For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
I'm unsure if my Shiba even likes me?
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    How can I tell if my Shiba likes me? Reggie is older, about 10. I've had him for 1.5 years and still not sure if we have a bond. Within the time I've had him I have lived in three different places. I just bought a townhouse and moved in this January so maybe he is still adjusting. He has only recently been acting weird with my husband and very avoidant of him. Reggie has never been cuddly and he still flinches when touched. When I pet him he licks/smacks his lips as though he is uncomfortable. Some other things he does makes me feel he does have some affiliation. He can be off leash sometimes and will come when called (if he's not busy sniffing something). He spends time on his bed in the same room with me or he'll lay on the couch next to me. I really want him to like my husband more. He is frustrated and is unhappy having a dog that doesn't respond to him.i guess I just want to know if there is hope or this is the way it is...

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2017-04-05 17:40:40
  • Shibas are very independent dogs and usually don't warm up to humans as quickly as some other dogs might. But they are very loyal if they come to trust you. How often do you guys spend time with him? With Shibas, you have to earn their loyalty.

    Here's a few things you can try to do to earn his trust a little more.
    - Spend as much time with him as possible. Play with some of his favorite toys.
    - Take him for walks every day, or as often as you can. It can be you, or your husband, or both of you at the same time.
    - Do some training with him. Training is what can not only gain a dog's trust, but bond them closer to their owners. Do training as often as you can, it's also a lot of fun when they learn a new trick.
    - Above all, be patient. Dogs have amazing senses, if Reggie senses you guys feeling frustrated, upset, or feels any negative vibes from you two, it's going to affect how he feels towards you two.

    I hope this helps you two out :)
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    Thank you for your response. We don't have a yard so he gets at least two walks a day. He likes playing with me with his toy. I sometimes take him to work where he gets to interact with other dogs and people. I think he may be intimidated by my husband as he has a strong presence and personality. When my husband calls him over to put the leash on for a walk he will avoid him. I'm not sure what brought this on.
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 373
    @She_wolf it may have started all the way from Reggie's puppy days. He probably wasn't socialized properly to grown men. As to the Leash chase, I experience the same thing. no matter how much I practiced putting the harness on Zenki with treats and praises, we still have that leash dance every single time. I probably trained him wrong. :(( Having said that, I believe we have made a bond already. I still have my doubts though. Where do we draw the line of our bond with our shibas versus the Shiba-ness of our dogs.

    I guess rescuing/adopting an adult shiba or any dog for that matter has it's unique challenges as opposed to starting from puppy days.

    I'm interested to see what the long time shiba parents can share about this. I have a few questions...
    1.) Were your shibas more or less affectionate now than they were 5-10 yrs ago?
    2.) Do shibas become more affectionate as they get older or they pretty much stay the same over the years?


    Untitled
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

    Post edited by Zenki at 2017-04-05 20:11:38
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    I feel I am partly to blame in all this because my husband did not really want a dog at this time because, his words, he is not responsible enough. I decided to foster Reggie to see if he would fit in and when the time came to make a decision I couldn't give him up. I guess he is more my dog. My husband would've wanted a dog he could rough house with and Reggie is too timid for that although he has played with the toy with my husband. I just wish I knew if there will ever be a bond there or if we're "stuck with" a dog that just doesn't care. I don't think I could part with him despite his apparent apathy towards us.
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 355
    I don't know if you're familiar with positive reinforcement training, but a dog is never too old to learn or be reconditioned with it. You could use it to alleviate his discomfort with physical contact, and for your husband to start bribing his way in to Reggie's heart. Another thing that might help your hubby to interact with Reggie more, is to get down on Reggie's level, make himself smaller and less intimidating and soften his voice and demeanor and see if, in time, Reggie responds to it by giving him more open interaction. Of course, none of this matters if your husband doesn't actually want the bond or interaction with Reggie. It might be that you'll have to resign yourself to having a dog all your own.

