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Originally used as hunting dogs, Shiba Inus are renowned for their spirited personality, cat-like agility, and are one of the most popular dogs in Japan.
If you’re considering adopting a Shiba Inus then you might be wondering: Are Shiba Inus easy to train?
In this article, I cover some key information about Shiba Inus, from whether they are easy to train and how to discipline them so you can gain a better understanding of this breed. So, let’s get started.
Are Shiba Inus easy to train?
Shibas have many cat-like qualities, the most significant being that they are incredibly independent and are notoriously hard to train.
Shiba Inus are described as stubborn, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not a highly intelligent breed of dog.
When it comes to training this breed, it is important to understand the independent nature of the Shiba Inu so you won’t be frustrated.
A Shiba Inu is highly intelligent, but they don’t necessarily want to do what you want them to do. Due to this independent nature, Shiba Inus are not the easiest breed to train.
Bearing this in mind, you will need to make sure that you socialize your Shiba from a young age to ensure that they learn how to interact with other dogs and people.
Additionally, you will need to train them early on to make sure that they are well behaved and follow your commands.
While other breeds, such as a German Shepherd are easy to train and will come when called, the Shiba Inu will come when he feels like it – or won’t at all.
It’s not that Shiba Inus aren’t intelligent enough to be trained, it’s just that they quite often believe that they are above it.
While some describe this personality trait as stubborn, freethinking is probably a more positive way to characterize the Shiba Inu.
Bearing this in mind, these dogs take consistent training and a firm hand. Additionally, you will need to exercise extreme patience with this breed of dog.
Shiba Inus are naturally dominant, and if you don’t provide them with rules that you consistently enforce, they will attempt to rule the roost.
By training them from a young age, you will ensure that your Shiba doesn’t develop any bad habits later on.
Below are a few rules that you should enforce from the day that you get your Shiba:
Like many dogs, Shibas have a natural instinct to use their mouth in a variety of situations, including when they are excited, frustrated, or scared.
Due to their large teeth, if a Shiba bites others, they can accidentally hurt someone if you don’t continuously enforce this rule.
Make sure you firmly tell them ‘no’ when they display any type of biting behavior. This should make them associate biting with negative consequences.
Additionally, you can redirect their attention to a toy if they continue to bite your hands. This will further reinforce what and when they can bite.
Discourage food aggression and possessiveness
Shiba Inus are naturally possessive creatures. Whether their territorial nature is over their toys or their food – Shiba Inus don’t share well. They tend to guard, sometimes aggressively, their food, toys, or territory.
Alongside this, they don’t always get along with other dogs, which is why socialization is so important from a young age.
You need to teach your dog that people and other dogs coming near them, while they are eating or playing with their toys, is a good thing.
A way you can practice making sure that your dog is friendly and sociable is to exchange objects and toys with them. This teaches them that giving up something does not mean it is gone forever.
As with any dog, consistency is key when it comes to training your Shiba Inu.
How do you discipline a Shiba Inu?
Using positive reinforcements to train your Shiba Inu is the best method to discipline them.
Below are considered to be positive and beneficial disciplinary methods using positive obedience training.
Use time-outs – When your Shiba shows bad behavior, remove them to a quiet, lower stimulus area, as soon as possible. If he continues with his bad behavior, he gets his freedoms revoked with a time-out.
Bring your dog to a designated penalty area, but don’t leave him there any longer than a minute or two.
Avoid giving them attention – When your dog misbehaves, stop giving your Shiba attention. Shibas get bored easily and do not like being ignored. They really enjoy their freedom, and also like being close to their human pack.
Use your voice to correct/stop unwanted behavior – It’s important that your dog can distinguish the change in your voice when they are showing bad behavior.
Practice saying ‘no’ in a lower tone, and they will soon learn the difference between your normal and firm voice.
It is important to mention that you shouldn’t physically punish your dog. It’s not only cruel but is also counterproductive.
If you actively try to stop our Shiba either through physical punishment or active restraint, he will fight back. This encourages him to practice rough play and biting people.
You are building a relationship of trust with your dog, and you don’t want to lose that trust by exerting too much physical force over your Shiba.
Additionally, anger and frustration will elicit extreme Shiba behaviors. It’s important to remain calm, as Shiba Inus will be able to sense this lapse in patience and will see this as a weakness that they can exploit.
Although this can be challenging when they are testing your patience, it’s important to remember that frustration and anger will only exacerbate the issue, so it’s best to keep your cool at all times.
Shiba Inus are challenging to train, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not highly intelligent creatures. In order to ensure that they are as well behaved as possible, they require consistent socialization and training from a young age.