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Hello. My wife and I recently had a rather sad incident with a pit bull mix I brought home from work, we had to put him to sleep and my wife was depressed for three weeks. So her father and I went to get a new puppy to help her feel better when she's home and I'm at work. She has not bonded extremely well with my German Sheppard mix, mainly because I had the dog before we got married and the dog is more attached to me than her. Well after searching high and low we came across a full blooded Akita. We brought him home and he is approximately 12-13 weeks old. He is a beautiful dog and he is a good dog....for the most part. There are some things that has to change or we won't be able to keep him.
1. The leash training has gotten better, I'm trying to avoid a choke collar, but if he doesn't understand that he does not have a choice in the fact that there will be a leash on him then I will have no choice. The first day he was here he refused to move, I guess because he didn't want to accept that I was in control. The second day has gotten alot better and he will accept my guidance on where to walk, so if he progresses in this area on his own that would be fine.
2. He loves to play with my sheppard, which is good because my sheppard is almost 2 years, and has lots of energy, loves playing with puppies/other dogs. However after a few incidents of the akita being mean to her, and getting angry over food/treats/bones etc...my sheppard no longer wants to play with him. I've never seen her not want to play with a dog, but because of his anger issues and being territorial she feels he's being mean even when he's trying to play. I intervene when he starts being mean and make him go away, but my sheppard no longer understands the difference and doesn't like when I raise my voice anyway, she may be thinking she's bad as well even though I pet her and talk in a good tone to her after I get done with the akita.
3. The last thing that is troublesome is the pet store he came from obviously does not care about their pets well being after being brought home. The poor guy thinks he's supposed to be in his kennel before he can use the restroom. In a 24 hour period I've gotten him to go #2 outside twice and has not went #1 outside at all. However, he'll do either in his kennel. I'm assuming because they let their dogs use the bathroom in their cages instead of taking them for walks, ever.

Any advice on either of these would help greatly. I am sorry for the length, but I do want the best for my dogs, and for them to get along. Thank you for any response.
 

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1. The leash training has gotten better, I'm trying to avoid a choke collar, but if he doesn't understand that he does not have a choice in the fact that there will be a leash on him then I will have no choice. The first day he was here he refused to move, I guess because he didn't want to accept that I was in control. The second day has gotten alot better and he will accept my guidance on where to walk, so if he progresses in this area on his own that would be fine.
Do not use a choke collar on a puppy. This is not about "accepting control." You need to get him accustomed to a leash. This isn't a natural thing for pups. Start by getting him used to the leash. Put it on him and let him drag it around. This will help him get used to the feel and weight of it. When going for walks, go slowly. You may not get very far at first, and that's OK. It's all about getting him used to the leash. As a puppy, he won't be too comfortable going too far from home anyway. Build up a little time and distance each day.

2. He loves to play with my sheppard, which is good because my sheppard is almost 2 years, and has lots of energy, loves playing with puppies/other dogs. However after a few incidents of the akita being mean to her, and getting angry over food/treats/bones etc...my sheppard no longer wants to play with him. I've never seen her not want to play with a dog, but because of his anger issues and being territorial she feels he's being mean even when he's trying to play. I intervene when he starts being mean and make him go away, but my sheppard no longer understands the difference and doesn't like when I raise my voice anyway, she may be thinking she's bad as well even though I pet her and talk in a good tone to her after I get done with the akita.
What do you mean by "being mean" to your GSD? What does this look like? What happens when there is food or a treat? How do they play at other times (what does it look like, I mean)? How do you treat the Akita after the "mean" episodes?

3. The last thing that is troublesome is the pet store he came from obviously does not care about their pets well being after being brought home. The poor guy thinks he's supposed to be in his kennel before he can use the restroom. In a 24 hour period I've gotten him to go #2 outside twice and has not went #1 outside at all. However, he'll do either in his kennel. I'm assuming because they let their dogs use the bathroom in their cages instead of taking them for walks, ever.
You assume correctly, and this is a common problem with pet store puppies. To potty train him, I wouldn't even have him in his kennel, but would keep him in an exercise pen when you can't supervise him. Obviously, he has no problem eliminating in his kennel, so there's no point in keeping him there for potty training.

