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Are Shiba's a good first dog?
  • lucylulucylu
    Posts: 500
    I ask this question because my wife brought up a good point. Everything we read before we got our puppy was that this was a very hard breed to deal with and almost everywhere I looked it said this breed wasn't for first time dog owners. I've owned dogs before so I wasn't scared, but my wife was NEVER around any dogs.

    Anyways, I asked her the other day if she felt this was a hard breed to deal with. She said no, but that's because she has nothing to compare it to. She made a really good point. If someone doesn't know how "normal" dogs are like labs, goldens, pugs, etc then why would they think a Shiba is difficult to deal with? If anything not having a different breed should make dealing with the antics of a Shiba easier.
    Post edited by Calia at 2011-09-21 01:08:59
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Some of the best Shiba owners I know are first time dog owners. However, some of the saddest cases of neglect, abuse and dogs being surrendered to rescue, historically involve novice and inexperienced owners who don't do their research or go to reputable breeders.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • my shiba is my first dog. a lot of people comment on how calm and well behaved he is and i think... really? i think i made a few mistakes with him, but, overall, i think i trained him well. the only person i know who was really around any dogs is my boyfriend and he thinks he's the 2nd most well trained dog he's met, lol.

    i was nervous when i kept reading shibas are not a good first time dog, but i didn't want any other breed... it's bad but i was really drawn towards the breed because they are so darn cute! BUT, i waited 3 to 4 years before getting a puppy, i made sure i was ready to train him, i read up on other breeds that i may have wanted... but i wanted a shiba inu.

    thinking of all the other dog owners i know, they probably shouldn't own a shiba inu... some of them don't walk their dogs regularly... or they gave up on puppy class because they didn't want to go... etc. etc.

    anyway, i agree with your wife because i don't think my dog is hard to train because i don't know how "normal" dogs are. but, now, i do wonder how they are... i wonder if i had a "normal" dog, would i have an extremely well behaved dog?
    Post edited by heart goes boOm at 2011-08-17 20:11:47
  • britkotsubritkotsu
    Posts: 210
    I think it really depends most on personality (human and dog) not how many dogs a person has or has not owned. I have found my shiba to be much more difficult than my collie in certain areas (recal, grooming, etc) and a breeze in others(calming down quickly, greeting people calmly, being clean, etc)
  • robes325robes325
    Posts: 264
    "Some of the best Shiba owners I know are first time dog owners. However, some of the saddest cases of neglect, abuse and dogs being surrendered to rescue, historically involve novice and inexperienced owners who don't do their research or go to reputable breeders."

    I think this statement can be said about any dog breed, not just shiba inus. With my experience, some of the worse cases of neglect and abuse are with pit bulls and pit bull mixes. I have seen cases where pitt bulls are bought for the purpose to kill and fight other dogs. Some of these dogs have their ears or tail cut off to make them more agressive.

    In regards to shiba inus, I think there are certain things you have to work harder at compared to other breeds (socialization with people, socialization with dogs, stubbornness, obedience, independent thinking, shedding, etc). With first time dog owners who are not educated in the shiba inu breed, this could turn out extremely bad if they are not aware of these things. Labs and golden retrievers are by nature more obedient and love to please their owners. Although a shiba inu might respect their owner, they are not dying to satisfy their owners desires. If a first time owner is responsible and has the right resources for training, then I dont see why a shiba inu would be bad for them.
  • I am a first time dog owner EVER and we decided to go ahead and get our Shiba Inu, Ginger. Having never had a dog before, I didn't think Ginger was hard to train at all! She pretty much potty trained herself and since she is so smart, she really picked up on commands super easy! I can't imagine not having a shiba now! I read all the warnings too about how shibas are not for first time dog owners, but I like a challenge and I am definitely a cat person, so I was drawn to the shiba temperament. I think instead of putting out a general statement that shibas are not for first time owners, it should be more of a statement that says 'not for LAZY owners.' I think if you are willing to put in the hard work and training hours, even as a first time owner, a shiba can be a very rewarding addition to your family. Ours is! :)
  • emmyemmy
    Posts: 553
    I am also a first time dog owner. I think that if you tend to be a disciplined person, you have time for the dog, and then you read all the worst stuff on this forum about shibas and still think "bring it on--sounds like a good time" it can be okay. :)
  • Question - I forgot if I already asked this, but are Akitas easier to train? I read it in a dog breed book once but the book didn't feature a shiba.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    When I say Novice, I don't mean "never having owned dogs." I think we all know that a person can be a Novice with the breed even if they have owned them for 3 generations, and that a lack of research is a problem no matter how many dogs a person has lived with, and that is definitely a HUGE cause of Shiba/owner mismatch and dogs getting returned or turned over to rescue (since we are talking about Shibas here and not PIT bulls). I totally agree that saying this is not a breed for lazy owners is far more accurate than saying it isn't a dog for first time owners, which is why I stated that some of the best Shiba homes I know have never owned dogs before.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • "I forgot if I already asked this, but are Akitas easier to train? I read it in a dog breed book once but the book didn't feature a shiba." in my experience, Akitas can be a bit more "loyal" and a bit less independent than shibas, and seem more likely to do things to please their owner rather than the "what's in it for me" attitude. however, i personally think akitas are even less of a good first-time dog breed, because they can be a lot more dangerous if not properly trained.

