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A Home for Kuma
  • Fellow Shiba Lovers,

    It truly is with the heaviest heart that I have to post this. My husband and I have decided that we need to find a new home for our 8 month old Shiba Inu, Kuma. This is really more my husband's decision than mine, because I would do anything to keep him and really HAVE done everything, but he has caused a lot of damage in our house and my husband really can't handle that stress anymore. Kuma is by no means a vicious or unfriendly dog; he LOVES people, children and other dogs as well. He is so loving and wants to be around us all the time; he requires more time than we are able to give him. I did extensive research before purchasing a Shiba but I think that Kuma in particular requires a lot of time. He is home alone maybe 4-5hrs a day after my husband leaves for work and before I get home from work. During this time (even contained in a puppy proof enviornment) he has chewed multiple and large holes in the dry wall and has torn up the linoleum floor. He has not grown out of his puppy biting and nipping which is also very frustrating. I have spent countless hours as well as money on one-on-one training sessions to work on correcting these behaviors but I truly believe that Kuma just needs a lot more time than we can give as well as more companionship. He is sweet and loving and I can't even begin to describe how much it breaks my heart that I have to give him up.

    I do think it is best to do this while he is still young and will bond quickly to a new family. I would love to see him go to the home of somebody that has owned Shibas before or that already has one and would like to add another to the family. Kuma would do so well with another Shiba friend to play with! Kuma is AKC registered and comes from champion show parents (pedigree is also available). He is up to date on immunizations, heartworm and flea prevention and was neutered at 6 months of age. He is crate trained and house broken and is a very smart little boy! When he finds a home all of his accessories (food and water bowls, leash/harness, toys, kennel, exercise pen, outdoor lead/run) will come with him. Kuma is in no danger of going to a shelter or being booted out on the street; I will only let him go to what I feel is the best home for him and he is safe with me until we find it!

    Kuma is my baby and I am so heartbroken to let him go, but my marriage comes first and it really has added a lot of stress on my husband. He is a police officer and I do not want to make his home life as difficult as his work life. It is my hope that somebody who understands how difficult it is for me to give him to a new family will be willing to give him a home as loving as he has had with us.

    If anyone on here is interested or know somebody that would be, we live in the Charlotte, NC area and you can contact me at

    Desiree Skipper
    Post edited by ljowen123 at 2012-11-12 21:12:29
  • Hi Desiree,

    I am sorry you have come to this decision. I will assume you have given thorough consideration that this is not something you are willing to work him through, because they DO grow out of the biting...

    Just a quick question -- have you notified and contacted his breeder of your decision to rehome? They should probably be notified, and in some cases, the contract will state that he needs to be returned to them.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-11-12 18:26:08
  • Hi Curlytails,

    Yes I have. I feel that I have exhausted every possibility as far as addressing the biting. We have been working on it for months and I feel that it will continue as long as he has to be left alone every day while we are at work.

    We have notified the breeder and have also been discussing it with her. Going back to her is not in the contract but it is certainly an option if I don't find another home for him elsewhere.
  • Also, this won't fix the mouthing but you've said he's crate trained, so is there a reason he is not being crated when you can't watch him so that he won't destroy things? I can understand that this won't relieve all the stress, but it's a simple solution and it seems like it would take some of the load off until you get him rehomed.

    Best of luck.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Funny, my Kuma does the same thing, and my wife was at her last straw. Until her nephew took him to college and since then, he's mellowed down a lot. He isn't mouthing as much. Have you tried letting him go with a relative for a few months, maybe when he grows a little older he will mellow out more.
    As notorious stated, the crate is your best friend, having my crate helps while taking care of my two kids, and when I have the time I Le Kuma out
  • I'm sorry to hear this. It is, I'm afraid, pretty typical Shiba behavior though, and it will change with age. That's mine were crated when I'm not home or can't supervise them. (And why right now, my monster Kai puppy, who is 8 months old, has to go in his crate even if I go in the bathroom, because he will get into things that fast!). They do mellow, though, and the destruction and the biting stops.

    Also, you should contact local Shiba rescues as well. You can usually do a courtesy listing on the National Shiba Rescue webpage, and then if you can't find a home on your own, you can turn him over to a rescue if they are willing to take him.
    Post edited by ljowen123 at 2012-11-12 21:14:12
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    While I appreciate the reason why you have posted this in the forum - however, I feel that this post is in conflict with our firm policy on advertising. I will be editing your original post to fall in line with our policies.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • MikoMiko
    Posts: 225
    Im sorry that you have to make this hard decision.

    As for the destructive behaivor when left alone, i use the thundershirt when i leave my boy alone for any long period of time beacuse i don't crate him. The thundershirt works wonders when he is alone. He is perfectly calm and at ease. He may have some seperation anxiety issues.