Are you praising him when he eliminates outside? Do it enthusiastically, so he knows that's where he is supposed to go. Some people recommend treats afterward. I don't do treats for pottying with my dogs, but I would definitely consider it with a pet store pup because of the problems you mentioned.
 

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If you got him from a pet store you almost certainly got a puppy-mill dog. This will make your job a bit tougher and don't take this the wrong way, but based on your post you don't seem like the type that's willing to put a ton of effort into this. To talk about possibly not being able to keep him after just a few days is discouraging but since you at least took the time to come here an ask maybe there is hope.

First and foremost you need to be PATIENT!! Learning how to walk on a leash takes time. Acclimating two dogs who have never met to live with each other takes time. Learning where he can and cannot eliminate takes time. 24 hours isn't enough time for him to get used to his new surroundings let alone enough time to learn all of these things. You're asking way too much for a puppy and if these are your expectations than you will undoubtedly be disappointed.

1. Don't force him, entice him. Give him a reason to walk on a leash and follow you. Reward him when he goes with you. And if he doesn't want to go for a walk yet, that's fine. He's still a puppy and getting used to new people, new house, new smells, new dog, new food, new water, new collars, etc. You get the point, let him settle in a bit.
2. The only cure for this is time and a little less anthropomorphism.
3. Again you need patience. If he likes to go in his crate to eliminate than either don't allow him in his crate until he's gone or use this as a way to tell when he has to go. The key to housebreaking is reading your dog and as soon as you think he's going to eliminate take him outside. Then throw a party when he goes in the right place. You can't leave him alone. You can't take your eyes off him. And you definitely cannot leave him in his crate without supervising him. This is where the extra effort comes in. Most times people use the crate for when they can't watch their dog vigilantly. In your case you have to be extra vigilant when he's in the crate since that's his place of choice.

Good luck and I hope you see this through, but it won't happen overnight or even in a week.
 

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I adopted a German Shepherd/Akita mix from the local shelter a year ago, so I'd like to start with some breed-specific advice on behalf of your pup. I was not prepared for the project that I had taken upon myself by adopting such a high-energy, high-drive, untrained dog. I've had to spend countless hours both training myself and my dog in order for us to live in relative peace with the world around us. Akitas are often on "dangerous dog breed" lists because they can often be fear-aggressive and snappy IF they are not socialized properly. I cannot stress this enough to a new Akita owner, which I assume you are: socialize your puppy extensively. Foremost on your list of training goals should be getting your puppy out to meet literally hundreds of people. And all kinds of people: kids, people of different colors, people riding bikes, people in wheelchairs, people on motorcycles, people with shopping bags, etc. My dog is reactive to strange people and will go ballistic in situations that wouldn't even faze other dogs. It takes a heck of a lot of work to fix that kind of problem at this point in her life, but if her original owner had taken the time to socialize her properly when she was a puppy...well, she probably wouldn't have ended up in the shelter to begin with.

Okay, on to your training problems. I think the other members had great advice concerning potty training and playing. I would use treats while potty training, myself - it worked incredibly well for my fiancee's Norwegian Elkhound. He was almost completely potty trained in less than two weeks. As far as the rough play is concerned, I would suggest simply letting your Shepherd and your puppy work things out on their own (unless you're seriously worried about them hurting one another). Akitas are a spitz type breed, and spitzes are known play roughly and loudly. Our two spitzes growl, yip, chew on each other, and tear around to such a degree that I'm sure our neighbors think we have rabid bears, not dogs, living with us. Your dogs will adjust to each other's play styles, but only if you give them the space and time to adjust. Puppies, like kids, don't automatically know how to play - they have to learn the rules.

