Dog Tips, Care & Training
by shibashake 713 Comments
September 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm
It seems your page “inspired” another blogger to make a Shiba temperament page. And it looks like they took your page and just slightly altered it so it’s not direct plagiarism.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no? 😛
Either way, your blog is wonderful and gives a first hand account of how a Shiba really can be, and how to handle them. I love it! Anyone interested in being owned by a Shiba should see this site in its entirety before bringing one home. Keep up the great work!
September 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm
“inspired” – I like that. 😀
Yeah, unfortunately, this type of thing happens very frequently for most online content. Even copied content gets copied. Thanks for letting me know.
August 26, 2013 at 7:23 am
Scream help! We just adopted a 10 week old Shiba! He is kenneled during the day while we are at work. I have only got a small taste of what the shiba scream is all about (middle of the night, short scream) but after reading article I am nervous that he will be screaming all day and I live in an apartment. What things can I do to eliminate that?
I have him in a kennel with blankets and chew toys. I thought about putting him in the kitchen on tile flooring with his kennel but keeping the kennel open and letting him roam just the kitchen area? Any thoughts?
August 27, 2013 at 4:48 am
Putting your little Shiba in the kitchen all by himself wont work at first, trust me I tried it with our female Shiba. If you just got your puppy and he is still adjusting to his new home try to spend as much as your free time with him as possible, and even place his kennel in your bedroom when you are sleeping, it might be hard to sleep for a week or two with the screaming but eventually they will learn that it is bed time and go to sleep to. Our Shiba tended to do better when she had more room to roam so if your kitchen area is small it might not work so much. There isn’t really a way to eliminate a Shiba from screaming unless you get a no bark collar and puppies are too small for most of them. Make sure you close doors to rooms you don’t want your puppy to go into and pick up any wires that your puppy could chew on. Try leaving your puppy a few hours at a time and work up if at all possible, I realize that can be tough also, so if you have anyone that can watch your puppy while you work or even come check on him it might help (just make sure your puppy knows the person first otherwise there will be screaming). Our female now whines when we first leave or get back but seems to be fine while we are gone. She is now about 15 weeks. Since she does better now we have placed her in a second bedroom with pee pads, her kennels, toys, her food and water, and a gate when we are gone and also leave the radio on for her. She has mainly saved her screaming now for things like unknown people, new things to her, and occasionally other dogs; and in rare instances for my fiance and I if we wont wake up to let her out of her kennel. If you have to work long hours consider getting your Shiba a puppy playmate if you can. But remember not to leave them unsupervised together until you know how they will get along, sometimes harmless playing can turn too rough unintentionally with all puppies. Goodluck with your new little Shiba, just remember patience is a virtue when it comes to Shiba’s. Hope this helps. We went through the same worries when we got our Yuzuki since we work graveyard.
August 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm
Yeah, my experience is similar to Brandi’s.
In the beginning, Sephy really needed to have people around – for company, structured activities, and training. I slept with Sephy the first few days. Then, I slowly crate-trained him, so that he would be relaxed and happy in his crate. Once he was good with being in his crate, I got one for the bedroom, and put it close to our bed so that he could smell and see me during sleep time.
With Sephy, he was Shiba screaming at night because he got stressed from being alone. After we moved his crate into our bedroom, he stopped the behavior. Because the behavior is a result of stress from being alone, it would *not* be effective to use aversive techniques such as bark collars. Pain or other aversive stimuli may cause a puppy to become even more stressed, worsen the anxiety symptoms, and cause other behavioral issues. In general, aversive conditioning is *not* appropriate for young puppies.
In addition to crate training, I also very slowly desensitized him to being alone. I start with a very short period of alone-time (few seconds), and slowly build it up over time. An important thing to training my puppy, I found, is to start small and take small steps. In this way, I set my puppy up for success, he builds confidence, and also learns to trust me.
As Sephy matured and gained confidence through training, socialization, and desensitization exercises, he learned to relax on his own, and to face new challenges with greater certainty.
I also make sure to exercise Sephy well before leaving him alone for any period of time. In the beginning I played structured games with him, socialized him to other puppies in puppy class, and organized play sessions with friendly, healthy, and vaccinated neighborhood dogs that are around his size. After Sephy got fully vaccinated, I also started leash training him, and walking him multiple times daily. Exercise gives him a positive outlet for his stressful and excited puppy energy. Once he drains some energy, he is more able to focus on training, as well as relax and sleep during rest time.
August 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm
You forgot to mention that they are notorious to running away, given the chance
August 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Yes indeed they are!
Titania Krimpas says
August 7, 2013 at 5:36 am
Hi there, love your website.
I have a question. Do you know what the flat, mid-length ribbon-like leads are called that some people use with Shibas, and where I could get one? I’d like to work on my 5 year old Shiba’s recall in a safe way, and she just stops with a training or normal lead on, because of the weight.
August 7, 2013 at 8:07 am
Hello Titania, Nylon leashes are usually more lightweight. However, the collar fastenings for these leashes may not be the most secure, so I would look out for that.
I sometimes use a nylon leash as a drag-lead for my dog, because they are light. I got a bunch from Amazon. However, they can come-off, especially during heavy activity.
July 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Hey ShibaShake, I had a few shiba questions, love all the articals you have on them, by the way.
I used to have a basenji pitbull cross (buddy), he was an epic dog about the size of the shiba you have. Buddy was not a lap dog by any means, he’d follow me around, but was more then content to lay on the floor and watch me or play with toys. i have a horse and do quite a bit of trail riding, buddy would faithfully run with my horse and go on a lot of 8-15 mile rides with us.
I know Shibas were originally bred for hunting and some folks hike with them, but in your opinion, would they make a good horse dog? I’ve been without buddy for about six months and I think it’s time I started looking for another dog. I like the aloof temperament of Shibas are said to have, I have friends with overly friendly dogs like Australian shepards and I really can’t stand all the licking.
July 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Hello Dot, I am afraid I don’t have any experience in this area, since I have never done any horse training. I love horses, but unfortunately, have not had the opportunity to live with one.
I would try reposting your question on the Shiba Inu forum. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7816/12lb-shiba-vs-1400lb-horse/p1
July 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Hey ShibaShake, I’m 18 and i’ve had my shiba inu, Kenji for a little over 3 years. I love him to death and I try to do my best to keep as him happy and healthy as possible. I’ve always had dogs ever since I was a baby and I still do to this day but Kenji was the first dog I got that was actually mine and not just the families. I take care of him myself as best I can and my family has been there to help me along the way, but as I said before i’m 18 and have been home schooled since my second year of middle school, and now i’m trying to think about my future. You know collage, a job, my own place to live etc. But I don’t know how to fit Kenji into all my plans. I try to entertain him and play with him when ever I can but there are times when he wants my attention and I just can’t give it to him because I have other things to do. It’s not like he doesn’t have enough things to entertain himself, he has plenty of toys and we have 2 other dogs and a family who are more than happy to play with him but sometimes it seems all he wants is me. I hate ignoring him and it’s not like I have a full schedule but there are times when I just want to sit down and read or study and he just won’t let me. Maybe i’m just being lazy or over exaggerating the whole thing but if you have any tips or such you can give me i’d really appreciate it. – guardianlue
July 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm
What helps with my dogs is to make sure they have several caretakers whom they trust and have a strong bond with. In this way, if I am sick or have to travel, there will be people around who can take over Sephy’s care temporarily.
Shibas especially are very loyal dogs, but they do not trust easily. I make sure to properly socialize Sephy, and have others around the house that feed, interact, and play with him on a daily basis so that he learns to trust them as well. Building trust takes time, so I make sure I am there to help with the process, and we go slowly. For example, I feed him one meal, and others feed him his other meals, we share who takes him out for walks, he gets play time with others, etc.
July 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm
I believe anyone who ever owns a Shiba Inu will not regret it, they are very high energy, but extremely smart, and jealous. My Shadow was a Shiba Inu and German Shepherd. Unfortunately about 10 days ago I had to put her down, she was having multiple seizures, which is part of the german shepherd health issues. She was given to me as a gift when she was about 8 wks old, she put the fear of god into me over a rawhide chew. Once she learned that I was the lead dog so to speak, the boundary was set. It took firmness with her in voice commands. She trained relatively easy, and she trained me as well. She taught me every day everything was hers, and every day meant play until the last few months and she still tried. She rarely barked, but would howl at a passing train, and later would howl at the telephone if I was upstairs and it was ringing. She learned to trade objects, rocks for goose eggs. She proved to me an old dog can learn new tricks, we brought African goslings, Shadow thought they were for her to eat, and maimed one to where I had to kill it. It resulted in finally catching her, putting her on a chain, left with food and water and shelter, the only thing she was lacking was me touching her and talking to her, after 2 weeks
July 12, 2013 at 9:35 am
I would like to honor our Shiba Inu, Simba. We got him when he was 8 months old and that was almost 15 years ago. No one could ask for a better dog, he slept through the night, we were able to train him (somewhat), never got sick and was always there for me. He would rarely bark, only when our doorbell rang or if he wanted to go outside. Most of the time, he would come up to me and just stare at me and that was his way of telling me it was time to go outside. He would chase his tail, lay on his back to scratch it and then get this look on his face as if to say ‘yes, can I help you?’ He was definitely cat like in the sense that he would come by me when he wanted to get petted. He would eat grass, get into the trash and take things down from the counter. He also got away a few times and I had to go after him. Once he got tired enough, he would just give up and then I’d have to carry him home. As he got older, he slept a lot, but was still fairly active. I’m sorry to say that last night we had to say goodbye to him and had him put to sleep. It turns out that he had a tumor in his brain that caused him to lose all motor function. He couldn’t even stand up, was dizzy and wasn’t eating or drinking. That by far was the hardest thing I had to do and I didn’t want him to go that way. But I look at it this way, at least he’s not suffering anymore. I loved that dog more than anything and I know that he loved me too. Rest in peace Simba, you made my life so much better and I will never forget you.
Wayne Reeves says
July 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm
Beautiful tribute to your dear Simba. My shiba is seven, and I try to push aside the thoughts of giving him up someday. Do they know how hard it us for us humans to say good-bye. I can imagine you have already seen this link, but it is comforting. best wishes, Wayne
July 12, 2013 at 7:58 am
My shiba is now 10 years old and is the greatest dog ever. He gets along with everyone and is particularly good with young kids. He was very hyper up until around age 6 or 7. He is very quiet, and we have never bathed him. He smells very good and is amazing considering hes never bathed. I love my shiba and advise anyone looking for a dog to get one. You just have to very strict with them at a young age.
June 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm
I have a 7 year old Shiba Inu/Lab mix named Chloe. She’s a tough cookie! haha. She’s in-between the size of a lab and shiba inu, and she has the coloring of a shiba, but the tail and coat of a lab. Her ears are half-up and half-down so they’re a little floppy and perky. Even though she has a lab tail, she holds her tail up high as if it should be curled. She and her siblings were found as puppies, in a field, living in a cave with their lab mommy.
My parents assumed she was half Jack Russel, but at the time my little sister had the Nintendogs game, and she had a Shiba and I thought Chloe looked too similar. I’m absolutely certain she is. She acts just like one! She’s sweet and loyal and caring like a lab, but she’s very picky with her food (she’ll stare at me like I’m stupid as if she’s saying “do you really think I want to eat THIS? Please!”), she growls at me when I move my feet too close to her and she’ll move away lol (she despises feet), her bark sounds similar to a Shiba Scream but not as high-pitched, she gives me hilarious nasty looks (as if she’s thinking “Was that supposed to be funny?”), she potty-trained herself and NEVER goes inside the house, she is always clean and she lovessss to lick her paws. She’s also very territorial with people/animals she does not know who come to our house. She’s bark away at them and get in their faces, she never bites though, but she’s very protective of her family and does NOT like outsiders. She also tends to fight with our Golden sometimes if he touches her food or a toy of hers. She’s EXTREMELY intelligent. She taught herself to open doors, open crates, she knows the difference between left and right, and she absolutely knows what you’re talking about, especially when you’re talking about her. She’s also pretty independent. I love my Clu-Clu!!
June 2, 2013 at 1:03 pm
hi there i was wondering, i got my dog (bentley) 2 weeks ago and was told he was german shepard/akita cross, but i do know akitas and he is too small, i was told that he is probably shiba inu/ german shepard, now he is a year old already and has some training issues, he always pulls the leash, trys to take the leash and walk me, always barks and howls when i am not home, he has great agility loves to jump and he can jump high, just wondering if anyone here has had any type of these problems with a shiba, any tips would help as well
June 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Yeah, Sephy used to leash bite in a very bad way. He would get so crazy he would sometimes jump on me, grab my jacket sleeve, and start shaking his head. It was pretty scary.
Here is more on my leash biting experiences with Sephy. What works best for Sephy is to no-mark, then immediately march him home and end the walk. In this way, he learns that – Any kind of leash biting = fun walk ends, Walk nicely on leash = get more freedom to explore and fun walk continues
I trained Sephy not to pull by using the red-light-green-light technique and the 180 turn around technique. http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
May 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm
Hi, We have a one year old Shiba, and we’ve noticed that her breath smells like a metallic, blood smell. Is this anything we should be concerned about? Thanks.
May 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm
There can be many reasons for this, so it is best to check with the vet.
Couple of forum discussions on this- http://www.i-love-dogs.com/forums/dog-questions-answers/34418-puppy-has-metallic-breath.html http://boxerworld.com/forums/dog-health-issues-questions/49609-4month-old-foul-fishy-metallic-smelling-discharge.html
May 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm
Probably has some tartar building up. Smelling breath is the one clue that is telling us something is up.
May 15, 2013 at 5:12 am
Thank you! We’ve had a few days together and he’s calmed down a lot around me… he’s a sweet little thing, very cheeky but he seems to really want to please us. I have been observing him, and have found out he’s very reward oriented, so have been following the NILIF tips on your site which seem to be getting great results. Let’s see how it goes!
May 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm
That is great to hear! Big hugs to your Shiba. 😀
May 13, 2013 at 10:19 am
On the weekend my husband and I bought a two year old male Shiba Inu. He is a darling around other people, dogs and my husband… everyone apart from me! He has growled at me a few times and stands around staring at me. I figure it’s just him working out the pecking order in a new pack and doesn’t fully trust me yet, and I am going to start taking him to dog school so we can learn some new things together, but I was wondering if you have tips? Is it the sort of thing he will grow out of if I keep up consistent behaviour? I have been alternating between holding my ground when he gets bolshy (we had a stand-off earlier today when he tried to eat a tissue on the ground when walking – I made him sit and drop it before we walked on, and gave him a treat as a reward when it was finally dropped) , ignoring the bad behaviour (I left the room when he growled at me last night) and rewarding good behaviour with treats.
It’s a bit saddening for me that he doesn’t seem to love me the way he does everyone else, but I am doing my best to stay calm and work through it!
May 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm
I had a similar experience with my Shiba (Sephy) when he was young. He would be calmer and much better behaved with other people, but he would go crazy with me.
The key reason for this, was my energy. I was uncertain when interacting with him, and would get frustrated, angry or disappointed, and ultimately also somewhat fearful of his behavior. Sephy would pick up on my non-calm energy, get uncertain and stressed himself, and act out even more. The truth is, Sephy did not love me less. He was simply reacting to my own emotions and feelings. Since I was uncertain and frustrated, he got uncertain and frustrated as well, and used aggression to deal with his stress.
Here are some things that I did with Sephy. Here is a bit more on my experiences with Sephy.
I also set up a very consistent set of rules and a very consistent routine. Consistency is very important with Sephy, and I make sure to always respond in a very consistent way to his behaviors, so that he learns what are desirable behaviors and what are undesirable behaviors. Here is more on how I train a new dog.
Dog training is also very context dependent. Ignoring may work well in certain circumstances, and may have the opposite effect in others. For example, my dog may try jumping on counters to get whatever is on top. I could walk away and ignore him, but he would still keep jumping on counters. Every time he jumps, he may get rewarded with something fun from the counter, e.g. paper, food, etc, which would encourage him to jump even more. Similarly, “holding our ground” is the same way.
What helped most for me is to observe Sephy carefully, and try to understand things from his point of view. Once I understand what motivates a certain behavior, I can redirect it or reorganize the surrounding motivators to get a different behavior. Here is a bit more on how dogs learn.
With Sephy, group classes were mostly useful for socialization purposes. However, they are not as helpful for dealing with specific behavioral issues. For those, private lessons were much better. http://www.apdt.com/pet-owners/choosing-a-trainer/
May 13, 2013 at 9:58 am
Need Help!!! I am dog sitting my friend’s female shiba. She is 5 years old. I had a problem on the first day walking. While we were in the parking walking and accidentally she slipped out from her harness to chase after a small dog. I was able to grab and hold her on my arm. When I tried to put the harness back on, she growled and showed teeth at me. I tried different methods, being nice, being mean (having a rod on my hand! She got scared actually) But when I put the harness closer to her every time, she just growled again. Now I don’t know what to do. I live in an apartment so I need to take her out. I was told that no one could put the harness on her except her owner who is on a cursie and the owner won’t be back in a week. She is fine with me but I when tried to put the harness on, she got angry again. I used to have a penkingnese and a Sheltie. They are not like that. Any suggestion??
May 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm
Sephy (my Shiba) is also very sensitive about wearing anything on his body. I had to spend a lot of time getting him comfortable with putting on and wearing a collar. I did this *slowly* by associating the collar with positive events (e.g. fun games) and food rewards. Here is a bit more on the collar desensitization process that I used with Sephy.
Shiba Inus are loyal, and they do not give their trust easily. It was something that I had to earn over time through consistency, repetition, and positive experiences. My energy is also very important when interacting with Sephy. If I am fearful, frustrated, angry, or otherwise not-calm, Sephy would pick up on my energy, get stressed himself, and his behavior would worsen.
Do you have a way of contacting her owner? She knows her dog best and would know the best way to deal with this. Is the Shiba ok with wearing a collar for the short term?
May 12, 2013 at 1:48 am
Hi there. Thanks for all the fantastic pics and great info. I recently lost my beloved Akita, Toshi, to cancer. I have approximately 20 years’ experience with the breed. I am thinking that it might be time to explore smaller breeds. My Akitas were all rescues and health-wise proved sad and expensive, to a one. I am shy to get another, especially one that originates in No. CA due to the overwhelming health problems they seem to have. Can anyone point me to reputable breeders of the Shiba Inu? I am up for a breather regarding serious and costly health problems. The oldest Akita I was blessed with died, also from cancer, three months shy of her 9th birthday. Very sad. I’d appreciate any help anyone can offer. Thanks so much. P.S. I love, love, love the Akita personality and know the Shiba shares many of the same attributes, hence my interest. Thanks again. Rannie
May 12, 2013 at 10:44 am
For Shiba Inu breeders, I go to the National Shiba Club of America- http://www.shibas.org/breeders.html
There is also some great information on the site in terms of common Shiba health issues and more.
May 6, 2013 at 10:40 am
Hey, it’s me again… I wanted to ask about a problem… I have my dog (the all mighty Cork, lol) but i also have 2 cats… the cats hide from Cork, and Cork chases the cats… do you have any pointers on how to get them to get along?
May 8, 2013 at 7:37 am
Hello Jade, I don’t have any cats, but here is a thread from the Shiba Inu Forum about Shibas and cats- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7120/problem-with-cats/p1#Comment_125511
Here is an article from the ASPCA on introducing a cat to a new dog- http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-articles/introducing-your-cat-to-a-new-dog
May 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm
HI , would it be hard to keep a Shiba in an apartment ? I really like this dog but since i dont live in a house i have my doubts
May 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm
http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-personality-good-bad-traits/comment-page-5#comment-63240 http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-personality-good-bad-traits/comment-page-5#comment-71181 http://www.dogster.com/forums/Shiba_inu/thread/561213
May 5, 2013 at 6:47 pm
We’ve raised our 8 month Shiba named Stella in a townhome and an apartment. Stella was fine in both. We crate trained her, but quickly realized that she has no intention of getting into any trouble when left home alone and the house to herself. She’s very well behaved, but we might have just gotten lucky. We did exercise her very much on the weekends. We’d take her to puppy parks, on hikes, etc. During the week, we’d just exercise her on a quick 20-45 min walk. I’ve just moved in to a larger house with a yard, so I’m happy to be able to give Stella some room to run around!
May 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm
Shibas are good for apts. Just take for regular walks and give attention. I live in a condo and it works good
May 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm
Should I get a boy shiba inu puppy or a girl shiba inu puppy? Which one has the best qualities?
May 6, 2013 at 11:01 am
I belive that both have great qualities. but if i was to pick one i’d say a male would be better… or that could just be because my Shiba, Cork, is a male and he’s just the best dog ever!!!! JadeCorkus OUT!!!! Peace
May 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Hi! I really want a shiba inu but I feel like they are too mean and stubborn. Are they really mean all their life or are they loving and playful?
May 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm
I’ve honestly never met a “mean” Shiba. However, all of the Shibas that I met were socialized very thoroughly. If you take the time to do your research and socialize your puppy as appropriate I doubt you’ll run into any issues.
May 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm
Shibas aren’t mean, it is just the ancient breed trait coming out. My shiba growls at people or other dogs and its her way of saying back off but even after growls you can pet her or comb her and even a stranger can let her sniff. She loves her people and usually doesn’t want to be far from me and she loves to cuddle
May 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Hey! I am hoping to get a shiba inu puppy in a few months but I am really worried that they are mean and stubborn and hate affection from humans! Are they this way and are they good dogs to have?
May 4, 2013 at 7:46 am
What makes a good dog depends on our lifestyle and what we want in a dog.
I got Sephy mostly for his looks, and because of that, we both had a very difficult beginning. Shibas are usually independent and stubborn, and I had to put in a lot of effort, time, and patience to properly train Sephy. Shibas also tend to be aloof, and like having their own space. Sephy is a lot less affectionate than my other dogs. A Shiba is definitely *NOT* a lap-dog.
Here is an article where several Shiba owners weigh in on why a Shiba is difficult to train.
The Shiba Inu forum can also be a good source of information on Shibas- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/
August 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm
They are awesome dogs! Mine is 7 and I got her when she was 5 weeks old, she potty trained the first day! She is stubborn but does well with other dogs and cats but is very food aggressive. To me that is minor and I’d get another Shiba in a heartbeat, great with kids as well.
May 3, 2013 at 11:08 am
I have a red Shiba named Cork (and he looks just like Sephy!) and he loves to eat grass and run around (thanks for the infi on the “shiba-Scream”)
May 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm
He sounds like a lot of fun. 😀 Big hugs to your Shiba!
May 2, 2013 at 12:04 am
I want this dog, i have a good space for him, time and love, but i have a cat, my cat is 14 years old, he is active and very intelligent but he is kind of spoiled so he doesnt accept to have other cats in my house and he has always been scared of dogs. Is there a chance that a shiba can get along with a cat?
May 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm
I don’t have any house cats, so I do not have much experience in this area.
Here is a good discussion on Shibas and cats on the Shiba Inu Forum- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7120/problem-with-cats/p1#Comment_125511
Here is an article on how to introduce a cat to a new dog- http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-articles/introducing-your-cat-to-a-new-dog
April 28, 2013 at 11:46 am
Hi! I am getting an 8 week old shiba inu puppy. I was wondering if they are all agressive? Mainly because I was bit by a big dog 2 years back, and since then I’ve been a little afraid of being bit again. I have always been facinated by the Shiba Breed I’m just very nervous! Thanks!
April 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm
Puppies, especially Shiba puppies need to be taught what things are ok to chew on and play with, and what things are not appropriate to chew on. It was also important to train my Shiba puppy to control the force of his bites when interacting with people.
A bit more on puppy biting.
A bit more on how I trained my puppy.
Be aware though that Shibas tend to be aloof and stubborn. They can be mouthy and be much more difficult to train than many other breeds.
Why Shiba Inus are difficult to train.
April 25, 2013 at 3:54 am
I have a 6 year old female shiba Inu named Starbrite. My daughter picked her out and getting passed the dogs infant year and a half growing years I can’t imagine never having this dog. We love. She shows her affection as well. She is very loyal and will show she wants only to be with us as well. Smart they are but in a very good way as they get older. I feel the older they get the better.
April 25, 2013 at 11:29 am
I feel the older they get the better.
Yeah, that has certainly been my experience with Sephy. We definitely had difficulties at the start, but it got better and keeps getting better with time – like cheese. 😀
April 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Hello Shiba Shake,
It has been a long time since I have posted!! I am the owner of a 4 year old black and tan shiba named Moksha. I must say that I was not sure if I would survive Moksha’s puppyhood, but I must say that after all the chewing, stealing, and shiba crazy runs that constantly knocked over my lamp, Moksha has become the most wonderful dog in the whole world. He comes with me everywhere and about once every 6 months he spends the a whole day acting as if he has never had any training at all. On that day, I know that I can’t leave anything of value out where he can chew or steal it:) Then the next day he goes right back to being a very well mannered shiba. Of course, as we all know, a well-mannered shiba and a well-mannered dog are two very different things…LOL. All of his little idiosyncrasies are absolutely amazing and to be honest, I wouldn’t know what to do with a dog that did what I told him to without complaining. Anyway, sorry for rambling but I wanted to give an update on Moksha. Let me know how to and I will send some pics…he has grown into a very dapper dog.
April 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm
It is great to hear from you and to get an update on Moksha! I think the last picture I got was when he went river rafting with you. 😀
Is Moksha on Facebook? Would love to see more of his pictures.
April 22, 2013 at 6:26 am
No unfortunately moksha and I don’t have much experience with social media, but I can give you an email address! I don’t want to put it on the main forum, so how would I get it to you? If I put my email in the comment section does it show up on the main forum? I am so glad to reconnect your sephy looks like he’s doing well and keeping you on your toes and your huskies are absolutely gorgeous! I have to admit I am jealous. If I had more room I would have had a Siberian years ago, but I just felt it would be cruel to have one since I don’t have a fenced in yard. Anyway! Let me know how to get my email to you because Moksha has grown and has, believe it or not, been able to make friends!!! One is another shiba that moved into our area and the other is a Rottweiler!! The two of them together are hilarious! I hope to hear from you soon!
April 22, 2013 at 11:04 am
One is another shiba that moved into our area and the other is a Rottweiler!!
Haha, Moksha is such a lucky boy! I am definitely looking forward to seeing his pictures.
The email information is private so it *won’t* show up on the page. You can also send me a message from here.
April 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm
I have two wonderful Shiba Inu’s. One is a 6 yr old Black and Tan female named Kiko and the other is my 10 month old red male named Kenji. The problem recently is that Kenji all of a sudden (like this last week) has developed an obession with the wood chips we have out in their potty area. He grabs them, wants to play with it and chew it. Our other female will play for hours with the ball and he used to until now with this wood obsession. How can I break him of this? I’m so affraid he will chew it, get a spinter or choak on a piece. Please, any help will be appreicated. My male Akita (Kosan) passed away August 17, 2012 and I was so heartbroken (he was 14 yrs old), so the breeder of Kiko called us and said he just had a litter, so yeah, Kenji was an inpulse buy. He has a super sweet personality and we play with all his toys inside the house, but he has now lost interest with his outside toys. Should I buy him new outside toys??
April 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Yeah, Sephy also had a wood-chip phase. I tried stopping him, but that only made him want to play with wood-chips even more, because it became a fun game where he gets a lot of attention.
What works best with Sephy is to engage him in some other game that he likes when we are outside. For example, he likes playing the flirt pole game and the water hose game, so I can use those to distract him. I play those with him as soon as we go outside, and *not* in response to wood-chip chewing. Otherwise, he will learn to associate wood-chips to the games, and perform the behavior even more. Instead, I stop playing and interacting with him if he decides to go after wood chips.
I also enhanced his chew toys with food. New toys don’t really help with Sephy because they become “old toys” very quickly and he would lose interest in them. I also tried cycling through his toys, but that stopped having an effect after a short time.
Another method I considered is to bring Sephy inside whenever he starts to play with wood chips, but unless I already had him on-leash, it would quickly turn into a catch-me-if-you-can game. I could have walked him outside on-lead, but that seemed overly constraining.
Happily, he got bored of wood chips after a short time because the other games were more interesting. Different dogs are motivated by different things though, so it would also depend a lot on Kenji and what gets him excited. 😀
Big hugs to Kiko and Kenji! They are very lucky Shibas.
Let us know how things go with Kenji, and what works best with him.
Billy Charleston says
April 7, 2013 at 6:59 am
In the future, I would like to own 2 dogs. One definitely a shiba inu, and the other, maybe a basset hound. Do you know how these breeds would get along? Would they, due to their stubbornness? Do shiba’s “initiate” playtime? The basset hounds I’ve had enjoyed playing, but only if a person or dog would approach and show that they would like to play. I can assume that a shiba would give a basset personal space, because a basset likes to be left be as well.
April 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Do shiba’s “initiate” playtime?
Yeah, Sephy will sometimes initiate play. However, Huskies are very high energy, so my Sibes are usually the ones who do the play-invites. I also give my Huskies longer daily walks, and I play various chasing games with them, so that they get engaged doing alternative activities. A Shiba will probably be higher energy than a Basset, and will need more exercise.
As for getting along, I think a big part of that depends on supervision and setting up consistent interaction rules. I supervise my dogs a lot when I bring in a new puppy, and I also set up clear rules (especially for meal-time and play-time). In this way, my dogs know exactly what to expect from the new dog and vice versa. Here are some of the things that I do to help my dogs get along.
The other part of getting along will depend on the individual dog’s temperament. I waited for about 1 year before getting a second dog. In this way, I had time to observe Sephy, understand his personality, and pick a second dog that is compatible with him, would play well with him, and would do well with our current routine/lifestyle.
May 8, 2013 at 5:54 am
My shiba always initiates play with our pom esk cross. Shiba is sometimes too rough and can be a bully at play time though. Often she is ignored until she settles down
April 4, 2013 at 9:13 am
Hi, your site is interesting and the comments are even more helpful! Anyway, I was wondering if a shiba is suitable to live with Siberian husky? I have a beautiful playful Siberian husky and a cute pomeranian, will they be getting along fine? If we have a house with tall fense, will the shiba be ok living within the fense outside the house? Of course we will have a house for them out in the garden area. Also will shiba be fine with a warm weather ?
April 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm
I have a beautiful playful Siberian husky and a cute pomeranian, will they be getting along fine?
I think that would depend on the temperament of the dogs, their training and routine, amount of supervision and structured exercise, the environment, etc. I currently have two Huskies and a Shiba. With supervision, rules, and daily walks, they get along quite well.
If we have a house with tall fense, will the shiba be ok living within the fense outside the house?
My Shiba, Sephy prefers to be inside the house most of the time. He will go out from time to time, especially when it is sunny, but generally he likes being in the house. My Sibes like being outside a lot more. I make sure that my fence-line is not only secure on the upper parts, but also below ground. Dogs can dig under the fence and get out that way.
It is also important whether there is grass in the backyard or whether it is fully concrete. Staying on a concrete floor for prolonged periods of time, can have negative effects on joints, feet pads, etc, especially when it is very cold or hot outside.
Also will shiba be fine with a warm weather ?
My Shiba, Sephy does better in warm weather compared to my Siberians. My Huskies have much thicker coats. During hot summer days, they spend most of their time inside the house, on the tile floor, and under a fan.
Victoria L. Davis says
April 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm
My son Nick bought our Shiba (Rocky) at age 11 months. He had prior owners who moved out of the country and could not take him, so they returned him to the Kennel he was purchased from. Nick bought him 11/11/2012. We learned early on that he would run if given the slightest opportunity. Nick had him neutered on 12/03/2012 and on 12/04 he ran and was gone for three hours. We live in a sub-division which is surrounded by wood and Rocky wouldn’t let me or anyone else close to him, so I just left the front door opened and Rocky sauntered in exhausted. A few days later Rocky was very sick and we found out he had whipworm and had it for a while which caused bacteria to grow in his intestinal track along with an ear infection. He was treated and seemed well after that. I was always worried about his skittishness around others and his lack of affection toward me, but your article has helped with those concerns. Just yesterday, 3/31/2013 my husband left the door cracked and Rocky was out again but this time only for 30 minutes. While out there he rubbed his neck in another dog’s poop which was something he did when we first got him that’s why Nick had him neutered because he was told that would stop him from wanting to sniff so much and from rubbing in it. The poop was all in his fur so I gave him a bath. I am a bit ashamed to say, but I only had Head and Shoulders and used that to bath him and get the entire poop out his fur. Today, I have noticed that he is not walking around with his tail curled but he’s not scratching more than usual and he is eating, drinking and playing as he normally does. So what does it mean when he is not curling his tail, does it have anything to do with the shampoo I used? Just one more thing, Rocky likes to eat deer pellets if given the chance and I am sure he ate some yesterday, deer roam in our sub-division every night so there are a lot of deer pellets piles around. I am having his pooped checked in a few days to make sure he didn’t pick anything up. Why do you think he is not curling his tail and what do you think I should do if this continues? Thank You, Victoria L. Davis (new owner)
April 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm
So what does it mean when he is not curling his tail, does it have anything to do with the shampoo I used?
Based on what I have read, using adult human shampoo on a dog can cause skin irritation for the dog. This is because human shampoo may contain chemicals that are not appropriate for a dog’s skin.
As for the tail curling, I have noticed that Sephy leaves his tail uncurled and droopy when he is not feeling himself. In particular, he does this after he gets his teeth cleaned, while he is still groggy from the anesthesia. However, in addition to the uncurled tail, there are also clear changes in his behavior, and he does not eat until he feels better.
Is Rocky’s tail drooping down as well, or is it just uncurled? Given that Rocky was outside eating poop, it could be something from that, it may be irritation from the shampoo, or something else. Probably safest to check with his vet.
March 28, 2013 at 9:03 am
I loved reading all about Shiba’s here. You hit the nail right on the head. We have a 7 year old white/cream shiba named Alex. We just found out he has torn his ACL and has a luxating patella in the same leg. My heart hurts, we will do what we have to do to fix him back up but the stresses of the financial aspect of this all is taking a toll on me. I love my little guy, I can’t wait til he’s back to himself! I love Shiba’s!
March 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm
Yeah, I know what you mean about the stress – both financial and emotional. Shania hurt one of her back legs a few weeks ago, and it was very stressful keeping her level of activity down, and worrying about her recovery.
When we really love someone, it is difficult not to worry.
Big hugs to Alex! Shania also sends some super Husky kisses.
March 27, 2013 at 5:14 am
Our shiba inu is 13 years old and since we came back from vacation he is howling usually for no reason that we are aware of. He was left alone most days for 10-12 hours while we were gone. Our son would stop by to feed him and let me out on the run. We purchased a device that is supposed to stop barking, but so far it hasn’t seemed to help. We brought him to the vet and she said he is in perfect health. I am thinking that his hearing, sight and senses are dimished due to his age. And possibly he is afraid that he will be left alone again. When I walk out of the room for any exteneded time he starts howling. We are at are wits end. Love the little guy, but he is driving us crazy. Any suggestions?
March 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm
It sounds like it could be separation anxiety. I know my Shiba gets stressed when there are changes to his routine, even though they may seem like small changes to me. When we moved, I quickly set up a fixed routine for Sephy in the new place. It helped to recreate routine and certainty for him again, and he was able to relax soon after. I also gave him more structured exercise after we moved, so that he had an outlet for his stress.
