Training General Chat

Discussion in 'Akita' started by lojo, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    Training

    Hey everyone:)
    Has anyone used shock collars with their akita training? Properly used collars... I used a vibrating/shock combo on my labXchesapeake and my akitaXlab and had great results. Using the buzz before the shock and finding the minimal shock value.
    Im having a hard time with my guys recall. He knows it indoors, but as soon as he gets outside he will refuse to come inside. Or to be caught. He knows the command but its way more fun to be outside. I've had to leave him outside to go to appointments cause of this. And I hate it having to do it! I just watch my security cam the whole time. But after 90 min of trying to catch him I have to give up...
    So -- as much as I don't want to use shock collars on my 8 month old pup, I always give him praise and treats whenever he comes inside - Im looking for another solution...
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  3. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    I really don’t know the answer to that, but, when you research Akitas traits there at the top is “ bad recall “ team that to them having a high pain threshold I can’t imagine it being a positive experience for either of you.
    They are so intelligent that they know they should when called, but, stubborn enough to “ not bother “ if there is something better to do
    Maybe try a long trailing lead ( not attached to anything) when you are in your garden is a good way to practice and should you need to get him in
    Our Akita is 2 now, we learnt the hard way and don’t let him off
    If you get chance let us see some photos
    Philippa
  4. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Please do not use an E – Collar on your dog.
    Any smart dog would much prefer staying outside (fun place) rather than getting locked in the house (boring place). And if you add the extremely fun game of 'Try to Catch Me' when he's loose outside that's a huge win for his Game of Fun.

    Take him outside on a long lead stay with him let him play, smell, enjoy himself then when you are ready to go inside, say your "come" command in a calm quiet voice and lead him inside, reward him inside, this way you won't get angry and frustrated and he'll definitely come back in the house.
    Or
    Get some yummy tit-bits, when you want to bring him inside throw some just outside the door, (let him see you doing it ) then continue inside to middle of room, if he comes in praise with game/ more tit-bits.
  5. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    The long lead idea sounds good for training. But for every time might not be practical. He likes being outside for hours at a time, and its winter and freezing outside. I'd leave the lead on him, but he will chew it off:) Ive tried luring him in with treats, play, dinner and bacon. He runs up, eats, whines, circles and runs off. I don't want to leave him outside when we have to go to work for hours. Its not safe. If he got out and we weren't around to catch him would be horrible.
    The E collar I have has the vibration on it. The shock is the last resort after the dog realizes what comes next.
    Im curious if anyone has used the collars on Akitas as they are unique.....o_O:)
  6. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    It sounds as if your pup is having a great time
    To answer your question “ no “ we haven’t used an E collar and I’m going to stick my neck out here and I’m hoping to get some back up from other members, but, with the thing you are wanting to “ correct “ I don’t think it’s needed
    He is still a baby, give him chance to be taught, he isn’t being naughty he just hasn’t got it yet
    I apologise in advance as it’s everyone’s choice to do as you wish, the same as bringing up children, we all do it differently, but, you did ask
    I’m not being negative and I really do hope I can help
    Philippa
  7. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    The E-collar is just a short cut to proper training and is definitely not a positive training method.

    You chose an Akita, they are known to be stubborn and have poor recall, as well as getting bored with repetitive training. Akitas generally don’t do well with negative, harsh training methods. If you are surprised that he is acting this way you obviously didn’t do your research, didn’t believe what you read, or for some reason thought things would be different with your Akita.

    Put the time in, and/or hire a private trainer to come to your house and help you train your dog, but one that uses positive training methods. Your dog will lose respect for you if you use harsh training methods. Right now he is challenging your authority, and you need to figure out how to get him to listen, and to respect you. I don’t think shocking him is going to gain his respect. He might learn to listen to avoid the pain, but that is a completely different thing to respecting you, or wanting to please you.

    I wish I had a simple answer, but you have not chosen a simple breed so there is no easy answer. I have been through this. My first Akita seemed to know when I was getting ready to leave, and would try and make a game out of me catching him, and he was going to get to go with me, so it wasn’t an issue if he was going to be stuck in the house. I would get very frustrated with his “game”, and it lasted until he had past the 2 year mark. What I did was bring him inside at least 1/2 hour before I planned on leaving, and that often worked. My current male, bandit, did the same damn thing for awhile. No amount of high value treats would work.... It takes time and patience, and more time and more patience, lots of treats and affection, and loads of calm energy. It’s not easy.

