How To Understand The Shiba Inu Temperament
The Little Dog with a Gigantic Personality
What a complex, yet delightful dog. This breed that grows in popularity by leaps and bounds, overflows with personality. Much of this personality is positive, yet a clear understanding of the complex Shiba Inu temperament will go a long way towards ensuring a successful relationship with your canine BFF.
Here you will discover, understand and learn how to manage the perplexing temperament of the Shiba Inu.
What Have I Got Myself Into?
Learning To Understand The Shiba Inu Temperament Is Challenging
You thought you had researched well and I'm certain you did. You undoubtedly read up on the breed, their personality, the long history of the Shiba Inu. Perhaps you visited a breeder, and discovered all the enduring qualities this enchanting dog brings to the table.
You fell forever in love and brought your little angel home.
Now that you have had your canine BFF for a period of time, the honeymoon just might be wearing off a bit.
Or maybe a lot. You may have already discovered your enchanting angel is extremely complex. In fact so complex you are wondering if you adopted a dog.... or a cat. Or wait....maybe a long lost relative of Houdini. Perhaps when your Shiba stares at you after some misdeed, you wonder if there could be a connection between your Shiba to a rebellious teenager.
Yes adopting a Shiba Inu and then realizing maybe you didn't adopt a dog after all can be quite unsettling. You are left wondering: "What exactly have I got myself into?"
Look Deep Into My Eyes
Have You Entered The Shiba Zone Yet??
The Shiba Zone, while not anything official, can apply to many different scenarios, however I think virtually all Shiba parents would agree that they have experienced a moment with their Shiba that they would easily coin the phrase "Shiba Zone."
The Shiba Zone and it's myriad of scenarios are endless, the common thread? They leave you wondering if you will ever understand the Shiba Inu temperament.
Here are a few examples of some very frustrating moments that I have experienced first hand.
When you give a simple command and your Shiba looks at you as if to say: "Surely you must be talking to another dog..."
Your Shiba slips out the front door and trots off never looking back as if you never existed. Attempts to return your Shiba safely home are met with a look that labels you a complete stranger while slipping deftly away again and again, always staying just out of your reach.
When you get the snooty stare, head turning away and your beloved Shiba looks past or even worse right through you...as if you no longer exist.
You tirelessly attempt to train your Shiba dog to fetch; only to have your Shiba watch the ball and give you "The Look." You know, the one that says: "Aren't you going to get that?"
I learned the hard way when my Shiba Inu was a puppy. You don't have to with a good reference guide to help you along the way.
The Shiba 500
You Haven't Lived Until You Have Experienced This...
A common term known among Shiba parents. I understand the route varies, but it usually plays out very similar from Shiba to Shiba. It usually goes something like this:
Shiba flying through the door and leaping onto the sofa.
Frantically runs back and forth across the sofa about four times, leaps off the sofa and...
Runs around the dining room table approximately three times then....
Runs up the stairs, through a couple of bedrooms, leaping onto a bed then off a bed and dashing off to the next bedroom to repeat the bed leaping, comes flying down the stairs only to.....
Dash across the sofa once more and then a little slower around the dining room table for a Shiba 500 victory lap.....
This usually ends with a little skip before whoever might be watching. Unfortunately if the person who is presented with the skip reacts in any way, the race is on again. It's better to just kind of nod a little or maybe raise your eyebrows.
Of course this version of the 500 is my Shiba, Tess, who is only 16 years old. We hope she might slow down one day...you know, when she gets a little older.
See The Shiba 500 For Yourself - Just A Little Taste Of Living With A Shiba Inu
Unable to discover that perfect video to demonstrate the ideal Shiba 500, I brought you a variety to view. Keep in mind, seeing a video and experiencing this in "real life" doesn't begin to compare!
So Why Do They Act Like That?
Shiba Inu Information To Help You Understand
Much of a dog's temperament is the result of what they were originally bred for. Back in the day dogs were bred to do a job or accomplish a task. There were guard dogs, hunting breeds for large game and different breeds for small game. They were breeds that were designated to herd livestock like sheep or cattle.
