View Full Version : Zero has major problems with kids

12-14-2005, 05:57 PM
Well basically Zero is fine with everyone except kids. whenever we see them on our walks he goes crazy!! making all sorts of vocal noises , ranging from whines to shrill barks..

If he sees an adult stranger however, he will just look at them, maybe bark if they startle him but nothing big.

Today my uncle , his wife, and their 3 year old son came over and Zero went absolutely BERSERK. He let out so many barks I was afraid he was actually going to attack my cousin...I had to put a prong collar on him, and i tried to say "No bark!" and pull it everytime he barked, but he kept doing it...and whining. Zero seemed EXTREMELY aggressive to the 3 year old child...and it was actually frightening. It was like zero thought the child posed some sort of serious threat to my family's safety and zero had to protect us....anyways I had to put zero in the backyard away from the family for the rest of the night because he was WAY too loud and basically disruptive. Plus I had to keep him on a short leash because I was afraid of what he would do.

Zero is a 7 month old Akita, who has not been around children much...HE grew up with children and his littermates until 8 weeks, but nothing much after that.

Anyone have any ideas to help me out?

12-14-2005, 06:17 PM
I am going to suggest to join one of these Akita lists.

Members are Akita pet owners, trainers, vets, and breeders.

I am sure some of them will be able to help you with
your questions.

1: http://www.alpha1.net/%7Eakitalist/index2.html
2: http://akitanetwork.com/org/email.htm

12-14-2005, 06:29 PM
I know that it's scary when your dog reacts like that!
Adele is wary of kids- she has gotten better, but I know for her, she sees small kids as more of some kind of littermate than an authority figure. She is startled by their sudden movements and reacts to them kind of like she does an unfamiliar object. She sees my 4-year old nephew regularly (and will tolerate his affection) but she still doesn't trust him and has odd reactions to his behaviors. Like, if he jumps up from the couch or something she will jump away from him and she has growled at him once (they are always supervised together, by the way).
I'm not an expert but my advice is to try to slowly and carefully get him socialized to older children who are good with dogs first. (Maybe you could walk him next to a park with kids playing but maintain a safe distance so he doesn't feel uncomfortable and the kids don't come rushing over to pet him. This is basically what we did with Adele to get her used to the sound of children.). Does he bark at older kids, or just little ones? It's possible that small children seem like small animals to him. They do have higher voices and are pretty small, especially to an Akita.
Ok, one last bit here...if you really think he would try to harm a child then maybe you should enlist the help of a trainer. I hope I said something useful! Good luck to you and Zero.

finn's mom
12-14-2005, 06:42 PM
I'm not saying you misread Zero, please don't think that. But, usually the noisier a dog is, the less you have to worry about. And, by that I mean, dogs bark. They bark when they're scared, when they're excited, etc...not necessarily when they're being aggressive. An aggressive dog usually doesn't make much noise...maybe growling, but, that's why you hear so many stories about dogs attacking and the person will say that they didn't even bark. And, I'm not a behaviorist by any means. And, I'm also not saying that you did the wrong thing by restraining Zero. Because, when there are children around, it's better to be safe than sorry. But, I will say this...I would invest in a crate for Zero if he doesn't already have one. He needs to have safe spot for him to go into when he is acting that way. He may feel threatened. I don't know. And, I would get him into extensive training. And, I'd maybe even get in touch with a behaviorist to find out what kind of message Zero is trying to convey with his excessive barking. It may not be what you think at all. And, as for him being loud and disruptive, he just, again, needs some training on manners. He's much too big of a dog to allow him to get away with behavior like that. Good luck with everything, though!

12-14-2005, 07:27 PM
since he hasnt been around any kids since he was a tiny puppy..that is probably why he barks at children....he definately should have been socialized with kids from day one...but you cant change that now obviously

i would suggest meating up with a behaviourist so that they can help you get zero use to kids.

barkley was raised with one little girl who was like 10 and she always beat him and locked in a tiny crate and was severely mean to him so when i rescued him from that home at 5 months he was very afraid of children...we never had any kids in my house but then my sister started dating a guy with a 5 year old and they got custody of him about a year ago and they started bringing him around here...barkley would run from him and bark at him but he never growled or lunged or anything like that....after about 2 weeks of being around gabe he realized kids werent so bad and now he's great with kids..this past summer i took him to the park and he played fetch with a whole group of kids...he loves kids now he will literally whine and scream for me to let him out of his crate when gabe comes over now..it just took him a little while to realize that they were not a threat to him

playing with 2 girls at the park

playing with gabe at the park

12-14-2005, 08:17 PM
I know he should have been socialized with kids...heh..I guess it's just that he has grown up faster than I thought :eek: and I really didn't think that it would be as much of a problem as it obviously is now. i've never had a dog before but i read a bunch of akita books and a couple dog training books before getting him...live and learn i guess :(

