Advice for a new rescue

Advice for a new rescue

Joined: August 26th, 2010, 10:39 pm

August 28th, 2010, 5:13 pm #1

Hello,
I'm new here (thanks Pam!) but not new to Akitas. I'll be adopting a rescue at the end of September. I've raised two Akita puppies over the past 23 years, but I've never adopted a rescue before. He's 2-1/2 and has a nice temperament, but hasn't learned nice manners - yet. He'll be an only pet. Fortunately, he's both crate-trained, and food-motivated, which should be helpful with training. I'm thinking that I don't want him making too many decisions right away - that he should have to come to me every time he wants anything. I have a strict "no dogs on the furniture" rule, so that should also help with establishing and maintaining pack order. He will have a large, well-fenced back yard, but I won't let him loose in it right away. He'll start on a long tether - so that he will come when called. And we'll be starting obedience training classes soon.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me? Things to watch for that are specific to a rescue?


Thanks,
Megan




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Joined: August 26th, 2010, 10:39 pm

August 28th, 2010, 8:46 pm #2

Sorry 'bout that - I'll try to do better.
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Joined: April 3rd, 2005, 3:07 pm

August 28th, 2010, 8:50 pm #3

Hello,
I'm new here (thanks Pam!) but not new to Akitas. I'll be adopting a rescue at the end of September. I've raised two Akita puppies over the past 23 years, but I've never adopted a rescue before. He's 2-1/2 and has a nice temperament, but hasn't learned nice manners - yet. He'll be an only pet. Fortunately, he's both crate-trained, and food-motivated, which should be helpful with training. I'm thinking that I don't want him making too many decisions right away - that he should have to come to me every time he wants anything. I have a strict "no dogs on the furniture" rule, so that should also help with establishing and maintaining pack order. He will have a large, well-fenced back yard, but I won't let him loose in it right away. He'll start on a long tether - so that he will come when called. And we'll be starting obedience training classes soon.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me? Things to watch for that are specific to a rescue?


Thanks,
Megan



Sounds like you have all the basics covered and are well equipped for this. The mistake too many people make with rescues is being slack with them and pampering them because they are coming from a hard life. people like to spoil rescue dogs and it's a big mistake. I fostered a 2-3 y/o female last year and got her trained up nice in 6 weeks and my neighbors then adopted her from me. She was a lot like your soon to be sounds like. Good natured, but untrained. My biggest worry was with kids and falling into a situation that had caused her grief before. Turned out she loved kids and has only been spooked a few times. She now wont even go on furniture even if she's invited. When I got her she wa a counter surfer and couch potato. It seems to me it's true thast these dogs want strong leaders, once you give them that, everything else will fall into place (with a lot of hard work!).
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Joined: August 26th, 2010, 10:39 pm

August 28th, 2010, 9:33 pm #4

With my previous Akitas, I knew them as puppies, knew how they were raised, what they had been exposed to, etc.
With this new boy, there will be situations where I won't know how he will react - other dogs, kids, etc. - just because I don't know him.

I don't have other dogs or kids (or grandkids), but he and I will walk every day. My neighbors (kids, dogs, etc.), knew me and my previous Akita - who adored everyone. She had charmed the whole neighborhood. My first Akita didn't like children, so I'm aware that they don't all respond the same way, and that I'll have to be very careful with him.

On the other hand, I don't want him to become fearful of new people/situations just because I'm being cautious.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Megan
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Joined: June 15th, 2004, 4:08 pm

August 28th, 2010, 10:06 pm #5

Hello,
I'm new here (thanks Pam!) but not new to Akitas. I'll be adopting a rescue at the end of September. I've raised two Akita puppies over the past 23 years, but I've never adopted a rescue before. He's 2-1/2 and has a nice temperament, but hasn't learned nice manners - yet. He'll be an only pet. Fortunately, he's both crate-trained, and food-motivated, which should be helpful with training. I'm thinking that I don't want him making too many decisions right away - that he should have to come to me every time he wants anything. I have a strict "no dogs on the furniture" rule, so that should also help with establishing and maintaining pack order. He will have a large, well-fenced back yard, but I won't let him loose in it right away. He'll start on a long tether - so that he will come when called. And we'll be starting obedience training classes soon.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me? Things to watch for that are specific to a rescue?


Thanks,
Megan



It sounds like your rescue has found a special home with you:)

I have a rescue, we got her when she was 2 years old and she had some bad manners too, but she was very fearful which made it hard to be too "stern" with her, she had no street walking training, in fact she had no training at all. I started to issue instructions in my "stern" tone but found she didn`t respond to it at all, it just seemed to excite her all the more! so I tried my softer tone, she responded to that, so I spose what I'm getting at is, sometimes the standard ways of training don`t always do the trick It took me about 2 years to get my Asia to what I would call fully trained and relaxed in her new home, I think with rescue you have to take things very slow because you can easily put training back a step or two by expecting too much too soon
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Joined: August 6th, 2005, 3:50 pm

August 29th, 2010, 12:44 am #6

very well said ,,, each akita is an individuale (spelling?) and you have to treat each as such... also,, welcome to the forum and thank you for posting,, can we see pictures of your special akita??
Jim & Betty Erter
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Joined: October 17th, 2006, 5:10 am

August 29th, 2010, 3:09 am #7

With my previous Akitas, I knew them as puppies, knew how they were raised, what they had been exposed to, etc.
With this new boy, there will be situations where I won't know how he will react - other dogs, kids, etc. - just because I don't know him.

