Dear Dogster reader,

Almost two years ago, we invested numerous resources and rebuilt the Dogster community. With new hardware, software and personnel, we did our best to satisfy the many users who shared their thoughts, pictures, questions, and love for and of their pets with us and friends. It was a thriving community with many users. We hoped, however, there would be more like you.

Times and habits have changed and we are sad to announce that the Dogster community will be closing down on July 20, 2019.

Dogster magazine, www.dogster.com and the associated social media sites are NOT shutting down. We encourage you to continue reading the content found in the pages of the magazine and the web sites, commenting through the mechanisms provided and sharing your ideas and comments with us and your fellow readers.

Instructions for accessing pet profiles were shared with everyone in 2017. The instructions can be found within the forum. AFTER JULY 20TH, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THIS CONTENT. And, effective immediately, we are no longer able to answer questions about the community.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you through our magazine and website.

Cheers,
Dogster

Growling and acting hostile with strangers

Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
edited 27 August, 2012 in Akita
I rescued a female Akita named Tika about 3 and a half months ago. She's been such a treat. Challenging at times but so far, I think I've done a good job with her training. She's excellent with my little Shih Tzu mix and my 2 cats, as well as my 1 year old. Zero problems in those departments. However, in the last couple weeks, she's been showing signs of aggressive behaviour towards strangers. Generally when someone new comes to the door, she may let out a bark but seems very uninterested that someone is there. This is still true but when my sister came over recently, she was sitting on the floor and Tika came up to her. My sister pet her and Tika growled at her, although it wasn't instant. It was after maybe 10 seconds of petting. I remember reading you shouldn't sit on the floor to get an Akita so I figured that was why she growled. A week ago, she growled at my son's babysitter. All the babysitter did was walk by me so I sent Tika in the other direction and she was fine. She appears normal if the stranger just ignores her. But like I said, this is all recent behaviour. She's never growled at anyone before these 2 incidents, and she had met my son's babysitter a handful times before this and never had an issue. Another incident was when I was walking her on-leash around my neighbourhood. A man got out of his car because he wanted to see her. Normally, Tika allows people to stop and pet her, no problems. This guy was not threatening to me but she froze up and I could tell from her body language that she did not want him to pet her so I asked him not to. She seemed very hostile and protective and I had to hold her in a sit. And lastly, my brother was in town 2 days ago and met her for the first time. He came in and she realizes that we are welcoming of him so she has no desire to get up from her sleeping spot to meet him. She just lays on the floor (I guess she's a lazy Akita!). He bent down to pet her and instead of a growl, she let out a bark. I'm guessing she did not want him touching her. When I used to take her to a dog park the first couple weeks I had her, she couldn't get enough of people petting her. Considering this is all very recent behaviour, I'm not sure if it's something she's developed because she's become protective of her new family or territorial and if it's something that will stay or go back to the way it was. Just looking for advice if this is typical and also how to deal with those sorts of situations with Akitas and strangers. With this behaviour, would it be best to avoid letting strangers pet her in the future? Is there anything I can do to show her that certain strangers are ok? Any tips would be appreciated! ^_^

Comments

  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 29 July, 2012
    Have you been socializing her regularly? Akitas need to be socialized outside of their own territory often and for their entire lives. Taking her places like petco,to parks,not doggie parks but parks that allow dogs and other places where she can meet as many new pepole as possible is very important with Akitas,if not properly socialized they can become too overly territorial and overly protective to the people and things they consider theirs,to avoid any liability issues if you think she might over react or you just aren't sure how she will behave use a muzzle until she is better socialized. I have owned and researched Akitas for more than 16 years and have never not sat on the floor with them. Kai my nearly 3 year old,110+ pound baby boy,still likes to try to sit on my lap. I sit down on the floor with my legs crossed and he sits on my thigh and gives me hugs and kisses and I am not much bigger than he is I am only 5ft and 130 pounds,he is taller than me when he stands up and puts his paws on my shoulders. I really just sounds to me like you haven't been quite vigilant enough with socialization and really need to get him away from the house more and meeting and accepting new people as long as you tell them not to move overly quickly,and let him know that you are not threated or worried by the other person. If you need any further help or advice please feel free to p-mail me and I will get back to you within 24 hours at most.|bb| and lots and lots of socialization.
