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Shiba Inu and affection?
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    I have been away from the forum a while, been very busy with college. I am currently saving up for when I am out of school so that I can get a dog. I am considering a shiba after all I have learned on here but one thing always bothers me. The cat like independance (though all my cats are pretty dog-like if you must know). The shiba and affection. Do you feel like most shiba's aren't really all that interested in you being a part of their world? Would you consider yours loyal? I like a lot about the breed but not the idea that they could care less about what I am doing or where I am. I want a dog that will engage with me and enjoy my company. I feel a herding dog breed would be better suited to me but I still wanted to talk about this. Does your shiba even like affection? What's the rule and not the exception? I know each dog is an individual but if I chose this breed I would not want a roommate, I want a companion. I also recently met an over-weight cream shiba with eye problems and a skinny spastic red shiba at Bass Pro a couple months back. Apparently the red one was on the doggie version of prozac or something? I don't really remember but the dog had tons of energy even with a suppressant (prozac may not have been the right med name). I felt bad because I knew these dogs were probably not bred well and did not represent the breed well.

    (I hope my questions do not upset anyone, I just have been struggling with this with the people I have talked to and I figure you guys are much better to ask than some peer group or extended family.)

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2016-07-05 07:56:42
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    My girl Sora has been an affectionate little darling right from the start. She loves cuddles and is loyal and is happy doing whatever as long as she is with me.
    Yes Shiba inus have a strong streak of independence but as each shiba is their own person(dog) the independence will show up in different ways. Sora's independence shows up when she wants time to herself to play with her special toys or when we go to a safe isolated area to practice recall and have a run if she sees a bird she will race off and chase it without asking permission. She is getting better at stopping and coming straight back when this happens. Anyway the best thing to do is when you are sure you are actually ready for a shiba is to find an ethical and responsible breeder who you mesh with and explain to them what type of personality you are looking for in a pup. Truth is though most shiba inu owners accept the breed and their independence and indifference as part of who they are. A shibas high intelligence, independence, quirks and stubbornness are what draw us to the breed. I could very well have ended up with a shiba who disliked cuddles and liked their distance(I was very surprised at Sora's level of affection) and I still would have been very happy with her and loved her the same. A breeder will do their best to match you with the right pup but how you raise your pup matters too.
    Why do you want a shiba inu?

    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-07-03 08:32:38
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    What appeals to me about the shiba is that they are a medium-smaller dog with lots of intelligence and personality, short hair, that they are adventurous and aren't in love with all the people they meet. I like that they can be okay by themselves if they need to be (not as likely separation anxiety) I like that they are witty and clever and I am okay with one who doesn't need love all the time, just that the dog likes to be in the room with me-hence the enjoyable company. I like that they are agile and might love to do agility (not competing but like backyard fun.)
    Post edited by Romay at 2016-07-03 08:59:56
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    I have some time to consider my four legged furry options and I have not decided yet, which is why I made this post. When I first joined this forum I was certain that I wanted a shiba, but then I met some German Shepherds and Cardigan Corgi's in person. Great animals, truly. The only shibas I met were the ones mentioned above. And then I wasn't so sure. (I have a couple years to decide.)
    Post edited by Romay at 2016-07-03 09:00:44
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    It saddens me that the only shibas I met in person--one was neurotic and the other overweight with eye problems.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3469
    Have you tried looking up meet up groups? Definitely suggest meeting more dogs of the breed you like to get a general feel for the dog. Of course as Niki mentioned, by researching and going with a reputable breeder, you will have a better chance getting a dog suited for your life style.

    My Shiba is very independent. This is because of her personality and upbringing. She was raised with a shih tzu mix who is more clingy to humans. Most of the time bootz would be sleeping in a separate room from us because she prefers peace and quiet. But if she wants company she would join us.

    Bootz is usually not affectionate, even when she was younger. But of course with her special human (me) she is willing to tolerate cuddle time and massages. Once she has had enough she would give me a kiss and walk away.

    She is a great on walks. We have a special bond since she knows I trust her off leash and will check in on me to make sure I know she is close by.