I don't have other dogs or kids (or grandkids), but he and I will walk every day. My neighbors (kids, dogs, etc.), knew me and my previous Akita - who adored everyone. She had charmed the whole neighborhood. My first Akita didn't like children, so I'm aware that they don't all respond the same way, and that I'll have to be very careful with him.

On the other hand, I don't want him to become fearful of new people/situations just because I'm being cautious.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Megan
Not sure where you are getting this Akita from -- but you should have some background - whatever rescue group he is coming from should have tested him around kids, other dogs, food, toys, treats, in a house with house noises, around cars, etc before putting him up for adoption...so they can give you a good knowledge of what you are going to be dealing with. No Akita should ever be adopted out without first learning if there are any triggers in that specific Akita -- it can be a disaster unless you know ahead of time. So please make sure he has been properly evaluated by whoever is adopting him to you ahead of time -- its why way too many Akitas get returned to shelters or to groups because they aren't properly evaluated first. Just a word of caution!

Feel free to join our Akita-Adopters group on the Yahoo groups page if you'd like - we have over 300 Akita adopters there from around the world who have adopted from all kinds of situations -- we are always happy to help with questions, etc.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Akit ... id=1849988

Its only for people who have adopted their Akita -- shelter, rescue, family member, stray, etc -- its a fun group & its coming up on its 10th year of being in existence!!

Hope all works out and we get to see pictures soon!



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Joined: June 16th, 2004, 12:59 am

August 29th, 2010, 3:17 am #8

Hello,
I'm new here (thanks Pam!) but not new to Akitas. I'll be adopting a rescue at the end of September. I've raised two Akita puppies over the past 23 years, but I've never adopted a rescue before. He's 2-1/2 and has a nice temperament, but hasn't learned nice manners - yet. He'll be an only pet. Fortunately, he's both crate-trained, and food-motivated, which should be helpful with training. I'm thinking that I don't want him making too many decisions right away - that he should have to come to me every time he wants anything. I have a strict "no dogs on the furniture" rule, so that should also help with establishing and maintaining pack order. He will have a large, well-fenced back yard, but I won't let him loose in it right away. He'll start on a long tether - so that he will come when called. And we'll be starting obedience training classes soon.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me? Things to watch for that are specific to a rescue?


Thanks,
Megan



Sweetie was sooo obedient and well trained when we got her that I still don't understand how someone never looked for her, or how she got away in the first place.

The only 'quirk' she has is scavenging the living room trash can for candy wrappers--and that's my fault for not emptying the wrappers. lol

I agree with Sean. If they know you are in charge, they feel safe and will act appropriately.

Firm, consistent and with love. You guys will do great!
Try to be the person your dog thinks you are.
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Joined: June 17th, 2006, 6:15 am

August 29th, 2010, 5:36 am #9

Hello,
I'm new here (thanks Pam!) but not new to Akitas. I'll be adopting a rescue at the end of September. I've raised two Akita puppies over the past 23 years, but I've never adopted a rescue before. He's 2-1/2 and has a nice temperament, but hasn't learned nice manners - yet. He'll be an only pet. Fortunately, he's both crate-trained, and food-motivated, which should be helpful with training. I'm thinking that I don't want him making too many decisions right away - that he should have to come to me every time he wants anything. I have a strict "no dogs on the furniture" rule, so that should also help with establishing and maintaining pack order. He will have a large, well-fenced back yard, but I won't let him loose in it right away. He'll start on a long tether - so that he will come when called. And we'll be starting obedience training classes soon.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or suggestions for me? Things to watch for that are specific to a rescue?


Thanks,
Megan



Hi Megan,

First of all, THANK YOU for adopting a rescue! It sounds like you have most things covered and your home sounds wonderful for your new rescue! You already know from raising two Akitas from pups that individual Akitas are as different from each other as individual people and the same teaching method and environment will not necessarily produce the same results in different dogs.

I just adopted a rescue a week and a half ago myself, after losing the Akita I raised from a puppy to bloat back in April. I have another rescue that I've had for three and a half years now, adopted when she was 2 (she's only sort of a rescue I guess since she was returned to her breeder, not sent to a shelter). Both of my rescues are very easy dogs compared to the Akita I raised from a pup. I can't say that this is true of all rescues, of course, since my experience is only limited to my two, but they seem to be much more obedient and not quite as headstrong. Maybe they have a much better appreciation for a stable, loving home after losing theirs. The Akita I raised as a pup acted more like a spoiled brat compared to the rescues even though he was the one who had all the obedience classes, training, yada yada. My rescues are just, well, submissive and easy.

