Akita Puppy - any advice? Questions

Discussion in 'Akita' started by Kai_Kudu, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Akita Puppy - any advice?

    Hi everyone!

    New to the forum, but I have been lurking for a while now reading all of your helpful posts :)

    We will be getting an American Akita puppy in a couple days - we have gone with the very original name of Kai ;) and he will be 9 1/2 weeks when we bring him home. I have attached a few pics (not very good, sorry! Hoping I can post some better face-on ones once we get him).

    I have read through pretty much every thread relating to Akita's on this forum, but would love for some further insight! We are a two-person household, and my fiance has previously had pugs (I know, very different to an Akita!). During my teenage years-early 20's, we had a rottweiler and german shepherd. They were the sweetest dogs with everyone they knew, very loving and always wanting to cuddle, but they also had a high prey drive and were extremely protective whenever we were out on walks, which I am assuming would be similar to the Akita's temperament however I am reluctant to rely on generalised information online as each dog is different. We have gone to see his parents, and they have a wonderful temperament - his daddy waltzed on up to my fiance and got up on his hind legs, put his paws on his shoulders, looked him in the eyes for a few seconds and then walked off. Only then did all the puppies run up and start to interact with us. Dad just sat back keeping a watchful eye on us but came and gave us a few hand licks while we were there. Mum was just passed out in the backyard (I think happy to get a break from the pups!).

    We are planning to put him into puppy obedience school as soon as possible to start off the socialisation, and we have a huge footy oval across the road for him to run around in. I think we may try letting him run around a bit off lease while he is still in the early months, but from what I read, we should avoid this once he gets around 5-6 months old. I have also been keeping an eye on the field to figure out the best times to take him over when there isn't too much dog-activity.

    I do work full-time and am gone for around 10 hrs Mon-Fri, however my fiance does work from home so pup will never be left alone for extended periods of time. For me, I think the most important thing is for us both to be on the same page in terms of training him and providing a consistent message in regards to his behaviour. We will be crate training him, and I am a strong believer in positive reinforcement, so I have been making my fiance watch a billion and one Youtube videos so he can fully grasp the concept and its benefits. I'm excited to see how Kai will respond to clicker training - has anyone had experience with their Akita and using this method?

    In regards to food, the breeder has been feeding Kai a grain-free kibble and I have read this is best for Akita's due to their prevalence to bloating. However, I have also read that Akita's enjoy rice which seems to contradict a grain-free diet - can anyone provide some clarification here?

    Another thing I am a bit concerned about is the fact that our neighbours also have dogs - one neighbour has a boxer and a GS, and the other has a Lab. The boxer seems to quietly growl occasionally if he hears us in the backyard, whereas the GS will more than often start barking. The lab is pretty good though, apart from the neighbourhood barking matches during the night. I am worried that Kai or the other dogs may start to dig under the fence? I have never had neighbours with big dogs before, so not sure how to handle this.. should I be introducing Kai to those dogs at some point to avoid him considering them a threat? The fences are over 6 foot high but they aren't that deep into the ground.

    Also - are Akita's better as indoor dogs or do they prefer the outdoors? I would prefer to have him inside the house at night, but not sure what the breed prefer (my rotty and GS loved being outside). Unfortunately, we are renting and don't have a doggy door for him to go in and out as he pleases.

    Sorry for the long post!! :p appreciate any advice on the above, or anything else you think is important to know :):)

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  3. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    Hi and welcome!! Congratulations on your new Akita puppy!!!

    My first Akita wasn’t well socialized. He grew up with to elderly collie/labs as his pack and had only one friend, a littermate (but you might already know that if you’ve read most of the threads). He was very protective of me and very watchful but would appear to ignore other dogs unless they were close. He could go from waging his tail to lunging in a microsecond. Park my truck, and if there was a dog in another vehicle he would ignore it, even if it was barking. He was not a dog people would say hello to if I wasn’t there. He guarded that truck as territory not to be messed with. He was pretty aloof with strangers but would keep an eye on them... I’d really never seen anything like it before, how “on it” he was. I had a friend who called him security because he just paid attention to everything. He’d be looking one way, smelling another, and I swear he was listening to different things with both ears, from the way he’d turn them differently. He’d track airplanes. I didn’t really walk him a lot where he’d have to interact with other dogs. He loved riding in the truck, in the cab, not in the back with the camper shell. My female is a full on flirt, and in a parking lot, will stick her head out the window and do her very best to entice people over to give her attention, and she is quite successful!!!

    My current two love meeting strangers and pretty much expect attention from strangers. I have to be on them to make sure they don’t nose peoples hands. The go into the pet store and Home Depot and the lumberyard. Pretty much anywhere that let’s me. They don’t do other dogs anymore... Bandit has barked rather loudly a few times at other dogs in Home Depot, so now I make him pay attention to me and distract him from the other dog. Definitely don’t walk down the same isle as another dog. Of course having two is totally different than just one.

