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Thread: My dog has trouble getting along

  1. #1

    Default My dog has trouble getting along

    Hi everyone. First post here

    I have a 2 and a half year old American Akita and a 1 year old Border Collie.

    This particular question is in regards to my Akita,

    He's generally a big friendly teddy bear, wouldn't hurt a fly and has no aggression issues towards humans whatsoever.
    The problem arises when I introduce him to social situations with other dogs.
    90% of the time it's the same reaction from every new canine.
    They either turn hostile towards him, or cower away in fear immediately before they even have a chance to sniff each other.

    I'm not sure if it's intimidation due to his size, but he is rarely able to establish any type of friendship with other dogs.

    I'm at a loss at what I can actually do about this, so if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Welcome to the forum Charlie86

    Akitas have a bit of a reputation for not getting along with other dogs.

    I think it's because they are very upright in their stance and approach, and one of their favourite things is to stick their nose over another dog's back. All these things are intimidating and threatening to most other dogs (except maybe other akita and husky/malamute type dogs). So other dogs react accordingly.

    Calming signals for other dogs are to sniff the ground, approach indirectly and very politely sniff butt and never stick head over another's back.

    You can fake some of this by chucking food on the ground for your dog (if he likes food) or asking him to do a drop stay.

    But to protect your dog and others - I would not allow him to make any uncontrolled (off lead) greetings with other dogs until you've had a chat with the other owner and hopefully gotten dogs to politely sniff butt at least. Either dog pulls to the end of the lead - and greeting is off.

    There is a big akita that wanders through our park... he upsets all the little dogs which harass him (stupid owners should stop their dogs) but he ignores them and just keeps walking - think black raven being harassed by little birds. That's a pretty good response but not all Akita are so well behaved.

    It's not to do with his size really because some big dogs do not cause this reaction. Ones that can make themselves look smaller... or look away or sniff and offer other calming signals for dogs near them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Victoria, Australia


    My boy Dezzy who is an American Staffordshire Terrier loves other dogs but 90% of the time he will approach other dogs in a very nice manner and they will growl at him even the little dogs who don't normally growl who are well socialised......Dezzy doesn't do anything but when they growl at him he finds the closest pair of human legs and hides behind them and lays down and cries.....he has always done this....I assume it is his deodorant that they dont like but I keep telling him that we cannot get along with everyone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Are you greeting dogs dog to dog, face to face?? Try coming at the dogs sideways or even going straight past and doing a curve and coming back again. A lot of small dogs do not like large dogs. i use the walk past, never face to face and circle back. I also offer stranger worried dog my dog back-end. but my dogs are used to this and this is how i train mine to be around other dogs as i use mine in aggression work-shops. I am also using this with one of my new ones as he worries about new dogs, i never expect him to have to face a dog, so i walk in a curve to the dog and we are basically facing away when we get closer. i also leave as soon as i hear/feel worry out of either dog and i come back in a similar manner and find the comfortable spot for both dogs. your dog might be staring at the other dog. A lot of people think they have a friendly dog, but in the dog language the dog is not friendly and staring and maybe even quite upright, as so many staffy's and the like are naturally..i would have to see him, that is why turning helps the other dog and giving the rear of the dog. i still keep distance. Dogs should not have to love your dog, but all dogs should be able to cope politely with one another when on leash with their owners. The owners of the other dogs may also have to do some work with theirs
    Pets are forever

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