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growled while playing

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!

  
Sophie

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Barked: Fri Sep 6, '13 9:58pm PST 
Sophie is almost 4 months old. She loves to bring her toys to us so we can play with her. While playing fetch with her tonight, my 2 year old son tried to grab her rope toy from her. Every time he tried to grab it from her, she would growl at him but she wouldn't if my husband or myself grabbed it from her. My husband seemed to think she was playing with him. I beg to differ. This is our first Akita and our first dog as a family so I am totally unsure as to whether this is normal. This is the first time she's ever growled. If this is not normal, how do we correct it?
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sat Sep 7, '13 6:50am PST 
Growling during play is pretty normal with any dog. First look at the body language,were her hackles up? That is the fur that runs down the middle of their back? Was his/her lip raised? Tail tucked? These are all signs that it is in fact a serious growl. If this is he case the best thing would be to teach the child not to try to take toys from the dog but to trade so the puppy learns that good things come from giving your child the toy, then as your child gets older they can learn to play together more actively. You never want to correct serious growling,that is the dogs only way of letting you know it is not happy with what you are doing,take away the warning and they will often resort to just biting without warning. I am a little curious,Akitas are not normally recommended for people with no dog experience and most responsible breeders will not sell puppies to people without any real dog experience. What made you choose an Akita as a first dog? did you do ANY research on the breed? Where did you purchase your puppy?
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Sophie

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Barked: Sat Sep 7, '13 8:10am PST 
I did extensive research before deciding on an Akita. My in-laws have had two of them but they are the type that justs puts the dog in the backyard and gives them no training. With that being said, they were a bit territorial and aggressive but still really good with our kids. My husband has always wanted one but based on my experience with their dogs, I was hesitant. I looked into numerous breeds before coming back to the akita and realized that with this breed, his parents were doing it all wrong. The Akita seemed to be the best fit for our family after reading about how they are with proper training and care. We didn't get Sophie from a breeder. She was part of an accidental litter. That was ok with us as we were not looking for "show quality." She has been an extremely great dog so far. A little bratty at times, but that's to be expected. And she tolerates a lot from our 2 year old. That's why I thought it odd that she would growl at him. It didn't sound too much like a threatening growl. It was almost part growl part bark. She would turn and walk away from him though.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 8, '13 7:42am PST 
it sounds to me like Sophie was just treating your son more as a a sibling and probably expected him to growl back. I did not mean to offend you and am very sorry if I did but when I did my research 16+ years ago when we got an Akita/GSD mix also from an oops litter on it's way to the shelter, I found that they can be quite vocal,not all "growling" is even actually growling,they can make a variety of noises that sound like a growl but are in fact not growls at all,just vocalizations,having two in the house together who absolutely adore each other and have been well raised and extensively socialized, I also discovered that play actually sounds worse than an actual squabble. My two adore children as well and have basically adopted the 5 children who live on the other side of our fence as their own. They too,allow my grandchildren whom they have grown up with to do pretty much anything with them. Perhaps the difference is that we have no young children living in the home with them,they do however vocalize at my grandchildren regularly when they see them. They,especially my male Kai use a combination of a bark/growl/howl like noise to greet the people that they know and love. Those who know them are used to their noises and aware that is their way of saying hello,those who are not more familiar with the breed and their vocalizations can be quite put off or frightened. Mika unlike my mix,Mattie or Kai is quite silent as far as vocalizing,it is just one of those things,some are more vocal than others,if you aren't familiar that they can be vocal it can be distressing and with a young child,upsetting. From what you have posted it doesn't sound like a problem it simply sounds like vocalizing during play. Sophie is a beautiful puppy and I hope you will enjoy having hr as part of your family for many years to come. Given time to mature you will most likely discover she is a wonderful guardian and almost second mother to your son,I know both of mine behave like nervous parents and would defend my grandchildren and any other child they consider theirs from any potential threat. Good Luck andwisheswisheswishes
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Sophie