Here is more on dog anxiety and stress.
A dog who has separation anxiety might bark or howl when left alone or when separated from his guardian. This kind of barking or howling is persistent and doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything except being left alone. ~~[ASPCA]
We purchased a device that is supposed to stop barking, but so far it hasn’t seemed to help.
Hmmm, what device are you using to stop the barking? There is very little regulation in the dog equipment field. Often times, the risks of certain devices, such as bark collars, are swept under the rug, in order to promote more sales. If a dog is vocalizing because of stress, shock collars or other types of bark collars can further increase anxiety, and worsen the dog’s stress symptoms and behaviors.
Here is more on how to deal with separation anxiety from the RSPCA.
March 27, 2013 at 1:55 am
well, it’s beem decided! I’m going to acquire a Shiba Inu of my own! (Finding a breeder in SoCal/Arizona is proving to be beyond impossoble though). I have read many of your amazing articles, the shibainuforum.org discussions, two cesar milan books, one housetraining book, one trick book for dummies, and one specifically about the shiba inu. This leaves me just a few questions id like to ask! A) is it extremely rare that shiba inus are cuddly? I dont need to smother the dog with affection, but someone to chill on the couch and watch a movie with would be nice, and B) are there any extra books or websites you may recommend? It will be my first personal dog (had family dogs growing up) AND itll be a Shiba, so im preparing ;). Thanks!
March 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Congratulations James! Sounds like you are more than prepared to be owned by a Shiba!
A) is it extremely rare that shiba inus are cuddly?
Sephy will often chill out with us when we are watching t.v. He likes being around us, just not too much of the touchy-feely stuff. 😀
B) are there any extra books or websites you may recommend?
In terms of dog training information, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there in net-town, so I try to stick to- 1. Scientific studies. 2. Behavioral articles from top veterinary schools, especially the ones with good animal behavior programs, e.g. UPenn, UCDavis. 3. Well established dog advocate sites, such as the RSPCA and ASPCA.
When I first started with Sephy, I really enjoyed Bones Would Rain from the Sky by Suzanne Clothier. It is not a dog training book though – but more of a dog relationship book. Instead of blaming everything on Sephy or on dominance, I started to listen to him, see where he is coming from, and try to be a better pack leader. It made me view things in a different way and turned things around for Sephy and me. However, the book’s message may not appeal to everyone.
She has a bunch of great articles on her site. Definitely have a look at her articles first to see if you like her style of writing.
Dr Sophia Yin (from UCDavis) also has a lot of useful information on her blog.
Liz McCauley says
March 7, 2013 at 11:24 am
Truly enjoying your “Shiba Shake” and you are 100% accurate! Also enjoying all of the comments. You forgot one warning, though–you forgot to tell everyone how ADDICTING Shibas are! I started with a puppy mill rescue in 2007 and now have three–one rescued at 10 years of age from a high kill shelter and my girl came along two years ago when the local shelter called to tell me they had a Shiba who had been adopted out twice and kept escaping. I can’t imagine having any other breed of dog. Even with all the “quirks” (and there are many!), my Shibas are the most loving, sensitive, funny, and fun-loving dogs ever! They have never been and never will be off leash, and my Sammy (puppy mill dog) nipped my best friend and my aunt when I first had him. Honestly, he was a handful until I adopted Saki, the 10 year old, who proceeded to calm Sammy down. Of course, that all changed when Abbey joined the pack, because she is completely in charge of the boys. There were PLENTY of fights at first, still can be over food, but, for the most part, Sammy is in love with Abbey and Abbey is in love with Saki. Quite the love triangle! Thanks for all the info and your love of the breed!
March 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm
I cannot believe Raiden is going to be 6 months next week time flys when you have a Shiba puppy!
I’ve noticed a couple more people asking about whether a Shiba is a good apartment dog. We live in a one bedroom apartment with no yard and it was a big concern of mine. Raiden is doing just fine in the apartment. We make sure he is well excercised and my Mom puppy sits while I am at work. He gets to play with a Collie all day and is well socialized with other dogs.
Raiden wanted nothing to do with his crate. He would scream, wine and carry on. Since I am in an apartment, with thin walls, that wasnt going to work. Needless to say, we slept on the couch together. We had many a cold nights in November and December running outside every two hours to pee pee. I certainly dont miss that. Note: Always get a puppy in the Spring or Summer! After about two weeks Raiden understood where to relieve himself. That isn’t to say he hasn’t had a couple accidents. Mostly my fault though, getting all bundled up with boots and scarves and gloves sometimes takes too long for his liking! He did, however, jump up in bed two nights ago and precede to pee in the bed. Not fun!
One of my favorite parts of being a Shiba mom is hearing his cute yawns waking me up in the morning. I swear sometimes the noises he makes are unreal! Raiden is definitely not a big barker, but a screamer he is. All the Vets call him the biggest baby. Heaven forbid they need to check his temperature, if you know what I mean.
Good luck everyone!
February 22, 2013 at 10:29 am
My neighbor knows some people who lost their home, and needed someone to keep their dog until they are on their feet again. I had been considering getting a dog for a long time (about 10 years, actually), so I agreed to take him. I enjoy dogs, and a dog is a dog, right? Wrong !! He turns out to be a 18 month old Sheba, and is the stubbornest bunch of fur that I have ever encountered. We had a couple of “fights” where I wanted to go to bed, but he did not agree to come in from the garden area until about 2am. I moved his crate/bed into the washroom where there is a dog door, and he has agreed that sleeping in there is acceptable, also he is not allowed out in the big back garden after about 5:30 pm. His hair started falling out in handfulls this week and I thought maybe he was sick but from what I have seen online, it seems as if this is normal for Shebas. Our walks consist of a mad dash from one good smell to the next, and I think my arm is 6 inches longer now than it was a few weeks ago. I made the mistake of letting the neighbor’s dog into my yard to play, and that turned into a fight – also I tried getting rid of some of his energy at a local dog park, which worked for a while but then also ended in a fight. He has gotten out of the yard a couple of times, and darted off to investigate the neighbor’s chickens.
February 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm
I enjoy dogs, and a dog is a dog, right?
I thought exactly the same thing when I got Sephy. I mean, how bad could a dog be, right? 😀
Shiba says, “Silly human.”
February 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm
I got my first Shiba Inu back in September 2012. My fiance and I were just browsing a pet store admiring all the cute puppies. We’d duscussed getting a dog but decided to wait until after our wedding. Then we saw Kira while in the pet store. It was the first time I’d ever seen or even heard of a Shiba Inu and I thought “We have to have her!!!”
Being smart, I asked the pet store for books on the breed while we played with her in their little playpins. The first three words we read about Shiba’s were “Smart, energetic, and stubborn”. My fiance looked right at me and said “Hey Kay! That sounds like you!” It was a done deal after that.
After bringing her home I continued my research on the breed. I wanted to ensure she was getting the best upbringing to help her personality thrive. This website has helped out so much and has been a great resource.
We’ve had Kira for 6 months now and she has turned into quite the mommy’s girl. Having read (more specifically from this site) that bad side of the shiba personality, I was truely prepared for the worst. I’ll be honest that raising Kira so far has been a blast though. She is extremely comical, and you’re right, you need to have a sense of humor with them.
February 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm
“Hey Kay! That sounds like you!” It was a done deal after that.
LOL! I really love this part.
Kira sounds like a very happy and very lucky girl! Thanks for sharing her story with us. Is she going to be the flower girl at your wedding? 😉
February 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm
Hi, We got a shiba inu/american eskimo mix her name is Hermione and she is 1 1/2, she has all the traits most shibas have like, very energenic, tempermental with our other dogs, ect. My question is we have a pretty good size yard, take her for walks and she went thru puppy training. She seems to remember some of the training but refuses to come when called. when she gets out of the yard by sneaking past someone coming in the gate the chase is on, we had to chase her down for over an hour and finally caught her when someone else was walking there dog, Also she is very people shy when she is out in public, but when she is at home and someone comes to visit she barks the whole time they are there and she will run up to them like she is going to bite them, but never does. We have tried a spray bottle and pet corrector, but nothing seems to stop her.
Any help would be great. Love this sight.
February 4, 2013 at 8:18 am
In terms of training, I find that practice is very important with my dogs. Even though we are no longer doing classes, we still do commands every day to keep the lessons fresh. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program, so it just happens naturally in the course of the day.
This article from the ASPCA has a very good list of recall training techniques (training a dog to come when called).
Recall training can be more challenging for some dogs, especially the more stubborn and aloof breeds. For example, my Huskies are a lot better with recall than my Shiba. 😀
In term of sneaking out of doorways, what helps with my dogs is teaching them door manners.
To get my Shiba more comfortable around people, I did people desensitization training. With Sephy, it was really important to start from a far distance away and to get the person to totally ignore him (no talking, no touching, and no eye-contact). Eye-contact is often seen as a desire to interact and can sometimes also be seen as a threat.
In this way, I start off with a very weak version of the problem stimulus. Then, I slowly help Sephy to associate positive experiences with being around new people, so that he is less uncertain or anxious about them. As he gains confidence, I slowly increase the challenge of the exercise.
Big hugs to Hermione!
January 31, 2013 at 9:06 am
Hey there! Love your dog, seems like a sweet, little and funny devil! :p My family are thinking about getting a Shiba puppy (if I can convince them..). We already have a cat, he’s not used to be close to dogs, but I have seen him cuddling with one. Do you have any experience regarding cats and Shibas? I was planning on giving him/her about 40 minutes of exercise (walks) every day + some play time and probably some obedience training, would you think that that is enough for a Shiba? And are Shibas allergy friendly? This isn’t our main priority, but a few people in our family (none of whom are living in our house) are allergic to dogs. I have been thinking about the Japanese Spitz as well (really love the Spitz breeds), but I really fell in love with the Shiba! They seem like amazing dogs, you’re lucky! 😀 Thanks in advance!
February 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm
Do you have any experience regarding cats and Shibas?
No, I don’t have any cats so I don’t have much experience in this area. Here are a couple of articles that I like on cat training- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7120/problem-with-cats/p1#Comment_125511 http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/introducing-your-dog-to-a-new-cat
The first link is to the Shiba Inu Forum which is a great place to get input from other Shiba owners.
would you think that that is enough for a Shiba?
It would depend on the individual dog and on the surrounding context. Sephy needed a lot of activity, exercise, and training when he was young. After he was fully vaccinated, I took him out 4-5 times every day. A couple of the walks were about 40 mins or more, and the rest were about 20 mins. We didn’t have a backyard then, and he was an only dog, so we were more limited in our exercise options.
Later on, I cleaned out one of the rooms in the house and made it into a play-room. Then I was able to invite friendly dogs over to play with Sephy (under supervision). He really liked playing with other dogs so it was a good way to direct his Shiba-energy. He also liked going for hikes so we would do that as well.
I also made him work for all of his food, set up a consistent routine, and a fixed set of rules. Shibas are a lot of work, and a big time commitment, especially when they are young.
Sephy is now over 6 years old, so he needs much less supervision and exercise. Currently, he is good with daily walks of about 1 hour. He also plays with my two Huskies, works for all of his food, and happily lays about in the sun. 😀
And are Shibas allergy friendly?
Shibas shed a lot so they are not very allergy friendly. They have a soft undercoat which they blow once or twice a year. During coat blow season, there will be a lot of hair and a lot of grooming.
Good luck with your puppy search! Let us know what you decide. 😀
January 17, 2013 at 11:26 am
Hi All! We are from Argentina and we would really like to have a Shiba Inu We are doing some reasearch about that since we live in an apartament and work the whole day. I know that it is an independant dog, but i´m afraid that the dog could be a bit deppresive or bored and destroy all the things around him… What do you think about that? It could be possible to have a Shiba in an apartment? Thanks a lot for your comments! LOL
January 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm
I have two Shiba’s. I don’t see a problem with them as apartment dogs but your working all day is a real problem. These little guys require a lot of exercise, training and attention. Unless you take them to daycare or have a dog walker I doubt you will be happy. Just as an FYI, most puppy’s do a lot of damage…
January 19, 2013 at 8:15 am
I think Shibas can do fine in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise, structure and supervision.
My Shiba, Sephy, needed a fair amount of structured activity, especially when he was young. He also needed a fair amount of training and supervision during puppyhood. As you say, Shibas are independent and also very stubborn. Sephy does best when he has a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules.
Why are Shiba Inus difficult to train.
Here is another comment about Shibas and apartment living.
Here are some of my early experiences with Sephy.
January 16, 2013 at 11:36 am
We adopted our Shiba ‘Yoshi’ at 12 weeks old, and she is a handful to say the least. A charmer, extremely intelligent and strong-willed. She has taken to our family quite well and has acquired some pretty interesting habits not all too common with Shiba’s – she sleeps in our bed at night (but eventually ends up in hers by the morning). I have been told they house train quickly – this has NOT been our experience and it’s getting pretty frustrating. We take her out constantly and most of the time she does her business, but many times will come right back in and relieve herself almost immediately, sometimes right in front of us. Anyone with any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
January 18, 2013 at 11:16 am
Two things that work well while potty training my Sibes – 1. I reward them very well for doing potty outside. I give them attention, special treats, and play their favorite game with them after a successful potty.
2. When they potty inside, I no-mark the behavior, interrupt them, and take them outside. If they continue going outside, I reward them very well for it.
This teaches them that – potty outside = lots of rewards, attention, and games potty inside = get interrupted and no rewards
Here is more on what I did while potty training my puppies.
February 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm
I know this was posted a month ago, but I had a similar experience with my shiba Alice. When she was a baby puppy (what I call it) she would do the same thing, go out and pee then come in to pee! Or just randomly pee no matter how many times she’d allready been out. I took her to the vet, turns out she had a urinary infection. After some antibiotics, it cleared up within days and I never had that problem again. You might get her checked out. I was so frustrated because I thought she just wasn’t learning or I was a bad teacher! Silly human.
January 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Hello, I adopted my black and tan Shiba Inu when she was 6 years old through a local breeder surrender. She was born and bred in a puppy mill setting and the whole story is very sad. She was worked and had many litters of pups. When I first took her home her hind quarters were almost completely bald and her tail looked like it could belong on a hairless rat, not the beautiful Shiba plume that I had always seen. Her breath was bad enough to fill the car if the windows were up and she was extremely overweight. For one whole month I could not get her to eat anything more than a few bites of soft food. She would sit in the same room as me but didn’t like to be petted and when we went for a walk it was more of a drag and ended in me walking carrying my plump little Shiba a few blocks back home. We had a few incidents of her pulling herself out of her harness and going for a nice run… They can REALLY run. Overweight or not. She was extremely frightened of humans, men in particular. There were a lot of frustrating, crying evenings and a few points where I thought I’d made a big mistake. I’m glad I am as stubborn as she was and that I did not throw in the towel. After treating her for Hypothyroidism and having a whopping seven teeth removed she finally started to eat and that led to her finally starting to trust and to blossom. Sheena Easton (when I was told her breed I misunderstood Shiba Inu and made a joke that the breed was Sheena Easton and the name stuck) has been a part of my home and family for two years now and I cannot imagine life without her. I love this dog and understand the expression man’s best friend. She is extremely loving with me and friendly to friends that come over and even to their dogs (Best friend works with a chihuahua rescue group and brings new small dogs over all of the time) and I have even caught her trying to snuggle up to our cat Emma. She is a bit bashful. She is so beautiful now, her fur thick all over and even her tail is somewhat filled out and we are asked on our daily walks if she is a Husky puppy quite frequently. She greets me at the door and runs and jumps into my lap and a few close friends but no longer looks at everyone as a threat or as someone that will cause her harm. i have had no issues with her as a destructive force and she even plays with her squeaky toys gently and loves her bones but makes them last.
There is one issue that we cannot seem to work though and I’m hoping there might be someone that can offer advice. Throughout the entire time I have had Sheena, she has been afraid of my boyfriend. He is tall and has a deep booming voice but is an animal lover and has been desperately trying to get Sheena to not be afraid of him. She becomes a totally different dog when he is around. We do not live together but he comes over about 3 nights of the week and she still paces and hides from him. If he enters a room, she will run around the room that is closest in almost a panic. If he makes a sudden movement or really just any movement she cowers and jumps and has even made an accident on the floor due to jumping so hard (we call those scare poos). She licks hot spots on her paws that swell when she is nervous and we have had to treat these infections frequently. Matt tries the sideways approach, he has tried bringing her real meat treats. He speaks to her like I do, and has even tried getting on all fours but that almost made things worse. When he comes over I put on her Thunder Shirt and that has helped enough that she can stay in the same room as him, as long as he sits still but that is not a real solution. Anyone ever seen this type of behavior in their Shiba Inu or any adopted dog really? I love her so much and I also love him so much so I really would like to find a middle ground. I want him to see her actual personality and not the flighty paranoid dog she becomes when he is around. I’m sure there is something more we can do and I’m sure I’m not doing something correctly. I should also mention this is my first dog ever. I appreciate any feedback, be it constructive criticism or anything. Cheers to the best little big dog around! Thank you, Heather
January 17, 2013 at 12:34 am
Wow, that is an amazing story. Four paws up to you, and a good helping of licks! 😀
In terms of dealing with a dog’s “fear of men”, desensitization and counter conditioning methods may help. The idea is to first present the dog with a very weak version of the stimulus, and then slowly build up from there.
With a fear of people, we can use distance to weaken the strength of the stimulus. It is also important that the person stays relatively still, does not talk, and does not initiate any kind of eye contact. When I do this, I usually get the other person to just read a book or work on his computer. In the beginning, it is important for the person to totally ignore the dog and not try to interact in any way.
Here is more on what I do during people-desensitization training.
During the training period, I make sure that my dog is *only* exposed to the “scary person” in a structured and controlled setting. We want to set the dog up for success and teach her to only associate the person with positive, or at worst, neutral experiences.
I usually go very slowly with my dog, and slowly build up her confidence. I make sessions short, fun, and very very rewarding. As my dog gains confidence, I slowly increase the strength of the stimulus.
Hope this helps and big hugs to Sheena! Love the name! 😀
March 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm
She is only reacting to what she had to endure when she was a canine puppy making factory. She was probably feed and sheltered by a male and associates your boyfriend as the ass that had her. God bless you for taking her and giving her a better life. You have no idea what those poor dogs endure in that environment. As a vet tech I see some of this in my work place. All you can do is keep trying and give lots of encouragement when your boyfriend is around that he is ok. Try having her sit in your lap and he sit next to you and don’t touch her but be there. This will take awhile as they are a stubborn dog. She survived that mill, please give her time. Puppy mills and HSUSA are the shit!!!
January 10, 2013 at 11:19 pm
Hi, I just stumbled over this while trying to do some research on my shiba inu, Nova. We adopted him from a friend when he was only a couple of months old because he did not get along with her other dogs. Since then we have noticed many of the things you have mentioned in this article. However, I am doing my research because Nova is beyond aggressive. Anyone who walks into my house who is a stranger to Nova, will be welcomed with aggressive barks. He will then calm down until the person is leaving our house and will proceed to chase after them and bite them.
This evening, we found out that Nova actually escaped from our backyard when we innocently let him out (our backyard is securely enclosed), chased our neighbor and his dog down the block, gave the dog two puncture wounds and then came back home. We had no idea this even occurred until our neighbor texted my mom saying he was at the animal hospital. Nova must have been out for a total of 7 minutes maximum. We never let him out for too long unless he is supervised because we are afraid he may get out.
Nova really is an amazing dog, with the people he knows and is familiar with. He is loving and cuddly, and is always willing to play. However, whenever he hears an unexpected noise or senses a neighborhood dog walking past, he freaks out and runs rampid.
Do you have any advice on how we can go about further training Nova?? We do not want to lose him, we love him so much. We have had him for over two years now, and no matter what we try to do, it just does not seem to work!
January 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm
We have had him for over two years now, and no matter what we try to do, it just does not seem to work!
Hmmm, what have you tried with Nova? How did he respond? How does Nova react to other people and other dogs during walks?
Sephy used to be very reactive towards other dogs when he was young. With Sephy, I did a lot of dog-to-dog desensitization exercises. We practiced with friendly dogs at our nearby SPCA under the direction of a trainer there. It took time, but desensitization helped Sephy to be more comfortable around other dogs and taught him to use alternate behaviors to deal with his stress.
Desensitization and counter-conditioning training can also help with reactivity towards people. http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-calm-a-fearful-reactive-dog#people
January 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm
Always love reading ShibaShake. Posted last year, right after adopting father (Sebastian), son (Copper), from a local family , and how I have grown to love them. They are 7 and 6 years of age, and luckily the family socialized them very well. They go with me everywhere, and they are no more trouble than any other breed of dog, actually, I get along with them better because they are in their own world!
All of the traits mentioned here are in my two Shibas, but probably the worse one is the issue with dog aggression. I take them walking in many various places, and have to have my dog antenna up looking out for loose or other dogs. They do well until some one let’s their dog run up to us, then it’s my Shibas protecting their space. But, I have never seen them go on the offensive, mostly their aggression is a defensive behavior.
I have 8 Siberian Huskies also, Sebastian and Copper get along with some, and some they do not, however that applies to my Siberians only too. I believe Shibas are much smarter in many ways than Siberians. Shiba’s size the situation up before proceeding, where Siberians just rush in and then try to figure out what the heck to do now!
Copper looks like Shephy, Sebastian is much smaller, more foxy. They do need to walk every day or they pout, but I love walking them, so that is not a problem. I could write a book, but in closing, I was very lucky for them to come into my life.
January 7, 2013 at 8:03 am
Shiba’s size the situation up before proceeding, where Siberians just rush in and then try to figure out what the heck to do now!
LOL! Very well said and very accurate. I must include this in my Shiba vs. Siberian article.
Glad to hear that everyone is doing so well and Happy New Year!
January 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm
HI! Loved this site. Most adorable-looking dog breed ever. You spoke of how shibas like grass, well did you see this video? omgeez they’re cute http://www.wimp.com/eatcabbage/
January 6, 2013 at 8:56 am
That is some extreme cuteness! I love it that the adult Shiba is eating the cabbage with such gusto and the puppy just wants to be like momma (or is it papa)! Too adorable. Thank you very much for posting it.
January 2, 2013 at 7:45 am
Hi again, I need some answers here! I adopted 2 Shiba brothers. one is white the other black. They are now 4months old. The white one is a bit bigger in size. He is now whining a lot, protecting food, ext. We are trying to split the brothers up a bit so they get more dependent on us humans. lol. We now have 2 cages and they sleep seperate but the cages are next to each other. Does anyone have ideas as to why the white dog (Mooschu) is whining more? the Black/tan (Scout) does not make these sounds. Should i keep trying to separate? We now walk them separately as well.
January 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Some dogs naturally vocalize more than others. For example, Shania is a very quiet dog. On the other hand, Lara (Shania’s niece) is very talkative. She vocalizes when she gets excited, when she gets afraid, when she is playing, etc.
Sometimes, dogs will vocalize more if we inadvertently reward/reinforce the behavior. For example, we tend to pay more attention to loud noises. Therefore, when a dog vocalizes, it is our instinct to give him attention. This attention rewards the vocalizing behavior, which will encourage the dog to repeat it in the future.
In terms of food guarding, I try to train my dogs not to guard their food or toys. Here is a bit more on my experiences on food and resource guarding. Here is a bit more on what I do to keep the peace at home between my dogs.
Since they are so young, it may be a good idea to get help from a professional trainer. Best to nip aggression issues in the bud.
December 30, 2012 at 3:14 am
I had considered having a Shiba, but after much research, I decided that I had way too many children coming and going through our home. I would not be able to have enough structure and routine for the Shiba at this point in my life. I was pretty down about it when I discovered the Alaskan Klee Kai. They are kind of a Shiba light lol. They have a cry and are certainly drama queens when ill or even a little hurt, and they have huge separation anxiety. My baby Tank has never slept a night alone and until he was two was never left alone for more than 15 minutes, which was the amount of time it took him to eat my new couch *ouch*. Now he can tolerate being alone with the tv on for about 3 hours, but never over night. People have gotten used to me being the crazy dog lady and just expect him to be with me, so I am invited places at their own risk. Tank does ok in social settings as long as he is a barnacle on me and if he gets over whelmed he asked to be picked up and I calm him a bit and his anxiety level goes way down. We always visit a day before to acclimate. SO I guess I am recommending the Alaskan Klee Kai to all who would not be a good fit for a Shiba Inu.
December 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm
Shibas sound sooooo adorable! everything ive read about them makes me want one so bad, except for the prey drive. But sadly when im older i want to foster for my local shelter and a shiba inu has a good chance of being unhappy with such an arrangment. so at the moment im debating over whether to get my favorite breed and maybe foster when im older or foster ealier and get a shiba later. never getting one is such a sad unthinkable fate. Rightio. Question time: Do you think a shiba would do okay in an apartment? when i started seriously considering a shiba inu, i realized the way i am, i would currently not be able to provide enough exercise for most dogs, so i’m trying to work my way to being capable of providing a medium sized dog with enough mental and physical stimulation to be okay in an apartment, Would a. adult shiba inu be able to learn to live with kids? If socalized to them throughtout their life? I very much appreciate your site and will keep reading so i hope you keep going for a long time!! Have a happy new year!!!1
December 30, 2012 at 8:30 am
Do you think a shiba would do okay in an apartment?
When I first got Sephy, we were living in a house with no backyard. Sephy was able to do ok, as long as he got good daily exercise. We did frequent daily walks, a couple of hikes in the park per week, and we took him to play at a nearby SPCA. They had a nice enclosed yard, and we sometimes did training sessions with the friendly dogs there.
From what I hear, Shibas can do well in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. Here is a comment from someone with Shiba-apartment experience- http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-personality-good-bad-traits/comment-page-5#comment-48643
Would a. adult shiba inu be able to learn to live with kids? If socalized to them throughtout their life?
I don’t have much experience with this, but there are some good threads in the Shiba Inu forum about Shiba and kids- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/10752/tell-me-about-your-shiba-with-your-kids/p1
Sephy does pretty well with older, more calm kids during walks. I make sure to supervise him very well when he is with kids. I only let him meet with kids that I know, and who are good with dogs.
Happy New Year!
December 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Hi, It’s been fun reading all the comments from other Shiba “owners” (I say this with a serious grain of salt since Kimo owns us!!). We did not choose our boy, but came to us through our daughter. She had gotten him thinking he would make a great condo dog. After choosing the “grunt” not runt of a litter from registered Shibas. So low and behold he became a Dogzilla!!! Imagine all that quirky Shiba personality in a 65 pound body!! Everything about him is Shiba ( the scream, the stubbornness, the tricky ness, the coat, the strange eating of certain plants and everything else you have mentioned above) and we have finally adjusted our lives to him now that he is 5. Even starting to look for a second one! He and our 14 year old cat are friends now and he is very good with other dogs even ones that come to our house. He goes nutty over the opossum and squirrels that come in the yard! Ultimately we are very happy to have our bright eyed, devoted when he wants to be and furry headed big buddy happily greeting us when we get home.
Happy Shiba thoughts to you all! Phyllis
December 22, 2012 at 8:51 am
Thanks for sharing Kimo’s story with us. He sounds absolutely adorable!
Even starting to look for a second one!
Bigs hugs and Happy Holidays!
December 15, 2012 at 12:24 am
Hi, i would be a prospective shiba owner i guess, but not for a couple more years. I’d really love to take off the ‘prospective’ and add on a ‘definite future’, but i have some worries. I presently am the very happy owner of a shindiggy 1 year old kitty named Esper. She’s on the small side of the cat spectrum, and tends to take flight if you spook her, which is something i’m trying to help her with. She’s fine with our shih-tzu, who she’s grown up with, but i know a shiba inu is a lot different than a shih-tzu. Esper had also grown up with a cat and is not prone to hissy-pissy-ness, so i think she’ll be able to adjust to a puppy, but i’m worried about the puppy going after her. Especially if she flees. Another thing i’m worried about is i love our shih-tzu very much and would be exuberant if the shiba could be friends with said dog, but i wouldn’t want to have the puppy be a mean bean to him. If i socialize the puppy well, will these relationships work so they could at least live happy, if not stunningly harmoniously? And i’ve read that the breed can be agressive towards other dogs of their gender. Does this go for cats as well? Because getting a girl so she’ll get along with Poe(shih-tzu) would be a major backfire, as Esper is the one she has to live with. And if the puppy got along with said mow-mow, than would another cat be an okay idea? I know that animals tend to get along best with other creatures they’ve known their whole lives, but it doesn’t seem the wisest of ideas to bring home a puppy and kitten in the same few months. But will a shiba, in general, let another cat in if they were raised with a cat? Or another dog? Worry #4: Is it true that shiba’s with certain coat colorings, red for instance, are prone to aggression? I absolutely adore the shiba inu look, but i must say i am slightly partial to the red and cream colorings? Please reply, as i have been in love with this breed since i was six and my neighbors brought home of their own. He was the sweetest guy you could meet, and you could stick your hands through the fence(kinda of an idiot, i was) and he’d just sniff and lick them. Cutest chappy one could meet to boot. I’ve been researching them this past year, and they sound like great, though not for everyone, dogs. I just hope that i get to be in that wonderful correct minority.
December 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Esper sounds like a very good kitty. Love her name.
Unfortunately, I do not have much experience in this area (I don’t have any cats). This thread in the Shiba Inu Forums has some good information on Shiba Inus and cats. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7120/problem-with-cats/p1#Comment_125511
Is it true that shiba’s with certain coat colorings, red for instance, are prone to aggression?
Yeah, I have heard this mentioned as well, but have not seen anything that really supports the claim.
Happy Holidays and big hugs to Esper and Poe.
January 27, 2014 at 8:25 am
I own a dog and a bitch, both four and my Shiba’s have always lived with cats without any issues. One of my friends owns three cats and a female Shiba, another, one cat and a feisty little male Shiba who hates all other dogs but literally adores the cat! It’s down to how YOU integrate/socialise them :0)
December 13, 2012 at 5:37 am
we recently rescued two shiba’s. mother and son ,mama (sophie) is 3 and son (hatchi) is 18mo. I have always had dogs, but always got them from 8wks. We have been very lucky only a couple potty accidents and no chewing. they are very sweet and loving. My real concern comes with, prior to the very unplanned rescue, we had a deposit on the pick of the litter from a choc lab mom and golden retriever dad. we bring pup home in a couple weeks and I’m afraid because mama has shown some’ dog ‘ food aggression. i can put my hand right in there food dish and take treats away, they do however eat there food together from same bowl, but if they get treats and Hatchi goes anywhere near hers, she gets very aggressive. they actually hard a huge fight the other day that left Sophie limping and Hatchi bleeding!!! so i need some advice on how to introduce a puppy and keep it safe until he’s big enough to establish his place in the pack himself.?
December 15, 2012 at 10:24 am
Four paws up for rescuing two Shibas in need!
In terms of the new puppy, my general feeling is that it may be better to hold off on that for a while. Puppies are a lot of work and it will be very difficult to train all three dogs at once.
Food aggression is serious business and it took me a lot of time, management, and consistent training to keep things safe; and to get Sephy to be relaxed around food and other dogs. Given that there was a serious fight, it may be most effective to get help from a professional trainer.
At home, I keep the peace between my dogs by setting up clear and consistent dog-to-dog interaction rules. I teach each of them these rules, and I supervise closely, especially during meal-times and play-time. This is more on what I do with my dogs- http://shibashake.com/dog/second-dog-introducing-a-second-dog
However, each situation is different depending on the dogs, surrounding context, etc. A good professional trainer can read the dogs’ body language, evaluate their temperament, and identify aggression triggers. For aggression cases, it is safest, I think, to get help from a professional.
December 2, 2012 at 8:07 am
Thank you for all your wonderful Shiba articles! I fell in love with the breed about a year ago when I played with one at a local pet store. As a former Husky momma, I saw the curly tail and spark of personality and couldn’t resist! A year later we now have Sherlock, a beautiful Shiba boy. He just turned 12 weeks and has an amazing personality/temperament. We have been reading on your site for months.
He is already trained in his bite inhibition, does extremely well in his crate and loves meeting new people. We are still having some issues with housetraining though. He started out being really great about no accidents but after getting a uti has slowly reverted to small little accidents right after being taken outside. I have started trying to train him to use a ‘doggie doorbell’ to tell us when he has to potty, but he hasn’t quite gotten it yet. I can’t quite figure out if he is marking or just confused about where to potty because the breeder trained him on a doggy door. Any advice? I wish we had a yard, but we live in an apartment. He gets lots of time outside though.
I have also noticed that he really really wants to run! I am torn on letting him jog with me on the trail because I have heard that it can hurt a puppy’s development to run too soon. I know I couldn’t keep my huskies from jogging when they were little bundles, but he will hold back unless I let him (with a sad shiba stare, of course!)
I can’t help but love him to bits, he is so incredibly sweet and affectionate despite being a strong-willed Shiba.
December 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Hmmm, does he raise his leg during the mini accidents? What is he doing when the mini accidents occur? Do they occur at a particular spot in the house?
It could be lingering effects from the uti. When did he have his uti? How long did it go for?
As for running, it is probably safest to check with the vet. With Sephy, he was doing Shiba 500s very soon after we got him. We made sure he didn’t overdo it and also he didn’t jump up and down furniture, especially at high speeds. However, supervised running around did not seem to have any bad effects on him.
Hugs to Sherlock. He sounds like a really good boy and should be on Santa’s good list! 😀
December 4, 2012 at 6:33 am
He doesn’t lift his leg, so I am more inclined to think maybe he is just having standard housetraining issues except that he does it right after I take him out. Luckily I got a new carpet cleaner in yesterday and was able to clean the spots. No accidents yesterday and he did stick his nose to the bells once. 😀 I let him run Shiba 500s whenever he gets into it, though there is no predicting what sets it off! I am so in love with the quirky Shiba personality already. He loves to talk to us and protect me from dreadful things such as rice cookers, trash trucks, cable guys and Christmas lights! The most menacing is of course those Christmas blow-up lawn ornaments.
Give Sephy a hug for us! Is his name short for Sephiroth? :p what a fitting name for a misunderstood devil dog.
December 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm
The most menacing is of course those Christmas blow-up lawn ornaments.
LOL! That is too adorable! I love all the Christmas decorations.
Is his name short for Sephiroth?
Yes! I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy series. Ironically, I stopped playing soon after I got Sephy – no longer have much gaming time, only Shiba time. 😀
I am thinking that he just needs to be very closely monitored and scheduled.
Yeah, I think you are right.
It doesn’t sound like marking to me either. It could be that he temporarily has less control due to the uti. One possibility is to wait a bit longer outside after he pees to give him another chance to go again if he has to.
Big hugs to Sherlock and Happy Holidays. Do you watch the t.v. series Elementary? It is a fun show.
December 4, 2012 at 6:46 am
..also, his Uti was about two weeks ago now. It wasn’t a definite positive but he was squatting about 15 times every outside trip and the vet found some white blood cells so he put him on antibiotics to be safe. It tends to be in the corners (now dubbed the pee pee corners) when he is not actively playing with a toy. I restarted his crate training to be strictly scheduled though it is hard to have him in the crate when I am home. I tried an inhouse tie down but he didn’t take a shine to that and he keeps biting on a drag lead. I am thinking that he just needs to be very closely monitored and scheduled.