  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    I have often wondered if there were any meet ups in bristol, VA. Or maybe even Johnson City TN. I think last time the closest meet up was Richmond VA and I couldn't go.
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 332
    Every Shiba is different, but both of ours are affectionate with us and enjoy our company, often choosing to be in the same room. Rhyz likes lots of belly rubs and will sleep on our laps, while Laika very much enjoys snuggling up and sleeping beside us. They both give kisses and are always excited to see us, even if we just disappear to take a shower it's a loving reunion afterward with wagging tails and happy flat ears.
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    @spacedogs Aww that sounds nice :)
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1032
    I'd definitely also recommend meeting many shibas and other breeds that you're considering. If you do decide on shibas, reputable breeders are a great resource and could give you an idea on the typical temperaments of the shibas they breed. Shibas have gained a lot of popularity quickly, and many are not good advocates for the breed since mills wanting to profit by pumping out dogs in demand don't care about their health, well being, or whether they go to someone who is prepared for the challenge they present. The shibas and their reputation suffer because of it. So when looking for an accurate depiction of the breed (whatever breed that may be), meet many and talk to the trustworthy breeders who know them best and can give you a better idea about what to really expect. :)

    My Shiba is soooo friendly hahahah. I really dislike the selfless attitude some breeds have lol. I don't want a servant or a yes dog that will just follow all my orders. I want someone who looks out for their own best interest and chooses to spend time with me based on our relationship, instead of just trying to please me whatever it may take. Ozzy definitely isn't a people pleaser. He wants what he wants and will totally ignore you when he's fixated on getting what he wants. But he loves every human and every dog. I can't go anywhere without having to have a conversation with every person we pass as Ozzy approaches them eagerly with a wagging tail hahah. He also doesn't like to be alone. He seems to have no fears, except that he becomes anxious when left alone. He's gotten more comfortable with it, but he would rather be near us at all times. Not necessarily on us and in our face like many breeds, but near us, and snuggling next to us at times. Sometimes he really wants attention and demands it. He'll crawl onto my lap and start rolling around and making weird noises haha. Or when he wants to play fetch he'll grab a toy and smother me with it until I play with him. xD But he's also often content to just lay nearby. He's also in his adolescent phase so he sometimes acts out in order to get my attention. For the most part, he's just a silly cuddly monster though lol.

    Dogs like German shepherds have an extremely high tolerance. They can be great with families, because they can tolerate the noise and bustle of the household no sweat. Shibas can be pretty particular. Sometimes when I set a box or something on the table, Ozzy gets pretty suspicious about it because it's out of place; something in his familiar environment has changed. I love that he pays so much attention to detail and would let me know if something was up. And he loves kids, but he can become tired quickly when they're all running around him and being wild. Too much stimulation can easily overwhelm him, but he also needs a lot of mental stimulation to relax sometimes. I really like German shepherds by the way. They're sooo easy to train and so committed to their families. And I think their gait looks very majestic haha. But when looking for a dog of my own, I wanted a partner. And I adore the challenges of a Shiba (although my boy is pretty easy going and not too difficult). Shibas are very similar to the kind of humans I'm also drawn to as friends. Intelligent, sure of themselves, goofy, witty, dedicated but not overbearing... I'm no expect of course. My puppy is one of the only shibas I've met, he is very even tempered and seems unaturally friendly for a Shiba hah. So definitely meet as many as you can, and if the time comes, find a breeder that you mesh well with who can help pick out the perfect pup to fit your lifestyle and preferences.
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    @lilikoi shibas are just such funny and suspicious creatures. Sora too mistrusts objects she thinks don't belong in her house. We got a new phone book the other day and 3 times already she has hunted it down and taken it from it's spot and started attacking it! Lol! I'm like WTH Sora its just a phone book. :)
    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-07-03 17:46:13
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    Thank you for all the advice! (Everyone who has commented so far) I definitely want to meet more dogs. I researched the Shiba for 3 years before coming back to the forum and much of this forum has provided me answers. There will always be things to learn and I know I will mess up one thing or another in terms of history or facts but I know enough to have the general shiba in mind, but no matter what knowledge I have nothing beats hearing about those who have the real tangible thing.

