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rescue shiba is avoiding people
  • We've been together for 16 days. He is 11 months old and weighs 22 lb. My problem? He avoids me. When I get anywhere near him, he runs 3 ft away and stop. This happens to everyone not just me.

    I hand feed him every day. I spend an hour each day brushing him while we watch TV, then he just sits on my lap after. I don't lock him up. He has free range of the house and the backyard with his doggy door. He plays well with the other dogs. He always run around with that shiba smile and is extremely playful. When he rest he would go to his kennel in my room. When it is bed time, he would hop into bed and snuggle with me.

    However, when we get out of bed in the morning and I go about my routine, he goes back to avoiding me. I have to corner him then he gives in whenever I want to play with him or just pet him. Please help. If I am unconsciously training him to avoid me somehow, I would like to know so I can stop.
  • sounds like a normal shiba to me ^_^ haha
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    It does sound like typical Shiba behavior. Ratchet will come when called, but not within touching distance until I give him the touch, let’s go, or some other command like sit/stay; after he comes close he usually stares at me with what appears to be a “what do you want” look (see profile picture). The only time he will actually come up to me, and lean on my leg (or sit on my feet) is
    A: got hurt
    B: his feelings got hurt
    C: wants to be pet
    D: wants to be picked up.

    When we go for a walk, I pick up the leash, he sees it, get all excited, and runs back and forth past me (just outside of touch/grab distance), I would have to wait by the door a few seconds before he calms down, and come close before I can tell him “let’s go,” or “sit/stay” to slide the martingale collar on him. It took me a while to realize I had to be by the exit gate/door of the dog park before I can give him the” let’s go” or “sit/stay,” otherwise I run the chance of him ignoring my 2nd request, and him going back to playing.

    Hope it helps. Good job with the hand-feeding thing, keep it up for a few months, it will do wonders. Since you just got your boy, why not try taking an obedience class or two. Its usually only 1 hour out of the week. Most classes (at least in my area) fallow positive reinforcement / clicker method. However, I read some horror stories about trainers who love choking the dog until there tongue turned blue or something; so watch out, and run from those.
  • First time with this breed. If this behavior is normal, is there anyway to modify it? I don't want to play chase every time. =(
  • Shibas are generally pretty independent dogs. But he might not avoid you as much after you get to know each other more. You've only had him a couple of weeks, yes?

    Also, if you are chasing him, he might see it as a game. Dogs generally love to play chase because it is a game they will always win against humans. :P

    Working on recall with him might help too. Teaching him the come command, and rewarding him (maybe with cheese) when he comes within touching distance, then touch him before you reward him so he can learn that being by you is awesome and when you reach out to touch him that it is also awesome.
  • My puppy is already doing the Shiba avoidance game, but I know she loves the family because she shows affection in a variety of ways. She loves sitting just a hair away from arms reach when I'm sitting down to pet her. She's never excited to see me when I let her out of her crate every morning, but she'll bolt straight to my boyfriend's side of the bed with her airplane ears, shiba smile, and kisses. I don't mind that though because she shows her love to me by inviting me to play, rubbing against my leg, and laying next to my feet when I get ready in the morning.

    If he hops into bed and snuggles with you, that's already really good. I agree with @Justifiedgaines with working with recall and some high value treats so he associates coming to you as a positive experience. My girl won't come to me unless I shake her treat bag XD
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Yes, sucks to be you. Another thing Ratchet does is after the initial happy great, if he strolls up to your human friend afterwards they'll probably get one pet stroke, maybe two, before he'll move 2 ft away and looks at said person with a "what are you doing/that's enough" look.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    That sounds pretty typical of Shiba behavior, yeah.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Where did you get your rescue dog from and what was his background like? If he was from a puppy mill, it may take him quite a long time to be comfortable with you. As in months. He doesn't sound terribly fearful...but if he is, it takes a long time for them to grow out of. You haven't had him long at often takes months for even a confident dog to settle into a new home. So give him time.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I also think he is still adjusting.
    But in a shiba's world it is considered rude to walk straight up to someone, you may get a better response if you walk towards him slightly to the side, turn one side to him when you are close, you don't even have to look at him at all in the beginning to make him more comfortable. Then being close to you should be worthwhile as others have mentioned.
  • Thank you for rescuing! and yes, sounds very typical Shiba-tude.