    All of my Akitas have had a strong prey drive but Hoshi, my first one, wouldn’t bother chasing a deer or a rabbit if he didn’t actually think he had a chance to catch it, he wasn’t going to waste his energy. He wasn’t fenced for most of his life but knew his property (I would NOT recommend this, I have fencing now). He and the deer and rabbits had some sort of agreement, and as long as they kept their distance he’d ignore them.

    Before taking him to the fields across your street, make sure he’s got all his vaccinations, Only let him out in your yard.

    You may think you understand how stubborn Akitas can be, but these dogs really have a mind of there own, and they use it. Words can’t properly describe it.. I have never done clicker training.

    I would definitely be concerned about the fence situation... my brothers Akita was determined to get out and dug under his chain link fence, and then through 1.5 inch gravel and chickenwire, bloodying his paws after my brother spread rock and chickenwire because of the first escape, just trying to find my brother. I don’t know what it will be like for him to share a fenceline.. Hoshi would sometimes go up to my neighbors fence and get in a barking match with my neighbors hybrid wolves.. although sometimes he’d just go flirt with one of the females, until his male figured out what was going on. I think I would talk with your neighbors about introducing them face to face, as they will know each from the other side of the fence, whether they can see each other or not.

    I would just make your dog sleep in at night, don’t give him a choice, it will just become his routine. My brother had a male that liked sleeping outside, insisted on it, even during a snow storm and freezing temperatures. This dogs mother mostly slept inside at night. It’s after 11pm here, and one of my dogs is sleeping inside and the other is asleep right next to the house on the deck outside. When I go to bed he will come inside.

    Nice looking pup, look forward to seeing new pictures, you must be counting down the time until you can go get him.
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Well done on doing so much breed research. Best wishes for Kai, (good name, I have a grandson called Kai), and yourselves.
    I can't help much with Akita knowledge, but hope that I can help with the rice query. The reason that some dogs may have difficulty digesting some brands of food is usually because the grains contain gluten. The worst culprits seem to be wheat, barley, semolina and maize, - my own boy proved to be allergic to maize, so I have been feeding my dogs grain-free for the last four or five years. Foods containing oats may be suitable for some of these dogs as the protein avenin is similar to gluten, but not identical, so it is sometimes found as an ingredient in dog foods which claim to be hypoallergenic. My boy had no problems with oat bran when he had his reaction to a mid range food containing maize. Rice does not contain any gluten and there are very few dogs that have a problem digesting it - in fact it is the the standard recommendation for giving to dogs when they have upset tummies.
  5. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Thanks so much for your replies!! Always helpful to get opinions from other dog owners as vets tend to generalise the information they give you. And Carole, thank you so much for clarifying this because it really was confusing me but glad i have a better understanding now.

    Kai is settling in well. He is really well behaved for a puppy and not overly loaded with energy, which is great and means no jumping up and scratching or anything like that. He sleeps a lot, wakes up for toilet and a bit of a play then back to sleep he goes. He is much calmer than we were expecting.

    Took him to the vet yesterday for a checkup which went well. He charmed the pants of everyone with his docile nature, and had no issues with handling which was great - so calm he snuggling up next to my hand and fell asleep on the vets table.

    The big dogs next door are scaring him a bit - the first night he was trembling after hearing them bark which made going to toilet difficult for him so we had to take him out the front. In saying that, he is still scared but is happy enough to quickly go out and do his business then run back inside to safety haha.

    So apparently the breeder was free feeding him and his family- they had their first baby within a couple days of the litter being born and I think they got a bit too overwhelmed to stick to a feeding schedule. This is proving difficult to overcome, but we are only on day 3. We keep his food down for 30mins but he is only really grazing during that time and not eating even half.. when the food is gone, he goes back to look for it and ends up sleeping next to his water bowl. Hoping this will improve over the coming days though!

    House training so far has been a breeze, no accidents at all. As I said, he sleeps a lot and wakes up when he needs to go toilet - he goes and sits by the door waiting and if we don't notice then he comes and sits in front of us and stares us down. Overnight, he only whines a few times and that seems to be a good indication that he needs to go which is great.

    Oh! And that akita stubbornness has been fun to experience! He doesn't seem to be highly motivated by treats or toys at the moment, except for boiled chicken and bacon which he will go crazy for, for a few minutes at least. Have been trying to get him to respond to his name (or any noise for that matter), and you can see his ears twitching as he hears the sound but he is quite content to pretend he is deaf haha. Puppy school will be interesting!!

