large dog gets stiff and growls at me and family at night..its getting dangerous

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large dog gets stiff and growls at me and family at night..its getting dangerous

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Old 12-19-2017, 05:05 PM
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large dog gets stiff and growls at me and family at night..its getting dangerous

Sorry for the long post but I want all details out there in case bits and pieces here and there might help in understanding the situation.

So I have two American Akitas. One male one female.

Both sleep in my bedroom.

The female is an angel and I had her first. I later on introduced a new male puppy. When I felt he was approaching adolescence I had vasectomy performed on him so that the growth of his bones isn't affected.

Hes always been the type that wiggles his tails excessively. Playful. Hardly has a prey drive. I had him socialized fairly well (not perfect but fairly well).

He had food aggression as a puppy but I (thought) I got rid of that through having him sit and wait for food and only approach the food when given permission. Id be able to take food right from his mouth. Food aggression growls randomly and inconsistently started to appear again at the age of around 10 months.

He got into a few fierce fights with the female because hed growl at her (shes tolerates anything from him but aggression towards her), all when I was around and was able to separate them. I dont trust him at all so now keep leashes on them to help me separate them just in case a fight happens.

When I take them out to play in the yard he'd run just a little then follow me to stand by my side as the female (who has a high prey drive) looks around for any animals around hoping she'd be able to catch something. He clearly gets tired fast. At such times he'd be obedient more than he normally would (Yes I know that a tired dog tends to be more obedient but its not the same after say.. a long walk)

Thats the background...all the major issues started to appear at the age of 10 months (maybe 11 as im not %100 sure of his DOB)

Whats new is he growled at my mother as she was removing things from in front of me. Brother told me he walked into the house once and the dog growled at him. After moments of awkwardness he pet the dog like he normally would but said the dog was really stuff and he felt the dog could snap at any moment and bite.

I brushed it off suggesting he comes and plays with us and that the dog may be confused since hes going through puberty and that bro isnt home that often.

But tonight as I got off bed to switch off the lights he growled at ME! Was a scary moment. To divert his attention I walked out to the yard with them both (he became playful and was snapped out of that state of mind) then went back to my room again. He was normal then suddenly went stiff (no growling) exactly as bro described. Anticipating a growl had I walked towards him I avoided him and laid in bed. He came and put his head next to me arm wanting to be pet as he always does, but this time he was stiff even while being pet. In a way I feel he is really confused.

Something is clearly wrong and can clearly turn dangerous. Im more worried about family that arent as experienced with dogs as I am and/or not as physically strong.

Last two pieces of info : 1- He usually chooses a dark corner to sleep in. 2- Potty training him was a challenge because he never wanted to do anything while I was watching.

I cant give the dog away for adoption since the weather in my country is very hot and very few, if any, would be able to keep such a dog indoors. Even the ones that would wouldnt have the necessary experience to deal with him. Those that would love to have him would be the type that would just get a kick out of his looks for a few months then sell him to whoever pays more. Therefore, putting him down is an sadly option although im not giving up on him just yet.

Theres very few dog trainers in my area and the only one I trust cant take in any dogs for the next two months.

Im taking him to the vet tomorrow to rule out any medical conditions. Til then any advice would be highly appreciated.

Last edited by LuvAnimals; 12-19-2017 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:14 PM
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I wouldn't let him sleep in your bedroom anymore until you figure out what's going on. If it's a medical problem or not and til you work with a good trainer that has experience with aggression. It could be an extension of the resource guarding that he thinks the food is his and he also thinks the bedroom is his.
My last dog was an Akita pitbull mix who I got from a shelter at ten and a half months old. I was his third home already and he was dog aggressive but good with my cats. He had food aggression and resource guarding with everything. I only fed him in his room and had him wait in his crate and he couldn't touch a single bite of anything without my permission. Sometimes he had to do tricks for canned food or treats but he had gone after a cat once who just walked by and gave a warning snap to a roommate or two who got too close when he was eating.
With other dogs he'd pin them by the throat for drinking out of their own water bowls.
So I had to be very firm and consistent with the nothing in life is free principle. Even people giving him a treat had to have him do something to earn it, otherwise he'd get too pushy.
Akitas are very strong willed, independent and powerful dogs. It's actually good that he's growling. My dog never made a sound just would lunge and snap fast with no warning.several vets told me they were more cautious of the Akita in him than the pitbull because akitas are known to bite without warning.
Just be careful and lock him in another room at night for now.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:35 PM
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Thanks. Yeah I have him in a crate. And yeah warning you with a growl is good in a way.

