He is loving but we can play with him or even touch him only if he allows us, else he snarls and attacks
    5) He will fight with my dad (not bite but bark), if he shouts at us or beats us
    6) We have cats with us. He doesnt mind if they eat from his plate also, but when someone comes home he barks at them and chases them away.
    7)He is not neutered
    8) We cant put the leash on him (snarls/attacks) at all
    9) He doesnt pee/poop inside the house.

    In short he is what he is and we don't bother his presence untill he comes and puts his head under our hands. My dad won't listen if we tell him not to beat him.

  4. Katie

    Ohmygod Rohini! Why would you hit your dog?! That's what makes him agressive cause, he thinks he's going to get hit again so he is protecting himself. Do NOT hit your dog!!

  5. Janis

    I live in Cyprus and have 2 dogs both of which I had neutered. I found Benjamine - a tri-coloured Pointer chained to a tree in Oct 2007. He was 6 months old and was all skin and bone weighing 18 kilos. I did not intend to keep him, just to rescue him and take him to PAWS. However our eyes met and we bonded instantly. He also bonded with my husband when I brought him home and he became part of our family. Vets vists, good food, neutered at 7 months, gentle, loving to everyone and so very intelligent, loved his training sessions and was a joy to train. No mess ever in the house or outside, as he tells you when he wants to go for a walk; the perfect dog in every respect. We felt so lucky to have been the ones to find him and I know he loved being with us. In Feb 2008 my husband died suddenly and the bottom fell out of my world. We had only retired to Cyprus in Sept 2007 to commence our own business - and I would have been running it from home so plenty of time to spend with Benjamine and walks. The first few months after Allan died were extremely difficult for me - no friends here, dealing with all the formalities etc. Benjamine was my brick and he kept me going. 3 months later I took him to training classes, purely to socialise with other dogs, as he was already extremely obidient. I also took him to agility classes, again to socialise and to have fun. I even took him to the PAWS dog show, where he won 1st place in the Best Hunting Dog section. Suddenly, from nowhere and for no apparent reason, he became aggressive when out on walks. Anything or anyone he saw he went crazy at with bared teeth and was he became so difficult to handle. It got so bad that I was getting up at 6 am to take him for his long walk before anyone else was about and I now have him on a halty. On one such walk there was a small box in the middle of the pavement. As we approached a little head appeared. The box contained a 6 week old black and white pointer x beagle. Benjamine became his old self and loved and nuzzled this puppy. Obviously I could not leave her there so I carried her home with us. She too became a member of my family as Benjamine adored her and mothered her, and I called her Bella. She too had all the vets treatment and was loved and cared for by both me and Benjamine, and she went through the same training that I had done with Benjamine. She too is very loving and very intellegent and the 2 of them are inseperable. However, Benjamine is still 3 years almost on, extremely aggressive when we are all out on walks. He is so protective of me and Bella has picked up this behaviour, little as she is. I have tried everything that Victoria's programmes have shown, but nothing works with him. He is not food or toy orientated so does not focus on either. I have even triend a whistle, but nothing will get his attention. He goes from a Darling in the house to a Demon on walks. In addition, I can go out duirng the day, but I dare not leave them in the evening as they are extremely destructive. I leave the back door open and the lights and TV on and give them large treats and Kong toys stuffed with food but without success. It does not matter if I am away for 30 mins or 2 hours in the evening, the destruction is beyond. Any suggestions would really be appreciated please......... .

  6. JAKE

    i have a Rotty with a similar problem to this. Hes not even a year old yet, but hes VERY insecure on a leash and will try to bite anyone (man/wome/child) who wants to come pet him. I really need this problem fixed as his breed is black listed where i live and if he has an inccident he could very well be put down. However i didnt hear victoria mention how to make the akida NOT be afraid on walks, onley to not let anyone touch him. I left victoria a question, but if anyone reads this and has a good idea please lay it on me, anything will help!

  7. Dons

    Did you socalise your dog as a pup get him used to people nod other dogs very important and he must viev you as the most dominant you should never let it ignore comands or it will thinknits in control

  8. selena clayville

    PLWEASE READ IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hi victoria my parents are going to put my dog daffney to sleep in two weeks i i cant find a home for her no one realy wants her becouse she is do aggresive .She is a good dog and very intellagent and sweet to hummans only not animals. Somtimes to little kids that are scared of her she looks at them in the eys and barks loudly wlie slowly coming into there space . She is trible to other dogs . She has killed a sheep and molled un countable dogs i love her and want a good plase for her can you take her victoria please email me if you can or cant PLEASE respond she is a great dane lab shepherd 75 lb and 26 inches to shoulders this is a picture of her p.s i am a very good dog triner as well and i can fix highly agresive dogs but my mom cnt stand her though she wont let me train her not to be aggresive cuz i do that by socolizing her with other dogs and time i know to keep her from attcking if i am prpard but she has gotten itto somaney dog fights with me around mom dosent trust me and if she killed another animal mom would have to pay 26000 fine yes i am good with animals that i have gotten the privladge to pet a wild coyote and pick it up in my neghbors yard while saving it from there crule coyote traps thnkyou
    selena 🙂

  9. selena clayville

    hi victoria are you willing to take dogs i have one that is extreamly high in dog agresion and we will have to put her down soon maby in a week or two if you wont take her if you cant give me some sugejestions on were she can go .she is ...

    weght 75lb

    age 2 years

    hight 26in

    breed greatdane/lab/shepherd

    agresion 1 to 10 she is =9

    humains she knows friendly ness is 1-10 is 8

    humans she dosent know frendly ness is 1-10 =4 brks loudly may bite if they run up to her and bks up and growls dosent wnt to attak

    protectiveness twards me 1 -10 =8 only whene i am scared and she feels threted she will gard me and bare her teeth to intimidate others

    color multi colord almost black with white paws and whit on her face whit chest

    helth issues very healthy 1 -10 =10 p.s she will even eat coyoties parts who have had the misfortine of geting cought in the neghbors traps she has gotten cought and we rescued her befor she died

    intelagence 1-10 =10 very teachable

    desscription her favorite things to do is run and lay on soft beding and eat

    she is well manerd in the house but may get in to things when left alone .she eats about 4 cups a day and gets our for a walk three times daily. she is hyper out doors and not indoors

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