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Aloof? I think not!
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    I'm not sure if I read somewhere that the Shikoku can be a bit aloof with strangers.



     



    If so, chalk me up for dog #2 who is supposed to be aloof, but is an extrovert instead. Ronan is the furthest possible from being aloof. Maybe he learned that as a trait from Tasha? Akitas are supposed to be somewhat aloof to strangers, too. But Tasha is the Grand Belle socialite of her breed. Ronan is just hyper when he sees people. He whines and gets all kinds of excited. All he wants to do is meet new people.



    So, is your Shikoku aloof or combat friendly? Perhaps somewhere in between when it comes to people? 

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    Ahi is very aloof around the pack [including us] but around strangers she is TOTALLY EXCITED. I would say Hilo is more aloof around stranger than Ahi.


    At home Ahi would rather lay across the room looking at us then hangout with us - she NEVER snuggles... Ahi absolutely HATES being snuggles on.

  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    I find Ahi's behavior quite interesting since Ronan is a snuggler and can't stand to be left out of the attention. He's literally GOT to be with someone almost all the time.



    You think it's a female Shikoku trait? A trait common with her litter-mates? Or just an Ahi thing?



    Tenji seems pretty much in-line with Ronan. I think I'll have to ask Katja about Ronan & Tenji's sister since she kept her. 



    All our dogs' personalities fascinate me. Lots to learn about this breed.  

  • ddowdemersddowdemers
    Posts: 670


    Yeah, I read that Shikokus are aloof too.   Not my guy either.  He is always very interested in meeting someone new.  Man, woman, or child.  He will not overwhelm with affection but he will say hello, maybe give a kiss and then be off to the next great adventure.  If he is NOT interested in the person he will let us know and we will respect that and go our way.  This has happened a few times and from what I have read I attribute it to their smell, maybe the medication that the person might be taking (?)    As for snuggling.  Tenji is a MAJOR snuggler. He loves lovies.Kiss

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    I think it is a trait passed on from one of Ahi's parents - didn't you say you met her dad and he was VERY aloof? I didn't get to meet her dad but I met her mom and she was very sweet.


    Ahi is the exact opposite from Ronan and Tenji tho, when it comes to touching. I mean she REALLY doesn't want to be touched - at all. She will growl at us when we try to snuggle or hug on her, Jen has trained her to give kisses when she gets like that... So we get kisses from her while she growls - pretty odd.


    Our behaviorist has trained us to deal with it, and Ahi has come a long way - but it is very hard to deal with and has been a real learning expereince for us. It basically comes down to this - when she growls we pet her more so she knows we are not effected by her growling. We where told to move to an area she is ok with, like rubbing her belly, but not to stop - so she understand who is in charge.


    Ahi is basically an EXTREMELY DOMINATE female. This is why Jen and I have been total freaks about the socialization... We could see it in her from when she was 8 weeks old.


    She has never growled at anyone else - just us.



    Doesn't sound like your pup, huh?



     

  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    I wouldn't pet her if she trying to be nasty and is growling at you. I'd take her by the neck and shake her and say, "No". Make the correction firm enough for her to squeal or yip. Then praise her afterwards. I think petting her while she is growling is just encouraging the behavior (in my opinion).



    If she is just growling just to make noise or in play...then nevermind....what kind of a growl is it anyways? Sometimes they are just "talking" and being silly, maybe out of boredom or wanting to engage in play. This is apart of what I call "getting all stupid", however it is also followed by many other behaviors in addition.



    If Ahi is truely being nasty, then she really needs to learn respect you as the Alpha male and Jen as the Alpha female. Instill this rule into her head right away! Be consistent.



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 



    Wait...Ahi is an Ishi x Yana pup, right?



    I don't think Ishi was aloof when I met him, he was very friendly. Yana was friendly too, but more independent...she would say "hi" and I would pet her and then she would calmly walk off, do her thing and come back.



    Which is kinda funny, because Yana's brother, Mike, is EXTREMELY affectionate and an active attention getter. I think it is safe to say that Ronan is practically a clone of Mike - that is definitely where he gets his affectionness from.



    Now Ahi (Ronan's cousin) on the other hand must have inherited a trait from a grandparent or great grandparent...I suppose it could be from Ishi's side (that seems to be more likely). Since Aibo reminds me ALOT of Yana and when I met him he possessed that same affectionate trait that his Uncle Mike has, so that must be from Yana's side.

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    "I'm not sure if I read somewhere that the Shikoku can be a bit aloof with strangers."

    - Michelle



    It depends upon the lines and the breeding. Some tend to be more friendly while others are aloof.