    Maybe you can try the thundershirt when leaving him alone for the time being.
  • Kuma's behavior sounds exactly like Kishi's for the first year of her life. She is 2 now and has mellowed considerably. The nipping does pop up occasionally when she is super excited though. Kuma sounds like a wonderful little guy.
  • YukikoYukiko
    Posts: 452
    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Have you considered enrolling him in a good doggy day care a few days a week? A good day of tumbling and playing usually means they're already passed out on the car ride home. A tired Shiba is a good Shiba. :)
    Post edited by Yukiko at 2012-11-13 08:06:36
  • Thank you all so much for your comments. The reason why I was not crating him was because when I got home and let him out he was going ballistic. Ultimately I have to abide by my husbands decision but I am trying to see if the breeder will take him for a month or two to work on him and let him be around other Shibas. I certainly understand my husbands has seemed like an endless struggle and we are very concerned about the biting.

    Until we work out an agreement with the breeder I will continue to seek another home for him, but I do appreciate the suggestions and am open to anything. I do apologize about the previous post with the rehoming fee, did not realize that was against policy.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    FYI, my Kuma loves play biting. I have told everyone who has step foot in this household, anything that drops on the floor is free game for the puppy, the only things he won't bite are things he's already been told not to.
    Wife hated the idea of Kuma being a lil too mouthy because of our 3mo old. But so far Kuma has been good. I hope he mellows out once he is 8-12mo old, but that's just a dream, either way though he's stuck w me as his dad... Poor lil shiba
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @dskipper1013 - You stated: "The reason why I was not crating him was because when I got home and let him out he was going ballistic."

    Dealing with a few minutes of Shiba 500 after a long day in a crate is to be expected. However, by not crating him you were not only allowing your house and belongings to be destroyed (which, if I were your husband, I would be pretty pissed about, too), but you were letting your puppy be open to all sorts of horrible accidents that could happen.

    I am glad that you are working with your breeder to get him back to him/her. However, I would like to warn you that even if the breeder agrees to 'take him for a month or two to work on him', that YOU and your husband also need to be 'worked on' in order to teach you what is and is not appropriate dog owner behaviour, especially when it comes to a Shiba. I am sorry if this is blunt, but it is the truth. It seems from your original post that Kuma just is not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation and is also not mature enough to be left to his own devices.

    I wish Kuma the best, and honestly I hope that between you and your breeder that Kuma is able to find a good, stable home that will provide him with the appropriate care and stimulation that he needs, including crate training and proper exercise.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride

  • Howdy Desiree ....I wanted to ask some questions .....first off let me say text can come across as a little cold so take no offense at what I write.
    Honestly your Shiba sounds somewhat typical for it's age from what you have written so far.

    You state, we "really HAVE done everything".

    --What is the "everything" exactly?

    "he requires more time than we are able to give him".....

    --Is it you do not wish to do anything more? It appears that you and your husband may not be on the same page when it comes to having a dog. It seems from what you have written you personally like your dog and that maybe you really wish to keep him... There are some things that can be done....see suggestions.

    --Out of curiosity when you obtained your puppy was there whole hearted buy in with hubby....meaning was he on board with this too with recognition how much time it really would take physically from both of you, as well as the dent in sleep schedule? It sounds a little one sided and maybe the daily activities for the dog need some development. Any breed of dog will require extensive input and work for a long time. Canines also require a consistent schedule and shift work can be hard on the time tables for canine play and sleep. This is where d.daycare or dog walker would be of help.

    "contained in a puppy proof enviornment he has chewed multiple and large holes in the dry wall and has torn up the linoleum floor."

    ---How much time is puppy in that area exactly? ummmm... if he has chewed the interior where he is kept then it isn't a puppy proof area for your particular dog. What items do you have available for your puppy to chew that are appropriate? There are products that taste bad you can spray on trim and off limit items that will deter some dogs. A crate is most advisable.

    ---You mention that you have a "leash/run" that comes with the dog. Are you walking your dog or just placing the dog in the run or on line out the back door when he is needs to go outside? If so how long is he left outside alone? How often does he get out to potty? How much time is given for just playing and walking beyond potty time?

    "I was not crating him was because when I got home and let him out he was going ballistic."

    --So I take it in the 4 to 5 hrs alone puppy may not be let out or walked? Basically the behavior indicates Kuma is not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation.

    Having an in-home trainer come in once or twice does not cut it in the training and exercise dept. You have to follow up individually. Shibas have a great amount of energy when young so it is important to get them out either through doggie day care, continued group training (say even Petsmart) in evening and long walks (walks several times a day beyond potty times).

    --As others have suggested continued crating would be the best way to go for containment (with toys) along with the dog walker or doggie day care center to rotate times when he is alone. It is a given, even when you are home, there will need to be time put forth in structured activities for training and lots of exercise.

    "He has not grown out of his puppy biting and nipping which is also very frustrating."

    What did the in home trainer suggest after their visit(s)? Can you describe?

