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What is your Shiba afraid of?
  • I'm asking just for fun...does your Shiba have any weird phobias or is scared of certain situations/objects? I just got Koji a month ago and aside from the normal skittishness here and there, I haven't noticed anything that he goes exorcist over EXCEPT for steel plates on the cement and cutting his nails. He is great on walks, doesn't pull (even when he sees another dog, bird, etc) but he just FREEZES right before we are about to walk over any kind of steel plate on the ground. I have been trying to desensitize him to them because they are unavoidable during our walk and sometimes I will nudge him along to walk over it slowly and he does okay, other times he just jumps or runs over it as fast as he can!

    Does anyone have any tips for cutting his nails and holding him down because he goes CRAZY and has left scratches on both of us. Luckily he hasn't bit.

    What's your Shiba afraid of?
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-01-27 16:37:02
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Hammond is afraid of (in that he will crouch down, try to leap away, and huff-bark) when I roll the garbage bin to or from the curb. I think it's mostly the noise it makes, because he reacted similarly when I pushed my plastic garbage can across my tile kitchen floor.

    He's also suspicious of:
    - Storm drain grates (not the slots in the cub, but the big metal grates). He will crouch down low and sniff them, but stand as far away as possible and just streeeetch close enough for his nose to reach it. Then circle cautiously around it, doing that same thing. Then walk away like nothing happened.

    - People standing on a porch. He loves people he meets, but if we walk past a porch with people just hanging out, he'll stop and like "point". Stand very still, stare, sometimes one paw up, othertimes all paws braced like he's ready for fight or flight. Then he'll huff-bark. Then he'll wag his tail, play bow, huff-bark, then get the suspicious braced-stance again when no one responds to him, haha. If I acknowledge that I saw them "Okay, yes, good boy, let's go" then he will bolt away with Shiba-500 energy, like a maniac, haha. Like he's SUPER proud of himself that he pointed out suspicious activity to me and is a hero and needs to celebrate.
  • Stef777Stef777
    Posts: 246
    Kendaux is scared of the blender and bananas <--- This one cracks me up hahaha ;)
  • kirinkirin
    Posts: 68

    Every time we cook (no exhaust fan just a recirculating one), he runs, hides and shivers
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Balloons, it’s the only thing he barks at. I tried to get him use to it by blowing one up in the house to let him see, sniff, get used to it but no luck. He just gets into that attack/play stance with his 2 front paws down and barks at it until I take it away, he does not try jumping or bite at it, 5 to 10 full minuets of just circling around the balloon barking. People are probably going to think that dog must hate children, *Sing =(.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Conker is afraid of strangers and buildings. Both of these aren't good, and certainly not fun to deal with (vet, for starters. He has come close to biting in these situations) but this year I am going to actually try to do something about it other than "handling" it like I have for the past year. I'm not exactly sure how, but I am going to try to make it fun for Conker to be inside and around people.
    Other than that, flies. He does not like flies.
  • Maci is also afraid of balloons, I got my boyfriend a bunch for his birthday and as soon as I put them in the car, she peed all over my lap. My friend has a huge hello kitty backpack that she peed as soon as she saw it but the next time she was over she stole it off the couch and ran with it. She might be a little racist as well :( she barks at people with a dark skin tone, I have no idea why, and won't stop until they are out of sight.
  • Toby is afraid of coats. Not all coats, but fluffy coats, esp. sheepskin coats. Not on people, but if they are hanging somewhere he can see them, like the back of a chair, he barks and runs away.

    I got a sheepskin throw for the dogs, and now he likes it, but it took about two weeks for him to get over his fear of it, so it's coats and sheepskin, and sheepskin coats? The horror!

