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Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male
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TOPIC: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male

Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 13 Oct 2015 06:54 #9991

  • Cakes2015
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Greetings!
I am new here and this is my first post. I am looking for any help/advice/comments anyone would be willing to give as I have no particular experience with Akita breeds.

I have fallen for an 8 yr old Male Akita at a Rescue Centre. He has been there over a year and nobody wants him as he is old, and they have children etc etc
I felt so sorry for him and the first day I met him he licked and nibbled my hand through the cage and I was smitten. I went back a week later to meet him properly and met several female staff who did not feel comfortable around him as he has tried to mount them and bitten them.
One female has not had this trouble, and she was the only one willing to take him out, but the staff still had to check there were no other dogs out before they would let him out for a walk with me.

As we were walking he paid no attention to me and pulled terribly on the lead. I was handed the lead and he took no notice and carried on. We only walked for a few minutes when we stopped to have a chat. This is (rightly or wrongly!) when I crouched down to his level and stroked him.
I am now aware that maybe this wasn't the right thing to do, however he sat still, facing me and was extremely affectionate towards me. He let me stroke him all over his neck and chest, licked my hand and wagged his tail. He then proceeded to walk over to me and sniffed me and licked my chest.
I stood up, and asked if I could take the lead to walk him back. When I did this and started to walk, he jumped up and tried to mount me. I tried to get him down but he was persistent and I was too nervous to be as firm as I could have been due to him being a stranger. After several attempts, the girl took him back and he behaved himself and didn't do it again.
I can't say he was nasty, although I was hurt because he nibbled my arms quite roughly. I came home with a few purple bruises and puncture wounds on my arms.

Now, I wonder if this was partly my fault because I got down to his level..was this a mistake? he also isn't neutered. It's their policy to do this before re-homing and I know this will calm him down, but after living with several uneutered large males (german shepherds, great danes) and never having experienced that before, I wonder just how much difference it would make.

I am very keen to go back and pursue this, and try to establish myself as "the boss" but I just wonder am I making a mistake trying to take him on?
They have no history of him, he was a stray at a dog pound so I have no idea what his life has been like. Is it too late for him?

Lastly, and most worryingly. I have a cat. Female, used to a dog, but an extremely large docile soppy old thing!
I do not want to put her in danger. I have read much conflicting information about introducing adult Akitas to cats and the rescue centre have already told me they do not put dogs with cats if they do not know their history.
The manager there has taken him to his house where they were 3 cats and apparently he didnt take much notice, but the manager is adamant that once the Akita felt his feet it would be a different story.

I am sorry for the long winded post, but I do like to make sure i've included every detail possible so someone can answer me with all the information.

Any opinions? Mistake? Could he be worked with? Any opinions on the cat? She could stay with my mother if she had to, but my idea of a "little family" was with me, my partner, a dog, AND the cat. Do you think this is just fantasy?

Thank You so much, and I look forward to hearing from anyone, especially someone who may have had experience with a similar situation.

Cakes x

Re: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 13 Oct 2015 15:28 #9993

Hello cakes and thank you for considering an akita, especially an older one.

I don't know if I can answer all your questions, but I'll try to offer some answers if I can.
Snipping him doesn't always mean he'll stop the mounting (are you sure he's actually trying to hump you or is he just climbing up you, mt first akita (unnutered) male used to love to put his paws on my shoulders and look me in the eye, I would wrap my arms around him for a cuddle, but he never tried to hump me, he tried to hump in other situations, perhaps during play, but I would just give the command "No!.Down!) the only difference with an akita's attempted hump is his strength, akita's are very, very strong and determined dogs. At 8 years old the akita you're talking about will have lots of learned behavior, so simply snipping him won't be the only answer, he'll need some good training. I would suggest a good training club, perhaps one with some knowledge of large breeds and akita's, it would also be very good socializing for him, as a rescue his background is unknown, but it does sound like he's had little or no training, akita's are a bit slow to learn, only because they are stubborn, but my old Benny got his beginners certifiate and his GCD certificate,

My Asia is a rescue and she came wit ha ton of problems, but we eventually ironed them out, she showed aggression and growled at us, but we built up a trust with her (slowly and gently) and she began to respond positively.

I think the staff are right for now, being a little careful with a large dog until they know something about him can be the best way to go, but a lot of people have heard far to many negative things about akita's, yes they can go for other dogs (just like many other dogs can) but because of their strength and determination not to back down you need to be able to handle them, one thing is to never let them off lead when on their walks, a strong retractable lead is perfectly okay, my Asia uses one and she still enjoys swimming and paddling, she meets other dogs on her lead as well and it doesn't effect her in any negative way NO off lead is also recommended because it's rare for an akita to come back when recalled, most akita's "don't do" recall

The concern you have about crouching down beside him doesn't seem to be problem to me, he had a good reaction to you, maybe it would help to build on that positive reaction (if you see him again) by just letting him "kiss"you and then slowly stand up, don't over stay down beside him, just except a little affection at a time for no, and as he gains confidence in you stay a little longer, I only suggest this because if he begins to get too enthusiastic, and because of his size and strength, he might get excited an knock you over, that would spoil all the positive connection that you'd have built up, so a little at a time can be best

Pulling on the lead....again it sounds like he's had no training, a canny collar and lots of gentle training should sort that. I suggest gentle training because my Asia came with no street or lead training at all, I first tried the "Firm" approach, just a firm voice and instructions, but it just made her worse, she only responded to me with defiance and she was also a fearful of that tone of voie, as soon as I went onto a more gentle approach, calmer voice ect. she began to respond, I used treat reward training as well, she used to throw herself at other dogs and people in a very aggressive way, but not now So it can be done, but you don't know what approach to take until you know a little more about the dog.

