Aggressive encounter - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Aggressive encounter

Hi guys,

I guess there is always a first. I want to share the experience, see if I should have reacted any differently.

I was walking with Rex (17 months old male intact). I saw a man with an Akita in the neighbourhood. I had seen this Akita three months. He was maybe 8 months then so now he should be around one year old. Then the owner seem to have good control. Was training with food and the Akita seemed friendly. We passed by each other before from a distance.

This time, the Akita dragged the owner on leash to us. I asked Rex to sit which he did the Akita came directly into our space; he was not aggressive and seemed playful. But it was a forge and he went behind Rex and Rex went from a sit into fighting mode in a split of a second. The Akita also went into fighting mode. They made contact and we pulled them off relatively easily. So it was a split second altercation. No one was harmed.

I said casually, Rex lets go, and we went along, did some heeling and playing as if nothing. Came back my way. The man said excuse me excuse me and came to talk to me. He gave the Akita to his wife who went the other way.

He asked me if Rex was a a guard dog and if he was trained to guard me. I said no training. First ever reaction like this. I explained that it was probably his dog forging through the space and being close physical from the back that triggered Rex.

To notte, Rex plays with small dogs, big dogs that I know well and he is always marked "well behaved" in day care. He is not fear aggressive and very confident in a nice way around dogs. It did not seem to be fear induced at all. More a protective get out of our way reaction. When the guy came to us. He stood far and talked to me. Rex was in a down. Didnt show aggression towards the guy but was very alert.

Rex is super friendly, bumbly, never showed a sign of aggression. I secretly was happy that if he wants to fend off, he can and he put on an "impressive" show. I was like wow. Is that you?

Any feedback on what happened, Rex reaction, my reaction and / or the incident.

Should I ever try to make them "friends" again? Will Rex now get pissed off at every Akita looking dog? Was Rex's reaction warranted? The Akita is also an intact male.

Many thanks for your input.

Last edited by Mozi; 05-22-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 03:12 PM
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I am a little wary of akitas because they are known for same-sex aggression (i.e. it's not recommended to keep two akitas of same gender!)...
but this akita sounds friendly?

He probably walked behind Rex to have a butt sniff - not to attack?
When we meet other dogs on walks, I just give my dog a long, loose leash and let them greet naturally (they will pull up alongside eachother, sniff noses, then if all is good, they'll arc around eachother to do a butt sniff...I don't let butt sniffing go on too long, because then leashes tend to get tangled and dogs get tense). If a dog is lunging, barking, or growling, then we angle our walk so there's a lot of distance and we don't meet. (The other owner is usually doing the same thing - you can tell by their body language and the look on their face if they have a friendly dog or not!)

My dog was once grabbed by the throat, by my friend's golden retriever. We pulled them apart in a second, but for months afterwards, he would sometimes growl at the sight of any golden retriever. His fur would stand up if we passed this particular dog (we of course did not try to have them meet anymore). It did wear off though! He seems to have forgotten now. Took several months in our case.

Well, that's our experience!

Oh, and this other owner should NOT be allowing his dog to drag him over!! What's up with that! Akitas get big, over 100 lbs, so this is a setup for disaster in the future.

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix

Last edited by GSDchoice; 05-22-2019 at 03:16 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
I am a little wary of akitas because they are known for same-sex aggression (i.e. it's not recommended to keep two akitas of same gender!)...
but this akita sounds friendly?

He probably walked behind Rex to have a butt sniff - not to attack?
When we meet other dogs on walks, I just give my dog a long, loose leash and let them greet naturally (they will pull up alongside eachother, sniff noses, then if all is good, they'll arc around eachother to do a butt sniff...I don't let butt sniffing go on too long, because then leashes tend to get tangled and dogs get tense). If a dog is lunging, barking, or growling, then we angle our walk so there's a lot of distance and we don't meet. (The other owner is usually doing the same thing - you can tell by their body language and the look on their face if they have a friendly dog or not!)

My dog was once grabbed by the throat, by my friend's golden retriever. We pulled them apart in a second, but for months afterwards, he would sometimes growl at the sight of any golden retriever. His fur would stand up if we passed this particular dog (we of course did not try to have them meet anymore). It did wear off though! He seems to have forgotten now. Took several months in our case.

Well, that's our experience!

Oh, and this other owner should NOT be allowing his dog to drag him over!! What's up with that! Akitas get big, over 100 lbs, so this is a setup for disaster in the future.
Yes he seemed friendly and his approach I do not think was aggressive but very forward and might have been going for a butt sniff. I could not tell exactly who reacted first but it seemed that Rex did and this is when the owner said it looked like he was guarding me. He said that Rex reacted first, which I think was the case. Or maybe we missed the millisecond where the Akita showed aggression. Not sure. What I know is that Rex never had an aggression stance towards any dog before, male or female.