Yuki (the female) used to bark at everyone on the street when we walked, and every sound any of my neighbors made in the yard. She especially freaked out when she saw toddler-sized kids and would bark at them from half a block away. It took her a couple of years to stop barking at children and baby strollers on our walks. She is still terrified of kids and if they come to my door or enter my house she would go ballistic. I have not found a way to curb this in our home because we don't have any children or know any young children who can be on loan for me to work on her fear. We only have children come to our house on Halloween, and once a year for less than an hour each time when my nephews and niece come over from NY to visit. That's not really enough exposure for me to work with her. Anyway, so she is crated when kids come to our house, but she no longer barks at kids out on the street when we walk. I do not allow children to come near her or pet her because I know she is not ready for that yet.

Kiba (the recent, male rescue) is a marshmallow. He is obedient, good with all kinds of people (although shy at first), and good with other dogs. He is timid by nature, but I'm working with him on that just by taking him out and exposing him to more dog-friendly people. Today, we went to All the Best Pet Care in Redmond and he did the meet and greet with all the employees, customers, store dogs, and dogs brought in by other customers. He was the center of attention and, after the first three people, got over being shy and just soaked up the loving. He was a great ambassador for our breed today as various people of all sizes, shapes, ages, and nationality fawned over him. Someone mentioned that he would make a great therapy dog because he was so calm and mellow. He also did great with the dogs in the store. He's just a very easy rescue. I cannot take Yuki into the same store because she does not like little dogs.

Neither of my rescues have any bad habits in the house. Both are very biddable and have excellent house manners. They both tried to rush out the front door when we first got them, but have now learned that is not acceptable here. I think what worked well for us is just to remember that this is a new environment for them and that they don't yet know all the rules - so we teach them what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable in our house and we establish a routine to help them settle in. Most of all, we try to show them that we are loving, but we are also firm and fair, and we expect them to follow the rules after they've been taught what the rules are. I think that helps them feel like they belong and in the process establishes us as the leaders.

I'm sure you will get to know your rescue as you spend time with him. Don't worry too much about how he will act with kids, dogs, cats, etc, as long as you have him under your control. If you are a bit nervous while anticipating a reaction, sometimes that tension can trigger a reaction, since many Akitas are so sensitive to their handlers. Like you said, you don't have any kids in your house, and he will be the only pet, so, really, you'll be able to gauge his reaction to all the different stimuli while you're out walking him, with him on leash and you in control of where he is able to go. You'll be able to see his body language and facial expression when he sees a child on the street. I would probably tell the neighborhood kids up front that he is a rescue and he is in training so don't just run up and start petting him. No one evaluated Kiba with kids before I got him (Pam pulled him from the shelter but he did not go through WAG because there weren't any spots open for him). So, yesterday, with my nephews and niece, was the first time I was able to see how he was up close with kids. I just told the kids that Kiba is nervous so go slow and don't crowd him, and I stayed by Kiba and kept an eye on his body language. They all did fine. Yuki was shut up in a crate in a bedroom the entire time because she is not trustworthy with kids and I can't control two dogs at once in that type of a situation.

I look forward to hearing more about your experience with your new rescue!

Christine
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Joined: August 26th, 2010, 10:39 pm

August 29th, 2010, 5:44 am #10

Not sure where you are getting this Akita from -- but you should have some background - whatever rescue group he is coming from should have tested him around kids, other dogs, food, toys, treats, in a house with house noises, around cars, etc before putting him up for adoption...so they can give you a good knowledge of what you are going to be dealing with. No Akita should ever be adopted out without first learning if there are any triggers in that specific Akita -- it can be a disaster unless you know ahead of time. So please make sure he has been properly evaluated by whoever is adopting him to you ahead of time -- its why way too many Akitas get returned to shelters or to groups because they aren't properly evaluated first. Just a word of caution!

Feel free to join our Akita-Adopters group on the Yahoo groups page if you'd like - we have over 300 Akita adopters there from around the world who have adopted from all kinds of situations -- we are always happy to help with questions, etc.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Akit ... id=1849988

Its only for people who have adopted their Akita -- shelter, rescue, family member, stray, etc -- its a fun group & its coming up on its 10th year of being in existence!!

Hope all works out and we get to see pictures soon!


Hi Kathy, and thank you!
I'm adopting him from WAG (Washington Akita Group), and I have confidence in them to do all of the necessary screenings. I have visited him, and spent some time with him and his foster. I didn't want to agree to adopt him before I had met him, and the meeting went well. He doesn't walk in heel position, so I worked with him on that for a short time while I was there. He will definitely work for food, and I can back that off gradually. His foster told me about his reactions to kids, dogs, cars, etc., so I do have some good information. I used the "mom voice" a couple of times, and he accepted it from me. ("Off!" when he jumped up.) I also tested to see whether he'd let me touch his tail and feet. He was a little uncomfortable with the tail, and didn't like having his feet touched - but he allowed it, without grumbling. I want to be his bather and groomer, including toenails, so that's important. I know that it will take time for us to trust each other.

I guess I'm just not feeling entirely confident because this is new for me. I have never brought an adult Akita into my life and home. Thank you for the invitation to the Rescue Adopters list - I will join.

Megan

P.S. How do I post a picture here? I did put his picture in my profile, but I don't know how to put it in a posting.

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