You say you ended up with "puncture wounds" that's a bit of worry, he must have bitten hard to cause wounds, perhaps yet again it's down to lack of socializing and knowing his boundries, maybe on another meeting if you feel him putting pressure on, or you can see that he's going to cause wounds again you could do the loud "yelp" like a dog would do if it was bitten, I know it works with puppies but I'm not sure about how it would work with an adult dog

As for the cat, that also sounds a bit of a worry to me, Asia used to live with a cat in her first home, and with us she's okay with cats (the neigbours ones) as long as they don't move, once they move off she wants to chase them, so I'm not sure about your cat situation.

To conclude, try not to think too much about the bad press akita's are often given, they can be big old teddy bears, but like most dogs it doesn't have to be down to "I'll show him who's boss!" it's down to being a co-operative thing between you and him, you give and he gives back, you take and he'll make sure he takes back, so once you have worked out his needs you'll know how to approach the training rutine

Please excuse any spelling or other stuff, I'm in a hurry and don't have time to go back through my reply

Let us know how you get on with this boy please
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Re: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 14 Oct 2015 07:06 #9995

  • Cakes2015
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Hi Bensonsmum!

Thank you soooooo much for that lovely reply. I really appreciate it. Yes I could understand it no probs, lol.
Sounds like you had a bit of work with your Asia, but you obviously got through it. I am a determined person myself and think I could work with this Akita, even though a couple of members in my family think i'm mad to take him on.

To clarify a few things.. My "show him who's boss" comment is really due to the fact that the girl there said she has to be very firm with him, but he does listen to her, and he has never tried to mount her so I think I need to work a little on my confidence to be firmer, but I know that will come as we get more comfortable around each other..
(Edited to just add, that the word Dominant is used constantly when they talk about him..I assume that's why I she repeated the importance of being firm with him)

Our last German Shepherd was terrible on the lead! I would stop every time he tried to pull, and not budge. Needless to say it took an awful long time to get up the road, lol but he eventually learned that I wouldn't take a step unless he didn't pull. I'm not too worried about the lead thing, I think I can get over that alright.
The mounting is the thing that bothers me the most. He IS strong, and when he did this, I just couldn't get him down, and when I did, I couldn't hold him there. I think the girl there will help me overcome this though.. but it was a little unnerving!
Yeah he definately DID try to hump! I'd already been warned by a couple of the other girls.
He got me from behind, and then I felt "his movements"! That's when he started to bite. Now when I say bite, i'll explain it best I can as I don't believe it was an aggressive I want to eat you bite.. They were small bites in succession.. like nibbling but a much harder nibble. It was enough to bruise my skin purple, and there one particular red bite mark that hurts badly..that's why I felt he had punctured my skin.. but it couldn't have been very deep as I didn't bleed - thank god I was wearing a sweater! lol That's why I felt it was more play/sexual? Rather than nasty. Shall we call it "rough affection"?! I'm sure i've seen it before when dogs try to mate.

Thank you for the advice about getting down to his level. You're right there's a lot of press about Akitas that is worrying. I read somewhere getting down to a dogs level shows you are not challenging them, then I read later after getting home that you should never get down to an AKITAS level due to showing them submission. To be honest I did what just felt right, and was greeted with a kiss and a lick, which I felt really good about as the kennel staff said there are people he just takes an instant dislike to.
I did stay for too long, and I sat on the floor a few minutes... things I probably won't do next time.

And yes, there will be a next time!
The girl there is so dedicated she is willing to meet me on her day off so she can just spend time with me and him without distractions. She's desperate for him to get a home, and I seem his only hope. She even said there's no point in reserving him as he won't be going anywhere any time soon... how sad.

I don't move into my new house for another month or so. So I am going to spend this time visiting him every other weekend and taking him out and seeing if we can get some kind of bond, and if I can get over the mounting.
I am dedicated, and would rather do this, than take him home and realise he's too much for me to cope with. That would be devastating for both of us.
I will also be taking my partner a couple of times to see how he gets on with him as well.

Fingers crossed, and I will definitely keep you updated as I am sure once I get him home, there will be more questions as we get to know each other. I will also get a pic at some point so you can see who I fell in love with!

Thanks again, I am so grateful that you took the time to reply. And your pictures are lovely, especially the "smiling" one! lol

Cakes x
Last Edit: 14 Oct 2015 07:08 by Cakes2015. Reason: One additonal comment..