    Bel is afraid many things. It's probably too many to list, and they vary, but mostly noises set her off. She was afraid of thunder, then wind, then every night when it got dark she got scared, then the sound of dishes rattling (taking them out of the cupboard, washing them) scared her for awhile. Bel is also epileptic, though, and I think anything she hears after or around a seizure gets her particularly freaked out. Akita is like that too. Very embarrasing, and annoying, and actually puzzling, because I'm not that light skinned myself (for a Latina, anyway), and one of our friends who stayed with us a week or so is black, and he got along ok with Oskar while he was staying here. And now when he comes over, Oskar barks at him way more than at other friends and tries to stand in between us. I don't know what's up with that!
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-01-27 20:40:01
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Oh yeah, If forgot this one: For sale signs (or any sign in someone's yard), especially blue and white ones. Conker feels the need to bark at them all and give the stink-eye until he's passed it about 100 times, then he just glares.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    @shibamaci My parents have a dog that does that, too. It got bad enough that people called animal control when my parents used to tie him up out front (not like as an outside dog, but for 15-20 minutes for potty times). The dog was a sweetheart and if anyone actually approached him he'd flop down and wag his tail for belly rubs, but he'd bark so noisily that it scared people.

    Hammond, thankfully, is the opposite, but I was worried about it after seeing how bad my parents dog has gotten. The majority of the people Hammond's met while on walks in our neighborhood are of various darker skin tones, so hopefully he's been socialized well enough that he won't develop a fear later on. I doubt it, since pretty much every day people approach him while we're on walks, haha, and he wags his tail, "roo roos" happily, and jumps all over everyone who tries to pet him.

    The only time he barked/shied away was a really, really tall black guy with long dreadlocks and a very tall knit hat. Really I think it was probably the hat that threw him off more than anything.

    My parents dog I think it's because they have a very homogenous social group. It's mostly just family they interact with, and the few friends their dogs see aren't very racially diverse either, so I expect that's why their dog reacts so poorly.
  • and I forgot to say Oskar is afraid of flags. He once noticed one on a windy day, and wow, that thing in the sky was scary, and now he's very suspicious.

  • Tosh is afraid of screaming young children -- me too for that matter ... ha ha .. (we are working on this )
  • This is going to sound bad, but Sakura is afraid of people in bright orange jumpsuits. An electrician working on our building for some reason had a full body orange jumpsuit and Sakura freaked out! Other than that she is afraid of shovels (which is annoying because we live in MN where snow is pretty common) and cars with hydraulic lifts (aka bouncing cars)
    Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • Ponta used to be afraid of storm grates, manholes, and sheet metal on the street, but now just hops over them or dances around them.

    Like Kung Fu Panda, his old enemy is... stairs. Not the ones at home, but anywhere else, and he refuses to go up or down them, at least the first few times.

    Finally, his worst feat, the one thing he'll bark at like crazy: NORDIC WALKING MAN. The clack-clack of the ski poles freaks him out.
  • YukikoYukiko
    Posts: 452
    @shibamistress @shibamaci - I heard from somewhere, sometimes for darker skinned people, it's harder for dogs to distinguish facial features and expressions, thus why sometimes they are fearful. Don't know if that's true or not, but it sounds similar to why dogs are sometimes fearful of boxers and bulldogs.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Kenshin is afraid of busses, to the point it makes taking him places very hard, since most streets here are bus routes. He used to be afraid of anything bigger than a small car. By letting him sniff parked cars, putting his paws on them, and getting him rides which he loves, I was able to get him to ignore even large school buses, street sweepers, dump trucks, and some big wheelers. However city buses are still a problem, mostly because we never encounter a parked one. I really wish there was some way to let him ride one. He did as a pup and loved it, but after months of not riding his phobia developed in his last fear period. I've noticed a lot of aggression towards people developed around then, as well as dogs, I think it stresses him out to the point he lashes out. Other than that kenshin is pretty fearless.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    @HibariShiba Nordic walking man? That sounds hilarious! (not the Shiba's reaction). Do you live in a really snowy area or something?
  • Losech:

    Nope, there's just this guy who does Nordic walking on the streets. This was in Autumn, and it doesn't snow in Japan usually until January. That's the problem--if it was in the snow, the ski poles wouldn't make as much sound. On bare streets, it's a loud clacking noise, which is what sets Ponta off. He hears the noise from down the street, and immediately stands at attention. When he first sees they guy, he starts barking madly, and doesn't stop until he's out of sight. I either have to lead him away, or hold him and make calming signals to keep him from getting too stressed.
  • Shadow is afraid of strangers, he has come along way but is still skittish especially around males and the bigger they are the more afraid he is. He is also pretty jumpy with sudden movements and loud noises.
    Tidus and Shadow also share two common enemies; the vacuum cleaner and the rake. The whole time I do either they bark and jump back and forth around it. With the rake Tidus will even sometimes get close enough to bite it then takes off running! It's actually pretty funny.
  • Tun-FoTun-Fo
    Posts: 12
    My dog Jiu-Huo used to bark at motorcycles every time we passed one in the car. She even barked at the neighbor's motorcycle, even when no one was on it and it was just sitting by their yard. She's gotten better with that, though. A motorcycle went right by her the other day when I was taking it for a walk, but she just looked at it for a second and continued walking.

    She also doesn't like kids or other dogs, except for the other dogs that I own. When she sees a kid or a dog, the hair on her back stands up and she starts barking.
  • ttddinhttddinh
    Posts: 117
    Bea too is afraid of metal on the street. I wonder why....
  • hm.. what? Can shibas be afraid? :p Nah, there's probably something out there he's afraid of, we just haven't found it yet. He's more of a "that's new, lets check it out"-kind of dog.
  • Severus is afraid of the toaster oven...anytime he hears/sees me open the toaster he runs to the door and starts shaking/shivering...I have no idea why he associates that with something bad.
  • LaurenLauren
    Posts: 42
    Trash cans (like the large, on the curb ones). Dexter will veer off to the side when on walks to avoid them. Mostly because he knows they are loud when we move them and they are associated with garbage trucks.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    My neighbor startled Hammond so bad today that he screamed. Not a continuous Shiba scream, but like the kind of scream a little girl does when her dad jumps out from behind something with a monster mask.

    I thought either I or the neighbor had stepped on him or something, but it was just a diva scream, haha.

    It's not very often that I and the upstairs neighbor come out of our doors at the same time (we share a small porch), but it happened this morning. Apparently Hammond's forgotten that the big white rectangle is a door and was NOT expecting the wall to disappear and a person-shape to appear. XD

    She apologized a lot, but by the time I'd turned around to check on him (my back was to him while I locked my door), he was already wagging his tail/wiggling and making happy "YAY A PERSON! PET ME PET ME!!" noises at her, haha.
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Little kids that are timid/skittish/afraid of him. That seems to be his biggest, or most common fear.
  • konpeitokonpeito
    Posts: 281
    Apollo seems pretty fearless so far; there's nothing he won't try at least once and he's incredibly curious. But he is terrified of my soccer ball for some reason. I took it out because I thought he might have fun rolling it around like his tennis ball, but I guess the size difference and how it moved scared him. All he would do was back away and bark at it nonstop. Eventually I had to stuff it back in the closet because he wouldn't stop barking.

    He's also afraid of going into the garage. Even if everyone is in there, he refuses to go down the one step into the room. And he usually follows us everywhere. I wonder what other fears he'll show me as he grows up haha.
    Apollo the Shiba Blog - red male - d.o.b. 10/30/11
  • I forgot to mention: Ponta hates any small inanimate object which becomes animated. He'll bark and skitter away from battery-operated dolls and the such, until he overcomes his fear and proceeds to destroy them.
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    Elwood is scared of the oddest things. When my husband & I work out at the house, he freaks out completely if we get into a "plank" position for core workouts. He'll run, hide, and then start barking in a very alarmed way.

    When he was a puppy, he used to be scared of our tongues. He'd run & hide if you stuck your tongue out at him.

    My husband is a police officer & when he is getting ready for work, Elwood goes & hides because he is scared of my husband's gun. Both of the dogs are scared of the gun, actually. I think that they don't like the smell of the gun oil.

