Author Topic: Information/AdviceRequired  (Read 15739 times)

Offline mckgem

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Information/AdviceRequired
« on: June 13, 2008, 01:38:52 am »
Hi, My name's Gemma - first time I've posted, so 'Hi'

I'm after some advice.

Last week we adopted a 5 week old Akita dog.
The people who were selling him are well-known in our area for treating dogs like meat and at 5 weeks we had to get him away from them. So it was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision.

We already have a 9 year old Boxer bitch and a 3 year old Dougue De Bordeaux bitch, and a relatively small house - with a big garden and a huge field nearby. The dogs do get left on their own while we're at work but my boyfriend comes home at 9am and 12pm so it's usually only a few hours at a time.

The plan is to look after Bruce (the Akita puppy) until 10 weeks and then decide to either keep him or find a nice home for him. He hasn't been injected yet so is in a crate and separated from the girls.

He's been good as gold (i'm sure that will change when we introduce him to the girls) until last night. He was feeding and I picked a piece of food off of the bottom of his crate then put it in his bowl. He went for me - at 6 weeks old. I gave him a stern 'no' and a tap on the nose and he seems ok since. We don't know anything about his breeding, so i'm a bit concerned with regards to his temperament, being so snappy so early. Was he just pushing the boundaries? What is the best way of getting him out of the habbit?

Basically we have a HUGE decision to make in a few weeks time and I'd like as much information as possible - especially with regard to the breed and our situation.

Thanks for reading.

Offline TINKSMOM

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 06:10:49 am »
I had concerns when I got TINK because of her Kom side. I had read they are independent thinkers and guard dogs. They can be very defensive of what they consider "theirs".

Anyway from the very beginning, both my husband and I would walk over and pet and talk to her while she ate. Sometimes we would throw little treats in her bowl or pick the bowl up before she was done and put treats in.

One day she "growled" at me over a bone. She was abuot 12 weeks old, it was almost like she was "trying it out". Anyway, I put her leash on and lead her away from the bone. We then went back to the bone together, correcting her as she growled until she stopped. It is very important for your dogs to respect your authority but I beleive with a lot of patience and repitition any dog can be trained.

Now it is no problem for myself, my husband, other dogs, or kids to pick up toys, treats, ect.

Try putting him on a leash until he behaves himself. There were times TINK was on an ambilical all day, but she has learned well and has a wonderful temperment.

Hope I helped.
My name is Lori.

Mom to
Tinkerbear (lab/kom mix)
Harley (Newfy/Saint mix)
Boomer (Cat-russian blue)
RIP - Tater Marie (basset 11/95 to 1/08)
RIP - Velcro (Kitten-Tiger Stripe)

Offline mckgem

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 06:40:24 am »
That's a brilliant idea. Thanks Tinksmom.

Offline KiraNGunnersmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 07:21:46 am »
Hi and welcome to BPO!!  It's nice to meet another person owned by an Akita.  We have had our girl since she was 6 mos old and she will be 7 years in Sept. 
She had mild food aggression(which is typical of the breed) and we were able to break her fairly quickly of that as we had a 8 mos old daughter who would put her hands in Kira's bowl while she was eating. 
We had to repremand her a few times with a firm and loud no and she did get smacked on the muzzle once for snapping at my hubby(it was an auto response from him) My hubby came up with the idea to put some kibble in his hand and put his hand in the bowl and let her eat it.  We did that a few times and then we also took her bowl away a few times and added more kibble to it to show her that sometimes good things happen when it's taken from her. 
This is something you will have to be consistent with.  hand feeding also helps alot with thier trust issues.  We now have a Mastiff pup and we began training him too even though he has shown no food aggression.  While he is eating i will go and pet his head and sometimes pull the bowl away and add a few more kibble while he watches.
You need to show who is boss with this breed asap, they need boundaries with thier humans and other fur family.
They are highly trainable and very smart and will get "one over on you" if you allow it.
We have been told many times that Kira is not typical of her breed because she is not guarded and snippy with strangers nor is she stubborn.  I believe it's because we have not allowed her to  be that way.
It may take a bit but be patient and remember his background and that he may just need extra love from you and you to show him that a hand near his bowl is not a threat.
He is still so young and I cant stress it enough, SOOOO trainable just dont give up on him.
best of luck to you and please keep us updated on him and PICTURES please, we LOVE pictures!
Kira- Akita
Gunner-Mastiff
cockateils-Peanut Butter & Jelly
Beta fish-Mak