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • kwyldkwyld
    Posts: 506
      My Kai used to do the same thing as Ahi when he was younger to me and other people he knew.  He doesn't do it so much anymore to me, but will do it to my boyfriend if he gives him a big hug.  The behavioral doctor at my work said if a dog growls at another dog for instance while you are petting them and that other dog comes up to you for petting too, respect that the dog is growling and don't correct them because it could escalate to a bite, and the other dog will read the warning sign and back off.  I kind of applied that to him growling at me if he didn't want to be touched.   But then I've got other people who train dogs at my work and they say  "I wouldn't tolerate that, correct the dog right away!"  I have learned that the Kai breed is not lovey dovey like a Golden or Lab, and I just don't cuddle with him like that.  I do with my Shiba though, she loves it!!  "The Other End of the Leash" is a great book on dog behavior, and training people as well.     
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    Corina - So Mike is Yana's brother? I never knew that! Yeah, I thought Ronan was more like his mom at first, but as time goes on, I think he's a clone of his dad, Mike. Even down to the pictures I have of Mike and Mura, Ronan looks more like his dad than his mom, although I see both parents in him.



    Brad - I didn't get to see Ishi. I think he was at Katja's friend's house. I do remember Yana, though. She seemed friendly enough, just not exhuberant about it. Both Mura and Mike were real friendly. I mean REAL friendly! I can see where Ronan and Tenji get it from. Ronan just can't stand it if he sees people and can't go meet them. No a single aloof bone in his body. I think he makes Tasha look aloof, which is a real joke. Both dogs would put a Golden to shame when it comes to being friendly with people.

  • ddowdemersddowdemers
    Posts: 670


    I agree.  "The Other End of the Leash" is definitely worth a read.  And I don't like the "alpha roll".

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    "The Other End of the Leash" is a great book - Michelle actually turned Jen and I on to it. It's a very good book.


    As for correcting her - we have tried that too and it escalates it to something none of us wants to see. Since Shikokus are so reactive I would suggest to never use force with them, especially if they are in a state that may make them perceive it as aggression. I corrected her harshly for it once, then she immediately misbehaved and I went to correct her again - she turned to me and was ready to tear my throat out, with no hesitation [this was several months ago]. From that point on, Jen and I have realized, with Ahi [and I would venture to say all Shikoku] a calm, non confrontational approach is the way to go. When she growls at Jen [she rarely growls at me, but I don't hug on my dogs that much... Jen does ALL the time tho] we just stay persistent and calmly continue to pet/hug on her until she stops growling - then we stop petting. This teaches her that growling will not get us away, but being a good submissive girl reduces the amount of time she has to deal with these gross hugs.


    As for what type of growl - really we are convinced it's not aggressive. She never shows her teeth - she just makes a lot of noise, and sometimes she even rolls over on her back to coax us into rubbing her belly, she does this while she is growling. So she could just be "getting all stupid" but it's still a growl and it's hard to know how to take a growl. I was always told to leave a dog alone if they growl at me, but if I do that with Ahi I am submitting to her.


    I'll try to video tape this - you guys can watch it and tell me what you think. I'm interested in hearing opinions - Ahi is an odd bird.

  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    Hmmm...you know, the more I think about it actually....this...



    "I wouldn't pet her if she trying to be nasty and is growling at you. I'd take her by the neck and shake her and say, "No". Make the correction firm enough for her to squeal or yip. Then praise her afterwards. I think petting her while she is growling is just encouraging the behavior (in my opinion)."



    ...is meant for INFANT puppies not adolescents, lol! I also have a reactive dog and during the adolescent stage it would actually turn her "ON" and make her persist and get worse. However, now that she is maturing she is getting to be more "handler sensitive" which means all it takes is a verbal correction, if that doesn't work then a simple whack will do in that "Pssh, you idiot! Stop it!" <~~ in a loving tone. The only growling I deal with is when we are playing with the tug. Which I ignore most of the time and only whack her on the head when she is growling and not "outing" right away after I told her to "out" (I'm not giving a 2nd command! She HAS to do it the first time I "ask").



    Everything is situation pending...



    ...sometimes I have to whale on her and tell her I mean business,



    ...sometimes I need to gentlely let her know (a simple tap will suffice) with a firm tone to "stop" or in a giggley tone "no silly".



    ...sometime just let it go and redirect her attention



    It's hard at time to figure out which form you need to use or if it is really, truely neccessary for any correction (especially if it was your fault!). This is just things that one learns through experience itself. Now I'm generalizing to include all sorts of behaviors.



     "The Other End of the Leash", huh...I still have a gift card for Barnes and Nobles I haven't used, I think I will pick myself up a copy today!



    Ahi reminds me ALOT of Lynx. Maybe she is part Malinois? lol. How old is Ahi again? I forget that she is no longer a "puppy" puppy anymore. 

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    "So Mike is Yana's brother?"

    - Michelle



    Yes, Mike and Yana are brother and sister! I believe that they are actually littermates. Katja imported them both from Holland about 6 or 7 years ago. They are her first two Shikoku.