    Are there other details that are omitted? Is the actual issue the fact this puppy is disturbing to your husband during his sleep schedule. You have to be honest with yourself if you have in fact "tried everything".

    In in any case this isn't condemnation, the suggestions by others above are helpful as well.

    Good luck to you and Kuma in developing a plan that is best for both of you.


  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Thanks for posting this here maybe someone on here who lives by would want him.

    Bella my parent's boxer was same way she gets into trouble she would chew dad's book, magazine, remote once chewed bottom part of the couch and even when people were around! I told her no right away and offered a toy which she played with.

    Reasons Bella gotten into my mom's purse, books and so on was she was left alone even though we had big crate for her dad felt it hurt her to be in it. I think it hurt us more her being out alone mostly his fault for leaving his books so low to the ground.

    She could counter surf don't even expect that coffee cake to be on the counter when you wake up or get back from going somewhere because Bella will help herself.

    I got firm on dad and made sure Bella was crated if he couldn't watch her or had go to work and I was gone.

    I told him if you want her out you need go for a nice long run as reason she gets in trouble is she needs exercise. Coarse he didn't give her a nice run.. :\

    Two walks and training sessions isn't enough for Bella to be exercised sometimes I'd do three and it wouldn't be enough.

    I noticed since she got better with being off leash and she got some run time plus two walks and training that helped her a lot and she has been less nutty. she's a boxer so she listens bit more.

    Sorry this happened Saya was pretty mellow as far as shiba go worse she was is mouthy and loved bite pant legs and hands. She'd also chew on wood when teething which was mostly because dad took her out of the crate when I couldn't watch her and she got bored and needed something to chew due to teething.

    I hope you can find a good home for him.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    I try to walk my 9mo the moment I get home to unleash her energy follow it up with training and a meal. This has helped a large amount.

    A 15minute walk before work is better than no walk.

    Doggy day care is an option.

    You said you are willing to do anything to keep them, Divorce your partner. You phrase it in such a way that you dont have a say.
    If my partner told me I couldnt keep my dogs, she would be out on her arse.

    People need to be prepared for this when they get dogs, otherwise they didnt think it through.

    Walls and floors can be fixed. I often give mine cardboard boxes to destroy, works well.
    Our 7.5yo is so mellow compared to our pup, they DO grow out of it.

    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • Do you have any pictures of Kuma? Also, Im sorry to hear about the situation. My 9 month old Emiko is just now starting to calm down. She does a lot of playful biting as well, but that has slowed down as well. She still will tear up things if i leave them around. But generally if we leave her toys laying around she plays with those instead. I bet once he is fixed things would change as well. If youre mind is made up about giving up Kuma, then good luck. and Im sorry.
  • jelliesjellies
    Posts: 142
    if you click their name and then the discussions tab you will find their intro post has some pics of this gorgeous dog.
    A real shame. I guess every Shiba is different but I'm honestly surprised that with 4-5 hours alone time he doesn't just want to sleep in a sunny spot somewhere.
  • Thanks Jellies.

    dskipper: it sounds like you were heading in the right direction....Shibas can be rascals for quite awhile. What did your trainer say in regard to the behaviors you posted above?

  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    6 months for Hammond was around the peak of his "oh my god why did I do this to myself" hellion phase. I was originally going to wait until he was 9 months to neuter him, but he was getting so crazy that I did it at 6.5 in hopes it'd mellow him out a little.

    It gets worse before it gets better. He's still nippy at 15 months, but much, MUCH better than as a pup. There was a lot of ignoring him and teaching "go get your toy". Now when I say OW! he'll pause biting me and run to find a toy to bring me.

    Have you trained Sit or Calm or anything? When Hammond was like that I started making him Sit and Wait before I'd let him out. He'd still go nuts, but not QUITE as nuts as he would if I let him explode out of the crate. And as soon as I got home he went right outside to walk off some energy. Then back inside to play tug and eat dinner, then back outside again. Is that something you could try?

    Maybe you could work with your husband to give Kuma one last chance? Like come up with a very strict plan that you follow (you specifically, since you want to keep him more) for a couple of months and if, by the end, things are still awful, then rehome him? Would it be less stressful if he knew Kuma would calm down a bit as he ages?

    I'd also suggest crating while you're gone and bitter-apple spraying things. I used the spray on my tile fireplace that Hammond liked to steal loose tiles from, furniture legs, and rough patches on the wood floor he'd go after. One nasty taste of that and he stopped going after anythng that was sprayed.

    Do you get home in the evening before your husband? If so, could you tire the pup out really well so he's not so ballistic when your husband gets home? I've found with Hammond that buying a 30' or 50' leash and taking him to a nearby park, or even a large backyard if you have access to one, and just playing fetch/tag for an hour will keep him calm for the rest of the night.

