Do Akitas Like to Cuddle? Why Doesn’t my Akita Like to Cuddle?

Akitas are large & powerful Japanese dogs that may look intimidating. But do Akita like to cuddle?

Yes, Akitas do like to cuddle, but only with their owners. They are highly protective and loyal dogs who only like to cuddle the ones they trust.

Will an Akita like to cuddle with strangers? Very unlikely, instead he greets strangers with suspicion and aims to protect his owner from them. 

Certain treatments can make Akitas tend to cuddle more. But there is no guarantee that every Akita will accept cuddles from their owner.

Every dog is different and some come from a darker past with abusive memories. 

Reasons Why Akitas Like to Cuddle

Just as with human children, cuddling is a great way to form bonds. These emotional connections will create a sense of safety for your Akita.

An Akita may love to cuddle but only with his best friend- his owner. It will make him feel loved and appreciated.

Some reasons why Akitas like to cuddle are as follows: 

1. Getting Attention!

Notice your Akita trying to jump into your lap! Well, by being in your lap he knows he will get your attention.

Having descended from the wolf, the Akita is a pack animal. They have a strong sense of bonding with their owner who is their leader.

You will likely find your Akita wanting to cuddle you after you have been away on vacation. It is possible that Akita can suffer from separation anxiety. After all, they are a ‘companion breed’.  

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2. Loyalty and Protection

Does your dog want to cuddle when visitors have come to see you? Despite what it looks like, this is not an attention-seeking action. This is usually a sign of loyalty. He is wary of strangers and wants to protect his owners. 

Looking for a dedicated guard dog to protect your home and family? American Akita should be one of the preferred options.

3. Concern

An Akita is intelligent and cannot be fooled for long. If they sense something is wrong they will try to pinpoint what it is. Owners acting strange or making a change in their routine is enough for Akita to get concerned. 

Akita will turn to cuddles if he gets very concerned and anxious. This session of cuddling could help relieve the dog’s confusion and concern. 

4. Asking For Forgiveness 

Sneaking in for a cuddle can be a feeling of guilt!

Naughty Akitas like to cuddle to ask for forgiveness. Think of it as asking you to accept his apology. Perhaps he has broken something or eaten something he wasn’t supposed to!

I doubt you will be able to stay angry with a cuddly remorseful Akita. 

5. Boredom

Lonely and bored Akita can become a nightmare. Scratching up the furniture or barking non-stop are a few effects of boredom. Calling your Akita in for a cuddle can prevent some serious damage around the house. 

Hopefully, he will catch a nap on your lap and not feel bored anymore.

American Akita

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Why Akitas Don’t Cuddle? Do not Ignore These Reasons

Owners who have recently adopted an Akita might notice their dog is not the cuddling type.

Even though you are trying to connect with them, they resist any cuddling attempts. Don’t feel sad thinking your Akita doesn’t love you! There could be many reasons for this behavior. Let us look at each of them.

a. Insecurity or Prior Mistreatment

If you’re adopting an adult or juvenile Akita from a shelter, you should look out for this.

A previous owner may have mistreated him and he still carries the baggage. This means Akita will dislike cuddles initially until you win his trust! 

By being as careful and loving as you can, you may make your Akita learn to like cuddles. But if he still doesn’t like to cuddle, do not force him!

b. Injury

Pain or a tingling sensation may make an Akita “not liking to cuddle”!

Actually, it will be the opposite, he will not want to be touched at all.

You can observe your dog for any injury. If you cannot find one, you might want to just leave him alone. If time passes and this is still happening, you should seek a vet’s advice. 

c. Stress or Anxiety

An Akita, that does not feel happy, safe, and loved, will not like to cuddle!

If you want to make your Akita like to cuddle, you must make him feel the need to. Making a dog happy includes more than just good food, water, and a bed. 

The environment should be suitable as well. This means no larger aggressive dogs, and no mistreatment. Also, make an effort in training and grooming your dog, and just make him feel loved.

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How to Make Your Akita like to Cuddle?

Cuddling starts with first creating a bond between you and your pet. Then he will understand that cuddling is a show of affection.