    Ideally I want a medium smaller dog because I am a small framed woman at 5'5 129lbs and while I adore GSD's they are big dogs and I like the portability of smaller dogs (dogs that actually look like dogs I dislike anything the size of shizu or a yorkie or a chihuahua because I would be terrified they would break or get hurt from something simple).
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    @niki82 Your Sora has it figured out! Phone books are terrible monsters which can fall onto one's unsuspecting feet.
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    @Romay lol that's very true.. Bow to the wisdom of the shiba inu. :D
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1032
    It's great that you're doing so much research and really seeking the dog of your dreams. Just so you know I did have my doubts about shibas too. I thought they might turn out to be a lot of work with little reward. Everyone talks so badly about them lol. Which now I understand is to help you consider whether you're truly up for the challenge of a Shiba, but at the time it just seemed like exclusivity that people felt they were responsible enough to own a Shiba and others weren't. I don't want to come across that way haha, and want you to know the fantastic rewarding experience that comes from owning a Shiba if it is your fit.

    They are super devoted. They are independent, but that doesn't mean they don't care about the people that surround them. It's the best feeling when I come home or when I wake up in the morning or even after I've been in the shower for 10 minutes, and my Shiba is giving me airplane ears, climbing into my lap, and pushing all of his weight against me while he paces out of excitement with a toy in his mouth lol. It seems like they bond very strongly with the people they're close to. But you have to earn their loyalty (unless you're my Shiba who trusts and adores everyone hahaha). They are challenging and frustrating little brats sometime. But endearing and lovable. Owning a Shiba was both a lot like I expected it to be and also a lot different. All the things I feared and the reasons that I had doubts haven't even been a thought. Ozzy takes so much of my attention and focus ha. But I'm so willing to give that to him. There's no other way I'd rather be spending my time. It is very rewarding, not at allllll a one sided relationship like I feared. But of course shibas aren't for everyone, and that's okay. Their love isn't really unconditional haha. But it is a special, deep bond.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2016-07-03 19:17:04
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    My shiba is very needy, and not at all independent. She follows me from room to room, often licking my legs as I walk. She MUST be right next to me. Even if she is asleep, if I go to another room, she follow me and lay back down next to me in the new room. I have trained her not to have serious separation anxiety, but she does howl after I leave for work, and if she had the choice, she would be with me 24/7. She is always soo happy to see me when I get back home, even if I am gone for only two minutes. Airplane ears, tail wagging, groaning/howling with joy, etc. She is also a face-licker and earlobe-nibbler.

    She loves attention and affection (e.g., rubs, pets, scratches, being carried, etc.) and loves her morning snuggles, but she is not a lap dog by any means. Honestly I think she overheats due to her thick fur, so she doesn't like to spoon. But she does lean against my leg or arm, and/or rest her chin on me. She goes into full small-spoon mode when we are camping though, probably because of the cold. Also, at least once a day if she's sleeping on the rug I'll go touch her and she literally moves an arm's length away and lays back down, lol. So yes she loves affection, but not all of the time, which is fine.

    She is very loyal. She loves me the most, then my partner, and then literally only five other people whom she had to take the time to "know." She is indifferent to everyone else, even people she's met 20+ times. She is curious about strangers and will sniff them thoroughly, but jump away to dodge their attempts at petting her. She is also an introvert--even a short walk is very draining for her if she has to say hello to 3+ people. (Everyone wants to stop to greet her.)

    All that being said, she is VERY stubborn and strong-willed (maybe that's what people mean by "independent"). She often will stop walking just to stare at someone/something/a dog/anything across the street. She will staunchly refuse to walk in a direction I've chosen, but enthusiastically trot along if I let her go in the direction of her choice. She is very sensitive and lets me know immediately (with a scream) if she is even slightly uncomfortable. She does not tolerate anything that even slightly displeases her.

    She is 100% my companion. She is only 8 months old, but our bond is already incredibly deep and strengthening still every day. I've never had a dog before, and I don't know how I ended up with such a perfect match. I don't know how any other dog (even shiba!) could compare. She definitely has her stubborn and annoying moments every day, but I wouldn't change a thing about her.

