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Are Shibas sensitive to owner's emotions?
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    So, the debate about Shibas in comparison to other breeds is that it's all about them and they can be quite independent and aloof. But if you have a strong bond with your dog, I wouldn't think that the breed would particularly matter. Something tragic has happened at my house and Kira's reaction to my emotions is really interesting:

    I left work very early today and got home very late. Besides Kira, my oldest cat ALWAYS hears my voice and comes downstairs to greet me everyday. I didn't see him today and was very concerned. I went upstairs and he's still lying in bed. I inspect him and find that he is very lame an can no longer stand on his hind legs. To say that I was a nervous wreck is an understatement. I was beside myself while my boyfriend tried to console me. I had to carry him to his litterbox, brought him food and water (he ate well, Thank God) and have him in an ex-pen so he doesn't try to move around too much. He has a vet appointment in the morning. :-((

    Kira has been watching me intently since then and has been more affectionate than normal. Has anyone else ever experienced a more concerned behavior from their Shiba when something tragic has adversely affected you?

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
    Post edited by sunyata at 2014-02-05 07:50:48
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    I'm sorry to hear about this Kira, I hope everything is okay with him.
  • TrishTrish
    Posts: 271
    I'm sorry to hear about your cat, Kira... I hope everything works out for the best. Sending warm thoughts you way.
  • LuvourSiLuvourSi
    Posts: 115
    I'm so sorry Kira hope all is well. Yes I have had a similar experience. My youngest son had a serious reaction to flu medication a couple weeks ago and my Si boy stood right by his side and would not leave him as I was running frantically. This is so unlike Si because he normally will stay by me wherever I go but this particular time he would not leave my sons side. I didn't think about it until after the fact when my son was okay and mentioned this! This drew my son even closer to Si :)
    Post edited by LuvourSi at 2014-02-04 21:51:27
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Aw... I'm incredibly sorry, Kira. I hope your cat gets better. Let us know how the vet visit goes!

    Even in my most distressed days, I don't really see Sagan acting more affectionate or sensitive. I think he's aware and leaves me alone, in a sense, but hmm. I'll have to examine that more closely if and when something "bad" happens.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • I think they are sensitive to what's going on. If I'm sick or unhappy, both my kiddos are on my tail or curled up close to me in bed. I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. :(
  • I'm sorry to her about your cat, it's tough when they're older and you're worried about everything that goes wrong. Keep us posted!

    I think that even for a more "loyal" dog, the relationship Kit and I have would be considered a little unusual. She is extremely attached to me, to the point where my fiance and I worry about how she would react if anything were to happen to me. Interestingly, she picks up on pretty much every one of my emotional shifts. If I start to get angry, even if it's not remotely directed at her and I'm not even yelling yet, she hightails it out of the room. She also is much more calm and "there" without being invasive when I'm upset.

    When my grandmother was hospitalized and spent a week in hospice/palliative care before passing away this last August, she would often just sit next to me or on my lap with her head bowed and leaned up against me. She's my little emotional balance, she makes me happier when I am already happy, and she brightens my day just a little when I'm upset or mad.

    I honestly don't know how people can consider their dogs/cats just "animals" or "pets!"
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    sorry to hear about your cat, i hope it all works out.

    Koyuki and Takeo i think are more in tune with my emotions than the younger two.
    My grandmother passed away around the same time we got Suma (Shiba #4), and i was not myself obviously. I didnt bond with Suma at all the first few weeks, and i didnt have the same patience with Kenji (he is a Shiba that requires you to be patient lol- hes a ratbag) so i didnt spend a whole lot of time with them for that period. However, i would retreat from the family and go and just be with Koyuki and Takeo.

    Takeo is such a calm and centered boy- he normally trots off and does his own weird things, but he would just sit near me and watch me. With Koyuki, she was at my side constantly. She was calm and just sitting with me while i cried and was a teary mess, and then when i would calm down she would play bow and be a goose, but not actually run off to play. More like she was trying to cheer me up, which she did. I found that when i got really upset, i just harnessed them up and went for a walk. They didnt get up to their usual nonsense, they just watched me and stuck next to me- almost like they were protecting me (sounds weird i guess).