    Also, what exactly about the situation is causing your husband stress? Is it something you could take responsibility for? Like "Oh, he chewed a hole in the wall, I'll go buy stuff and patch it/call a repairman" or is it purely the financial side that's stressing him? Is it really puppy antics that stress him out or just the added responsibility of a dog?

    Do you have puzzle and chew toys everywhere? I bought a LOT of bully sticks, pig ears, hooves, teething chew toys, Kongs, and treat balls when Hammond was little. If he started to show interest in causing damage to stuff, I'd give him his Kong Wobbler full of kibble, or a regular Kong full of frozen yogurt or blueberries. He'd then be distracted by that and use up all that energy, so by the time the food was gone he'd forgotten about destroying the house.

    I also taught him to take out his energy on cardboard boxes. Not really hard to teach, as he attacked them without my input, but I'd start putting some really delicious, stinky treats (like salmon jerky) in a box and then tape it shut or fold the flaps closed and he'd spend hours kicking the box around, biting holes in it, and then eventually shredding it. This does make a mess that has to be cleaned, but it's easy enough to sweep up cardboard chunks.

    I'm the only person in my apartment so Hammond has always spent around 8 hours a day home alone. I'd come home at lunch time to walk him and play with him, but it was still a boring 8 hours total. He was fine. I'd put a stuffed Kong or other chew toy/treat in his crate with him to entertain him. But he mostly just slept. Even now if I have a day off or stay home sick, he sleeps during the day. I'll let him stay out of his crate, but he curls up on the couch and dozes until around 5pm and then gets hyper. SO I don't think it's the 4-5 hours alone that are the source of the problems. It's more making better use of the rest of the hours of the day when he's not alone.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    To follow up on tiring him out: Does he have a good prey drive?

    If I can't/don't want to go to the park, I can tire Hammond out in the house with one of those flirt pole cat toys. You could even be cooking dinner or doing other stuff around the house while playing with him that way. Or fetch inside can work too.

    But the flirt pole is great. I use the furniture and he'll spend hours running in circles, jumping up and down from the couch, leaping in the air, tugging, pouncing, etc. I normally only let him go for half an hour at a time, because that's all it takes for him to start panting heavily from the workout.

    I got mine at a dollar store. :) Or you could even make your own with a long dowel/rod/stick, some fishing line or yarn, and one of his toys tied on (Hammond loves the feathers on the cat one, though).
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Coastalshiba240, i don't think having him fixed will fix his behavior....Kuma just has a lot of stored energy hence the destructive behavior. A walk is a great way to tire them out.

    I really hope you can work with your husband and Kuma.

    @Ryan, XD that divorce comment made
    Me lol. But I would do it for Bootz and Jackie!
  • The divorce comment also made me laugh. My husband is well aware that he would be out the door before the dog would. He might have felt the same way about me except that he figures that would be the first sign that aliens had replaced me with a doppelganger.
    Post edited by notoriousscrat at 2012-11-15 17:13:57
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    LOL @notoriousscrat, I just want to say my husband also knows he would be out the door before the three cats and our one Shiba too.
  • lol, I love my dogs but hubby and kid come first. Thankfully it would have to be pretty horrible for my husband to ever ask me to give up my pets. Like living in a tent bad :)
  • Ohh Kuma is gorgeous! I remember his intro post! Hopefully you guys can work it out but if not definitely contact a rescue group!
  • Hello Friends.

    Once again, thank you for all the suggestions. I really do want you to understand the situation though and not think my husband and I did not think this through as far as getting a dog and especially a Shiba. I personally spent a year researching different breeds and many months researching Shibas as well as breeders and how to prepare for one. I was on this forum for months before purchasing Kuma which is where I got many tips and ideas for him in the first place.

    My husband was in a family that raised German Shepherds and Bloodhounds as police dogs, so he knows difficult dogs and he knows dogs bred for hunting. I understood that shibas require lots of physical exercise, but whether or not Kuma is just exceptional in that area or we just did not realize Shibas are VERY high maintenance in that area, even with 2-3 (30) minute walks a day with play time that includes fetch, tug, playing on lead outside, Kuma is NEVER tired. We just got in from a 45 minute walk and he is sitting next to me trying to chew on my kitchen chair. I redirect him to toys but it does not phase him. We have had Kuma since 10 weeks of age and this has always been our routine. He is walked first thing in the morning and as my husband does not leave for work until 1pm is out of his crate all morning. He is not constantly engaged in play but my husband does play with him in the morning as well. I get home usually between 5:30 and 6pm and immediately take him out for another long walk. Unless I have somewhere to be he is out with me the rest of the day and I do tug-toy play, fetch, I give him plenty of "allowed" things to chew on. Kuma is like the energizer bunny on steroids. Often times we will go for another shorter walk in the evening. I also bring Kuma with me everywhere in the house so I can keep an eye on him. He will still try to get into stuff, like chewing on my couch pillows, etc. but he does not destroy things when I am home.