    I know your frustration, but shocking your dog because he isn’t doing what you want him to do is, to me, very cruel. I could “maybe” see using a device like this if you had some real severe aggression problems and it was a last resort to having the dog euthanized, but short of that, find a real good trainer and teach him what you want, and he’s an Akita, so if he doesn’t see the point in doing something, he may just not do it.

    It took me well over a year to train Bandit to play fetch and return whatever we are playing with to me so it could be tossed again. He wanted me to chase him because that seemed like a good time to him. This took loads of repetition and treats, month after month, with me walking away when he wasn’t playing the game how I wanted to play it.

    My younger female, Katie Mae, watched how fetch was played and brings things back to me until she’s bored and lays down to chew on it. Her recall has always been pretty good. I didn’t really have to work on it with her, she just got it. Maybe she just wanted to make sure she wasn’t missing out on any attention.

    Do NOT spend 90 minutes trying to catch him. You are giving into what he wants. He’s gotten you to play “his” game. After maybe a minute, go back inside, or leave for a few minutes and come back home. Maybe he will be happy you’ve come home and you can grab his collar, praise him and give him a treat, and then put him inside, and give him more treats.

    Reading your second post it sounds like he will come to you for treats but not close enough for you to grab his collar? Can you lure him closer, ask him to sit, and stay, then give the treats when he is calm, and get his collar with your other hand?

    There are no shortcuts to proper training, and they are adolescents until at least 2 years old, testing, testing, and more testing. You will do as you see fit, but I would implore you to work more on the positive training and not try a shortcut that could possibly damage your relationship with your dog, or even permanently alter your dogs temperament.

    There is a song that used to be the theme song for a tv show called “baretta”, which had the line, “don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time”. Well same goes for owning a dog, particularly breeds like an Akita. Don’t get the dog, if you aren’t willing to put in the time to teach them the things you need them to know.
  8. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    How’s he doing as far as his weight? He was on the smaller side when you got him so was curious. How about some new pictures too? Hopefully you didn’t take my previous post the wrong way.. you asked so I expressed how I felt. I blame my first Akita for my first grey hairs... they can be very frustrating at times. I even thought of making a lasso to catch bandit when he wanted me to play the catch me if you can game... and the reality is you can pretty much only catch them if they want to be caught..
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    GsdSlave and CaroleC like this.
    Try throwing the treat behind you into the house when he is almost to you and follow him in if/when he goes in after the treat
  10. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    Wow WOW, tell me how you really feel - LOL.... Umm, I did do my research, and I had stubborn cross breeds. Chesapeake -- one guy told me that they're 2X4 dogs, in the way that you need a 2X4 to train them. And the other akita mix. But the lab in my cross breeds helped out tremendously, I guess. I think that even new parents will tell you that they did their research but no amount will paint the exact problem or frustration that they will encounter.

    Thank you though:) I did ask and I wanted answers from akita owners. He has had professional training and will soon have 1 on 1 with trainer. Me too of course. Will be addressing the recall.

    I should of been more accurate, I've never been out there running around crazed for 90 min. I open the door, if he wont come in i'll close it. I'll go out with leash and try to get him to sit, and when I cant get him, I go back in. Ive walked down the street and came back. I've drove around the block. I can see on my cameras hes sad and cries at the gate, but when I come back, hes off running playing keep away. I'll leave a trail of treats from outside to inside. I'll go to the furthest side of the house with the door open. He'll come and grab the treats and run back out. He will scratch to come in and when he does come in I give praise and treats and make it fun. I agree with wanting a lasso!! Super frustrating! My lab/akita cross almost didn't make it home one camping trip cause I was going to shoot him cause he was soo frustrating! But he turned out to be one of the best.

    I'll continue with training. I don't plan on using the shock collar. I'll practice my breathing:D try to keep calm. Your right Philippa, he is still a baby, well, maybe a bratty preteen:)

    I guess my concern here is his safety. I don't like the idea of him being outside while we're not here. If he got out, of course, but hes also a barker. And I don't want my neighbours annoyed. But even if I wasn't afraid of him getting out or barking, I don't want a dog that's kept outside without me being home. That's why I thought a collar would work, they produce results. But I don't want to break my dog for quick fix.

