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What were you prepared for? What were you unprepared for?
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    I'm actively researching and learning about Shiba Inu's, as I'm looking to bring one into my small family (my brother, his cat, and me). I've read extensively for weeks over everything I can get my hands/eyes on, and I feel I'm ready to be able to care for one.

    What were you already prepared for when you Shiba Inu joined your home?
    What were you unprepared for? Was it due to lack of research or just needing to actually experience raising a dog?
    Words of advice to pass on?

    Hopefully I didn't miss this in the advanced search tab, as I didn't see it there.


    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-03-21 23:35:06
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    What were you already prepared for when you Shiba Inu joined your home?

    The general items. Crate, toys, blankets, treats, clickers, you name it. Having a collar and leash should also be of top importance... Also, decide on a permanent spot within your household on where to have your crate or ex-pen. I personally have mine downstairs in the common area. I'd recommend researching into what kind of kibble you're going to have, too. This website is a good research tool. You and your brother should also be on the same page as far as rules and training go.

    What were you unprepared for?

    Probably how easy it was to potty-train him! :) On a more serious note, probably his mouthiness and play-style. He played the most rough in his puppy class -- the amount of apologies I said to the other owners because the their puppies would yelp from his presence was... a lot. I was able to redirect his mouthiness onto a plethora of bully sticks and toys, so I highly recommend stocking up on both!

    I have previously owned a dog, so I wasn't unfamiliar with training and whatnot, but it was the breed that threw me off. ;-) Corgis and Shibas are quite different!

    Words of advice to pass on?

    Take 'lots of pictures, look into puppy classes, and socialize the hell out of him/her!
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
    Let's find this guy a Shiba!! Very nice to see you are doing your research so proactively!! I guess the only thing that really shocked me is just how mouthy they really are!! There is absolutely nothing safe from a least mine! He'll chew on just about anything, but seems to prefer human flesh! Thus, there is a lot of extensive training involved. To this day, I still wonder who is training who, but he is finally starting to get better...he's nine months. It seems that Shibas(mine anyways) have their 'phases', much like a child. I've owned Samoyeds and a Siberian and never saw this, at least not so extreme. But I guess it's what makes a Shiba a Shiba!!
    I wish you luck in your search!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    I already have a collar and a leash to motivate me! (I have a rough road over the next month to transition from military to civilian life). And have mapped most of my puppy plan out. Keeping the crate near the bed for late-night bathroom breaks, etc. Good call on the kibble, I'll definitely look into that more thoroughly. I've definitely read up on bite inhibition and its importance during the puppy stages!

    @Kobe1468 I'm doin my best! Balancing the right breeder with the right time frame is going to be difficult though! I'll be sure to keep him occupied to avoid the torn up furniture, although it is something I've come to expect for a little bit. The "who's training who" comment had me laughing. That's a big reason I'm so set on the Shiba Inu! Thanks for the advice!
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I've never had dogs before so I can't compare to other breeds and I know in hindsight that Juni was an easy pup, but puppyhood was hard work, I couldn't wait til she matured. She was not cuddly at all and she was too little to go for long walks so I really felt confined to the home. Gradually it changed of course.
    My breeder advised me not to buy a lot of expensive toys, bed, collars etc from the start as they will chew and ruin them or outgrow them. I thought that was clever advise. Juni's favourite toy was a sock with newspaper inside.
    As for kibble, you can research what are good quality ones but if you get a fussy eater like mine you may have to skip kibble all together and go raw.
    One thing I wasn't prepared for was all the attention a shiba puppy gets!!! It could take half an hour to walk around the block due to all people stopping us to talk, pet and take pictures of her.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Bear was my first dog as an adult and came to us just past 5 months from a breeder.

    What was I not prepared for:
    I knew about the breed independence, actually part of why I wanted the breed, but I was very unprepared for what this meant for training.

    I don't think though any research reading would have prepared me as I am a very hands on learner.

    Still to this day the fact I know this smart wonderful dog knows what I am requesting and doesn't do it frustrates me, especially when you hear and read about "bonding" and these great "relationships" people have with their dogs.