    I like to think that Kenji and Suma are also slowly picking up on my emotions. When i have a bad day at work (if we lost animals at the shelter, or had more surrendered etc), Kenji is usually the first to greet me. If im happy he will jump all over me like crazy, but when im a bit down he is very very sweet- i get kisses and he rubs his body on me and follows me around. Suma will let me pick her up and cuddle her or climb on my lap and cuddle me. But this calmness only lasts a couple of minutes before they get sick of me haha.

    So yes i think that Shibas are sensitive to their owners emotions :)
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    So sorry about your cat...hoping all will be ok!!

    In our case, Kobe isn't very in tune to our emotions. My wife has been ill for the past week, and he simply looks at her like "what's up with this sh#*????" when she doesn't respond to his every demand. (Yes I know, being ill isn't a 'emotion' but, typically, my other dogs have seemed to show a bit of compassion in times of illness).

    Our Sibe was very compassionate, to the point he'd lick us when we were upset or ill. He was also very sensitive, and would retreat to another room if we happened to be in a argument. Kobe, however, will just lay there as if there was no conflict at all.(we don't argue ALL the

    I'm too lazy to look it up, but I believe there has been some recent studies on this issue. But even then, every dog is an individual.

    Please keep us posted on your cat!!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I just got home from the emergency vet... It's almost 2am. Ugh.

    Well, I started reading stuff on the Internet that could relate to his lameness in his hind legs and read that a heart murmur causing a blood clot could cause considerable damage to a cat's nervous system and if not treated as soon as possible, could result in necessary euthanasia. Lynx is 13 years old AND does have a heart murmur that we are aware of so I panicked and took him in after reading that. I'd rather pay the extra $90 to get it addressed than wait 12 hours and regret not doing it sooner.

    According to the X-rays, he has arthritis in his hips and lower back and also has loose knee joints considerably comparable to hip dysphasia in dogs. The vet believes a fall could have caused tissue trauma which, aggravated by the arthritis, made him quite lame in his hindquarters. Luckily he will be okay! We have lots of antibiotics and medication for his pain,and he has to be on strict "bed rest" for a week... That should be challenging.

    I already called my DM and took tomorrow off to care for him...

    Oh, and I'm $650 poorer. Ugh. There goes the pet savings fund, gotta build it back up again but that's what it's there for!

    Thanks for the best wishes everyone, if I lose this cat I know it would absolutely destroy me. I hope I still have at least 5 more years with him!

    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • RikaRika
    Posts: 53
    I hope the poor thing gets better soon!
    Good job Kira :)
  • Kiba0713Kiba0713
    Posts: 259
    Glad to hear he will be okay!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    There is an existing thread on dogs responding to emotions:

    But since this thread is about @Kira_Kira's issue with her cat, I am going to leave this open.

    Glad it is nothing life threatening and that he will be okay. :)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Best wishes @Kira_Kira. Thank goodness it was nothing to do with her heart.

    We have a cat named Xena and she is 16 years old. She is in good health (knock on a wooden scratching post) but she definitely has slowed down. Xena has been the Queen of the household all her life until that darn Panko showed up! She tolerates him but she stays clear of him when she can. Panko is learning not to pester her as much but he's only a year so that urge to play can be hard to beat.

    We hope that we still have a few more years with Xena but I wonder how attached Panko will be to her when she passes? I know my family will miss her and I wonder if Panko will pick up on that too?

    Keep us posted on kitty.

    Yep, she is on the kitchen what I said, "She is the Queen."
    Post edited by LemonChicken at 2014-02-05 13:49:05
  • @Kira_Kira, So glad your kitty will be ok. :) :) :) I was just thinking about searching up threads regarding these "emotion." To answer your question, I have noticed a complete change in Yoshi's behavior when something is wrong with me. The past month has been a very crazy one....and it has made me super worried about Yoshi. He'll see me upset and crying and will stop what he is doing to come monitor me. It is super cute, but super sad! I see him as my child with fur, and feel like he shouldn't have to see me like this....and I don't want him to hurt. Am I crazy for feeling this way??? I remember a certain time in specifics. I was sitting on my starirwell crying, trying to hide myself. He was relaxing in the living room chewing on one of his bones, then suddenly got up and came over to join me on the stairs. He sat right next to me and he let me hold him tightly! I completely broke after that happened......he amazed me by the way he acted.....

    Best of luck and prayers to your kitty! :x :x
    photo 6b74d441-46df-4852-af9a-1f765aea9bb0.jpg
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    @kira_kira Aw, so glad Lynx will be okay!

