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We have a wide variety of dogs and up until now they have all gotten along. We have a 10 y/o gsd/lab mix who is my husband's dog who he had before we met. Then there is 2 1/2 y/o Titus who is a Norwegian elkhound/gsd mix although he seems to have very little gsd, so I am not sure how true that it. He's about 45 lbs. He is also pretty much my husband's dog. Then there are my pups: both a year and a half old, both about 110 lbs: Winston the gsd and Henry the akita. We adopted both of them two months apart and they have been best buddies since, until very recently.

The past few days they have been at odds or something. They will have these encounters where they are standing nose to nose and then Henry just goes after Winston, not quite an attack but more than a snap, if you know what I mean. At first I noticed there was usually food involved, like the kids dropped something on the floor. (They are all tame around their bowls at mealtime and they share). But today it seems to be constant, Henry seems to be going after Winston for no reason, just starting trouble. I break it up and separate them for a time. When they get back together they're fine for a while but then it'll start up again.

This has literally just been in the past couple of days. I cannot tell if Winston is showing any aggressive signs or not, he usually submits pretty quick to Henry when Henry's jaws start snapping. I have been trying to pay close attention to all of their encounters looking for subtle signs that the problem is with both of them but I haven't noticed Winston doing anything except standing his ground until Henry gets mean. Of course I am aware of the stigma that akitas have about being dog aggressive but I met the parents as well as the other dogs that the breeder had and they were great together and the breeder said they have not had any issues with all of them getting along. I want to fix this problem, both of these dogs are very important to me and I do not want to get rid of either one of them.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I am sure it has something to do with them reaching maturity and fighting for pack status and if that's the case will they eventually settle or will this be an ongoing battle? Additional info: the only altered dog in the house is Titus, the little one, although Winston will be going soon due to his cryptorchidism. At this point we have no intention of neutering Henry. Whether it's related or not, after Titus was neutered he began having major behavior issues so we are leaving Henry the way he is just in case there is a correlation there. I know some say that altering will decrease aggressiveness however, Titus is way more feisty now than he was before (my husband defends him, says he's the little guy who needs to stick up for himself, lol, I don't buy it). None of the dogs have shown any aggression towards the kids or my husband and myself, but I don't want this problem to escalate to that either. Anyway I need some advice so we can continue to be the big happy family that we used to be. Thanks in advance :eek:
 

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Its been a long time since I have seen someone with an Akita, they are beautiful dogs. All the ones I have seen up to date have always came with warning about being the only dog. I know that breeders were trying to breed for better temperament. If you look up Akita you will get lots of info... Akitas are inherently dominant towards other animals and for this reason, they should not be allowed to run free or roam at will in the neighborhood. You can exercise your Akita off leash when you are in an area where it's unlikely there will be much contact with other animals and people. Male Akitas show aggression toward other male dogs, and female Akitas usually will not tolerate another female. Akitas can live peacefully with a dog of the opposite sex, though some Akitas prefer being an only dog! It important for you how to figure out how to make it peaceful, because those are two dogs that I wouldn't want to have to break up in a fight. Either talk to the breeder of the Akita or a behaviorist. I don't think the GSD is at fault at this time, but he might not keep taking it. Its probably not a good idea that they are to close in age either. Good Luck, I hope it all works out.
 

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Its been a long time since I have seen someone with an Akita, they are beautiful dogs. All the ones I have seen up to date have always came with warning about being the only dog. I know that breeders were trying to breed for better temperament. If you look up Akita you will get lots of info... Akitas are inherently dominant towards other animals .


Rolling eyes. This mis-information about these dogs are as bad as the GSD or Pitbull..

They say A picture is worth a thousand words... So meet my Kioshi.
Loved kids, other dogs, lived with a female Shepherd and a male Boxer Mixed with stupid. And the only agressive bone in his body was when he saw a cat.



OP I'm sorry I don't have any helpful tips from you but Akita's can get along with other dogs.
 

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We have 2 akita and 2 gsds, all male and our GSDs are intact. The two akita are older, 9 and 10, where the gsds are 3 and 1.

The akita are older and larger than the GSDs, they know this. Our 9 year old defers to the 10 year old but 'bosses' the GSDs around.

It all starts with a look. The Akita demand respect almost, if you're in their way then you /will/ move. If you challenge this then the Akita will correct, enough to get their point across. Our Akita have never barked in these instances, and never went beyond correcting.

