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  #21  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:09 PM
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My neighbors used positive training methods with their dogs. Their old lady was a rescue and very personable. The two young males were also very good with people and were taught not to pull with GL's and positive reinforcement. They used to do sledding with their four old rescues (all are deceased now, 2 Akitas and two husky mixes), but I don't know if they will with their young boys once they are done growing.

None were good with dogs outside their family pack. They are not dog park/daycare kind of dogs.
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  #22  
Old 05-17-2011, 07:38 PM
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How are they with strange people? I really do like the akita...I can't imagine one fitting into my life within the next 10 years, give or take, but I might be interested in the future.

I'm interested in guardian breeds, but I also entertain a lot. Akitas and Rotties are two breeds I absolutely adore, but I'm not sure how comfortable one would be with 10+ rowdy guests in their home.
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  #23  
Old 05-18-2011, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniquityBelgians View Post
As a groomer I have had multiple experiences with akitas. I have done a few longhaired akitas -- for some reason these dogs seems much softer, sweeter, and better with people. These were always our best akitas to groom. Only one had dog aggression issues (with other females).
It's really interesting you mention that. Ranger's breeder told my brother that longhaired akitas tend to have a much softer temperament, which is why she felt comfortable letting them have him as a first time dog owners (she mentored heavily the whole time too). They aren't the only breed I've heard people say that about, you hear the same thing with rough vs. smooth collies and a lot of belgian breeders I've talked to swear the different varieties have different temperaments according to coat and color even when they are littermates. I think there some be some sort of linked gene, like the coat type and certain temperament traits might be coded on the DNA strand close in location or something.
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  #24  
Old 05-18-2011, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
JL'sPack....it sounds like you have pretty similar ideas about training to me. I just think someone reading that original post is going to think their dog things that they are a part of a pack and if they behave like the "alpha dog", the dog will respect them.

Also want to add - you don't say how you handled it exactly, but showing "dominance" over by either taking resources, alpha rolling, or pushing for growling, a resource-guarding dog is very likely to increase the behavior...you're very lucky if it didn't, in your case. It's recommended to never punish or reprimand a growling dog, because next time, they won't growl as they were taught - they'll just bite.

Making a dog sit before you give them food doesn't have anything to do with being an alpha, it has to do with them not being spoiled. If you control the resources, they're more likely to want to listen to what you have to say. They know it gets them good stuff.
lol a bit more investigation and discussion and we actually have similar views, not necessarily opposing ones in retrospect, I suppose "alpha" wasn't the best trem to use in my original post - what I mean is just as we've been discussing - being a "leader" and a strong one, i didn't mean to imply using physical force. I think the difference between what you are disagreeing with in the teachings of certain "pack leader trainers" and what I believe to be true, is that there's a difference between your dog knowing that his owner is in charge vs. bullying the dog to do what you want. Whether or not a person believes in the "pack mentality" of dog ownership, Akitas in particular WILL behave like and "alpha" dog -meaning, they are very stong willed and honestly will try to get YOU to do what THEY want if you don't make it clear that it's the other way around. i agree that this can be accomplished by rewarding positive behavior and the dog understanding that his resources come from the human and only if he's behaving appropriatly. You may call that type of behavior something other than acting like an "alpha", but when Miya was a puppy and growled at my son, I made her sit and down. I then made her lay on her side (NOT forcefully, she easily accepted my "nudge") which naturally made her show submission. At that point I just stood over her for a few seconds, then had my son come over and stand above her. Now, there was no need to "alpha roll" her and you may not agree with even what I did do, but all I know is it worked. There is no way on the face of the earth I'm going to not discipline a dog who lives in my home and growls at me over something like food, especially my child. That behavior is unacceptable and if NOT corrected will lead to biting. In other cases such as growling out of fear or an extreme sense of being uncomfortable, that's a bit different and I take a more understanding, passive approach. (Our Beagle once growled and snapped at my niece when she was visiting and while our backs were truned just for a minute, she had cornered the dog trying to "drive" a toy car on her - in that case, it was understandable what my dog did, she didn't know what else to do, so she was not disciplined and instead my neice was taught that that's how dogs say "leave me alone you're scaring me".) There was no force what so ever, I was simply trying to show her mine and my son's "dominance" so to speak. After that, I gave her the chew then took it away and had my son do the same, reapeatedly till she was comfortable with it, praising her for being calm about it. I then started keeping my hand in her food bowl as she ate every meal for a few days, also taking the food bowl away, praising when she let me, then promptly giving it back with a treat added to the bowl for an extra reward. Soon after that she learned "leave it" at puppy class and there's never ever been a resource guarding issue since. Situations like that and some others I believe do need correction as well as praise when they get it right. My dogs including the Akita are not afraid of me at all, but they do respond to the slightest commands, even without anything verbal - if they're in the kitchen when I'm cooking, all I have to do is snap my fingers and point to the living room and they go, not because they're afraid of what would happen if they don't, simply because they know I'm in charge. I'm not really sure how to fully explain what I'm trying to get at to be honest (lol), but I suppose it's more about "attitude" than anything or as some would say - "energy". What I meant originaly by "weak" person is, some people like to just "baby" a dog, you definatly can't be that way with an Akita, they will walk all over you. Like I've read by another member here who owns Malamutes, I think it's crutial to make someone interested in a "tougher" breed understand the bad or the hard parts before the good. If the OP is considering an Akita based on just beauty yet is only used to breeds such as Goldens and Labs, someone like that could have a rude awakening raising an Akita, I've seen it - that was the point I was mostly trying to strongly convey in my original post. I use the term "alpha" becuase I don't like saying to people "the dog needs to know you're the boss" because to me, that conveys old school ideas of beating a dog into submission and I'd never ever want to make someone think in those terms.
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2011, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Romy View Post
It's really interesting you mention that. Ranger's breeder told my brother that longhaired akitas tend to have a much softer temperament, which is why she felt comfortable letting them have him as a first time dog owners (she mentored heavily the whole time too). They aren't the only breed I've heard people say that about, you hear the same thing with rough vs. smooth collies and a lot of belgian breeders I've talked to swear the different varieties have different temperaments according to coat and color even when they are littermates. I think there some be some sort of linked gene, like the coat type and certain temperament traits might be coded on the DNA strand close in location or something.
Slightly off topic, but I have heard the same thing about Afghan hounds from many different breeders/owners.
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  #26  
Old 05-18-2011, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
How are they with strange people? I really do like the akita...I can't imagine one fitting into my life within the next 10 years, give or take, but I might be interested in the future.