    You will see on this forum my case is not every case, some Shiba's do seem to be more trustable and bonded for off leash activity, but in my case I have the typical don't trust off leash issues that even after 10 months of weekly training formal and at home hasn't improved.

    The other thing I wasn't prepared for, thought I was, related to choosing a breeder. I really thought I understood the questions to ask and what to look for, but wasn't part of this forum at that time. My lack of truly understanding the impact and why certain questions were important, led me down a path where I got my boy from a BYB (backyard breeder) not a reputable breeder. I think at that time I was so convinced in my mind that I didn't need a show quality dog that I was convinced it didn't matter if the breeder was actively involved in show or other dog sports, which then led me down a series of thoughts that ended me with a BYB. Then you couple that thought chain with not even finding any breeders in my area I could easily visit and only finding one breeder online that was even advertising for Shiba pups, the perfect storm resulted in my BYB purchase.

    In the future I would not use a puppy mill or BYB, I will chose a rescue or a reputable breeder.
  • Tess is our first dog and we got her when she was about three months old. Today is her ten month birthday.

    What I was not prepared for:
    A shiba puppy that did not act like a shiba puppy! She's getting more and more stubborn as she ages, so I guess she's starting to act more like a shiba. She also gives us those looks like she's plotting to take over the world more often now. I'm told that is definitely a shiba characteristic. But, after researching the shiba inu for months, if not years, I was not prepared for a puppy that is willing to please for the most part and usually only has to be told once not to do something.

    Other things I was not prepared for:
    Difficulty with potty training- she eventually got it, but I had heard that shibas were very easy to potty train.
    Difficulty with leash walking- she's getting better every day, but this is where her shiba stubbornness comes out most.
    Shedding- I think Tess is currently blowing what little coat she has. She did not get very shiba like this winter, either due to age or substandard breeding, but the undercoat that comes out of her! It seems like she only grew undercoat on her butt. I can pull chunks of it out of her upper back leg area. I'm a neat freak, too, so I hate having the hair on my furniture and clothes. Tess hates being brushed. I regret not getting her used to brushings when she was younger.
    A perfectly crate trained puppy after less than a week- seriously, she loves that thing (I highly recommend keeping the crate near your bed, that has worked best for us).
    A shiba that likes other dogs and people- she lives for the opportunity to meet new people and make new dog friends! It's her favourite thing. I was expecting the typical reserved shiba.
    A shiba that likes going to the vet- I think she might be insane because even after an MRI, a spay, a couple of thermometers up the butt, she still likes the vet (they have new people to meet and new dog friends, so I guess it makes sense).
    The shiba 500- I'd never heard of it until after we got Tess. She doesn't do it often (once a week, maybe), but it's fun to watch when she does.
    The minimal barking- an awesome trait that I did not know about. Tess barks more as she ages, but as a young puppy she barked in the house about once a month. She would only bark during free play at puppy class if she was really, really frustrated with another puppy.

    Things I was prepared for:
    Destruction of personal propery, which Tess did not do a lot of- she chewed some baseboard trim at the top of the stairs, but we have a dog house now, so I think the damage is appropriate and we haven't even repaired it yet. She also once, and only once, chewed a video game cord to pieces. Not sure why she did it, but she hasn't done it since and we leave her relatively unnattended near the video game stuff all the time (boyfriend doesn't like to pick up after himself).
    The shiba scream! But Tess has only really done it once- she was dropped by an extended family member and she landed awkwardly and screamed her head off. She sort of screamed during her last bath, but not really.

    I guess the point of my lists is that researching shiba characteristics is great. But always keep in the back of your mind the fact that you might get a puppy that does not fit everything you've learned about the shiba :)
  • GemmaGemma
    Posts: 103
    What was I prepared for -

    Their independence and stubbornness. If she doesnt want to do something I have to trick her into thinking it was HER idea ;)

    What I wasn't prepared for -

    As said before, the mouthiness. She's gotten alot better but it really was a shock just to how much she actually mothed! And yes! The attention! It's ridiculous how many times you'll get stopped! I took her into college yesterday and she was literally mobbed, by people trying to pet her, ask questions, take photos etc. It was crazy! Had to take her up to a classroom on her own as she started to get a bit cranky.