Let me know if this is how the situation is:
The dogs are nose to nose, the Akita standing tall, with your GSD being a little shorter, but is leaning into/towards your Akita. Like his bodyweight is shifted forward? At this point your Akita probably takes a smalllll step forward and the GSD still doesn't back down, so the Akita snaps at him and intimidates him into either moving, disengaging the situation (turning/walking away) or rolling over.

As your Akita and GSD get put into these situations they are conditioned to the responses. The Akita knows the GSD won't back down at first, so hes going to go straight into the snap. The GSD is anticipating this so he is either going to eventually retaliate or he is going to continue flip over until he is in constant fear of your Akita.

In these situations I've never corrected (you don't fix aggression with aggression). But I can tell when it is going to happen and call the dogs to attention and make myself the most important thing that moment.

It is important you stop these interactions for your GSDs sake. Your Akita won't be 'mature' until he is about 4 years old and is going to push your buttons a lot. Your GSD is going to mature in the next year and right now is the most important (atleast to me). What happens now will decide how he will be in a year, you're in the official make-it or break-it.

Strengthen their recalls and their downs. Build your GSDs confidence. Watch your Akita. And hope your husband's dogs don't get involved in the conflict going on.


EDIT:
I'd also like to say that our Akitas are /not/ aggressive. They're big bluffers but also know the extent of their power and are very good about controlling it. With our boy Freeway (the 9 year old), a Cattle dog latched onto his hock and was trying to eat it off.. He was literally gnawing his foot while trying to pull it from under him. Freeway turned around and pinned the Cattle dog to the ground until the owner gathered him up, didn't displace one hair on his body though.

TBH I trust the Akitas with kids, strangers and dogs more than I do the GSDs.

Is your Akita American or Japanese ?
 

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Rolling eyes. This mis-information about these dogs are as bad as the GSD or Pitbull..

They say A picture is worth a thousand words... So meet my Kioshi.
Loved kids, other dogs, lived with a female Shepherd and a male Boxer Mixed with stupid. And the only agressive bone in his body was when he saw a cat.



OP I'm sorry I don't have any helpful tips from you but Akita's can get along with other dogs.
That is great that you had this experience. I posted what I know about the breed through my experiences. People who know this breed will most likely agree. I have NOTHING against any breed. I would give any dog a chance, whether its a pit bull, akita, boxer, etc. Akitas are powerful dogs and need to have a strong owner, much like a GSD.
 

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People who know this breed will most likely agree..
Most likely agree with what?

That they don't get along with other dogs?

That they are aggressive?

Two of us here both myself and angryrainbow who have lived with Akita's say differently.

Look I don't want to argue or hijack the thead.. I just want to suggest that maybe you might want to get to know an Akita in a different setting beside grooming. You might walk away with a different opinion. :)
 

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Most likely agree with what?

That they don't get along with other dogs?

That they are aggressive?

Two of us here both myself and angryrainbow who have lived with Akita's say differently.

Look I don't want to argue or hijack the thead.. I just want to suggest that maybe you might want to get to know an Akita in a different setting beside grooming. You might walk away with a different opinion. :)
Actually I think they meant agree with us. :p
Having lived with Akitas, we know that they have amazing potential at being wonderful dogs. But no one other than other Akita owners knows that. Akita owners, or those simply knowledgeable about the breed, will agree with us that they are great dogs (for our situation/home). Where there are people who think you have to be Ceasar Millan to even contemplate owning an Akita.

So while everyone here on the GSD forum is bonkers about GSDs, and agrees they are mans best friend.. Going over to.. a mastiff / shih tzu / poodle forum, there will be people who know squat about GSDs other than what they have heard.. "Scary police dog" "German Shepherd mauls kid" "German Shepherd killed Princess!!"

Atleast thats what I think they meant.


There are common misconceptions about every breed. With that being said, every dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to be Dog Aggressive, Same Sex Aggressive, Human Aggressive, Willful, Fearful, or just a pain in the ass. Similar to "Blame the deed not the Breed" or what have you..
 

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Most likely agree with what?

That they don't get along with other dogs?

That they are aggressive?

Two of us here both myself and angryrainbow who have lived with Akita's say differently.