We did have zero at the park district doing some basic obedience training but honestly we thought it just sucked..not to mention a lack of convenience..with me having to drive 3 hours to come home every weekend, my mom maintaining a full-time job while taking care of my dad who is terminally ill with lung cancer, and my 88 year old grandmother...Zero already sat whenever you asked him, and walked on a leash ...and that's all they were teaching, really.

maybe I did misread him...I don't know, it's kind of difficult when you have a huge dog barking full volume at a small child. I don't get scared of much, I am a big guy...but his bark honestly scared the everloving crap out of me. There was NO way I was going to let any harm come to the child. Because that would mean I would have to put down zero. and I couldn't let that happen.

zero does have a crate..we just put it in the garage because we figured we didn't need it anymore...he is fully housetrained and has been pretty much since day 1...how ironic the moment we really need it we put it away huh? :(

But yea after tonight I definitely want to try to get him better socialized with kids :( Perhaps a dog behaviorist is the best solution.

thanks for the thoughts and suggestions everyone

12-14-2005, 10:15 PM
Zero is still a pup, and as he gets older, "approx. 15 months"
you will see that his temperament will change possibly even more.
When Zero hits adolescence he might not be as friendly to strangers/or strange dogs as he is now.
Your mom has a full plate, taking care of your father and
working full time. You picked an interesting breed for your
first dog.
You might want to consider finding a good trainer who uses positive methods/
is knowledgeable with working breeds to come to your house to work with zero and your family.
Once you and your mom have the tools you can continue the
training on your own. (training is on-going with Akita's, you give
an inch they take a mile.) ;)

(Not all dogs can be trusted around young children.)
Good luck, I can tell from your posts you love Zero very much
and want the best for him.

12-14-2005, 10:23 PM
I REALLY think you should find your local Obedience club (a real OB club, not just random classes) and ask for a reputable behaviorist reference. Even if it is an inconveniece, it'd be a much bigger inconvenience to have a dog that is hyper-reactive with kids and you having no idea why or what to do about it. Not to mention the bad reputation you will be getting from neighbors. A good behaviorist is absolutely worth the $100+ you will spend, so much different from any OB class.

Relatives of mine have a nordic breed mix that they rescued as a puppy - he definitely looks part Akita (super long legs and a curly tail). He is extremely loud and barky when he sees anyone, especially kids, and he's on-leash. However, he has never shown aggression and as scary as the barking seems at first, it's just indicating that he's excited. When he gets to meet any kid, he'll happily allow them to jump all over him. I don't recommend you do this with your boy without the guidance of a professional behaviorist, but I hope this is the case with Zero :)

12-14-2005, 11:20 PM
Akita's are known for not doing well with kids if their not raised or socialized around them.In fact a golden rule with Akita's is to never leave a child under 12 alone with one.I know his behavior was very frightining but it may have been out of excitement.My kids are all grown and gone so my Akita has never been around small kids and would behave the same way whenever he saw them.Needless to say when it was time for him to be around my 2yr.old grandson i was paranoid.My husband held the baby and I put Kujo's choker chain on him slightly behind his ears as that is a more sensitive part of their neck and held him on a very short lead.I had him go next to my husband,told him to sit and every time he acted up I'd tug on the choke,tell him no very firmly and when he finally settled down,told him it was ok and to be a good boy and my husband held the baby's hand as he pet the dog.Long story short now the baby is the dogs best friend and Kujo is very protective over the baby.Keep in mind though all Akita's are not the same,some males can be extemely aggressive especially if their not fixed and some just will not tolerate children.I certainly wouldn't suggest you trying this unless your totally confident in your ability to control Zero and his ability to obey.Contacting a behaviorist is probably a very good idea especially if this is your first Akita as well as your first dog.Keep in mind if you have to put him outside whenever a child is around this will frustrate him and cause him to be jealous of the child which in turn will make him more aggressive towards them.Akita's a very stubborn and very territorial and as was stated in an earlier post if you give them in inch they'll take a mile.They will test you time and again and will continue throughout their lifetime to regain the alpha role.It is critical to never let them be in control.As this can produce a very dangerous Akita.My Kujo is as spoiled as they come but it is a rare occasion if I have to dicipline him more then once or twice in a row for the same behavior.Trust me though every once in awhile he'll try to see what he can get away with but it never works for him.I hope you work this out ok and keep me posted on how Zero is doing.

12-15-2005, 01:12 AM
zero pretty much does everything I tell him to do...he is submissive to me and I am pretty sure recognizes that what I say, goes..I put him on his back whenever I want , and he sits and does tricks for me most of the time. basically he is a very good boy...unless there are kids around.

I think he probably just needs to get more accustomed to them honestly. I am definitely going to take steps to stop this bad behavior. I know it is my fault and I hope i'll be able to correct it.

we chose the Akita because my dad had an akita when he was a young boy. I am half japanese, with my father providing the japanese half, he respects and loves the akita breed. we love him to death...

12-15-2005, 12:11 PM
I think other people gave good advice, with a behavorist and crate for Zero. I hope the behaviorist will be able to help him.