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Hunting/Working Shibas
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    There's a discussion NK side about hunting birds with shiba. Are there actually any breeders in NA focusing on working ability? Or anyone who hunts with their shiba?
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-09-22 15:59:23
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I've been told by one shiba inu owner who shows her two shiba she met a breeder who used their shiba to hunt. I've emailed asking for their email or phone to get in touch with this breeder, but haven't received it yet so maybe she didn't see him again or who knows. =\

    I got so excited when the person said that they met that type of breeder..
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I think a better question would be "are ANY Nihon Ken breeders in North America focusing on hunting their dogs?" I know of a grand total of 2-3 people in North America (who are not breeders) who hunt with their NK. Safety, law, opportunity, cost and location are often prohibitve to pursuing it with valuable breeding dogs, regardless of breed of NK. As far as working ability/drive, yes, there are Shiba breeders who select for this in some of their lines and encourage their pet owners to participate in performance events with these dogs. Realistically, most Shibas depending on breeder are bred for a more mild pet temperament.

    I do think performance titles are far more reasonable to expect from a breeder in NA than hunting. I don't know of any Kai/Kishu/Shikoku breeders, or more than a handfull of Shiba breeders, doing much of this either. It does take a lot of time, expense and training which are hard to come by for a breeder with a good sized breeding program. That's where I think the individual pet owners need to step up and get their drivier breeder dogs out there doing whatever suits their fancy as far as performance or hunting, and not expect the breeder to do it all.

    Regarding Shiba, there are stats published every quarter in our club magazine on the many dogs who have earned performance titles in AKC (Versatility, Tracking, Agility, Obedience, Rally). I believe NSCA will soon be including information on non-AKC performance titles like Flyball (yippee!), which is good news for my dogs since that is our sport.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    I've been looking through the NSCA site for the titled dogs and contacting their owners/breeders for more info. I'm very, very interested in hunting with shibas, and it seems there are quite a few very workable shibas out there. Seems promising! I won't be getting another dog anytime soon, so I guess this is the obsessive research phase.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Gotcha, I will whisper you the names of some breeders and lines of dogs that have shown a much higher aptitude for working.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    That's good about going to include fly ball seems like a fun sport to do with dogs.

    I'd love to have a more drivey, agile type of shiba inu one day mind whispering me the names too?
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Nichole, good luck with things. Keep us posted on Saya, it will be interesting to follow!

    Snf


    ---Ok here is an update to the hunting pheasants etc on the other side.....

    I took my dog into a large undeveloped field yesterday to practice some basic skills with bumpers and retrieves. I knew it would be the last time for awhile after the heat set in so we attempted to take advantage of a beautiful day.

    Anyway, after all the expectation and the good things that had come about in the previous minor hunting and tracking experiences, we had an incident with insects and possibly grass. My boy went nuts with the buzzing of bumble bees. I think he may have gotten stung. Poor thing ended up chasing his tail and biting his feet going into insane circles (something he has never done before). It took two of us to catch him, thankfully I had him on a very long leash line.

    Last night we ended up with the allergist and pred. shots to reduce swelling that basically was bad enough the poor dog could not see.

    Sadly after yesterday's situation the underlying health issue dictates we take "fun stuff" indoors or to a developed area where grass is low and insects are few .......basically the hunting thing is out for us. We will continue to pursue other avenues.

    Long story short and words of wisdom ... Even with a "hunty drivy" dog one needs a completely healthy animal to hunt or outdoor track. If inhalation allergies are an issue some outdoor activities may be a bust. : (
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2011-06-07 10:37:00
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Oh, poor guy, poor mom! That is too bad. I hope he is feeling better soon.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • After a blog post went viral on Facebook, I would like to explain something here.

    The question isn't: "who hunts with their Shiba Inu" or "is there any breeder that hunt with their dogs," but rather is there a market for such dogs? By large, most of the traditional American breeds we have here have already been here for about a century or more. People are going to stick with what they know, not what sounds fancy.

