Dear Adam: I recently purchased an Akita pup from a reputable breeder. This is my second Akita. My first Akita was a wonderful dog, thoroughly dedicated to my family died a few months ago.
The problem I had with the old Akita was his tendency to be “on guard” all the time. While I felt I had him under control, I felt much like I was walking down the street with a loaded gun! Anyway, I chose a new pup that was definitely NOT the most dog aggressive Akita in the litter.
In fact, he was often pushed around a little bit by his brothers. When I brought the new Akita pup home and took him outside I was surprised to find that he actually seemed FEARFUL of other dogs in the neighborhood.
I know he is only 12 weeks old but I have never seen an Akita so timid around other dogs. The dog does not seem fearful around people.
My question is: How can I train this dog to not to be afraid of other dogs?
Thank you for your response, Robert
Dear Robert: This is what I would consider a temperament or socialization flaw in a dog this young. I would not socialize him with other dogs at all.
When he’s between 4 to 5 months, you can teach him a strong down stay, and then go out to a local obedience class, or out to an area where people walk there dog’s on leash, and have him get used to just laying there and watching dogs walk by. Once he’s older, and has had a lot of experience being calm around other dogs, you can proceed to the next step:
If you have a friend with a dog, you can practice getting together and doing down-stays around each other. After several times, the dogs will start getting comfortable in each other’s presence, and you can start letting them play… as long as you have voice control over both dogs, and there’s enough respect that you can break up any aggression just with your voice.
However, the dog will at best learn to be civil with some dogs. But not with all dogs. Again, this is a genetic/socialization issue in my opinion. Of course, he may grow out of it and be fine. But he may not. With such issues, you can control the aggression/fear, but you usually cannot eliminate it completely. Best regards, Adam.