|Barked: Wed Jan 6, '10 11:28am PST |
|Ok, sex of the puppy? Its going to depend HUGELY on the temperaments of your existing dogs. Take some time and evaluate your pack carefully. Who is most dominant? Is anyone pushy, or a bully? Is someone very submissive? Does anyone resource guard (fight over toys or food)?
I am probably most concerned about your ACD, as from my experience they can be dominant with other dogs and are scrappy (have a light trigger, can be quick to pick a fight). Akitas are, in general, very dominant and are disinclined to tolerate bullying, it will tick them off and start a fight. So if your ACD has that kind of temperament an Akita may be a questionable choice, especially a female. Females can be tricky to keep together. They are bitches, after all. It seems like in same-sex conflicts the females fight more viciously and are less likely to eventually get over it and be able to live together. Spaying does not help. Keeping two dominant bitches together is very tough to do.
I would think that a male Akita would be a bit safer bet, especially looking at it long term. Your brother may not always live with you, and then it would just be your ACD and your Akita, and opposite sex pairs are generally a little less trouble to manage. In addition, neutering both male pups fairly early (about 6 months) will go a long way towards curtailing dominant behaviors and jockeying for position. Intact males can become quite intolerant of each other at times.
Many Akita breeders consider 'dog intolerance' to be a part of the breed and have made no effort to breed away from it. Try to find a breeder whose dogs are able to live safely with other dogs, or who has at least produced dogs living happily in multi-dog households. As much as we all like to protect our breed by saying that "they are not aggressive by nature, it is how they are raised", the truth is that there are some genetics that are better than others. Some genetics are more likely to be 'dog intolerant/aggressive'. Of course, you do your utmost to raise and socialize the puppy well, but give yourself the best start possible by picking a pup from good parents. And of course, a good breeder will know her puppies well and will be able to help you choose the one most likely to fit into your family.
I'm not sure if it really matters if you get the pup now or when the Mastiff is older. I think what matters more is that you do your homework to find a good breeder, and then purchase your puppy at a time that will be convenient to YOU so you can do the best job raising it. And of course, practice good introductions and good management in the beginning to give the dogs the best foundation for their future relationship.
If you want more info on multidog intro and management here is a good article:
Or as Mika's mom said, I wrote a bit on the subject for her, it's over on the Akitas and Friends group.
Or also visit www.leerburg.com. The DVD 'Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet' is very good for this topic. There are also a wealth of free articles, some pertaining to keeping multiple dogs together or to introducing a puppy to your pack.
Keeping a multi-dog multi-sex household can be a very fine balancing act at times and it does require work, but you CAN do it and it can be very rewarding. Remember though, you are considering mixing some large powerful dogs, and mistakes on your part could end VERY badly for the dogs involved. So take the matter seriously. I've made some big generalizations in this post. I do not know you or your dogs, and I am not a professional behaviorist, so take all my advice with a grain of salt. If at all in doubt, consult with a local behaviorist or trainer or experienced Akita person who can visit your home and observe your dogs for themselves.
I wish you the very best of luck. Hope you find the perfect Akita pup for your family!!
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