    I have also attached some new photos :)

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  6. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    He looks like a stout little guy (not so little..). He will gain more confidence with time, as far as the big dogs on the other side of the fence. I’d feed him 3-4 times a day, free feed for 20-30 minutes. Akitas are pretty easy to house train, but great he’s had no accidents!! Look forward to more updates and pictures as he grows.
  7. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Thanks for the advice who owns who! You were right, his confidence has grown pretty quickly - he's happy to sit outside while the rest of the neighbourhood dogs bark away.

    Just a quick question - the past couple days he has been furiously digging (looks like someone has pressed fast forward on the remote lol) and then sticking his head into the holes and sort of rubbing his nose around in there. I have seen a couple vids of other akitas doing this too - is this normal for their breed and any idea why they do this? It's kinda cute but I want to discourage it to avoid holes around the yard, he just seems to enjoy it so much! Other dogs we have had have dug holes (thankfully they grew out of the habit) but none have really rubbed their face in there like Kai!
  8. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Hello to you and Kai - he really is a lovely chunky little fellow! Regarding rice - I know many people only feed grain-free so maybe I go against the grain [apologies for the horrid pun!], but I am a raw feeder and do sometimes add various grains.

    Not white rice though - I do not eat processed food myself but do eat various grains, only whole grains, and both my angel epi Pereg [as in my avatar] and my current little Tikva had had/have no problems with whole grains added to their food. Red rice, brown rice, wild rice [which is a seed rather than a grain], or whatever I have cooked for myself. Could be quinoa, barley [not pearly barley though], whatever.

    But - I do not know anything about Akitas, or any large dog for that matter, as I have only had small dogs, Pereg having been the largest at ±20kg [Tikva is ±6kg] and all dogs are different.
  9. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    The digging and nosing around in it is pretty common I think, my pups have done it. They’d stick their snouts in the holes and kinda snort, like a pig, lol. They both will still dig a little, but generally it’s when they are digging for voles, so more of a hunting, looking for prey type of think, as opposed to the fast and furious digging for no apparent reason. They do still rub their noses in the holes though. Don’t remember how long it took for them to stop digging for entertainment. I’d just keep filling in the holes.

    Akitas aren’t huge barkers and all of mine have and do give me a quizzical look when the neighborhood dogs are barking, as if to say, “
    what are those stupid dogs barking about”.
  10. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Kai had his first puppy school class today and he definitely was one of the better students, let me tell you lol. Seeing the other puppies and how they behaved definitely made me feel good about his progress. He was completely calm and relaxed - there was one terrier who was quite naughty, growling and barking constantly... Kai lay down and watched him for a while but when it got too much, he gave a short sharp bark and the dog hushed pretty quickly lol.

    Just wanted to run this past you all for advice - the trainer today (who also used to have an akita) recommended Royal Canin... from what I have read it is not grain free, but apparently the grains they used are processed so they aren't harmful to pups. Any advice on this and if it is worth switching him over to?

    We were thinking of switching him over to Black Hawk grain-free as the food his breeder had him on is a struggle to make him eat. He barely touches it unless there is plenty of meat mixed through with it.
  11. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Pics :)

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  12. Malka

    Malka Member

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    It sounds like Kai is doing well with his training do far, well done. :023:

    Regarding food, I do not know anything about Royal Canin but the comment about "grains they use are processed so they aren't harmful to pups" is something that IMO is incorrect. As in my message #7 "Unprocessed" grains, seeds etc are fine because they contain the whole of the grain or seed and are not stripped of the goodness in the whole ones.

    White rice, with plain boiled fish or white chicken meat is frequently used when a dog has/has had a bad bout of diarrhoea, but not generally as part of a main meal when the dog is fine and passing normal poos. It will not harm a dog to be given processed grains but they will not get the benefits of whole grains.

    I am not a food fanatic - not a vegetarian nor vegan - I eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy etc, and lots of whole grains. But I do not eat any form of processed food. The same with my dog. If I will not eat it why should she?
  13. VictoriaM

    VictoriaM New Member

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    Royal Canin isn`t a good quality food,from what I know.It`s quite expensive and the ingredients aren`t great.
  14. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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  15. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    I will concur that royal canin is not a good brand. You live on a different continent so wouldn’t know what to recommend. I will say that since you’ve been mixing meat into his kibble he may turn his nose up to any kibble without meat mixed in as that is what he’s gotten used too
  16. Kai_Kudu

    Kai_Kudu New Member

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    Thanks all, def not giving him that then.

    He has already reached the humping stage!! Feels so wrong seeing a young pup do this. He has this soft snake toy that he particularly enjoys humping... while standing. It's quite the sight. Only started past couple days so tryna to discourage it and redirect his attention.. usually once we stop it he starts running circles around us and takes a while for him to calm down. Fun times!

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