    shibas can be an excellent breed for first time dog owners, if that owner is prepared. if you go into owning the breed without doing any research, there's a good chance its going going to be too much for you. the reason shibas are not the best first time dog owner breed, is because for someone with no dog training experience, it will be even more of a challenge.

    @lucylu its very likely that your wife doesn't think shibas are difficult because she doesn't have anything to compare it to, yes. maybe if you got a lab in the future, she'd realize "wow, this puppy is easy compared to the last one!" but she's also had you, who has had experience with dogs, to help guide her. chances are, things would have been a lot harder for her if she had to raise the same puppy on her own.
  • robes325robes325
    Posts: 264
    "When I say Novice, I don't mean "never having owned dogs." I think we all know that a person can be a Novice with the breed even if they have owned them for 3 generations, and that a lack of research is a problem no matter how many dogs a person has lived with, and that is definitely a HUGE cause of Shiba/owner mismatch and dogs getting returned or turned over to rescue"

    I personally dont really see the logic to this. To clarify--a "novice" is a person who is new to the circumstances, work, etc., in which he or she is placed. If a person has owned a specific dog breed for 3 generations then they are not a novice to the breed. I doubt a person who HAS had this much experience with the breed would readily turn over their dog to a rescue. People who dont understand the value of a dog or someone who buys the dog for all of the wrong reasons would more than likely give up the dog in the future.

    I think that telling people shiba inus are not for first time dog owners is a good way to prevent impulse buyers or superficial buyers from purchasing them. I think many of these people dont know what they are getting themselves into and they dont even realize that buying a dog is a 12+ year dedication.
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    I think impulse and superficial buyers wouldn't even read up on the breed and find out the hard way that a shiba isn't going to be a cuddly little pomeranian that they were hoping for.

    But yes I agree a shiba isn't for lazy owners. :P
  • @Rubberducky...I have to take issue with the point that Akitas can be "a lot more dangerous." I think we need to be really careful about saying things like this. There is already a lot of breed prejudice and BSL against Akitas, and calling them "dangerous" even if you only mean that as a larger dog they could do more damage if they got in a fight, is problematic because it could perpetuate breed stereotypes. Akitas are NOT dangerous dogs, just as pit bulls are not, or any other (insert so-called "dangerous" dog breed here). Individual dogs could be; breeds are not. I would recommend an Akita for a first time dog owner before I'd recommend a Shiba, frankly.

    I think Akitas are MUCH easier to train than Shibas. We had a discussion on the NK side about which NKs we thought were the easiest, and most people who had experience with a variety of NKs put the Akita at the top in terms of easiest to train. While my Akita is certainly not as handler focused as my GSD was, he is much more so than the Shibas, and was much more receptive to training at a younger age (if slower to pick up on things than my Shibas). I find Akitas to be friendlier to people than Shibas, and while their size can make dog reactivity harder to handle if they actually get into a fight, I find them less snarky than Shibas and less likely to start a fight. (What Akita people say seems to be true: Akitas generally won't start fights, but they will finish them. Part of the "finishing a fight" has to do with sheer size and strength).

