How to make calm introductions and reduce agression in an intact male
  • KibakazeKibakaze
    Posts: 13
    Hoping for some tips for my Shikoku... He's a 1 1/2 year old male and can become very aggressive with other certain males. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
  • T_DogT_Dog
    Posts: 331
    Aggression with his pack mates or with strange dogs or dogs he rarely sees? Certain Males meaning reactive males? Is he OK with submissive Males?
    Post edited by T_Dog at 2016-03-19 16:24:31
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 240
    greetings shouldn't last longer than 2-3 seconds. try to avoid walking directly at the other dog. face to face contact is very rude language. quick butt sniff and move on. the more you linger the more he will look for a reason to not like the other dog.

    walking dogs together on neutral grounds and reinforcing calming signals (looking away, sniffing the ground, yawning) is good too. basically, you want the dogs to ignore each other.
  • KibakazeKibakaze
    Posts: 13
    Hey @T_Dog I only have one dog and coincidentally all of my friends have female dogs which means that all of his playmates are girls and he is very rambunctious with them but gentle at the same time and is great at alternating play. He's shows extreme aggression towards male dogs that are intact and doesn't even wait to get close before showing very aggressive behavior like lunging on the leash, deep & vocal growls (not the play growl), stiff hard posture etc. Thankfully he is usually on leash however I'm not sure how to handle him once he's already escalated to this point.

    I should also mention that the dogs we encounter that he has aggression towards (excluding one in the neighbourhood), we had never come across the dogs previously and they showed very relaxed and happy posture etc and looked like dogs Kiba would play with. After the reactive behavior I usually find out it was an intact male.

    He will show lighter aggression towards males or females that are very submissive but mild in comparison toward intact males.

    He is okay with dogs that are middle of the road that we meet out on trails etc, male & female. He might want to play or he might just have a nice calm greeting.

    .... and... sometimes random growly (not playful) at a dog and I divert him before it escalates.
    Post edited by Kibakaze at 2016-03-13 23:57:00
  • T_DogT_Dog
    Posts: 331
    @Kibakaze. In my personal experience with my males. I have learned that body language is a big thing. The calming signals mentioned by omgtain are key to reading if a dog is trying to calm the other down. There are also signals that a dogs body tells the other dog that they are not friendly. They can see this from a distance. There are lots of books out there to help you read your dog and others. My best advice to give is get him away from the other dog just as soon as he shows his teeth or gets very alert and starts staring. I have even block the line of sight. Once they start on that line of thinking they need seperated because Akita will remember for several minutes. Also in my experience which is different then with others experiences. I have learned with my males that as long as the other dog has grown up with them and or the other dog is willing to submit. They get along with those types of dogs. Male Akita like to be the boss. Any dog that will let him be top dog he will get along with. Again in my experience only. I have three males and I am not a professional by any means. Two of my males get along and never fight. They had a few disagreements that lucky for me were not to bad. They decided who was top dog and the other one accepted it. But my Third male Akita didn't accept it. So they will fight like the flip of a switch. They can not be in the same space. This in my opinion is the nature of the Akita. It must be trained for. It must be expected. It must be planned for. This is why they say an Akita is not a first time owners dog. Not saying you are. Just that it is said experienced owners should own an Akita. One thing I learned recently drives this home for me. I attended an AKIHO show. In the end when picking the first three places they did something called a stand off. Now I am not saying this is the sole reason this dog won 1st place. But I did notice. The first JA to react was ushered to the first place position. I say this to illustrate that in Japan male on Male aggression is to be expected. It's part of what they are. I can only advise you to train train train and only socialize with well behaved dogs. I used to take my JA to the park. I would leave immediately when the first sign of ruff play or aggression started. But that's just me. That's just what my first JA taught me. Now I must admit my JA only gets socialization during dog shows. Where he is never allowed to get close enough to touch another dog. I am OK with this because I no longer feel the need for my dogs to get along with a strange dog. I have also accepted that my four dogs are seperated into pairs. As they get along best that way. In my opinion Akita are not social animals. I always tell potential buyers if you want a dog park dog don't get an Akita. I can only speak of my experience and my observations and what I came away with as opinions. I am not in a good position to advise you on how to train for this. As my own Akita only know each other and I no longer attempt to get them to be social butterflys.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    This is kind of common behavior for Shikoku, they tend to be strange dog reactive and sometimes rude to dogs they know too. Best not to force any interactions and try to make them as positive as possible.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    It depends on the situation. But you should always set your dog up for success.

    My opinion is, if you are out at a park and you see another dog, and you have a dog who is not always kind to other dogs, it's your job to remove your dog from the situation to prevent the giving the other dog a bad experience.