    At the suggestion of many people on this site, when my husband leaves for work Kuma goes into the laundry room, which is his puppy-proof room with his kennel, his water bowel and many toys to keep him occupied. He stays i n this room with the baby gate up until I get home. This worked well for a while, but then Kuma started chewing on the walls. I started spraying the bitter spray every day and it helped. This also worked for a while and then one day came home to find massive holes in the wall. Now granted I should have started putting him in the crate right then and there but I did feel guilty about crating him and just continued to find different ways to keep hi occupied, like by giving him frozen Kong treats, things like cardboard boxes or old towels that he could chew on. This also worked for a while, but now Kuma has recently started tearing up the linoelum floors. All of this goes on with him being home by himself for about 5hrs a day; occassionally it is more but for the most part is 5hrs. He is still walked 2-3 times every day and engaged in physical activity throughout the day as well. This is why I feel like we are doing everything we can (other than crating him) to prevent the destruction, but even aside from that the biting is a HUGE problem.

    Kuma does not nip or mouth, he full on bites me on a daily basis. I have bruises all over my legs from him constantly biting me. Now I have never felt Kuma was doing it visciously or with the intent of injuring me, but I have tried everything to get him to stop. Originally we would redirect to a toy...Kuma did not give a crap for a toy when he could be biting ME. We started flicking him on the nose and this just pissed him off. We started walking away and closing the door and I did see a slight decrease in frequency but he still continues to bite. Now we have tried using a spray bottle with water to spritz him once and only for a bite. He stops when we do this but its like he forgets and will try it again eventually. And like I said, there is no such thing as a worn out Kuma. We can come inside from an hour long walk and he will run around and jump up and bite me on the thigh for no apparent reason. As with the other issues I feel I have done everything I know to do to correct the behavior.

    We also did sessions with a trainer using the clicker method. This works some of the time, but as all of you know if a Shiba does not want to do something even if I have the biggest, tastiest treat in the world in my hands he won't do it.

    Now....I realize this makes Kuma sound demon possessed, but he is really a sweet, SMART and loving dog. He loves being by my side whenever I am home and he loves meeting new people and other dogs. He is so friendly to everybody around us and even with my legs probably permenantly discolored from 6 months of biting I still adore him and it breaks my heart to have to find him a new home. With everything that we have done to correct the behavior and considering that I do feel he gets good exercise and play every day I feel that Kuma is just the kind of dog that needs constant attention and as working people there is no way we can be with him 24/7. I think Kuma would do very well living with another dog and this would go a long way to teaching him not to bite as well as helping him expend that endless supply of energy. I wish that I could give him this but we are not in a position to do so. I really feel that we prepared for him in every way we could have; we have been giving him exercise and play from the beginning and always understood Shibas are mouthy and stubborn but we really thought with the constant training and attention we are giving him that he would have improved by now at 8 months of age. We are not in a position to have two dogs or I would love to.

    My husband is not a mean hearted man and in fact has told me that we can get another dog, one that is calmer and he is even open to being a foster home for shelters. So it is not that my husband does not like dogs or does not know how to train them. He has been wonderful with Kuma and has taken lots of time to work on him. The fact that we have both spent so much time and money on him is what is stressful as well as the fact that we are constantly improving our home by painting and remodeling; having to repair massive damage is not exactly a plus. Like I said, I am willing to deal with all of this and have for many months, but with us working on his behavior every day it has just become apparent to us that Kuma needs more than we can give him. Kuma needs to be with somebody that either has other dogs or works from home and can give him a lot of constant attention.

    I say this all to help you understand that it has been a long journey from 10 weeks to 6 months and we have invested so much into our little boy. I love him dearly and he is so smart and loving. He responds to many commands and like I said is very affectionate. It is just clear to us that even with the exercise and play we give him it is not enough and it would be unfair to him to continue this way, especially as our frustration mounts that he seems to get worse rather than better.

    Kuma will be staying with us until we personally find him a home; he is my baby and I will not put him in a shelter or rescue. I am writing here because I know there are other Shiba lovers that may be able to give him what I can't. We are also in communication with his breeder and our trainer to help find him a home. It is my hope and desire that we find Kuma a loving home that can give him whatever it is that we are lacking.

    One again if you are interested in adopting Kuma or know somebody who may be, my email is
  • xena_inuxena_inu
    Posts: 118
    =( i know the frustration you and your husband are going through, when i first got xena she was such a hand full, she bit the carpet always gnawed at the walls and doorways...but crating her really helped her, and honestly she out grew it, i know it may feel like your puppy isnt going to out grow the biting, but i can guarantee you he will. but if you really have to give your puppy up, a suggestion might be a family member or friend? that way you can still see him? id be soo devastated if i had to give my dog up. i hope all works out for you and ur pup =)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    That is an option, but for some it isn't so easy to just divorce your partner especially if she loves her husband..