    About the original question: I don't know. Obviously, the Shiba is right for some first time dog owners, and not for some others. Same with people who have owned dogs before. In some ways it is true that a Shiba might be too a worse choice for someone how has never had an NK but who has had other breeds, then it would be for someone who has never had a dog, because at least the first dog persom would not have the kind of expectations someone who had, say, GSDs, might have. Or not. It depends entirely on the person and dog.

    That said, overall, I discourage people from getting Shibas. If they really are determined to be a Shiba person, they'll do a lot of research and get one anyway, but for the vast majority of people, I don't think they are the right dog. That's true of Akitas too, except as I said, I think Akitas are easier to handle, so I'd suggest them before a Shiba. (I'm amused, btw, that most Akita people think Shibas are VERY difficult! Shibas and Basenjis, I heard again and again, are the hardest dogs to handle! :lol:)
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2011-08-18 02:39:06
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    "If a person has owned a specific dog breed for 3 generations then they are not a novice to the breed. I doubt a person who HAS had this much experience with the breed would readily turn over their dog to a rescue."

    I wish that was true in regards to Shibas in rescue (think about the long time puppy mills who have been breeding Shibas for 30 years, they dump dogs all the time), and for the rest, it's really more about quality of experience, not quantity. For instance, you, Robes, are a novice are most people here, and that's totally fine. It is not a sin to not know the answers. The point is, people not doing research results in problems, as many have already stated.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2011-08-18 05:18:13
  • robes325robes325
    Posts: 264
    Back to the question--I think if you have a background successfully raising shiba inus, you will probably have an easier time raising a new shiba inu in the future. People who have owned different dog breeds in the past may take approaches that may be counter-productive while raising a shiba inu.
    Post edited by robes325 at 2011-08-18 12:28:02
  • robes325robes325
    Posts: 264
    This logic is basically saying that every dog owner is a novice except for breeders... I dont think this is accurate at all. This is my second shiba inu by the way ranging over a span of 20 years.
    Post edited by robes325 at 2011-08-18 14:59:47
  • aykayk
    Posts: 121
    Um, I actually think robes325 has made good reasons as why shibas may not be good for a *first* time owner.

    Pinning down the definition of "novice" is semantics and besides the point.

    One thing I'll throw in about training shibas vs. akitas is the sheer size factor. Or maybe not necessarily training but managing shibas vs. akitas. For instance, if I'm not sure if I have a dog-aggressive shiba (ie. rescue-transporting a shiba), I can just pick the dog up, tuck it under one arm, and walk through a show grounds to hand off to the next ride. If I have a potentially dog-aggressive akita, I have to scout out a good parking space, scout out a clear path, and be fully focused on anticipating any lunges from the dog.
  • robes325robes325
    Posts: 264
    All I did was edit grammar. I think that there are just too many whispers going on. Shibamistress, please drop this conversation. Its inconsiderate for other members. It would be great if people could contribute to the original thread topic. I've done a lot of thinking about this and its great to see other people chime in with their opinions.
    Post edited by robes325 at 2011-08-18 13:57:45
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    This is a warning, please stop any arguments and bickering. Everyone stick to the topic, any future arguments and I will be forced to close this thread.
    Posts: 1507
    Maybe, the question should be What type of Human should be owned by a Shiba?

    The answer should entail (no pun intended) the prospective owners, personality, aptitudes, motivation and skills.
  • ZinjaZinja
    Posts: 200
    Sometimes they are like children with ADD... But I loved every minute of it.
  • RockyLauRockyLau
    Posts: 26
    People usually say that Shiba Inus are not a good first dog and I don't think that's necessarily true. Any person who is unprepared for a dog will struggle, whether the dog is a Shiba Inu or not. My first dog, Rocky, is a Shiba Inu and our personalities meshed perfectly. I wanted an independent, capable, intelligent dog, and he is precisely that. I found that it wasn't difficult to train him as long I was consistent and strong during his training.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    My first dog was a Shiba. So was my second, and my third...... and probably another few before I'm done owning dogs.

    I'm not sure if owning a different breed would have been good for me to "get my feet wet" because I would NOT have tolerated the behavior of my first Hellion if I had known what a sane dog was supposed to be like.

    I'm a "dive right in" kinda gal, and clearly it worked for me. I have a certain brand of stick-to-it-iveness, so not everyone would have put up with the years of psycho Shiba behavior to get to the point I'm at now, with 3 dogs I am perfectly pleased with. I think most people A) don't know what they're getting into, B) can't handle situations when they do arise, C) throw in the towel much earlier than I would (or they reasonably should).