Here are some steps to change your Akita’s mind about cuddling.

  • Start petting your Akita puppy or adult from day one. Get them used to the feel of your hand, it is unlikely they will hate it. Petting can be a way to calm and assure a scared new puppy. To make him more likely to cuddle, make sure to make your dog comfortable when being touched on the stomach and behind the ears.
  • Treats are a tempting offer for any dog. Feeding your new Akita directly from your hand can provide some trust. Food is also a great way to make friends. Dogs can become friendly when offered treats by their owner. 
  • Get your Akita used to sit next to you. A dog that is comfortable around you will feel comfortable cuddling with you. Of course, this is easier to do with an Akita puppy but still possible with an adult Akita. 
  • Grooming is perhaps the best time to bond with your furry companion. The Akita usually takes to cleaning its coat himself. But owners can get in action and brush their Akita. Dogs can become fond of being groomed and it can forge a strong connection between the dog and owner. 
  • Give them all your attention! If neglected, Akitas may not like to cuddle and instead will find a way to entertain themselves. Giving your dog attention will make him become used to getting his dose of daily cuddles. Start doing this while they are at a young age if possible!   

These tips will not work immediately, it will be a time-consuming effort to make your dog a cuddle-lover.

Do not give up after a few days. It could take a long time depending on the age and specific temperament of your Akita.

Observe and learn to read your dog better. This gives insight into what your dog likes and what he dislikes.


What to do if Your Akita Does NOT Want to Cuddle!

Let us look at the some do’s and don’ts if your Akita doesn’t cuddle you.

  • Do not force your Akita to like cuddling. The Akita can be a strong-willed dog and even stubborn at times. Any sign or forceful behavior towards your dog will weave unwanted thoughts in them. You should rather make cuddling a consensual activity for both you and him.
  • Avoid neglecting or punishing your Akita for not cuddling with you. With any dog regardless of breed, negative methods never work! If anything, it just creates fear and this is the last thing you want. A fearful Akita doesn’t like to cuddle.
  • Do not panic or become sad, your Akita will sense something is wrong. This negative energy will affect Akita as well who is quite good at reading his owner’s mood. Even if things don’t go as planned, keep trying and remain positive. 
  • Praise him for getting it right. A treat or two will be a great way to reward him, and a great incentive to try again! You can even offer him his favorite toy if he cuddles in your lap. Eventually, he will realize the pleasure of sitting still and just receiving cuddles.

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Are Akitas Affectionate?

Akitas have an inbuilt instinct to protect their owners and their home. This is simply because they love their owners and are loyal companions. In a way, they show affection for their owners by protecting them.

The Akita can show physical affection by cuddling. But again, this is reserved for just his owners (maybe one owner in particular). This dog is not as friendly as a Labradoodle or a Golden Retriever and strangers must not expect a kind demeanor. 

Strangers should not expect cuddles from an Akita either!

Instead, he might approach you with caution willing to protect his owner from you. In fact, he will only stick to his owners even when familiar faces come to visit. 

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Akita Temperament

Akitas are definitely a companion breed. They honor their owners above anything and anyone else.

Intelligent, loyal, and courageous, an Akita will be willing to lay down his life to protect his owner. 

This loyal characteristic of the Akita might be why the Akita likes to cuddle his owner only. He can be strong-headed and a bit stubborn.

Early socializing and training are important to prevent any biting incidents as Akita can have a high prey drive.

Want a dog similar to the Akita? Shikoku can just be your dog.


Getting Akitas to like cuddles will take a long time and requires some dedicated effort.

Don’t give up on the first hurdle! If you try hard enough you will be rewarded with a cuddly Akita. In case you are not willing to commit, we highly suggest you look at another dog breed.

Husky Mixes are a better social breed for families wanting no biting incidents. 

Are Akitas clingy?

Although ‘affectionate’, Akitas are not clingy dogs. They appreciate spending quality time with their family but are not ‘attention-seeking’ dogs like Chihuahuas.

Akitas hate being left alone and are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Even if you leave him at a relative’s home, he will miss you dearly as no one can replace his owners.