    I'm not married and never will so I have zero experience to offer on relationship stuff..

    I mean if my mom can stay with my dad for all the crazy things he's done he's probably done worse stuff then Kuma! lol

    Not going into details except once he tried to melt metal and he expected it to not melt the plastic Tupperware he had cold water in it. thankfully he didn't burn the deck.

    He's also gotten a dog Junior male boxer once when me and my mom was in Indiana for my grandmother's funeral.

    He thought it'd help mom get over it, but he didn't think things through as always. He got the dog on the spot and expected his son who was working at the time to watch the dog.

    Dad tried crate training and junior was a mess with it he pooped in the crate and tried chew his way out..

    Probably why my dad thinks the dogs hate crates even though Bella goes in her's on command and Saya she runs for it if I open it she knows it means special treats. Plus before she goes in crate she gets exercised so she is so tired she is happy to go sleep.

    Junior was good dog besides the resource guarding space or my mom not sure which could been both..

    He did well off leash and so on, but it was sad he got sick and had be put to sleep at 7. I don't think dad got him from good breeder as he had different look fur wise and look wise.. Plus he got him from some ad in the paper. :\

    Anyways that's the sum of crazy things my dad has done well at least 2 of the 100 crazy things he's done. I'm not going to derail the thread, but I don't think divorce is option well it is, but I think it's up to her if that's what she wants.

    Like I said I'm only single and I can't give much advice on this, but I hope things work out and Kuma finds a good home.

    I love his looks if I could I'd probably take him, but not ready for second well third dog if you count mom's Boxer Bella..

    With his activity level I bet someone who loves to hike for long time would be good partner.

    Saya loves exploring and hiking much more then walking as she gets smell things and climb trees and stuff.

    Glad your posting this on forum and hope he finds good home. :)

    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    I will say, that when Kenshin was at his most hyper, I walked him an average of 4 hours a day. I have a rottweiler, but she is old and doesn't play really hard, so I arranged play dates for him with my friend's lab. Do you have any trusted people with high energy dogs in your area? That is really one of the better work outs. I also jog with Kenshin, and I take him on nature walks. Heck, even going to a new place is a great way to tire him out.

    As for the destruction, it really sounds like crating is the solution. five hours, is a very small amount of time for him to be crated (you can even get him a crate for a very large dog if you want him to have some play room). I think you have to ask yourself, whats worst? A dog who gets crated five hours, or not having him at all? It's very likely that no matter where he goes that will be the result, if not longer. Why not let him stick it out with you, then with a total stranger later? He'll learn to just sleep during those hours, and when you get home, just take him for a jog or a run. It'll also give him no choice but to chew things you find appropriate, which will further condition him to do so.

    I also think your guy doesn't sound treat motivated, he sounds more like a toy will get his attention. Have you tried getting him something squeaky? Or how about something novel, like a rabbit skin (was the best distraction for my pup, he only got to bite it he did something well). A flirt pole is also another really good thing to get. I even got a mouse, that screams when its bitten (it's very possible he is doing it for your yell). I say if he has a very high drive use it to your advantage. Have special toys he only gets for certain circumstances.

    I really feel like, if you just work with this guy a bit longer, you will have a mellow dog. Kenshin went through a hellion phase at that age as well, then suddenly around 10 months, he started to really lose his intensity. Now at almost 2 and a 1/2 I laugh at all of that. He is very chill dog, we now go on 3 30 min walks on most days, and we have fun tracking the random critters in Brooklyn (He can trace scents by their name now, its a really fun mental game for him). Does he still have hyper moments? yes. But he can stay home all day and not destroy anything with free roam of the house. Not every dog can do it, but I don't think it will be a stretch for your boy to maybe one day have access to his room. You just have to go back and slow down the process. Trust me, five hours in the crate is not that bad. And the biting will fade, just be firm with him. Every-time he does it, turn your back, and make no reaction. Any yelling or flinching, reinforces the behavior, make it the most boring thing on the planet.
  • For the record, I did mean the husband comment as somewhat tongue in cheek. Overall, my dog is a lot easier than yours and that makes it a lot easier to say that. I do think we all have a limit to what we can deal with in a dog, although what that may be changes from person to person.

    That said, there are a couple of pieces of advice that I'm going to give you, not necessarily because I think they will make everything better, but because I do think they're things you need to do since you will be keeping him at least until you rehome him.

    First, I agree with Inoushi, crating really does seem to be the solution to his destruction. Putting a dog into a dog-proofed room can work well for some dogs, but your dog obviously isn't one of them. Believe me when I tell you that having a crate-trained dog is a gift (my dog cannot be crate trained according to our behaviorist and before we got his separation anxiety in control it was a real problem). Things like what you're describing are EXACTLY why young dogs should be crated. Him having pent up energy is definitely the lesser of two evils here---think of how he could hurt himself with this destruction. What if he manages to find some wiring and decides to chew on it? He could kill himself. I don't really think it's hurting him to be crated but I do think it's hurting him not to be.