  • KitsuKitsu
    Posts: 765
    @McYogi "Done owning dogs" hahaha once you go Shiba you don't go back! You'll just keep getting more and more and more and more until you're 100 :P
  • i agree about akitas being called dangerous, in my opinion and dangerous dog is the fault of the owner or mongrel breeding.. i had an akita and she was the most loving caring dog, the only reason i dont have one now is due to their size, not their agression, i have small children and a large dog is not suitable weather it be an akirta or labradore. there are aggressive shibas are they named dangerous??? this is y shibas are said to be not for novice owners cause of owner ignorance and the air headness of having a cute puppy, not having the brains to actually train one.. and a way of deterring them from ignorant owners so they dont end up in rescues or dumped, shibas are a smart breed for a smart, responsible owner..
    5 kids and a shiba, call me crazy, but i wouldnt change if for the world
  • konpeitokonpeito
    Posts: 281
    Shibas were technically a "first dog" for me. My family has owned a dog in the past but I was young then and didn't have much a role in raising or training him. Whereas Apollo I handle pretty much all the major responsibilities including training. I think in my case it was just a good match. IMO, Shibas aren't necessarily "not for first time dog owners", but they definitely are not the dog for everyone. I wanted a dog that was independent, loyal, but was also fairly headstrong to keep me on my toes. Apollo always keeps life interesting.

    The typical Shiba temperament sounds like me if I were a dog, Aloof to strangers, loyal to their loved ones, but like to have space and time to themselves. And they always want things their way and will not back down. I did a lot of research before really deciding on a Shiba because I knew it'd be unfair to the dog if it had an owner unfit for its needs. While reading up for years helped a lot, the actual experience of finally owning a Shiba knocks you off your feet. Even if you did all the research you thought you possibly could and you think you're prepared, that pup will still knock you for a loop. However, I thoroughly enjoyed that, call me strange haha.
    Apollo the Shiba Blog - red male - d.o.b. 10/30/11
  • I have never owned a dog before out two Shibas. I have been around dogs; at the park or over at friend's houses. But these dogs were mainly older and did not do much beside sleep. (And the ones at the park were just watched and admired from afar.) I was wary about the "difficulty" of the Shiba breed, but confident in my own abilities to learn and adapt to the challenges. This question is a hard one for me to answer. Though challenging at times, both Shibas were excellent first dogs for me. But as you stated I had nothing to really compare them to. But I did have the research that I did and the will to do everything right. Honestly my Mom was intrigued by the breed's "cat-like" nature (she is a cat person). So this "aloofness" and stubbornness we faced in the dogs was already presented to us by our feline friends. So maybe I used cats as part of my training? I am not sure if this helped ay or if I just rambled along aimlessly.
    My windows aren't dirty, that's just my dogs' nose art!
  • I am by no means an expert on dogs, people, or anything else for that matter. What thoughts I offer are drawn from personal experience so consider them accordingly.

    I am a fifty one year old who has been fortunate to have had a dog as a pet throughout my entire life. My father adored German Shepard dogs and as a result I grew to do the same. I chose GSD dogs as pets for my own children and do not regret doing so at all. My last GSD named Hope lived a full and happy life and I was heartbroken when I put her down at the age of 16 years.

    With this said I will fast forward to the present. I have two beautiful Shiba Inu dogs named Max and Maya. They are young adults now but I obtained both within about four weeks of each other when each was eight weeks old. Now bear in mind my reference above, been around dogs my whole life. Max and Maya were exponentially more work than the two GSD dogs I raised from the same age as Max and Maya were. Breed of dog was the only variable. I did nothing different per se it's just that my Shibas proved much more spirited let's say when it came to obedience and social training. Do not misunderstand it is this quality I likely admire most in them, (other than them being absolutely beautiful creatures). This quality though translated into lots of extra time teaching them as compared to GSDs.

    Today I still have challenges with the female Maya as related to being aggressive with other dogs. She is much much better than she was but still cannot be fully trusted to behave nicely unsupervised with dogs she does not know.