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 29 July, 2012
    Thanks for these tips. I think you might be right. When I first got Tika, I brought her to an off-leash dog park every day. The lady that owns the dog rescue that I got her from exercised her with other dogs frequently and never had issues so I felt comfortable taking her. Once in awhile she would act dominant towards other dogs but not aggressive and definitely no teeth involved. About 2 weeks after taking her to that park, a Lab snapped at her because as the owner later explained, the Lab doesn't like her owner petting other dogs. Well, Tika retaliated and they got into a tussle. So after that experience, it made me too nervous and scared to go to the dog park. So instead, I just take her for a couple long walks per day where she doesn't get to interact with other dogs. A lot of people stop me to pet her and she either lets them or acts indifferent. As far as sitting on the floor, I've never personally had any problems with it but from my research, I've read that you're not supposed to (maybe this applies to strangers rather than the owner).
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 29 July, 2012
    As far as other dogs go there is in most cases some SSA with Akitas and it tends to be worse in females and even if you don't see it early on it tends to set in at around age two or so and get worse. As I said socialization is key,the more they are socialized off property,the less likely they are to overreact on their territory once you say it is okay,also Akitas tend to be a bit aloof with people outside of what they consider family. It tends to take them a bit to get used to new people in their homes and adjust to them and I have found over the years that ours prefer to do this in their own way and their own time,forcing attention on them before allowing them to decide how they feel about your presence usually isn't a good idea. Unless it is someone my pups know well and like that comes into the house,we usually advise people to just ignore that they are there until they are ready to come and show interest and not to pet them until they ask for attention. I appreciate your taking the time and interest to research what you have gotten yourself into,and as I said I am more than happy to help if I can. Akitas are the same as other breeds in many ways but very different in what can sometimes be very important ways,although they also generally have many similar traits,each one is individual and will react to things in their own way. Just like people. Have fun staying one step ahead and out thinking her,I know for us that has been one of the most amusing adventures and greatest joys of owning them for us. They certainly keep you on your toes.|bb|
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 30 July, 2012
    Yes, I find that when any new person that enters the home simply ignores her, she will do the same. I think I will simply advise people of that when they come over. I found it strange that I've had her for 3 and a half months now and these behaviours only began in the last month. The vet's best guess was that she is 4 years old. When I used to take her to the dog park, she would go up to every human, lean up against them while they pet her, and then once they got bored of that, she would wander off to the next one and do the same. It was quite funny cuz sometimes I would have to make her leave the person alone lol. I'm guessing it must be a territorial thing that has made her start her hostile behaviour? How normal is this to develop 3 months into living here?
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 30 July, 2012
    Akitas can take awhile to bond. Given that she was older when you got her,I would imagine she has finally after 3 months accepted your family as hers and knows that your home is hers now as well,so I don't see it as at all unusual. We got ours as young puppies all between 8-10 weeks,and it still took each one of them several days to as long as a week before they willingly began to come to us and accept our house as their new home. They wer happy that we were feeding them and caring for them and even at times found us entertaining but it took awhile to adjust and accept us completely and seek us out when they needed something. I would imagine given her age that it has just taken until recently for her to finally realize she has found a home and settle into her place in it. As I said they can be very odd and that is why it is so important to find resources to help you both before and after you add an Akita to your home. I was fortunate when I got my mix to have found a place on AOL that no longer exists but there were a wonderful group of Akita people more than willing to help me at the time and along with my own research they were a wonderful asset as was my vet who is the only one within 50 miles of me with extensive experience with the breed and Kai's breeder has also been an amazing asset,I still continue to research the breed as they are always learning new things that can be quite helpful but my vet and Kai's breeder keep me informed as well. I will however be grateful to those people in the Akita world who were more than willing to lend a hand and give me their real world,day to day experience and observations and answer my questions as well.