I take my Akita mix to my parents' house often. They have a large Standard Poodle who was likely a puppy mill dog used to make some kind of doodle...anyway, when Curly (obviously the poodle) first met Mesquite, he was completely confused by her play behavior. She'd growl at him (though there's a difference between her threat growl and a "let's play" growl) and poke at him with her paws and slam in to him with her shoulders while running full speed. And she'd nibble on his ears. It took a few days before Curly understood that Mesquite was playing, and now, months later, he slams into her and chews on her tail.

EDIT: Forgot to mention something about leash training. Toby4Life has got it right - 24, 48, 72 hours is not much time for your pup. Your puppy probably has never had a leash on more than a few times in his entire life before coming to you. First, I'd suggest attaching the leash to your pup's collar while he's inside and letting him drag it around with him for a few days or so, which should help him get used to the feel of it. Second, while you're walking, remember that training with puppies is all about making things FUN! If your puppy doesn't want to walk next to you, that's probably because there are so many REALLY REALLY COOL THINGS to check out, and you're pretty boring compared to these things. Read up on various forms of leash training - I think there are a few stickies at the top of the Training forum - and be patient. I'd also suggest picking up these books:

When Pigs Fly!
The Other End of the Leash
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Whew! This is the Akita's mom. Boy, what a handful of a puppy!

All puppies, no matter what breed or where they came from, involve a good amount of training. I am happy with his progress in regards to leash training, and to a lesser extent, with the way he plays with our german shep mix. He has taken an interest in mounting her and that is all he wants to do now. He's worse than a hormonal teenage boy. When he reaches the right age for neutering...snip snip!!!

My main concern at this point is house training. First and foremost, I am very disappointed that my dad bought a puppy from a pet store. He honestly didn't know any better and now we have a pup that has the bad habit of messing his crate. That is all he knows! I don't think our puppy even knew what grass was before we got him.

Obviously, that is going to make the task of house training much more difficult. The crate is a useless tool for us because he is so comfortable messing where he eats and sleeps. However, the crate is an unavoidable place for him. He has to spend some time in the crate from 2pm when my husband leaves for work until I get off work at 5pm. We also have him in the crate while we are sleeping and can't keep a close eye on him. He does get to go out during the night too, we don't keep him in there without a potty break. He is never in the crate for more than a few hours.

My plan is to keep him on a strict and regular schedule. I want him to learn that he gets to go outside every few hours, and when he potties outside he is praised as king of the world! When he messes in the crate I ignore it, but if I catch him in the act in the house I clap loudly to startle him and tell him "NO" in a firm voice. I don't know what else there is to do. I don't expect this to happen overnight, puppies take patience, but I am 8 months pregnant and I REALLY need him to pick up on it by the time our son is here in a month.

Do you think he can realistically have this mastered in a month or so? ANY suggestions you would like to add are GREATLY appreciated. I will use any good techniques or advice to help him along with his learning. This is a PRIORITY for me!

Thanks!
Sarah Lee
 

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I think it can be done if you exercise absolute consistency, or as close to absolute consistency as you can get. It depends on how firmly the instinct to keep his crate clean has been destroyed. Some mill dogs are never reliable. I potty-trained my own puppies without a crate (didn't know what crate-training was at that time) and it took about 1 to 2 months, I'd say.

Continue to crate him for safety reasons (he still shouldn't be able to chew things or get into the trash while unsupervised) but you need to be even stricter about how often you take him out. At this age he should be taken out every 2 or 3 hours.

You're on the right track with excessive praise when he goes in the right place. Stock up on Nature's Miracle enzymatic cleaner to get any messes fully out of the rug -- otherwise, he'll continue to detect the scent and go in the same places.