    Advice -

    If you're in a rush, hide your pup in your jumper otherwise you don't stand a chance ;) you will get stopped by just about everyone :)
  • MackersMackers
    Posts: 73
    I think the outside of having all the basic dog items, a vet, training etc, the biggest thing to be prepared to have is a lot of patience. Every dog has different quirks, some are very easy as pups, some love to bite and make chaos but regardless of the pup you end up with having the patience to work through the issues and dedication to raise him/her properly is the most important thing in my mind.
  • bikingleiabikingleia
    Posts: 212
    I have to agree with most of what has already been said here. Having two now, I can say that they may or may not have the "typical" shiba traits. They can be complete opposites sometimes.

    Have you considered adopting a shiba? There are a lot of young shibas that go into rescue programs and if you're impatient about adding one to your family, this could be a good option.
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Great information! I'll look more into the diet, bite inhibition, and leash training! I know that no amount of reading will prepare me for things like the shiba scream and waking up at 2 am for a potty break, or the first vet visit. Every dog is different so I'll have to learn my dogs personal traits but I've learned a lot on this forum about different personalities to expect. Right now my biggest thing is finding a breeder (doing my best to avoid hobby breeders but its all I can get in contact with at this point). I understand patience is key, so im trying to get one this summer where I wi have a few months of no job, no school, but steady income to train and socialize my new pup! I would love to adopt or rescue but I feel that's not the best choice for me at the moment. My brother has a cat so he's skeptical of getting anything besides a puppy to ensure the two can have a decent relationship. And I feel raising one as a puppy will have me better prepared to adopt or rescue in the future if I decide to get another. Thanks for the great tips everyone! Love hearing your stories and keep em coming :)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    My first dog was from a BYB at 5 months of age. My second dog was a rescue situation at 3.5 months of age.

    So you can, with the right patience and timing, sometimes find a very young dog in a rescue situation.

    I agree I have learned a lot by raising them from a younger age as they are my first dogs as an adult. For the most part I have had to lay the training foundations, which I believe has taught me things that will make me a stronger person for fostering in the future if my situation allows.

    That being said, the advantage of using a rescue organization specifically centered on Shiba's, you can be placed with a dog that has been socialized and personality traits known; thereby, you can get one you know is already good with cats. This situation allows you to know the personality quirks before committing, with a puppy you have a lot of work to socialize and even then you don't always know what the quirks will be.

    I found, more because of my cats, who had never been socialized to dogs as kittens, that the introduction of a puppy to cats was harder trying to get both sides to socialize. Even today, I can't say my cats are friends with either dog because the cats haven't taken to the socialization process. Maybe, if I had a dog already used to cats and only had to focus on the cats the process would have been easier as I wouldn't have the issue of the puppy always trying to "mouth" the cat while I try to keep the cat in the area and calm enough to work on both sides (dog and cat) of the interaction.
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    This might sound strange but I had done so much research that I was actually terrified I was bringing a cute little demon into the house! What I was most unprepared for is how good she is, how clean, cuddly, friendly and intelligent, really calm most of the time and loves to sleep in late! - not at all the hyper evil little fox I was half expecting! I had never bought up a dog from a puppy that was mine before either, so I guess the other thing I was unprepared for is how deeply I love her (so soppy I know) and how much time I spend worrying about her.

    I was prepared for the mouthing/biting. Even though I expected it it can be pretty intense when they're young puppies. I'm still slightly worried about Shinobi being around children I don't know in case she gets over excited and bites accidentally.