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 1 August, 2012
    And again, M&K comes to the rescue before I can! :)) One of these days, I promise, I'll answer an Akita-related question first. XD Anyways, you got some awesome answers from M&K! She has also been helpful to me with Lobo. I hope that one day, I'll be able to be as knowledgeable about this wonderful breed as she is! ^^ I want to add, also, that Lobo LOVES people. However, he is VERY uneasy about strangers coming into his home. In fact, he gets quite stiff and attentive when he sees strangers in general. It is only after he's a few feet from them and gets a feel of them, that he calms down and is more than happy to go up to them and accept attention. Akitas are better at reading humans than humans are, so, when meeting a stranger, if Lobo doesn't want to meet someone, neither do I. I trust Lobo's instincts completely. Perhaps some people just give Tika a bad feeling? When people are outside our door and standing in front of our house for too long, he growls. It isn't that these people are bad (actually, they're usually middle school students waiting for the bus) it's just that it makes him very uneasy. I had to crawl in through the dog door last night (I was at a friend's house later than expected, and my family locked the door) and Lobo heard me come in, and growled at me. OH MY DOG it was the scariest moment in my life! XD After I said his name, though, he was perfectly fine and overjoyed to see me! As for not sitting on the floor... Um, well, I guess I've broken that rule a few hundred times. We've had strangers in our house sitting on the floor before. Lobo checked them out, and was confused, but he wasn't concernered - and yes, there's a difference. He doesn't mind people we allow in the house, but until we let them in, it's very unlikely that anyone will be coming through that door. I want to commend you for reading your dog! =D> You saw her stiffen up, and you recognized that she was uncomfortable. That's AMAZING of you! Too many people don't know how to read their dogs, so I'm happy that you were able to. Other than that, M&K has covered everything!
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 1 August, 2012
    Lobo,funny you should mention your little adventure of coming through the doggy door,I have on occasion locked myself out,or had Kai lock me out by turning the deadbolt while trying to turn the doorknob,yes he knows how to open doors, I have been wise enough to call to the pups first before trying to put my foot through the front window,it is always wiser to let them know you are the one coming in before you try it,that is unless you are not all that fond of whatever part of you you are putting in the window,dog door,or other entry point,that is not where they expect you.:))
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 2 August, 2012
    I usually try to keep quiet when coming back, because my grandpa is a really light sleeper, so I wasn't thinking. I've climbed through the dog door before (a couple times, actually... heh...) and Lobo didn't usually seem to notice, so I didn't think much of it. But here lately, he has been a little bit on-edge. We've come in contact with really, um... let's just say people who give off a really frightening vibe, as well as some immature teenagers who recently moved in on our block. It scares me to have to take Lobo out at night, but I have to weigh the pros and cons. I either take him out in 100+degree weather during the day, or risk it and take him out when it's cooler. It's also why I now force my daddy to walk with us! :)) Oh! Another story I just remembered! One time, my friends and their youngest sister stayed the night. Their sister was under the covers, and as she was getting up, Lobo completely flipped out! I think if I hadn't grabbed him, he would have been on top of her in no time at all. But as soon as she took off the covers, Lobo immediately calmed down. But oh goodness, I was so scared! She was... twelve at the time, so all I was thinking was a big fat lawsuit because Lobo's impulsive and didn't use his nose right away. I swear. I love having such an intense dog, but it is a chore to make sure he's extremely well-socialized and well-behaved. I feel like if we skipped out even a little bit on getting him out and meeting people, he could have easily turned into a territorial nightmare. OH! I HAVE ANOTHER STORY! (lol I'm full of those tonight!) I found a dog one day. Old dog. I think Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She didn't seem to mind Lobo's presence, but she was a little... TOO curious of Poppy. Lobo AMAZED me this day, because he doesn't like Poppy. He likes Poppy less than he likes my younger brother, and that's really saying something. But the old dog went for Poppy with a far too intense look. I KNEW I wouldn't make it there in time if she did have an attack in mind(it didn't LOOK like she was going to; it really did just look like she was TOO curious, and perhaps too nosy), and I was on the phone with the shelter. Well anyway, Lobo put himself between them so fast, and he STARED this dog down. I was thinking a fight was about to ensue, but nope, the old female just walked away. After that, though, I separated them. I should have done that from the very beginning, but Poppy is really good with other dogs, and Lobo's obedience is really good, even around other dogs, so I wasn't THINKING. But, like I said, Lobo managed to defuse the situation and I leashed up the female and took her out front to wait for the shelter to come pick her up. I wouldn't have minded keeping her until we found her owners, but it's not my house. Anyways, I don't think Lobo's protectiveness will ever cease to amaze me. I always wondered if he would ACTUALLY protect the family, and he's shown me on multiple occasions that, yes, he would.