I feel so sorry for him and so don't want to have to put him down.

Unlike the female, I feel his personality has always been on the shakey side... with not much confidence. Like he'd pee when picked up and get startled easily and stuff like that. He'd howl if left alone. Not as confident as one would expect from an Akita.

For those who read this and dont know much about the breed :

The female on the other is outstanding (no issues at all whatsoever except her very high prey drive on walks). She's always looks out for me and family and is very protective of us as individuals more than her territory. If a friend held the leash she'd never almost look away from me, especially if she feels other barking dogs are near me, or say I walk away with two strangers she doesnt know. Its hard to explain, but theres just something about her.

Shes respects everyone in the household even when they are eating, and is very predictable. Sadly you cant keep her in a yard for long as they don't tolerate heat well at all.

Her strong will only comes out when she gets into hunting mode. Shes fearless yet generally calm and psychologically/emotionally stable, and very confident. If someone afraid of dogs looks at her in the eyes and steps back she'd bark and may get aggressive but even a GSD would do that.

Apart from her first two weeks with me as a puppy, she never had food or any kind of aggression for that matter (I made her sit and wait for food... fed her well..then handfed her and now a child can take food from her mouth with no concern whatsoever).

Feels like you're dealing with a human being. Shes even ok with other dogs but I keep her away because any movement/growl/sound from the other dog that can be perceived as aggressiveness would make her instantly attack with no warning so I keep her away from other animals.

Love her and wouldnt choose another dog if time could be turned back. I put lots of effort into socializing when she was younger. Was hoping the male would be similar but got disappointed.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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Akitas can be tricky dogs. They are the sweetest dogs, but really prefer to be the only dog in the house, and can be VERY protective of their family.

I concur that both dogs should be crated outside the bedroom. It doesn't always have a noticeable impact, but it never hurts. This probably needs to be a permanent arrangement.

To risk oversimplifying the issue, the problem is that the dog sees itself as the self-appointed guardian of everything: people, objects, house rules, whatever. In the dog's mind, someone needs to be in charge - to be the protector. I think it's a mistake to get into the "alpha dog" and "dominance" mindset. It's just as simple as the need for someone to be the strong, wise, calm, benevolent dictator. If the dog doesn't think that is you, they'll try to do the job.

With Akitas (and plenty of other breeds), it can be pretty hard to live up to the dog's expectations. This is what gives them the reputation for being difficult breeds. It is just that many owners simply don't provide the firm, clear leadership that the breed demands. And, the Akita is particular difficult because they are so sweet to you that they sort of "trick" you into being their friend rather than their leader.

This definitely doesn't mean you need to be tough with them and that you can't show them affection. It's just that you have to provide strict structure and discipline FIRST. They will love you more for it, and life will be much more harmonious. And, definitely don't try to physically discipline them. That will only escalate the aggression and, at best, will just get them to behave while your back isn't turned.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:40 PM
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Unhappy oy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvAnimals View Post

...
I have two American Akitas. One male, one female. Both sleep in my bedroom.

The female is an angel, & I had her first. I later introduced a new male puppy. When I felt he was approaching adolescence I had a vasectomy performed on him so that the growth of his bones isn't affected.

Hes always been the type that wiggles his tails excessively. Playful. Hardly has a prey drive. I had him socialized fairly well (not perfect but fairly well).

He had food aggression as a puppy but I (thought) I got rid of that through having him sit and wait for food and only approach the food when given permission. Id be able to take food right from his mouth. Food aggression, [plus, he?] growls randomly & inconsistently, started to appear again at the age of around 10 months.

...
.

I am going to simply state that i think vasectomizing a dog is an extremely bad idea; if U want him neutered, DO IT.
If U want him intact, DON'T. // Rendering him infertile for breeding, yet leaving him with all the androgens of an intact-M, is not just pointless - it's potentially dangerous, & yes, i did say dangerous.

Testosterone increases aggression across the board, & please note his approx age when things started to deteriorate: 10-MO, the testosterone peak of his entire life, when he's circulating 5 to 7 times the amount of testosterone in his bloodstream, as the levels found in 12 to 15-MO intact male dogs.

Neutering a male dog doesn't "ruin his bones" - or for that matter, his joints, which aren't mere bones per se, but are articulated segments of the skeleton that make movement possible; muscles, attached by tendons, are the strings that move the animal puppet.