    If I had no experience with GSD dogs I think I may have gone bonkers with Max and Maya. They were hard to handle the first year for sure. Now I realize I had double the work with two Shiba pups but even still as a "first" dog I would not say no but I would say just be aware of responsibility and commitment you would be making to the pup and be sure you are willing to assume both through thick and thin....because there will be both at certain times, especially in the early and adolescent stages of their journey to adulthood.

    In summary....who am I kidding? I would do it again in a heartbeat. They are worth all of it and then som.

  • My Max, a shiba, is a my first dog. The nice part about that was I had no basis for comparison.
  • LaRen616LaRen616
    Posts: 221
    I am lucky, I have spent time living with a Rottweiler and 2 GSD/Husky mixes and I currently own 2 GSDs and will be getting a Dalmatian in a couple of years, I will have lots of experience before I get my Shiba.

    I have read and heard Shiba's can be quite stubborn, I am used to that, my female GSD is very stubborn, I think if I can handle her with her high energy then I can definitely handle a Shiba, but I would not recommend the Shiba or a working line GSD to any 1st time dog owner.

    Sinister ~ 5.5 yr old black male GSD 3.11.09
    Draven ~ 16 month old male Dalmatian 6.20.13

    Cats: Chaos, Mayhem, Monster, Wicked
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Hammond is my first dog. Technically we had two family dogs when I was in middle/high school, but they weren't really trained and what little training they had was done by my brother.

    I had read that Shibas are not a good first dog, because you have to really be prepared. But I thought, so what? I can't prepare properly if I've not raised another dog myself?

    Also I kept reading so many comparisons that "Shibas are unlike other dog breeds" "you'll be in for a challenge because they are not as biddable and easy to train as, say, a labrador" "if you've lived with cats, you'll be better prepared for a Shiba personality".

    So I decided, hey, let's just do this now when I have no basis for comparison. I can't be frustrated with his differences from other dogs because I don't know how other dogs are supposed to behave. I just assume all dogs are like Hammond, haha.

    That said, I've not really struggled with him too much. I sign him up for lots of classes and socialized him a crapload as a little puppy, and still socialize him regularly. Maybe I would've been more lax with that if he was a different breed, but I think if a person does their research and is prepared to put in the work, a Shiba can be a perfectly good dog for a first-time owner. But not for lazy owners (whether they've owned dogs before or not).
  • dorapochdorapoch
    Posts: 131
    Like many who had commented on this thread, Ginko is also my first dog. Personally, I don't find him extremely difficult, not that I have anything to compare to. But from the puppy academy, I can tell you that Ginko would do anything for a treat and he learns very fast. He does hesitate and think before he reacts but other than that it has been a charm.

    I think there will always be certain things that makes them more difficult than others. For example, his biting habits are very hard to break. They are also not the kind of lap dog/carry around little dogs that you always wanted. Oh, and he always pulls on leash. But on the other hand, I must admit, after the initial week or two, his potty training became as simple as him going outside on his own. I don't remember the last time he had an accident in the house! Not only that, I hear many people with different dogs complaining about their dogs behavior/problems.
  • You're never going to get a straight answer for this, I've had Kyuubi for almost a month and it's not as bad as I expect...let me outline my situation here

    -Girlfriend owned 2 pomeranians in the past
    -I've never owned a dog before
    -Both of us work full time jobs (her shift is earlier than mine)
    -Spent over 2 weeks researching about the breed and preparing for the arrival...I was basically responsible for all the prep work =/

    The first couple of days were difficult and I can honestly say that half the research I did went down the drain...You'll quickly learn that Shibas are individuals just like people not everything you learn can/should be applied.

    End of 1st week: I came home and my girlfriend suggested that we sell Kyuubi or give her up for adoption -_- She really thought Kyuubi was a monster...around this time I was just starting to bond really well with our puppy so this was difficult...not to mention she was the one that convinced me to get a puppy...I was mad at her for days

    2nd week: I made it very clear that Kyuubi is here to stay. We did more research, asked a bunch of RESPONSIBLE dog owners for advice and even signed up for puppy classes. I started observing her behavior more closely (both my GF and Kyuubi) I noticed a lot of flaws my girlfriend was doing wrong (keep in mind she's the "experienced" dog owner and I'm the newbie)

    3rd week: after a couple of puppy classes things changed dramatically. Kyuubi stopped barking/growling at her, she'll sometimes climb on my lap, a lot more licking and a lot less biting etc...