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 2 August, 2012
    Usually even a whisper is enough to let them know that they know who you are. Mine are very well socialized and absolutely amazing with other people off property but they will protect what they feel is theirs. My mix Mattie did not like,sunglasses,hats,or jackets that slipped over your head,she seemed to feel that the jacket was attacking the person and would try to pull it off of them. Hats ans sunglasses were fine if she knew you but if you wanted to be introduced you had to remove them,they seemed to for some reason interfere with her ability to read people properly,so we had to have anyone who wanted in the house that she didn't know remove their hat or sunglasses if they hoped for an easy introduction. Just Akita Quirks.
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 2 August, 2012
    I enjoy reading your stories. ^_^ Akitas are such funny dogs. Definitely quirky. I've always thought Akitas were beautiful but didn't fully research them until this year. I feel knowledgeable about them now but still learning of course. Even as a dog lover my whole life, I don't think I ever spent so much time learning about one specific breed! :)) But it's amazing how little things pop up here and there that you weren't expecting. Tika has been so surprising because from all my research of Akitas, a lot of the things I read don't pertain to her at all. Just one day after meeting my cats, she was perfect with them. That was actually scary...the big test if she would get along with my cats. Then there will be other traits that are SO TRUE of course. She's definitely a hunter...nabbed a groundhog the other week. :/ Just glad she doesn't act that way with my kitties! I'm not really sure what to do about socialization though since I can't go to the dog park. Sometimes on walks, people approach me and I allow them to pet her. Outside I only had a problem with that one guy so far. Would you take an Akita into a dog park on a leash or do you think that would make matters worse?
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 3 August, 2012
    I don't like dog parks, simply because there are WAY too many variables. Lobo is more than happy to ignore other dogs if he can, but he's more reactive on the leash. But he has been lunged at before, and a Husky attacked him at one point(well, not really "attacked" but pounced on him in a less than friendly way. No teeth were shown, but it was a lot of growling). Since then, any dog that looks like a Husky suddenly puts him on edge. ): He has dog friends, don't get me wrong. And he loves these doggy friends, and he loves to play with them, but he's incredibly picky with the dogs he'll hang out with. With Lobo, if I allow him in the vicinity of another dog, without allowing him close enough to touch, and sit down and just in general act really calm, he calms down QUICKLY and can have a very calm meeting, with no problems. He even managed to befriend a puppy the other day! Which is amazing for him, as he isn't a fan of puppies. Lobo is also a hunter, but he has this unusual (or maybe not so unusual for Akitas) ability to differentiate between "prey" and "pet." I'm hoping the same goes for cats, as I'm moving in with my partner soon, and he has a cat. The one and only thing I found really difficult to control was Lobo's obsession with cats. I don't know if it's just him being TOO curious or what, but he's never hurt one, and a lot of his movements seem more like nervous-play, if that makes any sense. :)) Either way, Lobo will have to get crate trained, because I know for a fact I will not be able to ever leave him alone with her. EDIT;; Also, if that man was the only stranger that she seemed to dislike, it's possible that it was for a very good reason. Never doubt a dog's sense, especially if she's otherwise friendly.
