Will Akitas play fetch? (a quick guide)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Will Akitas play fetch? We will talk about Akita’s favorite games, explain why dogs need to play, and tell you how to teach your dog to “fetch”. 

Will Akitas play fetch?

Akitas can play fetch if you teach them how to do it! There is a myth surrounding Akitas, that they like to sleep all day and are not good with playing fetch, but that is not entirely true.

The Akita Inu is an athletic and especially playful and affectionate breed of dog, so it is essential that it perform different physical activities throughout the day, whether it be playing with a ball or other accessory, taking long walks around the city, go jogging in the park or accompany you on an excursion.

Since the Akita Inu breed of dogs needs to play and do physical exercise, these are some of the most suitable activities to carry out in the company of him and that will strengthen the bond of trust between both of you.

Akita Inu’s favorite activities

  • Ball games: The traditional game of throwing a ball for the dog to bring it back and thus throw it back is ideal for the Akita Inu, since it not only allows them to do a great exercise but also, this game can take place anywhere, such as your own home garden.
  • Walks around the city: The Akita Inu is specially adapted to travel long distances, making it ideal as a companion for long walks around the city. In the case of the city, it is advisable to intersperse walks with races in open spaces, such as a park, although special care must always be taken if the dog is not yet fully socialized, that is, it has learned to relate without aggression with other people and dogs.
  • Excursions: As with long walks, it is advisable that you make excursions to the field or to areas far from the urban center in the company of your Akita Inu, such as to a clearing or to the field where you can mix other games such as ball.

As we have seen, the Akita Inu is a breed of dog that allows you to strengthen the bond of trust between the two through play and exercise, sharing experiences.

How to teach your dog to “fetch”

The first thing to know is the level of hunting instinct that the dog has, if it is an Akita, which is a collection hunting dog, it will love to go looking for anything you throw at it, especially the ball. Once we know this, we must work their nose, because many dogs only catch the ball if they see it, they do not know how to use their nose.

How do you work the nose? Well, I recommend that you start by throwing the ball to a visible place, but while you throw it, you keep the dog caught, and when the ball is already reaching the ground, let the dog free while you say the word “search”. 

We repeat this several times so that he learns the search signal, which is what we will have to say when he does not see the ball and has to use his nose to find it. This can be done alone or with an assistant.

When we see that he listens to the verbal signal “seek”, the next step is to do the same (hold him), throw the ball to a place with tall grass so that he does not see it, and is forced to use his nose. I recommend starting with grass a little higher than the ball, but not much higher, and increasing the density of the terrain as we see successes.

This is a very light search training, professional training is much more complicated, but that is the basis.

It is a natural game, based on the dog’s own instincts. I also recommend, if you can get the help of someone, that while the helper is holding the dog, the owner, with the ball in her hand, runs to hide while calling her dog to motivate him. 

When the owner is hidden, the helper releases the dog, prompting him to search, and the dog, once he finds the hidden person, is given the prize, the ball. At this point, in rescue, when he finds the hidden person, he is taught to bark to mark, but at the private level, it is at everyone’s taste.

All these games are more psychological than physical, and as they get more complicated, the better, the more the dog will have to concentrate. Here we are going in favor of the instincts of the dog, with which we are satisfying its needs as a dog and as a breed, in addition to creating a much stronger and special bond.

Why do dogs need to play?

Dogs love to play, it is an attitude they will probably have throughout their lives. This is because humans have bred dogs in such a way that they retain many characteristics of puppies, and therefore the desire to play persists even as adults.

For puppies, play is extremely important. Just as a child discovers the world and becomes part of it through play, the same thing happens to a dog.

Dogs discover their physical capacities when playing, they discover how fast they can run, they discover how they can turn, turn, avoid obstacles, jump, and what kind of complex maneuvers they are capable of performing.

For these reasons, play is a fundamental part of the dog’s education and will define its character for life.

It is through play that the puppy begins to learn his first survival behaviors such as fleeing from danger, defending himself from others, defending his territory. They also learn to interact with humans and with other dogs or other animals.

Dogs love to play fighting, in this way they discover what dominance consists of and learn to recognize their social position.

They also discover what behaviors they should use to influence others and thus learn how they should act to get something they want or what they should do to avoid something they don’t want to happen.

A puppy who is deprived of the game, who has not interacted with other puppies, who have not run after a ball or has not played bite and chase, will surely be a very submissive animal as an adult and will probably be very afraid when another dog or unknown human approaches him and this will lead him to not enjoy a social life and can transform him into a very violent animal.

Playing at fighting, the puppies will learn that violence is unacceptable to live in a pack. But, how is it that fighting learns not to be violent? When they are very young, dogs love to nibble on each other, and thus they will learn very quickly that if they do not bite gently then something bad happens. 

Puppies have very sharp teeth, and when they bite their litter friend, they will hear a loud squeal and their friend will withdraw from the game and it will even happen that their mother punishes him. In this way, they will learn from puppies that physical aggression brings them problems.

Just as a child likes to play cops and robbers, or play with a toy gun while shouting “I’m going to kill you bastard,” this is nothing more than a game, an act, and children know it well. In the same way, dogs have similar games such as chasing or wallowing while chewing, yelling, growling, and pretending to fight. But this should not be taken as aggression, but as what it is, a game.

It is for this reason that dogs have a series of signs that indicate that it is a game and not real aggression:

The dog leans with its front legs outstretched, butt and tail up while looking at its playmate.

This is the most common signal that dogs use to say “come on, let’s play I really want to.” After this bow, they generally run quickly, or circle, or run to their playmate. And this is most of the game, chasing each other and pretending to fight.

Dogs don’t have a great variety of games, but they certainly never get bored of playing the same game every day. One of his favorite games is to grab an object (such as a ball or stick) and runoff in the hope that a human or partner will chase it. 

If he cannot be chased, then he can approach the other dog and drop the object to the ground, thus insisting that the other dog try to take it, and as soon as he gets close, he will quickly take it before he steals it and will start running again. . We could call this game “catch me if you can”.

“The fight” is another of his favorite games. It consists of making a big ruckus with growls and barks, soft nibbles, and showing each other teeth while pretending to be in a big fight.

The bottom line

Play is what integrates a dog into society, it will make him lose fear and discover life. Therefore, they should never be deprived of the possibility of gambling, they should not be given fear when two dogs play fighting or running, because without a doubt that fear will mark their character forever.

If you have a puppy that has been separated from his mother and siblings, try to play with him as much as you can and better yet make him relate to other animals at a very young age, so that playing he learns to relate, learns what the limits are and learns what is right and what is wrong.

Click here for more tips on how to train an Akita Inu. 

If you have questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Will Akitas play fetch?

Do Akitas like to play?

Akitas absolutely love to play, but each dog is different and its behavior is deeply influenced by its owner and the way it grew to be. If you teach your dog to play since puppyhood, he will gladly play any game with you!

Do dogs naturally play fetch?

Nowadays dogs do play fetch naturally, almost by instincts, but originally, dogs were not bred for that! 

Are Akitas really that bad?

Akitas are not that bad, but like any other dog that is not properly trained, Akitas can be dangerous. Also, Akitas in particular are very easy to provoke and almost deadly to smaller animals. You have to make sure you socialize the Akita from puppyhood. 

Why are Akitas so mean?

Akitas are not mean unless provoked or if they do not know how to socialize. Akitas are very loyal and protective of their owners, so they can quickly become aggressive if they feel their owner is in danger. 





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