    Til this day Kyuubi is more attached to me than my girlfriend...So to honestly answer your question: it depends on the person. As mentioned earlier she had 2 poms before so a shiba was very...different for her...where I see it as...ok I passed the 1st couple of levels what's next?

    It's true what they say: You don't train a shiba..shiba trains you..Since owning Kyuubi for 4 weeks this happened to me:
    -I wake up 1 hour earlier everyday and sleep 1 hour earlier
    -I spend less time playing video games
    -I don't even watch TV anymore
    -I spend more time outdoors, more fresh air more exercise
    -My observation skills improved dramatically this completely changed my social life not to mention my productivity at work

    Of course there are some cons:
    -I have to spend my lunch break coming home to feed/walk her
    -Supplies, vet bills etc...can add up (this forces me to start making my lunch instead of buying it it's not really a con just...a change)
    -Since watching me raise our puppy so well my girlfriend want's to have my baby now

    My advice for shiba virgins thinking about adopting this breed is this:
    -Prepare for change
    -Don't worry and relax, getting frustrated and angry only makes things worst
    -They're very smart but don't forget they're still babies and you're the parent, your job is to guide them not punish them
    -This breed is high risk high reward

    REMEMBER: feel free to ask more questions, most of us on this forum is more than willing to help
  • Did I read that right? You spent two WEEKS researching the breed and then got one? Where did you get your dog from? Or did you mean you spent two weeks preparing for the puppy?
  • BruceBillisBruceBillis
    Posts: 100
    I think it doesn't really matter if you're a first time dog owner or not, its wether or not you're a responsible person willing to take the adoption seriously. I think this is more or less what most people have already said.

    However, I have been taking Bruce to training classes, and have been making fair progress, or at least I thought I was. Then I decided to apply what I was learning to my parents 10 year old Lab mix that is an outdoor dog, with no training etc. He knew how to sit and that's about it.

    Well after only 15 min of working with my parents Lab he was able to sit, stay, shake, make eye contact, lay down and drop (items). I was amazed at how quickly my parents Lab learned each trick.

    I know this is just one example, and there's a ton of variables, but in my opinion the Lab expressed a significantly greater desire to please. My Shiba would learn the trick, but was less reliable in the repetition, which I'm assuming is due to his greater sense of independence.

    So yes, I think Shiba's are probably going to require more effort on the part of the owner, but so long as the prospective first time dog owner is aware of this and sincerely willing to dedicate the additional work, then they should be fine.
    Bruce Billis | Red-Sesame Shiba Inu | DOB: 11/12/2011 | Southern California - Irvine
    Post edited by BruceBillis at 2012-03-14 21:36:41
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    I agree with shibamistress,two weeks is a very short time compared to some for research and preparation, so its pretty awsome that you are finding it so natural to raise your puppy :-) we spent over a year researching,waiting for the right puppies and preparing myself.luckily my partner grew up with his family owning,breeding and showing akitas and having shibas. So the prep was really more for me :-) that being said i have found it so so much easier than what i actually expected it to be with two puppies at the same all in all i think it depends purely on your attitude and your lifestyle. I personally think shibas are a great first dog, because they have so much more personality and it is very fulfilling to own them.
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • Fawkes702Fawkes702
    Posts: 111
    My shiba was my first dog ever... needless to say i cried for about a month straight from the overwhelming stubbornness. But now people tell me all the time that Fawkes is the nicest shiba they've met (my friend too- who is a vet). My second one however is making me cry all over again because he is MORE stubborn than Fawkes...
  • jjlcjjlc
    Posts: 66
    Miko is our first Shiba and first dog ever. I've long been a fan of the breed and considered it the only breed I cared to have in my home. I was well aware of the reputation they had for being stubborn and difficult, but IMO it's overblown and more the result of people thinking that all dogs are the same and they all require the same level of commitment. Shiba's are considered very "cat like" and IMO that applies more on the training and behavior side than anything else. I'm a life long cat person and I put in the time to make my cats behave. They don't scratch furniture, climb on furniture/counters or get into our food/garbage. It took a commitment of time and effort from me, but it paid off. That was the same level of commitment I expected to have to give to a dog and I'm seeing similar results. It's much like having a child. If you want a kid that is smart, well behaved, well adjusted, self-reliant and just a "good kid" in general, you can't park the kid in front of the TV and expect that result. It takes a commitment. If you're not willing to invest considerable time into making the dog that you want, either get another breed or prepare to start making those "that's how she is" excuses for why your dog isn't quite the dog you hoped it would be. IMO it's not the breed.
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    It depends on the person- Bella is my first dog I have raised myself(not a family dog, my dog) and I find her easier to deal with than our old cocker was as a pup. Yes she can be a terrorist, but I wouldn't trade her for the world.