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 3 August, 2012
    We don't do dog parks either. My pups too have doggy friends but most Akitas,will not stand for a dog behaving agressivly in their faces.They may not start a fight but they also tend not to back down when challenged. There are rare exceptions,but a normal Akita is not like that. Mine are very well trained and if told to leave it,will do so. Dog parks are just not ideal places for Akitas. What you are doing with taking her for walks and allowing people to pet her,and perhaps even asking people to do so is an excellent way to socialize them,also if you can taking them to pet stores or other places where pets are permitted and allowing her to be exposed to as many different people as possible is really good. You could if you have the time volunteer to help hand out information for a political candidate you support and take her with you,not on door to door cases but perhaps at rally's and even the polling place on election day and introduce her to as many people as possible,I get to do that all of the time because my husband works maintenance/security on election and primary days because he works at a government facility. The pups always draw alot of attention and they get socialized and I get to educate people and often change their perception of the breed for the better,I don't encourage owning one but try to let people see that in the right hands,with the right training they can be amazing and not the monsters they are often made out to be. For people who ask about owning them I will try to take the time to let them know just how much work can go into having one like mine,some seem up for it,others often decide although mine are very nice,the work they take to get that way is beyond them and decide the breed is not for them. Some Akita research is good,some unfortunately is outdated and never really did apply,for example it was believed for a very long time that Akitas and very young children don't mix. I have never had a problem with that,mine have all adored children. There is also alot of conflicting information out there that becomes very confusing,that is why I was grateful to find those Akita people on AOL who were so willing to be of help,answer questions and give me actual owner based information and research. So yes,the profiles,health information,and other things have their place but it is also important to try to find people with real world experiences who can help you find the flaws in the other stuff and sort out some of the conflicting and confusing information out there. Lobo did give you one very valid and important piece of information,Akitas are very keen at reading people and seeing through them,if your Akita is wary of someone or something,you should be as well,it may be that the person is just a bit fearful of large dogs but it could just as easily be that the person has bad intent. We have a teenaged boy who is actually fearful of large dogs but is also an instigator. Initially,Mika and Kai picked up onhis fear and were uneasy with it,until about the past year and a half,because he is afraid and doesn't like them here he began teasing them to make them seem aggressive in hopes that someone who lives nearby and is on our city council,would hopefully propose a ban or do something to make them leave,we have caught him doing this multiple times,he was out of luck however because the person on the council knows that they are kept under excellent control,supervised vigilantly,and although her dog has tried to start fights with mine,I have been able to control them with only one finger on the collar and a solid leave -it command. Animal control has also been called on several occasions for other reasons and the officers have all commented on how well behaved,sweet and friendly they are. He has since stopped bothering with them and they will now bark at him but then go back to what they were doing after just a bark or two. We also try to get them to Petco at times when there are few dogs but lots of people as often as possible. Anything that gets them socialized with as many people as possible and teaches them to just ignore other dogs if not like them is a good thing. Keep working at it. They are a very quirky and amusing breed and in the right hands with proper training and tons of socialization they are truly amazing and wonderful dogs who will steal your heart and soul,they can also be addictive,I know alot of people who had other breeds before got an Akita and now can't imagine life without one.
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 3 August, 2012
    "... they can also be addictive,I know alot of people who had other breeds before got an Akita and now can't imagine life without one." How true that is. I have ALWAYS loved dogs who were the "underdog" so to speak; dogs that other people dislike or have a bad rep. My first experience with one of these dogs, was a Chihuahua. Keep in mind, we weren't qualified to own this dog, as he had MAJOR fear-reactivity issues, and none of us knew how to deal with that. But for the most part, he was quite happy, and once he got to know you, he was FRIENDLY. He adored people that he knew, and he had such an open and loving heart; he was just incredibly fearful. But people who don't know what a Chihuahua's TRUE personality is like, assume they're all vicious. Yeah, they can be (PeeWee himself proved that; he DID bite if someone entered the home before he was introduced to them) but they aren't supposed to be. My second "bad rap" dog was Lobo. AND, just like M&K just said, I cannot imagine my life without an Akita. It would feel very lacking. Yes, caring for them and understanding their needs is a big job, and it's not one that I was always willing to do. I remember when the thought of having to brush a dog every day was groan-inducing, and I didn't think it was for me. It's exactly why a part of me didn't want Lobo when my grandpa showed him to me. But I'm so happy that we got him. And all those little details don't matter much, because Lobo makes me happy. The least I can do in return is run a brush through him everyday. :))
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 3 August, 2012
    Ok so I just had a really bad experience a couple hours ago. A lady asked to pet her so I made Tika sit and she pet her. The lady was talking to me for a few minutes so Tika got bored and laid down. Well I didn't expect this but the lady bends over and sticks her face right in Tika's...Tika friggin' nipped at her right in the face. No blood but it was a little red on the cheekbone. Thing is, Tika gave no warning or anything. I can't really think straight right now. I don't know if someone can sue you over this or have the dog put down or what. I'm in Ontario. The laws are probably different everywhere. Now I definitely feel like I can't let her around anyone. What do I do?!