    WOW - Thanks for asking about his weight! Hes 52lbs and 8 months old. Still small and slight. He doesn't like eating his breaky of kibble anymore since his dinner is raw food. I'll sometimes mix his raw into his kibble to get him to eat it. As well as sardines sometimes. The little turkey will sort through and eat the good stuff and leave the kibble! Haven't over fed him, followed your advice about not wanting him to grow too fast, I think his weight is bang on for how small he is. The 'internet' tells me he will be 75-80lbs. Will be interesting to see! I've read that runts can be the biggest. Either way will be just fine with me;)
  11. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    Well I can’t help myself but to be honest about what I think and how I feel.. I’m pretty sure I’m missing a filter that others have, lol.

    Around 2 years old, give or take, is when my Akitas have started to come around and be the dogs I’ve wanted them to become. They really test you, and challenge your patience. I quit smoking last April and there was more then a few times that I felt like calling his breeder and saying “do you want him back”. Of course everything is accentuated when one is quitting smoking...

    I understand not wanting to leave him outside when your not home. I leave mine inside while I’m at work. I know that if they wanted (and figured out that they could), they could easily dig under the fence and go roaming. Also sometimes it gets too hot, during the summer, in the afternoon, for them to be outside.

    I just figured out that the 2x4 you mentioned is a stick of lumber.. Wow... I’m glad I never had anyone say something like that about a dog, because I’d really have some words for that person... The filter would be completely gone...

    Akitas are definitely not for the faint of heart, and when someone asks me about them I often tell them all the bad attributes first, because I don’t think most people have the patience to get through the first few years.. if they are still listening after that I’ll tell them what I love about these dogs. I do suppose that no amount of reading can really express how stubborn this breed can be.. You really have to experience it too understand. There were times after I got Bandit, after Darkstar had to be euthanized, that I seriously asked myself “why did I get another Akita”? And now I have 2... LOL. Katie Mae is only 15 months old, but she hasn’t tried my patience as much, not sure why.

    I’m mildly surprised he’s a barker, as Akitas are known for not barking a lot. Mine will bark for a minute when some of my neighbors drive bye, but doesn’t bark at all of them. The male barks more than the female. He also barks if I don’t hear him at the door when he wants to come in. The previous one would bodycheck the house to come in. Katie Mae just sits outside and waits, or if she really wants in, will jump up and look through the window at the top half of the door.

    Well why would he want to eat kibble when he knows you have the “Good Stuff”!!! Could you feed him raw for all his meals? I know it’s more expensive so maybe that’s your reasoning. I couldn’t afford to feed my two raw, so I have chosen to not expose them to it, that way they don’t know what they are missing out on. Periodically they get some meat or chicken from my neighbors when they have leftovers (I’m vegetarian, so no meat ever cooked here). I’m also guessing that the raw you feed is store bought, excuse me if I’m wrong about that.

    Bandit runs around 80-85 lbs. Hes a little bony now and I’m working on fattening him up a bit, not sure what he “should” weigh now as an almost fully grown adult dog. Katie Mae is a tiny cute little thing, running in the mid-sixties right now. I’ve had a huge Akita and I’m kinda enjoying having more manageable sized dogs. Less food, less poop, less double coated dog to brush out and blowing their coat all over the house and vehicle.

    Sorry for such a long response, besides not having much of a filter, I’m also rather long winded.. but hopefully not to gassy, lol.

    Hang in there and you’ve only 16 more months until he starts hitting the sweet spot around 2 years old...
  12. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    My lab/chesy was an amazing dog. So happy to make me happy. So when I got my lab/akita and to see how the world revolved around him, made me love him. So I can understand why you would get another. And another... And..:)
    I think he was also easy because of my other dog. He had a playmate, teacher, companion and disciplinarian. Made my job easier.. Maybe that's whats happening with your Katie Mae.?.

    Ahh, the 2 year mark.... The sweet time when they turn into great dogs, only to turn back into turds for a few months, and then back into the dogs they're meant to be:)

    The stinkers a barker! "Barooooooo bark bark bark bark!" My other pup didn't bark, so when he did we paid attention. One time a bear came into camp and he had this strange, big boy bark we knew to listen to. This one, however, is broken. My akita is broken. He barks tons! Hes starting to learn who the neighbours are, but barks at mailmen, joggers, deliveries and on and on.... And wont come in and wont stop when I tell him to. Broken dog:)

    I want to feed him kibble. The cost, oh yes, the cost of raw food. But because of dental reasons. Hes a good chewer, but I've seen what soft food does to dogs teeth and I don't want it. And yes, Im very fortunate to have raw food available in store, actually made here, and its easy frozen forms are convenient. Im (hes) also fortunate to have access to other meats, ie halibut skin, deer and elk. I think its great that your a vegetarian, I tried, couldn't do it..