    note: I am known to be persistent and I don't give up on the 'impossible', I also hate boring people and animals with no depth, and am a purist with humans/dogs/diets etc, so a Shiba was a natural choice for me and probably isnt for you if you have to ask the question!
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • Umi is my first dog, however my wife is Japanese and has been around Shibas and other dogs her whole life. She doesn't consider them 'special' as they are the garden variety dog in Japan. But I think research is the key for me - knowing what to expect from the breed and the best techniques to train that are most important. Umi is a great dog, the only thing that I envy of other dog owners is that they can walk their dog off lead, in a nice relaxed way, in a park, or when they are packing the car, or at the beach...etc. Umi cannot be trusted off-lead as she is too curious and independent. But again, it's what I expected of her anyway, so we were prepared for that.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I had really only researched the breed seriously for about a month or two. I had seen them before and my fiance and I had always said we wanted one when we got a dog. We bought a book on Shibas and read it cover to cover, did tons of research online and spoke with about 5 or 6 reputable breeders over the phone. One breeder even recommended other breeds of dog after interviewing us. Luckily we were able to find a breeder with an available puppy in this short span of time. We had just relocated to the midwest for my job and my fiance was going to be at home for a while looking for work so we wanted to get a puppy quickly since she would be home all day to take care of it. I had a family dog almost all of my life and had done a decent amount of training with my familys English Springer Spaniel when I was in high school. My Fiance had experience with her own family dogs but less so raising one from a puppy than me. Ryu has a great temperament and is very smart. He has been with us for over 6 months now and he is doing great. We are always researching the breed and dogs in general now to be even better parents for our pup. This is one of the main reasons we joined this forum. I hope that it all works out for you whether you decide to get a Shiba or not.
  • pippasmumpippasmum
    Posts: 16
    My shiba is my first dog and the puppy phase was hard just because all puppies need a lot of attention, training, walking, etc. and it was a new experience for me. But now that she is older I am used to the routine and am so in love with my shiba that I would do it again in a heartbeat! Everyone who meets our dog is amazed at how calm and friendly she is with other people and dogs. I don't have other dog experience but I do realize our shiba is special!!
  • msegermseger
    Posts: 21
    Our Shiba pup is 9 mo. old and not our first dog, but first aloof and stuborn breed. (we've had huskies, and shetland shepdogs) While she is good with our 4 kids and busy household, she is definately not a "family" dog. Kids are 8 thru 15 and ask "why doesnt she like us?" She is really only interested in one person in the house, me (ha and i'm a cat person) we all love her to pieces but wonder how people get attached to this breed. She is beautiful, fun, sassy and entertaining...just really stubborn and aloof.
  • EthosEthos
    Posts: 372
    I am a 1st time dog owner (have 2 cats). Akuma is 10 weeks old now and he is learning fast. I did a lot of research and read a lot of books/ watched videos. If you prepare yourself well I don't think it matters if you never had dogs before.
  • patience, patience, and understanding...
    i had a couple of shibas growing up, pochi (the male) and bon (female) we are different as night and day. pochi was obedient and eager to please; bon was vivacious and was stubborn. and in a strange way they balanced each other out. they had no formal training and my parents were negligent on walking them or taking them out, but they were never mean or barky with strangers or other animals. any chance they got, they ran away, only because they were hardly ever taken out.
    my parents came from japan and were old-school in their ways of thinking; like NO to training, they don't need it....i was in my teens when we got the pups from my parents' friend who had some puppies (for free, so lucky) both from different litters. i admit, i didn't take on the role of training or taking them out for walks as much as i should have.
    when it was time to get my own dogs, i knew i wanted to get shibas because i loved their tenacious and independent nature. i wanted to do things differently from my parents, like getting formal training and really exercising them (and myself to get back in shape).
    i spent $$$s on getting different training, joined shiba forums and meet-up groups, reading up on books and reading online articles (my co-workers who are dog owners and my boyfriend) all laughed at me since it became my obsession to try to make sure i was doing things "right."
    i think it would be like being a first time parent, where you realize that you are responsible for another life and anything you say or do can influence them on being good or bad, and you'll never know what it might be. if you can continue with that same enthusiasm, understanding and patience when things go wrong; like when your puppy eats all your shoes; pees on your carpet for the 100th time or won't behave when you want them to; you'll be fine.
    you'll never be able to completely understand your pup, but as long as you try and don't give up, you'll have an amazing relationship with your dog.
    Post edited by ladylike1979 at 2012-04-25 11:32:51
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Here's a good thread for first time shiba owners. It's good to watch and learn what shiba play looks like.