November 22, 2012 at 8:34 am
we have the pleasure (and pain) of being the proud owners of 1yr old Logan. We are in desperate need of some advice. Logan nips the back of our legs and will spend hours running round in circles. We Havre tried yelping leaving the room distraction techniques but with no success. he is walked on beach daily and has engaging and challenging toys to keep him occupied but again he chooses to run round in circles. Vet is at a loss and breeder recommendations have not worked. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
November 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm
We learned this from our breeder. It is a good technique. When our Shiba was a puppy, we played a game called “get a toy”. You can play with your Shiba over meal times to start and for Shiba to learn the behaviour. What we did was say “get a toy!” and shake the toy around. Then when Shiba bites the toy, say “good dog!” and give Shiba some food. Repeat until “get a toy” becomes a command. The idea is that if your Shiba is biting a toy, then it stops any nipping (hands, legs, trousers, you name it) behaviour.
When we come home, we tell Shiba to get a toy or we do not even look at the Shiba. We found that this is when most of the trouser-nipping occured. That way Shiba associates get a toy with good things – like food and love. And therefore associates nipping with being ignored. All Shibas HATE being ignored. 😛
Then when my Shiba started doing annoying things, like nipping my trousers, I’d tell her “oops, get a toy!” and she would get it and I would give her lots of love. If she continued to nip, I would ignore her and give her no attention at all. (Even if it takes a full hour at first…)
Hope it helps!!
November 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm
With Sephy, I have noticed that he loves to play chasing games. When he was young, many of his biting and running around behaviors came from him wanting to start a game of chase.
Some things that helped with Sephy-
1. Stay very calm. Sephy is very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. If I get angry, frustrated, or stressed, he picks up on that and gets even more crazy. To get Sephy to calm down, I have to stay very calm myself. I also find that it is best not to move around too much or too fast (either hands or legs) because fast motion gets him more excited.
2. Do not reward bad behavior. Another Sephy favorite is that he would steal something (e.g. t.v. controller) and run around with it. Initially, I would chase him so that I could stop him. This was a mistake, because then I was rewarding his bad behavior with a chasing game, which is exactly what he wants.
Instead, what worked well with Sephy is to stay calm, no-mark the behavior (Ack-ack), and just stop him using his drag-lead. Then I would give him an alternate command, e.g. Sit. If he does this, he gets rewarded, then we do some fun movement commands (e.g. Spin) and play a structured game together. This gives him a structured way to expend his Shiba energy.
If he does not listen and escalates his behavior by jumping and biting, then I calmly say “Timeout” and put him in a timeout area for a very brief period of time. In this way, he learns that following commands = fun chasing game, but biting and jumping = loss of attention and freedom.
3. Bite inhibition training. This helped to train Sephy to control the force of his bites. http://shibashake.com/dog/bite-inhibition
Pat O'Connor says
November 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm
I have a 6 year old and he still occasionally runs in circles, but he’s pretty much outgrown it. They get better as they age Mine was getting super aggressive and I traced it back to commercial MilkBone products. Don’t know what’s in it, but it made him nuts at time. now he gets cheese bits as a treat and all is well.
December 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Hi! We got Bamboo at 7 weeks and immediately began putting him on a Time Out program. When he nips we tell him “no” and ignore it. If it continues for more than 2 “no” commands we ask him if he wants to go to “Time Out”. He continues and he goes in Time Out (a special section of the kitchen gated off especially for this). He then is told to “sit” and is allowed out once he has sat for 15 seconds. He is almost 5 months old now and as soon as we ask him if he wants to go to “time out” he stops what he is doing and lays down. Hope this helps!
January 28, 2014 at 8:08 am
Arthur was a hand gripper/mouther and it is a Shiba trait but when he was little he learned very quickly not to do it to me by my replacing my hand with a toy and saying “put something in your mouth!” He continues to want to do it to all visitors but because Shiba’s are so bright and they love carrying things around, I only have to say; “Put something in your mouth Arthur” and he’ll rush off to get a toy before greeting people. This way because he’s got a toy in his mouth, he can’t mouthe hurt/frighten people and as soon as the doorbell goes, he rushes off to get a toy. Even if we’re out, I carry a ball in my pocket and if someone stops us, he comes and asks me for the ball before says ‘hello’. Problem solved!
November 22, 2012 at 6:17 am
Hi there, I have a Shiba Inu x Akita and his name is Sephy too! Full name Sephiroth! He is curretnly 8 months old and he does everything on what you described your Shiba does, biting and running off with things! We have his own area where he sleeps in the lounge/kitchen area. However he has developed this bad habit of needing someone to stay with him untill hes too tired and falls asleep. If we leave him he scratches our door and hits it with his paws and starts crying too. Sometimes he will even be sleeping but if I leave to get up he gets up too and will proceed to scratch, hit and cry if I leave. Do you have any advice to change this habit? Its driving me crazy sometimes! Thanks in advance!
November 24, 2012 at 5:24 am
SnugglePuppy and Pet Stages make dog toys that are heated and have heart beats, this might help. Young dogs are use to being close to their adult parents while sleeping. The warmth of their bodies and sound of their heartbeats are comforting. Hopefully this toy will replace that and releave your issue. Also get a metal gate (child gate) to put across the doorway instead of closing it. This gives him the comfort of seeing you if needed. Get a metal one for he will chew through a plastic one. Hope this helps and good luck…
November 24, 2012 at 5:28 am
Forgot one more thing… Place a ticking clock in his dog beg or wrap one up in his favorite blanket during sleeping hours to replace that heartbeat sound. It worked for our Shiba…
November 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm
In the beginning when I got my Shiba Inu (he is 1.5 years now) I had a lovely list of things I thought I should follow for example the dog should be sleeping in the crate during nights in his area in the living room. I cannot count weeks we spent fighting with this, this also included me sleeping on the floor next to the crate in the sleeping bag 😀 to get him use to sleeping in there. To keep the long story short eventually we put the crate to the bedroom and there was absolutely no problem at all any more with his sleeping. They just want to be close to their family. I think the metal gate Nick suggested is a great idea (I assume you don´t want him in the bedroom).
November 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm
I have a Shiba Inu x Akita and his name is Sephy too!
That is awesome! Great minds think alike. 😀
With my Shiba, he really likes keeping track of his family, so he becomes unhappy when he can’t check up on both the human and canine members of his pack. I think a big part of it is due to his guarding instinct. When he was young, I put up a see through baby-gate for the kitchen area. In this way, he can still see his people when in his enclosure.
Another thing that helped is to set up a very consistent schedule and routine. Sephy is more relaxed when he knows exactly what to expect from me and what I expect from him. During puppy-hood I planned out our entire day, which turned out to be really good for Sephy and also very good for me. I was able to plan in some fixed sleeping periods, which gave me a bit of free time to rest and do other chores.
During his rest time, he knows that he is supposed to settle down so I ignore whining and other undesirable behaviors (if puppy is not fully potty-trained, then we will have to take that into account). Shibas are very clever, so if they learn that they can get affection, attention, or freedom by whining, they will whine even more. When it is time to let puppy out, I always wait for a lull in the whining before doing so. If puppy starts to whine as I am going to let him out, I walk away and try again during the next lull.
This helps to teach puppy that whining and making noise = drive people away, less attention, and less freedom but staying quiet = attention + get to come out and be with people.
It can also be useful to teach puppy the “Quiet” command. This lets puppy know what we want him to do, and best of all, we can reward him well for following commands and doing work for us.
At night, Sephy sleeps with us in the bedroom, in his crate.
Hugs to Sephy!
November 29, 2012 at 7:34 am
I have a Shiba Inu x Akita (Karlos) he is so amazing!!! He does have some problems sleeping too but it is getting better he is now 2… We got him from a rescue league… How is Ur dog in the car? Karlos gets sick every time we take him for a ride
December 2, 2012 at 4:32 am
What everyone says about them sleeping in your bedroom is so true! When we crate trained Riley we kept it in our bedroom. It only took 3 nights for her to sleep through the night without whining. About a week of having her I got this great idea to put her in the living room just outside our bedroom door. I thought that since we liked keeping our bedroom door closed to keep her from mischief, but would allow her access to her home and at night she could see us perfectly from her crate.
Ohh nooo!!! she was having none of it. She whined and whined, but we weren’t giving in. After about 15 minutes or so of constant whining we knew this wasn’t working. However, we didn’t want her to think she could whine to get out of her crate whenever she didn’t feel like being there. So, we decided to move her crate back to the bedroom, but we would leave her in it while we did this. I am not exagerating at all when I say that as the crate passed over the threshold from our room, Riley curled up and went to sleep.
People thought we were insane when our daughter was born and we refused to move Riley out of our bedroom to make a space for a bassinet. We knew we would get minimal sleep with a baby, but we would get no sleep if Riley was moved outside the room.
November 19, 2012 at 8:40 am
Thank you for posting such a wonderful site for this awesome breed. My husband owned a Shiba previously, so we where and are fully aware of the cautions of the breed. We adopted our 9 week old Shiba yesterday and are truly excited and ready for a long relationship with him and the bond our 4 year old son will have. As with any dog or pet purchase, researching and educating yourself should be a priority for the well being of all involved. Less heartache and more love and happiness. We are patient people and actually looking forward to discovering his personality and his energy. Glad we chose a breed that is independent and knows what he wants. Cheers to many years together.
November 21, 2012 at 9:34 am
Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy! Big hugs to the little guy and Happy Thanksgiving!
November 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm
I own a five year old Shiba named Frankie. I cannot imagine having a better dog. For all the people with negative comments, you need to choose a dog based on your personality and needs and IT DOES NOT mean anything is wrong with the breed. If you need non-stop attention and re-assurance, get a dog who will not leave your side. I don’t feel the need for that and even find it annoying. My Shiba is a perfect cuddle bunny but also doesn’t demand my attention every second. He is extremly loyal. Yes, he is smart and mischievous but I find it adorable and love having a smart dog. He is also not a needy yapper like some of the smaller dogs. We work long hours and I know my Shiba is just sleeping peacefully until I get home and not crying by the door which would be so heartbreaking. He also avoids confrontations with other dogs. He doesn’t have that distinct dog smell. He is great with animal. Timid with people until he gets to know them but I really don’t think that’s a big deal. Overall, I cannot imagine a more perfect dog. He is my first dog and I will never get another dog but a Shiba!
November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Now that I got that out of my system. Some of Frankie’s mischiefs: 1) Stealing socks, underwear, paper and (anything not bolted and relatively small). Running within my eyesight and watching for my reaction. If I make one more towards him, he bolts. 2) He stole my husbands wallet. Pulled money out and shredded it. 3) Chewed up my favorite shoes (he was a puppy at the time) and left the chewed up shoe on top of my sleeping husband. I think he was trying to frame him. 4) Crazy Shiba dance – ears pulled back, eyes show complete insanity. Jumps/slides from corner to corner. 5) Tries to steal food of my plate (and at times succeeds). He is so smart and always knows how to catch me off guard.
With all the craziness, I adore him. He is affectionate. He is usually cuddled up next to me or my husband. Super affectionate in the morning. Covering his face with paws – the cutest thing.
November 12, 2012 at 10:07 am
I was wondering if anyone had success with raising a Shiba in an apartment. I recently moved out of my parents house,where I shared every single day of my life with a Collie, and I miss having a dog SO much. Although apartment raising is less than ideal, I believe I can still provide a great home for a dog. I will commit to at least two walks per day and if allowed tons of love and affection. My parents and I walked our Collies at least three times a day and they are some of the most well behaved dogs in the world. You can walk out of the room with a plate full of food on the coffee table and Reptar (their most recent Collie) could care less. That being said, I have high expectations. This will be my first non-Collie and I am a little nervous, but excited! I fell in love with this breed about 5 years ago and I have been doing my research and I’m ready to take the challenge. We are going tomorrow to pick the cutie pie up. Any recommendations for food for the puppy as well as into adulthood? I’m on a budget myself, but I dont want to skimp to the point of threatening the dog’s health with horrible food.
November 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!
How are things going?
In terms of food, I feed all my dogs Innova EVO. It is high protein and grain free. During puppyhood I use the Innova puppy formula. My Shiba is allergic to wheat, so I go for grain free kibble.
Other well-regarded brands – Orijen, Blue Wilderness, Wellness CORE.
Here is more on what to look out for while picking kibble- http://shibashake.com/dog/feeding-your-dog-a-healthy-diet
November 17, 2012 at 7:51 am
Thank you! We picked up Blue Wilderness puppy food and Raiden seems to be enjoying it.
So far he has only had two accidents in the house. My parents saw him and fell in love immediately. They offered to watch him while we are at work which is amazing! In addition to them helping with house breaking, he gets to play with their collie all day. I don’t know who is sleepier when I go to pick him up, my mom, the collie or Raiden.
Im so glad to have him. I love our morning walks together. He was immediately a pro with the leash and he met my niece and was sooo good. However, the Shiba Scream is no joke. It amazes me that something so small and cute can produce such a loud noise. The best way I can describe it is a cross between a parrott and a monkey.
November 18, 2012 at 11:29 am
I don’t know who is sleepier when I go to pick him up, my mom, the collie or Raiden.
LOL! Lucky Raiden. “Lord Raiden WINS!”
Awesome name for a Shiba.
November 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm
My 1 yr old Shiba does great in our apartment. I can leave her alone for up to 6 hours at a time and she’s totally fine. (In fact I come home and she’s normally sleeping) The key is to make sure that your Shiba is exercised regularly throughout the week. I find that at the 1 yr mark, two hikes a week is adequate, on top of regular walks. Also you can consider daycare for the “puppy-energy” at the early months. This is what we did.
It is a little more expensive this way, but think of it like this – would you rather spend a few hundred dollars on daycare costs over the span of 6 months or a lot more on a new couch? 😉
If you are buying a Shiba, try to see how the parents and grandparents are. Are they running around like crazy or just chilling out? When I went to pick up my little one, all of the breeder’s 14 dogs were sitting in a row at the window. Quietly staring, kind of freaky. But all quite calm.
Have fun and don’t listen to what some people say! Just make sure you research the parents (if possible), start a good program with a reputable trainer, and try to get in some daycare days. (Daycare really helped with our Shiba being very socialable)
December 2, 2012 at 4:15 am
We live in an 834 sq ft condo and have had a Shiba Inu since she was a puppy. Riley is now 1 1/2. She has done very well in this space. If your Shiba gets lots of excersice they will be fine. We take Riley to day care 2-3 days a week and that keeps her from getting into too much mischief.
October 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm
We bought a Shiba as a puppy from an out of state breeder. We fell in love with the pictures of him sent to us and he was absolutley adorable when we got him. We have had numerous dogs in our lifetime and assumed many of the challenging things we read about Shibas could be overcome with training. Boy were we wrong! This breed is trainable, but they will only do what you want if they want to and on their terms. An example of this would be when we took him out for a walk. Same times everyday. I would walk him and he would not go. As soon as I got back in the house and sat down he would be banging his paw on the door to go out. He was going to go when HE wanted to. We found this breed to be extrememly disobedient and controlling. They believe they are the king of the house and need to be bribed with treats not to be bad. Our trainer actually gave up. Forget about affection or mans best friend. They olny want it when they want it. Needless to say after 8 months we gave him away. Never felt this way about any other dog before – biggest mistake we ever made in choosing a dog.
October 23, 2012 at 12:21 am
Ted – thanks for your candid comments. You really helped me! It seems like you’re the only one who doesn’t rave about these little, adorable “monsters”. So sad to have to give a pet away. They seem to have similar characteristics to the Akita, magnified about 200+ times; and I absolutely love Akitas, tho they, too, are not for the faint of heart and must only go to experienced dog owners. Whew! What a handful! Thanks and take care. Good luck with your next dog. R
November 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm
My first dog was a chocolate lab a lover who died at 14. I didn’t want another dog but my 2 boys convinced me, we picked a Shiba inu. Smart as can be, ran away every day. I would drive around the neighborhood looking for him coaxing him to my car. Very trying and each day I fell more and more in love with this dog. Tuffy has a large t on his chest as is very proud and prances around. This dog can be affectionate and follows me somedays, waits for my husband And boys to come home. I find this dog to be so amazing in so many ways, give them a chance they grow on you. They do love to be up high on things which caused a knee replacement. In both knees, but that has been the only Heath issue. I do have the black and white shiba and our vet says these tend to be a little sweeter than the red or Ginger Color. Who knows but for our family this dog is who is now 13 and very mellow and very enjoyable. Good luck!!
Rannie Grosvald says
October 10, 2012 at 4:12 am
Hi – I hope I’m typing in the right area in order to get a reply. I read a lot of your “article” and have a few quesions or maybe comments to which I’d really like a reply. I didn’t finish your post completely, and will do so but it’s 4AM and I must get to bed. I’ve been an Akita mom my whole adult life, having been the lucky “guardian” of four Akitas (not at the same time). I’ve decided to get a smaller dog this time and tho I’ve looked long and hard at “softer” breeds, I keep coming back to the spitz, and in specific the Japanese breeds. I know the Akita very well and had wonderful relationships with them. In reading your article I found myself asking why on earth would anyone want a dog such as you’ve described!!?? You really down sell them and make them sound like a cross between a Gremlin (remember Gizmo?)and some wild, unaffectionate, distasteful force that will destroy your home, body, and anything else it has a mind to. I really had settled on the Shiba because of my love for Akitas but it seems they take the Akita breed challenges to a new low or high, depending on how you look at it. Are you for real? Or perhaps trying to disuade the faint of heart? And if not, why pray tell would anyone want a troublesome animal lacking in affection. Another question: Health issues….What are they? A breeder of both Akitas and Shibas told me they share the same health issues as Akitas. Having paid out a total of approximately $30K for the 4 Akitas I’ve (and I adore them so… it was heart breaking to lose them, and at rather young ages) had concerns about this. OK those are my questions and thanks in advance for your reply. BTW Sephy is absolutely beautiful. I’m hoping they are like Akitas and that you are painting a grim picture to “scare Off” the unskilled and unprepared potential guardians. Please forgive any typos. It’s really late. Much thanks, Rannie in No. CA.
October 12, 2012 at 8:53 am
And if not, why pray tell would anyone want a troublesome animal lacking in affection.
– The article above is based on my experiences with Shiba Sephy, and also on stories from other Shiba owners at a couple of Shiba message boards that I used to be active in. Does this mean that all Shibas will exhibit these behaviors? No. Each dog is an individual and will have their own individual temperament. However, as a group, I believe that Shibas are generally much more stubborn than the average dog, and also a lot more aloof. – Does the aloofness mean that Shibas never want affection? No. But in my experience Shibas want a lot less attention than other dogs. Sephy will sometimes come over for affection and roll over for tummy rubs, but much less so than my Sibes who love being close to people most of the time. – I have never lived with Akitas so I do not know firsthand what the differences are when it comes to affection and other traits. One of my neighbors have both a Shiba and Akita and she says that her Akita is a lot more affectionate towards people. Her husband described their Shiba as “neurotic”.
Why do people get Shibas?
I think there are many reasons, probably chief of which is their looks. That was certainly one of the key reasons why I got Sephy, and we had a very difficult time in the beginning because I was not prepared for his Shiba behaviors; that were very contrary to what one may expect from other dog breeds. The aloofness in particular was difficult for me to understand and get used to. I think this is why many Shiba owners try to emphasize these differences, so that people do not get blindsided by these “Shiba quirks”.
However, once I got to know Sephy, I realized that he has many good qualities- – He is very loyal. – He is very brave and has a never-give-up never-surrender attitude. He will protect everyone in the family even at great cost to himself. He is very good at protecting Shania (my 3 legged Siberian Husky). – He is a very good guard dog and alerts when there is unusual activity around the house. – He is very funny and very original. He always does things that surprise me, that is often funny, and that none of my other dogs would think to do. – He is clever, confident, and knows his own worth. He doesn’t let others bully him or make him into a second class citizen.
I suppose in the end, it depends on how we look at things and what we want in a dog.
As for health issues, the most common thing I hear of is hip dysplasia. We had Sephy checked for that after he turned 2. He was walking a bit funny, but it turned out to be just another of his special Shiba quirks. 😀
Some people also mention that Shibas may be susceptible to glaucoma.
November 3, 2012 at 7:26 am
I can’t believe all the negative things I have read about the Shiba. I am a proud owner of a 9 month old Shiba named Rocket. I have alwayys owned Shelties, and still do. Shelties are a wonderful breed and this is my first Shiba. Yes, it is true that that can be a hand full. They are very smart, want their way and will challenge you patience.But, they are very affectionate and loyal and love there humans. They are beautiful, funny, full of life and energy, love their toys and play time.
Irt is also ture that they are cat like in many ways, but I also own 4 cats and I understand cats very well so this really helps me under stand my shiba. Shiba’s are not for the faint of heart so if you do not have time for them, patience, and if you are nit as string willed as they can be, yu might want to try another breed. Because they shiba’s are so intelligent they, they can obedience trained . However, you should find a trainer who knows the breed and how to train them. I really love my Rocket ( his name fits im well), and he loves us. I have read that they don’t like to be touched, etc., but I have not found that to be the true with my shiba. He loves his belly rubs, loves to lay beside me and sleep with his head on my lap and is always following me everywherre. I hope this helps some of you who are considering a Shiba Inu and remember to be patient and it just might be the best dog you have ever owned.
September 30, 2012 at 10:31 am
This was a fantastic article! I currently have two Siberian Huskies, but my husband and I are considering adding a Shiba Inu into our homes. We of course, are planning very far in to our future as we will most likely not bring a Shiba home for at least another year or two. From my understanding, you have a Siberian Husky and a Shiba? How similar and dissimilar are the two breeds? I’ve had huskies my whole life, so it’s a breed I know best and have the most experience with. Every summer we spend at least a month up in the mountains of Montana. I’ve worked very hard with my dogs to trust them off leash and even then, it’s not something I take lightly. They’re accustomed to just hanging around the cabin property and do not wander. People also always say “never trust a husky off leash,” and “huskies are very stubborn and only obey some of the time” but after many years of training, I feel I have (for the most part) conquered these traits. It seems however, that the Shiba is even more extreme in this manner? Between the two breeds do you feel this is true? And, with years of work, do you think it is possible to train a shiba off leash? I personally think with the proper diligence and training, anything is possible, but, then again, I’ve never had any personal experience with the Shiba. Anyway, thanks for your help and again, fantastic article!
October 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm
It seems however, that the Shiba is even more extreme in this manner? Between the two breeds do you feel this is true?
Haha, yes, very much so. Sephy (our Shiba) is out of this world when it comes to level of stubbornness. He will never surrender, no matter what. Even when he knows it is a lost cause, and he can get more by just taking a few steps back, he will not do it. I have found that the best way to get Sephy to do something, is to convince him that it was his idea in the first place! 😀
Sephy is also a lot more aloof and much less food-focused than my Sibes.
In terms of being off-leash, Sephy is actually better than my Sibes because he has much lower prey drive. He is also a lot more loyal because of his guard dog instincts. As a result, he is less likely to run-off and more likely to stay around his family. However, he will only “come” at his own time and on his own terms.
My Sibes are much better at coming when called. However, if they see a deer, they are gone.
September 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm
I just read most of your info on the site and the comments. We have had our Shiba Inu for 2 months now, she is 1yr old and my brother had her from a pup. Her name is Gemma. I like many am surprised at how much she is such a fit for our family. I have a 7yr and 10yr old girls, and an older cat. Gemma is so great with the girls playing ball and running with them is such a joy to see. I am left with the task of walks but have had luck getting her to stay at my side. We also occasionally run together she can do a solid 2 miles! We have had luck so far with leaving her in the yard while at work, so far no digging. Wondering if this might change as she get’s older. She does like to move things around the yard, water bowls and brooms. She also will naw on plastic a bit. She doesn’t eat that much either. I have been doing a cup in the am and pm and sometimes she doesn’t finish it all–should I be alarmed? She also has this great little arrr, arrr only when I get home after work—so cute. So far no high pitched scream, thankfully.
Should I expect for changes as she get’s older or she as she will be?
September 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm
Hello Connie, Congratulations on your new Shiba!
In terms of food, Sephy doesn’t eat much either. This is very different from my two Sibes who love food more than anything else. I feed Sephy less than a cup per day (grain free, high protein kibble), plus some boiled chicken and chicken treats. Sephy is over 5 now so he has to watch his weight. 😀
As a dog becomes more accustomed to her environment, she may become more confident and start trying out more behaviors. It really depends a lot on the temperament of the individual dog. I find that it works best to stop any undesirable behaviors as early as possible. In this way, it never gets repeated and doesn’t ever develop into a habit.
I had a lot of problems with Sephy in the beginning because I didn’t really address his issues properly, and in some cases made his behavior worse. After I learned how to properly deal with all of his Shiba-maneuvers, things got a lot better. Now, Sephy is on a pretty fixed routine and is actually fairly low maintenance. I still keep an eye out and stop him from his occasional digging on carpets and brief paws on counters. The key with Sephy is to stop things early – before it becomes a bigger thing. 😀
Big hugs to Gemma. It sounds like she is already very well trained and is confident with her environment and routine.
September 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm
I need your help Shiba dog owners. I have a friend who has a 1 1/2 hr old shiba, and has asked me if I would like to adopt him because he is moving and cannot take him. I am so torn between all the good and bad with these dogs. I grew up with a Golden Retriever and he was the sweetest dog ever! I don’t think I head any horror stories on Goldne’s. I have 2 children (10 & 5) and a cat. I am so nervous I will take on this dog and it will be a nightmare. He crates the dog during the day in which I am not a fan of. ANY advise regards to these dogs, or tips or thoughts on how to intorduce him to everyone and his new home would be VERY helpful. I am taking him for a few days for a “trial run” to see how I feel about him. Thanks!!
September 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm
How is it going with your new furball?
Some things that helped me with Sephy- 1. Routine and consistency – Sephy really likes having a very fixed routine and consistent rules. When things are uncertain, he gets stressed out and starts to act crazy.
2. Rules, rules, rules – I establish a consistent set of house rules that Sephy has to follow. Otherwise, he will take over the house. Following the NILIF program is very helpful with all of my dogs.
3. Exercise and games – I walk Sephy daily for over an hour. We also have play sessions, obedience sessions, grooming, etc. I also make him work for all of his food and everything else that he wants. This directs his energy into positive structured activity, and reduces the chances that he will bust out one of his crazy Shiba-moves. 😀
4. Bite inhibition training – Shibas can sometimes get mouthy, especially when they are young. Bite inhibition training helps a dog to develop a soft mouth especially when interacting with people.
Here are a few more things that I learned from Sephy- http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-training-secrets
Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
September 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm
I had 3 shibas, but had to put one down this year. They were 14, 14, and 11. I have a 2 1/2 year old. They were all great with her. They just really need a lot of excersise when young. I never crated any of mine. They are super.smart. just give toys during the day to occupy if you are not home.
September 17, 2012 at 11:38 am
I have a female Shiba (Emmie) who is 1 and 1/2 years old. She is one of the smartest dogs I have ever had. He may not get along with your cat. We have a 10 year old cat and they “hate” each other but when Emmie corners the cat she eventually gets bored and moves on. The cat has now learned to stop running and just stare back until Emmie moves on. Other than that the only issue we have with Emmie is we must walk her every day..not so much for exercise but for her to go potty. She like I guess most Shiba’s is very clean and will not (unless it is an emergency) go in our yard. We like to walk so this is not a problem (except when raining or really cold since neither seem to bother her and we still have to walk at least 10 minutes before she considers going??). We don’t have any young kids but we have 5 and 7 year old boys who live next door and they are best buddies with Emmie..as Emmie loves to chase balls and they love to throw them. So she is good with kids…bad with cats if that helps. But she was raised as a puppy with the boys and other kids so that makes a difference I am sure. Hope this helps and I hope your trial is going well.
August 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm
I’ve loved the article, I recognize my own dog in it! I have a Shiba Inu my own and his name is Kenny. He’s extremely stubborn but also really sweet. He can be alone at home without any problems and yes, he barks when we hears noises around the house. I really adore shiba inu’s they are not boring like some dogs are, but they are very joyful.
September 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm
I just wrote about a Shiba Inu on Facebook. My son rescued him and dropped him off at my house while we set about finding his human. I wanted a picture to go with my post and found your blog. Fabulous! Its all true. There are two things our Shiba Inu does that I guess that aren’t normal, but this dog seems to be tailor made for our family. He is certainly partial to females. He is the greatest joy to be around. He sleeps at my feet. Aloof? You call him anything but Mortimer, he won’t come, unless you bribe him with a treat. Everyone hates the name of Mortimer but the doggie digs it. I’d have preferred Oliver but Mortimer it is. I love everything you wrote and also the things everyone else wrote. I sure am lucky. This doggie stole my heart and our whole family is united around this dog. He has a home for as long as he wants it.
Casey Lee says
August 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm
I have a black and tan shiba that I has been a challenge from the start. Before I had gotten him I had never even heard of the breed. He was this tiny little puppy in a pet store, I don’t buy from pet stores but after three months of him being stuck in a 1X2 crate I could stand to see m like that anymore. He has been a challenge but now two years later, I love him so much. It has all been worth it, I now live in the country with 60 acres for him to run u til he can’t run anymore and I feed him very healthy food, he is the happiest dog in the world and listens pretty well for the most part. He has become such a companion I take him everywhere I go, I throw the top down and he hangs out the door in my lap. By far one of the best companion pets I have ever had, especially in the summer, he loves the water. We go to the lakes and rivers and there is never a time when he is dry. Every but if this article is true to a T, the good and bad and quirky but they really are awesome dogs.
August 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm
I had a Shiba Inu that I dogsat for my sister while she was over seas. Her and my brother-in-law are in the army so me, mom and dad had they duty. She was hard to manage at first for me and walks were nightmares! hah. I still took her on long walks but she would always take the lead.
I actually started watching that show “The Dog Whisperer” because of Akina my sisters Shiba. So happens I was able to fix everything bad that she would do… except the walks were still nightmares. Than my sister came back from over seas and the shiba was lost to my sister. I felt heart broken… We dog sat for 1 1/2 to 2 years, so I was pretty attached.
My sister ended up having a baby a year and a half ago and everything was fine she said. Than I heard she was doing some behaviors which I took as ‘hearding’ the baby. Yes, at this time I was still watching ‘The Dog Whisper’ and even saw a shiba on the show. Well she ended up getting a little nippy towards the baby and I insisted that we should take the dog back. Supposedly the dog was being in their bed sometimes as well (jealously from the baby) ad pee’d a couple times which is weird.
So I have my shiba Akina back! I picked the dog up and than before entering the house I walked her for 1 1/2 hrs just so she was tired. I never had any issues but I did buff up the house rules with the dog and rules with my parents and how the act with/towards Akina. Dogs and especially Shiba Inu’s are a group effort and everyone needs to go by the sae rules and such. She loves having her belly scratched. I had some tips on ‘mastering the walk’ with the dog and it worked! So I have the walk down pat, and now I run/walk with her each day and she follows right by my side. She does some tricks like sit, stop, heal, law down, jump, both paws, finding the toy when I hide it (I started with a dog toy with a treat inside), crawling and a couple other basic ones.
She is still dog aggressive at times but Im hoping to get her and submissive lab down te street and she if I can get the other dog to help me correct her behavior with dog. Other than dog aggressiveness she comes over all the time for the tummy rub, she loves running, playing fetch.. than I usually have to walk over to get the toy (lol) and some rough housing.
I would say that Shibas are for people with a good prior history with Shibas and to know how to show discipline and remain at the head of the pack. I love the girl.. I get compliments all the time. Shes such a sweety, shy towards new people but if they just ignore her she will get curious Great dog. The dog is 5 years old now BTW so remember older dogs can learn new tricks.
August 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm
Hi. I just adopted a Shiba Inu. He is almost three. Is he going to warm up to me and my boyfriend? He slept in our bed last night but doesn’t seem to like us much?
August 6, 2012 at 8:21 am
Shibas are a lot more aloof than many other dog breeds. This is one reason why Shibas are often likened to cats. Sephy is over 5 now and he has learned to trust us a lot more than he did during his puppyhood days. He will sometimes come over to be with us, turn over, and ask for tummy rubs. 😀
However, it is not a frequently occurring thing, and greatly less so than my two other dogs (Siberian Huskies). Husky Lara likes following people around, she likes lying by our feet, she likes attention, playing, and a lot of people interaction.
It is not a matter of liking, it is just a common Shiba trait. Many people like their alone time as well, and so it is with many Shibas.
September 20, 2012 at 5:30 am
be patient and calm with your new shiba, it may take time for him to trust you, you don’t know what the poor guys past was like. good luck and enjoy him. they are wonderful dogs!
July 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm
I just got a 3 month old shiba inu american Eskimo mix and I refer to this site so much because it is so helpful but I still having trou le with potty training and I’ve tried everything she even decides to mess on my bed which bothers me I’m stuck and don’t know what to do any suggestions?
July 30, 2012 at 7:43 am
Congratulations on your new puppy!
With potty training, I have found that the most important thing is supervision. I always supervise puppy so that I can prevent her from making mistakes in the house, and reward her very well for going outside. When I am too busy to supervise, I put puppy in her crate or long-term enclosure.
Here is more on my potty training and new puppy experiences- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-potty-training-facts-and-myths http://shibashake.com/dog/a-new-puppy-first-10-days-of-hell
Hugs to Puppy!
July 24, 2012 at 12:31 am
Hi, wonderful site. I keep on reading it and it helps a lot. Thanks! A have a question. I’m planning to buy a puppy this Fall but I can’t decide which breed HUSKY or SHIBA? I was almost sure that I want a shiba but the more I read the more hesitant I get. I read through all the opinions here and internet and it seems that shiba are difficult to train and communicate with. And that it takes a lot of time before human ans shiba can get on well together. Love for shiba and his good looks help of course but then comes everyday life with lots of challenges for both partners:) I like the quote from Kung Fu Panda II:) I was wondering if husky is not more communicative and easier to get along with. I was considering to buy a female husky. I spend a lot of time outdoors, I ride MTB bike, go for long walks in the mountains and love physical workout. This is why I wanted husky. But on the other hand like most of us I spend 8 hours at work any my husky would have to manage somehow home alone. And my flat is small. There is like 50:50 of advantages and disadvantages of husky and shiba and I really don’t know what decision to make. But can’t image living wihout one or another longer. Please advice. Thanks!
July 4, 2012 at 10:06 am
Really nice website! Thanks. We shiba owners are like grandparents: we are always ready to talk about our shibas. This reminds me of a joke I heard. Two older men were having coffee. One asked, “Have I shown you the latest pictures of my grandkids?” The other replied, “No you haven´t, and I really appreciate it.” I wonder if our friends say the same about our shiba tales. I live in Mexico and have a 6 year-old shiba named Paco. He is perfect in a almost every way. What can I say? He is the most devoted dog I have ever owned. He gets along beautifully with a huge, adopted cat. He obeys well and enjoys doing whatever I am doing. No one could have a better buddy than a shiba.
July 6, 2012 at 7:20 am
“No you haven´t, and I really appreciate it.”
LOL! Yeah, some of my friends probably feel that way!