    Gonna agree and second the comment about using trick training to bond with your dog, too. It can be a big help if you've a dog that's inclined to learn. :)
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    According to hubby, he has been trying to bribe Reggie with treats to no avail. I agree with you that Reggie will pick up on any negative vibes. He is very sensitive to that. I will relay that info about him getting down to Reggie's level. I did try to teach Reggie "down" but I'm not a dog trainer so maybe I could take him to a class?
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 355
    You could take him to a class, they're great for teaching people how to train and communicate with their dogs. :) If Reggie does well around other dogs it'll be a good place for him to bond with you.

    Maybe have your hubby try a higher value treat. Sometimes little pieces of cheese or boiled chicken work best with dogs that aren't motivated by food. Also is more likely to work if the dog is actually hungry, so before meals rather than after them is ideal for training.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1255
    @zenki yeah Juni has grown more and more affectionate over the years. She is not a lap dog but she loves when we cuddle with her and really lean on me or put her head against mine and close her eyes. As a puppy we could hardly touch her, she was like "I can do it myself" all the time.

    @She_wolf I would also suggest more activities together, things that boost his confidence, make him come out of his shell a bit more and that will make him see you as a resource more. Trick training is definitely a good idea. Are there any dog classes you can take nearby? I am thinking things like nose work or tracking or rally obedience would be fun.
    A ten year old shiba is unlikely to enjoy much rough and tumble playing so I think your husband will have to come up with some other games. Is Reggie going to warm up to him over time? Hard to tell, it is likely he will prefer you all the time but well, Shibas show their affection a bit different than many other dogs.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    My husband is having pretty much the exact same problem. It is frustrating, I know. I have heard that male dogs (especially shiba) tend to bond better with the opposite gender. Hubby is still trying to make headway.

    I recommend Bonding with your dog by Victoria Schade. It is a great book about how to strengthen and interact with your dog. Positive training is also a must. the more you do with your dog (hubby included) the better it will be. Also, study up on canine body language. If your husband and you can start recognizing some of the things he is trying to say and respond to them in a way he understands, you might be able to crack the shell a little faster. Shiba's aren't big cuddlers from what I have seen---even my own.

    Older dogs are a bit more stubborn and set in their ways, regardless of breed, but with patience and perseverance, you can bridge the gap ^_^
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8464
    @She_wolf - You may also want to check out some confident canine classes. These are specifically for anxious, fearful, or shy dogs.

    While your pup may never be what your husband imagines a dog should be, boosting his confidence and creating a trusting relationship will definitely help him (and probably your husband) feel a lot more comfortable and confident.

    As for the question @Zenki asked:

    My oldest Shiba is not what I would call "affectionate". She likes attention when she wants it and will pester you until you give it to her. However, she is not a snuggler and never has been. She tends to want to be in the same room as me, but is content to lay on another piece of furniture or even the floor versus laying on the couch with me.

    My youngest was fiercely independent as a puppy. She NEVER got on the couch with me, would often go do her own thing versus being in the same room as me and generally did not particularly care too much for being pet. As she got older, she started to like belly rubs and would hop up on the couch with me for a few minutes at a time. She would spend more time in the same room as me.

    The next part is probably not useful for general purposes, but I will add it anyway. Then she got sick. She specifically sought me out for comfort and to this day (she was three when diagnosed and will be nine next month) LOVES to snuggle on the couch. She still has independent streaks (such as she refuses to sleep in the bed with me and would rather sleep in her crate), but is pretty affectionate for a Shiba. We have a pretty significant and special bond.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    Thank you for the advice. I think classes might be a good idea. Honestly I have been more accepting of Reggie and his odd personality just given how old he is, breed, condition at the shelter and his unknown past. It is my husband having a harder time. I read the topic on greeting stretching and I have noticed Reggie comes up and stretches in front of me. Maybe that is his version of saying hi rather than wagging his tail.
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 64
    Our rescue does the motion of licking the air rapidly as well. The behavior can be a coping mechanism for anxiety. Rusty does this when he’s not getting enough pets and attention (usually after he’s been left alone in the house). At first I thought it meant he was afraid of the petting and didn’t want to be touched but then he would keep pushing his wet nose into our hands. Reggie may have picked this up due to some anxiety with the recent move maybe?