This is an article by an experienced trainer on DF about housetraining dogs who soil their crates.
http://dogstaracademy.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/crate-soilin/

This thread may also help:
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/36101-i-m-potty-training.html

All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you got him from a pet store you almost certainly got a puppy-mill dog. This will make your job a bit tougher and don't take this the wrong way, but based on your post you don't seem like the type that's willing to put a ton of effort into this. To talk about possibly not being able to keep him after just a few days is discouraging but since you at least took the time to come here an ask maybe there is hope.

First and foremost you need to be PATIENT!! Learning how to walk on a leash takes time. Acclimating two dogs who have never met to live with each other takes time. Learning where he can and cannot eliminate takes time. 24 hours isn't enough time for him to get used to his new surroundings let alone enough time to learn all of these things. You're asking way too much for a puppy and if these are your expectations than you will undoubtedly be disappointed.

1. Don't force him, entice him. Give him a reason to walk on a leash and follow you. Reward him when he goes with you. And if he doesn't want to go for a walk yet, that's fine. He's still a puppy and getting used to new people, new house, new smells, new dog, new food, new water, new collars, etc. You get the point, let him settle in a bit.
2. The only cure for this is time and a little less anthropomorphism.
3. Again you need patience. If he likes to go in his crate to eliminate than either don't allow him in his crate until he's gone or use this as a way to tell when he has to go. The key to housebreaking is reading your dog and as soon as you think he's going to eliminate take him outside. Then throw a party when he goes in the right place. You can't leave him alone. You can't take your eyes off him. And you definitely cannot leave him in his crate without supervising him. This is where the extra effort comes in. Most times people use the crate for when they can't watch their dog vigilantly. In your case you have to be extra vigilant when he's in the crate since that's his place of choice.

Good luck and I hope you see this through, but it won't happen overnight or even in a week.

You misunderstood that. I am willing to be patient with my new dog through whatever troubles he has, but I will NOT let any dog attack my german sheppard, you can label it any way you want, but I've had her almost two years and she's never harmed a soul. I cannot allow a new dog to come in and start biting her because she's trying to eat out of HER bowl. Any other problems I have will just have to be worked out slowly and surely.
 

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Start doing N.I.L.I.F right away. It's a sticky in the training section.
Start taking him to obedience classes.

Akita's are known to have dominance problems and aggression problems if not trained properly, like a lot of large strong headed dogs. And since he is from a puppy mill, there's no telling what his parents personalities were like.
 

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You get a puppy that is only 12-13 weeks old and are ready to get rid of him if he doesn't walk on a leash? That is a bit over the top.. but whatever.

You have a puppy. His job in the world is to play, eat and sleep. He plays with the GS mix and he plays rough. Because you raised your voice, and obviolusly have done so around the GS mix to train him, the GS Mix is relating corrections with the puppy. Of course he wants nothing more to do with that puppy. If he plays with the puppy and the puppy gets rough, you yell.. so he figures he is wrong.

When you feed the dogs, tether or separate them. Feed the GS mix in another room if you do not want the puppy to steal his food.

This dog was from a Puppy Mill. He has seen one thing in his life: The inside of a cage. That is all this dog knows. That is all he has ever known. He has never had to compete for food (feeding a dog alone all the time can help them to be food aggressive). He ahs never done anything or been trained to do anything.

He has never walked on a leash.. he may even be afarid of the leash. If you get a puppy you cannot expect that in one month you will have a fully trained dog. Life with dogs doesn't work like that.

Here is what I suggest:

1.) Put the leash on the puppy and let him drag it around so he can get the feel of the thing and learn to not be afarid of it. Get some treats (take a hot dog and quarter it lenghtwise then make several cross cuts.. You can get 50 treats from a hot dog and it is not the quantity of a treat that works.. it is the quality). Hold the leash in your hand and let the dog go to the end of it. when he does, he will likely turn. At that moment.. when he turns and looks back, Say YES! and feed him a treat. This gets him used to the idea that when he reaches the end of the leash, he should look at you and come back (this is the start of loose leash walking). Use treats and the word YEAS when he gets it right. Withold treats, praise etc. when he gets it wrong. DO NOT YELL AT THE DOG.