    I say this in part because my favourite breed (the Finnish Spitz) was once all the rage on the East Coast as the ultimate squirrel dogs sometimes in the 80s and 90s. However it quickly fell out of favour when the dogs lacked the qualities that were associated with feists, curs and elkhounds: biddability and sticking close. This is fine, because in Finland games are scarce; they need dogs that don't listen, work independently and range far from their owners. Here, in North America, we are fortunate to be in living in the lands of the plenty. We don't need dogs that search half a kilometre or more away from us. For some reason though, the West Siberian Laikas managed to survive as a working dog after being imported in the mid-90s; instead of the Finnish Spitz.

    Shiba Inu sounds like a nice breed on paper, but for many people who still hunt, it's a big investment for them. Some of them already depend on their quarries to feed their families. The ones who do it as a sport spent a lot of money on their equipment. Some of them already know what they want. They don't want to spend the money or time on experimenting with a dog whose working style is unfamiliar with them.

    There's a difference between fantasy and practicality.
    Post edited by littleheelers at 2011-07-12 15:07:10
  • And the same is probably said likewise about Shiba Inu breeders. They probably didn't import them for the working qualities-- even if they believe they are preserving it. If they could afford to import, they are the ones who are well-off enough they don't need to depend on a dog for a living. Even then, those who have lucrative hunting dogs-- to them, hunting is a sport. Why would they spend so much money on importing a dog whose style is new and is probably "unsportsmanlike" to them? So really, it is a form of class warfare: the ones who can afford to keep kennels of imported working dogs are pursuing specialist behaviours such as pointing or retrieving.

    The Shiba Inu is not a specialist, but rather a generalist.
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    It doesn't matter much to me if there's a market for it. I'm interested in hunting with shibas, so if I do he research and wait patiently to find the right shiba, buy it, train it to hunt, and then go ahead and go hunting, what does it matter what kind of dog other people are using? I don't really care if it catches on. I don't expect it to. It would just be really neat, even though it's a very niche thing with only a handful of people interested in it. If/when I start breeding, I fully expect that most of the puppies I produce will go to pet homes (as is the case with most breeders in most breeds). Also, some people want workable shibas for agility or other dog sports, where the same characteristics needed for hunting would be valuable. I'm also really interested in assistance dogs. I've been communicating with a breeder of shibas who actually has a shiba doing assistance work for her, and that's definitely something I'd like to learn more about. I don't think there are a lot of people depending on their dogs for their livelihoods, and I would say that generally, owning, breeding, and working dogs is pretty expensive. I mean, I don't need to hunt to survive, I have a grocery store, but it's a hobby and I enjoy it.

    Oh, and I'm totally inspired by the Basenji Native Traits Preservation Project. That's very similar to what I'm interested in.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • "It doesn't matter much to me if there's a market for it. I'm interested in hunting with shibas, so if I do he research and wait patiently to find the right shiba, buy it, train it to hunt, and then go ahead and go hunting, what does it matter what kind of dog other people are using? I don't really care if it catches on. I don't expect it to. It would just be really neat, even though it's a very niche thing with only a handful of people interested in it. If/when I start breeding, I fully expect that most of the puppies I produce will go to pet homes (as is the case with most breeders in most breeds)"

    One person isn't enough to maintain a gene pool. Yes, you can find the dog of your dream, however if there is no one left to take over when you retire or when you die-- that's the end of that bloodline's legacy. I would love to have another dog like my old Shiba, however his father's bloodline was terminated. There's not enough demand for dogs of his calibre. And since mine was fixed at 10 months, he cannot be bred (obviously.)

    Besides, he had numerous faults such as having photographic memories, piddling himself when he hears a hot-air balloon and so on. Although he was a genius at roosting around, he was just simply too nervous to condition to abnormal noises and objects. Finding a bitch to offset those traits without dilulting his assets would be difficult to find.

    "Also, some people want workable shibas for agility or other dog sports, where the same characteristics needed for hunting would be valuable. I'm also really interested in assistance dogs. I've been communicating with a breeder of shibas who actually has a shiba doing assistance work for her, and that's definitely something I'd like to learn more about."

    You have to ask yourself, what IS a working Shiba? What are they suppose to do? What qualities are they suppose to have? Are they suppose to retrieve? Are they suppose to point? Are they suppose to listen? Are they suppose to think for themselves? Raise hell? Or are they suppose to wait for you first? I will tell you this, many of the spitzes used for hunting bears here wouldn't be able to pass an agility course without rewiring their brains. They're not biddable enough. Some people don't really care if they can or not, their dogs do the job well enough.

