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We've had a little dog and now have a med/large (A Akita) dog.
I rather have no dogs, as I'm pretty afraid of 'em (and sometimes my own dog freaks me out..)
But hey, I deal with it. My Akita can be a sweetie when he wants to be.
Akitas are beautiful, but they are Spitz dogs (related to the Malamute, and these dogs resemble wolves and have similar personalities) but they can be very aggressive and try to "Top" you in your own home.
The best strategy with a dog like this is to take charge and do so frequently. We strictly control the food of our dogs (although they are constantly scrounging and with kids there is always food on the floor.) One of the techniques I use, if I am going to share a bit of my food after
we eat as a family (and feeding the dog after the family eats is actually a very easy to do Dominant behavior that they understand well, as it is practiced in wolf packs) is to take a bite of the food or even chew on it a little (EW!) and then give it to the dog. It then has my scent on it, and the dog knows "Food comes from Alpha Bitch! She Alpha Bitch! Good Alpha Bitch!" (OK, I'm guessing how dogs think, and in this context "Bitch" is a good thing, because the dogs know I am the "Breeding female" in the family, which also adds to the Alpha status.)
That and letting her know you are the Alpha around the house and yard and during walks will all help you to overcome your fear of her.
Any book or show by Cesar Milan contains great information for training and living with any dog, but with powerful and aggressive dogs like Akitas and Malamutes, his advice goes double!
Good luck with your sweet pup.