For example, a Doberman was bred to be aggressive and protective, a Jack Russell was bred to burrow after small game and a Border Collie was bred to herd sheep and cattle. Well the same holds true for a Shiba Inu.
Shiba's are one of the oldest Japanese dog breeds. They were raised to flush small game out of undergrowth and brush. Their name actually translates to; Shiba - brush colored, and Inu - dog. Their colors were bred to blend into the brush. They were trained to go ahead in hot pursuit after game and to never, ever give up. They were raised to be fearless and work independently. One could say they were taught to be self thinkers.
So that's what you get, an agile, tenacious, courageous, intelligent, "I'll do it myself, thank you very much" kind of dog. Well that was great for the ancient Japanese, but I don't know about you, but I kind of like to be in charge in my home. Especially when it comes to the kids and the pets.
I Own A Shiba Who Once Owned Me.....
OK, May She Still Does A Little Bit
Life, however, is much easier now. I just wish I had learned that this complex creature I call my dog was actually relatively easy to understand once I got a little help. Really.
When I adopted my Shiba almost seventeen years ago, I brought her home and assumed she would settle in with us like every other puppy we had adopted. Turns out the joke was on me....I didn't realize I was entering the Shiba Zone. Unfortunately I was stubborn and slow to admit I needed a little help.
If you are currently experiencing a Shiba or entertaining thoughts of adopting one, here's a little something that will guide you each and every step of the way......
Sit Down With A Good Book - Shiba Style
The Canine Version Of "The Gifted Child"
Are They Too Smart For Their Own Good?
You have probably encountered a gifted child at some point, an extremely intelligent, high achiever, constantly in motion to do "more" creature. Occasionally some gifted children can present prima donna like qualities as a result of their extreme talents. Well the Shiba can sometimes be likened to the gifted child.
This breed requires a firm hand and is not usually recommended for the inexperienced dog owner, however with some inside knowledge helping you along with some good training techniques, this dog is a delight to own. You will soon be in the company of a well balanced gifted child......OK, dog!
Living In A Shiba Inu's House - Someone Has To Set The Rules...
Will it be you setting those rules, or perhaps your Shiba??
Get Cool Stuff, Shiba Style
From Puppy To All Grown Up - The Life Of A Shiba
See a Shiba Inu from tiny puppy to full grown dog. This owner captures much of the Shiba Inu temperament and personality.
The Most Important Thing About Adopting A Dog
Whether adopting a Shiba Inu or any dog breed, please, please, please do your research before bringing the wrong dog home. There are far too many dogs in shelters abandoned by those who didn't research properly before adopting.
By researching before adopting the right dog for you, you are part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
The Blessing Of A Shiba
I hope you enjoyed your little Shiba journey and take away something positive from your visit here. If you are struggling with a Shiba or thinking of adopting one, I can assure you with the right training and learning to understand the Shiba Inu temperament you will realize you have adopted a pet who will bring you joy for a lifetime.
I have had the blessing of a Shiba Inu, Tess, in our lives for over seventeen years. I would not hesitate to adopt another, in fact maybe next time I will adopt a pair of Shiba's!
After more than seventeen years of life with Tess, my beloved Shiba, she suddenly passed away on February 13, 2013. Because of her age, I truly thought I was somewhat prepared for her leaving only to learn I wasn't the least bit ready at all. She drastically slowed down her last several months. Instead of leaping onto the bed while running "The Shiba 500", I had to lift her off and on each time. While her diva disposition mellowed considerably in her golden years, during those last few months of tending to her frailness, I do believe I detected a twinkle in her eye that spoke of how she enjoyed having me cater to her every beck and call.
The photo here was taken a few months before she passed. That's my son with her who was just three years old when she came into our lives. We were on the way to the park for a walk. He carried her much of the way.
I so miss her and always will.