    I remember the first couple months we had him I was convinced he was unhappy with his new home. He wasn’t interested in eating and he just gave a blank stare to toys. He now does basically anything for food. He gets pretty vocal if dinner is late. It wasn’t until this past winter he realized what toys were for. He’s been getting cuddlier as well. He used to hate it when we’d turn on the TV and sit on the couch. He’d go lay down in the next room over but now he’ll plop between us. Meaning one of us gets a dog head on our lap and the other one gets kicked by his feet as he rolls over demanding belly rubs. =))

    We haven’t had Rusty for 1.5 years yet but every dog adjusts at different speeds. My husband is still positive that he wouldn’t think twice about jumping in a stranger’s car and never looking back. His first love was clearly car rides. I agree working on tricks is a great way to bond! If Reggie likes car rides you could have your husband take him someplace new to go walk and explore so he associates a positive fun experience to being with your husband.
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    Reggie is very calm/indifferent to car rides. He lays down in the back and sometimes we forget he's there! We take him different places to walk but it is usually by myself or with my husband but I don't think it's been one on one with them. He loves his walks but has to stop and sniff literally everything, so it can be cumbersome.
    I am wondering if we entertain him enough. He gets toy time, a couple walks a day, treats and Kongs, but he seems awfully content lounging and sleeping for most of the day. It's hard to tell if he's bored because he is non destructive and doesn't potty inside.
  • imBLASIANimBLASIAN
    Posts: 412
    There are a couple of threads on shiba entertainment ideas already, but mine loves the flirt pole
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    every dog loves different things, so you just have to keep testing until you find that one special item. Shiba's are natural hunters, so anything that can tap into that might work. I didn't have a flirt pole yet, but I tied a string to a ball and yank it around the yard while Coal takes chase. he absolutely adores it! Also, water bottles. If you are okay with noise, stuff one into a sock and let him have at it. Or better, put stuff inside and screw it tightly closed before covering it up.

    He is also an older dog, and I have heard that they are just more content with relaxing as they get up in years. So that could be it, too.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Mine likes cat toys over dog toys :> she likes chasing more than tug of war or fetch. Well she likes fetching (fetching as in I throw and she goes after it and never comes back) outside only but indoors she likes playing with flirt poles or jingle balls made for cats. I had to make sure it was one that she couldn't break easily because a lot of cat toys are made really weak and not meant for dogs lol
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    Oo you should get a wind-up mouse or something like that ^_^
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 64
    My husband is along on most all our walks as well. Mostly just because it's easier to deal with off leash dogs that way. But maybe some one on one time walking with your husband is worth a try :)

    Rusty is 6 years old and he's generally just as happy to lounge around in whatever room we're in as well. Even if we're out in the yard doing landscaping he'll do some sniffing around but eventually will settle down and just lay in the yard and watch us.

    Rusty really likes the laser pointer. I don't use it often and I always make sure he gets a reward afterwards so he feels like he wins even if he didn't catch it. He plays with his rope toy more like a cat than a dog too, it's amusing.
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 373
    I got zenki a real racoon tail at the dog show today. He absolutely went to town on it. :))
    Untitled
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    I second Obiza. I think Shibas find happiness in just watching their family outside in the yard lol I noticed a lot of Shibas spend time outside in the yard just watching people and things around them and they can do that for hours. I know Mochi likes to do that when she goes outside. She plays fetch for like 5 mins or so but then settles down to just people watch and she's perfectly at peace doing that.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 730
    @Mochi920 Coal is the opposite. He only people-watches when they come too close to his territory. There are two types of things in the world: playthings and sniff things XD He wants to play with everything he sees! We actually have had to teach him to relax.

    Generally, after a good play session, he will sit and watch--but only after something got his attention.

    @Obiza I told my husband: Shibas are cats in dog bodies. I am going to peruse the cat toy aisle and just buy a bunch of stuff one of these days. It makes sense, though. Shiba were bred to hunt small animals and birds.
  • She_wolfShe_wolf
    Posts: 15
    img src="photo 20170410_143420_zpsxmku1n3q.jpg" />

    Reggie is comfortable enough to lay on the couch with me but not in my lap. I don't think he woukd do this with my husband though. We had another argument because Reggie wouldn't come to him so we decided we will look into training classes.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (2)