|Barked: Tue Jan 15, '13 11:48am PST |
|We have a 5 year old fixed male Akita mix (1/2 Akita & 1/2 some type of big herding dog) and a 3 yr old Catahoula mix. Sam (akita) we got at 8 weeks old from the shelter and started training and behavioral work from day one, even hired a dog behaviorist who did 10 at home sessions and 1 group session from age 3 months to 1 year. We learned a lot and feel we did a really good job raising him. He is very socialized with people and other dogs male or female. All the people in our lives comment jokingly if they can have Sam and give us their dog to train. Guiness (Catahoula) is a perfect balance for Sam's high energy. He is very calm almost lazy, very easy going. Really nothing fazes him. We adopted him at 4 months old he was found on the street (we live in a very remote mountain area) and they said it didn't seem as he had ever been "owned" by anyone. He was far easier to train then Sam other than the tricks he almost trained himself, it was as if the behavioral stuff was already ingrained. We have fostered and dog sat in the past, also all our friends have dogs and bring them over for play dates. Both of the boys do fine after Sam proves himself as leader in the dog pack (never being aggressive, just assertive) everyone plays with toys and has fun. Both S&G know that my husband and I are the top leaders but Sam would be next in line.
I volunteer at our local shelter and because the dogs are treated well and kept till adopted and not but to sleep I do ok with not feeling like I need to bring them all home, the other day the shelter got in a 7 month old full (or 90% at least) Akita pup. He was surrendered at a shelter at 2 months old and because the shelter wants the best (it's a good county ran facility) for the dogs they enrolled him in the Pups on Parole program and he went to live at a jail and be trained by them for 5 month. He graduated with flying colors. They have a full journal written by his trainer and has all his behavioral needs met.
He really grabbed my heart and I am scared that if someone adopted him that doesn't fully understand the needs of the breed all the progress he has made so far would go down the drain without continual work and he might end up locked in a dog run or worse his whole life.
We aren't "in the market" for another dog and if we do adopt him we most likely will not be fostering as much as we do now. On the other side I feel like we could give him a great life. We have 3 acre’s, 2 of is fenced 6ft. Our home is large and because we can't have children our boys are our kids. (We do have nieces and nephews that come visit) We are VERY active people. Every weekend is a hiking trip or snowshoeing, running, backpacking etc. The boys always come with us and even though they are lead trained we are also able to a lot of off leash hikes because we go in very remote areas and they have a good recall.
I feel like even though we weren't planning this maybe it was meant for us. I am a little nervous, right now it's pretty easy there is 2 of them and 2 of us so when they are on leash or at events or the holidays it's easy. So adding a third I am sure will add a little more complication, cost and logistical planning then we have now. I feel like I am going both ways, I talk myself into it, then out of it. I know if we do adopt him we have the knowledge (Sam was a hard headed little brat till about 3 yrs) and we would be able to work through the problem with him and he could be another lifelong love in our home. Something that caught my attention is reading that around 3 yrs old Akita can become aggressive to other males. Now I have never experienced this in Sam, we have always had to reinforce his training when he pushes his limits but he and Guiness (different breads but..) are super close and love each other like they were born together. Does anyone have any advice for us? Things to consider? experience with multiple males in the same house? (all fixed) My husband is going to meet him today (I have to work). Thanks for any help, insight or good thoughts.
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