    As for his adult weight.... When my older dogs got, well, comfortable with their weight. It was very hard lifting them into cars and trucks when they're pushing 90. So, I agree, great things can come in small packages;)

    Thanks again!
  13. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    A34C4843-D237-4BEC-BED7-E7F7418CC901.jpeg 6007775F-9FCB-46D2-9E4B-0DDF55EEC1BD.jpeg 5CE492EB-A248-4BDB-8DE4-321A0C6759B8.jpeg

    Last pic was Tucker after his impromptu swim in our fenced koi pond in the middle of January. Glad he got out, wasn't even cold
  14. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    00BB2B79-463C-40E5-9765-4B60BD21CA58.jpeg 90% of all pics are close up cuddling pics:)
  15. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    Thanks for adding the pictures, they are beautiful
    This site is great, I try to pop in each day. I’m often picking up some tips & great advice
    Akita’s are so photogenic, I don’t think I ever tire at looking at them !
  16. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    GsdSlave likes this.
    Great photos. Tucker has such a gentle expression.
    I have a breed that can be very hard to keep close to you because of the strong desire to follow scent and run with other dogs. My trainer recommended that I spent time in a safe field with my pockets full of really high value treats - throwing them away from me for Eddie to chase after, and then calling him back and rewarding him for coming. It took me a while for me to catch on to just how much fun I had to generate, and how generous I had to be with my rewards. This method did work for us, and Eddie went on to compete in obedience and trials.
    IMO The most important thing with difficult breeds is to be able to turn yourself into the focus of their attention.
  17. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Puppies need to get their energy out, positive based obedience games work well for the mental aspect as does playing games teaching tricks ect:
    I practice various, short fun training sessions throughout the day 'every day' with my dogs, on walks, in the house and garden.
    My Akitas did well in heelwork, stays, (recall at home or onlead at training classes/outside) the only thing I couldn’t get them to do regularly was the retrieve.
    For me training any dog is a lifelong journey that should be enjoyable for both dog and owner.
  18. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    Thanks everyone:)

    Today was a bad day. I let him out first thing, came in easy. Then let him out 10ish and he refused to come in for 5 hours. And barked. And barked. We just got a big snowfall, so people are out shoveling out their cars. And he barked consistently at them. Neighbours with dead batteries trying to get their cars started -- bark bark bark.

    I really appreciate this site and everyone's knowledge and input and having a place to vent and talk

    Cheers to you, and all the amazing dogs whos have trained their owners soo well:p
  19. lojo

    lojo New Member

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    My trainer gave me the same exercise. And to play the same game with 2 people and play pig in the middle. But inside still, he is not ready for the big world:)
  20. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    I never had a barking problem with the Akitas, but Gsd’s are known to be very vocal, and that was the reason ‘Heiko’ ended up in council pound, neighbours complained and eventually he was taken away. When I got him he was 12 mths old and boy did he bark at every little thing.
    It took a wee while but I got there in the end, and now he can be outside with no problem.

    Allowing him to bark reinforces the behaviour, I never left Heiko outside unattended at first and only a on a long line, I allowed him a couple of barks, then gave him the command (enough) teach a command that means "be quiet and stop barking,) if he carried on barking he was brought indoors immediately.
    This was repeated several times a day until he understood that when I gave the ‘enough ‘command he stopped barking.
    Either keep him inside when you cannot be out with him or spend time with him outside exercising and training.


    How much physical/mental exercise does he get every day?
    If he is getting a good walk and additional mental stimulation there is no need for him to be outside for any length of time alone.
  21. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    Great advice Vee
    Yoji spends a bit of time on a balcony we have ( one floor up ).
    He loves being out there and I like him being out there as he can watch the world go by. Sometimes he lets people & other dogs pass by without a “ woof “ other times he barks, when he barks a do go and bring him in. I’m hoping over time he will learn, just as you have explained

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