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 4 August, 2012
    First calm down. Why would this woman be idiot enough to put her face in the face of a strange dog? That is simply asking for trouble. I do not know what the laws are in your area. You should post this in Dog Laws and Legislation someone there may be able to help you with what the local laws are. I did mention that you should probably consider a muzzle until you were sure how she would react since she has not been socialized much since you got her. I'm glad it was just a nip and not something more serious. I wish I could help you more but because laws vary,I really don't know what will happen.|:||bb|
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 6 August, 2012
    Yes, I'm glad it was just a warning nip and not a full on attack/bite. My small dog would do the same thing, I'm sure, but he always growls first to give a warning. I guess Akitas generally do not. I cannot believe someone would do that either. I was talking to her for a few mins and she was talking about how she loves dogs, she has a husky and a shih tzu, etc. So you would think she knew a thing or two about dogs. And she didn't just stick her face in Tika's. She literally bent over, was 2 inches away and was like shaking her head at her. So I can understand why Tika didn't like that. I thought most people knew not to stick your face in a dog's...and especially not to shake it like that. I'm just disappointed in Tika for reacting that way though. At least growl first! At home, she is so tolerant of my baby but if he's being too annoying, she simply gets up and leaves the room. Strangers are another story for her apparently. We're just lucky she didn't break any skin. I found this on an Akita Rescue website: "Akitas consider eye contact a challenge and can react aggressively. It is strongly advised NOT to get down on the Akitas level and close to the dog's face unless you are well acquainted with the Akita. These positions can and do trigger an aggressive response." I guess that is dead on with Tika. I guess that is the one con of rescuing a dog - when they're still relatively new to you, there's a lot of learning still going on.
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 6 August, 2012
    Some Akitas will warn,others do not. Not taking her out in public however is only likely to make her more protective and less tolerant. Akitas are smart enough to recognize the difference between someone very young,very old,and those in anyway frail. Mine will allow my grandchildren 7 and 5 to do pretty much anything they want since they and the kids have known each other since toddlerhood. I have an elderly neighbor in her 70's and they are well aware that she can not be jumped on and will behave accordingly. Although they have also been teased by several teens in the area,they do recognize those with downs syndrome and other learning disabilities as small people in big bodies. I'm sure Tika just recognized an idiot when she saw one and wanted this strange person out of her face. Since the woman was partially at fault,and no skin was broken or permanent damage done,it is highly unlikely she would have much of a claim but because you now know she reacts that way,I would definately think the muzzle or even a halti that you can use to keep her mouth closed while you have time to warn an idiot not to do that is advisable. Please do not hold it against Tika,she may have actually been made that way by her former owners punishing her for growling,that is most often how they become that way.|:||:||:||:||bb| and p-mail us if you need help. Either Lobo or I would be happy to help in any way we can.
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 6 August, 2012
    ANY dog can learn to not warn before a growl. It is NOT just Akitas. It is ANY dog. Please don't hold something like this against Tika. Another thing to remember is... That woman was STUPID. Dogs - Akita, Shih Tzu, Husky, WHATEVER - do NOT like anyone in their face. That is RUDE and just intollerable in many dogs' eyes. How would YOU like it if someone just stuck their face in yours? It would be more acceptable for a stranger to turn so their side is facing the dog, and let the dog approach them. In dog language, this is very polite. It's like you shaking a stranger's hand in greeting. In my opinion, Tika's response was acceptable. Lobo is a little more accepting, but even he will flinch and back away/turn his head if a stranger puts his or her face in his. And Lobo WILL bite if that person does not back off. Which is another thing. Did Tika really not give warning? Or did she just not give a VERBAL warning? Did she back up at all? Did her eyes get wide? Did she turn her head - even the slightest? Did she lick her lips - or even just barely flick her tongue out? Did she yawn? Did her face tense up? Did her body tense up? Did her tail start wagging? All of the above (and more) are PHYSICAL signs of her showing she's uncomfortable. Although to you she may not have given any warning, it's VERY likely that she did, and you just might not have noticed.