  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    @RAM25 great post! Thank you! Sometimes the stories and all the "what to do and what not to do" can be a bit disheartening to me as well! Stories about all the training difficulties and life obstacles its created for people. But I just remind myself that I'm preparing for the worst and hopong for the best so that I'm ready, come hell or high water! Whenever I hear the sad stories and how "black and white" raising a puppy can seem, there's no problem that cant be corrected with patience and properly placed effort
  • RAM25RAM25
    Posts: 317
    Oh I know, I was almost put off Shiba's when I researched too much! Luckily I've found 99% of it to be complete nonsense so far in relation to Shiobi. I'd say go with your intuition and follow your heart. If you still want a Shiba after all the 'warnings' you're obviously the right person to have the breed and bring up an awesome dog!
    Post edited by RAM25 at 2013-03-22 13:59:26
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589

    Right now my biggest thing is finding a breeder (doing my best to avoid hobby breeders but its all I can get in contact with at this point).

    @teddyjames - I think you are confused with terminology. Most responsible and reputable breeders are 'hobby breeders'. What this means is that they breed as a hobby, not as a profession. However, you do need to be careful, because some back yard breeders (which are not reputable and generally not responsible breeders) will also advertise as a 'hobby breeder'. Make sure that you read through the posts regarding finding a reputable breeder and how to avoid puppy mills and BYB's.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • bmass174bmass174
    Posts: 79
    I was prepared for a hyper bundle of fun that needed a regular schedule and LOTS of patience and consistancy. I had toys, a crate in its perminant spot, and even the first vet check scheduled.
    I was not ready for how smart my Shiba Azriel is. He is just under four months and already knows sit, lay down, paw( right and left), wait, inside and outside, and he is doing very well with his recall and crate training. I have had a few dogs, but never one that was solely my dog. I thought having had a Blue Heeler, I knew what a stubborn dog was but in training and talking to other owners it really is true that before a Shiba puppy agrees to follow your command request he will as "what do I get out of this"
    I would recommend finding out what makes your Shiba respond best. For my Azriel its food or toys. Also, if someone is helping train I agree with an earlier post mentioning making sure that all people who will be around your shiba know and agree on training methods. At first I was telling Azriel "paw" for his shake command. Well, turns out my boyfriend had been working on it too but saying "shake" for the verbal request. Once we both got on the same training Azriel picked it up like it was nothing. Finally, I would do your research on puppy classes and training courses. This is one thing I had failed to do, and now must figure it out before Azriel picks up bad habbits ( either from my training or unproper socialization).
    I am a new shiba inu owner and am so thrilled with the breed. Shibas are independent but still very affectionate (much like a cat in my mind). Azriel has a huge personality and makes me laugh daily. I think it is awesome how prepared and dedacated to this you are : )
    Finally, I just want to take a quick second to say thank you for your military service, what ever it may be. and I hope that if you choose a Shiba, he/she will help you transition well.
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Cant thank you all enough for the wealth of knowledge! Definitely more and more convinced that this is the right choice for me. I feel transitioning from the marine corpe to civilian life will be made much more fulfilling with a shiba. Give me a good outlet for exercise, mental stimulation, and will be very rewarding, along with helping me feel grounded back home! Would you all recommend the puppy kindergarten/obedience classes just through petsmart? It seems it would be the most cost effective/convenient thing, or are there other routes I need to look at for a Shiba Inu
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I would look into what options are in your area. Some Petsmart classes seem to have good trainers and others not. I am not sure if my Petsmart even offers a good puppy level class that includes just puppy play time.

    I would look for a training center that does puppy classes (ie for puppies under 5 months). Some places won't start training until the dog is fully vaccinated after 5 months. The first few months all you want is very basic obedience stuff plus an opportunity for supervised socialization/play time. After 5 months you can worry about the more formal obedience and building off the base you create during the socialization stage.

    It took me several places before I found one I liked, but I will say I did learn something from every place I did use along my journey, which did start at a Petsmart for the first two 6-week cycles I did for formal training. Knowing though the options in my area now, I probably wouldn't advise local friends to use Petsmart as I believe the training center I use now is so much more knowledgeable.