I love Akitas, but the only suggestion that i'll make is that, were he mine, i'd get him desexed - then, i'd start B-Mod.
Good luck,
- terry

.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:52 PM
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Desexing isn't going to do anything anyway have you tried acting like your protecting him and her?? When someone comes in you always greet them first not the dogs?? That might help. I unfortunately have never personally trained a Akita meet a few but they where all happy go lucky. I do believe crating them would be a good thing at least until the problem has been solved. It just sounds like he is protecting you except for the growl toward you that kind of throws me off a little bit. When you walk him make him walk behind you show you are protecting him not the other way around. If you just moved or something someone moved in that could trigger the protective behavior.

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Old 12-20-2017, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foswick View Post
To risk oversimplifying the issue, the problem is that the dog sees itself as the self-appointed guardian of everything: people, objects, house rules, whatever. In the dog's mind, someone needs to be in charge - to be the protector. I think it's a mistake to get into the "alpha dog" and "dominance" mindset. It's just as simple as the need for someone to be the strong, wise, calm, benevolent dictator. If the dog doesn't think that is you, they'll try to do the job.

With Akitas (and plenty of other breeds), it can be pretty hard to live up to the dog's expectations. This is what gives them the reputation for being difficult breeds. It is just that many owners simply don't provide the firm, clear leadership that the breed demands. And, the Akita is particular difficult because they are so sweet to you that they sort of "trick" you into being their friend rather than their leader.

This definitely doesn't mean you need to be tough with them and that you can't show them affection. It's just that you have to provide strict structure and discipline FIRST. They will love you more for it, and life will be much more harmonious. And, definitely don't try to physically discipline them. That will only escalate the aggression and, at best, will just get them to behave while your back isn't turned.

Hope this helps.
Yep im the leader and they dont even walk out of doors without my permission and don't enter certain rooms even if their doors are open etc. He especially has to wait for food. Yeah physically discipline I think is pointless especially that he seems to be confused and lacking confidence.

What confuses ME however is.. why doesnt this happen during the day? It only happens at night.

I also wonder if being an adolescent dog has anything to do with it. If so them he should grow out of it.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markie View Post
Desexing isn't going to do anything anyway have you tried acting like your protecting him and her?? When someone comes in you always greet them first not the dogs?? That might help. I unfortunately have never personally trained a Akita meet a few but they where all happy go lucky. I do believe crating them would be a good thing at least until the problem has been solved. It just sounds like he is protecting you except for the growl toward you that kind of throws me off a little bit. When you walk him make him walk behind you show you are protecting him not the other way around. If you just moved or something someone moved in that could trigger the protective behavior.

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Yes hes normally happy and playful. If separated from me for a while (Like having to spend the night at the clinic) he'd whine joyfully when he sees me. And no I didnt move anything I was just walking by. Overall hes happy and such behavior only happens at night and every few days even. Its pretty random and theres no clear pattern to fix.

Waiting til his adolescent phase is over to see what happens isnt exactly an option... too risky. However I feel bad for him and want to give him a chance.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by leashedForLife View Post
.

I am going to simply state that i think vasectomizing a dog is an extremely bad idea; if U want him neutered, DO IT.
If U want him intact, DON'T. // Rendering him infertile for breeding, yet leaving him with all the androgens of an intact-M, is not just pointless - it's potentially dangerous, & yes, i did say dangerous.

Testosterone increases aggression across the board, & please note his approx age when things started to deteriorate: 10-MO, the testosterone peak of his entire life, when he's circulating 5 to 7 times the amount of testosterone in his bloodstream, as the levels found in 12 to 15-MO intact male dogs.

Neutering a male dog doesn't "ruin his bones" - or for that matter, his joints, which aren't mere bones per se, but are articulated segments of the skeleton that make movement possible; muscles, attached by tendons, are the strings that move the animal puppet.

I love Akitas, but the only suggestion that i'll make is that, were he mine, i'd get him desexed - then, i'd start B-Mod.
Good luck,
- terry

.
Thanks. Although I feel desexing can be perceived be dealing with the symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself, you do have a point. I wont get into the bone-estrogen discussion as it can be a long one, but even if we assume it does have an effect on bones, and even though some say it can have a negative effect on anxious and fearful dogs, I guess its worth the try given that the other option is putting him down. Even if it takes weeks to see its full effect on his behavior.
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:08 AM
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Sooo I called the vet before visiting him and explained the situation. He didnt encourage a visit and suggested treating it as a pure behavioral problem saying a physical problem is highly unlikely. Hes seen my dog before. :/
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