I'm interested in guardian breeds, but I also entertain a lot. Akitas and Rotties are two breeds I absolutely adore, but I'm not sure how comfortable one would be with 10+ rowdy guests in their home.
My old boss's Akita was not great with strangers, he had to warm up to people and sometimes decided he didn't like certain ones . Miya on the other hand, LOVES people. We socalized the heck out of her though, between puppy classes, pet stores, parks, camp grounds, friends and relatives visiting etc. If we have a bunch of people over, once we let them in the door and she sees that they are no threat, she's fine with a small crowd, actually likes to great everyone and will go to her "favorites" for a good scratch. They are quite good at "reading" people though, if someone is nervous by their presense, that could cause an issue. Everyone that visits our home though are "dog" people and just love her, so she's fine, never an issue. Now if someone entered my home without me letting them in, God help them lol.
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  #27  
Old 05-18-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniquityBelgians View Post
As a groomer I have had multiple experiences with akitas. I have done a few longhaired akitas -- for some reason these dogs seems much softer, sweeter, and better with people. These were always our best akitas to groom. Only one had dog aggression issues (with other females).
However, I have had very few good experiences with regular akitas. I think that it's crucial you find a breeder that breeds for temeprament. I have only groomed two akitas that were not snapping turtles, and they were both owned by a woman who took training and soclialising very seriously; The dogs were lovely.
We were never a shop to muzzle dogs unless it was absolutely 100% needed; But the rest of our akitas were muzzled by the owners before they even made it into the shop, because they could not be touched by us unless this was the case; We would get instantly nailed by the dog. We had one akita X that was a doll until the nail clippers came out, and then it was a wrestling match and someone would get bitten. She unfortunatly knew what the muzzle was and would bite as soon as she saw it.
Definatly not the dog for someone who isn't willing to put in some time and effort. They need a good pack leader, good solid training, lots of socialisation -- and if you want the dog professionally groomed, definatly something to start young. They can make great pets, but certainly are not for everyone!
I've never had ours to a groomer, so I'm not positive how she'd be witha stranger away from my or my husband, I'm imagine fine though, other than nervous. I actually taught her (and my other 2 dogs and even 2 cats) to allow me to cut her nails completely by myself. I just ask her to "down" and she will actually role onto her side on her own and let me clip away without even a flinch from her. I taught it as a puppy by doing the same thing (it's so much easier when they don't have any bad experiences first like a quick being hit or being restrained for it) and if she would put her face by my hand as I was going, I'd gently have her lay her head down away from my hand and pet her for a few second before proceeding. Of course this is always foloowed ny a few treats My neighbor saw me clipping her nails outside by myself one day and her jaw dropped lol. I wish everyone would work on things like grooming with their pets very young, vets and groomers and pets too wouldn't have nearly such a hard time. Miya's never had a muzzle on, or needed one.

It's soooo important to work really hard right from the begining and these are actually the kind of problems I'm refering to originaly, they do take a certain "type" of owner to be great dogs, mainly a dedicated, knowledgeable one.
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  #28  
Old 05-18-2011, 11:40 AM
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Just wanted to offer some more helpfull insight - here's a link to breed specific forum I belong to (it's for all Japanese breeds, but Akitas are popular and alot of the people on there have been raising or breeding Akitas for years and really know their stuff):

A Japanese dog forum community for owners and enthusiasts
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2011, 11:22 PM
Gixxermike Gixxermike is offline
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how bad is the shedding? I've read that they only shed twice a year but I've heard others say they shed all the time.

How would akitas do in a hot climate if you keep them indoors most of the time?
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  #30  
Old 05-19-2011, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Gixxermike View Post
how bad is the shedding? I've read that they only shed twice a year but I've heard others say they shed all the time.
They shed a lot!
I have 2 an inu and an American Akita and i can tell you there is a huge difference between them they are like 2 separate breeds.

I don't use any dominance or alpha stuff with any of my dogs and neither do any of the other Akita owners i know, its just not necessary.

They are not for the faint hearted. They are sharp and intelligent but don't learn like many other dogs. They cause most people to think way outside the box.

I love them but i will probably not have an American Akita again i prefer the Inu.
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