    In addition, at my Petsmart my trainer seemed distracted more than the dogs by things (like other customers) and then customers were always interrupting my attention to working on the training stuff which we were doing out in the aisles to ask about my dog.
  • Speaking from my first 3 weeks of owing a Shiba puppy:

    Things I was prepared for: all the puppy basics, Orijen puppy food, some puppy canned food, x-pen, crate, kongs, bullysticks, pee-pads (which we never used, as Ammy is completely house-trained. It's been 3 weeks and never an accident).

    I had a vet appt. set up for 2 days after she came home. She checked out fine and was co-operative during the whole thing. I was prepared for her Shiba scream, but it never happened.

    Most importantly, we made sure someone was always at home for the first 2 weeks, until we knew her routine well. Probably, why we've had no accidents so far. We really did try our best to set her up to succeed in potty-training.

    Also, its been a god-send to have gotten her from a breeder who crate-trained her before she came home. Ammy sleeps in her crate from 10:00 to 6:30 everyday since she's been home with us. When she's scared of the vaccum or loud noises, or when she's tired, she goes to her crate/x-pen on her own.

    We even had puppy classes lined up a week after.

    We were ready to get her socialized, socialized, socialized.

    And also, mouthiness. She is nippy when excited but I don't think she is anywhere close to Rotties. So to me she seems like an angel.

    Things I wasn't prepared for:

    Her fussy-ness with food. She is a grazer. I've never raised a dog like this. She will eat about 10-20 pieces of kibble and run off. I've tried mixing it with wet-food, sometimes even treats but she doesn't do the 2/3 meals a day thing. It took us about 2 weeks to figure out what she likes and doesn't like to eat and how she likes it served. Sometimes on the floor, in our hands, on a plate, in a bowl. Honestly, I was on this forum everyday looking for ideas to try. Now she can eat about 1 cup of kibbles a day and she is 14 weeks olds. She not a tubby Shiba, but she now looks a little fuller on her hips.

    Patience, patience, patience. She's definitely the most skiddish puppy I've had. I do understand she's young and everything is new. But the first time we tried taking her on a walk, we only made it acrossed the street. She was freaking out about everything. So we took the time to take her across the street twice a day to sit on the sidewalk and just watch. We did this for about 5 days, until one day she let us know she was ready to go, she just got up and started walking on her own. We did a 1 km walk that day. By then, I had gotten her a Easy Walk harness so that she wasn't pulling herself until she choked to death. Since then, she has grown more and more confident about her walks. She now walks pass buses and bikes with just a pause and she continues on. She looks forward to go twice a day and can do about 5 km each walk.

    She also freaks out and barks at everything that we bring out that she's never seen before. We have to keep putting treats on swiffers, step stools, etc. so that she would warm up to it.

    I think you can read about aloof-ness but I couldn't accept it until I saw it. I believed all puppies like people and other dogs. Here's what I found. Ammy generally likes people, but when she's had a enough she will growl at them and turn her head. That's when we call it a day for her and take her home. She doesn't treat us this way, she's a total lap dog.

    She hasn't found a puppy friend yet. She growls at other puppies that are yappy or nervous. And has not accepted any invitation to play with another puppy. I've only encountered 1 dog a Petsmart which she got very excited and wanted to play with. So I still haven't figured out if she is dog friendly or not. I'm ramping up puppy classes to twice a week to hopefully get her pass this stage and I'm looking into daycare for her to start in a couple of months too.

    So luckily, I read about this snottiness before she came home and recognize its pretty normal for Shibas. But really, it didn't sink in until now.

    In the end, read everything you can read on this forum and more. It gave me a strong foundation to know what to expect or not to expect from Shibas.

  • glitchglitch
    Posts: 189
    Things I was impressed with:
    -Not picky with food. He's literally moving, breathing vacuum cleaner. He even eats medicine if we put it in with his food.
    -Easy potty training
    -Not very mouthy (a lot less mouthy than most Shiba's I've met)
    -Did not destroy things in the house or chew on walls/carpet
    -How smart (and sly) they are
    -How clean they keep themselves.

