Seeking advice on a 4.5mo puppy

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Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 12:38pm PST 
Hello, I have a 4.5 month American Akita (male) called Chiaki. I would like to hear opinions and suggestions as to dealing with his behavior that I'm slightly worried about. I thought it would be best to deal with anything that has a potential to develop into something serious.

(1) I was at a puppy class, and a German Shepherd puppy comes over to sniff. Chiaki calmly accepts the sniff and sniffs back, but after a while the German Shepherd puppy jumped at Chiaki in play and he snapped (the air). Is this a sign of dog aggression? How should I deal with this?

(2) I have a Shiba, Ryo (female, 4 years) who is on the small side (18lbs). When Chiaki plays with her he gets quite rough sometimes and startles Ryo - this usually happens when he chases her and mounts her from behind or runs into her (which must hurt). Other times when they play Ryo mouths him and he'll lie on the grass and mouth her back. He doesn't make noise when playing with her (except a rare squeal), while Ryo will always make growling/snarling sounds. Is this normal play between dogs? How should I deal with the Shiba's noises - is it something I should worry about?

(3) Ryo went to drink from Chiaki's water bowl, and he went over and snapped at her. This happened before when I gave them treats too. Lately he hasn't done this as I've been keeping a closer watch when there is food/his water involved. Is there a good way to get him to "share" willingly or is it better to just keep watch and keep food/water separate? He doesn't seem to get possessive with his toys.

(4) When I go to give Ryo pets/affection in the backyard, Chiaki will come rushing over and push himself between Ryo and myself or bowl her out of the way. I ignore him when he does this, but Ryo gets startled, and now when I approach Ryo outside she avoids me because she's wary of Chiaki. This is horrible and I feel so bad. I'm not sure how to deal with this as ignoring doesn't seem to have done much. Any suggestions how to deal with this?

(5) Sometimes when I leave the kitchen area (Chiaki is confined to kitchen area until fully potty trained and reliable re chewing) - e.g. to go to shower, Chiaki will start to whine/howl, then when I finish showering I can hear him start up again once he hears me moving around upstairs. This seems to be improving it used to happen every time but now its maybe 50% of the time. I wait until he stops making noise before entering and don't give him attention straightaway when I reenter the kitchen. He does seem very much like a velcro-dog, there was a point where he would get up every single time I went behind the kitchen counter and follow me because he wasn't able to see me. Nowadays if he's relaxing he won't bother getting up. Will he "grow out" of the occasional whining? Is there something more I should be doing?

I'll list some good things about him : He's extremely loving and seems happy-go-lucky. He's so friendly with people - he loves them and the attention he gets. He's tolerant and lets me pull out the clumps of dirt stuck to his belly plus he lets me hug him (had to get him used to it big grin). There are many more little things that I love about him, but this post is already getting too long.silenced

Also I would like to hear any overall evaluations about my boy's temperament and potential problems. Thank you for any help!

Oh my I just realised how long this post is. I'm sorry and thankyou if you bothered to read it all! red face

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 12:39pm PST


Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 5:45am PST 
Hopefully I can remember each of your 5 questions/situations and adress them in the same post,it is not that your post ws long,my memory is just that bad right now.

1. If the GSD was of the same sex (another male) this could be same sex agression which will likely become worse as he gets older. You can try socializing him around other male dogs that are calmer to minimize the issue but it's doubtful you will ever get rid of it completely and Akita's in general will react to any other dog that has an agressive or "in your face" attitude" they simply don't like it.

2. I'm sure playtime with your Shiba sounds like a dogfight at times,this is perfectly normal. I have two Akita's and they sound far worse at play than they did when they actually got into the one altercation they had over you guessed it, food.

3.Even if you keep food and water in the same area of the same room,do not expect your Akita to share,what is theirs,is theirs. Don't tolerate attacks on your Shiba,but do not plan on making them share a food and water dish either. Since your Shiba is too small to put your Akita in it's place,you will have to enforce the no bullying rules when it comes to food. Always supervise,and when giving treats also give distance,hopefully with you between to redirect them before they get near each other.

4. Of course your Akita tries to get in the way when you try to give your Shiba attention. Akitas love to be the center of attention and do not like to wait their turn. I often feel I need eight arms to pet my two as many places as they would both like at the same time and I haven't been able to hug my husband first when he gets home from work for more than two years,the pups would run me over to get their attention from him first.big laugh

5. He will get over the crying when you are away from him eventually,or he will become well enough behaved to be given more freedom. Akitas like to be with their people and are very bonded to them. That is why when he can hear you but can't see you he becomes upset. Mine are now Mika 6 years and Kai 3 years,they are fine on their own with free run of the house but still NEED to know where I am in it. They are perfectly content to go their own way and do their own thing until or unless they hear me move from where I am to another place,then they have to get up and see where I am going and what I am doing before they will settle again.

I hope this helps ease your mind a bit and answers some of your questions. If you need any further help consider starting an account and feel free to p-mail me any time or post here,I usually stop in fairly regularly.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 8:42am PST 
About second question,
There is pretty normal for this dog breed. Akitas are fighters and hunters. As the dog was initially created to be a great fighter and hunting assistant, its behaviour is very suited for these two roles.