    Any dog can work if you're willing to work with their quirks, but you have to ask yourself: what are you looking for in a dog? My definition of a working dog is different than the guy next door to me. What is a great dog to one person isn't worth the kibbles to the next.

    "I don't think there are a lot of people depending on their dogs for their livelihoods, and I would say that generally, owning, breeding, and working dogs is pretty expensive. I mean, I don't need to hunt to survive, I have a grocery store, but it's a hobby and I enjoy it."

    Depends on where you live and how isolated you are. There are some places where shooting a moose is enough to feed a family for a year, and is cheaper than driving to the grocery store once a week. In addition, when I went to university, there were people who couldn't even afford to go grocery-shopping or own a car, and they basically stocked their freezers full of vension and grouses they've shot. Also, you have to consider some dog owners are hired as conservation officers to manage wildlife.
    Post edited by littleheelers at 2011-07-12 21:33:10
  • aykayk
    Posts: 121
    Heidi,

    Could you share a bit about the Basenji Native Traits Preservation Project? I see that there's a yahoogroups for it, but I wonder if you could summarize for me?
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    @littleheelers - I'm not really sure what you're getting at, or what you're trying to argue. I just want to hunt with a shiba some day.

    @ayk - I'm still learning more myself, but from what I gather, there was an initiative to open the AKC studbook to African stock in an attempt to return the basenji to its roots. There are some people hunting with basenjis to that end as well. They seem to hunt a wide variety of game. Apparently, they can work like pointers, or track anything else you want. That's pretty much what I know. I joined the group and am learning more.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    @hondru, the Basenji Native Stock Project was/is an initiative spearheaded by the Basenji Club of America to open up the AKC studbooks to African imports. I think it's separate and organized by different personnel from the Basenji Native Traits Preservation Project, which sounds like an interesting venture that I don't know anything about. Would love to learn more, too!
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    Whoops! See, still learning.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Littleheelers I got one question what was the blog post that went viral?

    "After a blog post went viral on Facebook, I would like to explain something here."

    This thread was mainly to see if there was any breeders out there that hunted or had shiba that might have the drive to hunt. At least that's what I gathered from this thread.

    I'm not exactly sure how shiba inu was used in hunting in Japan, how they trained them and their hunting style etc.

    I wouldn't mind working on it one day.

    I agree there are still people who hunt for food deer, moose etc. can help feed a family I know that deer has lots of meat on it..

    A lot of shiba inu are not fit for hunting, but who knows there might be some out there from good breeders who have the right temperament and drive to produce good pups that might be good for it..

    "You have to ask yourself, what IS a working Shiba? What are they suppose to do? What qualities are they suppose to have? Are they suppose to retrieve? Are they suppose to point? Are they suppose to listen? Are they suppose to think for themselves? Raise hell? Or are they suppose to wait for you first?"

    I'm not sure the way shiba inu was used for hunts my guess flushing birds and small mammals out of the brush, some sites say they hunted boar and bear..

    Boar depends on the shiba and most likely in a group setting though a shiba is pretty quick.. Bear I still dunno on that one maybe they mixed up info shiba inu with hokkaido breed I know hokkaido was used for bears..
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • What I means is everyone has a different idea what a working dog is. I see people who say they want a working dog, but not everyone expand on what qualities they are looking for.

    One thing though: as soon the dog leaves its native homeland and its native culture, it is undergoing a different selection pressure. Try as you might to "preserve" the breed, but there are going to be subtle things that will change the dogs such as dependency on GPS technology, dogs that range in closer due to increasing infrastructures and so on. Even things as gathering up your pack in the truck before going home will nullify the selection for heading home after a hunt.

    You can have the same breed, with the same gene pool, both used for hunting, but the bloodlines for the dogs are vastly different. Field-bred Labradours in the States are not the same as field-bred Labradours in Britain. Same breed. Shared gene pool. Both both dogs have different working genetics chiselled what the respective hunting culture thinks is the perfect dog.

    To be honest, I always imagined the Shiba inu to be more popular among lurcher owners and beaglers. But they're not, probably because people want to stick with what they already knows.
    Post edited by littleheelers at 2011-07-13 16:48:48

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