    Expected and not surprised about:
    -"Selective" hearing. 75% recall success. haha
    -Does not like to be held and does not like to cuddle for extended periods of time. Less affectionate than lets say, a golden retriever.
    - Melodramatic. Even if he hurts himself, for example he slips and falls on his own accord, and we're around him, he'll blame us for his own fall and he gets all moody and will ignore us. Emo-dog.
    -Will probably run away from you forever if a rabbit is spotted.
    -Hair hair everywhere

    Not prepared for:
    -The amount of vet bills (unending allergies and other skin problems)
    -Trouble with good leash walking, mines a puller
    -Very skittish around new dogs and people despite being very socialized when young
    -The amount of barking he does. I thought they were quieter dogs, but I guess mine isn't. He barks at new people all the time.
    -Occasional poop eating (Other dog and cat poo, not his own)
    -I can never get used to the Shiba Scream no matter how hard I try. lol
    Post edited by glitch at 2013-03-22 16:08:42
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
    prepared for:
    - I researched for a long time and tried to mentally prepared myself for the shiba stubbornness and quirky personality
    - had all my puppy supplies, house setup
    - flex work hours to help adapt, having good friends for support.
    - ready to walk, run, play on a new daily schedule.

    unprepared for:
    - shiba scream..its loud!
    - he learns fast but commands work only "when he chooses" lol
    - Grayson is a chewing machine....I've gone through so many toys and items, had to get carpet repairs. He destroys toys that should last a long time. So its a challenge!
    - leash pulling. It took us months to train past it.
    - how quiet he really is, only barks for warning. My cats are louder/more frequently vocal
    - he is more social than I heard other shibas to be, so loves to meet and play with other dogs/people
    - the horrible farts lol have to add that one...Grayson has ones that are silent and deadly!

    general advice:
    -keep reading,
    -be prepared for anything. Sounds like everyone has unique shiba quirks!
    - stay persistent, don't give in to their innocent faces. I'm glad I'm just as stubborn as Grayson is! It can take months of consistency to get to your goal.
    - don't compare them to other non-NK breeds, they truly are a different dog from what I've seen.
    - have fun! Lots of it!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    What were you already prepared for when you Shiba Inu joined your home?
    I knew enough about Shibas since I was raised in Japan and had two mixes growing up. Like everyone else, I had all the necessities. I knew about the biting, the training and limiting access within the house at first. I had never crated before but Kaji was already crate trained and it was huge blessing. I have to say I love crate training.

    What were you unprepared for?
    -How cute they are as puppies! I never saw a Shiba puppy until my son got one. Absolutely the cutest puppy ever (my neighbor said that!).
    -I also was not prepared to get another one, but it happened. And with the two, I didn't know they played so hard it looks like they are fighting. They are loud and run like crazy when playing, and jump all over the place.
    -I knew about the shiba scream and shiba 500, but to see it in action is another thing. The two shiba mixes we had were adopted as adults so they were really good and never screamed or ran like crazy. Taisho runs like crazy but doesn't scream, but Kaji does both and does them very well, unfortunately. He scared the dog next door because he was so excited and yelping/screaming so much. All he wanted to do was play. Now that dog avoids Kaji. Most people aren't used to dogs that yelp with excitement.

    Was it due to lack of research or just needing to actually experience raising a dog?
    I never owned a shiba puppy before, or two dogs at the same time, so experience.

    Words of advice to pass on?
    Don't give up, stay calm, give lots of love, and spend time with your dog. Socializing is also very important, and remember the traits and characteristics of this breed throughout the different age stages. They are different from most dogs and so knowledge is important. I took a lot of photos of Kaji as a pup, but now I wish I took more. Best of luck to you!
    Post edited by amti at 2013-03-23 19:10:39
  • The Shiba scream. I had only read about it so every time my puppy cried louder than usual I wondered if that was it. Nope. You'll know it when you hear it.
    I think it sounds like foxes mating. The first time I heard that I thought a woman was being murdered in the woods out back of the farm.

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