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    Corina - Neat! I never knew! I sure love Mikey. He was an awesome little guy.



    --------



    As for corrections - I'm a middle of the road owner/trainer. I'm not a Cesar Milan follower, nor a positive-only method kind of owner-trainer. I think different dogs need to be handled differently, and even then, depending on the situation at hand.  I've tapped Ronan with a dish towel, scruffed him, postured, redirected, and put him in his crate. I've never (and will never) alpha him. The 'worst' I've done is to take hold of his cheeks on either side and fimly say 'No!' as though I'm growling (I even bear teeth), as I look him harshly in the eye. If I did that to Tasha, she'd have nightmares for a week - she's too soft. If I had ever tried that with Jack, I might have gotten bit or he'd at least have grabbed me. With Ronan, he just looks at me, at when I let go, he stops acting up. But, if he's already into Tasmanian mode, I wouldn't dare do that. That's when I just try calming or redirecting with something non-threatening.



    While I can easily take anything in the world away from Ronan without a single growl, Tasha will tense, so I have to make sure she understands what I'm doing. That said, she always gives up what I take without issue. Jack - well, this is where I say pick and choose your battles with your dog wisely. There were times where I wanted to correct him, but risked getting bitten if I used my normal method. So, I had to let the situation go and revert to Nothing In Life is Free and be strickter with him after the fact. I also made sure to never put myself in that same situation with him again if I could help it. Hence, if I couldn't take something from him, I made sure to not give him that item again until I was 100% positive I could. We'd work up to that. If he needed a shoulder bump for a redirect, but was in an aggrivated state, I did better to stay calm and 110% non-threatening. He'd calm down and do as told, even if he talked back the entire time (which I was wise enough NOT to correct). If they are doing something you don't want them to, correct IF possible. There are times when you may get your point across and still get bit. Not worth losing your trust in your dog or having the bond broken with your dog.



    I suspect that Ahi gets into snits where she's out of control - she doesn't really mean to been a Tasmanian devil, but if you're in her way, she'll bite you. Cats are like that, too. I think it's called displaced aggression. I think Shikokus go into high fear-reactive mode at times. At least it seems Ahi, Ronan, and Tenji do.



    The Other End of The Leash is one of the best dog books I've ever read. It's a must for anyone with any kind of dog.



    For Shikoku & Akita owners, or those with reactive-type dogs, I like The Cautious Canine, & Fiesty Fido, also by Patricia McConnell. She also wrote For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in Your and Your Best Friend. Then, for those that want to try clicker training to help a reactive dog learn NOT to be so reactive, Click to Calm by Emma Parsons is excellent, I hear.



    All books/booklets are available at Amazon with Free Super Saver Shipping. IMO, they're worth buying or at least checking out at your local library if they have them.

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-07-16 16:02:36
  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    That is one thing I've never come across with Lynx...fear of being bitten. She's not handler aggressive and even with unfair corrections (inexperience on my part or an accidental one), she will not bite me.



    As for displaced aggression she wouldn't purposely bite, to bite me, however, she does go after my shoes - the ones on my feet, lol! However, I've allowed her to do so as a puppy, infact I encouraged it. So this kind of behavior is acceptable and a de-stresser for her - she does it when she is pissed and she'll even do this when she is REALLY excited and has the zoomies on lead. It's all the frustration and/or anxiety. If it hurts and believe it DOES, I will redirect her attention at something else, like a toy.  That or I'll just interrupt her (I tell her "Lynx, wait" and she looks up at me) and then I slip her my shoe!



    Everything that we do is a game! I will also make her bring me my shoe and exchange it for something else if she decides to stop carrying it and get chewy.



    At her worst -wanting to "Get even" with me - she'll completely ignore me, especially when there is something else to do or that she wants to do that is more desirable!



    There are just so many levels to her, I have a pretty good idea of what kind of dog I have. Though it is sometimes hard to explain or describe if the other person hasn't had a similar experience with a dog of his or her own.



     I can only imagine what Lynx could have turned into:



    ...in the wrong hands - a TERRIBLE dog



    ...in the hands of someone more experienced then I - a WONDERFUL dog



    ...with me, I think she turned out pretty well, but she has some minor flaws (i.e. NOT good with tiny children), still she is the perfect dog for me. However, I could have done so much better with her! Both the breeder of Lynx and the owner of her Sire agree that I have done a GREAT job in raising her. However they seem to think that I need to be alot harder on her...she can take it (and that's the resilence in her).



    Now everything I've learned with raising Lynx I will apply to my Shikoku puppy. Wherever I was lacking, you can bet that I won't be with my Shikoku.



