Akita Husky mix Pictures

Canine Behavior/dog protective of home environment

December 31, 2013 – 12:43 pm

Akita husky mix!
Question
Our dog, Sark, was adopted last October. He is between 3 and 5 years old, an akita, husky mix. He has been a fantastic dog. He is great with our three kids 9, 6, & 3 but prefers us adults for attention. Example the kids are outside he plays with them and gives them attention, my husband or I walk out he then ignores the kids.
He is mostly obedient, we have 9 acres in a small 10K person town, and when we call he "usually" comes. We have a radial fence that we used to try and keep him in the yard with but he quickly realized if he runs fast enough he doesn't get shocked. He is very smart, loves to run, play, and hang out with people.
Our problem is this, when a UPS truck pulls up he becomes a different dog. So much so that most UPS drivers don't deliver here anymore. Also when city workers come to read the meters he barks and growls at them. Which by the way this is the only time he barks. My reason for writing is today he attacked a small terrier on our property, the dog was a run away and wandered onto our property. Unfortunately Sark attacked the dog and killed it. Once I saw Sark run across the yard I went outside to see what he was after and I yelled at him to stop. He immediately stopped, cowered down, and when escorted went to his kennel.

What is your advice for what to do from here. Are we to assume this is a behavior we will never remove from him and fear for all animals who enter our property...do we need to get rid of him...suggestions please.
Brandy McKinney

Answer
Greetings, and thank you for contacting All Experts!
Genetically, as you may already know, your dog is a mix of two quite challenging to own breeds. The Husky being a very smart, independent breed that is known for being an escape artist, and with very strong prey drives (cats, and small dogs are at risk with this breed) and the Akita having marked territorial instincts, with a suspicious attitude towards strangers, and again, with strong prey drives towards small animals. If you read the breed profiles of both these breeds you will notice they both require a fenced yard to stay out of trouble.

This website gives you an idea of the ideal type of fence required for ''Houdini Huskies'' and also addresses the issues of invisible fences, -note how it clearly defines your exact dog's ''escape technique'' and how this breed's fur interferes with the correct functioning of the radio collar :

Same goes on with the Akita breed. They require a secure fence often high as much as six feet to discourage them from getting out. So yes, they can be quite challenging to secure inside and an invisible fence is not the right route to go. So my suggestion is if you want o keep him is to invest in a good fence. This will keep your dog indoors and other animals safely out of his reach. I cannot see no other solution as prey drive is something genetically instilled in both the breed components of Sark. According to Bay Crest Akitas:''Your Akita can NOT be "expected" to accept other animals or dogs; this is a characteristic of this breed.'' You can read about common problems with this breed here;

I would not get rid of him if other than the keeping him contained problem there are no other issues. I am sure if he was securely fenced in, Fedex and UPS would resume delivering to your home. He over all sounds like a wonderful dog, and what he is doing is just quite normal for the components of his breed.

Many dogs are not fond of people coming over to deliver. The dogs learn quickly that upon barking, these folks leave, and therefore the dogs feel empowered by this. They therefore engage in a behavior that reinforces itself each time these people come over. Their state of mind is: ''Every time I bark the delivery people leave, so I will do it again and again and again'' Some people train their dogs to love these delivery guys, by having them deliver dogs a cookie or bone to the dog each time they visit with their normal mail. These dogs start looking forward to seeing delivery men if they are taught this from puppy hood. You can try working on this by staying with him -when the yard is fenced- when these people come over and from a distance start feeding him the tastiest treats every time they come over. If you are diligent enough, there are chances may change his state of mind about these people, but it may take a while.

It sounds like he is good with your kids, but never leave him with them unsupervised, this applies to any dog breed of any size. He sounds like he likes your kids, but sees them more as playmates, in his eyes it sounds like you are ultimately his real leaders. Have your kids give him commands and feed him too.

Source: en.allexperts.com


Greta & Hoss, Cookin' Up a Storm, The Escape Artist
TV Series Episode Video on Demand ()

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Vets guess

He was turned over to me as a pup owner was going to kill it because he is blind. That is why he always seems to hang his head low and sideways. One eye never developed the other is fine but very small. he weighs about 60 pounds now. My vet guessed him as an akita husky mix. But I used to do a route for a lab picking up blood samples from animal hospitals and one office had this big book of dog's seen one with the very same markings and large head small eyes and it was a wolf breed. But for the life of me can't remember what type to look it up to get more info. Searched many pictures and pages of wolves on the net and still have yet to find it

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