    In a similar vein, my husband is going to a special class today on riot units. He brought home a gas mask last night & was putting it on to make sure the strap fit correctly & Elwood almost had a heart attack. He hid in the bedroom for 5 minutes, peeking around the corner to make sure my husband had taken the mask off.
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • Fawkes702Fawkes702
    Posts: 111
    Some of these fears are so funny! Fawkes is afraid of smoke. Whenever we cook in the house and the smoke rises sometimes from the frying pan, she runs away and shivers. Also she is afraid of fire crackers, July 4th was tough for my Fawkes lol
  • These are all so entertaining/sad. I kinda feel bad being so amused. I'm sorry! But really the only thing that we've found that Kona's afraid of is the nail clipper. I've been trying to desensitize him to them, but at the moment, as soon as i bring it close to his paws, just touch and then gone, he'll make this pathetic quiet scream. I'm sure if i pressed the matter it wouldn't stay quiet, but that would be counter productive.
    Oh, and i'm sure the next time we go in for shots wont be awesome either...
  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    Etsuko is TERRIFIED of plastic bags and trash bags... I think it's the noise they make? She is so scared of them, when I'm opening either type of bag she puts her head down and blinks a lot like the bag is hitting her or something, poor baby!
  • These are so funny thanks for all the contributions! I forgot to include an important fear that Koji boyfriend...STILL (we've had him for a little over a month) :( I don't know what to do and we've tried everything- just having my bf ignore him, having my bf take him on walks, have him feed Koji, drop him treats, the thundershirt, and now I have ordered the DAP diffuser and spray. Koji freaks out and walks the other direction when he sees my bf coming. Or when we're on the couch and my bf is about to join us, Koji jumps off the couch and goes away. My bf has been there from the beginning and has been very sweet and gentle, but Koji is still afraid of him! I am so saddened by this because it's already been over a month and my bf is losing hope. If any of you have suggestions or have experienced this, please send me a private message on your thoughts/suggestions on what to do! I appreciate it! :)
    Post edited by Seattleite at 2012-01-31 17:09:43
  • We just had Ponta neutered, and this morning Ponta had successfully licked the bandage off. He never bites or chews at the area, but he licks a lot, probably because it itches. I took him over to the vet (family operation here in West Tokyo, lives just 2 city blocks away, good vet), and when he saw the building he strained to get to the door.

    It was like he was thinking, "Yay! I remember this building since I was a puppy! We go inside sometimes! Let me in! Let me in!" Then we went in the door, and the smell and the memory hit him like a slap to the face, and suddenly he was sticking to the door like glue, acting as if to say, "AAHHH!! I remember this place! I remember what they did to me two days ago! Lemme out, lemme out!!"

    He has always been fine at the vet's--very friendly, calm, and sometimes excited, but never scared. This time, as I brought him to the exam table to get his bandage re-applied, he has very tense and shaking bad.

    He did calm down by the end of the visit, partly because I held him and did the doggy signals like yawning and smacking and such. Hopefully, the fear will die down and he won't be so fearful of the office. Though honestly, if they did that to *me* there, *I* wouldn't feel like sticking around to see what they'd do next, either.
  • VickyVicky
    Posts: 3
    While my dogs are afraid of vaccum cleaners (especially when the extension is pulled out) - and my husband and I are the reason for that fear...we tease them with it. The funniest thing that they all are afraid of (again my fault) is - When I walk like Frankenstein and go "FEE FI FOO FUMMM, I SMELL THE BLOOD OF THE MUSTANG,SHELBY, HARRY DOGS" and then I walk after them like that - they bark and start tearing around the house acting all silly. If I do my Indian Warrior dance they get very upset, so much that I do have to stop before they turn on each other.

    I can tell you what surprisingly they are very much NOT afraid of - SKUNKS. Every year for the past 12 years we all (yes including me) get hit at least once - 2011 we all were hit 3 separate times... including myself. They folks love me at the 24 hour Walgreens when I come into the store at 2 in the morning for perioxide...sigh
  • pdleepdlee
    Posts: 73
    Pria is afraid of the vacuum, but only when it is on. She'll hide behind or under the couch until I'm done. She's also afraid of bubble wrap. The most confusing fear, is of my parents! She barks at them all the time even when she's been at their house for days. I've tried having them ignore her and throw her treats but it only lasts for a couple hours then it's like she resets and starts barking again. She also used to be afraid of her brush and tried to bite it, but now she'll lay on my bed while I brush her cuz she knows she'll get a treat! I don't think she's afraid of moving cars, but she does try to chase them when I walk her and she barks at them. Something I'll have to work on with her!
  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    We have 3 Shibas and 2 are rescue dogs so they have fears on and off, but they are generally curios and our other(Kitsune) is from a breeder. Kitsune is mostly afraid of a spray bottle. Kuma and Hoshi (rescues) like it when I spray their snouts but when I even pick up the spray bottle and Kitsune sees it, she runs to hide under the bed.
  • I wanted to provide some resources for for those who are struggling with the fear issues and problems that overwhelm some dogs.... Where to go when you have a pup going down a particular path....There isn't a quick fix....Sometimes it takes awhile to work through and requires a lot of patience. Here is some basic info. from a relatively decent blog... The book can be downloaded in pdf or reader I believe.