Offline mckgem

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 07:32:36 am »
Hi and welcome to BPO!!  It's nice to meet another person owned by an Akita.  We have had our girl since she was 6 mos old and she will be 7 years in Sept. 
She had mild food aggression(which is typical of the breed) and we were able to break her fairly quickly of that as we had a 8 mos old daughter who would put her hands in Kira's bowl while she was eating. 
We had to repremand her a few times with a firm and loud no and she did get smacked on the muzzle once for snapping at my hubby(it was an auto response from him) My hubby came up with the idea to put some kibble in his hand and put his hand in the bowl and let her eat it.  We did that a few times and then we also took her bowl away a few times and added more kibble to it to show her that sometimes good things happen when it's taken from her. 
This is something you will have to be consistent with.  hand feeding also helps alot with thier trust issues.  We now have a Mastiff pup and we began training him too even though he has shown no food aggression.  While he is eating i will go and pet his head and sometimes pull the bowl away and add a few more kibble while he watches.
You need to show who is boss with this breed asap, they need boundaries with thier humans and other fur family.
They are highly trainable and very smart and will get "one over on you" if you allow it.
We have been told many times that Kira is not typical of her breed because she is not guarded and snippy with strangers nor is she stubborn.  I believe it's because we have not allowed her to  be that way.
It may take a bit but be patient and remember his background and that he may just need extra love from you and you to show him that a hand near his bowl is not a threat.
He is still so young and I cant stress it enough, SOOOO trainable just dont give up on him.
best of luck to you and please keep us updated on him and PICTURES please, we LOVE pictures!

Thanks Kirangunnersmo m. I need to have a chat with my boyfriend today. Since Bruce snapped at me last night I don't think he wants to keep him, but I love him!! I'm going to print all of these replies to take home to him.

I don't know how you guys upload pics in here but I have some on my photobucket account. Links as follows:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image088.jpg
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image086.jpg
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image080.jpg
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image070.jpg
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image075.jpg

My girls....
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image004.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image003.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image025.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b12/qualityburd/Image021.jpg

Offline KiraNGunnersmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 07:48:58 am »
OMG, he is so tiny!!!!  He is a tri- color like my Kira.
What a sweet, sweet baby.
Your girls are beautiful! 

you can post by clicking on additional options and it will guide you from there if you wish to indulge our picture fetish from here on...lol!
Kira- Akita
Gunner-Mastiff
cockateils-Peanut Butter & Jelly
Beta fish-Mak

Offline navarre1316

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 09:00:19 am »
I had the same problem with my GSD.  He was a bit older when I was dealing with it, I think you can probably cut this out real quick since he is so young.  Anyway, I also had him eat out of hand, or he had to eat with the bowl in my lap.  Sometimes I would sit next to him while he was eating with my hand in the bowl.  Bruce may have had to fight for food wherever he was before.  Let me also add, and you probably already know, but 5 weeks is very early to take a pup from the litter.  Right now the mama would be teaching him some manners!! So socializing him is going to be very important!!!  I got my first GSD at 5wks also (I didn't know it at the time) and for awhile, he was a challenge!!  Good luck and welcome to BPO!!
God placed me on this earth to accomplish certain tasks...I'm so far behind I'll never die!!

Navarre: GSD 9/13/99-5/14/06 patiently waiting
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Offline KiraNGunnersmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 09:08:35 am »
I had to add this.  we had Kira I would guess 5 mos and you can see why we couldnt ever tolerate food aggression.  Kira often found a butt in her bowl!! 
Kira- Akita
Gunner-Mastiff
cockateils-Peanut Butter & Jelly
Beta fish-Mak

Offline mtaig12

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008, 09:33:53 am »
Hi! Just wanted to second the advice you've already gotten. Max is our chow/akita mix. We got him when he was about 2 years old, and so didn't deal with puppy behavior. But, we have had to reinforce to him that he is not the dominant one. I think if he had gotten more of that as a puppy, perhaps he would not have challengend the boundaries we set so much or so often. 