    One of my parents' cats lost control of her hind quarters a few days before she passed. We think she may have had a stroke because she also became quite disoriented. She was 18, so she lived a nice, long life. Hope you'll have the same with Lynx too!
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby /
  • So glad Lynx is okay!!! The $650 is a bit of an ouch though! We're lucky that an 24 hour emergency vet clinic is just over a mile from our house, but I hope we never have to use it!

    Love the picture of Kira with the kitties too!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Glad Lynx will be okay.

    Jackie and Bootz definitely are sensitive to their owners.

    When my husband is angry, Jackie's tail droops and she sticks to me like glue.
    When i'm vunerable, Bootz will lay next to me to show her support.

    Even the other day, she pawed at me as her way of saying " you ok ma? " after i pet her and let her know "its ok" she crawled up next to me on the couch.
  • Lots of love to your kitty!! From crazy cat lady!!
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Thank you everyone for your support and well wishes! I've been busy taking care of my poor crippled kitty so this is the first chance I've had to give an update!

    The last week has been stressful, luckily Lynx is acting normally. He eats well, uses the litterbox, and cuddles as usual. The only thing is that he is quite lame in his right leg but has started walking around the house the past 3 days. Kira, who normally pounces and plays rough with him, has been very receptive of his condition. Without us telling her to leave him alone, she has been leaving him alone and avoiding him completely as he limps around the house.

    I normally feed Lynx on a shelf so Kira can't reach the cat food but since he can't jump, I've fed him on the floor in the living room. Kira is so good, she avoids the cat bowl, even when there is smelly wet food in it.

    She is so smart and aware of everything that is going on in the house, we are so lucky to have such a wonderful dog. I'm beginning to think I might not ever be able to have another Shiba, I'd never be lucky enough to have a well-behaved one twice.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @Kira-I am so glad your cat will be fine. My little boy Quake is very tuned into my emotions and he's such a sweetie. One day I had a migraine headache and I took some medication and a nap and when I woke up he came over to the bed and put his little muzzle on my hand and just looked up at me with such a sweet and caring expression. He seems to know when something is going on and is extra sweet and wonderful. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful and smart little boy.
  • I have to post again about how lucky I am that my adorable Quake is so tuned to my emotions and that he is such a sweet and loving little boy. A good friend of my died this past Saturday after a long illness with lung cancer. After I heard the news I was distraught and Quake came over to put his muzzle on my hand. Later on I took a nap because I had a migraine headache. He came around to my side of the bed to see how I was doing. He is the sweetest furry angel on earth.
  • Kira - I'm glad your kitty is doing better! It is awful when our furbabies are sick.

    I can make you feel better about your $650 bill: Our Loki had a UTI with a blockage and was hours away from death. His bill was $2400, and that was with me nursing him at home for the last couple days and driving around and picking up his medications.

    I have always noticed my animals being sensitive to emotions. I used to have a cat who would curl up around my head when I had a migraine. Fen seems very in tune as well. I have been ill lately and he has been very affectionate and gentle. =)
  • The only time I've noticed something like that was when I was really depressed (it was that time of the month) and basically bed ridden for the day. Indiana slept all day. Which, for a 3 month old puppy is a little insane. She's typically all over the place, with occasional naps here and there.
    It really felt like she was feeding off my emotions.
    My mood hasn't been like that since and she hasn't acted like that since.
  • @renitiadb-I hope that you heal very soon. I am sure that your darling Fen will be of wonderful help. He sounds like a sweet pup.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Another thought that I had today while reading on the NK forum...

    Do Shibas tend to take on or "assimilate" their personality to their owners? Meaning, does your dog have a personality that develops to either coincide or resemble yours?

    I wondered this because someone was saying how they are very anxious and high-strung and so is their dog. Is that one of those difficult Nature vs Nurture debates?

    I'm wondering because I've had a few people mention to me that Kira's personality is very similar to mine - Friendly, outgoing, happy, etc. But I definitely think that it is more related to the fact that because I'm outgoing, I take her to many places and socialize her all the time. And she's spoiled, so of course she's happy! :))

    Any thoughts from anyone else on this? Does your dog's personality mirror yours?
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • I'm gonna go with no:

    -I am charitable and try to make sure I give back to the world. Banjo steals toys from his best friend sophia who is blind.

    -I enjoy sleeping in. Banjo decidedly does not.

