Not for Everyone
Shiba Inu owners often say, "I love these dogs but they are not for everyone ." One couple put it this way (when describing their Shiba pup), "She's bad to the bone, and we love it!" Why do people say things like this? Because Shiba Inu dogs have a wild side to them. They can be real buggers, especially when they are young. They are not a dog for the faint-hearted.
Shiba Inu's are sometimes called "little wolves". They are certainly not as aggressive as wolves, but they are similar in some ways. What follows is a list of behaviors that wolves exhibit when living in captivity. Note that this isn't a description of what a typical Shiba Inu is like. It's a worst case scenario. There is a great genetic diversity in the Shiba Inu population and most of the dogs have good temperaments. But it's worth noting problems that can occur.
Disobedience. Shiba Inu's are cat-like in their response to training. While they're perfectly capable of learning commands, they can't be counted on to obey them. They often turn a deaf ear to the "come" command. Thus, they are unreliable off leash. They need a fenced yard.
Aggressiveness to other dogs . Some Shiba Inu's consider a wide area as their territory and try to scare off other dogs (same-sex dogs). Females are more prone to act this way than males.
Suspicion of Strangers . When you go for a walk, they may bark at strangers that approach you. They may shy away from petting.
Possessiveness . When they have a bone or a shoe, they may bite if you try to take it away. Again, females are more likely to be possessive aggressive than males.
Shyness . Shiba Inu's sometimes get scared of things that most other dogs take in stride. Umbrellas, people wearing backpacks, overhead ceiling fans, or who-knows-what can scare some Shiba Inu's.
Need for Activity. If not given activity and mental stimulation, they get bored and dig holes in your yard or do other bad things. Be prepared to spend quite a bit of time, interacting with the dog.
Socialization and training are very important with Shiba Inu's. If the above problems arise, they can usually be corrected with proper training. But it takes time and patience. Firm but gentle handling. Not everyone can do this.
But if you are a dog lover and want more , or if you are not a dog lover but want to become one, this breed could be for you. Shiba Inu's have a way of making all the work worthwhile. They are fascinating. Very real dogs. So real that they are unreal.
Good with Kids? After reading this section, people ask, "If Shiba Inu's are little wolves, can they be trusted with kids?" The simple answer is "If they are raised with kids, they're good with kids." Once bonded, Shiba Inu's are more reliable than almost any other breed. And very sociable to all family members. But dogs introduced to kids only after they are adults may have difficulty adjusting to kids.
Good with Cats? The same rule applies to cats. If Shiba Inu's are raised with cats, they're good with cats. They are actually cat-like themselves. They go kooky when they smell catnip, for instance.
Shiba Reviews. Here are interesting links for anyone considering a Shiba Inu.
Shiba Review. Though she has never owned a Shiba Inu, dog writer Michele Welton seems to know "What's good about 'em? What's bad about 'em?"
So you want a Shiba Inu . Bravewolf gives you her opinions and rants.
Purchase Agreement. This agreement is required of every potential Shiba Inu buyer.
I agree to a total life commitment--for better or worse, 'til death. No divorce allowed.
I understand that I will not own the Shiba Inu. He or she will own me.
Though the Shiba Inu may be different from any other dog I have ever known, I agree to respect and love him or her.
I agree to have more fun and enjoyment than I ever had before.
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