Luckily, there are many dog people in my neighborhood that enjoys “talking dog”. Shania loves people so during our walks she will take me to the houses that she likes most, and waits for her friends to come out with cookies.
Hugs to Paco. I think Sephy needs some lessons from him. 😀
July 2, 2012 at 11:00 pm
I have two female Shibas, one 9 and the other 10+. An old neighbour of mine had a couple litters(purebred)of them and I became their own private Shiba rescue. I’ve got a runt from one litter and a runt with an underbite from another. I might be blocking out the chewy puppy years but they are great! They are easily the best dogs I’ve ever had! The uderbite doesn’t make a difference in the one accept she can’t get a slice of american cheese off the floor. She also has higher up and not normal front pinky toes (hard to explain). Her knees are also starting to give her problems. I’m wondering how common this is and if there are any other anomolies that specifically Shiba owners may have delt with. She is on joint & hip pills, I massage her so she doesn’t get stiff and keep her active. The massages make my other Shiba sooooo jealous. She gets them too.
July 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm
Her knees are also starting to give her problems. I’m wondering how common this is and if there are any other anomolies that specifically Shiba owners may have delt with.
Based on what I have read, luxating patella is a pretty common issue with Shibas.
Lisa White says
June 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm
Great site! We have taken on the task of caring for my son’s Shiba for a few months. Her name is Bella and she is about six months old. She is such an adorable little girl but I do have some concerns. We have a six year old male Westipoo named Joe. Well, Joe did not take to Bella very good at all. When Bella first arrived she wanted to play with Joe. They got in a few fights, but I kept believing things would get better. Well, things have only gotten worse. Now Bella is the aggressor. She still would just love to be able to play with Joe, but whenever the mood strikes, she will go after him. I had to pull her off his back the other day, fur in mouth and all. I felt like Joe was ruining her sweet puppy personality, but after reading your site and others, I am finding this is may be normal behavior. I have shed many a tear thinking we are ruining her. I just don’t want to return her to my son a changed dog…and not for the better.
Besides her aggression with Joe, she is starting to get very aggressive in her playing with me and my daughters. I know she means no harm, but those teeth are killer. When she is in that very playful, energetic mode she will go after your feet, legs, arms and even face. It is almost impossible to get her to let up.
I am just needing some advice on how to curb some of this aggression. Is this a normal trait of the Shiba Inu? Please tell me coming into my home has not caused her to become the aggressor of which she will always be.
We love little Bella Boo so much. She is such an awesome puppy and I know it will be a sad day when she does go back home.
Thank you for your help!
June 25, 2012 at 8:11 am
My Shiba was certainly a lot more mouthy than my other dogs. He is also a lot more stubborn and requires a lot more calm and patience. We had a difficult time of it initially, mostly because I was not doing the right things for Sephy.
Some things that helped with Sephy- 1. Having a fixed routine. 2. Having very consistent house rules, dog interaction rules, walking rules, etc. 3. I always try to be very calm with Sephy and have a plan for dealing with each of his undesirable behaviors. If I get angry, frustrated, or fearful, Sephy picks up on that right away and gets even more crazy. 4. I follow the NILIF program. 5. I observe Sephy closely and identify the things that motivate him, the things that scare him, what things trigger his mouthiness, and why. In this way I can slowly desensitize him to things that he views as threats.
With Sephy, I find that it is best to stop things before they escalate, and retrain undesirable behaviors as soon as I spot them.
Here is a bit more on my experiences with- Introducing Sephy to a second dog, Curbing his mouthiness, and Dealing with his early puppy craziness.
Getting a good professional trainer with Shiba experience can also be very helpful. http://shibashake.com/dog/finding-a-dog-trainer
The Shiba Inu forum can also be a good resource. There are many experienced owners there who know their Shibas well. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/
June 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm
Hello, loved your site it was really informative and sweet. I was just wondering what you meant by the whole leader of the pack, and show him who’s boss, I’ve been thinking about getting a baby shiba and am a bit apprehensive due to the many negative comments I’ve been hearing about them, personally I’m the kind of person that loves showing affection to my pets and wanted to ask is there any way of making a shiba like to show affection (I know it’s a dream :p) I love shibas, they’re some of the cutest puppies ever and would hate to get one that’s completely indifferent about me Thanks
June 18, 2012 at 7:24 am
Heh, yeah I also fell in love with the Shiba-look. However, it took me a while to get used to Shiba Sephy’s aloof nature, which was really not like my childhood experiences with my family dogs. It is in Sephy’s nature to be more aloof, and although he will sometimes ask for tummy rubs, he is usually off by himself. In contrast, both my Sibes are *a lot* more affectionate.
On the other hand, the Sibes are also a lot more energetic, requires a lot more exercise, and requires a lot more people time and attention.
I think I would have done better with a more affectionate breed as a first dog. As it was, Sephy and I had a difficult and rough start of things, mainly because I wanted him to be something that he was not. There is this great quote from Kung Fu Panda that I love-
Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach. ~~ [ Oogway from Kung Fu Panda ]
Dog Training and Kung Fu Panda
I was just wondering what you meant by the whole leader of the pack, and show him who’s boss
Sephy needed house rules, consistency, and a fixed routine. He is most happy when knows what to expect from the people around him, and knows what is expected of him in return.
One very effective way of being leader with Sephy was by following the Nothing in Life is Free program (NILIF). Here us more on my Shiba training experiences- http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-training-secrets
June 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm
I got my Shiba, Shuntaro, when he was about one year old. The first few nights he snapped at me when I tried to pet him and he barked and fussed all night long. After a year and a half now, he is as affectionate as any pet I’ve known. He plays well with our two cats and is always welcoming to visitors. It took a while to gain some normalcy but the challenge was worth it. Shun is a great member of our family. Sometimes he sleeps right by my side. Other nights he’ll be in another room or on the couch. He does what ever he wants.
June 11, 2012 at 9:57 am
We have a shiba mix in our family. I have to laugh, though, because she is more like a shiba than anything else, and many of the comments here apply to her. I think the shiba genes are very dominant in a mix.
Moose as a puppy introduced us to the shiba scream – which made my hair stand on end. She is very smart; one of the first things I did for her when little was to rent a movie called Dogs and Cats because she watched television and showed great interest. She sees the difference between humans and animals on screen, and always reacts to animals. Mostly to bark at them – act tough as if they are in our house. She really responds to elephants and horses on screen. We have to tell her to be nice to the animals on the TV.
She also is aggressive towards other dogs while on the harness. I have followed The Dog Whisperer’s advice and constantly have to remind her: No barking at dogs! Be nice to other dogs. Most of the time she will (now) actually listen, if not surprised by another dog behind her. She does understand our disappointment when she lunges at another dog. She herself was attacked by a few dogs who broke off from their owner’s grip. It was very scary. She acted like she could defend herself, but it was a dangerous situation.
Moose also will stare until you read her mind; hold out for the treat she wants until she realizes it’s not coming; bares her teeth when playing and growls when playing with you and her stuffed animals. She has destroyed so many stuffed animals that we began buying her flat fabric animals with no stuffing.
She can finish a bone in fifteen minutes that would take a big breed dog a week to devour. She’s like a machine.
We love her personality so much it would be hard to have a different kind of dog. The Shiba part of her is mellowed out by the mix I guess; but she is so funny and intelligent. THe stubborn part can drive one to distraction.
Similar to another post, she absolutely flips if we even mention the words “Cut nails.” When I used to cut our cats nails, Moose would run back and forth to look, then hide. If we say, “clip” her ears and tail go down and she slinks away. It’s frustrating because she needs her nails clipped and we have to take her to a vet to do it – after sedating her a bit with benadryl.
I know you folks are talking abour pure shibas, but thought I’d like to add that a shiba mix is also pretty amazing and actually tones down some of the shiba qualities (like bolting out of a yard, etc.) quite a bit.
June 11, 2012 at 10:02 am
Moose also grazes like a cow. Yesterday she was so into eating grass in the park, that she laid flat down rather than move on when I tried to get her to stop. I wasn’t sure if it was good for her to eat so much grass. But reading these posts has made me think otherwise. We discovered a good non-fattening treat for her, by the way, is a carrot. Not too many. Just one or two small baby carrots. they are crunchy and she loves them.
June 14, 2012 at 8:37 am
Thanks for sharing Moose’s story with us. She sounds wonderful, funny, and full of Shiba goodness! 😀
Sephy was also reactive to other dogs. We did a lot of dog-to-dog desensitization exercises with him, which was very helpful in getting him to stay more calm. http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-to-dog-aggression#desensitize
She has destroyed so many stuffed animals
LOL! Yeah – Sephy also loves getting all the stuffing out. He doesn’t eat the stuff – just treats it like a puzzle.
She can finish a bone in fifteen minutes that would take a big breed dog a week to devour.
Hahaha – yeah Shibas have large teeth relative to their size and they are big time chewers. Sephy chews so hard that he cracked one of his teeth on a deer antler several years ago. Now I make sure to only get him chew toys that are too hard.
We discovered a good non-fattening treat for her, by the way, is a carrot.
That a great suggestion! My Sibes love eating carrots and some fruits. Sephy is not really into it as much though. He is more of a meat guy.
Big hugs to Moose!
June 2, 2012 at 3:56 am
I love your page! I’ve read it multiple times before and after gettin my shiba. I reasached them for months before deciding I could handle one after havin trained my mini American Eskimo, who is an absolute princess! My shiba is named Koda and he is just about 3 months. He’s so smart and pretty good from some horror stories I’ve read. Koda loves to play and run, and is usually content being just near me, although he enjoys his alone time haha! He is the typical little brother to my mini eski, he constantly annoys her but adores her to pieces! Potty training is so simple it’s crazy! I’d say Koda’s only major issues, other than any normal puppy behavior, is his mouthiness and that evil shiba look/growl if you anger him. I don’t let him think he can intimidate me or get his way, which seems to help, but I would definitely like some advice here. I don’t want him to think that behavior is acceptable ever. Otherwise I’m in love with this little man! He’s skiddish at times, but is usually willing and trusting to follow me anywhere. Thanks for the info!
June 4, 2012 at 10:51 am
Koda’s only major issues, other than any normal puppy behavior, is his mouthiness and that evil shiba look/growl if you anger him.
With Sephy bite inhibition training was very helpful. I think it is his instinct to use his mouth much more so than I have noticed with my Sibes. Training Sephy to have a soft mouth really helped with his other issues later on. I still keep up with it today, and it is great that he takes food out of my hand calmly and gently.
In terms of growling, Sephy sometimes growls while he is playing. He will also occasionally growl in warning, for example letting my Sibe pup know that he is not interested in playing. I will step in then and get puppy to do something else. He may also growl when he feels threatened. In general, I try to look at his entire body posture and surrounding context to determine what he is trying to say to me.
In terms of mouthiness, timeouts work very well on Sephy. I first start by no-marking the behavior (Ack-ack) and then give him an alternate command or redirect him into doing something else. If he does this, I praise and reward him with good stuff. If he continues, then I stand up, fold my arms and ignore him. If he escalates his behavior, then I calmly put him in a timeout. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting#timeout
Big hugs to Koda!
June 1, 2012 at 9:01 am
This is a great site….. We got Karlos about 4 months ago from a animal rescue, we were told he was a Akita & today I was told he was a shiba inu. He is a great little guy (well not so little 40 lb) Karlos matches all the traits that were talked about. He does like the water but not over his head, he just chases the waves & tries to bite the waves…. The one thing he HATES the most is being brushed, that is the only time he bites…. & it drives me nuts anytime someone comes over he just barks & barks I like that he does that, but when I want him to stop he will not…. he is SO great with our 4 kids waits EVERYDAY for them to get off the bus to greet them. a few times we have put him on his run & we left he got lose and did not run away, as soon as I got home I could see that he was not on his run, so I started to freak out, but to my surprise he was laying on the porch… I just wanted to thank you for this great page…
June 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm
he is SO great with our 4 kids waits EVERYDAY for them to get off the bus to greet them
That is so sweet! Karlos sounds like a wonderful guy.
Sephy also did not like handling and grooming when he was young. We went slowly, and it took some time, but now he will tolerate brushing and teeth brushing for his favorite chicken + sausage dish. 😀
I think with Sephy it is a matter of getting him comfortable with something and working it into his routine. He is very routine oriented, and once something is part of his routine he is fine with it.
Big hugs to Karlos and many thanks for your comment!
Bill Allen says
May 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm
Just lost my baby Rusty after 14 years of kidney failure. He was a rescue that I got when he was 1 year old. Although he was all Shiba I was able to get him to walk off leash after years of training. I know that he was very special in this area. He was so laid back. He was Alpha male when it came to other dogs. He loved his walks, at least 1 hour each weeknight, then 1 1/2 hours on the weekends. Even at the end he walked for an hour 2 days before he left us. I was very lucky to have him and wonder if I could ever find another Shiba with his personality.
May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Thanks for sharing Rusty’s story with us. He definitely sounds like a very special Shiba.
I had a very close bond with my childhood dog – a mutt. I still think of him often and imagine how he would get along with my current dogs. He was active, brave, and always ready for adventure – much like a Shiba! But at the same time, he was always willing to sit quietly with me and listen to all my problems and secrets.
I would love to see some pictures of Rusty. Please share some picture links with us when you have the time.
May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am
This is so helpful! I have a 1 1/2 year old shiba named Dawkins and he is a dream! He is very playful and loves everyone and everything. Babies, kids, cats, dogs you name it. He has never been aggressive with anything. You can leave your finger in his mouth when he eats and will not bite. He hates the vet though and doesn’t like getting his nails cut or even flea and tick gel on his back. He won’t do anything but just wants to run away. He is very gentle and will let you lay with your face on his face. I never had a dog and he has been testing me. He will absolutely not go to the bathroom in our yard. He has to be walked 3-5 times a day and they are never short. However, he occasionally pees in the house at my parents and in- laws and I don’t know how to get him to stop. By no means will he ever do that in our house but I don’t know what to do. Also, on our walks he only wants to go his way. If you want to go a different direction he stops and doesn’t move. It aggravates me when I have limited time and I don’t know how to get him to just go where I want him to. Any suggestions?? I have to say that I really have no complaints and he is seriously the best dog I could imagine except for not going in the yard to do his business! Haha.
May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am
Haha, Sephy is like that as well. He does not like going in the backyard. I think his Shiba fluids are too valuable and he wants to save it for neighborhood or park walks.
During walks, I usually let him pick where he wants to go. When I am on a deadline though, then I just increase my pace or start jogging to get him to move along. He usually gives up the ghost and comes along. I used a harness when Sephy was younger so that he would not choke himself from pulling during walks. After he was leash trained, I switched to a no-slip collar.
In the old days, he would sometimes lie down and do alligator rolls when he does not want to move. When he does this, I just lift his chest area up so that he is on his front legs, then I move on at a fast clip. Sometimes, I scrape my shoe on the concrete. It makes a sound that he does not like, and that causes him to get up.
In terms of potty training, dogs may not generalize potty lessons across locations. Once trained, most dogs understand that they are not supposed to go in their own house, but they may still go in other houses or indoor areas. To stop this, I just repeat potty training exercises in the other location.
Hugs to Dawkins!
May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm
I am proudly owne by a shiba Inu..Stevie Ray. He is the best lil brat in town,Stevie Ray is me 2nd shiba,i had a female with me for 16yrs.I also live with a border collie Hagar and 2 manx cats hendrix and Ozzy.Stevie Ray is 7 months now and lives mostly in harmony with everyone..well as long as he gets his way that is..LOL i have never locked him up ,i was on lockdown for the first 2 weeks i had him to teach him house rules then started leaving him for short periods slowly making them longer,he will shread paper if its left out but thats about it .When it strikes him he will take one of the throw pillows off the couch simply cus he knows it will get a reaction..he is also an acomplished pickpocket and general thief he will not destroy anything but takes great pride in his loot and will prance it around right in front of its owner..I just adore this little clown who is not so little at 40lbs. I think he is the only shiba that loves water even if its a bath,The other unusual trait for a shiba is he loves all people..well he picks on my daughter who is not fond of him at all,he just pesters her but she will power struggle with him and as any self respecting shiba hes not having it,she just wont learn. I love this site …I discribe the shiba as a cross between a cat a human and a dog and will have one by my side till the day i die.
May 9, 2012 at 11:32 am
LOL! Thanks for sharing a slice of Stevie Ray’s life with us. He sounds a lot like Sephy except for the loving people part.
Sephy does not usually like water, but if it is a water chasing game, he will get soaked through and be very happy. He is a paradox of personalities.
Does Stevie Ray get on well with Hagar? I always wonder if I can get Sephy interested in playing Fetch if he is competing with another dog. Likely, he will just steal the ball and try to start a chase game! Shibas always think outside the box. 😀
Hugs to Stevie Ray, Hagar, Hendrix and Ozzy.
Haley flutes says
May 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm
I want a shiba inu so bad!!
May 4, 2012 at 4:16 am
We purchased a shiba Inu back in oct. 2010. I did not read up on this breed but fell in love with him upon sight. Brought my dog home and commenced to educated myself with this breed. I must say after reading alot on the internet (which was mostly negative) I wondered if i brought home a demon. However my Shiba has many of the traits spoken about in this web site but is not agreesive at all. Even my vet was amazed. I love him and for us he is the perfect dog. Yes he is smart, gentle with my grandchildren and my 87 year old mom who loves to walk him. I need some input on a behavior he is doing latley. Him seems to “hack/cough” like he is trying to clear a fur ball fom his throat. Is his normal as he grooms himself constantly like a cat. Thanks for a delightful and accurate web site on the characteristics of Shiba’s. Any input would be helpful.
May 5, 2012 at 8:59 am
Yeah Shibas do shed a fair amount, especially when they are blowing their coat. During coat blowing season, I brush Shiba Sephy a couple of times a week or more, if needed, to remove all his loose undercoat. I use a Furminator, which is very effective at getting all the hair out. I make sure to pair it with food rewards and make it into a very positive experience so that he enjoys his grooming sessions.
Hope this helps.
Hugs to your Shiba. He sounds like such a wonderful guy. 😀
Ashley L says
April 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm
I absolutely loved this article. My boyfriend and I recently got a shiba inu. Her personality matches exactly with Sephy. My boyfriend once said, “You cannot train a Shiba inu, you can only persuade it.” This is extremely true! Our shiba will listen if we have something in return (a tasty treat, or toy). I have also noticed that Shibas are curious. When I take my shiba for a walk, it is never in a straight line. She bounces back and forth to check everything out. I once took her off leash on a walk (never will i do that again)and a neighbor had her door open, well my shiba decided to stroll right through to check it out! Anyways, your article was funny, creative, and informative. Your site will definitely be a daily reading ^.^
April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm
“You cannot train a Shiba inu, you can only persuade it.”
LOL! You may enjoy this – Why Are Shiba Inus One of the Most Difficult Breeds to Train
Sephy used to be a terror when he was young. Now he is much more calm and lazy. When I least expect it though, he will still bust out one of his ninja-moves and remind me that he is Shiba!
They really are very funny and unique. Many of the things that Sephy does, my Sibes would never do. 😀
April 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm
I have 5 Shiba’s & I love them all, they each have their own unique personality. Most recently though one of my Shiba’s got out, she disappeared a week ago & has recently been spotted in the area this weekend. She WILL NOT come to us, she just runs when we call her. We finally set up a catch & release trap this afternoon & are still waiting for it to work. Does anyone else have any ideas on how to get her?
April 3, 2012 at 8:17 am
Some things that motivate my Shiba Sephy to come running over to us- 1. Other dogs. Sephy loves to play with other dogs. When our dog walker took Sephy walking at the park, he wouldn’t come when called but he would follow the other dogs. The walker would just call one of the other dogs and Sephy would follow along.
2. Fun and new things. Sephy will especially come running when I am playing with my other dogs, or when they are getting rewarded with good smelly treats. Playing with a new squeaky toy will also get Sephy very interested.
Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
March 27, 2012 at 7:42 am
My shiba oliver is almost 9 months now, he really is an endless ball of entertainment! Luckily, he is very well behaved for a puppy with of course a few crazy moments here and there. One of the biggest problems is pulling on the leash, if he sees anything moving, and i mean anything, he tries to get it. If it’s a windy day, you can just forget about having a nice walk as he will go ballistic trying to chase leaves. He’s the same way with birds, he even watches airplanes!!! If you have any good tips please let me know, he does not listen to commands outside and does not particularly care about treats, even hotdogs he is so focused on the leaves or birds.
In the meantime, here’s oliver in action!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riwbJSvsSNY
March 29, 2012 at 10:51 am
LOL! Funny video. Gotta love Shibas. 😀
If it’s a windy day, you can just forget about having a nice walk as he will go ballistic trying to chase leaves.
Yeah, Sephy also loved to chase leaves when he was a puppy. He also loved to jump into piles of leaves. Now that he is older, he is more blase of about leaves. Wish we had a big backyard when Sephy was young, it would have been fun to watch him run around chasing leaves in the yard.
Hope to see Oliver’s video on “chasing leaves” – that would be really fun to watch!
As for pulling, the 180 turn around technique works well with Shiba Sephy. Every time he pulls, I would verbally warn him. If he keeps going I would just turn around and move him away from whatever he is pulling toward. After a distance, we would stop and he can watch if he stays calm. Here is more on our leash training experiences.
Big hugs to Oliver!
April 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm
oh…. my ….. gosh. I recently got a dog from the shelter that was part German Shepherd according to them. It was clear that he didn’t look like one. He was so much fun when we met him and bonded with us super quickly. So we took him home. I then began researching what kind of dog he must be on the other side. It was clear that it was something unusual, because he looked a bit like a fox, with a powerful build, but smaller stature. Oh…. and a SUPER curly tail. Many people thought he might be an Akita, in fact.
So I googled “Curly tailed dogs” and went through the images. The moment I saw a picture of a Shiba Inu, I screamed “THAT’s IT! I think … no, I’m pretty sure that’s what Jacob is, because he looks almost EXACTLY like a Shiba Inu. (except a couple of black markings on his back, but that’s about it!). Little did we know what a character we adopted.
He hugs by putting his paws around our waist and leaning into us. He jumps about a mile high. He’s infectiously funny, and we wondered if a comedian dropped down and decided to inhabit the body of a dog. He’s AMAZINGLY smart and trainable. He’s an adept escape artist. He can entertain himself for hours without us having to do anything, except sit there laughing. I can be playing with him and a fly will buzz by… and he’ll be off to the races. He’ll hear a squirrel and charge at top speed through the air. (He can catch some serious air!) It’s impossible to take him off leash, unless he’s completely squared off in a large enough space and CAN NOT get out. I can’t use aversive training very well with him. He responds better to positive training. He LOVES to mouth us… he doesn’t bite, but I’ve never seen a dog who gets serious pleasure out of mouthing anything. It’s like a baby with a pacifier. I’ll say “No biting”, but really lovingly and he’ll just close his eyes and mouth my arm while thumping his tail and curling into me. The list goes on… and on… and on. I’m reading this blog and laughing hysterically. It’s soooo JAKE. …. except he is extraordinarily affectionate. I’d say that’s the only difference. He’s not aloof by a long shot. But everything else is a button on the nose. Looooovee this doggg!!
In fact, he looks almost EXACTLY like a Shiba Inu. (except a couple of black markings on his back, but that’s about it!)
April 9, 2012 at 11:19 am
LOL! Jake looks absolutely adorable. Love those big ears! How old is he?
It’s soooo JAKE. …. except he is extraordinarily affectionate.
That is so awesome. Wonder what other breed Jake is mixed with that gives him the more affectionate nature. Perhaps it is the German Shepherd side.
Would be really nice to get a more affectionate Shiba! 😀
Thanks for sharing Jake’s story, photos, and wonderful nature with us. Love the pictures. Also big hugs for helping out a dog in need!
Bruno's Mom says
February 19, 2012 at 5:13 am
I have a 13 year old Shiba. I rescued him at 2. He is the light of my life. Bruno is very stubborn but loves other dogs. We adopted a lab/hound mix 2 years ago and they are best friends. I had a baby 11 months ago and I have to keep them separate. He wont go after her, but will bite her if she tries to crawl on him.
My question is, we just adopted a 5 month old kitten. I have introduced her to the Lab mix and they are fine. I tried to introduce my Shiba and he tried to bite her!
February 20, 2012 at 8:41 am
Hello Bruno’s Mom,
I do not have a cat, so unfortunately I don’t have any first hand experience with this.
Here is a good discussion on training cats with Shibas on the Shiba Inu Forum- http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7120/problem-with-cats/p1#Comment_125511
There are many veteran Shiba owners there with a lot of useful information.
Jordan Martin says
February 12, 2012 at 10:43 am
hey, i was reading your page, and it ‘s scary to see the things my shiba does on here! But, my real question was if you had any advice on shiba agility because im trying to train my shiba Cody, and some days he will work with me and some days he wont try anything because he doesnt feel like it. I would love to enter him into competitions but i need him to work with me more. Do you have any advice?
February 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm
some days he will work with me and some days he wont try anything because he doesnt feel like it.
LOL! That is exactly like Sephy!
When I have something that Sephy really wants, he is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. The difficult part is finding something that he consistently wants.
Have you tried rewarding Cody with a favorite game? Sephy likes doing tug and chase games so he is usually willing to work for those. I am not sure how that will work in an agility competition though.
When Sephy is hungry, high priority food rewards can also be a strong motivator. I recently put him on a mini diet, and he has been a lot better about doing commands and being attentive. He is even willing to work for kibble, which is pretty amazing.
Yeah, Shibas are definitely not a common breed in dog agility. But it would be awesome to see one beat out all the Border Collies! 😀
February 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm
Haha yes! I have be rewarding him almost after every jump so he knows that he did something right. He has improved so much though. He used to never even get near a stick or pole or something! He’s such a girl sometimes. LOL. Also, i have recently changed his food, im not sure if you have heard of it but its called Taste Of The Wild? He seems to love it. The last thing i am having troubles with is concentration. He doesnt always want to listen like you said reward him. I have been doing so, but then he runs away and thinks we are playing a chase game and wont come back! Lol:) I would love to see him kick butt in agility.
February 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm
He used to never even get near a stick or pole or something! He’s such a girl sometimes.
LOL! Sephy doesn’t like stepping in puddles, and will not touch lizards, mice, or earth critters.
im not sure if you have heard of it but its called Taste Of The Wild?
Funny, I just saw this kibble mentioned recently in another comment. The ingredient list looks good. I currently have all my dogs on Innova EVO.
but then he runs away and thinks we are playing a chase game and wont come back!
Hahaha, yeah that definitely sounds like a Shiba. There is the Shiba-way or the highway.
Would love to hear more about how you trained Cody on agility. You should write an article about your experiences. 😀
Jordan Martin Comment#3 says
February 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm
Haha yes.. he’s crazy. And that is a good idea, i might write some things down and make an article later! He just gets nervous too when it comes to things that he has never seen before, If you want to see some pictures? I could email them or something. but thank you! you’ve been a big help!
February 18, 2012 at 9:29 am
Yeah, would love to see pictures. I will send you an email.
February 6, 2012 at 5:32 am
While reading this article, I recognized a lot of the things you talk about with Shiba’s. He does get very aggresive towards the other dogs, especially when it comes to food or getting attention. Sometimes he will even attack me for no reason. He will come up to me when he does want the attention and then start snapping at me a minute later, which I will never understand. Another thing I will never understand is why he eats dog poop. He even brought it in the house the other day. Any idea’s?
February 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm
Hello Sarah, In terms of food aggression, here are some things that helped me with my Shiba Sephy- http://shibashake.com/dog/stop-food-aggression-stop-resource-guarding
With poop eating, both my Sibes like eating outside poop, especially cat poop. Here is why and some methods of prevention- http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-stop-dog-eating-poop
Here are some things that helped me while training Shiba Sephy- http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-training-secrets
February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm
Hi im laura and i have a few questions i would like to ask you about the breed
1st does this breed have any serious medical problems? 2.is this breed a good apartment pet? 3.in the first week you have the dog what do you have to do to train it and stuff
any suggestions on how to take care ofShiba Inu of there first week living with you let me know
February 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm
1. Hip dysplasia is probably the most common hereditary condition. I also got a comment about glaucoma. http://shibashake.com/dog/dogs-and-glaucoma
An accredited club breeder will usually have relevant health certifications. http://www.shibas.org/breeders.html
2. If properly trained and well exercised, Shibas can be ok in an apartment. When I first got my Shiba I did not have a backyard, but I did take him on a lot of walks, and I also took him to our ASPCA for off-lead time in an enclosed play space. When Shiba Sephy was young, he had a lot of energy, and needed regular off-lead time, in an enclosed space, to play and run around.
3. In terms of training, it took me a lot of time, and a lot of patience to train Sephy. It was many months before I got most of his crazy behavior under control. Shiba Inus are very stubborn and generally more difficult to train than many other breeds.
Here are some of my experiences with Shiba Inu training.
Aiko Aiko says
March 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm
When we were looking into the Shiba Inu breed, we looked at the Shiba Club of America’s website. It looks like patella dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and eye problems are the most common genetic issues. A reliable breeder will have the CERF eye ratings and the OFA hip and patella ratings available for the dam and sire of a litter.
Glaucoma is another problem that can come up occasionally in Shiba Inus but you can’t get it checked in a puppy and it’s not part of the CERF check for the eyes. You have to get your dog checked around 4 yrs. This is important because if they don’t catch it in time, your dog can lose their eyes. Again, this is all info I found on the Shiba Club’s website. Any inaccuracy is my own as I’m remembering what I read a month ago.
January 9, 2012 at 1:04 am
I must admit my shiba has a real personality, but you almost make it sound more negative than positive, As long he/she knows who is boss your shiba will be obedient and love you, my shiba hendrix is quiet. Only alerts us when someone is at the door,doesn’t scream, love all and everyone, this is due to at a young age been with all ages and animals, and he even will do tricks without the aid of treats, just be consistent and firm when the time is right and you will have a best friend who will show you total respect, good article though,
January 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm
This is spot on when I was reading this I was like this is exactly like my shiba inu who is also 5 although a female. I really liked this article I’m glad I’m not the only one who had a dog with this unique personality haha.
January 6, 2012 at 11:20 am
LOL! One of Sephy’s vets described him as “quite a character”. I like that. Shibas really are such “characters”, and should be featured as a USA network character! 😀
Shiba Sephy really taught me how to be a lot more Zen about things.
December 19, 2011 at 12:26 am
This was a good article:) I thought that they were lapdogs beforehand haha. Good thing I looked that up before getting too seriously in love with the breed, because though they are cute, this isn’t something I want in the personality:/ How sad, they’re so cute
December 19, 2011 at 8:24 am
Hahaha, yeah they are cute and small, but very fierce! 😀
Sara Hitchcock says
December 13, 2011 at 11:31 am
Every bit of this article is spot on!
Chloe robertson says
December 11, 2011 at 4:05 am
Hi, I loved your article! I have been wanting a shiba inu for some time now and I am wondering whats a typical week with him. I have never had a dog before but I have a very old cat. Can you help me on finding out a typical week then?:)
December 14, 2011 at 8:19 am
That is a great question! 😀
The typical week with Sephy when he was a puppy is very different from a typical week with him now. He was a lot of work during puppy-hood. He would probably wake up and start getting into trouble right away – biting and tearing at books, stealing remote controllers and running around with it, leash biting, humping, and showing me the Shiba butt if I try to give him any affection. 😀 http://shibashake.com/dog/my-shiba-inu-story
Sephy is now about 5 years old and he is a lot better.
On a typical day, he would wake up at around 5:30 am. He would have an early play session with the Sibes and then he is happy to just rest and relax. Later in the morning, he would have breakfast and then we would go out for a walk of about 1.5 hours. Once we get back, there would be another play session with the Sibes, after which he is happy to catch some Zzzz’s until evening time. If people come nearby the house though, he would usually wake up and alert me. He stops barking when I go check out the situation and reward him for being such a good guard dog.
When he wakes up in the afternoon we would usually go to the backyard for a play-session, if it is not raining. Sephy is not a fan of rain except during walks. Then in the evening, we do teeth brushing, and dinner. Before sleep there is usually another Sibe play session, then he goes into his crate for the night with his Greenie and a chicken Kong Jack. We also groom his nails on a weekly basis.
Sometimes he would get into a black-mood and not want to do teeth brushing. But that is ok. I usually just ignore him and try at a later time when he is more hungry. He will also dig at the carpets sometimes, which seems to me like a denning instinct. He stops when I tell him to. Sometimes he will still try to steal from the other dogs, so I always keep an eye on him during meal times. 😀
Sephy is not perfect, but he is a lot better than before and actually pretty low maintenance. However, he is still not a very affectionate dog relative to other dogs (breed trait). In addition, vet visits are still pretty awful.
I don’t have a cat though, so I don’t have first-hand experience with that. Shibas are hunting dogs, so they do have pretty high prey drive. They will have to be trained not to bother the cats in the house. Definitely check out the Shiba Inu Forum for more cat experiences. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/8146/shibas-cats/p1
April 22, 2012 at 10:09 am
I disagree with the affectionate part. my sheba Kani LOVES to cuddle. she will sleep touching me and crawls into my lap often to lay on me or just give me kisses (in fact she is a bit of an obsessive kisser at times), every morning as soon as I wake up she come up close against me and rolls on her back for a cuddle and a belly rub and if i decide to go back to sleep instead of getting up she curls up against me to sleep too. I will say that while she has always been like this, she is even more so since she was hurt (i think her being in so much pain and needing me to help her do everything bonded us even more than before), one of her favorite (and cutest) things she has always done is she will come up and butt her head against me and leave it there, just her forehead laid against my chest. I adore my pretty little “fox”!!
April 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Yay! It is awesome to have a cuddly Shiba. Here is an interesting discussion on the Shiba Inu Forum on the aloofness of Shibas – http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7173/how-to-prevent-a-shiba-from-becoming-aloof-or-too-arrogant/p1
November 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Hello I absolutely loved your article, it was very informing! Now, i have some questions if you don’t mind answering The first is that my mother had a allergy for our old Chihuini (Dachshund-Chihuahua mix, acted like a bitchy mini-Sheba) so i was wondering if a Shiba might make her allergy return considering the fact that they do shed a lot at certain times? We have a dog now who she isn’t allergic to, and have had several others before the Chihuini were there has been nothing. Also, right now my family has a 6 year old Yorkshire Terrier but I’ve been wanting a Shiba Inu for quite a while but was wondering if a Shiba would be able to ”share” his/hers new castle with my other dog without there being fights involved – especially at feeding times! Although my other dog is not aggressive or really that active he gets VERY hyper and territorial when we meet dogs on our walks, although i have started working on that.
November 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Hello Stephanie, Glad you enjoyed the article.
1. Shedding – Yeah Shibas have a thick undercoat and they will shed a lot during coat blowing season. Their coat only blows about twice a year, but with my Shiba, I find that there is some hair around all of the time. Probably not a good idea for someone who is allergic to dog dander.
2. Sharing castle – Shibas can be taught to share, but training and supervision are key. Shiba Sephy tends to be aloof with new dogs. He did not want to have anything to do with my new Sibe puppy at first. We supervised them very closely, did a lot of group training exercises, and rewarded them well for being calm around each other. After about 10 days, Sephy warmed up to puppy.
