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Adding an Akita Puppy to our Family--Questions for Experienced Akita Owners

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

  
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Bear

Everybody's- Buddy
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 9:21am PST 
Thanks for all the info Mika. I know I'm presenting a lot of questions in regards to temperment, size, etc. but I appreciate all the responses you and Lobo have given me.

We are already preparing ways to socialize our Akita pup. It is very important that she (we have first pick of the females) knows the difference between good strangers and bad ones. We want her to know that kids are good, and to accept them. I know Akitas are extremely loyal to the kids in their family and have read they have an "affinity" with them, much like goldens and labs do with retrieving. I think that also drew us to the breed. I love that these dogs would do anything to protect their family, especially the children; and that it's nothing you have to train them to do, it's instinct. I'm not a fan of dog parks either...too much risk in my opinion. I also want to try and establish a better reputation for the breed. Being out in public frequently is a great way to do that. As I said earlier, we'll be introcuding her to other dogs in our family and friends, so hopefully that limits dog aggression, at least with those dogs. Two good friends of ours have a VERY large mix breed dog. She's a big goofball, and when we go and visit them, I think it would be good for our pup to be around her. She's very well behaved and gentle, especially for her size, and I think she could be a good influence. We have a self grooming facility right down the road, so we'll be taking her there to do that. I don't want her to be hesitant of us grooming her, but she'll also be professionaly groomed. I'll even have our daughter help shampoo, so she is fine with her doing those things as well.

I'm very excited. I've spoken with the breeder multiple times. Our girl will be sold as a pet only, with a limited AKC registration, and we will be required to have her spayed, which is fine with us. We're not breeders, we just love the breed and want one as a family pet. We will be going up to see the parents before the pups are born. We were actually encouraged to come meet and interact with them, which I took as a very good sign. We will definitely take advantage of that. He has sent us pictures of the parents, as well as some of their past pups. I greatly appreciated that.

Any other suggestions for proper sociaization? Has anyone does the CGS program? I've thought about that.

Thanks so much!
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 5:16am PST 
I can honestly say that all of mine have adored children. Since my grandchildren are not here constantly,they have adopted the 5 on the other side of the fence as their own.They also love trick-or treat night and seem to love attention from anyone under 10. They also seem to instantly recognize older people with special needs. We have several teens in our area who have learning disabilities or things like Down's Syndrome,Even though they can be leary of teens due to being teased by a few,they actually go to these children and behave very gently,they seem to understand that although their bodies are big,they are little people inside. Size is anyone's guess,all I can tell you for certain is they will be between the size of Mom and Dad.Mika is small at 24 inches(barely) and 75 pounds. Kai is BIG at 28inches and over 110 pounds. His Dam was the size of Mika but less fine boned.His Sire is his size and 130 pounds. Both of mine are loosely within standard but absolutely only pet quality. Both are speutered. With Mika due to her nature and things I have seen growing up on both sides of the issue we waited until after her first heat,and in fact several. If at all possible try to wait until after the first heat to avoid spay incontenence,also know that as much as people will say otherwise,speuter tends to slow down their mental maturity slightly and they can stay more puppy like. Even if your girl likes other females in the beginning and continues to be socialized with them,that can change as adolescence comes along.Mika was fine until around age 3 but now has to be supervised with even other females that were playmates. A good "leave it" command in a firm tone,that you know will stop your girl from whatever is essential. Your breeder sounds like mine,we were encouraged to come multiple times and meet all of their dogs,sent pics of the pups weekly after they were born,and encouraged to come see and socialize with all the pups from about the first week on. We did meet them all and held Kai at less than 48 hours though. Mika came from a different situation so we don't have the same memories with her.
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Bear

Everybody's- Buddy
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 7:34am PST 
Your dogs sound simply phenomenal. So intuitive to the human condition.

I wouldn't consider spaying before her first heat. Our veterinarian suggested that to my sister with her Shih Tzu, basically telling her the same things you just outlined to me. I just want her to be able to mature...naturally (?) if that's the word I'm looking for.

I'm very excited to meet the parents, and actually hope to do so either this weekend or next. I was told we could make our pick at about 3-4 weeks of age, which sounds about right to me, as we don't want to pick until we can get a feel for personality. I want to see the pups as a whole group and then individually. Sometimes pups are different when they don't have the support of their brothers and sisters.

I was kind of assuming the same thing you said about size. I figured if the mom was 100 lbs and the dad over 100 lbs, I could expect an adult in that range.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 9:22am PST 
Actually over my years of research and dealing with the breed they all seem to have an odd sixth sense and if they dislike or mistrust someone they have a reason. As I said mine adore my neighbors childern and are fine with most of the family but the one grandmother has no like or trust in large dogs and mine know it,they tend to bark at her a bit,especially if she tries to keep the kids from them which she typically does,which in turn upsets the kids.They do not like that at all. I have spent over 16 years raising and researching the breed and adore them for what I know they can be. I am more than happy to share information and help anyone I can in whatever way I can.
I will help in getting you familiar with the breed for now but if you need help with anything besides crating once she arrives let me know and I will be happy to help as much as I can. Just a note,there are few Akitas that don't really care for kids,but they are easily spotted as early as 6 weeks and given your breeders concern I'm sure they will guide you to the pup best suited to your family.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 6:37pm PST 
Sorry, I went on vacation, haha.

