Ostomy and Dogs: Concerns with Large Breeds?

Past Member

Hi all.

Not sure if this is the right category but here goes.

I want a dog. (shelter)

An American Akita to be exact, they are my dream dog. However, I do wonder...

Because they are so big (average of 120 lbs) and have a prey drive, I wonder if it would be a smart idea?

If they start pulling the leash because they see a squirrel or whatever, can that movement cause any negative results with an ileostomy? Like hernias and such?

If anyone has any experience with large, heavy dogs and ileostomies, please let me know if this affected you negatively in any way, or if you have any tips that may help to prevent it.


Hey Snowfox,

I would think the positive aspects of any dog outweigh the negative. Obedience training should solve any of those problems. Akita's are extremely smart dogs and if trained from a puppy, walking or jumping up on you should be well learned by the time they get big. If you adopt an adult, obedience training may need to be a top priority.
Good luck! I could not live without my fur babies. I have a Rott/Cocker mix that I walk daily and three cats. All rescues. Also volunteered for 10 years with a rescue org. Maybe you can volunteer some and walk some large breed dog at a rescue just to see how your body handles it! AND the dogs will love it!

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Hello Snowfox. 

I agree with puppyluv, in that the benefits of dog ownership probably far outweight the negatives. Interesting that you should call the Akita's behavioural traits as a 'prey drive', because over here we've always called it a sex-drive or, in the case of the husky breeds 'oversexed'. Whatever it's called, they can be a handful, so it is very important that they are trained for the job they are expected to do. If they are pulling sledges, their overabundent energy is put to good use. However, if they are going to be used as domestic pets, then they need to be exercised and played with to the point of exhaustion - usually that's the owner's exhaustion, as these dogs will lilkely be full of energy way beyond that of the owner. You are right to be careful with regard to giving yourself a hernia and apart from trainiing the dog not to pull, a sensible precaution might be to use a hernia belt ( on you - not the dog). There are some things you could experiment with that can help with stopping dogs pulling (depending on the dog) some dogs respond well to a HALTI, Others behave much better with a harness rather than a collar or a choke. BY far the most effective method I have found it to develop the sort of relationship with the dog whereby it wants to please you and so will respond appropriately to your requests/demands.  So, it's really about finding out what each dog responds to.

I hope you enjoy your dog and benefit from one of the best relationships you could possibly have.

Best wishes


Past Member

These beautiful dogs. You have more chance of getting a hernia from just one cough or sneeze.... Get the dog, be happy.


Hi Snow,

So a couple of things. My pooch has a crazy prey drive. If she sees anything move... she's bolting for it to kill it. And if I'm not paying attention or looking the other way, she'll jerk the leash right out of my hand and then I look like the crazy old guy running through the neighborhood screaming my lungs out at a dog that neither hears me nor is paying attention to me. I ended up buying a 25' retractable leash, so when she starts bolting I feel it and have time to react. I bring this up because even with the retractable leash, you'd still have to be large/strong enough to stop her during her bolting... which if you're not a heavy/strong person can be a challenge (That's why my Mom and Ex refuse to walk her). And if she jerks the leash out of your hand... she's gone. Then you find yourself stapling paper signs to all the telephone poles in the neighborhood with the words "LOST DOG" as the title. Hopefully, she'll catch her prey in your field of vision, and while she's ripping it to pieces, you can go grab the leash. Otherwise, she'll be roaming the countryside... going across the road... or into the neighbor's yard where their little Fe-Fe is thinking your dog is racing toward her to play. All bad outcomes. People mention training. Yup... great stuff. If you have the money or time to do it, and while you're doing it, your pooch will still be hard to control. Training takes weeks, not hours. And is expensive if you want someone else to do it for you. I called Petco earlier this year and they wanted 400 for a few classes that I had to attend. Just saying.

As for a hernia or other ostomy-related issues... not really. If you don't teach your pooch to not jump up, she'll tear open your bag with her nails... but other than that, there's nothing ostomy-related to worry about. Rescuing a pooch is very cool. I always get mine from a rescue. Just make sure you can physically handle what you're about to adopt. Starting with a puppy might be easier overall... but we all love a good challenge, right? Have fun with your new pooch, they are awesome!!



Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Past Member

I could always ask a shelter if I am allowed to join them when they are walking the dogs. Excellent idea, didn't even cross my mind.

@Bill: Akita dogs were used to hunt bears. The majority of Akitas still have that urge to hunt. Since I live in an area with lots of squirrels, ducks, swans, and other waterbirds, this could be a problem. Not all Akitas have that prey drive, but still something to be taken into consideration when adopting.

I will look into a hernia belt. It might help to prevent. It might also come in handy if I need to cough a lot.

Past Member

I could always ask a shelter if I am allowed to join them when they are walking the dogs. Excellent idea, didn't even cross my mind.

@Bill: Akita dogs were used to hunt bears. The majority of Akitas still have that urge to hunt. Since I live in an area with lots of squirrels, ducks, swans, and other waterbirds, this could be a problem. Not all Akitas have that prey drive, but still something to be taken into consideration when adopting.

I will look into a hernia belt. It might help to prevent. It might also come in handy if I need to cough a lot.


Hey there potential dog owner,

Your post has taken me back a few years to the pleasant memories of having a dog - and some happy tears.

For many years, I was the proud owner of a PALS dog. The Pet Access League Society is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to providing people with pet therapy. My Dexter (Sir Bark-A-Lot), an American Eskimo dog, retired many years ago and lived out his mature years on my parents' ranch. Even when the country was free and open to him, he would still go and fetch his leash and bring it to my parents so he could go outside. They would open the door and say, "No leash here Dex." It took a while, but I taught him how to whisper (tiny woof) rather than to BARK because this type of dog can come with a protective, piercing bark. That is another thing to consider when considering a dog.

On my way to work, I would drop him off at an on-the-way hospital where he would take the elevator up to the children's ward – with the help of the reception desk person. At the end of the day, he would be waiting for me on an outside step. On occasion, his hair would be different colors and in little braids or even a bit shorter, depending on the creative energy of the children patients.

If dogs, no matter the size, are trained with consistency, they will never take over the lead and will listen unconditionally. My daughter has two dogs that go to the office with her every day. Pepper, an Alaskan Malamute, is the "greeting control officer" and Braddock, a mix but mostly German Shepherd, is the "crumb control officer." Their photos are on the personnel website page.

A well-trained dog has a well-trained owner. For example, Abby, a black Labrador, who belongs to a friend of mine in a retirement community in Boulder, Colorado, has trained his dog like I have never seen before. Abby was trained not to cross the curb, on any street, until given a specific command. The nearby squirrel community has figured that out, and now they walk side-by-side, with the curb separating them. Incredible!

Dogs are great company, so follow your dream, K.


My old co-worker bred the Japanese Akita, but the name may be interchangeable. They are strong, active dogs that will attach themselves to an individual with strong loyalty. The only problem that was a major one was the one they have has bonded to their child, and if they were needing to discipline their kid, the dog cannot be there or it will attack them.



If your shelters are anything like ours, they will ask you a million questions, let you walk/play with the dog, and basically bend over backward to ensure you and the pooch are a good match. Just be honest with them and yourself, and it'll work out. Even if they feel that particular dog isn't the perfect one for you........they'll find that perfect dog (for you). Here they require a home inspection, and in the event you cannot keep the dog (for any reason), it reverts back to their property. So you can never sell the dog or place it in a bad environment. They really want the dog (and you) to be happy. Let us know how you make out.




Hi Snowfox

I'm with puppyluv56, we used to have Rottweilers that we took through dog training and were a pleasure to take anywhere. I would never have any dog now that wasn't trained, it's very rewarding to have a very obedient dog and the dogs love to please and participate. When the walking lead is on, it's all business, heeling by your side when walking, sitting automatically when you come to a stop, staying without moving, not eating until told to, all the basic commands and not chasing and attacking other animals. You only need to go once a week for you and your dog to learn the process and then practice them consistently. As I say, it's very rewarding and an invaluable bonding experience, you won't regret it. I see so many people who have no business owning a dog they can't control and ultimately it's the dog who suffers.

This one is Khan, he was a good friend




Do you have an Akita?