    -I am cautious of most people. Banjo wants to be friends with everything/everyone.

    Basically he is my exact opposite.

  • Friends of mine have commented that Quake and I are very well matched. I think we really have similar personalities.
    -I am very sociable and enjoy new environments and experiences and so does Quake.

    -I like dogs better than I do most humans and Quake likes humans better than he does most dogs. However, when he does make a friend he is very emotionally attached and is very expressive. He lets his friends know that he values them. I am the same way.

    -I am either interested in being friends or I am not-there is no in between. I tend to be aloof to those with whom I don't want to interact. Quake is the same.

    -I am a night owl and so is Quake.

    -I like sleeping in and so does Quake.

    -I hate hot, humid weather and prefer cold weather and so does Quake.

    -I am fastidious about my appearance and Quake is the same about his grooming.

    -I am a happy person and Quake is a happy pooch.

    -I can be stubborn and so is Quake.

    Most of all I get Quake so his antics do not bother me!! :)

  • I think the last point may just be testamount to the point that people with "shiba" personality traits are more likely to want a shiba. Part of the reason we chose one!

    Sorry to hear about your cat- I hope they have a speedy recovery!
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    From a article I read recently...thought it might be relevant to the last few posts.

    "Here’s an interesting study of Gosling’s that related to how owners view the personality of their dogs. He asked people at a dog park to fill out a questionnaire about their dogs, and then did some simple tests to learn a bit about the personalities of the owners. You guessed it, there was a strong correlation between how people themselves behaved and how they perceived their dogs. Agreeable dogs were more likely to have agreeable owners, neurotic owners more likely to have neurotic dogs, etc. … Hard to say what’s going on here: could be that we owners project our own tendencies onto our dogs, or perhaps we choose dogs with similar characteristics. Or do we and our dogs began to act like one another after being together long enough!?.

    Most interestingly, he found that people were consistent in how they rated other people as well… in other words, if they saw a dog as being “agreeable” they tended to rate other people as agreeable as often as not. But he also found the independent observers tended to rate people’s dogs similarly as did the owners, so it is not as though the owners were totally off base….

    Gosling also made the point that “Temperament” refers to the genetic predisposition of an individual to behave a certain way, while “Personality” refers to a predisposition influenced both by experience and by genetics."

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • TrudyWTrudyW
    Posts: 14
    I think they definitely can sense our emotions. Last Thursday, my husband was holding Matcha in his arms and she started resisting (she never resists). She jumped off and fell on the ground. She started crying like a human baby (not shiba cry but like real human cry). I just stood there and almost froze because I got really scared. Although she started walking and playing 1 minute later, I was really really upset and started crying too. Interestingly, she just walked to me and started licking my hands. She is more those aloof type and she doesn't usually show affections. I was really surprised how she reacted and I think she knew i was sad.
  • Had the sweetest/funniest/strangest thing happen last night with my lil shiba girl Shiloh - I had to share.

    I had been sitting on the couch and Shiloh was on the floor about 5 feet or so in front of me. When I got up I moved wrong and started to get a really bad cramp in my leg. I made a sort of yelp noise because it surprised me and hurt like crazy and bent over to stretch my leg muscles out. When I did, Shiloh stood up on her two hind legs, walked over to me (on only her two hind legs!) with her paws outstretched, put one paw on each cheek when she got to me and covered my face in kisses! It was so strange, but also so awesome to see her do that! Her intelligence amazes me on a regular basis, but I think last night totally took the cake lol.
  • How peculiar... but completely adorable.
  • I had an issue with a cramp in my foot last night while putting on my winter boots before I took Quake out for his last walk. I was sitting on a chair and he heard me cry out in pain when I took the foot out of the boot while it was still cramping. Quake came over and started licking my foot!! He's such a sweet little boy. I was able to massage the cramp out and then I managed to get the boot on and off we went on our walk.
  • My shiba must be broken. I've been home sick with the flu and he has had negative sympathy for me. No sleeping in. No relaxed schedule. Nothing.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    LOL @BanjoTheBetaDog - you got a defective Shiba! I'm sorry that you're sick, that sucks. It's cold a crap out too, I'm only in Virginia so I can only imagine how cold it is there in NY...
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • @BanjoTheBetaDog-I'm sorry your're sick and hope you feel better soon. Maybe your Shiba just sees you as a super strong kinda guy that needs no nurturing!!

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