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American Akita Bitch - Dog Aggressive

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by americanakitaaa, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. americanakitaaa

    americanakitaaa PetForums Newbie

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Hello all,

    I have made this forum to get some advice on my American Akita bitch - I am desperate for help.
    I am a student - this is my first dog. She's a family dog and I have several siblings who help look after her.
    We have 2 male cats - she's fine with them.

    She's 4 years old and healthy, we had her since she was 2 months old.
    I met her mother and father - mother completely friendly, just like a big puppy, her father; not so friendly.

    Anyway, she was the most amazing puppy!
    Vets, groomers and current/previous Akita owners complemented her behaviour, saying she was the most well behaved Akita they've ever met! I was able to let her off the leash wherever we went, on pavements she would stick by my side or behind me. Any dog that tried to bother her she would just ignore - if they pounced on her she would just bounce them off. However, her recall wasn't quite so good. But - she LOVED to go for walks and socialize with other dogs, I even took her to an indoor dog park community now and then. Walking her was amazing, and it never seemed a task, it was so fun.

    Then, she had her second season/heat and everything changed. She suddenly attacked a dog (no harm done, just scary to experience). Since then I have been nervous to walk her, and she's rarely friendly to other dogs. She's completely fine with people and kids - just dog aggressive.

    I know it's her dominance, she displays it in lots of ways:
    - More aggressive with larger, dominant breeds (e.g. Rottweilers) - but she gets on with small male dogs
    - When we approach any grass, she'll rub her paws on it (marking her territory)
    - She pees to mark her territory every so often when walking

    She gets very excited when seeing other dogs, just as she did when she was a puppy, but this time the fur on her spine stands up and she wants to dominate.

    Walking her has become so difficult! I feel terrible not letting her walk freely and explore, and I feel even worse not allowing her to socialise with other dogs. Now don't get me wrong, she doesn't try to attack every dog! But I just don't know what to expect so I'd rather not risk it.

    I've taken her private training, but even the trainer seemed nervous when bringing her Rottweiler out because even at a distance both the dogs were constantly barking at each other.

    I'm fed up of being nervous, I want her to be happy again.

    I know this is such a long post, but I really would like some advice!

    Thank you for reading this.
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    You need to forget about the concept of dominance that you have. It was proved to be false decades ago, and even the researcher who thought it up now admits he was wrong. If your trainer subscribes to the dominance theory, ditch them and get one that has kept up to date with a more enlightened regime.
    It's also illogical; if your bitch were dominant, it would make sense that it would be the smaller dogs she acted to dominate, as it would be easier.
    After her 2nd season she will have achieved social maturity when any natural intolerant behaviours will show themselves - and Akitas are well known not to tolerate other dogs as well as most breeds (same sex aggression in particular). This may be partly due to the genetic element from her sire too (who as a dog with a less than ideal temperament should never have been bred from). The peeing and paw-rubbing aren't anything to do with dominance, either; they are simply the way dogs leave messages for others that they were there. The hackles rising are usually a sign of anxiety, and I'd bet that what you're seeing. She's OK with smaller dogs because they pose no real threat to her. The larger dogs - like the Rottweilers - she appears aggressive to make them go away and leave her alone. It's a very common behaviour in dogs that are anxious.
    The dog that she attacked - what happened exactly?
  3. americanakitaaa

    americanakitaaa PetForums Newbie

    Jul 31, 2019
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    She doesn't show any signs of anxiety in other aspects of her life, she seems like a happy, healthy dog apart from when it comes to other dogs.

    Her father wasn't aggressive, but he just wasn't super friendly. More as if he was just tolerating us in the house but watching us too.

    She barks and jumps at dogs, but I'll always pull her back before she could do anything.
    She once got into a fight with her childhood friend after she was all grown up - another female Akita - and they were both just trying to bite each other.

    When walking with my brother - he admits to sitting around talking to his friends twice for a while during the walk, which may have frustrated my dog as she enjoys walks and hates sitting around doing nothing - she encountered a medium sized dog and lunged for it, pushing it down with her paws and biting it.
    Right after the encounter the dog seemed completely fine, no whining, and my dog was completely calm and not going for the dog anymore.
  4. Woah

    Woah PetForums Member

    Dec 24, 2018
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    Do you think a muzzle might be wise for walking her. Might help you to relax and enjoy walks again. I know his doesn’t resolve her aggression towards other dogs and I’m sure others on the forum will have experience to help advise you on that.
    Burrowzig likes this.
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