The key, I found, is to make sure that they have many positive experiences and little or no negative ones. A lot of supervision is needed, especially in the beginning. Here are some of the things I did while introducing my Sibe puppy – http://shibashake.com/dog/second-dog-introducing-a-second-dog
Most Shibas tend to be more dominant by nature, and do not generally get along well with other dominant or territorial dogs. Both my Sibes are more submissive by nature.
From observing Sephy, he is not the type to start a fight, but if another dog starts one, he will not give up and will not surrender no matter how big or how fierce the other dog is. I make sure to carefully screen all of the dogs that he meets and plays with.
October 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm
I have a 1 year old shiba and he eats all my socks and underwear, no matter if they are dirty or not. I learned to keep them out of his reach but he learned to open my drawers while I am sleeping! He chews on all the baseboards and stair railings; I buy him bones and toys and take him for 45 minute walk/runs daily. I don’t know what to do to keep him from eating and chewing. Another big problem I have is that shiba scream, I know I just need to ignore it so I do but then he paws at me with his sharp nails and bites my arms and legs. I am at a loss on how to control him. PLEASE HELP!
October 28, 2011 at 9:00 am
Yeah I know what you mean. When Sephy was younger he wanted to eat everything, and given his stubbornness, he would be really resistant about dropping things once they went in his mouth. What has helped most with Sephy is a lot of management and to stop him before he actually steals/eats something that he should not.
When Sephy was young, he had a lot of house rules and a very fixed routine. I also put him on a long drag lead (only with a thick flat collar and *not* an aversive collar). When he steals something and runs away, I can easily step on the drag lead and catch him.
When I was too busy to supervise Sephy, I would either put him in a fenced in area in the kitchen or he would go into his crate to sleep.
At that time, I was walking him about 4-5 times a day because he had so much energy. Later on, I found that off-leash play with other dogs are really great at helping Sephy drain energy. With Sephy, enclosed dog parks were not a good option, but small and very well supervised pllay-groups worked out very well. Here are some other activity ideas – http://shibashake.com/dog/hyperactive-dogs-how-to-calm-a-hyper-dog-or-hyper-puppy
Finally, if Sephy paws at me, humps me, or bites at me, then that is a timeout offense. When he does this, I calmly non-mark him (No or Ack-ack) and I give him an alternate command (e.g. Sit). If he ignores me and continues with his bad behavior then I say “Timeout” and take him to a timeout area using his drag lead. Sephy really likes his freedom so timeouts are very effective for stopping bad behaviors. However, I only use it for serious offenses. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting#timeout
October 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm
I love this website! We are fostering our son’s 20 month old Shiba, Bo. He is super sweet, super smart, and leaves a toy outside our bedroom door for us to find in the morning. Our only issue with him is in regard to potty time (he has been neutered for a whopping 3 weeks now). We cannot just let him outside for him to do his business. He has to be walked, and he will simply ignore anything he has already marked. He refuses to go in our yard, which some may say is great, however winter is coming soon and it will not be great then. It’s sort of a pain in the tuckus actually. We purchased a pee-post, but it didn’t appear to be to his liking. Any ideas on how we can get this little foxy boy to just go out into the yard and go potty? Thanks much!
October 13, 2011 at 7:54 am
Shiba Sephy is exactly the same way! 😀
I haven’t found anything that really worked. He will just hold his load until we go outside. Usually he is willing to go in the front-yard or across the street.
I think he feels that he is wasting his precious liquids by going in the backyard because there aren’t any external scents that he has to cover. I know there are potty training aid sprays and I have wondered if they would work if I spray it on the grass or pee stick, but I haven’t seen any that get good reviews.
Definitely let me know if you find something that works for Bo.
October 2, 2011 at 8:30 am
Please if any one has any information. My dog Sammy I knows has allergies but this I have no idea. He bit off all his stomach hair and contact scratching at his ear. (We gave him drops). His mouth is dry and chap and his eyes too. Does any one have ideas what this can be and what I can possible put on his stomach and mouth area?
October 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Hello Jan, It is best to go to the vet. My Sibe had an issue with hair-loss and scratching a couple of years ago and it turned out to be mites. The vet took a skin scraping and was able to identify the exact type of mite and give us topical medicine to treat it.
November 10, 2011 at 11:14 am
Our Shiba inu had allergies and at first we didn’t know what was wrong. She was licking her paws and they became red and irritated. She developed irritated areas on her stomach as well. We took her to the vet who said she may have an infection but most likely allergies. She ordered her some antibiotics and suggested we change her food. We changed her food to California Natural Herring and Sweet Potato Formula food and she has been fine ever since. Unfortunately she can not have treats or different food but she seems to be doing fine. We also have 3 cats, we keep their food away from her also. This was a couple of years ago now and “Shiba” is healthy and happy. Good Luck!
June 27, 2012 at 9:46 am
Have you tried to change brands of dog food. Sounds like an allergic reaction to food………. check with your vet or others who are more experienced.
I have just adopted a Shiba Inu mix “Sunny” she is around 2 and has lived with me now for going on three weeks. This site SO helpful with things I did not know about her. The using of the dog yard, she has no interest and will wait for quite a while to use our walks.
I have two cats, so far, they are not happy that I brought Sunny home. She has been OK because I have been supervising their time together. I hope and think they will be fine eventually. Both cats loved my dog (lost my black lab mix in March) with whom they lived with for over 10 years. So “Sunny” and i have work to do.
September 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Just wanted to put an FYI out there. Took my dog to the vet for an eye infection. A week later turns out she has glacoma. Today, just came back from the ophthalmologist, good news her pressure went from 55 to 32. Still need to bring that down but we will. Turns out my 5 year old Bella is now blind in her right eye. I was told by the ophthalmologist that this common in Shiba Inu’s.Once they get it in the one eye, Bella is predisposed to getting it in they other eye. We r doing preventitive measures now. But GET YOUR SHIBA’S EYE PRESSURE TESTED. I haven;t stopped crying since I got home. My biggest fear, what do I do if she goes blind in the other eye? Get your doggies tested!!!!!
September 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Thanks for bringing up this really important topic. I have also made it into a post – http://shibashake.com/dog/dogs-and-glaucoma
Big hugs to Bella. When you have some time, please let us know how Bella is doing with the preventative treatment.
September 21, 2011 at 2:25 am
My husband and I recently rescued a 1 year old Shib/Canaan mix (but is totally a Shiba). I was recently laid off, so I have the time at home to walk him 3-4 times a day, especially as he’s on meds and getting used to his new home. However, when I go back to work, we both work 10-12 hour days. I don’t know if a walker is okay (since it’s once a day only) or if he needs a daycare. Any advice?
Also, I am sentimental and emotional and I’m having a difficult time when Pluto has to be in his cage while I’m home. I know he needs to be there b/c he cannot be trusted (hehehe), but it tugs at my heartstrings and I’m worried about doggie depression and or resentment. What are some of ypour thoughts and suggestions?
Pluto is amazing and came to us knowing to potty outside during walks, to play fetch, and tp ignore us when we call him – so common with Shibas. We’re working on the “who’s in charge” bit and my amount of wanting to cuddle and pet him, as he adores it but I’ve read that it makes me the follower of the pack, rather than the leader. He generally ignores orders after cuddle time. We’ll get there. Pluto was worth the wait (we waited for nine years / four and a half being married before taking the jump into Netherland). 😀
September 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm
I don’t know if a walker is okay (since it’s once a day only) or if he needs a daycare. Any advice?
I think that would depend on Pluto’s temperament. My Shiba, Sephy, did not really enjoy daycare because he did not get to play in his usual rough and tumble play style. He also could not settle down when there were so many other dogs around – so there was a lot of Shiba screaming. How does Pluto do with other dogs? What kind of play style does he have?
A walker suited Sephy’s temperament more because then he got to explore new areas for a fixed amount of time and then he got to come home to his castle. Still, it can be difficult to find a walker that knows how to handle Shiba stubbornness without resorting to aversive techniques.
Also, I am sentimental and emotional and I’m having a difficult time when Pluto has to be in his cage while I’m home.
Yeah, I know what you mean. When Sephy was young I put a baby gate up in our kitchen entrance and kept him in there with me while I was busy with kitchen chores. Since there is nothing he can really destroy, he had some amount of freedom but could not get into any trouble.
I also put Sephy’s crate in the area where I spend most of my time.
Another thing that helps is to make my dogs work for all of their food. Some of the food goes into training, some into grooming, and whatever is left over goes into a variety of interactive food toys. This helps to keep them occupied while in the house and mostly out of trouble. 😀
Pluto is amazing and came to us knowing to potty outside during walks, to play fetch, and tp ignore us when we call him
LOL! Yeah, Sephy is also very good at selective hearing.
We’re working on the “who’s in charge”
One thing that really helped with Sephy is following the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program. This just means that Sephy has to do something for me first before I give him anything in return, even affection. For example, when he wants to go into the backyard, I ask him for a Sit. Once he sits, I give him a bit of affection (which is mostly for me) and then open the door for him.
In this way, Sephy learns that the best way to get what he wants is to do what I want first. 😀
Big hugs to Pluto. The Canaan breed also looks very interesting. Would love to see some pictures of Pluto – he must be a looker!
Pam Giron says
September 12, 2011 at 11:58 am
Hi I have a year old female shiba. She is a beautiful cream color. Her name is Isabella, AKA Izzy. She has lots of the traits you have described, and thank you for your very informational info. She is so sweet yet naughty too. I can’t stay mad at her, but my goal since she was a pup was to let roam free in our home, but she gets into everything and rips everything to shreds, including my husbands bottom dentures! So we have gated her off in the kitchen, which she hates, because she wants to be with us. I give her plenty of chew items, but it doesnt matter. I also have a 10year old chihauwa, that Isabelle absolutely loves, but unfortunatley doesnt love her. I have a 12yr old cat, that she loves too, but the cat contiunally tries to scratch her eyes out, but Isabelle is relentless, and never gives up trying to play. To say the least its like a zoo at my house. My husband is disabled and is very slow moving, so when she is outside with him, which she usually is, the minute he heads for the gate, she is right behind him, and escapes almost everytime. I bought a tie out so he can connect her to, while I’m at work, in our fenced yard. We live on a very busy street, so it scares me to think she might be injured or hit by a car. She usually heads around the block to visit other animals and people, which is her favorite thing to do. You can usually hear the high pitched squeal of delight if you listen close. She nips, bites,humps, chews on things she shouldnt, and squeals at such a high pitch, you can’t hear. So do you have any advice to curb some of these behaviors?? Thanks Pam
September 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm
Heh yeah Shibas are crazy stubborn and very mouthy. I had a lot of problems with my Shiba when he was young. He is such a rebel and such a rogue.
In terms of humping and biting two things really helped with my Shiba – 1. Putting him on a drag lead (only on a regular flat collar and not an aversive collar). http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training#draglead With a drag lead I can more easily control my Shiba and get him to stop bad behaviors . Otherwise, Shiba Sephy will run away and try to start a game of chase.
2. Timeouts. When he starts humping, I non-mark him (Ack-Ack) and if he continues, I say timeout and calmly remove him to timeout using his drag lead.
I use the laundry room for timeouts. The laundry room is dark, boring, and there is nothing in there that he can chew or destroy. Shiba Sephy really likes his freedom so he really hates going to timeout. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting#timeout
With biting, I usually try to get him to redirect onto something else. Sometimes I will give him an alternate command (e.g. Sit) which I can then reward him for. If he ignores me, and continues with biting, then he goes to timeout.
Some other things that helped with my Shiba – 1. Following the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program. This means that Shiba *always* has to do something for me first before he gets anything in return – including food, toys, going into the backyard, and my affection. 2. Having a very fixed routine and giving him a lot of structure and rules inside and outside the house. 3. Bite inhibition training.
Here is another article I wrote on my experiences with biting – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-tips-solutions
August 24, 2011 at 10:40 am
Thanks for a great and informative article. I’m amazed at how precise your description of shibas are. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought you were describing my shiba.
Feeding question. I noticed on several occasions, my shiba bringing her empty bowl to me after she’s done eating. We are on a pretty consistent schedule when we feed her, and we are not exactly the stingy type when it comes to feeding her. Is this a sign I should be giving her more food?
August 25, 2011 at 10:54 am
I noticed on several occasions, my shiba bringing her empty bowl to me after she’s done eating.
LOL! That is simply adorable! Definitely take some pictures!
My dogs are also big time food lovers, especially my Sibes. They will eat and eat and eat if they can. 😀
In general I feed them their allotted amount of food and don’t give them more than that. I also give them some treats, so I reduce their kibble intake according to their treat intake.
With Shania especially I have to keep her slim so that she doesn’t have to support any extra weight (she is a 3 legged dog). I think it is generally good practice and healthy to keep dogs slim and well exercised.
Remember to share those bowl pictures with us. I can’t wait to see it! 😀
August 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Omg this website makes me want a shiba inu even though there kind of a tough dog to take care cause you need to know so much about it and know how to take fully good care of it.
August 11, 2011 at 8:30 am
Hahaha, yeah Shibas are a big pain in the ass! The get better when they grow older but they are always rebels at heart. 😀
Lettie F. says
July 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm
I have a 10 month old Shiba female named Collie. We had her since she was 10 weeks old. She is a total momma’s girl.
Her favorite place to go (daily) is the dog park. When we go there are usually 3-4 other Shiba’s (3-12 years old) and I’ve noticed that Collie doesn’t not want to play play with them vs gathering them up and ganging on the small dogs. Is there a reason why (certain) Shiba’s don’t like interacting?
July 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Heh, Shibas generally think that they are King and all other dogs should behave according to what King Shiba wants. 😀
Sephy likes playing chasing games so he will usually steal balls and try and get other dogs to chase him. I think he is truly puzzled when other dogs don’t want to play chase with him because why wouldn’t anyone not want to play with a Shiba?!
Sounds like Collie likes herding other dogs, which is also a type of interaction.
Also, I have noticed that small dogs don’t generally like playing with Sephy because he has a rougher play style that can easily overwhelm them. I usually only let Sephy play with larger dogs.
July 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm
my shiba will not stop biting people! he often humps my leg and paws me and bites my hands and clothes and when I back up he follows and continues to bite. when we go on walks he won’t let me put on his harness and does this ‘scream’ thing. also he will not listen to orders unless he can smell food. is there anything you know that can help? mainly just no jumping up and biting ppl.
July 5, 2011 at 11:17 am
In terms of biting, here are some things that helped with Sephy – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-tips-solutions
1. Bite inhibition training. http://shibashake.com/dog/bite-inhibition 2. If Sephy does not stop biting after I non-mark him and give him an alternate command, then I withdraw my attention (stand up and turn away from him). 3. If Sephy continues with his crazy biting then he goes to time-out. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting#timeout
Here are some of the things that helped with jumping – http://shibashake.com/dog/stop-your-dog-from-jumping-on-people
Getting help from a professional trainer also helped a lot with Shiba Sephy. The professional trainer was able to observe Sephy and identify the root of many of his behavioral issues. He also gave us many useful tips for every day management. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
Congratulations on your new Shiba Inu. Let us know how it goes!
June 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm
I loved your article. It was very fun to read. Some of the parts were very humorous to me. I was thinking about getting a shiba inu puppy(8 weeks old approx.) when i move. The thing is i work anywhere between 8-10 hrs usually. Would a shiba inu puppy be okay for that long by themselves? Thank you.
June 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm
Hello Tyler, With Shiba Sephy, he really needed a lot of attention especially when he was a puppy. Not the cuddling type attention, but the “what kind of trouble I can get into now” type of attention. When left on his own, he would be biting at curtains, biting at books, and biting at everything in sight except his toys. 😀
He is 4.5 years old now, so he is often happy to relax and sleep after his > 1 hour daily walk, but he still really likes having his pack close-by.
In terms of how to keep a Shiba puppy entertained and somewhat contained while you are away, here are some possibilities – 1. Dog daycare. This allows Shiba to be with people and socialize with other dogs. A good daycare will have small very well supervised playgroups. They will also group together dogs based on size and energy. http://ezinearticles.com/?Dog-Daycare—Good-Or-Bad?&id=1494435
2. Group dog walks. Many dog walkers now offer group dog walks where they bring a group of dogs to a hiking park. This is usually a much smaller group of dogs, probably around 6 at most. It is also more structured than a daycare. However, a really good dog walker is probably required to be able to do this with a Shiba.
This article on whether Shiba Inus are truly independent may also be of interest – http://shibashake.com/dog/are-shiba-inus-truly-independent
July 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm
omigod u want a shiba?! i hav one and if this is ur first time it will be a HEADACHE! will u b able to STAND the biting? they often jump on u 2 greet u, scratching u in the process and leaving paw prints on ur clothes. r u ready for a shiba? also shibas tend to be the leader instead of u. my shiba is almost 1 yrs old and still isn’t well trained!
but there is a good side! they r sooooo CUTE! especially when they roll over and let u scratch their belly or when they cock their heads to one side at weird noises. don’t fall for their ‘cute look’ when it’s meal time!
May 17, 2011 at 7:36 am
WOW!! What a great article you wrote!!! Very informative
April 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted. My moksha has been a model shiba well that is until now. Just recently he has decided that he is going to test me on every bit of the training that I’ve done so far. He will not do anything that I ask him too. He is doing things that he used to do when he was just a little puppy ie, biting furniture, stealing things, whining all the time and my least favorite being a little aggressive with other dogs. So lately I have been feeling like he is very much testing my patience…I swear it’s a good thing he’s so adorable. So anyway I think that all the other things will come around, but I am a little worried about the dog aggression. I would appreciate some suggestions about how I can get him to stop with the dog aggression safely. I mean so that he doesn’t tick the wrong dog off and get hurt. I have been using the NILF technique for all of his other behaviors and that has worked in the past, but the dog aggression I am pretty stumped on. I don’t feel like the dog park is the right place to work on this problem, but because I don’t have many friends with dogs it’s kind of hard to work on it at home. The other problem is that I could take him to the local dog trainer, but as every shiba owner knows it’s either hit or miss with dog trainers and I really don’t want to put a tremendous amount of money to spend time with a trainer for a half hour. All that to say if you have any ideas HELP!!!!!!!!! I love my prince moksha, but it seems as though the terrible twos is a cliche not only for humans but for dogs too.
April 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm
Hello Meg, Always good to hear from you and Moksha.
I don’t feel like the dog park is the right place to work on this problem
I would agree. Going to the dog park actually made Sephy’s behavior worse. There is very little structure in dog parks, and often, there are dogs there that do not want to interact with other dogs, are dominant, aggressive or untrained.
Based on my experiences with Sephy, I have observed that different dogs have different tolerances when it comes to meeting other dogs. Dogs bred for protection are slower to trust and will be more particular when it comes to dog greetings.
Sephy is pretty picky about his dog friends. He does not like dominant dogs and he does not like new dogs coming up to him and sniffing his butt. In general, we don’t stop and meet neighborhood dogs because most of them are over-excited and not under good owner control.
In Sephy’s case I have found that it is best to create neutral experiences. We simply ignore other dogs, stay calm, and go on our way. For playing, I carefully choose his friends so that he only plays with more easy-going dogs that are totally not dominant.
When Sephy was young I did a fair amount of dog-to-dog training with him at our SPCA. We would go over and have short sessions with a variety of dogs. Most of the time we would pick easy going dogs that Sephy can have fun play-sessions with. Sometimes, we would pick dominant dogs or intolerant dogs, and in those cases we practice focus exercises so that Sephy stays calm and ignores the other dogs.
Sephy does not trust easily and he has very clear social boundaries, so I make sure that when he does meet new dogs, it is a successful meeting. For example, with the new puppy, Shania took to her right away. It took Sephy a few days before even starting to accept her into his circle of trust. However, once he has accepted her, he is very tolerant of her crazy puppy behaviors – it just takes him more time.
How to train a particular dog will depend on what sorts of situations we want to prepare him for, what his temperament is, frequency of dog-to-dog encounters, context of dog-to-dog encounters, etc.
Here is an article I wrote on my experiences with Sephy and dog-to-dog aggression – http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-to-dog-aggression
Hugs to Moksha. Let us know how it goes.
Jeff Kohler says
June 18, 2011 at 8:49 am
I have raised and breed many German Sheperd dogs in the ’70s …then after my last one was old i decided to get shiba’s..my first instinct after getting him was well i’m the boss…and you have to very well enforce this from day one.. my shake can was always available and every nite after he was 12 weeks old i held him with back down and made him listen to a story. then with treats taught him to sit and lay down. and every day i took him to my hobby store to meet people and i think that daily socialazation is why he is so good today . he is absolutly great with any kid and if the kid is a testy on he knows it from the get go and just avoids them…but the nice ones he is always very good and gets his ball and plays…now adults he mostly says hi and goes to his spot on the window ledge..unless its a person who comes in every week…he never barks but is very vocal when he wants something….i suggest finding a calm dog and meeting him but only on a leash.,not to play but to socialize..and always get him to meet people every day..and even if he is old go to a class like petsmart or others…it may take several times but you have to be patient..playing fetch is always a fun way to get him to listen and sit and throw ball but have his leash on so you can keep him sitting then go longer for staying and laying..and catching the ball…if he gets bored after 2 minutes then wait and hour and repeat..i have found the fetching with shibas is easiest way to get attention..my male is nuetred as he has an underbite but perfect in every other sense.i now just got another female and she is show quality…Marion from classy kennels in michigan raises more champion shibas than anybody in the states…good luck..jeff
April 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm
Haha, I can just see Lara giving the puppy battle cry and Sephy pretending to be above it all (while secretly enjoying all of the attention and shenanigans).
If Kiba keeps doing well, we’re planning to get a little girl Shiba puppy next year. I love Sibes too, but I think they are just a little to big for our family.
We start puppy class next Monday!
Oh, I don’t think I mentioned it, Kiba’s a Christmas puppy, born on Christmas day. How’s that for an easy to remember birthday?
Looking forward to pictures of Lara and Sephy playing!
April 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm
Kiba’s a Christmas puppy, born on Christmas day.
That is awesome! My Birthday is actually quite close to Christmas but I didn’t manage to make it. The big upside to having a near Christmas birthday is that it is always holiday time and everyone is in a good and festive mood. The big downside is that people usually lump birthday and Christmas presents as a combo thing.
Should be a whole lot of fun! Definitely tell me how it goes. Would love to hear about Kiba’s classroom experiences.
I just posted some Lara and Sephy pictures. Those are difficult to get because most of the time Sephy is too cool to play with puppy! 😀
April 1, 2011 at 8:00 am
I love this – If a Shiba were a person, he would either be an extremely successful egomaniac or in prison!
I always tell people Kiba is very well aware of his own worth. In his opinion, nothing in the house is nearly as impressive as he is.
April 5, 2011 at 11:40 am
How is Kiba?
I have been really proud of Sephy. It took him a bit longer than Shania but he has now fully accepted puppy into his circle of trust. He tolerates her using all of the toys and sleeping on his bed. He is also really good about trying to ignore her when she pesters him to play with her.
Last weekend puppy let off one of her super war-cries and launched herself into a sitting Sephy. Sephy just sat there and pretended to ignore her. Meanwhile puppy bounced off the Shiba wall, and fell onto her back. Then she let off another war-cry and went back to pestering Sephy. It was too funny! 😀
March 25, 2011 at 10:01 am
Hello Shiba Shake, I have a Shiba puppy I got from my sister and he is very aggressive when he is playing and bite me. I was on my computer doing something and he bit my arm! Any suggestions on how to nip this in the bus, he isn’t always bad, he is sweet at times, but i find he is starting to become aggressive.
March 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Hello Kate, Shiba Sephy was very mouthy as well when I got him as a puppy. Some things that really helped with Sephy – 1. Using a drag-lead so I have better control. 2. Following the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program. This means puppy must do something for you first before he gets anything in return. 3. Bite inhibition training. 4. Timeouts.
Here are a couple of articles I wrote on puppy biting – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-tips-solutions
March 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm
“Sephy will whine, mope and act like it is the end of the world when he is unhappy about something (e.g. wearing a harness).
Woe be to you if your Shiba gets hurt or even just thinks that he is hurt.”
Ha ha ha! It’s like you know my dog, Kramer.
I think anyone that is willing to make the effort with a shiba will be very grateful. My shiba is truly my best friend! He is always making me laugh and is such a great snuggler!
March 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm
I think anyone that is willing to make the effort with a shiba will be very grateful.
Yeah, they really are awesome and unique dogs. So much personality in a small body. 😀
January 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm
Hi i think i figured on part of my investigation out. About 15yrs ago we got a puppy from the local pound they told us it was a akita mutt. It looked like an akita but it never got over 25 lbs. We named him cubby because he looked like a blond bear when he was a pup. And i have to say he was the best dog we ever had. First thing was the potty training. One accident then we never even saw where he would go to the bathroom after that. He was so private about it. He loved going for rides, he would ride in the trucks, tractors, combines, but my favorite was the atv he would jump up behind you and stand on the back fender, He had the best balance i have ever seen, The only time he would get off is when the atv was stopped or he saw something to chase. He would always go with us to check errigation and if you took off with out him he would pout the rest off the day. He was fearless to, when he was 5 months old he jumped in a creek after a big coon, the coon did everything he could to drowned him and i did everything i could to call him off but he wouldnt give up. After he pulled that coon out of the creek i realized i better never let him see a mirror and see how big he really was, because a far as cubby was concerned he was the biggest baddest dog on the planet. I never seen him back down from a fight. The most impressive thing was how smart he was. We never had him on a leash, he had free roam of the farm but when he was a pup he got on the road once and i yelled at him, after that i never saw him on the road again. We could be at the other end of the farm and he would find us. But several times i would be driving home and he would be sitting in the ditch next to the road waiting because he wouldnt cross the road to get to us.
He knew so many words i could have a conversation with him, but if you said the word bath, or vet you would spend 20 minutes searching the house because he would hide.
anyway he looked just like a shiba and the way it sounds acted just like one acept he never did the scream and he was never on a leash, he never would do tricks (he knew how he just choose not to lower his self to a dogs standard) And if he did something wrong and you caught him his ears would lay flat down and he looked like you just beat him with a stick.
Now i just have to figure out what else he was mixed with.
January 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm
Wow sounds like a super Shiba-mix! Would love to have a Shiba like that – off-leash and listens to commands.
Wonder what other breed he is mixed with.
January 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm
It has been a long time since I have posted. My shiba moksha is now a year and a half and is in every way a shiba. He still has lots of energy and is too smart for his own good. I wanted to share a christmas story about moksha that I think everyone will appreciate. Of course I, along with many shiba owners, delight in spoiling my shiba. This christmas I got him several toys and filled his stocking with them on christmas eve night. When Moksha figured out that all these toys were for him he very quickly tried every thing in his shiba powers to get me to let him have a toy. You all know what I mean by shiba powers. First he tried looking cute, then he whined, then he tried throwing a temper tantrum by biting my shoe while staring right at me. It was very hard not to give into him, so I put his stocking full of toys on my dining room table which is about two and a half feet high and I no sooner than turned my back and my shiba had jumped from the floor onto the top of the dining room table. He immediately grabbed his toys and jumped back down. I was so shock as this is something he’s never done before. He was so proud of himself and honestly I had a hard time taking the toy away from him. I was truly impressed with the effort that this dog made all to get a couple of new toys. So that is my shiba christmas story. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoy telling it. I also have to ask a quick question…I have recently heard both very positive and very negative things about e-collars. Do you have any experience with them? I have been suspicious about trying anything without asking other shiba owners, because as you all know what works on a regular dog is not necessarily going to work on the very highly evolved SHIBA!!! So any info you have on e-collars good or bad would be much appreciated
thank you, meg
January 10, 2011 at 8:35 am
Hey Meg, Always great to hear from you. I always enjoy a Moksha story! 😀
I have recently heard both very positive and very negative things about e-collars.
Do you mean electronic collars? I did look into it at one time, but decided against it. Here is why – http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-shock-collar-good-bad
December 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm
My mother recently got a Shiba. Her name is Kitsu short for Kitsuni or Fox, and she is absolutely insane. She goes from being loving and playful to barking at me, and terrorizing other family members. Kitsu is a diva, and she will prance and strut her stuff to the neighbors when she is walked. I love our Shiba, except for when she screams! As soon as I get my head onto my pillow, kitsu is making our house into a horror movie. I often find myself screaming with her at night, except I’m screaming for her to shut up. our shiba hates being alone, and will follow us everywhere, but hates being held! We will hold Kitsu and try to love on her until she starts punching at our face with those strong legs!
love the website…great information and tips. Thanks!
January 4, 2011 at 9:26 am
Hello Weston, Thanks for sharing Kitsu’s story with us. She definitely sounds like a Shiba! 😀
Sephy has many similar traits. He also does not like being alone, does not really like too much affection, and does not want to be carried unless it has some higher goal – like getting into the car to go to the park.
During Christmas, he stole a plastic bag and to him, that was the best present ever. He pranced around carrying it and enjoyed it more than all of his Christmas toys – LOL! Gotta love Shibas!
December 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm
fabulous website looking to get a shiba in RI and having a lot difficulty
December 29, 2010 at 8:43 am
Thanks Dave. Yeah I did not see any listed RI breeders in the National Shiba Club of America breeder list.
Another possibility is to consider breeders in nearby states and have one shipped over. Based on my experience with Sephy, I think it is more important to get a puppy from a good breeder than it is to get one from a local breeder.
Chat with the possible breeders on the phone and make sure to ask them lots of questions about their puppies and breeding program. Here are some things to look out for while considering a breeder.
Let us know how it goes. 😀
December 14, 2010 at 2:28 am
Hi. I’ve had my Shiba Inu for a while and I feel like he’s co-dependent on my other dog. He tends to freak out when I have to take my other dog out [for a one on one walk or to clean him in the front of the house] and leave him behind in the backyard. I was just wondering if this is just a normal Shiba behavior?
December 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm
Hello Steven, What I have observed with Sephy is that he really likes his routine, so anything out of the ordinary and he will freak out. Last year we would sometimes take our other dog (Siberian Husky Shania) to daycare and Sephy got really stressed out from that.
However, he is totally fine when I take Shania out for her regular daily walk.
I just slowly got Shiba used to the daily walk routine. First, we would only go out for very short walks. Then we slowly extended the duration of the walks. Then we changed the time of the walks a bit, and so on. By making gradual changes, Shiba Sephy was able to get used to the schedule and nowadays he doesn’t even get up when we leave. 😀
October 21, 2010 at 12:41 am
My husband and I will be picking up our very first Shiba in November. He will be 9 weeks old. We decited to name him Clifford, because of his red coat and big personality. My husband has worked at vet clinics and taught dog obedience, and I grew up with alaskan spitz so we thought we could handle this little bundle. Any addvice on the first night and socialization?
October 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Hello Sarah, Congratulations on your soon to be new family member! 😀
Sounds like both you and your husband are already very experienced with dogs so things should go relatively smoothly. When I first got my Shiba I didn’t know too much about dog training, so it was a big challenge. But then, Shiba made me learn many things very quickly – lol.
Any addvice on the first night and socialization?
Shiba Sephy really likes being in the bedroom with us at night. He is happy to sleep nicely in his crate if he gets to be with us in the bedroom. I like having him in the bedroom as well so it works out for everyone. 😀
For socialization with other dogs I did several puppy classes with Sephy. We specifically went to SIRIUS puppy classes which stresses puppy play training and dog-to-dog socialization. Another possibility, which we did with Shania, is to look for supervised puppy play sessions. Dog daycare centers and SPCAs sometimes organize puppy play sessions that are free and supervised. They also check to make sure that all puppies that attend are properly vaccinated.
Post us some pictures of Clifford when you get him. Would love to see him!
October 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm
I just love your site so much. I had a Shiba for a very long time – 15 years and he passed away. And wow do we wish we would have known you then. We made mistakes too, but you are so right about the trust issue with Shibas. I don’t think they respond well to aversive training at all. We did decide to get a new puppy, another Shiba, and wow, puppy teething must have been a “repressed memory”, I know we had to have gone through it, but I don’t remember the details with my previous dog. I think alpha rolls are a bad idea, as is a lot of other things. So you have to get creative, the bite inhibition training is crucial. We are trying the time out thing, and “Leave it”. There is a pretty good articles on the internet about bite inhibition. But I would like to pick all of your Shiba Heads out there and give me some reminders please. I thank you so very much:)
October 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm
Hello Kristina, Congratulations on you new Shiba puppy!
wow, puppy teething must have been a “repressed memory”
LOL! Yeah when Sephy was a puppy he was such a Terror. Lucky for him he was a cute Terror.
You are absolutely right, bite inhibition training is one of the best things I do with Sephy. When he got older, he started a bout of leash and jacket biting which could have turned out really badly. However, because he had good bite inhibition training, he never broke skin even when he redirected his bites onto me. This gave me enough time to come up with something effective to stop his leash biting behavior.
Another thing that I was very happy I did with Sephy are resource exercises such as exchanging objects, adding food to his toys, and helping him with his food toys. I think all this made him be very easy going about his toys and his food. Sometimes he will bring his toys over to me to ask for my help. 😀
If you have some time, check out this article I wrote on bite inhibition and let me know what you think. http://shibashake.com/dog/bite-inhibition
Big HUGS to Shiba puppy!
October 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Just got my Shiba last week she is just about 6 months. I must say after reading about the Shiba’s I was prepared for the worst. But she has been a real sweetheart. She is housebroke, doesn’t chew on things (just her toys and treats). Very condent when left alone. I do need to keep her from jumping up and wanting to chew on me when I come home. Don’t trust her off lead so we do a lot of walks she is quite pickie about going potty in her yard we have 10 acres so she like to go way out back to do her business. I was wondering if you or do you know of any one who has used a radio fence with a Sheba? Just wondering if she would run through the correction. I would appreciate any feed back on method of containment.
October 14, 2010 at 8:24 am
Hi Cher, Congratulations on your new Shiba! She sounds like a total sweetheart which is very rare for a Shiba 😉
I was wondering if you or do you know of any one who has used a radio fence with a Sheba? Just wondering if she would run through the correction.
I looked into shock collars and electric fences when I first got Sephy but decided against them after reading some of the studies that have been conducted on their use. In particular, Polsky’s study showed that shock containment systems (invisible fence, underground fence) can increase aggression in dogs over and beyond their normal behavior.
This is because such systems are usually tied to a simply trigger, for example the dog getting near the fence, and ends up over-correcting the dog and not using the right timing. For example, if a dog sees a human, another dog, or a cat, she will likely want to go check out the situation. Every time she does this, she gets a shock. This teaches the dog that humans, dogs, and cats cause pain, and the dog will likely start to see these objects are threats. Ultimately, the dog may resort to aggression herself to get these threats to go away.
Also, Sephy got habituated to pain very quickly. His stubbornness was so great that it seemed to always trump even a painful aversive correction. This happened when I was using collar corrections on him. Finally, I just decided to go with reward training which has worked out much much better for the both of us. 😀
This article contains more about shock collars and shock containment systems – http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-shock-collar-good-bad
Some other possibilities include – 1. Fencing up a smaller area. 2. Training for good recall. However, Shibas tend to be very stubborn and independent so it is difficult to get 100% recall with a Shiba. There is always some risk that Shiba will run off to chase a squirrel and may not return.
While my fencing was being built, I put Sephy on a long lead with a flat collar and let him roam about that way. But I only did this when I was around to supervise because the long lead would sometimes get tangled etc.