Look I don't want to argue or hijack the thead.. I just want to suggest that maybe you might want to get to know an Akita in a different setting beside grooming. You might walk away with a different opinion. :)
Do you argue with everyone? Where do you get grooming from? We are all allowed to have an opinion, not just you:mad: I've never been a groomer in my life. I've worked with them at the vet and quite often. I'm telling you what I seen and what those owners experienced. I don't have to live with a breed of dog to know what that dog is like if I worked with them for years and years. I'm not going to argue with you. But obviously you and angryrainbow have seen something different then myself and what the OP is now seeing. Now can we go back to thread and help the OP learn how to handle an Akita so they can have a peaceful home. Have a great day:)
 

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Actually I think they meant agree with us. :p
Having lived with Akitas, we know that they have amazing potential at being wonderful dogs. But no one other than other Akita owners knows that. Akita owners, or those simply knowledgeable about the breed, will agree with us that they are great dogs (for our situation/home). Where there are people who think you have to be Ceasar Millan to even contemplate owning an Akita.

So while everyone here on the GSD forum is bonkers about GSDs, and agrees they are mans best friend.. Going over to.. a mastiff / shih tzu / poodle forum, there will be people who know squat about GSDs other than what they have heard.. "Scary police dog" "German Shepherd mauls kid" "German Shepherd killed Princess!!"

Atleast thats what I think they meant.


There are common misconceptions about every breed. With that being said, every dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to be Dog Aggressive, Same Sex Aggressive, Human Aggressive, Willful, Fearful, or just a pain in the ass. Similar to "Blame the deed not the Breed" or what have you..

No I meant that people would agree that if not in the right hands Akitas can be a problem. ANYWHERE you read about them(much less working/living/knowing them), it is suggested that they should be supervised with kids and other animals. It also is suggested that this breed goes into some kind of obedience training because they "like" to be in charge. I am not saying that these are bad dogs. I am saying that one can't argue with the history of them whether you have owned or do own them. Have you ever read the breed standard for these dogs? Maybe you should.
 

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And the beat goes on:):). My brother raised and bred Akitas for years, I trained many of them in my obedience clubs....so I have an opinion based somewhat in experiences, but that's all:confused:. Nonetheless, I have found them to be characteristic of many of the working dogs that have genetics routed in predatory traits, yet just as GS are found that are shy or aggressive, I don't think I would generalize and advise people on those xceptions.
 

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There are common misconceptions about every breed. With that being said, every dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to be Dog Aggressive, Same Sex Aggressive, Human Aggressive, Willful, Fearful, or just a pain in the ass. Similar to "Blame the deed not the Breed" or what have you..
This deserved to be quoted. It should be stamped in gold up on the header of this site... heck, every site for that matter. And on doors and road signs.
 

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AND... Let's get back on topic which is not whether or not Akitas can be with other animals but instead on how to help the OP with the issues they are experiencing.

OP's questions highlighted here for those who missed it:
Does anyone have any experience with this? I am sure it has something to do with them reaching maturity and fighting for pack status and if that's the case will they eventually settle or will this be an ongoing battle?
The past few days they have been at odds or something. They will have these encounters where they are standing nose to nose and then Henry just goes after Winston, not quite an attack but more than a snap, if you know what I mean. At first I noticed there was usually food involved, like the kids dropped something on the floor. (They are all tame around their bowls at mealtime and they share). But today it seems to be constant, Henry seems to be going after Winston for no reason, just starting trouble. I break it up and separate them for a time. When they get back together they're fine for a while but then it'll start up again.
Just wanted to point out that this isn't sudden. You have pinpointed how it is starting above and you need to become even more aware of the body language that led up to the nose to nose stare down in order to stop it before it starts.

These dogs are both just starting to mature and come into their own. Their behavior is something that you need to be on top of now.

It all starts with a look. The Akita demand respect almost, if you're in their way then you /will/ move. If you challenge this then the Akita will correct, enough to get their point across. Our Akita have never barked in these instances, and never went beyond correcting.

Let me know if this is how the situation is:
The dogs are nose to nose, the Akita standing tall, with your GSD being a little shorter, but is leaning into/towards your Akita. Like his bodyweight is shifted forward? At this point your Akita probably takes a smalllll step forward and the GSD still doesn't back down, so the Akita snaps at him and intimidates him into either moving, disengaging the situation (turning/walking away) or rolling over.

As your Akita and GSD get put into these situations they are conditioned to the responses. The Akita knows the GSD won't back down at first, so hes going to go straight into the snap. The GSD is anticipating this so he is either going to eventually retaliate or he is going to continue flip over until he is in constant fear of your Akita.

In these situations I've never corrected (you don't fix aggression with aggression). But I can tell when it is going to happen and call the dogs to attention and make myself the most important thing that moment.