    I'm gaining more experience every day! And just recently my co-worker/friend told me about her 6-7 month old Pit Bull puppy. She is dealing with some issues right now. I'm going to be helping her to teach her girl what is "okay" and what is "not okay". A lot of it is just puppy stuff, but it looks as if she is developing some aggressions issues. Along with that I will be coaching her so that she can teach her Pit Bull behaviors. i.e. Sit, down, stay, come and so forth.



    If I'm lucky, I will also get to train a Siberian Husky! 



    And by training more dogs and other breeds. I will learn what works with these types and what doesn't.



    This is all just so facinating!

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
    Post edited by ShikokuSpirit at 2007-07-16 17:57:08
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    You are lucky, then. With every dog that has come my way, I've learned a boat-load more. I still make so many, many mistakes and swear I'll be better with the next. But then the next dog is so much different, I seem to have to learn more, more, more.



    All I can say is that each dog has taught me to be a better dog person. At least, that's what I hope.



    Ronan and Jack have been my biggest challenges to date. Tasha has to have been heaven sent - she's the perfect, perfect dog. Easy to train, easy to feed, easy to care for, easy-going, perfectly tempered and always forgiving. Good thing, because I think I've made more mistakes with Tasha than just about any dog. Ronan has had the most benefit. I think Jack taught me the most, and not just about dogs.

    Post edited by Michelle M at 2007-07-16 20:56:18
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    I feel the same about learning from our dogs - Ahi has really taught us a lot. I would say Ahi and Maui have taught us the most.


    I too wonder what would have happened if Ahi was with another family - I hate to think about it. I'm glad she ended up with us since we have the patience to deal with her tude.

  • Hondru_Hondru_
    Posts: 156


    I think that some breeds get a bad reputation from them ending up in the wrong hands.  Maybe we never have to worry about shikokus getting too popular.  Once someone with no patience gets one, they'll give them a reputation and no one will want them.  At any rate, I think each dog is a learning experience as well.  Loki has been very difficult, which has given me a heightened awareness of the importance of early socialization!  Tojo's fine because we had him as a pup, but Loki came to us as an adult, being extremely dominant and possessive.  He used to bark at us if he wanted to be pet and he actually bit my husband when he tried to take a bone away.  



    As for "only positive" training... No. Way.   Both of my dogs need reminders to know who exactly is boss around here (especially Loki) and if I didn't correct them, they'd walk all over me.  

  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    Agreed to all!



    I think it is safe to say that our breed will be just fine, at least for a long while. Everybody is doing GREAT with their dogs. Most of the people who have them, have had experience with Japanese breeds and/or working dogs of the type. The ones who realize they can't control the dog and the Shikoku does not fit their lifestyle, those people have placed their Shikoku with someone who can. Which is great, though, at times sad if it got to the point where they "ruined" the dog. Tis' just a reality of life, these things can and will happen unfortunely but at a 1 to 10 ratio, that's not too bad.



    I'm actually in the process of writing a puppy questionaire. It's like 30-35 questions. So in order to get a puppy from me in the future, that sheet must be filled out. You only have to do it once; if my puppy buyers should decide they want a 2nd puppy later on...they will get first priority!



    There will be a contract - with the terms and conditions on it (which I have yet to write). Any pet dogs (not of breeding quality) will be spayed/neutered between 14-18 months of age (allowing time for proper growth). Free training will always be available from me and I will be there for the lifetime of any dog I produce and/or sale.



    If the questionaire doesn't discourage them, then maybe they ARE serious about getting a Shikoku puppy

    -grins-. Really though, the questionaire is there so that I can pick the appropriate puppy with qualities that will suit their lifestyle the most. 



    Fair enough, ne?



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



    Oh! I bought the book! I was disappointed at first because I couldn't find it but then....

    ...there it was. A single, lonely copy, as if waiting just for me -smiles-. So I took it home. I can't wait to read it.

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
    Post edited by ShikokuSpirit at 2007-07-17 14:38:56
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    Are Akita considered to be aloof? Hilo is mos def *NOT* - he is a social butterfly so far.

  • ShikokuSpiritShikokuSpirit
    Posts: 1426


    For the Japanese Akita:



    BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT :



    The temperament is composed, faithful, docile and receptive.



    According to the FCI Standard:

    http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/255gb2001_en.doc

    - Corina A. Gonzalez | Lynxiene (Belgian Malinois), Shoushuu, Kotomi & Shuran (Shikoku Ken). | Along with a Clan of cats!
    Post edited by ShikokuSpirit at 2007-07-23 04:29:11
  • Michelle MMichelle M
    Posts: 588


    While Jack was initially curious, he soon became aloof with people.



    Tasha is an extrovert in a BIG way. She's a true social butterfly. Remember how she wouldn't leave you guys alone? She loves people. Now, she can be quite aloof to other dogs.

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242


    Yea, I remember that - we loved Tasha when we met her.   Smile

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