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 6 August, 2012
    Lobo although it is true that any breed can nip without warning (at least of the verbal type first) that is one of the things that has given the breed a bad reputation over the years,they have been known to attack without a warning that the typical person understands such as a growl. Not everyone is aware of the other warning signs that you mentioned.Not Everyone belongs to Dogster,researches,or even reads books to help them see that there are signs other than a growl that indicated discomfort/irritability/fear in a dog. We all know only a complete idiot would go around looking into the face of a dog they do not know but not all will recognize the signs that the dog has had enough and back-off until the dog reacts then they blame the dog. I know that you have,researched,read,listen ,asked and learned,I just wanted you to be aware that nipping without verbal warning is one of the things that gives Akitas,although they may not be the only breed to do it their bad rap with the public.
  • Keesje Vanden BoogerdKeesje Vanden Boogerd KingstonPosts: 9Member
    edited 10 August, 2012
    I don't hold it against her at all but I don't think any dog owner would be happy if their dog bit someone. I can understand why she reacted the way she did so I can't fault her for that but I really really wish she DIDN'T react that way. As for warning signs other than growling, I did not see any. However, it happened way too fast to assess. Tika was laying on the ground when the lady shook her face in hers. It's possible she may have given a physical warning that I didn't see. Tika knew right away that she did not like it and made sure the lady knew it! The good thing is she didn't do it to attack but to say "back off" basically.
  • Pam LaVignePam LaVigne Posts: 5,251Member
    edited 10 August, 2012
    I know it is hard and you feel bad when it happens,mine fortunately have never seen reason to go that far but my mix did once bite the shoe a friend of my stepsons' was wearing. Mattie had a bone,aside from family and all small children she did not trust people bothering her while eating,the girl walked near Mattie and I warned her to keep her distance,the dog was chewing a bone,at 16,she should have been old enough to understand my warning. She proceeded to get closer to Mattie,who also issued a verbal warning to back off,inciting the girl to tease and push her luck,about the third time she tried to point the toes of her shoe toward the dog and tap the floor,the floor did not get tapped because there was an Akita attached to it who kept tightening her grip everytime the girl tried to move. The girl was stunned by the reaction and I'm sure it must have hurt even through the shoe because as soon as she finally get bitten she said,Ow,Wow,make her let go. I did feel bad, but she had been warned before she ever got close enough to get bitten. It is very likely Tika did warn,just not in a way the woman recognized and not knowing what else to do,Tika reacted to the failure to heed her warning. Mattie once growled at a female intern at my vets office for rushing into the room,invading her personal space,and appearing to threaten or be a threat to me,before I could react,the intern slapped Mattie in the face hard,I was too shocked to react at that point but called the vet the next day and reported the incident and told him in no uncertain terms I did not want her near my dog again. After that incident,if Mattie was in a vet hospital setting for an emergency when our vet was out of town,she had to be muzzled before they could touch her,all it did when that intern smacked her was teach her to dislike and distrust female vets and techs,something she never got over. That is why I mentioned that Tika may have been previously punished for growling and didn't bother to warn because of it,fortunately for us Mattie did not learn not to give warning,since it was not me and only happened once but she certainly did her fair share of warning anyone in a lab coat to back off and get away from her.
  • April ShuylerApril Shuyler Posts: 640Member
    edited 27 August, 2012
    Went away again~ x.x I keep doing that! Anyways~ M&K, I understand that. That's why I pointed it out, just in case. If it happened really fast, it may have even been too fast for Tika to react in what would have been a more appropriate behavior. Are there any more updates for Tika?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Dogster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!