Hope this helps. Let us know what works out best for you and your Shiba.
September 19, 2010 at 6:32 am
I am so pleased to read all of these comments. We adopted a Shiba named Sheba about two months ago from her foster family. She’s been so sweet and I loved her the minute I saw her. She’s been coming out of her shell and ‘feeling herself’, as we call it it, lately. She never tried to run out of the house when we open the door. We’d been thrilled that she’d actually sit at the door or lay down in the garage and never tried to run out. Now, she’s trying to test her boundaries and of course when called, she ignores us!
Sheba ‘talks’ at the dog park. At first she made me think she was being aggressive, until a play day with a boxer-pit that growled while running, Sheba barked while chasing him. I love it! So now, I have to advise dog owners that she is ‘aggressive’ in play but means no harm. The other owners, so far, have actually laughed about it! She’s been a little nippy with us when playing too.
Overall, she’s affectionate, has great temperament with our kids, doesn’t bark and makes us laugh and shake our heads constantly. My husband joked, before I even read this thread, that if she wasn’t so cute, she’d be gone! LOL He loves her to death too.
September 20, 2010 at 8:49 am
Hi Pamela, Congratulations on your new Shiba! She sounds absolutely awesome – just like how a happy Shiba should be 😀
Sephy is a lot better now, but sometimes, he still gets into one of his Shiba moods and drives us crazy. The Shiba psyche is definitely very complex – which makes them infinitely interesting and mostly a lot of fun. They really are such characters. 😀
Share some Sheba pictures with us when you can. Shiba puppies are too cute.
September 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Does Sephy walk around the house whimpering in a “woe is me” kind of way for no apparent reason at all? Reptar has been exercising his vocal chords more than normal the past few days. It’s comical, but also strange. Just wondering if it’s a common Shiba behavior?
Oh and pictures to come soon!
September 12, 2010 at 8:29 am
Funny that you should bring this up. Sephy just acted like that a few days ago. I thought there was something wrong because he was walking around and would not lie down on his bed even for cheese. Finally he deigned to lay down, so I started checking his body and paws. However, he was very jumpy and kept pulling back his paws. I didn’t see anything wrong with him so he got his cheese toy and I just let him be for a while.
He was back to his old Shiba self the next day. Sometimes he gets into these Shiba black moods. It is a bit strange. Maybe he had a bit of a tummy upset or something else disrupted his groove.
So definitely yes – Sephy has those moments as well. It is so tough to be Shiba! 😀
September 1, 2010 at 10:44 am
Your Shiba is so adorable! I am seriously considering buying a Shiba, even after learning about their feisty sides! I love cats as much as I love dogs so when I heard Shibas were cats in a dog disguise it really caught my attention.
I have 2 questions though, I’ve been thinking about getting a rescued Shiba that is not a puppy. Do you think this is a good idea since I would’nt mind skipping to an age when the Shiba calms down a little?
Also, how did you get your Shiba? I’m having difficulty sorting out the good and bad breeders, and the good ones seem quite expensive ($2,500).
Thanks for making a great site too!
September 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm
I am seriously considering buying a Shiba, even after learning about their feisty sides!
Feisty is a very nice way to put it! 😀
I’ve been thinking about getting a rescued Shiba that is not a puppy. Do you think this is a good idea since I would’nt mind skipping to an age when the Shiba calms down a little?
Hmmm, that would depend. Some rescues are already pretty well-trained, and they were given up because their owners had to move or could no longer keep them financially. Other rescues were given up because their owners were not able to properly train or manage their Shiba. The latter group will be a lot more challenging.
When I got my second dog, I took her on a trial run of 2 weeks to make sure that she would fit in well to our home. Most rescues will not only let you have a trial run but also be willing to accept the dog back if things don’t work out at some later point in time.
The best place to get a Shiba puppy is through an AKC registered breeder.
Here is a list of accredited breeders from the National Shiba Club of America – http://www.shibas.org/breeders.html
Here is the AKC breeder search page – http://www.akc.org/classified/search/index.cfm?edu=1
Most registered breeders also show their dogs, so they know more about the breed and are careful to breed for health and temperament.
Still, make sure to interview the breeder and ask him/her lots of questions. If it is a local breeder, ask for a visit so that you can meet the puppy’s parents. Also ask for health certifications for the parents. For Shibas, this is usually a check for hip dysplasia.
Here are a couple of articles about my puppy buying research and experiences – http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-get-a-dog-cheap-dog-cheap-puppy http://shibashake.com/dog/new-puppy-supplies-what-a-puppy-needs
August 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm
Just got a 8 week old Shiba female today.. this helped alot..
thanks.. WISH ME LUCK… She is a little doll!!
August 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm
Awww – she must be too cute for words. Good luck!!
Remember that you are the boss even when she gives you the irresistible Shiba look. 😉
August 13, 2010 at 7:15 am
I have totally enjoyed reading this site. I adopted a dog about 3 years ago and they told me she was a corgi mix. When taking her to the vet recently, I was told she looked like a Shiba Inu. After looking up the dog breed, this was for sure my dog. It is so great to read about my dogs personality traits, they are right on.. She was easy to train and does love to chase. She fit right in. Love this breed. Thank you, Katrin Wince
August 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm
She was easy to train
LOL – yeah Sephy learned commands easily … but getting him to actually do the commands when you ask it of him is another matter altogether. There were a few times that he did extremely well in puppy class and we won some dog balls, but most of the time we were at the bottom of the class. One time a trainer barricaded us behind a wall of crates! 😀
Ah, I do love Sephy. Life is always interesting with him around.
Hugs to your Shiba. She sounds like she has a good mix of attributes.
August 7, 2010 at 6:30 am
my shiba is name is Dakota aka Kodi he’s 7 mos old now and he just started letting me know when he’s ready, I’m trying to change his bathroom time from 3 times a day to two times a day because of the season is about to change from summer to winter and I know three times will be a little must for me so here lately him and I have been working on this, since we are working on this he is starting to wake me up now in the morning to eat and go out side earlier then usual, I don’t know if this is good sometime, but I keep in mind the time is different now, so I go along with it. I love him, and we both have learned each other habits and personality and so far so good, until I let him off the leash. I learned this the hard way, now I keep toys and treats on me and I only keep him off in a closed area and for a little while cause if I don’t I notice he gets this look on his face and it’s trouble after that he won’t come when I call him and he will run circles around me and keep on going. I try to take him once in a while to the doggie park, but some dogs don’t like him and this leave us to go solo. Me and my kodi
August 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm
LOL – Kodi sounds like a very awesome Shiba.
I used to take Sephy to the dog park as well, and Sephy could not understand why some of the dogs did not want to play with HIM – a Shiba! He also liked stealing balls from the other dogs to start a chase game – which is not the best thing to do. Dog parks are a bit too unstructured for Sephy so nowadays I only do small supervised play sessions with dogs I know.
I love him, and we both have learned each other habits and personality
Seems like you have gotten off to a really good start with Kodi. I think what you say here is key. After I started really listening to Sephy and trying to understand his point of view, things got a whole lot better for the both of us.
since we are working on this he is starting to wake me up now in the morning to eat and go out side earlier then usual
Sephy also likes getting up early. But during the weekends, he will let us sleep in. 😀 One thing that helped when he was a puppy was to not give him water or dry food after about 7pm.
if I don’t I notice he gets this look on his face and it’s trouble after that
LOL – I definitely know that look! It is when Shiba is hatching a plan and he has that glint in his eye. Sometimes Sephy’s little tail will also twitch. I think that is when he feels playful, and is about to do something to engage me in a chase game – which is Sephy’s favorite. He also does this with my other dog. It is fun to watch them.
Many hugs to Kodi. He sounds like a perfect Shiba.
July 23, 2010 at 11:17 am
I volunteer at an animal shelter and absolutely fell in love with a Shiba/Finnish Spitz mix puppy, but sadly he got adopted. Now 3 months later he got returned (most likely due to the owners lack of puppy knowledge) He is about 7 months old, weighs about 30 lbs-40 lbs. I’m still a college student, but I live in an apartment with no other pets and lots of walking trails/dog parks nearby. I spent some time with him the other day and he does not seem to be very food aggressive. He didn’t make a sound and he is very smart. I’ve owned several big breed dogs while growing up (Labs, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Weimaraner) but they seem to be easier to train than Shibas. I think I’m pretty dog savvy after training many at the shelter (I just want to reap the rewards of all my hard work!).
He would be crated while I’m away for at most 6 hours.
Basically my question is. Do you think he would be a good fit?
July 26, 2010 at 8:57 am
Hello Kristin, It is very awesome that you are volunteering your time at the animal shelter.
absolutely fell in love with a Shiba/Finnish Spitz mix puppy
He must be a really handsome boy! Is there a picture of him on the shelter website? Would love to see him.
Hmmm – I would have a long chat with the people who returned him. You already know a lot about dogs and dog training, so you can filter what they say and get a good understanding of what some of his issues are, and how he would deal with crating, etc.
In my experience with Sephy, he needed a lot of attention in the first six or so months after I got him. He calmed down a bunch after over 1 year, and after 2 years, he got even better. But the first 6months to 1 year was pretty bad for the both of us 😀
The final thing to consider is that a dog may curtail college life activities. One of the things that I truly enjoyed about college was that I was able to set my own schedule and hang out late with my friends if I wanted to. I don’t think I enjoyed more freedom than when I was in college and I had a great time. It was nice to stay up really late drinking coffee, and talking about nothing and everything 😀
I also did a fair amount of traveling. During the summer I did some fun internships, and during Senior year I had to travel for interviews and such. Sephy really likes his routine, so this type of traveling would be hard on him.
Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide to do and share some pictures with us if you can.
July 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm
Well I have just experienced the absolute sadness of having a sick shiba. Because of the heat the last 3 days my poor prince Moksha has been very sick with diarrea. He is finally starting to perk up, but yesterday he needed to go out every three hours and just looked sooooo pitiful. He lost all of his little quirks that make him my lovable shiba. It’s so funny that when they are healthy you just want them to chill out, lay down, and just be a snuggly “regular” dog, but when their sick and they act like a “regular” dog you just want your shoe stealing, mouthy, back talking, aloof little shiba back!! Shiba’s and their owners are truly a unique breed.
July 13, 2010 at 10:41 am
when their sick and they act like a “regular” dog you just want your shoe stealing, mouthy, back talking, aloof little shiba back!!
LOL – that is so true. Sephy has been out of sorts the last few days as well. He sprained one of his legs while playing and had to be put on a low activity routine. He does not like it at all and is constantly finding new ways to express his general unhapiness. 😀
Thanks for the kayaking picture. It is amazing that Moksha goes in there with you! He is brave and handsome!
Hugs to Moksha. Glad to hear that he is feeling better.
August 27, 2014 at 8:32 am
Have you tried a pro-biotic drink like Yakault? I used to work in rescue with lots of vets and more than one told me this trick and it always works for me. When my dogs get an upset tummy I start by giving them a tablespoon of pro-biotic drink followed by a dollop of plain/ live yogurt. This is followed by small tablespoon sized meals of chicken and rice every hour with some plain cottage cheese to soothe and bind the gut. In the afternoon repeat the pro-biotic & yogurt and also at bedtime. No main meal, just the chicken & rice hourly throughout the day. Nine times out of ten your Shiba (dog) will be bouncing about back to normal by the next morning. Obviously if the problem persists you must go to a vet but here, the first thing they do is give a pro-biotic which they charge you a fortune for and is exactly what I’ve said here. If its very hot, have you tried a damp towel put in the fridge for an hour underneath him for him to lie on?
June 29, 2010 at 7:53 am
Hey, we got dusty when she was 3 months old. were you able to get an of her sawdust/straw from when she was with her mum? I would try and get some from the breader if you can. we put some of this in the garden and from day one she knew to go there. we just sat with her a made a big fuss over her when she went lots of good girls, cleave girls and cuddles. she was soon going as often as she could to get the attention.
June 29, 2010 at 7:38 am
I just got a female Shiba Inu and is very hard to potty train. She constantly goes to the bathroom in the house. We will bring her outside she will just sit down and then come in the house and go in here instead. Does anyone have any advice how I can break this earlier. She is only 3 months old and I know it’s a lot of work to train a puppy but I have never had her breed before. Please respond back if you have advice for me. Thanks
July 1, 2010 at 9:21 am
Hello Vanessa, Congratulations on getting a Shiba! Shibas have great personalities and they will always make life interesting.
In terms of potty training, what Brendan says is very true. Sephy also really loves attention so rewarding him by giving him lots of attention, play, and treats when he goes outside works really well.
This was what I did with Sephy – 1. When he did his business inside, I just calmly non-marked him (No or ack-ack) and then brought him outside. If he continued doing his business, I make a big fuss and reward him. Then I play with him for a while outside before we come back in. 2. I took Sephy out as soon as he wakes up, and after rigorous physical activity. When I first got my Sibe, I had to take her out after about 5-10 minutes of play with my Shiba – lol. Once she gets excited – she had to go! When she goes outside, I reward her well and play with her. If she doesn’t want to go, I wait a couple of minutes, and then I bring her back in – no play and no rewards. 3. When Sephy had to go, he will also start circling an area. Once he starts doing this I would bring him outside.
Here are more of the things I did with Sephy and Shania for potty training – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-potty-training-facts-and-myths
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
June 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Since my shiba isnt colored the normal red/orange people say she looks more like a wolf.
June 13, 2010 at 8:10 am
That is really interesting – sometimes people think my Siberian is a black and white Shiba. Many people also think she is a hybrid wolf and get afraid of her – which is too bad- because she is such a lover.
Would love to see your Shiba. Please send us a link when you can. Thanks!
February 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm
wwell probly because he is from mixed dogs like a mutt.
June 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm
This article really made me laugh. It made me laugh because its so true. My shiba has all of these traits except for the scream.. I’ve never heard her do that before. Thanks for this fun read though.
May 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm
Very insightful website & posts- I would like to pick the brains of all you great Shiba owners. I’m thinking about adopting a 2 yr old female Shiba from a rescue shelter. They don’t know why she’s there and say she’s docile. I’ve never owned a dog before (rescue mgr says that this dog shold be no problem for 1st time owner). There are no kids or other animals here and no yard (but have a great dog park nearby). I’m concerned about my furniture & if I could leave her (she’s crate trained) for at most 6 hrs? What other concerns should I have and what should I ask the rescue shelter? Thanks for your input!
June 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm
Hello Mabel, Being in a shelter can be very stressful for dogs. Most dogs tend to be more reserved in such situations, and slowly get back to their normal self after about 2 weeks (or more depending on the dog) in a home. The people at my SPCA used to call this the honeymoon period – because that 2 weeks can be very useful for teaching the dog house rules and getting off onto a good start with a fixed routine.
I think you already have a great environment for a Shiba because she will have the place to herself and does not have to deal with other animals. When I started out with Sephy I had a very similar situation – no other pets, and also no yard. I must say the no yard was very difficult for a Shiba puppy. Sephy was very energetic and not having any off-leash time was very difficult. Luckily our SPCA had a fenced compound and they let us use it to exercise Sephy.
After about 1.5 years, Sephy calmed down a lot and did not need as much exercise. Now he is over 3 and he is very relaxed and lazy most of the time. He usually only needs his 1-1.5 hour morning walk and he is good for the rest of the day. Since the female Shiba is 2 years old, she may already be more calm.
How does the female Shiba deal with other dogs? If she has lived for long on her own, she may be wary of other dogs, or certain types of dogs. I would also ask about how comfortable she is with food, whether she protects her food/toys from people or from other dogs.
I was also a 1st time owner when I got Sephy – and he was very challenging for me. After about one year things got a lot better and Sephy taught me a lot about dog training. The two things that are probably most challenging about Sephy and many Shibas –
Their stubbornness can be out of this World They are very independent and mischievous.
Sephy is a lot better now but he will still test his boundaries and conduct scientific experiments on the people around him to see exactly what he can or cannot do.
The other important thing is to not to go too quickly with a rescue dog. Let the dog come to you and don’t overwhelm her with too much attention. Shibas tend to be more on the aloof side anyway, and like keeping their own company. Below is a very useful guide for what to do and not to do on the first days – http://www.maessr.org/learn/YourNewDog.pdf
It is not a Shiba guide specifically, but it has good information that applies to all dogs.
Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes and what you decide.
May 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Hi Colleen, Our shiba never shows his teeth either. You hit it spot on when you mentioned “nip”. That’s what my little one does (he’s 1 year and 5 months). You are right in it must be a shiba trait.
May 28, 2010 at 11:30 am
My Shiba, he’s 10 mos, also loves to “talk” while playing with other dogs. He also nudges and “nips” (never bites or makes teeth on leg contact with) at other dogs knees to try to get them to play if they are ignoring him. I’ve found that in small groups or 1:1 play sessions, it’s easier to comfort the other dog owner(s) that it is how your Shiba plays and it is not aggressive.
I’ve never corrected my Shiba for nudging other dogs legs or “talking” while playing as it seems to be part of his play style but my Shiba also does not enjoy dog parks so we don’t have to worry so much about that.
I thought it was just my Shiba that did those things. Glad to learn the talking, or monkey noises as I call it, and the play biting at the legs to play may be part of a Shiba trait after all….
May 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm
Hi everyone! I have 2 male shibas that are 6 months apart. They absolutely love to play with other dogs at the dog park. There are some dog owners who fear that our shibas are being aggressive toward their dogs when in fact they are just playing. They love to “talk” to other dogs and when running after other dogs, our shibas try to play bite the other dog’s back or hind leg to stop them. By no means is it aggressive but of course other owners may think different. Is this common with everyone? Or is this something that we should correct so other owners are not afraid?
May 30, 2010 at 8:59 am
They love to “talk” to other dogs
Yeah Sephy does this as well! I call them his Shiba warcries 😀
One thing that Sephy really liked to do while at dog parks is chase after other dog’s balls, steal them, and then start a chasing game. He loves playing catch me if you can games. However, some dogs may not like this kind of behavior, and it may ultimately lead to other things. What usually happened was that as soon as the other dog tries to correct Sephy with a growl, they get alpha rolled by their owners.
As you say, sometimes the other owners get fearful, excited, etc – and this gets picked up by Sephy which amps up his behavior even more. Shibas, I think are very sensitive to the energy of the people around them. I have also met some people who will correct other people’s dogs with physical techniques – and that is extremely dangerous for everyone.
Like Colleen, I have stopped bringing Sephy to dog parks because the situation there is just too uncontrolled and Sephy is a mischievous little thing. Also, not all the dogs there have bite inhibition – and their correction may ultimately cause physical damage. I also did not want them to get alpha rolled – when it was Sephy who started the whole thing.
Here is an article I wrote about my experiences with Sephy and dog parks – http://shibashake.com/dog/enclosed-dog-parks-good-or-bad
May 21, 2010 at 2:34 am
I am pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks for the tips.
May 19, 2010 at 4:35 am
Quick question, is it ok to switch from wet food to dry food? When we first got dusty she was on dry, she didn’t eat it so we went for the wet stuff, she has been fine on this for the last 7 months but has been on hunger strike for the last 48 hours, we went and got some dry food and she cleared the bowl in seconds (normally she eats like such a lady and then burps after haha)
May 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm
Thanks for the pictures and word file Brendan. Dusty’s instructions are hilarious! You should definitely publish it, I think Shiba owners everywhere would enjoy it very much.
Sephy also sometimes goes on a hunger strike for no discernible reason. I think he has a very sensitive digestive system so sometimes he just wants to clear it out. It could also be that the food company changed some ingredients in the wet food.
In general when switching food it is best to go slowly and do it in quarters. 1/4 new food, 3/4 old food for 3-4 days. If everything is ok, then go 1/2 and 1/2 and so on. When I first got Sephy, he was on Eukanuba (what the breeder gave him) and we would practically have to jump through hoops to get him to eat the stuff. After I switched to Innova EVO things got a lot better.
(normally she eats like such a lady and then burps after haha)
Sephy is exactly the same way! He also eats like a lady and burps at the end LOL. In contrast my Siberian girl eats like a man, drinks like a man, and snores like a sailor! She is pretty awesome! 😀
May 17, 2010 at 7:19 am
my little shiba Moksha is at it again. He has recently decided that everything in the house is his and has been stealing everything. I can hardly leave a room without him getting into something…and of course he then looks at me with his big brown eyes almost as if to say “it wasn’t me mom, I didn’t do it” Any suggestions on what I should do with my thieving shiba?
May 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Hi Meg, Thanks for those pictures of Moksha.
He has recently decided that everything in the house is his and has been stealing everything.
Some possibilities – 1. Have him attached to you at all times with a long lead so that he doesn’t get a chance to steal. 2. Brush up on his Leave-It training, and set up training scenarios where you are ready to catch him in the act. If he keeps trying to steal but fails and gets a bad response for it, he will likely stop. 3. Make sure not to chase him around after he steals because that is usually a big reward for a dog especially a Shiba. If Sephy steals something and nobody shows any interest, he will quickly lose interest in it as well 😀 4. Remove all dangerous objects from Shiba steal radius. 5. Keep him engaged with sanctioned chase games at home.
Shibas love to keep testing their boundaries. They remind me of that Verizon guy except they say – “Can I do this now? What about now?” – LOL. Many hugs to Prince Moksha.
May 10, 2010 at 2:59 am
I recently Left Dusty with my focks for 5 nights and she was no trouble at all (although she did get them to do things for her that i would never do, lift her in and out of the car ect) We took her round there a couple of times the week before we left and she was fine. think it helped that my parents have 2 black labs which dusty loves and uses as her body guard when she wants to go and sniff out trouble.
we did get the happiest and loudest noises when we went to pick her back up and she took a night or two to settle back in at ours but it worked really well.
p.s i will get some pics to you guys soon, she is a big girl now, all 10.2kg of her
May 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm
although she did get them to do things for her that i would never do, lift her in and out of the car ect
Hahaha – Dusty is such a super Shiba!
Yeah I think what you describe is a great boarding solution. I believe that Shibas, in general, like being with people they know and in a place that they are fairly familiar with. In this way, they are also a very loyal breed.
p.s i will get some pics to you guys soon, she is a big girl now, all 10.2kg of her
O-O Can’t Wait! I love seeing Dusty. I always show her pictures to Sephy in the hopes that some of her awesomeness will rub off on him. 😀
concerned traverler says
May 6, 2010 at 7:02 am
Did you ever board Sephy while on vacation? My dog (recently adopted as a young adult) has food aggression problems and dominance issues that we are working through, but im starting to worry about our upcoming vacation. I’m not sure if a boarding facility could handle him. he’s been kicked out of daycare once for…well, pretty much being a bratty shiba! I’m worried that if he is boarded he will snap at feeding time or throw a fit. he has bit me a few times in the past.
May 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm
Did you ever board Sephy while on vacation?
I did look into several options for doing that but they didn’t really work out for Sephy. The daycare people couldn’t really handle him and neither could the dog walker who also did home boarding. With the daycare he would either whine throughout the day or get into trouble during play-sessions. With the dog walker he did Shiba screaming, alligator rolls, and many of his other Shiba moves.
The dog walker wanted to start using choke chains on Sephy and do extreme corrections, which I wasn’t comfortable with so it ended there. According to the dog walker, they have a Shiba boarding with them and he was ok, but only after they did some heavy duty physical stuff to him. I wasn’t willing to risk that with Sephy.
I think the issue with boarding Shibas is that it takes time for them to trust a person and to feel comfortable the person. Short term boarding is usually a challenge because the people there do not have enough time to spend with a Shiba.
Some alternatives that may work –
Getting a neightbor/relative to house-sit. Shibas may be more comfortable with someone they already know and have spent time with. Have a pet sitter come over numerous times before vacation so that Shiba can get familiar with him/her before the real deal.
I would definitely be interested in hearing what works out for you. I think many Shiba owners including me are in the same boat on this one.
May 4, 2010 at 3:39 am
Thanks great, we also loving being able to walk dusty of the lead its so much nicer! well done you for being willing to give it a go.
May 5, 2010 at 11:41 am
Hey Brendan – good to see you! Send us more pictures of Dusty – we all miss her. How is your super Shiba doing?
May 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm
I had to post and let you all know that I took my dog Moksha to the beach today and can you believe it…I LET HIM OFF LEASH!!!! He did incredible for about forty-five minutes and then started to become a little aloof so I decided to put him back on before he decided to take off entirely. It was so wonderful, because as you all know shibas are notorious for getting distracted and its not usually recommended to let them off leash. I was sooo excited. For the forty five minutes he was great… he mainly just followed me as I walked and when he would get distracted I would call him and can you believe it? HE CAME. He came when he was called! I had to pinch myself to make sure what I was seeing was my dog and not a mirage. I was just so ecstatic that I had to share it with all of you.
May 5, 2010 at 8:03 am
That is amazing Meg! Sign of a great and strong bond.
Loved your pictures of Moksha. Send us more when you get the chance.
April 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm
Haha im very stubborn too xD i felt like a shiba would be a good dog for me but maybe a different breed is better. do you have any suggestions for what kind of dog i should get instead? im sort of looking for a dog that doesnt shed too much,isnt too big,and is all right with being left alone for a while. Thanks for the information about your shiba inu though.
April 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm
im sort of looking for a dog that doesnt shed too much,isnt too big,and is all right with being left alone for a while.
Hmmm, I don’t have much experience with smaller dogs. One small dog breed that seems to behave very well is the Pug. From what I can tell, they are friendly, not very high energy, and are loyal. Here is a pretty good summary of their origins and characteristics –
I would get on some pug message boards to get more details on the breed. Breed specific message boards usually have a lot of very knowledgeable people.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
April 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm
such a helpful site! is the shiba inu good for me? im in middle school and i think having a dog would help me deal with my depresssion. what if i were to leave it in a roomy cage for about 6 hours because of school? and is the shiba inu good for 1st time owners?? D:
April 27, 2010 at 8:24 am
Hi Mary, Very nice to meet you.
is the shiba inu good for 1st time owners??
Shibas can be very difficult dogs to manage – they are stubborn, dominant, sneaky, and did I mention stubborn? 😀 The stubbornness is really the worst. As a result they are usually not recommended for 1st time owners.
When my Shiba was young, I took him to a variety of trainers and even some trainers had problems with him. The dog walker couldn’t handle him and didn’t want to walk him anymore, and several daycare centers could not handle him.
Shibas can be very feisty and even experienced dog people can have trouble handling them.
Shibas are also very intelligent and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Shiba Sephy works for all of his food, he gets to play with Shania, he gets walked > 1 hour every day, there are play sessions, etc. and he still has the energy to get up to no good. Such a character he is!
If left alone for too long, Shibas will become unhappy and destructive. They are very good at escaping from crates and even enclosed backyards. When bored, they will escape to find adventure outside – then neighborhood beware! 😀
Another thing to consider is that Shibas really are quite aloof dogs. If you are looking for companionship and a loving dog, you will probably be disappointed in a Shiba. Most of the time, my Shiba likes being by himself and he dislikes getting too much human affection. He only wants to be loved on his own schedule and will walk away otherwise.
Let me know if I can be of more help, and happy summer holidays!
April 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm
WOW! you have THE BEST site! wonderful and very detailed info! i want a shibu sooooooo bad! but my dad would never let me :/ He likes big, well behaved dogs. such as great danes. don’t get me wrong, i love my gus(my gret dane) but i want a cute, small dog i can cuddle up with and just… idk… not have him squash me every time he moves! but i’m going to try REALLY hard to talk my dad into getting me this dog. so i have a few questions: 1.are they good with cats? cuz i have like 20 cats.
2.are they good most-of-the-time out side dog? cuz i live out in the country so i have lots of open space for him to roam, but i can’t have him inside to much because two reasons:my dad doesnt like inside dogs;and i have school so he would be un supervised inside,and with my past experiences,thats not a good thing.
3.do they need some kind of special food? cuz we get the genaric stuff.
thank you!i really do love yout site. it’s amazing!
April 27, 2010 at 8:04 am
Thank you for dropping by Maggie. Great Danes are very awesome. My Shiba loved playing with them whenever he met them at the dog park. It is funny watching him play with such a large dog because he will be trying out all his Shiba moves to no avail – lol.
1.are they good with cats? cuz i have like 20 cats.
Shibas are bred to hunt so they have a high prey drive. While they can be trained to accept cats (if brought up from puppyhood), their instinct will be to hunt them.
2.are they good most-of-the-time out side dog?
Shiba Sephy is definitely an inside dog. He doesn’t like being outside for too long, and if the grass is wet, he doesn’t like stepping on it. 😀 He is such an interesting fellow.
Shibas also like having their people around – not too close – but around to serve them. My Shiba spends most of the day inside the house with me while my Siberian mostly likes being outside.
3.do they need some kind of special food? cuz we get the genaric stuff.
Shibas may be allergic to certain ingredients. For example Shiba Sephy is allergic to wheat and all wheat products so I have to get him special grain-free kibble.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.
April 18, 2010 at 8:38 am
I am so glad I found this webiste! It is sooo helpful! My Shiba Inu, who we named Django, arrived at our home after someone apparently abandoned him in the countryside. We had no intention of owning a dog, but after two months no one had claimed him at the pound(we had been temporarily housing him for this time) we were in love and decided to give it a go. Wow. The honeymoon is over. I can’t believe the first day he showed up we left him out front tied with only a little rope in case his owners came by! As he becomes more comfortable, he reveals his strength, independence, and affection… yes, affection. I have so many stories to tell, but right now we are concerned about how exactly we should house this guy. Inside, outside, indoors a crate while we are at work or in his large roomy outdoor pen(with couch and doghouse)… where he screams and yelps and causes us much concern. We can’t have him run loose in the house because of the cats, except for limited times, when they are upstairs. Somtimes I worry he needs a better home. But who could love him more? We just want to create the right environment. Any advice? And how to stop this screaming when he is left outside!
April 19, 2010 at 8:45 am
Two paws up and a BIG WOOF for taking in a Shiba in need.
I have so many stories to tell, but right now we are concerned about how exactly we should house this guy. Inside, outside, indoors a crate while we are at work or in his large roomy outdoor pen(with couch and doghouse)… where he screams and yelps and causes us much concern.
Yeah my Shiba was like that too. He generally likes being in the house. Is is possible to set up the pen in the house? or perhaps set up a safe area/room for him to stay in? When Sephy was young, I set up a gate to block off my kitchen area and let him stay in there. The kitchen is nice because of the tiled floor (can’t chew on carpets), there are no electrical outlets he can get to, and the counters are too high for him to steal stuff off.
Another thing I tried with Sephy is to let him go to dog daycare for a couple of days per week. I also tried group dog walking. There are now many dog walkers who will take a group of dogs for a nice off-leash romp in a nearby hiking park. They come to pick up your dog and will drop him off after the hike. I actually liked the group dog walk more than the daycare, but it was difficult to find a walker who could handle Sephy 😀
He is a terror that flaps in the night!
Let us know how things go with Django. Would love to hear his stories.
March 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm
Hello Shiba Loving Friends,
It has been a while since I posted so I wanted to give you a little update. I am the owner of a beautiful black and tan shiba named Moksha. I am happy to report that I lived through the first year of my Shiba’s life. He was a year old on March 14th. He had a big birthday party and I spoiled him rotten. He probably couldn’t have cared less he just looked at me like, “now this is the way I’m supposed to be treated, why are you making such a big deal out of this?” In the afternoon he took the longest royal nap I’ve ever seen him take. He is such a PRINCE! So I lived through the first year, but there are still quite a few challenges with his royal highness. I am still working on a little mouthing when he is not getting his own way, He is still jumping on people and he is still soooo excited all the time. I am working with a personal trainer on some of his issues, but I highly recommend working one on one with a trainer especially with a shiba, it is much easier to get him to focus with just me and the trainer and not a ton of dogs around. Anyways, I just wanted to give you an update, because I have found a tremendous amount of support here on this site. Support that is truly necessary when raising a shiba. It has been amazing for me when I am talking with other dog owners how incredibly different shibas are from the rest of the dog population. It really takes saint like patience to live with a shiba, but for some of us it’s the only way to live…I don’t think i’ll ever own anything but a shiba at this point. Anyways thank you so much for all of your support throughout this last year and I’m sure that I will continue to post and chat with shiba lovers like myself. Could you tell me where I can send some pictures. I think if you could see him you will understand the “prince” comments. And to be totally honest, I love to show off my little shiba. Thanks again, you all are great!!!
April 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm
So glad to hear from you and Moksha. I am happy to hear that all is going well.
It has been amazing for me when I am talking with other dog owners how incredibly different shibas are from the rest of the dog population. It really takes saint like patience to live with a shiba, …
That is so true. Also, not many people know the Shiba breed, so it was difficult for me to find trainers for Sephy. Many of the initial trainers told me he was a really extreme Shiba – which I later learned was not true at all. It turns out that he was and is just a typical Shiba – lol.
Could you tell me where I can send some pictures. I think if you could see him you will understand the “prince” comments. And to be totally honest, I love to show off my little shiba.
Oh – I love Shiba pictures! 😛 Please send me a mail through – http://shibashake.hubpages.com/_srec/contact
Thanks and Happy Easter! Hugs to Moksha – hope he finds lots of Easter eggs 😀
March 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm
Absolutely Hilarious!! It is very clear to me after browsing this website that you guys know exactly what you are talking about, when it comes to Shiba’s. My Shiba Inu Kenji is Nuts and does everything you say on this website. Other readers comments are killing me as well. Obviously it is the breed unlike any other that makes these dogs so amazing! My Golden Samantha-Jo never did half the crazy things Kenji has already pulled off. I am still finding myself telling him that he’s very lucky he is so cute or he would be elsewhere…..lol Good information and a Great Website!
March 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm
I am still finding myself telling him that he’s very lucky he is so cute or he would be elsewhere…..lol
Hahaha – yeah, good-looking dogs can get away with so much more, just like good-looking people! I guess good-looking people tend to be more on the high-maintenance side as well 😀
March 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm
Thanks for your great website. I looked at it soon after I got my puppy, Monty, and am now looking at it again.
Monty is a great dog. He is incredibly friendly towards people and other dogs and very well-behaved at home. I’ve also used reward training as I got the sense, as you have, that my shiba could get aggressive with me if I used force or aversion training. Besides being terrible at recall, things have, for the mostpart, gone very well.
Now that he is 9 months old, however, he is developing some aggressive behaviour and more stubbornness. He has never bitten me but now becomes completely crazed when it comes to trimming his nails whereas he was fine before (perhaps it’s because he had his nails trimmed at the vets after a very traumatizing neutering experience(?)). He plays well with almost any dog but he has also started becoming aggressive with them over food and even over (their) toys or sticks. When I take him to the dog beach, this has become a particular problem. Today he snarled and snapped at one dog over a stick (when Monty was trying to steal it) and stole another dog’s ball (he has no interest in playing fetch with me). Where before he would eventually stop when I went to get him, today he ran away from me and I spent a good 15 minutes chasing him with the annoyed dog owner and dog following us around for the ball. I am concerned that someday he will be severely put in his place by another dog or run off and be hurt.
I have a groomer come in to do his nails now but Monty is used to getting a lot of exercise and loves going off-leash at the beach (which is very far from any road and the only time he is off) and I would prefer not to stop doing this. I often leave a leash trailing so that I can catch him more easily. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can curb the aggression and get him to be a bit more obedient?
