Are they truly independent? and what does independence mean here?
According to Dictionary.com there are 17 different meanings to ‘independent’. Many of them describe the Shiba Inu well, especially the definitions pertaining to independent thought and action.
Indeed Shiba Inus are not easily influenced or controlled by others – they have a mind of their own and that is why Shiba Inus can be challenging to train and to share your life with.
However, the other key definition of independence has to do with reliance – i.e. whether someone relies on another for their existence, care, and support.
Clearly by this definition, all dogs are somewhat reliant on us and never totally independent. However, I would argue that Shiba Inus are even more reliant on us than many other dog breeds.
In particular –
- Shiba Inus are indoor dogs. My Shiba goes outside sometimes but he prefers being inside the house most of the time, and in the general vicinity of his humans.
- Shiba Inus need to have their people around. If you leave them alone for too long they will become destructive and/or escape.
- Shiba Inus like engaging in activities with others. This is probably true of all dogs because they are pack animals, however, some dog breeds are more ‘independent’ than others.
For example, my Siberian Husky will go hunting and exploring in the backyard on her own. She is good at entertaining herself and always manages to find something interesting to do.
My Shiba Inu on the other hand will only sleep when he is by himself. For any other activity, including working on food toys, playing in the backyard, or playing with toys, he will wait until someone else is there to do the activity together with him.
Are Shiba Inus truly independent?
Not in terms of self-reliance.
If you must be away at work or somewhere else for most of the day, it is best not to get a Shiba Inu. They may be independent when it comes to following commands, but they are extremely reliant on their people.
Owning a Shiba Inu takes a lot of time and patience. Only consider getting a Shiba Inu if you have a lot of time available to spend with your new Shiba Inu puppy – to train him, to play with him, to walk him, and to bond with him – EVERY DAY.