    I worry that even if you meet other shibas, you won't see their true personalities (my shiba is very reserved in public but a complete nutter at home). Asking shiba owners about their experiences may help though. Also, you can always tell a reputable breeder exactly what personality traits you are looking for, and they can match you with an older puppy or adult that fits your preferences.
    Post edited by pylea at 2016-07-03 20:13:17
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    Does anybody have any recommendations for responsible breeders in maybe say the North Carolina area, Tennessee or Virginia? I don't remember what the rules on here are about stating the names of breeders, but I'd rather be directed to responsible people who treasure the breed and want the best for it than dig around in a haystack of many who only want to make money and could care less about health and temperament. I know sometimes the best are those who don't advertise too much and are known by word of mouth. And you all have made a very good resounding point, the breeder should be able to pair me with a dog that is my fit, and after talking to me he or she would know that I wouldn't want the most 'no touchy' dog in the pack. Occasional 'no touchy' is fine but not totally haha.

    @pylea that sounds like what I would be happy with haha. How has your experience been with the Shiba scream? I have heard of it's humbling powers and it's astounding ability to make others think you are the worst person in the whole universe and you are torturing your dog xD.
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    This thread is immensely helpful, but has close to 1,000 comments so if you can't read through all of them, feel free to ask about reputable breeders in NC/TN/VA: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/10035/shiba-breeders-discussion-thread#Item_956

    The scream can be kind of embarrassing because it almost always happens in public when she gets a dingleberry. ;)) She screams bloody murder and runs around like a psycho and won't let me remove it. One time it happened 1.5 blocks from my apartment, and my partner ran outside to see what had happened because he thought we got hit by a car! Normally though, no one really reacts to it. I think because I look well put together and not like I would harm an animal? Not sure. She doesn't scream much indoors.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1032
    @Romay - here's a good place to check out:
    https://www.shibas.org/breeders.html

    I saw one in South Carolina but not the other places you mentioned. I'm traveling to Greensboro North Carolina in a couple of weeks, bringing my shiba boy, so if you are near there and would like to meet a Shiba in person, let me know. :)

    I've warned our neighbor's about the Shiba scream and how it can sound like he's being punted across the room when he's actually just putting on a step in harness. They say they understand, but they seem very skeptical. :( haha
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    Thank you for the offer! I wish I was closer.
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1242
    Out of the 5 Shiba Inu we have had in our family (currently 4, one is now living back with her amazing breeder), this is the breakdown.
    Koyuki (female) affectionate with me all the time to the point that if i sit she is on my lap within seconds.
    Takeo (male) makes me think i am invisible. Shows me no affection or even acknowledgement 99% of the time, but is incredibly sweet when he does.
    Suma (female)- much like Takeo above, however if she is by herself she will come up for a very quiet cuddle but only if there is no pressure to do so. And when she does she is just the sweetest little thing ever.
    Kenji (male) is affectionate when he is calm, but gets over stimulated easily. Loves his one on one time but cant be forced on him. Very sweet boy that will show huge amounts of affection on his terms, other times he wont even come near us lol.
    Akemi (female) the sweetest little potato ever. Loved to be with us, not at all clingy. However, if she was in the mood to play or wanted to be with the other dogs she would scream bloody murder. Fiercely independant. Nothing could ever be forced on this one. It was her way or the highway but i loved that about her!
    Our two Akitas are alot more affectionate, and no where near as stubborn and unyielding as the Shibas.
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    @koyuki were they landsharks as puppies?
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1242
    What do you mean by landsharks ? ( Im Australian i think we have different sayings so im a bit lost lol).
    As small puppies they were all wonderful. From 7 months to around 18 months they were absolute jerks that made me question on occasion why we have more than one . Very difficult but came out the other end with 5 beautiful Shibas that i am thankful to have in my lives.
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    @koyuki I think she might be asking about whether you had trouble with any of your shibas biting.. Is that what you mean @Romay?
    Post edited by niki82 at 2016-07-05 05:27:11
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1242
    Ahhh ok well in that case, puppy mouthing yes. Not so much as the Akitas. Not anymore than anyother puppy ive worked with etc
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • RomayRomay
    Posts: 26
    @niki82 yes I mean they were avid biters when they were younger? I apologize for the confusion.
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1242
    Yep, mouthy. But not at all now. Whereas my adult Japanese Akita still mouthes when shes excited but due to her size it can hurt!
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu

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