March 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm
LOL Montasaurus, I like that!
Today he snarled and snapped at one dog over a stick (when Monty was trying to steal it) and stole another dog’s ball (he has no interest in playing fetch with me).
That is amazing – my Shiba was exactly like that when I took him to the dog park. He would pretty much steal all the balls and the poor other dogs got alpha rolled by their owners when they rightly got annoyed with Shiba and attempted to correct him.
I think Shibas quickly learn that if they steal balls etc., that is the quickest way to get attention and to start a game of chase with other dogs or with people. In this way they get two of their most favorite things – “eyes on them” and a fun chase game.
This is one of the main reasons why I stopped taking Shiba Sephy to dog-parks. The environment there is just too unstructured for him, and he was also starting to pick up bad habits from the other dogs.
Instead, I took him to the SPCA nearby. They have a nice enclosed grass area and I let him play with the SPCA dogs on a one-on-one basis. I also take him hiking on trails (on leash) and he really enjoys that. I have tried taking him on off-leash hiking trails and he has done well on-leash even with the other off-leash dogs. I find that the owners in hiking trails are better at supervising their dogs and really have good off-leash control over them.
Before I moved, I also had a great neighbor with a very friendly young dog named Kai. I would bring her over to my house several times a week for supervised play sessions with Sephy. That worked out really well.
If you truly want to continue trying the beach thing – putting on a really long lead (only on a flat collar) may help. A really long lead (like the ones that people use for recall training) will allow you to stop him before he initiates chase, and put him on a mini time-out. The disadvantage is that it can easily get tangled if he starts wrestling with other dogs. It may also get caught on trees and such.
The important thing is to quickly shut down the chase game as soon as he starts to go after balls. Shibas are really smart and once they learn that they can do whatever they want at the beach or dog-park and you cannot effectively stop them, they will keep doing it, and with great gusto!
Some people use shock collars but that has many risks. In a situation with other dogs, the shocks may just encourage aggression towards the other dogs or worse with people.
Here are some of the things I found when I looked into shock collars – http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-shock-collar-good-bad
March 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm
“The important thing is to quickly shut down the chase game as soon as he starts to go after balls.”
Thanks for your comments. I think you’re definitely right on that one. I try to intercept him immediately now before he steals a ball or stop him as soon as I can. Basically, I call him quite sternly and hold up a finger and, if he chooses to look at me, he will eventually stop. My boyfriend will give him a flick on the nose (I don’t) but just the threat of it seems to let him know I mean it. If he does not look at me, however, he will actually run off the beach up to the path and jump on people as if to show off the ball… arghhh.
I will probably see how it goes. If he continues to do this or has a conflict I will definitely keep him on lead. For now, I just leave a leash on trailing behind him so he will be easier to stop. The threat of going back on the leash may also be helping.
March 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm
If he does not look at me, however, he will actually run off the beach up to the path and jump on people as if to show off the ball… arghhh.
LOL! That is so like a Shiba! They *know* they are God’s gift to humankind 😉
February 11, 2010 at 11:22 am
Hi, I had a ? we have a shiba who is 14months old at first she was sweet and kind we have a 2year old rat terrier who dosnt play but now she attacks her all the time if we throw her in the cage she rips at her or even if u yell at the other dog for doing something she attacks her or if u yell at her for doing something she takes it out on her our rat terrier has had her ear torn her leg bit in to her back cut open, Im at my wits end I dont know what too do?? ANy suggestions Ive never had a dog so aggressive and over small things to and yesterday she grabbed my arm tryin to get to the other dog.. She gets loved and played with and treats all the time I dont understand do you think if we get her fixed she’s be more calm?? Please if anyone has any idea let me know …
February 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm
Hi Nicole, Shibas tend to be stubborn and bossy when they can get away with it. When I first got Shiba Sephy he was a ball of badness
It is important, especially for a Shiba, to establish rules in the house and outside the house. Some rules that my Shiba absolutely has to follow include no biting people, no getting on furniture, no humping, no bullying my Siberian, and no guarding of food or toys.
If he breaks any of these rules, I non-mark him, and ask him for an alternate command. If he does not listen, he gets his freedom taken away and he has to go to timeout. In this way he learns that doing certain things = no freedom, but doing what I ask of him = nice rewards.
Another thing that helped me a lot is following the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program. This means Shiba has to do something for me first before he gets anything in return – including food, toys, freedom in the backyard, and *affection*.
Here are some things that really helped me when Shiba Sephy was young- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
In the same way it is important to establish boundaries between your two dogs. My Siberian is a three legged dog so in the beginning I always supervised my Shiba very closely while playing with her. No bullying will be tolerated. Whenever he starts any kind of bullying – which includes humping – I will step in, non-mark, and stop play.
In this way he learns that certain behaviors = no play, but playing nice = rewards and lots of fun play.
By controlling a Shiba’s resources (food, treats, affection, freedom), you can teach her what are acceptable behaviors and what are non-desirable behaviors.
Staying calm is also very important when dealing with a Shiba. In the beginning I would get angry and frustrated and that only made things worse with Sephy. Stay calm, and have a plan on how to deal with each bad behavior. Once I did that, things improved significantly with Shiba Sephy.
Here is another article that may be helpful – http://shibashake.com/dog/pack-leader-to-an-aggressive-dog
It may also be a good idea to get a professional trainer. It is easiest to train a dog when they are young, so now is a great time to start. A good professional trainer will be able to come up with a comprehensive program for you including how to set boundaries for your Shiba, and how to get her to listen and do what you want.
February 11, 2010 at 8:10 am
Our Tessa is now 2 1/2 yrs old and we learn from her daily. She has decided the extent of her training is complete, but we reinforce her tricks and commands constantly. She doesn’t chew or destroy anything, other then her toys, is a wonderful watch dog, very verbal, little barking, without going overboard. Is very tolerant of people, a little standoffish of children. We were encouraged by the breeder to socialize her starting at a very young age, with people and other dogs which we did. We thought we had significant experience in dog rearing, but this one has taken it to a new level. The only issue we are concerned about is being too territorial, and only at our home, not at our summer home, and only with other dogs. She will turn into the Tasmanian devil is 2 seconds flat. Teeth beard, growling, spit flying, will draw blood if she reaches with other animal, totally out of control. Any suggestions?
February 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm
Sephy also gets a bit snarky when other dogs come to visit. It is mostly because he is being protective of our tripod dog, Shania.
One thing that seems to help is to have him on leash when the new dog first comes. Then the dog gets to meet my Siberian first. Meanwhile, I have Sephy with me doing commands from a distance. If he is calm, then we move a few steps closer to the action.
If he starts being snarky, I no-mark him and move back.
Maybe you can try something similar in your situation. Have Shiba at a distance, and have both dogs on leash. Initially just try with the other dog on the front lawn and your Shiba a good distance away so that she is calm. Do some obedience with her and if she is calm, praise, reward, and move one or two steps closer, etc.
If she gets snarky no-mark and move back.
I keep sessions short and try to set my dog up for success. Here is more on Sephys adventures with other dogs – http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-to-dog-aggression
February 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm
Man i guess i got lucky because my Shiba Inu is the best behaved dog i have ever had, she has yet to do ANYTHING wrong,she even gets along with our cat. she is fine with other dogs as long as they respect her space and if they don’t she will snarl at them and continue to do so until they get the idea but she wont bite.we got her as an adult dog, she was four and her owners didn’t want her anymore. i can only assume they spent alot of time in obedience classes because she is a purebred shiba with perfect manners,she even steps around puddles and mud instead of walking through them and waits to go through a door until you have walked through. the independence trait is there she doesn’t like a lot of affection but i dont like dogs who make people the center of there existence,shes perfect for me,she is proof that good training can make for a really good shiba. the only thing she is snobby about is coming when i call her, she does it if she feels like it and if not i need to go looking for some treat of some sort to bargain with. i can live with that.
February 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm
Hi Richard, It does sound like you have a pretty awesome Shiba – lucky you!
Sephy was really bad in his first six months – but then I was pretty clueless as well. Then in the next six months he was still bad, but improving. At over 1+ he got a lot better, and challenged rules much less frequently.
I recently noticed that at 3+ he has mellowed even more.
Shibas get better with time – like good wine 😀
February 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm
I am completely frustrated. My shiba was the puppy from heaven….I bragged that I had never had a puppy that was so easy, well behaved, loving, etc. Then at about 7 months, my sweet boy turned into hell on 4 legs. I do take him on long walks, he has play time with another dog daily, he has plenty to chew on, BUT I cannot turn my back on him anymore. He likes to chew and dig at wood….not outside but my great grandmother’s antique oak table, all the legs of my tables and the latest was my cherry sleigh bed. It looks like he dug and chewed a 1/4 inch deep hole into the foot board. I have someone come in and walk him during the days that I have to be gone for long periods, and that is what is so frustrating. I have no choice now; he will have to be crated whenever I leave the house. I feel that I have done everything right, but apparently not. And suddenly he won’t come to me if I call his name or listen to me at all…in fact, he won’t take treats from me except at night, not cheese, not hot dogs, nothing. Getting into his bed at night seems to be the only that he will do when I command it. He will however obey my 18 year old son when he comes to visit. I am baffled. He is still very well behaved around other people and animals; his problem seems to be with me and destroying all my wood furniture.
February 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm
Hi Jo, Yeah what you describe really reminds me of my Shiba’s old days with chewing curtains. I would step away for 1 second to wash my hands, or just eat a quick breakfast, and he would chew and tear off sections of the curtains.
I got really angry and frustrated with him, but that only made things worse.
What helped with Sephy the most is to restrict his freedom some. I would make sure the doors to the bedrooms are always closed so he could only prowl around in the kitchen and living room. I also installed a baby gate at the kitchen doorway so when I needed to be in there, he goes in there with me too.
I also crated him for short periods during the day when I was not able to closely supervise him.
The other thing that worked very well is following the NILIF program and making him work for *all* of his food (either from interactive food toys or from doing stuff for me).
I would ask him to do something that he knows how to do and if he does it, I praise and reward. Shibas will sometimes try to see what they can get away with though.
Sephy started not doing the command or seeing how long he could delay before doing the command. So in those situations, I would just leave, together with all my great food and he would get ignored for a while. If he comes to bug me with whining and such during that time he will be ignored or put in time-out.
After some time, I will try another obedience/feeding session.
It is important for Shiba to learn that he gets nothing for free, and the best way to get what he wants is by first doing what you want.
Here are some things that really helped me with Sephy when he was a puppy – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
January 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm
My Shiba puppy(Bear) is now 5 months old and is the most loving and friendly dog I have ever seen. He wants to play with everybody and when we go to the vet, every other animal. He and my Bengal cat play together all the time. He is not allowed in the kitchen (which he knows) and if you turn your back he runs to the cats food bowl and grabs a mouthful and runs out of the kitchen. He is typical in that he won’t listen and everything is a negotiation but I wouldnt trade him for anything. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he stays as loving as he is now as he grows older. He will be getting neutered next month as I had questioned that in an earlier post.
January 21, 2010 at 11:07 am
My Shiba puppy(Bear) is now 5 months old and is the most loving and friendly dog I have ever seen. He wants to play with everybody and when we go to the vet, every other animal.
Go Bear! And Kudos to you for socializing him so well.
Amazing that Bear and Bengal get along so well. Beautiful cats but I hear that they can be very temperamental as well. You must have great animal kung-fu!
February 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Bear is now 6 months old and typical Shiba. He starts his obedience training this week. Or rather I start my training! I am having a professional trainer work with us in our home as it seems better to work on the places he needs to behave! He is really good and only has a few normal Shiba quirks. This choice came about when I took him to the vet and as we were getting out of the car I did not have a tight hold on his leash and off he went right towards the road.. nose to the ground and not listening to my calls. Luckily there were a couple of people that he saw and went over to play with. whew!! I was so devistated about what happened that I decided right then and there to call and get him and me some training. I will keep you posted on our progress!
Kathy and Bear
February 19, 2010 at 8:24 am
I know what you mean! Sephy escaped from me twice when he was young and we were out walking. Squirmed out of his collar. Luckily he just went to the person walking ahead of us so I was able to get him back. Now I use a Premier martingale which is very good at preventing collar escapes.
And I definitely agree with you. Having a trainer come over and give me pointers was very helpful. Sephy was a terror that flaps in the night when he was young- lol.
Definitely let us all know how training goes and what methods work best for Bear.
February 25, 2010 at 2:41 am
Well our first day of training was a big success! Bear always would go to the door and try to get out to see the “world” but now after one day of training he has a boundry that he is not allowed to cross when we are at the door. He is allowed to go to the door to “warn” us there is someone or something there but then stays behind his invisible barrier. Shibas are so smart it took just training us humans to know what and how to tell him to stay back. He also used to charge the kitchen the minute he was let out of his crate to steal a mouthful of cat food on his way outside, now he goes right to the back door to go out. Of course I still dont totally trust him and dont leave the kitchen open all the time! We are still working on other things and will keep everyone updated but so far so good!
February 25, 2010 at 8:28 am
Well Dusty has got through the big op (sped) she did take a day to warm up to use again after collecting from the vet but is now back to her cuddly, loving ways. She waits at the door for me every night to get back from work and I get a few happy noises (anyone else’s shiba do this) like a shiba scream but not as loud or a blood curtailing. She has been ok about not licking the wound and have been distracting her with a Kong which is working well. Can finally take her back for walks at the weekend. Also Kathy your right about how smart Shiba’s are. Dusty has just passed her level one puppy training and now moved to class too, she is the youngest they have ever had in class two the cleaver girl. Anyone else seen the ad for the new film coming out with an Akita dog in it? Looks just like a shiba.
February 27, 2010 at 12:46 am
Kathy – that is awesome that Bear is doing so well. He sounds like another super Shiba! Definitely share some pictures with us when you have the time.
Brendan – Glad to hear that Dusty is recovering well from her surgery and behaving like an angel. She is truly amazing. Sephy was a holy terror while he was recovering from his neuter.
Yeah that Akita movie is going to be sad. I saw the Hachiko story while watching the Akita episode of Breed All About It. Very sad but also very inspiring. A lot of difficult issues to deal with in there.
And you are definitely right – a red Akita looks just like a Shiba. It is strange though that there aren’t too many red Akitas here.
Ana Raquel says
January 19, 2010 at 10:56 am
Hi,as the other Ana, I am also from Brazil, but I moved to US a couple of years ago and I might say that the best dog (I mean half dog/ half person) is our little Cisco (our red shiba inu)! He is our love! I am getting worry about his diet: he is 7 months old and he is not just eating that much anymore, we change his food from Natural Choice to Puppy Chaw (or something like that) but I don’t know, if is just that or because his teeth has grown and now he wants another kind of food…. do you have suggestions?
Thanks again for the post! I loved your site, it’s being very helpfull lol
January 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm
Very nice to meet you. One of my neighbors just visited Brazil and he had a really good time there. I would love to visit one of these days. Maybe when the dogs are a bit older
As for food, my Shiba also ate more when he was a pup. As he grew older, he started eating less because he wasn’t growing as fast as before.
My Shiba is allergic to wheat though, so nowadays I feed him a high protein kibble. I am currently using Innova EVO with both my dogs and it has worked well. In general, it is best to use a kibble that does not contain wheat, corn, soy, or any fillers such as hull, etc.
Here is more on the different types of dog diets.
Hugs to Cisco!
January 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Hello! I have an 8 year old Shiba who is the apple of my eye; which might’ve lead to the problem I’m now having. I did a lot of research before picking the Shiba Inu as my first dog. While the shiba personality matches me 100%, as he’s gotten older…he’s developed sudden aggression. And I mean sudden! A little background; he got along with other dogs until we moved somewhere not close to anyone with a dog, he has always been destructive (doors, trim, toys), but is pretty much 100% shiba. As I was petting him last night, on the rear (maybe in a place that was different??), when all of the sudden (no growls, no lip curl) he started attacking my arm! Loud barks and snarls but no bitting and lasted only seconds as I yelled to correct him. This also happened a few weeks ago after he had chewed up a rubber toy. I bent down to pick up the pieces, he was on his back (like I was gonna pet his belly) and as I picked up the last piece he jumped all over my arm, snarling, barking, and biting. SHOCKED, I kneed him in the chest and he flew accross the room. He “snaps” out of it within seconds of correction (which up until that point hadn’t been physical as I’ve always used verbal) but it was scary (reminds me of springer rage). He has done this with my fiance and I assumed it was an alphaa male thing, but now…I’m affraid it’s rage. Up until now, I’ve never been at the recieving end of his anger and I’d hate to think my only option is euthanaisa. Any thoughts?
January 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm
I would first consider taking him to the vet. It may be some internal aches and pains that he is responding to, which makes him more sensitive to handling.
If not, then consider what has recently changed in his routine and environment. Usually when my Shiba exhibits aggression it is in response to something that has changed in his lifestyle. My Shiba really likes routine, so he gets stressed whenever big changes occur suddenly, and he does not understand them. I am the same way
With dogs it is often about fear and stress rather than about anything else.
Has this behavior only happened recently? Has he showed any guarding behavior before – with you or with strangers?
January 8, 2010 at 7:02 am
I wanted to get a shiba inu too but i feel it’s really great responsibility to get a dog especially breeds like shiba which needs a lot of attention. I read all of the comments and smiled to myself because it’s wonderful seeing how you guys are happy with your shibas ^^ I think I should give it a few years down the road to think again cos i want to make sure my pup has the right amount of care and attention. Thanks for sharing all these useful tips and advices!
January 8, 2010 at 8:45 am
Hi Jasmine, Glad you enjoyed all the Shiba stories. I agree with you 100% that dogs especially certain breeds like the Shiba are a great responsibility. I wish I did more research, just like you, before getting my Shiba. He would have had a much easier first six months. As it was, we both had to go through some tough times – lol.
When you get your little Shiba – he will be a very lucky guy to have found you! Have a great 2010!
January 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm
I have a 12 year old black and tan Shiba. I love the rascal. He has a problem with chewing and licking his paws, and scratching his face incessantly. Anyone else experience this?
January 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm
The two main causes that I know of for extreme dog scratching and itching are- 1. Allergies – This could be food or skin. 2. Skin parasites – .e.g. fleas or mites
My Shiba had some food allergy issues initially and I was able to narrow it down to an allergic reaction to wheat. Has anything changed in your Shiba’s routine in terms of food or environment? Environmental changes could cause skin allergies if he is coming in contact with certain plants, chemicals, etc.
My Siberian had an episode with skin mites early on. She got them from other puppies at daycare. In addition to the itching she also had hair loss on her paws and face. The vet was able to give us something to take care of the mites.
Here is more on my experiences with dog itching.
January 8, 2010 at 7:50 am
I went to the vet yesterday. He thinks that my dog, Yoshi, is allergic to grass. I already feed him a special diet due to his IBS problems. I don’t give him any dairy, for instance. The only carb in his natural dry dog food is oats. He doesn’t have fleas or mites. Does anyone know of any natural alternatives to treating canine allergies? Thank you for your comments thus far.
January 8, 2010 at 9:05 am
Grass allergy can be tricky. Some things that may help – 1. Use dog shoes when your Shiba is out for a walk. 2. Wipe your Shiba’s paws and muzzle when he comes home from a walk. I just do that with a wet sponge. 3. I also use DermaPaw on my Siberian’s feet to keep them tough and healthy. The people who created DermaPaw had dogs with pretty bad foot allergies, so it may be worthwhile to check out their website.
You may also want to re-post your question on the Shiba nihonken Forum – http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/
December 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm
Unfortunately, all of my entries on this site to date have been trying to find information just to make my life with my 9 month old shiba bearable. Today I am happy to report that I am writing on this site to sing the praises of my wonderful little shiba male (moksha)…We have recently put up a christmas tree and stockings all with in reach of my little tyrant…as you can well imagine I was prepared for a very long and drawn out fight with my little man. However, I have at this point only told him once not to chew on the branches of the tree and he has done wonderfully…I do believe that he is coming around and I am finding that the benefits of a shiba far out weight all the little excentricities that they are well known to have…I do believe that my little shiba has given me the best christmas present that any shiba owner could ask for…OBEDIENCE!!!
signed, A Very Content Shiba Owner
December 22, 2009 at 12:29 am
That is wonderful Meg! Go Moksha! And what a great name too (I looked it up on Wikipedia because it sounds so interesting).
Yeah I also value obedience and affection from my Shiba a lot because it is harder to come by. I guess Shibas really have us figured out! 😀
Make sure to take lots of pictures of Moksha and share then with us in the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
S. McNeal says
December 13, 2009 at 7:30 am
Our one year old, very high spirited and totally disobedient (at least with me who she obviously considered weak) has run away! It’s not the first time, but this time, I could not catch her and I am heartbroken. She was my son’s dog and only obedient with him (he’s been following the Cesar Milan training methods)and I hate to see him upset. She’s so beautiful that I’m sure if someone found her, they are thinking of keeping her. The difference with Foxxy though is that she loved to be touched and bathed and handled in general. She craved attention and like to give kisses and snuggle. She was not aggressive at all, with people or other dogs. Quite the contrary, she always thought all people and dogs should play with her. I’ve put up signs and contacted shelters and pray someone brings her back.
December 14, 2009 at 9:27 am
Foxxy sound like such a good Shiba. My Shiba is more aloof, so he should definitely get some lessons from Foxxy.
My breeder also told me that female Shibas tend to be more adventurous and are more likely to bolt. In fact, when I first visited my breeder, one of her female Shibas ran out and had a nice prowl around the neighborhood. She always returned home though after she had had her fun. I am sure Foxxy will as well.
Our thoughts and positive Shiba energy are with you and Foxxy.
December 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm
I am interested in your “mouthy” comment. It is very true that Shiba’s are very mouthy, so much so that our puppy is beginning to nip people upon meeting. I wonder if you have any advice on how to “tame” this behaviour. He (Monty) also leaps up at people, which can be quite scary for some. But of course the Shiba only reads the scary reaction as more play and continues the assault! I had one couple actually try to kick Monty. It was like they had never seen a dog before!
December 12, 2009 at 9:35 am
Here are some things that helped with my Shiba – 1. Ask people to ignore him – no talking to him, no touch, and no eye-contact. The last one with very important but difficult for people to follow. 2. As soon as he jumps, non-mark him (No or Ack-ack) and move him away from the people. Ask him for a Sit. If he complies and is calm, then you can try the greeting again after a short time. 3. Initially my Shiba would escalate his behavior and start biting the leash or redirecting on me. When he does this I leave and end the fun walk.
This way he learns that jumping and biting means he doesn’t get to interact with people at all but being calm will get him attention.
The most difficult thing in terms of people greeting is that people will try to push the dog away, or otherwise engage with the dog physically when they are jumping and biting. This usually just gets my Shiba even more excited, and any kind of physical interaction is a reward to him. As a result his jumping and biting behavior was just getting reinforced.
I also got some friends to come over to help with my people greeting training. This way I was sure that they would follow all of my instructions, and I had full control of the environment.
Make sure that jumping and biting = they don’t get to meet at all; and only let them interact when they are calm and have all feet on the ground.
December 5, 2009 at 7:19 am
I love the Shiba 500 comment! That is exactly what we call it when mine runs around the front yard in cirles! She is so energetic. We love the dog parks, she is very friendly with other dogs. At 42 pounds I now walk her on a front lead harness. It works well. She is now 8 months and I took her to get her nails trimmed….oh boy….for the first time ever she FREAKED!! THey had to put the cloth muzzle on her even though I was sitting right there. I guess I will be doing it from now on. WONDERFUL dog though…I love her!
December 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm
She is now 8 months and I took her to get her nails trimmed….oh boy….for the first time ever she FREAKED!!
lol – yeah Sephy is not big on nail clipping either.
I now do nail grinding and it is a very significant improvement. I don’t have to worry about clipping into the quick, and Sephy will actually lie down nicely and let me do it in return for some mackerel.
December 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm
Hello, I have a one year old Shiba. She is the love of my life. I have never had a dog quite as special as my Shiba. We actually named her Shiba because from day one that was the only name she would respond and react to. I have a question – I know that generally Shibas are never supposed to be off a leash. My Shiba has ran out of the house 5 times through one of her sneaky escape routes. She runs for a few blocks and I run after her until she gets tired and sits down for a rest, that’s when I grab her. Do you have any suggestions on how we can get her to stop or to obey my commands as im running after her? I always have this fear one day she will run too fast or too far and I won’t be able to keep up.
December 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm
Hello Maria, Shibas are big escape artists and they are not usually great on recall
Here are some things that helped with my Shiba – 1. Drag lead
In the early days I left a drag lead on my Shiba. Only use a flat collar for this and only do this when you are around the house in case the lead gets caught on something. This way I don’t have to play his chasing games.
My Shiba loved doing anything to get attention and then having people chase him. When he got naughty, all I had to do was step on his long drag lead and instead of getting to play chase he gets a time-out.
2. Chasing reinforces the escaping behavior.
To a Shiba having people chase them is a fun reward. This encourages them to escape more often because Escape = chase = lots of fun.
Therefore you want to do everything you can to prevent the escapes and instead play chase games with your Shiba in the backyard. This way she learns that doing what you want = fun chase games.
My Shiba loves playing the flirt pole and the water hose game. In the flirt pole he gets to chase around a squirrel-tail toy and in the water hose game he chases around a stream of water.
In the early days I also crated my Shiba when he was alone in the house.
3. Recall training.
What worked well for me was to decrease the number of escapes (chasing episodes) and increase the number of recall successes. So while you are preventing the escapes, you can also start training her on recall. Sardines worked well for me in recall training. You can also throw in a fun game. She will quickly learn that
Going to mommy = Fun chasing game
4. Door Manners
It also really helped to practice door manners with my Shiba. Every time before we go for a walk he has to come to me and Sit nicely while I put on his collar and lead. Then he does a stay while I open the door. He does not move until I give him the Break command.
Make sure you can body block her if she breaks from her Stay. And if she does, the door closes and she doesn’t get to go for the fun walk. Then just keep practicing.
She will quickly learn that rushing out the door = no fun walk and Sit/Stay = get to go for fun walk.
Hope this will help you too. Let us know how it goes
December 2, 2009 at 4:22 am
just a quick not to offer hope to others that read that you cant take your shiba off a lead. Well we have had dusty a while now and after getting her over the panic of having a lead on we are now able to take her to the park and let her off her lead. I would not do this in a small park or near cars/roads. Dusty is great for about 30 minutes then she starts to get a little over excited and want to chase birds or becomes very aloof and is hard to get back. we them put her back on the lead for 15 minutes before allowing her off again. its working great. we have been working very closly with the trainers on her recall prior to doing this.
Lowerlifeform : I know what your saying about the cuddles. we are very lucky and Dusty loves a belly rub or a cuddle during the day, she does become a little less keen at night time unless we are eating. I wish you luck in your challenge
December 3, 2009 at 8:27 am
That is awesome Brendan!
Btw. please give us a link to some Dusty pictures when you get the chance. Would love to see one with the belly rub
December 7, 2009 at 6:59 am
if you provide me a address to send the pics to i would love to share them. I feel that i must have got one of a kind in my shiba as when we did her nails it was so funny it was as if she was a lady in a nail shop she just sat there and gave us her two front paws. One of the odds things with her is that when every you give her a bone from the butchers she is sick.. Anyone else have this problem.
With regards to the letting of the lead, i would suggest alot of work with a trainer on recall and follow their advice. Dusty is great but i would never let her off her lead walking the streets ect as she can be fickle at time. I never chase her but call and then walk in the other way. she wants to know what i am doing so soon come running after me.
December 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm
I feel that i must have got one of a kind in my shiba as when we did her nails it was so funny it was as if she was a lady in a nail shop she just sat there and gave us her two front paws.
LOL! Yeah Dusty sounds like a very balanced and well-temperamented Shiba. Did you get her from a local breeder? Or did you have her shipped? Did you visit the breeder prior?
Sephy was not very well socialized by his breeder so he is a bit neurotic Also, I could have done a lot better when I first got him.
Anyway, write to me here when you have the time.
December 8, 2009 at 12:04 am
I got her from a local breader, there is only 4 that i could find in the UK. she was about 2 hours away from where i live. We visited twice and she stood out as not being to forward but not shying away to much. she cost us £950 ($1700) and we had to sign an agreement to say that we would not breed her. she is fantastic the only things she does that are a bit naughty are she likes to chew the sofa if not watched, likes to eat the lawn and is not very keen on little kids. She is ok but if there are 2 or more at a time she gets very shy and scared. She is fine with adults tho. Love the happy noises she makes when ever i get home for work or if i have just left the house for 10 minutes you would think i had not seen her for a week, she is a treat to come home to.
JAMES STONE says
November 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm
me and my fiance are sooooo interested in this breed and seems to fit our lifestyle and personalitys perfectly. we have both grown up with different dogs and animals such as birds, ferrets, cats, iguanas, and dogs. i would appreciate any input or advise from current Shiba owners to a new couple wanting to adopt one to join our family!! thank you jimmy
November 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm
Shibas can be great dogs but they are definitely on the higher maintenance side, especially in the beginning. They tend to be more stubborn than other dog breeds, and are also more prone to mouthiness. As a result, they need to be closely supervised when interacting with children and seniors.
They are also a hunting breed and will often go after cats and small critters.
I had a lot of problems with my Shiba initially. He was extremely mouthy and he was very good at using his many Shiba skills to manipulate me. I had to go through a lot with him, and put in a lot of time, but ultimately he taught me a lot about Shibas, dogs, and life
Also check out the nihonken Shiba message boards. There are many knowledgeable Shiba owners there.
In the beginning I visited many message boards and got a lot of useful information from other Shiba owners who have gone through similar Shiba problems.
It also helped to see that my Shiba was just being a regular Shiba and was not some mutant devil Shiba 😀
Two paws up to you for adopting a Shiba in need!
November 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm
HELP!! I feel I am the lower life form here. My 2 shibas could care less about me(unless i have a porkchop hanging around my neck). I give them a healthy lifestyle; good puzzle games, long walks, trip to mickey Ds’, but they never want to play, cuddle, get pet,or hang out with me. They dont want anything to do with me unless it involves food. A friend of mine suggested smearing peanut butter all over myself of which I am serious considering… any suggestions???
November 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm
they never want to play, cuddle, get pet,or hang out with me.
Yeah Shibas are an aloof breed. My Shiba is not really into getting too much affection either. When he gets too much unwanted attention he will get up and walk away – as if to say “Talk to the butt” My Sibe really loves attention though, so they make a really good pair.
Also dogs may sometimes see hugging and cuddling as a dominance move. When dogs interact with other dogs, the gesture of putting their paw over the shoulder of another dog is sometimes used to show dominance.
You can enhance the hugging experience for your dog by slowly desensitizing him to it, and tying the hugging experience with positive rewards.
Here are some ways to help your dog enjoy hugging.
November 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm
My two 15 year old Shibas(boy and girl) and what’s been helpful for me when taking them for walks (we stopped going to dog parks years ago where they made scene after scene because of the boys’ dominance issues)is when your about to meet with another dog assert your dominance and tell him to sit down (let him know you mean it) stand where you are between the two dogs line of sight. It seems they arent aggressive when they know that I am there acting as the dominant one to protect them. After 15 years they still look like puppies and get lots of attention, however they better than ever at being shibas!
November 24, 2009 at 8:30 am
Never a dull moment, It feels like it’s one thing after another with my Shiba. I am currently having trouble with my shiba. The problem is that he seems to be having trouble with little big man syndrome. He was kicked out of day care because of his mouthy nature and I tried to keep socializing him at a dog park, but he has been been starting fights there as well. He growls and shows his teeth…I haven’t seen him bite any other dogs yet, but he does alot of snapping at other dogs. What do I do?…I have tried some of the dog whisperers tactics but they don’t seem to be working with him…HE IS RELENTLESS…His manners with people also leave something to be desired…he doesn’t bite people, but it seems that no matter how much exercise he gets…he is still an endless supply of energy. he goes for long walks and he walks on a treadmill several times a day but he is still always bouncing around…PLEASE HELP!…I want desparately to fulfill his needs but he just seems to be soo hyper all the time….I would very much appreciate some new ideas…One of the great things about him though is that he is extremely mentally challenging and I can’t imagine life without him…and no matter how obnoxious he is I can’t be mad at him. He is the most adorable dog, but he is driving me nuts.
November 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm
What you describe sounds eerily familiar
He was kicked out of day care because of his mouthy nature and I tried to keep socializing him at a dog park, but he has been been starting fights there as well.
I have tried putting my Shiba in 3 different daycares, and only after doing research on them and checking each of them out. He didn’t like any of them. Spent the whole time whining, and wanting to play too rough. Ultimately, I think the whole experience was just very frustrating for him as well as for the people at the daycare – lol.
I have also tried enclosed dog-parks – which I do not do anymore because the environment is too unstructured for an excitable Shiba. He started practicing bad behaviors and also became a lot more mouthy.
What worked best for my Shiba in his younger days was to have nice neighborhood dogs come over for visits and do one on one playgroups that I supervised. One of my neighbors had a lovely dog that she found abandoned on the road. Her dog – Kai – is extremely social and friendly. Kai was best friends with my Shiba. Whenever we walked by her house, my Shiba would sit by the gate and wait for Kai to come out and play
I also took him to my nearby SPCA to play with social dogs there – one on one.
Another thing you could try is to find a dog walker that does group dog walks at hiking parks (not enclosed parks). My Shiba did that for a while – but the walker wanted to start using a choke chain on him – so it didn’t work out in the end. Only use a dog walker with a lot of experience. It is better if the walker is also a trainer or linked to a trainer. Otherwise – he/she will not be able to handle a Shiba.
I have tried some of the dog whisperers tactics but they don’t seem to be working with him…HE IS RELENTLESS
Some of Cesar Millan’s techniques worked well on my Shiba but some of them made things a lot worse. In particular, what Cesar says about energy and being calm and assertive is very true and absolutely necessary for a Shiba. My Shiba is extremely sensitive to my energy so I always stay calm with him.
Techniques that didn’t work out include alpha rolls and leash jerks. Those made things a lot worse for my Shiba. http://shibashake.com/dog/3-dog-training-techniques
Here are some things that helped when my Shiba was younger and also very hyper. My Shiba also loves playing the flirt pole and the water hose game.
My Shiba got a lot more calm after over 1 year. Nowadays I just walk him in the morning, and he is good for the rest of the day. Most of the time he is too lazy to even play with my Sibe. She has to really convince him before he will awake from the royal Shiba nap
November 23, 2009 at 3:16 am
Dusty has also started puppy classes and the trainers are all so impressed that after two weeks she knows sit and lay and is also toilet trained. Do have the odd accident but such is life and happily they tend to be round my parents house when she is playing with their black labs
Dusty has recently taken to eating the grass which is so funny she comes in with mud all up her nose. When we first got her she was red and white but as time goes past she is getting more black (dad is black and white) she looks so cute also makes everyone think she is a husky puppy and not a fox which is handy as i was starting to getting some funny looks walking around with a puppy that looked like a fox on a lead lol.
November 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm
lol Brendan. I love your stories of Dusty!
Yeah my Siberian has started eating grass as well because she wants to follow her older brother
The other day while Shiba was poking around in the grass, he caught/found a lizard! It was his first one – he is usually pretty lame about catching anything. The funny thing was, once he caught it he didn’t really know what to do with it.