Re: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 14 Oct 2015 14:28 #9996

Sometimes the "being firm" doesn't always work with akitas, because they can be a very stubborn and "I'll do it in my own time" type of breed, "firm" can make them dig there heels in but as you say, the more comfortable you get around each other and the more you get to know his personality the more you'll now how to approach him and the amount of "firmness" he needs I know in my 21 years of being around akitas they can see too much "firmness" as a bit of a challenge, not in an aggressive way, but in a grumpy, stubbborn "I'll do it when I'm ready" way but they're all individuals and they all have their own way of doing things, just like my Asia and my Benny before her, Benny was the sweetest akita but when I tried to be "firm" with him he would just look at me and then spin on the spot! "firm" just got him excited and he just wanted to play yes they definatly have individual characters

I think the mounting will sort itself out eventually, when he finds his feet with you he'll proberly feel no need for it... fingers crossed I think I know what you mean by the "rough affection" when he was humping you, when my Benny got a "little excited" he would pinch our skin with this front teeth and leave marks.

I'm so pleased you are going to take him on if things work out, you sound like someone who wants to put the work in and you have large breed experience with your GSDs I'm sure the more time you spend with him the more you'll know his needs and how to approach him. in the meanttime it might be inteeresting for you to read up on the history of the akita, there are some good books on them and as the saying goes "knowledge is power" you'll find that the bad press on them is from an uneduated and large dog bias direction, Akitas are very strong, and like any other dog they can get a bit grumpy at times, but they are very loyal, loving and devoted dogs, the only warning they come with is that they will steal your heart oh yes and they moult about twic a year and blow bag loads all their soft underoat, so you'll need a furminator and good of vacum cleaner but your German shepherds moult would proberly have been full on as well, so you'll have had plenty of practice in living in a furry home

Thank you for giving this boy a chance to be saved, please keep us informed with updates, I'd love to know how it all goes

I'm glad you liked my pics, I have lots of my Asia smiling, akitas are very entertaining characters
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Re: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 29 Oct 2015 08:28 #10013

Hi Cakes, been reading your posts & Bensonsmum's replies & thought I would just add my little bits ..my son had a German Shepherd ( sadly died a few months ago ) & GS are a fantastic breed, they are so easy to train & once you have bonded they will never let you down & very loyal to their owner, follow them over a cliff if they were told to... while on the other hand an Akita....no, it would stand at the cliffs edge & think I ain't going over there!!..Humping is a dominance act, this Akita or any other dog that humps, is rubbing his scent on you "this belongs to me, I control him" neutering usually sorts this out. You will have to be firm with him, but be prepared for him to ignore you, as Ben'smum has said they are stubborn & do dig their little paws in. I adopted Maya & although she was easier settling in than most I still had to have patience (which you need with an Akita & loads of!!) but I'm so glad I've got her
I hope you persevere with this Akita & once he knows you are the dominant one, he will be just as loyal as a GS, but he still won't go over a cliff for you, but on the other hand "He Might".
Please let us know what has happened whether you have taken him on or not.. best of luck

Re: Would Like to Rescue a Challenging 8yr Old Male 01 Nov 2015 17:29 #10027

  • Cakes2015
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Hello again!

Hi Manita, thank you so much for posting your comments. Any help is much appreciated as I am in two minds whether I can go through with this or not. I didn't see him again until today as I have been ill with a cold.

All I can do when I meet him is take him for a walk on the lead...
On a positive note, he didn't pull so much on the lead this time. He IS aggressive towards other dogs but his strength today was that of what I have been used to with my German Shepherds so it doesn't really bother me.
I learnt today that he does know how to sit, and he will do so for a treat!

The bad...
He is now 9... so he's getting on a bit. I was informed today that they would not be willing to neuter him due to his age (and breed?!) so I would be taking him home "as is."
Now I realise that probably by this age neutering him won't make much difference, but I guess part of me was relying on that to feel more confident about the mounting.
I was told today that all but 1 member of female staff has been mounted and bitten (read - heavily/passionately nibbled!) by him, and that he likes to "box" them in his kennel. (Jumping up and boxing with left and right paws) - they try to get round this with treats.
He didn't jump upto me today, but that's because he was focused on a member of my family who had the treat bag, and he did try to mount her! She now also has big paw prints on her back! lol

What concerns me is how he is going to be off lead, especially when I am alone with him and whether I am going to be able to handle this, or teach him to stop. My partner works so when he is not there, it will be just me and doggy..
I also decided today that I am not willing to put my Kitty at risk with him. I love her to bits and she's such a good little cat I couldn't do it to her. Luckily she can stay with my family who I am living with now but it does pull on my heart strings a little that I have to leave her behind.

On conclusion after today... I feel so very sorry for him. No one is interested in him, and I feel like I am his only chance. I think there's potential for him to be a good dog, i've seen people do it before on tv when they're a totally different dog a year later to how they were, and I do believe I am willing to put the work in.. but the mounting is what worries me and if he does like to bite I am not sure if taking him on is really the best idea.

I am going to see him again and take him for another walk, but the real test is having him in a home environment. There's no way of really telling how he's going to be until that happens is there. Very unsure what to do..

Thank you so much for your interest in this post!
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