    Ditto to @shibamistress - It takes time - and honestly if she lets you brush her and sits in your lap?? My spoiled, confident super friendly/charming "for a shiba" boy would never want to sit in my lap - at 4.5 yo - he may occasionally curl up on the same sofa as me - we have our own thing going on and he's affectionate in other ways...

    Running around playing well with other dogs? smiling? after such a short time - it sounds like you both are off to a great start -

    Give it time, read more about Shiba personalities, they more that most other dogs develop relationships over time - you need to earn their trust and love...they are cautious that way...Don't worry - be patient and they will return the love - if she lets you brush her she already is letting you in....
  • I have two shiba rescues. Trust is a huge issue with them. Expect it to take months. You will be rewarded if you have patients. Shibas are the most wonderful dogs on the planet. But getting to know them, is understanding them. You've done well to join a group like this where you can hear other's experiences.
  • @vmleopard,

    Your shiba is just being a butthead. He is actually doing pretty good. My trainer's philosophy is "trust respect love". As in, work in that order to build a bond with a dog. When it comes to trust, I gotta say you are knocking it outta the park if hand feeding is done with no issues this early.

    My little guy still does this to me, but I've noticed if I just pet him under the chin instead of over his head, he is less likely to play "catch me if you can". Also, if he does this when it si time to go for a walk, I simply drop the leash and walk away. EVentually he realizes hooman isn't playing so he just waits.

    This doesn't sound like a lack of trust, respect, or love, rather just a shiba being a shiba. It sounds like he is just being a jerk because he finds it fun, but it also sounds like he feels right at home with you.

    I noticed you said he plays fine with the other dogs? How many other dogs? What are their ages? Its possible you can use "monkey see monkey do" with the other dogs to get him to learn.

    P.S. Did you stick with Chopper?

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Chiming in with the "Shiba being a butt" thing, I've had Sagan since he was 9-weeks-old. He's turning 3 in a few months. He still will scatter off if I approach him on his "off days", meaning he doesn't particularly feel like being touched or given attention. If I see him do this, I understand, and tend to my own business. Shiba's are very "I'll do it my way", kind of thing. If I REALLY want to pet him and he scattered off, I'll grab a treat or two and sit on the couch, which'll get him close enough to scratch his chest or something.

    It does hurt when you experience it the first few times (them running off when you approach them), but it's just a quirk to the breed, really. They can be skittish, think it's a game, or any other multitude of reasons that only make sense in a Shiba's head.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • I will also chime in with the "Shiba being a pain butt" analysis. When Quake scampers off when I call him I tell him, "Oh, I see you're being a PainButt towards Mum today" and I go on about my business. Sometimes he will decide to trail after me and sometimes he'll just go to his special place in the bedroom and spend some quiet time by himself. I totally understand that it's a "Shiba cat like" thing. At other times Quake can be super affectionate and adorable. I think you and your Shiba are doing great. The fact that he's allowing you to brush him every night for an hour at a time and even sits on your lap at times is amazing for a Shiba. Shibas are super independent and I like that about my little boy Quake.
  • Yep, typical Shiba. Congrats on achieving what you have already. Very inpressive.

    Zuki has done this. He is about 2.5 years old now. He has gotten alot better by us doing the following...

    1. Turn around and ignore him.

    2. Keep a high value treat with you. We have these small jerky pieces that we got as sample from our local pet supply store. He loves them. I don't give them to him all the time, but often enough to where he will usually come up to me, but not always.

    3. We still play chase sometimes as he loves it, but it is on my terms. All I have to say is "let's chase". He then bow's and wag's his tail. It's game on until I quit.

    Keep up the good work. Just remember these critters are not labs! You will be rewarded to what you put into the relationship.
  • @BanjoTheBetaDog - Yep. He is name Chopper from Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece if anybody watch it. Die hard fan of the animation which takes some time to get use to.