I told the other owner that in dog world, forging like that and invasion of space could illicit reactions like this. That is what it felt like. Akita approach was "all over".
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
This time, the Akita dragged the owner on leash to us. ....

.... The man said excuse me excuse me and came to talk to me. He gave the Akita to his wife who went the other way.

He asked me if Rex was a a guard dog and if he was trained to guard me.
What was this guys point? Was he "schooling" you? Being nice? Angry?

I would have asked if his dog was trained to leash walk. No dog would have reacted if he had stayed in his own space.




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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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What was this guys point? Was he "schooling" you? Being nice? Angry?

I would have asked if his dog was trained to leash walk. No dog would have reacted if he had stayed in his own space.
Hi Jax,

No. He seemed genuinely surprised at what happened. Actually, he seemed quite anxious by the incident. Told him that he needed to gain control over the dog and very let him drag like that again. He says to me "I train positive with food" and he showed me the treats in his hands. I said well you need to balance it out and teach him that it is not ok to do certain things by correcting. He seemed perplexed at what I was saying and did not quite get it.

We have such a powerful furbaby force free wave here that I do not think people here know that anything else exist...

Oh well. He seemed shook up. I told him he needs to gain control of the Akita as when he grows up, it will be more like loaded gun. He was listening well.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:19 PM
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That's Great!!! I happen to really like Akita's but they aren't dogs to feed cookies to and let them make their own choices.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mozi View Post
Yes he seemed friendly and his approach I do not think was aggressive but very forward and might have been going for a butt sniff. I could not tell exactly who reacted first but it seemed that Rex did and this is when the owner said it looked like he was guarding me. He said that Rex reacted first, which I think was the case. Or maybe we missed the millisecond where the Akita showed aggression. Not sure. What I know is that Rex never had an aggression stance towards any dog before, male or female.

I told the other owner that in dog world, forging like that and invasion of space could illicit reactions like this. That is what it felt like. Akita approach was "all over".
I never let my GSDs get near strange dogs, especially on the street, and I take care to avoid that, walking them at times and in areas when other dogs are not likely to be around. I especially take care to avoid any dog larger than "small".

The reason is simple. If this situation had happened with any one of my males, that Akita would need a trip to the ER. Even the calmest of the males I have had would sit quietly like they were half asleep until the other dog crossed a certain line. Then, faster than you could blink, you would see one of the scariest beasts you could ever encounter. It would not matter whether the other dog was friendly or neutral -- they make sure that no strange dog gets too close to me. Often times, there is no signal at all. There is just a sudden explosion when the invisible line is crossed. They go from nice puppy to "Cerberus, the five-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades" instantly.

When the Akita started approaching I would have warned the guy loudly and in no uncertain terms that his dog is in mortal danger with each step. Somebody is about to get seriously hurt. The idea that he can't stop the dog is ridiculous. If he knows his dog is about to suffer major injuries then he ought to throw himself on the ground and make the dog drag him. I carry pepper spray so I would consider using the pepper spray on the Akita. That may seem harsh but I have seen how my male GSDs react to strange dogs getting near me. The Akita owner would much rather have a crying dog than one that is seriously injured.

Afterwards, I think I would explain it to the Akita owner in much plainer terms than you did. I would have said, "I don't care what training methods you use. You are lucky your dog isn't dead right now." This is not a mistake that is safe to repeat.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 11:25 AM
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Akita's are big and excellent fighters. Dog fights are terrible things, you do not want one... mace or an air horn will often work to keep a dog from approaching, but the best way to prevent this is a strong human presence (stand tall, walk toward approaching dog) and a calm, controlled dog.

I would not play around with "my dog is such a tough guy he would annihilate every approaching dog friendly or not". I think even a serious, hard dog should be trained to tolerate the presence of other dogs. Without trying to kill them.

If this were me, I would try to avoid seeing that Akita again. This is a serious dog and an inexperienced owner. And an Akita, while a wonderful dog in many ways, is not a great dog for this days and age's positive pet people. I also feel sorry for an Akita forced to live in a hot desert climate. Poor guy.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:47 PM
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No doubt. Akita's are not to be trifled with. My experience with them, and the Akita/Lab mix my husband's cousin had, was only positive. I loved the mix. She was the most stable dog I've ever met. We found her in our basement once. She wandered in to visit and my husband accidentally closed her in. We found her 2 hours later snoozing away, never made a peep. But she was not going to back down either. My German Shepherd was VERY lucky I was there when she decided to have a talk with Bruin.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 03:03 PM
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Part of Akita's temperament is to take a socially dominant role around other dogs, so I wouldn't try to make them "friends." One incident like that can lead to a dog becoming dog aggressive, but from your description it doesn't sound likely with your dog.
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