Lobo has always been so gentle with children. Oh my dog, watching him with the little kids from my brother's school is hilarious. He just LOVES all the attention he gets. The only issue I've had with Lobo, has been he gets energetic, and because there are other dogs around, I try to keep him in a more calm mind. Lobo is male dog-aggressive, though he's absolutely phenomenal with females. And he isn't exactly "aggressive" but he's very rude. He's never bitten another dog, but he has that "dominant" stance around other males, and will get in another male's space. There are a few that he's friendly with, but only two that he'll play with. The other that he spends a lot of time with is a Coonhound/lab mix, and Lobo mostly ignores him, but they have had sleepovers(the Coonhound's owner is a childhood friend of mine; she's very much like a sister. the two aren't ever kept in the same room, though).

The one little kid Lobo doesn't particularly like is my little brother. HOWEVER, I will give Lobes credit. Where other dogs would have definitely attacked, Lobo simply growled. That, and my brother was about to be attacked by another dog, and Lobo stepped in and chased the dog off - without ever biting the other dog.

Lobo has allowed children to climb all over him, tug on him, brush him, just completely mess with him, all with a very calm countenance. Heck, he'll even allow me and some of my friends to lay on him - but only, like, three of my friends. And, although I would not recommend ignoring a growling dog, Lobo's growls are never a precursor to a bite. I know, it's really confusing, but Lobo's growl are more of a "This is annoying, but I'll deal with it" instead of a "Don't do this."

... I wish I could explain it better. XD You'd just have to know Lobo, I guess.

It sounds like you're going to spend lots of time socializing, so that's awesome! way to go

I hope that all goes well with your new friend!
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Bear

Everybody's- Buddy
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 20, '12 9:34am PST 
Thanks! We are going to meet the parents up our pup tonight. She is due at the beginning of August. I'm very excited to actually see the dogs in person and hope they are as wonderful as they seem on paper.
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Bear

Everybody's- Buddy
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 6:56am PST 
We saw the dogs! They are well cared for. They have an air conditioned dog house and a separate indoor area for when the pups are born. The parents were about the size I expected; the father bigger, the mother a little smaller. (though I don't think 90lbs can be classified as small) the father was very friendly. We pet him and he just loved up on us. The mother was more reserved and questioned our presence, which partly attributed to her carrying pups. Plus every time she would come up to us the male would but in front of her. They didn't show any signs of aggression and were well socialized. My dilemma: I'm fonder of the size of the male. We are getting a female. I know that they'll probably be in between the parents sizes so I probably shouldn't make too much of it. Plus we have a male Pom and I'd hate to have any same sex aggression.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 11:10am PST 
If you adore the breed size will not matter. We had expected Mika to be considerably larger than she is but knowing her wonderful personality,her size or lack of it,has really never been an issue. Everyone used to think she was huge,until Kai came along and by the age of 6 months was the same size. I think you are wise in avoiding the SSA issue,Even with my experience,I don't think I would want to take the risk of what adding a second female to our home would have been like. Sometimes I get the feeling that it may be time to add another puppy to our home,but then having one of each and loving them as I do I would rather not upset the wonderful dynamic we have here now.
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Bear

Everybody's- Buddy
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 11:45am PST 
We actually talked about it and are sticking with a female. We said that eventually when we are ready to add a 2nd dog again we'll get a male. We just can't sacrifice Bear's safety, and he is 8, stubborn, and adores female dogs, big or small. I'm good with our decision still and am just happy to be adding a large dog. I also think the mother's size was deceiving because the male was SO big. I can't wait! We are still working on names though. Any ideas? We would like something that means beautiful, strong, or magestic. It doesn't have to be Japanese, I just like bouncing off ideas from others.

Oh...on a side note, I'm thinking it is a good sign that his dogs had good personalities and we good with our daughter. They were really attentive to her and aware of the fact that she was a lot smaller than them. They were very gentle when licking her and walking by her. She thought they were the greatest thing ever and was gentle petting them. Also good in my opinion. smile
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 7:15am PST 
Sound like you will have no problem. The things you mentioned are all excellent signs. As I said to see Mika with Kai as you can tell from this photo,she appears tiny compared to him. By herself before he came along everyone was telling us hoe huge she was. With a 90 pound Mom,I don't think your female will be all that small.hugwishes on enjoying the arrival of your new friend. I must warn you from my experience the females tend to be a bit bossier than the males and will decide to take over control from other pets quickly. They however catch on quickly that all people in the pack are above them,even the smallest one.
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