He just let it go – probably because he was grossed out by it. Can’t get the royal Shiba paws dirty 😀
November 19, 2009 at 11:48 am
Nice website. I’ve had my male Shiba for 7 months now and he is the best puppy I ever had. Loves to lick you, sleep with you, and is very friendly with everyone including other dogs. I’ve done the socialization from day one and put him in the fetal(on the back) position anytime he acts up. I do recommend a puppy training class for new owners. Worked like a charm. He basically learned all the simple commands after 3 weeks! Very smart dogs! I am amazing. btw, the Shiba 500 is the funniest thing ever! lol
November 19, 2009 at 11:50 am
Sorry had to make a correction. He basically learned all the simple commands after 3 weeks! Very smart dogs! I am AMAZED, not amazing =)
November 22, 2009 at 8:17 am
You are also pretty amazing for bringing-up such a well-adjusted Shiba.
Yeah they are so extremely smart. I just wish mine would use his smarts for Good rather than for Chaos
Gracie Joe says
November 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm
My blackand tan female is about 2 years now. At about 18 months a friends girlfriend had her for a day. She taught her sign language in one afternoon.she knows sit,down, and stay at a snap. and even not using it much she remembers it instantantley.
November 4, 2009 at 8:33 am
Well today was the big day and after 8 weeks of reading and thinking about it and waiting we brought home our shiba. she is a red 11 week old and is wonderful. We have already run into the first difficulty which we would welcome advice on. We put her lead on today as we wanted to walk her around the block so she could have a smell and were treated to the shiba scream (ohhh it really did make my blood run cold). is there something we could do to her her get used to the lead? she has been sulking for about an hour and is only now starting to even look at me
November 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Hi Brendan, Congratulations on getting a Shiba! They are a pretty awesome breed that will keep you on your toes all the time.
One thing that helped with my Shiba is to fasten the leash onto the collar, and just let her drag it around. This will help her get comfortable with the feel of leash.
Make sure to supervise so that the leash does not get caught on anything. And only do this with a flat collar.
You can also play the Find-it game with her while she has the leash on. Fasten the leash and bring out some of her favorite treats. Throw one a small distance away and say find-it. Once she gets it, praise her a lot and throw another one and so on. This way you get her moving around and playing something fun with the lead on.
Once she learns to Find-It you can throw in some recalls. Walk a few steps away from her and call her. Praise her a lot for coming to you, treat her, and then do a Find-It, then just keep repeating.
She will quickly get used to the leash and see it as something really positive.
November 5, 2009 at 1:06 am
Thanks for getting back to us so quickly. We had a great night with Dusty. She sat between us and cuddled for about an hour before she wanted to take herself of to bed. My other half was cuffed as she was worried she would not be a dog that wanted to sit with us and cuddle. As for the leash thing, we have put it on her (we got a look but no scream which was good as it was 6.15am) and have started to play games with her and see seems ok. We will keep doing this for a few days before we try and take her out on it.
I am so amazed at how much a Shiba can say to you with just a look, unlike any dog I have ever had before. Dusty is of the mind that she is royalty that’s for sure.
November 5, 2009 at 8:30 pm
I am so amazed at how much a Shiba can say to you with just a look, unlike any dog I have ever had before.
lol – my Shiba is especially communicative when he wants something from me or when he is unhappy about something. It is tough to resist him when he is doing his best begging positions He is a very good moocher.
But I know what you mean. I was just commenting on another page that Shibas have a large repertoire of looks, poses, and moves. Many of them are very funny and entertaining. That is how a Shiba earns his/her room and board
Glad to hear that Dusty is settling in so well. Sephy usually just gives me the “talk to the butt” move.
Let me know how the walks go. Sounds like she will be fine now – and will be pulling you around in no time 😀
November 9, 2009 at 12:34 am
WOW it has been a long weekend.
After the first night when she slept really well we had a copy where she cry/howled from 11pm till 5am. After going to the lady living next door with some flowers and explaining that it might be a noisy time for a few nights, we decided to just let her cry it out. We gave her a radio playing quietly next to her cage and a couple of toys as well as a fluffy teddy with a clock in it.
It’s now been 3 nights and she still cries for 30mins when first put to bed and a couple of time during the night but we can live with that just because she is such a ball of excitement during the day.
She loves to sit between us on the sofa and nap. She is just starting to show some interest in chewing the tables so having to watch her like a hawk.
We have taken her to meet the mother in laws dog (cocker span) and they get on great gun (dusty is clearly the boss and play is on her terms)
Hope all are well.
November 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm
After the first night when she slept really well we had a copy where she cry/howled from 11pm till 5am.
lol – I remember those nights! You have some really good advice – 1. Be a good neighbor! 2. Leave a radio playing. 3. Soft teddy with calming ticking sound.
One thing that really helped with my Shiba is to put his crate in the bedroom. He is a lot more calm when he can keep an eye on his people I think
How goes the walking?
November 12, 2009 at 4:07 am
well the nights she is now better at going to sleep but still has a cry every couple of hours and then is so excited when you go and see her in the morning. Dusty will now walk around the block but does get worried when cars go past. She really is hard work but so rewarding.
Love her to bits and its only been a week lol.
just out of interest. people here feed their shiba on wet or dry food. we tried dry but she was not so keen so moved on to some natural wet food (meat fit or human consumption) so it i very get snowed in we can all share the chicken, rice and veg packs 😉
November 15, 2009 at 8:43 am
If i very get snowed in we can all share the chicken, rice and veg packs
LOL! Sounds yummy! One time CNBC was highlighting the dog food industry and they had the Wellness CEO come on for an interview. He ate his own dog food during the interview – always remembered that! He offered it to the news anchor but was declined 😀
As for food I give both my dogs Innova EVO kibble mixed with some boiled chicken or cheese. I like using kibble because I can use them with the interactive toys. Both of them can get a bit picky about the kibble, but they will work for it and eat it when they are hungry.
They will always mooch for the good stuff, but they know that they have to finish the kibble before they get more of the good stuff
November 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm
hello, Ive been enjoying reading all the questions and answers here as it has helped me a lot with understanding what I am getting myself into getting a new Shiba puppy. I have a question that I have not seen answered yet. I am getting a male puppy and was trying to decide whether to have him neutered or not. What are the differences in personality with a male that is not neutered compared to one that is. Normally I have had all my pets neutered but with this one I was thinking of possibly using him as a stud. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I get the feeling I will be visiting here a LOT and asking for LOTS of advice. Thank!!
November 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm
What are the differences in personality with a male that is not neutered compared to one that is.
Hi Kathy, I don’t breed dogs so I don’t have first hand experience with this. From what I have read and heard from breeders, unfixed dogs can be more dominant and can trigger aggression in other fixed dogs. They also tend to want to roam more, especially if there are unfixed females around.
My neutered Shiba is already enough of a challenge for me
One thing you can do is call up the accredited Shiba breeders near you and ask them for advice. My Shiba breeder was just starting out when I got Sephy from her, and what she did was attach herself to a more established breeder so that she could get help on breeding and showing her dogs.
I contacted many of the Shiba breeders around my area when I was having troubles with Sephy and they were very helpful and supportive. I even visited a few of them and got to see how they set up their kennels.
November 3, 2009 at 3:51 am
yeah i have a shiba who is almost 2 years old and he always gives me the shiba look i caught him eating my one thousand doller phone i would normally be so pissed he looked at me with those eyes i couldn’t resist them so i gave him a hug and praised him LOL bad thing to do i know but his adorable
November 4, 2009 at 8:06 pm
The Shiba is strong in the Force. Beware Darth Shiba! 😀
Cayla Laughman says
October 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Hi. We have a female Siberian Husky and are thinking about getting a male Shiba Inu. Do you think they would be ok together? Our female is very much ‘The Boss’ (or so she thinks she is) when it comes to other dogs & I’m not sure how she’d like a little male puppy running around.
November 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm
Hi Cayla, It can be difficult to tell how dogs will get along. When I got Shania (my Siberian) I got her for a trial period of 2 weeks. I wanted to use that time to see if my Shiba got along well with her, and whether we were the right home for her.
It turned out really well.
Before I got her, I looked into adopting a dog, and brought my Shiba to meet several rescue Siberians. That didn’t go as well because my Shiba tended to spook the rescue dogs and they got aggressive with him.
It is best to meet the dogs first, or bring the dog/puppy home for a trial period. Then evaluate if getting a new dog will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the family.
October 20, 2009 at 8:04 am
I need some more advice…My now 7 month old shiba male will be getting neutered this friday. Do you have any advice about care after being neutered? I know that I really can’t baby him too much, I don’t want to make him insecure, but some advice would be good. I have never had a dog neutered before so I don’t know what to expect. Thank you Again
October 20, 2009 at 9:19 am
Hi Meg, The hardest part of the neutering will be to keep your active Shiba fairly sedate for at least 7-10 days. No jumping or running around.
Mine totally hated the e-collar and tried getting out of it. He half succeeded one time, and got minor cuts on his lip as a result.
Some things that helped – 1. First day he will be pretty out of it – so I just left mine alone. 2. Frozen Kongs to keep Shiba somewhat entertained. I held it for him because of the e-collar. 3. Make sure the e-collar is on properly. Initially, they only put his collar through 2 of the e-collar tabs and that was how my Shiba half got it off. 4. E-collar was a must for my Shiba because as soon as it goes off, he was trying to get at his stitches. 5. Make sure you don’t give Shiba too much free reign – no Shiba running during this time. I had a long drag lead on mine, and had him in the kitchen with a baby door when I could not supervise. If he still wants to run and jump, you could also consider using a tie-down. 6. Figure out new ways to challenge Shiba mentally – he will have a lot of pent up energy because he can’t do his usual physical things. Put cheese in rubber toys to get him interested in chewing, etc. 7. I was very happy when the stitches and e-collar came out 😀 Probably happier than my Shiba!
October 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm
hello…I was hoping for some more ideas…my shiba just got neutered on friday and he is in very good spirits…he is doing well at not licking the stitches and he’s even doing well at not doing his little shiba run, but there is a problem…HE IS GETTING INTO EVERYTHING!!!…I think it’s cause he’s bored and i’ve tried to come up with things to keep him mentally challenged…I.E. Kongs w/peanut butter, hiding treats that sniff around and find…I even got him some new toys, but instead he’s stealing things off the coffee table and today he even tried to take my sock right off my foot…PLEASE HELP!!!…I need some ideas on how to keep him mentally engaged…he is used to having a good hour and a half walk every day plus extra exercise so he is going crazy…any and all ideas would be most helpful…thank you very much…GOD I LOVE SHIBA INU’S…never a dull moment.
October 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm
Hi Meg – Hang in there My Shiba drove me CRAZY during this period as well.
Chew toys could keep him occupied for some time – especially if you stick pieces of cheese onto it. Do you have the Nylabone Rhino ball? Sometimes I stick sardines into the holes of the ball and my Shiba really loves that. Here are more food toy ideas –
My Shiba also loves shredding up cardboard. As long as your Shiba does not show an inclination towards eating cardboard, this could be another interesting activity. Just don’t let him eat the cardboard as that could lead to digestive issues.
The e-collar will probably get in the way of some of these activities, so make sure to only give him challenges that he can solve with the e-collar on, or with some help from you.
I am not usually a proponent of using sedatives – but this is a special one time case where limited use of sedatives could be helpful. It is best to talk to your vet about this option.
November 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm
I MADE IT!!! my shiba’s stitches came out this week and he is back to his wonderful little self. However, he picked up the habbit of biting while he was recovering…I need some ideas on how to deal with that…I definately don’t want him biting…I swear it’s one thing after another with my shiba….sometimes I do wish that he could have a lab personality for one day a week so that I could have a break…I still wouldn’t trade him for the world…I must be crazy..anyways…I would really appreciate any advice you might have.
November 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm
YAY Meg!! I was ecstatic when my Shiba’s stitches came off! Hurrah to you and your Shiba 😀
As for the biting what worked best for me are – 1. Redirection – non-mark (ack ack) for the bite and redirect him onto a sanctioned toy. If he redirects, praise him, play with him and maybe put some food on the toy so that he will play with it.
2. Time-out – There will be times when Shiba does not redirect and will keep wanting to mouth on you. If he does not stop after you non-mark him and does not want to redirect, then say time-out in a stern voice, and put him in timeout briefly. Ask him for a command before letting him out of timeout. If he goes back to biting, put him back in timeout.
3. Bite inhibition – Shibas are naturally very mouthy, so bite inhibition is a very useful thing to train them on.
Here are more details on the techniques for puppy biting.
Anna Pavlova says
October 17, 2009 at 3:19 am
I am wishing to bring a Shiba into our family. I have two children 5 & 6, along with 2 male Ragdoll cats…(my husband is getting further down that peking list). 1. Do you think that I would be placing my cats in any danger by adding a Shiba to the family? I think that they are just gorgeous, but I am afraid that this dog may “turn” and bite one. 2.Also, are these dogs ok with being kept in a roon like the laundry to sleep at night. 3.Is a male dog “easier” than a female?
Fingers and toes crossed, that this is workable.
With thanks Anna.
October 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm
Hello Anna, It is great that you are doing so much research before getting a dog. I didn’t do much before getting my Shiba Inu and ended up with a holy terror on my hands
1. Do you think that I would be placing my cats in any danger by adding a Shiba to the family?
How dogs are wrt. cats often depends on their prey drive. Shibas have pretty high prey drives given that they are hunting dogs, so their instinct will be to chase cats and other small animals. You can train a Shiba to live with cats, especially if you train them from young. However, given their higher prey drive, you will need to put time into training and they will not generalize across different cats. You may need to repeat the training for each different cat.
2.Also, are these dogs ok with being kept in a roon like the laundry to sleep at night.
My Shiba really likes being with his people so he likes being in the room with the family at night. That being said, dogs can get used to almost anything. Shibas are extremely stubborn though, so there may be a whole lot of whining and such in the meantime.
3.Is a male dog “easier” than a female?
Based on my conversations with Shiba owners, that certainly seems to be the case. I don’t have a female Shiba, and don’t plan to get one. My male Shiba is challenging enough
Shibas also tend to be aloof and can be mouthy with people. All this is trainable, but they are harder to train and take more time to train because of their stubborn nature.
Your kids may have more fun with a less aloof, and more people oriented dog breed.
Let us know what you decide
October 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm
We have many Shibas and they all have their time in the house alternately. They stay in the house alone for many hours each day and don’t destroy anything. Our first one was in the house when we went to visit a friend for the day. However, a snow storm came up suddenly and we were stuck away from home for 2 days. Upon returning home we expected to find piles and puddles, but, to our surprise (pleasant surprise) there were neither. I must admit she was VERY ready to go outside!!! In our sixteen years of owning Shibas we have only had three that destroyed things and only in their very young ages. We start training early and their mothers teach them, as well.
October 9, 2009 at 9:12 am
In our sixteen years of owning Shibas we have only had three that destroyed things and only in their very young ages.
You must have very good Shiba kung-fu! If there are any good tips that you can share with us, please post them below. I think lots of Shiba owners will be very thankful- including me
October 5, 2009 at 8:29 am
I’ve had my Male Black and Tan shiba for about 1 1/2yrs. He does almost everything that is listed on this page. From knocking stuff of the counters, dressers, and end tables then destroys them. Sometimes my cat even helps him out by knocking stuff off so he can get it. But lately I’ve had a problem I can’t seem to fix. I recently adopted a female pitbull they get along pretty well accept at dinner time. But that isn’t my problem he recently has been going #2 in my bedroom in the same spot almost every time. This is right after I take him for a 20-30 min walk in the morning. It’s like he’s holding it just to spite me. He’s never had this problem until we moved into our new apartment. I don’t know what to do if you could give me any kind of insight I would appreciate it.
Thank You, Lance
October 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm
Hi Lance, It could be that the particular spot has smells from a cat or perhaps a dog from the previous owner of the apartment? Try cleaning out that spot with enzymatic cleaner, that is specially made for pets.
Be consistent with your rules and discipline in the new apartment. Dogs don’t tend to generalize across different locations, so your Shiba may think that the old rules do not apply to the new apartment.
Also sounds like there has been a fair number of big changes for Shiba (new apartment, new dog), and he may be stressed from it. My Shiba really likes routine and structure, and he gets really stressed out whenever there are changes in my schedule or if anything unexpected occurs.
Other things that may help – 1. Start establishing a fixed routine again. 2. Close the door to your bedroom for now and always supervise him when he is in your bedroom so that you can stop him if he looks like he is about to go potty. 3. Exercise him more, for now, so that he has a healthy outlet for his stress. 4. Make sure that your new dog is playing nice with your Shiba. 5. Make sure to apply the same rules and same discipline to both dogs.
October 3, 2009 at 1:24 am
i had my a cream seven mth old shiba for about five mths now and he does about the same thing mentioned on this page. He whines when he cant follow me in some areas of the house and its hilarous. He makes it seem like its the end of the world. he use to rip up my bedsheets and bite anything he can find. However i bought him those rawhide bones an he loves them. Doesnt bother with my covers anymore. But he still pulls on my pillows when he wants to go outside in the morning. Love him to death though even though he destroyed my furniture the first mth i had him. He also that shiba 500 which is hilarous and he also likes to climb stairs and walk on thin ledges like a cat. Lol. By the way your shiba is adorable. =)
October 5, 2009 at 11:55 am
Hi Timber – your Shiba sounds adorable! I especially like the walking on thin ledges bit.
Love him to death though even though he destroyed my furniture the first mth i had him.
lol – yeah, Shibas are not the easiest to love, but we love them anyway
October 2, 2009 at 9:42 am
I have another problem with my 6 month old male shiba inu. Most of the time I think that I overreact to every little thing. I want so bad for him to be happy and healthy. For the last week my shiba inu has been sneezing alot and very hard…everything else about his health seems fine…he is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping normally. He doesn’t seem to be lathargic at all. He is just sneezing soooo much. The vet says that it could be allergies, but nothing in the house has changed since he came home at 8 weeks and I’ve never seen him sneeze like this…do you have any suggestions. By the way I very much appreciate your previous advice and it’s worked wonders for him…Thank you so much for all help
signed, Concerned Shiba Parent
October 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Most of the time I think that I overreact to every little thing.
I am the same way too. When he got his first tick I rushed him to the emergency room – lol. The nurses there thought I was totally nuts
As for the sneezing, my Shiba also does that sometimes. I think it is due to the change in seasons, and different types of pollen getting into the air. If it gets bad, I give him some allergy medicine. Your vet should be able to help you with that.
It doesn’t sound like this is the case here, but I do want to mention that sometimes, sneezing can also be caused by some foreign object in the nose. One time my Shiba got a fox-tail in his nose, and it was really bad. I took him to the emergency room for that because fox-tails are really bad news for dogs. It gets in there and sticks and won’t come out on its own. But when that happened, he was also sneezing out blood. Now I am very careful to keep him away from those things.
Btw. I really like The Well Dog Book by Terri McGinnis. She is a vet and she writes about all the common health issues with dogs, what symptoms to look out for, and when a vet visit is necessary.
Hugs to your Shiba. Please let me know how it goes.
safa alvand says
October 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm
Hello my name is safa and i just baught a shiba inu for my birthday because he was just too cute but i didnt realize what kind of dog he is and how hyper he is i have a 2 year old maltese that i had since he was two months old and the shiba and the maltese nonstop fight but the maltese sits down and the shiba bites alot and hurts my maltese and makes him scream i always have to keep them seperate and i dont want to give away my shiba and im afraid of the shiba getting older and seriously injuring my maltese do you have any advise on what i should do. if you can email me at [snipped e-mail] thank you so much
October 2, 2009 at 11:57 am
To keep yourself safe from spam-emails, it is best not to post your e-mail address in the text of comments. For this reason, I have taken out your email in the post above.
As you have probably read from the article and comments above, Shibas are difficult dogs and usually require a fair amount of time, effort, and patience to train. You need to ask yourself if you truly truly have the time to commit to your Shiba.
If so, I would consider getting a professional trainer. Here are two articles that may also be helpful –
Puppy Obedience Training
Shiba Inu training secrets
If you decide that the Shiba is too much to handle at this time, then now is probably a good time to find a different home for him. He is young, so he is probably most adoptable now, and will be able to find a good alternate home.
September 30, 2009 at 4:57 pm
Females are the alpha of this species, not the males. If there are two pregnant females in the pack, they will fight to the death. I think mine really is a cat in dogs clothing. She’s friendly to every animal. She will swim (while I walk) along the breakwater, gladly. A year ago, she managed to leap from my car window. The window was cracked as usual, but she got some leverage from a blanket up against the door. Broken leg = $4,500 and lesson learned.
October 1, 2009 at 9:02 am
Females are the alpha of this species, not the males.
Isn’t that the case with everything? 😉
And yeah I definitely agree with you that the female Shibas rule. From the breeders I have met, it seems that this is true with other breeds as well. This would be a great poll to have. Thanks!
September 29, 2009 at 6:41 pm
I just got a shiba. She is 6 months old. I am glad to hear all the comments about how active they can be. Thank goodness I like to take walks!! Now, about leash training….any helpful hints. She loves to run ahead and explore, she is interested in EVERYTHING. I don’t want to be one of those people whose dog walks them.
September 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm
The red-light, green-light as well as turn-around techniques both worked very well for me.
red-light, green-light – Every time the leash gets tight, I stop. As soon as the leash is loose again, I start walking again. In the beginning I had to start and stop a lot but after a while my Shiba learned to stop pulling because pulling gets him nowhere.
turn-around – Sometimes, my Shiba will keep pulling and pulling because he is excited about something in front of him. He may even keep pulling and choke himself when we are stopped. When Shiba is too excited, I will turn around and walk back where we came. Once he starts walking nicely again, I turn back and see how he does.
I consistently kept repeating these two techniques and Sephy learned that pulling never gets him in the direction that he wants to go. Once that happens, he stopped pulling.
Initially, I used a harness while walking my Shiba so that he won’t choke himself while pulling.
Here is more on leash training – Leash Training my Shiba Inu
September 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm
my shiba hits each of these characteristics on the nose. She is wild, crazy, and out of control most of the time, while also having a sensitive, sweet, lovable side. once i had her, i knew she’d stick with me for a long time. they are such a hyper energy level breed you wouldn’t believe. i recommend this dog for someone who is also very active and likes to keep running. not someone who doesn’t have the patience.
September 27, 2009 at 7:43 am
I recommend this dog for someone who is also very active and likes to keep running. not someone who doesn’t have the patience.
Great advice. Shibas have to be exercised every day. In addition, they *will* challenge you – more so in the beginning but they will probably do it for their entire life. Patience is key for any dog, but especially for a Shiba
September 21, 2009 at 7:35 am
You talk about Shibas being smart. My Shiba, Jiji, is very good at sneaking out the house…most of the time. If my husband or I leave the door open, even a crack, he will find any chance he can to sneak out. But if my kids open the door and leave it wide open he will just sit inside. The kids are ages 2 & 4 and somehow Jiji knows that they are not responsible enough to shut the door and he won’t leave. He will sit inside with the door wide open and not go anywhere. Too smart.
September 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm
I have some training issues with my shiba…he gets good exercise everyday and I try to give him alot of attention and play with him alot…however, more recently he is whining alot…I will take him outside and then when we come back into the house he will whine within 15minutes of being in the house…any suggestions?
September 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm
Hi Meg, Yeah, don’t give in to the whining. Shibas will often use that to get what they want. Is your Shiba already potty trained? If so, just ignore the whining and only let him out when the whining stops. Don’t give him anything when he is whining, as that will only reinforce that behavior.
As soon as he stops whining, wait a short bit more for some quiet, mark him (good boy), then let him out. Then, slowly increase the quiet time on subsequent sessions. You can also ask for an obedience command before you let him out. My Shiba always has to sit before I open the door for him.
You have to try and really ignore him though – which means no giving in, and no feeling bad, irritated, stressed, etc. Shibas are very sensitive to human energy, and as long as they get a reaction from you, even just an internal reaction, they will keep going.
You can also try a time-out, but I find that ignoring is usually sufficient with my Shiba.
Also, the NILIF program is a very good idea for Shibas. Don’t do anything for Shiba unless he does something for you first – he sits before he goes out, he lies down before he gets toys, etc.
Of course, if Shiba is sick, then you want to let him out etc. whenever he needs to.
September 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm
Thank you very much, I tried what you said and it worked in one day. I have another question…when I first brought my shiba home I made the mistake of leaving his food out for him all the time…Now I am trying to get him on a schedule but nothing I’ve tried has worked he still won’t eat very much…do you have any suggestions on an eating routine…He is a six month old shiba
September 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm
Glad to hear that it worked out. As for the food, just do the same thing. Shibas can get extremely picky about their food if you let them. I give Sephy his food on my schedule, and I also make him work for it by using interactive food toys. If he doesn’t want to eat it, that is fine. I take it away after a bit. At the next scheduled time, I try again. Sephy will eat when he is hungry.
Sometimes my Shiba won’t eat for a whole day, then the next day he makes up for it. To get my Shiba to work for me, and do grooming tasks, I usually use high priority food.
September 17, 2009 at 9:42 am
I have to agree with you on almost your entire website. But i think Shiba’s can be home all day and not destroy your house if you manage them right. I have a 3 year old male named Omi and he stays home Monday-Friday from 7am- 5pm with out destroying my house, the kids toys or misbehaving. After work the kids and I come home and we either take him on a 3-5 mile walk or we play “Shiba Soccer” in the backyard to help him get rid of the pent up Shiba Crazy Energy that builds all day while we are gone. It took about 6 months to be able to leave him uncrated during the day, but he does great! By the time we get home he has emptied his bucket of toys and hidden them all over the house and we spend half the night finding his toys and putting them back in his toy box so he can hide them again the next day.
On the puddles, Omi will literally stop walking and wait for me to carry him over the puddles. Getting his feet wet is not an option.
September 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm
But i think Shiba’s can be home all day and not destroy your house if you manage them right.
I think you are right – but the key words are “if you manage them right” As you describe, they still require a lot of exercise, play time, and attention. 3-5 mile walk and Shiba Soccer sound great! Lucky Shiba!
Love the toy hide-and-seek. My Shiba does that too, but only on toys that he ‘thinks’ he is not supposed to have. He likes going for the toys on shelves and such. Or he will try to open the closed toy-box. Sometimes I will challenge him by putting toys in hard to get places – lol.
September 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm
You couldn’t be more right about shibas! My Salem is a cream male that is such a goofball. He puts his head on the ground with his butt in the air and digs sideways. He hates water but loves to play in the rain and has a ball in the mud. I’d love to get another but our pug is content being the baby in the family! lol
September 8, 2009 at 8:18 am
He puts his head on the ground with his butt in the air and digs sideways.
LOL! That sounds like a Shiba! Mine does the sideways walk thing when I scratch him on his hind legs. Shibas really are clowns. They are always coming up with new stand-up routines.
He hates water but loves to play in the rain and has a ball in the mud.
That is exactly like my Shiba – lol. I should really include this in the article. My Shiba walks to avoid puddles of water on the sidewalk, but likes playing in the mud pools at the park 😀
Shibas really make life interesting …
September 4, 2009 at 11:49 am
i am looking at a shiba at a rescue and it was kinda hyper, in its own world, definatly her personality described evrything u said, but she has been in there for a month and is about 1-2 yrs old, is a stray. do u think she has hope? for training? thanks!
September 5, 2009 at 9:19 am
Thanks for dropping by JNew, and it is really great that you are considering adopting a dog.
All healthy dogs can be retrained and managed. Some dogs however will take more time, and patience. Shibas tend to be more difficult to train because they are naturally stubborn and dominant.
It all depends on what you want from a dog, how much time you have, and how much patience you have Shibas will never be totally obedient, but if properly trained and managed, they can be a lot of fun and a great joy to live with.
Barry Beaver says
September 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm
I am glad to hear all of your comments about the sheba but I feel a little left out. All of your comments are about he does this or he does that.I have a Female Black And tan that is 18 months old and I have seen very few pictures of a female or a black and tan.Don’t mean to be without knowledge but is my female black and tan rare or not as well known.She has all the perfect markings.
September 5, 2009 at 9:08 am
Hello Barry, Congratulations on getting your black and tan Shiba. There are probably not as many of them around as the reds, but I have also seen a fair number of them around. Cream colored Shibas are probably the most rare.
I only have a red Shiba so he is my freely available photographic subject Would love to see your Shiba! Send us a link to some of her pictures.
Ana Brito says
September 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm
I posted a video of my shiba playing with his dad on you tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgmQ8Xi10l0
September 2, 2009 at 8:53 am
Hahaha – That is an awesome video. That pouncing play move is so Shiba! Do you have 5 Shibas? You are very brave 😀
August 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm
So sad, we were about to adopt one but then we hit the bad of the personality. I’m glad to know that this is not the dog for me, despite how adorable he was.
August 25, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Hello Koritai, It is good of you to do your research first. If more people did this, there would be much fewer dogs that need to be rescued or surrendered.
Good luck in your dog search and 2 paws up to you for choosing to adopt a dog in need.
James Hayslip says
August 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm
I loved reading all the insights and stories. We have two Shibas (they really should come in pairs), Tyler and Tasha. We realized Tyler was getting lonely as he approached two so I told him I would find a little girl named Tasha for him and we did. They are the best of friends, but Tasha rules, she is the Queen of Shiba. Ours defy alot of the negative aspects of Shibas, they are very well behaved. They step aside and sit while on our walks if we encounter oncoming walkers, with or without dogs. When you see two Shibas doing the Shiba 500 it is a hoot. Tyler “munches” on all sorts of soft things, including me when he wants to wake me, but not Tasha. He likes to tuck us in at night and will pull the blankets back. They have a big back yard to run, hunt and play in and don’t try to escape now that they are all grown up. I’m a photographer and they are my main models for cards, posters, ads and such. They are camera hams. I love them more than any other dog I’ve ever had. They go practically everywhere with me (they love going into the Lowe’s store).
August 21, 2009 at 9:03 am
Hahaha – you know most people that I talk to with multiple dogs, it is usually a female that rules the pack. I think it is the same with people as well. 😉
“Ours defy alot of the negative aspects of Shibas, they are very well behaved”
Heh – want to exchange Shibas for a few months? Btw. where did you get your Shibas from? It would be great to get breeder names from all the people with good temperamented Shibas. Then we can create a list that people can go to.
“I’m a photographer and they are my main models for cards, posters, ads and such.”
That is awesome. Sounds like a great life that you have with your Shibas. Will definitely check FaceBook!
August 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm
hey there! I was wondering if your dog ever “bites sheets”? We think he does it to clean his teeth but it’s kinda gross and we don’t know how to make him stop! He also will bite the edge of pillows- really not in an aggressive or playful way- more like just a very strange habit. Ever heard of this?
August 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm
Yeah my Shiba is definitely into biting all kinds of soft bedding. He used to have several soft beds, but he would not stop attacking them. It is a lot better with the durable elevated beds we got him.
As for pillows, sheets, etc. – we have a no furniture rule in the house so he is not allowed on those things. If he gets on furniture, he goes straight to time-out. Nowadays he just tries to crawl under the bed – lol.
I get my Shiba Inu a lot of chew toys for his chewing and teeth cleaning pleasure, but in return he is not allowed to chew on sheets, blankets, pillows, etc.
The time-out works really well for my Shiba – Shiba Time-Out
Let me know how it goes
July 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm
Hello. My name is Ana and I´m from Brazil!! I googled shiba and checked your website which by the way describes very well our shiba puppy. We´ve had him for only a week and he´s already showed us he´s such a drama queen and I think sometimes our neighbors might think we´re sacrificing the poor puppy! He´s so funny. We´re so in love with him!!! Anyway… thanks for the tips… if you have more about the breed please send it to my email address!!!
July 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm
Hello Ana, very nice to meet you.
Re drama queen – yeah Shibas are really funny that way. When mine comes home from the vet he just goes off to the backyard and howls to the moon – as if to say – “Look! Life is so unfair!” – LOL. I have tried desensitizing him to handling and such but it only goes so far with a Shiba …
I would love to visit Brazil someday. When I do, I’ll come visit your Shiba What is his name btw?
July 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm
Hi there!!! Our puppy´s name is Kenzo!! If you come to Brazil you´re more than welcome to check out our baby!!! Last night Kenzo was all crazy for about 10 to 15 minutes, he´d chase his tale nonstop…and then he´d put his ears back and run like a crazy dog sliding through the kitchen! Does yours do that too??We´ve been potty training him for a week now… he seems to have learned exactly where we want him to go… but he seems to insist going potty on the second floor of our house… anyway, we lock him and he will “cry” and whine a lot and then he´ll do the right thing!!! I will upload a few pics of him on myspace… check it out!!! c´ya
July 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm
Lol Ana – Yeah my Shiba used to do that crazy running around. It is so common among Shibas that many people call it the Shiba 500. If you do a search on “Shiba 500” you will see many humorous stories about it
“I will upload a few pics of him on myspace… check it out!!!”
Thanks for sharing your pictures of Kenzo. He is a majorly handsome Shiba! Love all those pictures with him under the blanket. I never really gave my Shiba any blankets because he would just shred them all up – lol.
Drop me a note if you load more pictures
July 27, 2009 at 7:21 am
i have a 15-month old shiba. every time i get mad at him i remind him that he’s lucky he’s beautiful, because it’s the only thing keeping him around! i also have a beagle, their interaction is priceless.
July 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm
LOL! I do the same thing with mine. I think he knows it too because he will give me that deep look – then not 2 minutes later he is off to some mischief again
How are beagles wrt. temperament compared to the Shiba? I really like the look of beagles as well.
July 21, 2009 at 9:31 pm
Your Shiba Inu is so cute! I want to get one too!
June 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm
We get a lot of ‘Wow, she looks like a fox’ comments. The best one I heard was from a little girl, who pointed and said, ‘Hey Mommy, it’s a cat-dog!’ LOL!
June 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm
Linda! So glad to see you. How are you? How is Mochi?
lol cat-dog. Interesting how kids always notice these things that we adults often miss
June 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Mochi and I are doing well. Thank you for asking. How are you doing?
Yea…I always felt shiba inu is a mix of cat, dog, and fox. 😛
June 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm
We are all doing well. The dogs are really dead during the day when it is hot, but they rally their strength when the temperature drops
So I actually have some free time! lol
March 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm
Ha ha…I think my Shiba is a mix of all the above (at least 1, 2, and 4)! But ultimately, consistent exercise keeps him tame. 1 week ago he had his ‘alteration’ surgery. That messed up the exercise patterns we have established for him and he started ‘acting out.’ He was in too much pain to exercise but still mobile enough to create terror around the house. But, he’s now back on track and is back to himself.
I do find that physical dominance works with Mossi. But, you put it well in an earlier commentary that you need to be very in tune with your dog to make it work.
March 9, 2009 at 6:24 pm
lol – I *know* what you mean. I was trying to think of all sorts of ways to keep Sephy occupied after his neutering. We did a lot of Kongs, and got him all kinds of chew toys, but he had so much pent him energy it was difficult to keep him from his “bat out of hell” antics. I was so afraid that he would tear his stitches. Everyone was very happy when it was all over with And I definitely agree 100% that a busy Shiba is a good Shiba!
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