    Thanks everyone for the input. I guess it is just typical Shiba-ness.

    The other 2 dogs are 7 years old. Roughly 17 or 18 lb Yorkshire Terrier. One male one female. I believe someone asked if I can take care of them for a week then I never heard from them again. *Poof* 7 years pass. So I just kept them indefinitely.

    Day 1, he was a picky eater. He would only eat human food and eat at a distance. I didn't like that. So we had showdown. I gave him nothing. He has all the water he can drink and I try to hand feed him for 15 minutes a day 3x a day. He refuse to eat from my hand. After 72 hours, I guess he gave into his hunger.

    Day 4, he began following me and observing me. I chase him down to brush him and let his fur fly around the yard. He enjoy brush time because it allow him to chase the fur that is flying around. Very prey driven. So from then on, whenever I come with the brush he just stops and sit then waits for me.

    Day 5 to current, whenever I finish having my own meal, I would hand feed him his kibbles. Sometime I throw them around so he pounce/chase them. Whenever I do that, he would go into downward dog and bark at me and jump around. I am not sure if he is excited and think it is a game or he is giving me a warning bark.

    Recently, I am trying out this whole "raw" diet. I got some beef tongue, beef heart, lamb tripe, turkey neck, pig rib etc.. It freaks me out that it is raw. The germ part freaks me out, not the raw part. I stuff his meal into a pressure cooker to kill the bacteria (I guess it sort of cook it, which defeats the whole "raw"). Afterwards I give it to him after it cools down to room temperature. Then I freeze the unused portion.

    Overall he is pretty well behaved. I am able to pick him up whenever he is cornered and have him stay with me on my lap or hug him when I take a nap for extended period of time with initial resistant, but after a few fail attempt he gives in and yawn then falls asleep usually before I do. But once my hands are off his body, he will escape. Doesn't happen during bedtime though. He just stick besides me and remains that way until I am awake. Even if he wakes up before me, and he sees that I haven't gotten out of bed. He will just lay there and wait for me to make the first move.
    Post edited by vmleopard at 2015-02-24 22:13:12
  • @vmleopard,

    Don't worry about the germs for raw feeding. A dog has a ph in their stomach considerably lower than ours (1 or so for a dog and 3 or so for a human). Couple that with the incredibly short digestive tract (a 2 ft intestine for a dog, a 22 ft intestine on a human) and there is simply no opportunity for bacteria to reproduce in a healthy dog. No need to cook it, especially the rib bones.

    A dog never evolved to have the cranial capacity to discover fire (i.e. sterilization) so nature never anticipated he'd have access to cooked food. He is designed to eat raw just fine.

    Check out some raw feeding groups on facebook and yahoo and the forum.

    You sound like you're giving Chopper quite the life. Don't stress it.

  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I really dig the name Chopper!!! It sounds like you are making great progress with him and that you are handling him in proper Shiba fashion.

    Keep up the good work and if you do a search, there are many helpful threads with advice on raw in this forum!
    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 Kira_Kira at 2015-02-24 23:53:16
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I love one piece anime and manga too my favorite is Brook.. :3

    Chopper sounds typical and being rescue it might take some time, but sounds like your making progress.

    If you do raw be sure to introduce it slowly stuff like liver, heart, kidneys are rich that is usually introduced once dog is used to raw.

    Saya handles turkey necks raw no problem and stuff like chicken thights and drumsticks..

    This site has a nice little pdf for info to help get started.

    I've fed raw since Saya was 8months old and so far no issues.

    Bella gets kibble in am and raw in pm. So far she does good..

    If your dog uses it's paws you can just wipe them off.. Saya rarely uses her paws to eat, but Bella does so I wipe them if she uses them.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    WAN PIECE-UUUU. Hahaha, awesome, I love the name Chopper!

    Yeah, it sounds like you're doing awesome. Like everyone else said, don't worry about the "germs" aspect -- if you're truly concerned, wear some rubber gloves while handling it and give it to him outside, or in an area you don't mind him eating it at. Cooking it does defeat the purpose of raw, like you said. ;)
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆

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