2.) Feed the dog kibble by hand. Yes. Every last bit of it. Let the GS mix eat out of his bowl, but the puppy gets fed by hand. As he gets more trained, have him do things like sit, like down etc. before each bit of kibble. IOW's he doesn't get a thing w/o doing something for you first. There is no rule that says a gdog must eat his meals out of a bowl. There is no rule that says the two dogs have to be fed at the same time or in proximity to each other.

3.) Practice with him on giving up toys for you. Swap a piece of kibble for toys or anything else he has in his mouth (you do not want him to be possessive). ALWAYS swap for the toy. This shows him if he give up the toy, he gets food. Eventually add a word like "give" so he learns to give up his toy when you say this. Fade the food, but remember to give him something once in awhile hwen he gives up his toy.

4.) Housetraining advice is spot on from others. No need to say it again.

5.) Get pupppy to the vet for check up, vaccinations, advice on follow up vaccinations and for worming (don't forget to bring a stool sample).

dogs do not come to you trained.. you have to train them. You have to look at situations and figure out solutions (such as the puppy stealing food from the other dog).

I don't believe you ever stop training a dog. This is a committment of time and it will take time.
Have fun!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You get a puppy that is only 12-13 weeks old and are ready to get rid of him if he doesn't walk on a leash? That is a bit over the top.. but whatever.
I stopped reading your post after this, considering you didn't read any of my posts. I did explain in better detail that the only behavior I would ever get rid of my puppy is if he continued to be aggressive towards my other dog.

To those of you who read the finer details, I appreciate all the advice you have given. So far it's been almost a week and Winston (the puppy) is doing so much better. He's a great puppy, and is growing on us fast. He's gotten alot better with the aggression, it's only every now and again. He still has potty issues, but he's a puppy so that's just part of the job. He doesn't mind going outside for walks anymore, he just wants to have a sense that he's the one running the show. He even likes to run a little while on the leash. I'm hoping to have this dog for a very long time. He is starting to get used to not being in a cage all day. He even whines when I put him in his kennel to sleep at night now, which is ok with me since he stops after just a few minutes.
I have avoided treats when walking him, mainly because I didn't want him to get used to having treats all the time on walks.
Once again, thanks for all your advice on the matter.
 

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Hi mentndude,
I am so sorry your having the trouble with your Akita. I will tell you some things I have learned while raising my Akita. First of all they do not like to be alone. They want to be with you and next to you. Yes, Akita's do not like to share food with other dogs. They will protect that because they are breaded to be hunters. My other dog is not allowed around him till this day while eating. They will drink from the same water bowl when playing, yet I just do not let them eat togehter. Akita's are very easy to house train. You just have to be consistent and be the one in charge. Akita's will want to lead you even at the puppy age. You be the Alpha not the Omgea. You will have to use a choker on him after four months old. He will get very big fast. We used the shock collar when walking him. I had to only use the sound button he would listen to my voice, plus when I came to the streets to cross I make my dogs sit and wait until I tell them to walk. I want them on my command not on theirs. I have to leave my Akita in the cage at night and when I am gone. If it is nice outside I let him out there in the shade never in the sun. They get too hot tooo fast. I keep him in the basement where it is cooler. They have to have air conditioning in the summer, due to their two layers of coats. Your puppy is going to be aggressive with the other dog to play only if you catch him in the act then stop him at that moment and tell him no firmly. After a while he will get the idea what you are saying. I hope this helps you. Anytime you need any information let me know and I will be glad to respond. Lorri

Elana55,
you gave great help for the Akita. All dogs should be trained the way you described. I still give my dogs treats till this day. They do deserve treats when they do good, plus praise them. Dogs love to be rubbed, especially the Akita's, petted, talked to and run and play. Awesome job in explaining about training.
 
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