    Second, stop using aversives on him (don't hit his nose and stop squirting him with water). They don't work well on Shibas. Part of the reason his biting is probably still so bad is that you have done so many things with him. A lot of people have ignored their pup from the very beginning, at 8 weeks old, and only start seeing it really pay dividends at about a year. Consistency is the key with mouthing, although I do understand why you're frustrated. No one wants a dog still play biting them that hard at 8 months old.

    Finally, while I do know that his biting is only play biting, one thing I do think that you have to think realistically about is how you're going to rehome him with that problem. The fact is that despite his good qualities, there are many people who will not want him with that. Some people would consider a dog that does that to be a liability. Be very, very careful with how you screen buyers to make sure that they don't have unrealistic expectations about his biting or fixing him because that sort of thing could lead to someone deciding to put him down. I'm not meaning to scare you with that, I'm just trying to make sure that you understand that rehoming him will be harder than it would be for many dogs.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Keep in mind that this age is a very busy age for most puppies and in a way it can be the least rewarding/enjoyable time of their entire lives (teething, chewing, over exuberance, distractability, aloofness). These are all NORMAL Shiba puppy behaviors I'm reading about in this thread. Not all puppies are what I would call "busy", but the ones who are can certainly be extra challenging because they don't "give" much back in terms of enjoyment until they are older. It's easy to forgive softer breeds like GSD and hounds because it generally matters to them when we are displeased and they will make all kinds of appeasement gestures. You won't often get that from Shibas of any age.

    It sounds like more of a mismatch all around than something specifically being wrong with the puppy. He sounds like a very normal bored Shiba puppy. A good "cure" for this stage is stepping up the level of activity. A couple 30 minute walks a day, isnt enough it seems for this situation. It can be weekly or biweekly training classes, daily outings to stores or for errands, arraigning puppy play dates after work, doggy daycare, training sessions at home, long line tag at a park, an active tug session, etc. Expens lining the walls of a puppy area and spare flooring material like extra rolls of linoleum, a big old blanket, raw marrow bones, can help curb any teething/boredom related decorating.

    They are like toddlers at this age; just because they have toys all around doesn't mean they will use them and occupy themselves without your constant reminding.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-11-15 20:01:50
  • Yeah, I think he sounds like a typical Shiba at this age too. My male was like this. My Kai Ken is still like this (minus the biting,but he is SUPER destructive and a thief, so can't be out of the crate unsupervised even for 10 minutes).

    Crating is the way to go.

    And I will say....ok, I'm going to admit it!.....aversives are generally NOT the way to go with Shibas and the nose flicking is a bad idea (he probably thinks its a game), but I did use a squirt bottle on my male Shiba when he was at his most bitey. He hates water, so it worked pretty well. I'm NOT recommending it as a training method....but when I was super frustrated, it did stop him and kept me sane. (He also bit all the time, and I had bruises and bite marks all over the back of my legs in particular, and on my hands/arms).

    In any case, I think this is simply a mismatch. GSDs are NOT difficult dogs--they're pretty easy, and they want to please. Shibas don't care. So I can see how someone expecting a GSD type behavior would have problems with Shibas.

    That said, ANY dog needs to be taught not to be destructive and mouthy. Any young dog /puppy should be crated if you can't supervise them, if you don't want to come home to discover they have found things to do on their own. So some of the problems you're having you would have with any kind of puppy--it's just more extreme, I think with a Shiba.

    Anyway, good luck finding a new home for him.
  • 6 to 12 months can be the worst....I can joke about it now but I swear we did not see our Shiba actually sleep for the first 10 months given he was such a whirlwind of activity. We seriously had to work our dog (mentally and physically) through multiple weekly venues away from home to direct the high drive. Also at this age a lot of work went into teaching self control as well. I don't know what we would have done without a was a saving grace and certainly preserved our sanity.

    Have you tried spraying bitter apple on yourself, on your arms or legs? Also if your dog is really hard mouthed there have to be some serious ground rules taught if you are going to play tug, otherwise you might be reinforcing randomly clamping down on body parts when play and drive overlap.

    Thank you for being honest about the situation and thinking about what you are able to provide. The next family will need to be aware of the issues too.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-11-15 23:06:24
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    You mention three walks per day, are these around the same circuit?
    Does the dog often go to new places? Are they mentally challenged?

    We try to walk somewhere different every day, with hikes or trips to the beach on weekends. Visiting friends/car rides also tire ours out with limited exercise. We also take them to out door cafes, and all the new smells occupy their mind.

    Food for thought.
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • "Kuma will be staying with us until we personally find him a home; he is my baby and I will not put him in a shelter or rescue. I am writing here because I know there are other Shiba lovers that may be able to give him what I can't."