    If it's just a passing dog who you'll likely not see again, or who you maybe see once a month or something, why take a risk of your dog or the other dog having a bad experience? Just move on and politely tell the other owner your dog is a butthead.

    If it's a situation where you are trying to introduce your dog to another dog that will be in their life for a long period of time, then the key is always to wait for the initial excitement to pass. Don't let them interact until they have both calmed down over the fat there is another dog around, once you get to that point the meet-and-greets should be short and focused on building a positive association between the two dogs. Keep the interaction to just a few seconds and then separate them. Rinse and repeat until the dogs show no real concern for the each other, and at that point start going on walks and such with them together - keep it structured until you are comfortable enough to let them coexist in a less-structured situation.
  • KibakazeKibakaze
    Posts: 13
    Hey! Just thought I should post an update on Kiba's amazing turn around. He even made a dog friend who is an intact male! I hired a local dog behaviourist here in the Comox Valley and just 2 sessions with her made radical changes for Kiba and I. She showed me how to read the other dogs instead of trying to read Kiba and how to successfully break his focus to create a more relaxed and happy environment. Kiba is not treat motivated and she even helped me to navigate this as most trainers want you to reward with food.

    Through steady controlled introductions to very select dogs I successfully eliminated all situations where there was a confrontation. Not exactly sure what changed but I think Kiba slowly figured out that if he doesnt start a fight then there is no fight. He would primarily go after males who were either intact or much larger than him.

    We can even go to the dog park and at times there has been 8 - 10 dogs coming and going of all shapes and sizes. I keep a close eye and disengage him from uncomfortable situations. Being sandwiched between two larger dogs is the #1 thing that makes him uncomfortable so I try to break that up immediately. I find most people at the dog park are great at calling their dogs away to create a better play situation and keep things relaxed.

    We live near trails and Kiba has been so consistently great with other dogs, when we see someone approach I ask if their dog is an unneutered male and if it's not I just drop the leash. Kiba is making leaps and bounds with his comfort levels with both dogs and people. He even enjoys saying hi to kids of all sizes.
  • WrylyBrindleWrylyBrindle
    Posts: 3289
    What reward does Kiba prefer for this training?
  • emi802emi802
    Posts: 296
    I would love to know too. I have the same issue with my intact male dog--he's not treat motivated. :(
  • KibakazeKibakaze
    Posts: 13
    I use 2 methods.

    1. Kiba is very low eye contact when we're out of the house. The only things he likes are chasing, peeing, sniffing and walking. I've been trying to teach him to look at me when we're out of the house. I do this when there are zero distractions around. I'll be walking with him healing by my side. I slow down to a painfully slow walk or I stop completely and wait silently for him to look up at me. As soon as he looks up, I tell him his good then I either resume walking a good pace or I release him to pee or sniff. The first week was a lot of waiting and the eye contact was for a split second but he's making longer eye contact now. He's getting a LOT better at checking in with me overall.

    2. I carry either a stick with feathers on the end which you can find it in the cat section of the pet store. OR I carry a long horse training whip and I attached a toy at the end and he goes insane for that one. Kiba doesn't like regular toys very much. He couldn't care less for balls or regular tug toys when we're outside of the house.

    When we're walking down a path and he's overly focused on a dog way ahead I ask for his attention and then his reward is that we have a little play session. Once mistake I was using was showing him the toy or indicating that we were going to play before he gave me his attention. It's important to use the toy as a reward and not bribe him to look at you.

    Of course I cant carry a toy all the time but doing this periodically has made him think that I'm a LOT more fun than I was before. I think that's what treats do for other dog owners... the dog sees you as a positive supply of something they love and they don't need to have treats on them at all times for the training to still work.

    I think the playing when we're walking on leash in area's where there are other dogs changes the mood of environment to a fun one instead of his very serious stare down! The playing makes his body language far more relaxed which also relaxes the oncoming dogs. ... Now even when he's off leash his body language is more geared to play mode vs the seriousness... and... dont get me wrong. he still has stiff and serious posture but previously he'd be loosing his mind and lunging at the end of the leash trying to attack dogs before we were even close to them.

    Yesterday he said hi to a dog and there was a single growl and then good sniffing and meeting and it wasnt until the other dog walked away that I realized it was a full grown intact male golden lab which previously would have been on the top of Kiba's attack list. :)

    I'll try to make a video. The horse whip toy completely changed the relationship I have with him. I got Kiba at 1 so we werent bonded and his previous 2 owners didnt even bother doing basic dog obedience training. Kiba sits, stays, lays down and comes to me ... sometimes. lol
    Post edited by Kibakaze at 2016-05-12 17:18:57

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