My B-l-L rescued an adult Akita. He adopted from the OKC shelter's "kill pen". First of all, the Akita doesn't bark. This dog, Wicket, when she speaks makes a woo, woo, type of sound. Same cadence as a train signal but a deeper dog noise. She is Ted's dog but even I have taken her for walks. No problem! The only time there has been a concern was at a large family gathering in Ted's backyard. A toddler was walking toward the dog who was facing away. She had her finger pointed and was heading for Wicket's butt. Several people moved very quickly! The anus of the dog is circled by a black ring! Not a good idea to stick a finger in!

She is a powerful dog but is gentle with people. Don't know how she ended up in the dog pound but whoever raised her did a great job! Ted finished her training. Wish I had one but we rescued two Golden Retrievers. Hope this helps. I agree, buy young, train early!


Hello BAW.

The answer to your question is NO! At present, and for the foreseeable future we do not have any dogs. This is a regrettable situation,  but I feel we are both too old and frail to be taking on the responsibility of caring for dogs.  The last breed we had were standard poodles and, whilst they were well trained, they were also powerful and energetic, resulting in my wife beinfg pulled over suddenly on a couple of occasions.   In the past our whole lives have revolved around dogs, with my wife and I running a grooming parlour for 50years. Keeping, breeding, showing and judging dogs has been an integral part of our lives. I also did many years studying  the relationship between humans and dogs, including one study on the various characteristics of different breeds in relation to their human counterparts. Another study examined what humans got from the relationships with their dogs and resulted in my 'Aims for Today' list, which I am pleased to reproduce below: 

1. To BE – THERE
5. To LISTEN: Empathetically
6. To keep things CONFIDENTIAL
7. To ENABLE & EMPOWER (DIY process)
8. To show POSITIVE REGARD (unconditional)
                FEELING & NEEDS
10. To FOCUS CARING (according to my principles)


I have always felt that if dogs can do these things for humans every day, then it is not beyond the realms of possibility that humans could learn how to do these things as well. Keeping dogs as companions can teach us so much about how to behave and relate to each other. 

Best wishes




So I have had a black lab / chow mix dog for many years and had my ileostomy for almost three. My best advice to you is to wear a support belt in case your dog pulls across you. The other thing is that I use a lead that is 16 feet long that rolls up automatically. It gives me the freedom to let her out or to pull her in close when there is car or foot traffic or if we encounter her favorite prey - bunnies!

As with everything ostomy related - take it slow and figure out what works best for you and your four-legged buddy. Having my dog (Charli) has been a godsend since my operations. She is always there and always loves you.

Good luck!


I might not. Tugging and pulling will bother an ostomy. That is what I found over time. Sorta like hitting yourself over your head before you realize that might be a problem.

Just be smart about it for sure. Good luck.


I understand your desire to have a particular breed of dog.  It is a common emotion for many dog lovers.  Few, if any, akitas can be found in animal shelters, however, which is really where you ought to be searching for the dog of your dreams.  These places are filled with wonderful, loving animals who have been abandoned or mistreated by thoughtless prior owners.  Shelters have limited space and, after a certain amount of time, many of these sweet dogs are euthanized, a heart-breaking, avoidable loss.  They have dogs of all sizes, you can be sure.  What they won't likely have is expensive, AKC pure bred animals of a particular breed.  But you needn't worry.  A dog brought home to a forever home from shelter life will love you for the rest of its life.  


Hi, having a 60+ lb black lab that I walk every day 4 times has never affected my colostomy whatsoever. Even squirrel lunges and other dog alerts don't bother. In fact, when she (my fault) got overexcited and dragged me down the back steps on my face, no problem with my appliance. Two things: teach your dog to stop/sit if you drop the leash for any reason. Lab was waiting for me to get up... Buy a retractable leash. Makes noise when you drop it. One major side benefit to walking your dog after you get dressed is that if an accident is going to happen, it will likely be on this trial run, not when you get to the office.


Hi again. Look for your forever Akita home pet by googling Akita rescue. There are more than 6 groups dedicated to specifically rescuing Akita and finding them homes. Also, contact Best Friends in Utah. They have 1,500 rescued animals. Don't be afraid to take a pet who, like you, is slightly damaged as long as the personality meshes with you. One eye check, pill a day. Check. Insulin. Check. Or what you feel comfortable with. Give them a chance. You may have to travel to get your friend.

And 3-year-old means calmer! I only rescue dogs and cats 3+ because they are trainable and calmer.