Shiba Inu is a breed of hunting dog originating in Japan. The small-to-medium-size breed is the smallest of the six original Spitz-type breeds native to Japan. This canine tends to be more free-spirited, independent, and stubborn. This is what makes it a challenge. How to train a Shiba Inu?
Training a Shiba Inu is not easy as training Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, or some other dog that wants to please its owner. Shiba is less hardwired for life as a domestic pet, so you have to invest time and effort in socialization and dog training sessions.
Yes, Shibas will interact with their dog owner. But it will be on their own terms. These puppies want to feel safe and comfortable, and only then they will interact. Shiba Inu dog training takes patience, kindness, a lot of positive reinforcement, effort, and willingness to fail over and over again.
Your dog will not pick up things on the first try.
Shiba Inu Personality Traits
The best way to explain how to train a Shiba Inu is to look at the canine’s personality traits. This will give you an overview of how your dog reacts and behaves in certain situations. If you are a prospective Shiba owner, you have to understand your future dog’s personality first.
The first thing any trainer or behavioral expert will tell you about a Shiba Inu puppy is that these dogs are independent. They have an independent nature and prefer to make their own decisions. This is not a dog that will blindly follow your commands like a German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever.
Remember, it is in their instinct to behave like hunting dogs. These independent dogs are also naturally alert and have a strong instinct to protect their home and people. They will often bark to alert you of any unusual activity.
Do not let its size fool you. The Shiba Inu breed is a confident one. This makes them great participants in agility training and obedience competitions. But that is once you train your Shiba puppy. With proper training, a Shiba Inu dog will excel in obedience competitions.
Stubbornness and independence go hand in hand. These highly independent dogs are also stubborn at times, making the training session that much more challenging. Sometimes, this puppy will refuse to do what you tell it. You have to be patient and persistent with your commands.
Despite their independent nature, Shiba Inus are quite affectionate with their family. They are loyal to their owners and enjoy spending time with their family. While they will seek something outside at one moment, they will curl up to their owner the next one.
Is Shiba Inu Easy To Train?
When it comes to the easiest dogs to train, we have to say, Shibas are not on that list. Instead, they are among the most difficult and challenging breeds in the world. According to The American Kennel Club history, they are a dog breed originating from Japan.
Shibas are part of the Spitz family of dogs that were used for sledding, hunting, and herding. Some of their “relatives” are Huskies and American Eskimo Dogs.
When you get a Shiba Inu for the first time, you will instantly notice how big of a challenge they are. Some of their “favorite” activities include running like crazy, biting, chewing, leash biting, jumping, and more.
In the first few months, you will be desperate to get your dog under control. But the fact of the matter is there is no miracle cure for how to train a Shiba Inu. The key to successful Shiba Inu dog raining is extreme patience and finding humor in the challenge and Shiba’s antics.
Remember, your new Shiba Inu puppy will never be a Lassie, the perfect dog we know from the movies. But if you want a dog with a big personality, this sassy puppy will do just fine.
What Are Some Challenges When Training A Shiba Inu Dog?
We discussed some personality traits that will make your dog training session challenging. But let’s talk about some of the particular challenging situations.
They Can Display Dominance
Shibas are pack dogs, who are not fully domesticated like a German Shepherd, for example. That means they have retained some of the dominant behavior. They do not mix well with other animals, and will often try to dominate their dog owner.
If you are a Shiba Inu owner, make sure to set boundaries and rules. Socialization at a young age will also help.
They Need A Lot Of Stimulation
You might not find Shiba Inus on the list of the smartest dog breeds. But this energetic breed is playful and needs plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation. If you do not provide enough of it, it might lead to behavioral problems like digging, chewing, and so on. Boredom is a big problem with Shiba Inus.
If you want to keep your dog outside, be ready to Shiba-proof it. These canines are fast and can dig under fences. They can easily dig under or leap over yard fences. So, invest in some security measures.
How To Train A Shiba Inu?
Not let’s talk about Shiba training. First and foremost, we have to note the importance of starting training early on. Like many dogs, Shibas benefit from the positive reinforcement method. It is a simple method where you reward good behavior. And the more you reward it, the more your dog displays it.
The first thing you need to do is find out what drives and motivates your puppy. In most cases, Shiba Inus are food-driven. In some rare cases, they prefer toys and games over dog food during their training. Now, here are some methods to implement during your Shiba Inu training.
Most dog trainers will tell you, the best way to cope with bad behavior and mischief from your Shiba is passive resistance. Because your canine gets bored easily, it doesn’t want to be ignored. Yes, Shibas enjoy their freedom, but they also want to stay close to their human pack.
You can control its undesirable behavior by using your attention as reinforcement. Do not try to stop your Shiba from doing something with physical punishment. It might backfire.
Engage In A Mental Competition
As we said before Shibas need plenty of mental stimulation. The trick to training a well-mannered Shiba puppy is to engage in mental competition rather than physical one.
Here is a simple trick you can use. When you want to take your dog on a walk, pick up his lead and call him. If he doesn’t come, count to five, and then go about your business.
Your dog will then probably whine and try to beg you to take him out. Do not fall for it. Take him out on your next break. This will quickly teach your puppy that going out on a walk happens on your terms, not his.
Set Up Your Dog For Success
We talked previously about positive reinforcement. But that is only part of the equation. If your dog doesn’t succeed, it will get depressed, bored, and quit training. So, make sure you give complex commands gradually.
If you set up your dog for success and provide constant reinforcement, he will remain interested in doing what you want.
Work On The Guarding Instincts
As we said before, Shibas are known as protectors. That can often result in food aggression or resource guarding. Practice exchanging objects. It will teach your Shiba puppy that giving up something means you get something better.
Never use physical force to grab a toy away. It will make your dog even more possessive of its objects.
Be Careful With Socialization
We said before that socialization is vital for your Shiba’s success. But be careful with that, especially with other dogs. Shibas have an extreme play style. This is not something many other dogs like.
Shibas like wrestling and rough play. That can overwhelm smaller dogs. Choose the playmates for your Shiba Inu carefully.
Tips For Successful Training
Let’s finish off the article about how to train a Shiba Inu dog with some additional tips. We hope you can utilize these methods and tricks to have a well-mannered puppy that displays good behavior.
- Enforce rules as early as possible and prevent your Shiba from developing bad habits
- Be consistent with your commands, be it hand cues or verbal cues
- Take your dog for a walk before a training session to get plenty of exercises and burn off excess energy
- Reward each and every positive behavior with treats
- Start potty training as early as possible, and use walks as reinforcement for positive behavior
- Keep the training sessions short and frequent, 10 to 15 minutes is more effective than an hour session
- Make it fun, training should be fun for you and your puppy
- Remember, Shibas do not need you to control them. Befriend your Shiba, do not bully it