My husband and I adopted a 2-year-old American akita from our local pound last week. He grew up with akitas, but I have no experience with them. (I didn't even know what an akita was until we got married...) I did what I feel like is a good amount of research before adopting her, so I knew we would probably have some behavioral issues since she's 2 years old and being rehomed.
We have a 5-month-old terrier mix, Toby. He is very well-behaved as we've devoted SO much of our energy to training him over the past 4 months. He is a little hyper, as any puppy would be, especially a terrier, but listens well. Kuma, our new akita, HATES him. She growls at him when he gets too close, she attacks his throat every time he gets near her food. We've tried forcing them to socialize, which is fine as long as my husband is there coaching them. But when it comes to interacting on their own, nope. We can't leave them in a room alone or there's a good chance Toby would not come out alive.
Here's our dilemma: We are more than willing to work with Kuma and train her to keep her in our family. She has exactly 0 aggression toward humans, and is otherwise pretty well behaved, she just seems to have issues with other dogs. However, my husband is active duty military and we are moving across the country to our new duty station in 2.5 weeks. We simply don't have the money to hire a trainer right now, though we'd like to. I've contacted just about every trainer within a 30-mile radius of us asking for help, but of course nobody wants to help without $$. I have done internet research but can't seem to find any concrete aggression tips, and I know that akitas don't respond to every type of training. I'm hoping to get some insight from an akita owner who maybe went through the same thing or something similar with an adopted dog.
I was lucky enough to come across Kuma's original owner's info in her vet records. I contacted her owner, who's been very helpful trying to give me as much info about Kuma as possible. The owner had given her to another woman (who surrendered her to the shelter for unknown reasons), despite her vet encouraging her to put Kuma down because akitas are so prone to behavioral and depression issues when separated from their owners. However, she said that Kuma grew up with a terrier mix and got along with that dog perfectly, and used to love playing with other dogs.
Does anybody have experience with this? Tips or insight? We adore Kuma and want to keep her in our family, but we don't want to put Toby in permanent danger. Toby has been very patient with Kuma so far, despite the fact that she's drawn blood on him, but I don't want his personality to change completely because he's afraid of her.