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A-Ha Moments & Best Practice Approaches
  • Hi, Shiba owners! Soon to be a new Shiba mama here, and have really enjoyed reading much of the collective wisdom on this forum. I'm trying to develop a strong philosophical foundation for training my pup before he arrives, as well as calibrate my expectations ... and wanted to dig a little deeper into some of your lessons learned on successfully raising and training your Shiba. In particular:

    What were your biggest "a-ha" moments with your Shiba? I've read a lot of great rules of thumb and suggestions here, but what happened that got you from your initial theoretical framework to what actually worked? I'm curious about particular things that clicked for you in terms of how you engage with your pet, how you learned to get the best training results from him or her, game-changers to your approach and results, or things you found really did not work.

    I've seen so much about the independence and strong willed nature of the Shiba, and curious how the dog-owner relationship affects the performance you get from your dog. How would you describe your approach to your dog, i.e. the way you position yourself as its owner, and the relationship the two of you have? How did you achieve this relationship, and are you happy with it?

    I'm also trying to figure out the "sweet spot" between positive reinforcement, the alleged need to establish yourself as the alpha to your Shiba, and their apparent tendency to be resistant to discipline and instruction. Are you a positive reinforcement-only dog owner, or do you incorporate corrections where needed when your dog isn't listening to you? What balance did you strike between encouraging your Shiba and establishing yourself as the alpha in the relationship? Was your dog dismissive of positive reinforcement because it wasn't sufficiently firm, or resistant to corrections because accepting them is not the Shiba way?

    What are your best tips for a new Shiba owner in terms of cultivating a solidly trained dog? I want more than the basics; I want that dog everyone comments is "Such a well-behaved dog" and "So well trained." ... or is this just silly to expect from an independent Shiba?

    And as a frame of reference, 1) How "good" a dog trainer do you think you are? (1-5) and, 2) How well trained is your Shiba (1-5)? Does this level of "quality" line up with your expectations when you started out, or did you have to adjust based on realities as you went along?

    Thank you, all! Happy to be part of the cult when we get our 8-week red fella (Sherman or Sasha ... still can't decide) next weekend!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @alishaarrr - We do ask that members read through existing posts and then posting questions or comments in the existing thread for common topics such as training. Please read through the "Behaviour/Training" threads. You will find a TON of information about positive reinforcement and why the whole alpha/dominance theory is untrue and has been recanted by the individual that came up with it.

    Once you read through the existing threads, if you have further questions or want to continue the conversation, feel free to do so in the most relevant thread.

    By doing this, you help keep the forum neater and help other members find information quickly if they have a similar issue or question.

    Also, you may want to go ahead and read the "new to forum and guidelines" thread that I linked in your intro. Lots of good information there. :)

    ETA: Since this is a duplicate topic, I am going to go ahead and close this thread.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
    Post edited by sunyata at 2015-01-26 15:06:34
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