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"The Turn" (PLEASE HELP)

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Koga

1286820
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 18, '13 9:16am PST 
We have a 6 month old American Akita named Koga. Koga is really sweet and not at all "aggressive", he's strong willed at times but also easily distracted and manipulated. One of the things my wife & I have done is learned to "speak" Akita- we are learning what his behaviors mean and how to react to them.

However, we've noticed that while walking (and it is almost always while on a walk) that he can "turn" on us. He becomes suddenly aggressive- running hard, pulling on the leash, JUMPING at us and doing a lot of serious biting.

It's clearly dominance behavior, and not specifically aggressive (he never growls, barks etc) it seems more like play from his point of view but it's terrifying from ours.

It seems like a switch goes off in his head and he just can't even control himself anymore.

Once we can calm him down he's fine- but we know that these incidents are going to get worse.

We're planning to start classes with him within the next couple of weeks (I need to get through June before I'll have the time or income), so I know getting him trained is a big part of this. We are still debating the method (I want to do group obedience classes, my wife wants to do the "send the dog away to a trainer for a week" method which I'm not cool with)

But I am curious if other Akita owners have heard of this specific behavior. I've raised Labs, Yorkies and Newfoundlands and never experienced anything like this ever before.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 18, '13 12:14pm PST 
I don't see this behavior as dominance. I however do feel it is inappropriate to say the least. You really need to speak to your vet to make sure there is not some physical issue going on and also consult with a behaviorist not just a trainer. Would it be okay for me to p-mail you and discuss things privately? I have raised 3 Akitas in the past 17 years and had experience with many other breeds as well previously and have honestly never heard of this issue.
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Koga

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Barked: Wed Jun 19, '13 5:24am PST 
Of course! I'm open to all help and advice- I really don't want to have to send him away to this trainer my wife is insisting on (I'd rather do a series of classes where it's us & Koga... and he gets along very well with other dogs so far).

The weird thing is if my wife & I walk him together, it's the person who isn't holding the leash that he goes after.
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Koga

1286820
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 19, '13 11:16am PST 
Wish I could get a little bit more response to this ("bump"), because my wife is very insistent on taking a training route I know will be counter productive and I'd like to get some kind of info on this from someone somewhere. Anybody?
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Koga

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Barked: Thu Jun 20, '13 6:33am PST 
So thanks to the Puppy forum for giving me the terms FRAP & Zoomies to research. It has given me a LOT of help in understanding what's happening!
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 6:12pm PST 
I sometimes think if I didn't stop in here once every few days this group would sorta just go away. When/if you need help right away either p-mail me or use the regular forums rather than the Akita specific, you'll get help much faster that way and any time something akita specific comes up there are several people who p-mail me to check it out. Good Luck with Koga. He is a very handsome boy and they do settle down in time.smile
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Koda

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Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 12:29pm PST 
It definitely sounds behavioral and not like aggression. However, I don't see sending him to a trainer as a help since it is proven that the best training happens WITH the owner instead of away from them. I would say this is especially true with a breed such as the Akita. They bond so closely with us, I don't see the advantage in sending him away.

For a while when we walked Koda, he got really excited at one point, pulled some and jumped around. It was a young puppy thing. We never really experienced this after 6 months of age. He just "grew out of it". Now, Koda walks like a well mannered juvenile on leash.

Try a pronged collar first. It was reccommended to us by a trainer. The chokers can hurt their throats, but with large breeds, like the Akita, they are helpful. We noticed a big difference in Koda. The trainer explained that as humans, we view it as harmful and like a Medeival torcher device, but with these large/giant breeds, they don't feel it the same way we do, due to all their fur and skin. I may get some flack for this, but I've talked to many Akita owners who use these and they help greatly. I would suggest that for walks and see what results you get. The key is to have a trainer show you how to properly use it. It needs to be worn up high and not "low".
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 30, '13 5:14am PST 
My only caution to Koda's advice is to make sure you have a good trainer who shows you how to use tools properly if you choose to go that way. A tool like a prong collar is just that a tool to be used temporarily while the issue is worked out. It is not the cure for anything!!! We were able to not have issues with our pups because we started them with a halti when they started walking, now we no longer use the halti at all but they still walk very nicely. You got some excellent advice in the puppy forum as to how to correct the problem. Please let me know how Koga is doing from time to time and as I said before please feel free to p-mail me anytime.hugwishes
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