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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
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    Post edited by RAM25 at 2013-03-22 13:59:26
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • 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
    Post edited by glitch at 2013-03-22 16:08:42
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    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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