It is important you stop these interactions for your GSDs sake. Your Akita won't be 'mature' until he is about 4 years old and is going to push your buttons a lot. Your GSD is going to mature in the next year and right now is the most important (atleast to me). What happens now will decide how he will be in a year, you're in the official make-it or break-it.

Strengthen their recalls and their downs. Build your GSDs confidence. Watch your Akita. And hope your husband's dogs don't get involved in the conflict going on.
Good advice above.
 

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Do you argue with everyone? Where do you get grooming from? We are all allowed to have an opinion, not just you:mad: )
Sorry thought you were a groomer, I must have you mixed up with someone else. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion mine is just the right opinion. ;):D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice. I made a point to really pay attention to my akita and gsd and I havent noticed any aggression, so far today at least, not like the snarling/teeth snapping events of the past few days. I have noticed my akita trying to bully the gsd and I did just call them and redirected their attention when I noticed they were standing very still face to face (it's actually more like they stand facing each other with their heads on either side of the other's head, so theyre heads are parallel). It seemed to work. Last night was kind of weird, I dont know if my akita was grumpy or what lol but he corrected my gsd for barking (he normally does this if the gsd is barking at non-important things during the day, correction is usually gentle). I let the dogs bark at night because my husband works night shift and I would like the dogs to scare away any bad guys that may come snooping. So the akita goes after the gsd agrressively to correct him and then the rest of the evening the akita followed around the gsd and wouldnt get out of his face. The akita even came to bed with me and it's usually the gsd who does that since he's attached to my hip. It was the first time I have ever seen the akita act this way. Jealousy maybe? the akita did not have any of these behaviors today.

The akita is really close with my husband's older dog, he likes to play with him and they do occasionally compete for status, although it's brief and not in the same manner that the akita and gsd go at it. The older dog respects the fact that the akita is much bigger and doesn't put up much of a fight. My husband's little dog tries to challenge the akita but does not get very far and he does not seem to like the gsd at all. The gsd chases him and the little one puts on quite the show of growling and teeth to get away but it seems like the gsd doesn't find him threatening so he doesnt fight back, he just walks and one of them will walk away. The older my dogs get, the more the little one dislike's the gsd. But the little one also has a seizure disorder that worsens with each new seizure and some times I think that is making him a little crazy. The gsd is the least confrontational of all of them. Sorry this is getting a little long winded just trying to give a good picture of the environment but it is hard to explain the dynamic of all of my many dogs lol.

So last night I stood between the gsd and akita when the akita was in the gsd's face and this seemed to help calm the situation. Once I had they're attention I made them lay down, and they would lay next to each other and be fine, until the gsd got up, then the akita would follow him. So I am hoping that some perserverance in stepping between then when tension starts to escalate will eventually solve this problem. They got along so well since they've been here so I have a hard time believing they'll start to hate each other and will do so forever. Although I have no experience with having two dogs of the same gender and age, so maybe I don't know what I am talking about. Maybe just the fact that there is so much testosterone because there are four of them makes the situation worse? Do you think they would not be going through this if it was just the two of them, or would that not matter?

By the way, the gsd is about 2 inches taller than the akita, and longer and is starting to fill out, so I do not know who will be bigger in the end. I do not walk them together because they are not trained yet to walk with each other so when I try they just distract each other and we get nowhere. They are too strong when together for me to train both to walk together on my own, I need to recruit my husband but it's been busy around here lately. Would walking them together help to keep the peace?

I have loved gsd's since I was a little girl (grew up watching rin-tin-tin :) ) but did not have one growing up since my mother was bitten by her friend's and is now afraid of them. We only had a lab and a collie mix so I have no experience with these two breeds, any info is very helpful and I will keep subsequent messages shorter, I promise. Thanks again!
 

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Pretty dogs. Are they both neutered? I hope one decides to submit or you are going to have a heck of a time. There are many schools of thought on this. Do you have a trainer? Good professional help is probably the best way to get through this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Neither are neutered yet. Winston will be with in the next few months, as of now we have decided not to neuter Henry (akita). We did not see a change for the better in our other dog who was neutered and the only reason we are having Winston done is because of the risk of cancer due to the undecended testicle. A trainer, hmmm, I did not think about that. I have never utilized a trainer before but that is definitely something I should look into. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
 

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I raised two male littermates, and many people have told me the reason I didn't have a problem was because I neutered one early and left the other intact for a year making him the defacto pack leader. I didn't mean to pick one over the other. It just kinda worked out that way.
 
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