We have not had any aggression issues with Max-he loves all animals and people. But he will sleep on the bed/couch when we're not there, and counter surf or steal food if he's given the chance (both of these are no-no's at my house). The food issues because a problem when we were fostering another dog (Dusty), who would steal food but not get caught. Max was SO obvious that he had obtained the forbidden food, but couldn't understand why Dusty got away with it.  ::)

My advice is don't let him get away with anything just because he's a puppy. No growling, no food aggression should be tolerated no matter what the situation. They are very smart dogs, and will push the envelope. If you give in, they will push even harder next time.

Good luck!
Tracy

Tracy and Mike - parents
Alex and Ian - kids
Max and Star - canines
Oscar and Emily - felines
Nibbles - hamster
North Carolina

Offline mckgem

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 02:15:01 am »
Thanks guys you've all been really helpful.

Unfortunately my boyfriend does not want to keep Bruce. Why do men have to be so practical? I'm totally thinking with my heart on this one.

There are lots of reasons not to keep him and although I want to keep him I can't really say much because it wouldn't be fair for him to stay when only one of us wants him to.

So we're going to find him a nice home.   :(

I feel like a foster parent. I'm glad we got him away from those horrible people who had him though, I know we've given him a better start in life.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2008, 07:36:37 am »
If you are going to rehome him, try to find a rescue group that specializes in these types of dogs to do it.  At this age, he needs to go into a home with other dogs.  Dogs train puppies, much better than most humans do.  Puppies need to learn submission, hierarchy rules, etc. He also needs to be in a home with humans that are experienced and willing to work with dogs that are more of a challenge.  I know from taking on ChiChi, they can be a major project and some can literally change your life style and habits.  She certainly has.
Kathy
Max  2 Irish Wolfhound
Jake  2 Great Pyrenees
Cody   3 Tibetan Mastiff
ChiChi 1.5 Caucasian Ovcharka
John and Nicki Maine Coon cats

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008, 07:47:26 am »
I forgot to add that for me, food aggression is one of the easiest issues to deal with.  I feed raw, so my dogs are handed each piece of meat.  They all go out with me and I hand each of them one piece at a time.  They take it, eat it and wait for the next piece.  Every day, I take at least one piece back from each dog, just to reinforce the fact that I give and I can take away.  They will not take a piece of meat out of a bowl, even if I set the container down.  On the rare occassion that they get impatient and do take one, a simple no is all that is required for them to drop it.  Cody will from time to time growl, when I take his back, but he has learned, if he growls, I still take it away and then he has to eat it, with me holding it, the entire time.  Dogs with a "hard" personality are more of a challenge than  others, but they are so worth the time, patience and effort.  Consistency is the key to training and living with these breeds.  I don't have an Akita, but I don't think they are any more difficult than Tibetans and Caucasians.
Kathy
Max  2 Irish Wolfhound
Jake  2 Great Pyrenees
Cody   3 Tibetan Mastiff
ChiChi 1.5 Caucasian Ovcharka
John and Nicki Maine Coon cats

Offline mckgem

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 02:33:23 am »
Well, the good news is that my boyfriend has changed his mind. He couldn't bring himself to get rid of the puppy!!  ;D ;D ;D

Also, I seem to have managed to sort out his food aggression (for now - until he gets fed with the other dogs)
AND - Taught him to sit!  ;) It's so cute.

Offline KiraNGunnersmom

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 09:33:03 pm »
That's great!!  Cant wait to see him grow up here on BPO!

Kira- Akita
Gunner-Mastiff
cockateils-Peanut Butter & Jelly
Beta fish-Mak

Offline GoldenPyrs

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Re: Information/AdviceRequired
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2008, 01:13:16 am »
Awwwww, congratulation s!  He sounds like a very trainable little guy that really wants to please, so I'm sure that with time & effort you can work through any issues that may pop up.  In the meantime though, we are dying to watch the little guy grow.  I need a photo fix for my puppy fever.   ;)  :D
Marie

And my pups:
Daisy a 9 y/o Golden/Lab mix
Sammy a 6-7(?) y/o Great Pyrenees adopted 3/07
Cassie a 3 y/o Pyr/Mystery Snuggle Bunny mix adopted 2/07

My angel girls waiting at the Bridge:
Cara 1989-2001 Great Pyrenees
Sally ? - 1993 Dobie(rescued '92)
Halley 2002-2006 Great Pyrenees