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Barked: Sun Sep 8, '13 12:23pm PST 
Thank you for all your help! smile what had worried me the most was that she was only doing it with him. Your sibling explanation makes perfect sense. Perhaps my husband was right after all... isn't that something! Lol. I knew they were vocal but I didn't know that growling or something in similar sound could be part of the vocalization. Even at such a young age, she is already quite the guardian. Once, she was in a room with my boys and when I came down the hall, she barked until she realized it was me. She seems to really have taken to our 2 year old. When I put him down for sleep, she'll come in and lay behind the rocking chair as I rock him or she'll lay in front of his crib. My 6 year old is a little jealous. For a puppy, she is great. She does have little quirks that sometimes frustrate me (like she won't use the bathroom where its sunny and will go on the porch to stay out of the sun) but I'm learning to live with them My only other question is how would you keep them from going in a planter? Now that she's getting bigger, she can jump into the raised planter and I wasn't too thrilled to find her pooping in it yesterday evening.
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Sophie

1306982
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 8, '13 3:23pm PST 
Thank you for all your help! smile what had worried me the most was that she was only doing it with him. Your sibling explanation makes perfect sense. Perhaps my husband was right after all... isn't that something! Lol. I knew they were vocal but I didn't know that growling or something in similar sound could be part of the vocalization. Even at such a young age, she is already quite the guardian. Once, she was in a room with my boys and when I came down the hall, she barked until she realized it was me. She seems to really have taken to our 2 year old. When I put him down for sleep, she'll come in and lay behind the rocking chair as I rock him or she'll lay in front of his crib. My 6 year old is a little jealous. For a puppy, she is great. She does have little quirks that sometimes frustrate me (like she won't use the bathroom where its sunny and will go on the porch to stay out of the sun) but I'm learning to live with them My only other question is how would you keep them from going in a planter? Now that she's getting bigger, she can jump into the raised planter and I wasn't too thrilled to find her pooping in it yesterday evening.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 8:12am PST 
Is there any way you could set up something that represents a boundry? Even a piece of string thumb-tacked to the railing or whatever. Akita's at least in my experience will learn quickly to accept boundries and respect them. We did a container garden last year and had the same problem with Kai,he wasn't using the planters as a poty,just stepping in them to watch bunnies,we put a single rope barrier from one end of the fence to the other and he stopped going near the planters in less than 2 days,he recognized that that part of the yard was now off limits. Sophie sounds like Mika with my granddaughter,when my grand daughter was just under two we brough Mika home after having to have Mattie PTS, Mika and my granddaughter were on the same wave length from day one,it was amazing watching a 2o month old and a nine week old puppy who seemed to understand each other completely,my daughter was working a late night shift and my granddaughter was staying with us until Momy got off work at 2a.m. my daughter came in the house,used the bathroom next to the bedroom and was talking to me the whole time without a peep from Mika,until she tried to reach for her sleeping child,at as early as 11 weeks the bond that had formed was strong enough that my daughter could have lost an arm had Mika not been a small puppy. Mika barked,growled,and even snapped at my daughter for reaching for her baby. From that point on we made a practice of getting up and handing my daughter the baby Now my daughter is one of only 3 people who can walk into my bedroom while we or the kids are sleeping.
Lf you need further help or have any other questions as Sophie grows please feel free to p-mail me anytime.wisheswishes
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 9, '13 5:45pm PST 
Please excuse the typo's in my last post, my chromebook and I are just getting to know each other and are having a few problems with communication. lol. As time goes on you will learn that odd quirks are just part of owning an Akita. My mix Mattie was pure Akita in traits if not blood. Mika and Kai share many similarities that come in the form of breed traits but each and every one of them has had their own personality and quirks. Learn to enjoy them it's what makes each one unique. As I said in my previous post please feel free to p-mail me anytime if you need help,have a question or just want to chat about Akita's. I check in on Dogster typically at least once a day even if I don't post but do try to always answer p-mails promptly.way to gowishes
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