    I am not trying to convince you of something you don't want to do this just sounds like you might not understand a rescue group or have some negative idea of how they run. I was referring to a breed specific rescue like Mid Atlantic Shiba Rescue. That usually comprises of several shiba enthusiasts who are probably also members on this forum, like me. These volunteers take the Shiba into their home and start working on their issues, like biting and destructive behavior, and hopefully the issues will get a little better before being placed in a new home. Many people think "Oh how cute!" or "I can handle that" but get the monster home and go "Oh shit". Many of the volunteers at the rescues have had many Shibas themselves or have at least fostered many Shibas and are pretty good at assessing Shiba behavior, what the Shiba needs as far as training and in a new home and owner, and who would really make a good match for the dog. They have a lot of experience. Also a foster home might identify what the "may be able to give him what I can't" thing is and realize he isn't such a problem after all, That could open many doors for new homes for him. It could also give you a much needed break. Once again, not trying to convince you of it, but inform.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I agree with a lot of these posts:

    1) my husband comment was tongue in cheek in that my husband is a very loving and understanding man and we always joke about the animals in our house coming first and that our house is for them not for us

    2) crating is not a bad thing, 4-5 hours is just fine, and finding more ways than a walk to get out energy is important .... free running or mental challenges

    3) breed specific Shiba rescue groups if you know you are at the end of what you can do and put up with are good options, as ShibaLove said the foster families can start working on the issues

    4) if staying with you, the mouthiness just has to be consistently ignored and will take a long time to get better, my Bear at 11 months still tries to get my attention with a leg herding type bite and yes it does not feel good and almost cripples me when right behind my leg and I am standing, but the more we allow it to direct our attention to him (ie to correct the behavior) the more it became a game. Shibas hate being ignored so if no results are produced by their actions they will eventually stop and try other things. The most I do when it gets too hard for me to ignore is put him in a sit, stay, look for a minute or two and reward the sit, stay, look calmness. I am hoping with time and consistency this teaches him sit, stay, look is the appropriate way to get my attention, I just have to be sure when he does sit, say, look I reward it with attention immediately because if I miss it, he does resort back to trying other methods like biting my legs.

    Good luck, I know you have not come to your decisions easily based on your posts.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    You have been getting lots of advices already..but I couldn't help but chip in something too.
    I have no experience with a very energetic, chewing, biting puppy because Juni was pretty mellow so I might be off completely.
    Kuma sounds like an energetic puppy-teenager, probably within the normal. BUT to him 4-5 hours alone is obviously too long right now, since he starts chewing and ruining things. Maybe he is just bored, maybe he gets anxious and stressed. You could try a DAP collar or spray that may calm him down. I would also try to find a doggy day care or dog walker or similar that he could stay with until he can handle being alone that long.

    Training classes are good, there usually are classes specific for 'troublesome teens' (also good for finding dog walkers, I met a dog owner at puppy class who was unemployed right then and who I convinced to look after Juni a couple of days a week...for payment of course). And it is very tiring to learn new things...about not being treat motivated, there are ways to make treats more valuable too, but it takes awhile and Juni was the same too when she was younger.

    You can probably up the exercise/walking but you also seem to have a very energetic pup and also a pup who find it hard to unwind and relax so I would focus training a lot on that. When you walk you can stop and sit down until he calms down too. When you play you add breaks when he has to calm down and then you continue. There are ways to hold and massage a dog that can help them relax too.

    Games like fetch and tug of war tend to get some dogs really excited so it may be hard for him to unwind after that type of games. You can try to instead hide the toys and make him search for them, the reward for finding the toy could be a shorter tugging or fetching session.
    I think Kuma will be more tired from activities that will have him focus more, like nose work exercises, you described that you do some games like that already which kept him preoccupied for awhile. Just add more of that type of activity, you could for example start hiding his food around the house or garden instead of feeding him in a bowl.
    Or like others have suggested if you go places he's not used to, or you do something slightly different, that can be very tiring. For example, Juni runs with my bike often (I know Kuma is too young for that), most of the time it is when we go home from doggy day care. But last Sunday I went out with her at night and rode where we usually don't walk. At night Juni likes to search for wild animals, but now she was hooked up to the bike. So the excitement of running in the dark, in new places, having to focus on keeping up witht he bike but at the same time scouting for animals made for a very tired and happy little dog afterwards.

    Anyways, good luck whatever you decide to do!
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I can definitely relate like I've said before, and the thing is, my wife will tolerate Kuma as much as she can. But when he pushes her buttons too much when he isn't in his crate or play pen, he will always go in his crate... Unfortunately for Kuma the order in my family is now Kheyan, Kimiko, then Kuma. He still gets plenty of attention and activities but not as much as when he was only 3-5mo old.
    He went through a crazy phas from 5-6mo and then mellowed out more. Now he is 8mo and he's toned down on th hyper active self unless if he's been in his crate for hours

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