    My parent's and brother thought Saya was being aggressive when she and Bella would play. haha

    I think shiba can be a fine first dog owner as long as the owner does his/her research finds a good breeder which socialize their pups while the pups are at the breeder and willing to give help to puppy owner if needed. Plus this forum is good help too.

    Socialization is important for shiba inu so is mental work out and physical work out too.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    no. Shiba's are a horrible first dog. that is all. Wonderful dog, but easy to do wrong. A ton of 'dog common sense' doesn't apply. In fact from time to time the opposite is true.
  • lucylulucylu
    Posts: 500
    But if you've never had a dog before how would you have dog common sense? I still think this is a good first breed IF you have patience. My wife just figured all dogs were mouthy, stubborn, destructive, etc. If she grew up with a lab I don't know if we would have made it through the puppy stages.
  • Gadget1382Gadget1382
    Posts: 107
    So far so good for us. My wife had dogs previously, but her folks looked after them predominently. I had my entended families dogs when I was growing up, but Kobe is my first.
    We consider him good training for a two legged baby due in a couple of months.
    He's waking us up in the middle of the night, we have baby gates up (he's not trying to get through or around those too often) and wanting feeding or play time frequently, not to mention cleaning up "accidents".
    So far, despite the challenges, I love him and love seeing him grow and develop. He's learning tricks and basic obediance quicker than any of the dogs I've had anything to do with, including "smart" breeds my friends have.
    He's naturally weary of new people and situations, but not scared nor agressive. A little mouthy, but nothing that we haven't had to deal with in the past. He loves cuddles and is learning the treats are not always given, but still listens to most commands. Just have to work on him when he's "overly stimulated".
    I think it's owner personality and determination and us going into it with a "I've got my work cut out for me" attitude that makes us pull through.
  • mandumandu
    Posts: 135
    Both my husband and I grew up with dogs, but Mandu is the first dog/pup where we are the primary caregivers. My husband is an incredibly patient man (lucky for me!), and I am very disciplined and persistent (maybe not so lucky for him!). In any case, we are a pretty good match for Mandu. Mandu is a bit mouthy and has random spurts of massive energy attacks (I'm surprised the baby doesn't have a concussion after running into so many hard objects, like walls...). He can also be quite stubborn when we take him out, but my husband and I were both prepared for it, and we have a nice arsenal for redirecting Mandu's attention.

    Point is, I think a Shiba can be a good first dog as long as you're not super easily frustrated by their "independent" (read "stubborn") nature, and as long as you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. I happen to adore Mandu's personality (my husband fondly stated the other day that, "now I have TWO people in my family who don't listen to me!"). We don't try to change him or his personality - we try to adjust behaviors to keep him happy and safe. It's a lot of work, but he's worth it!
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    Reviving this thread for a bit!
    Mochi is my first dog and because I have no other dog to compare it to, I don't understand why they are labeled as aloof or independent lol sure she doesn't stay still and gets mouthy when I try to pet her but isn't that with all puppies?? She always follows us around the house. She also doesn't like being in a different room from us for too long but she doesn't need any cuddling or lap time....but isn't that with all puppies??? LOL? I am always a bit confused when I read that shibas are independent or aloof because I don't know how different they are from other dogs since I never owned another dog.
    I love her though :) she's a lot of work and a handful of energy and requires so much patience but I don't regret choosing a shiba as my first dog.

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