    Here are some additional reference aids. All well worth it to pick up on techniques to help out and get owners over the hurdles: "Help for your Shy Dog" by Deborah Wood , "Help for your fearful dog" by Nichole Wild and "Cautious Canine" by Patricia McConnell.

    One more thing to bolster confidence , "101 things to do with a box" by Karen Pryor (free) from No worries....You don't have to use a clicker though to work with boxes : )

    PS: Specific fears vary when they crop up depending on stage of development. However, inherent shyness is not really a normal Shiba trait for dogs that have had early enrichment and careful acclimation. Any back slides and the resources above should pull one through.


    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2012-02-03 10:46:02
  • My dog Nia is afraid of anything made of plastic and cars (car noises). Not sure where she picked it up but she is 4 months old. She's getting slightly better but there are times her little heart pounds so fast!
    Shiba In Fan For Life

    Our YouTube Channel With Nia Videos:
  • cjcbcjcb
    Posts: 109
    Tochi is afraid of boxes, particularly cardboard like the ones from amazon, when I throw any toy inside, he will start barking and won't go near it. It is kinda of funny, but I think I will start using his food to get him near them and have him loose that fear. Eventually I want to be able to pull his toys out a box :)
    Tochi Satake | Red Shiba Inu | DOB: 10/15/2011 | Miami, FL
  • Ando's afraid of anything touching his tail or being within the area of it. He'll let out the classic scream if it's messed with. Also, he is terrified of water for some reason, if it rains he won't go outside. I find this weird cause i thought shibas liked water?
    Ando - 3 yr old Shiba

    Post edited by Glenn101682 at 2012-02-10 14:33:54
  • maxwellsmaxwells
    Posts: 347
    What’s Ichiro afraid of? Well… things that are square or in a place they shouldn’t be or are new and therefore out of place. What’s Akira afraid of? Anything Ichiro is leery of. :|
    Jenn & Stephen (humans), Ichiro & Akira (shibas), Abraham & Anya (cats)
  • Since Mikko is blind and awfully confused a lot of times, any loud noise scares him pretty much. Even when my niece who is nearly 2 years old is laughing and making loud noises. Poor guy. He's also terrified of water and the typical stuff like thunder and fireworks.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    @StaticNfuzz I like that fearfuldogs site. It's helped a bit with Conker's stranger fear. When I first got him he was really, really terrified of people. Not scared, terrified. He's come a long way but strangers still scare him, and if I'd just babied him through it or forced him to "make friends" with everyone instead of slowly helped him with it, he'd probably still be freaked out by any and everyone to the point where I couldn't take him outside. (Which is what I started with.)
    I'm content with how he is now, I think he can be better, but only if he is comfortable learning. Which is where I've sorta hit a wall. This is about as good as I think he wants to be, and if that's what he wants, I'm not gonna force him to be around strange people when I can help it. (Vet and similar is excluded.)
    That's the thing, which makes it difficult. Never force a fearful dog to do something that clearly upsets them, but how do you get them better? You'll compound the issue and make it far worse if you force a fearful dog to interact with a stranger, but if you make it rewarding and fun (the tricky part), they'll eventually see people as good things rather than bad.
  • My shiba isn't afraid of anything so far. It scares me sometimes knowing that he will get into just about everything. I've yet to see something scare him.
    Post edited by louielou at 2012-02-13 21:33:37
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    Ryu is afraid of the vaccuum cleaner, even when it is off. He runs as far away as possible and will visibly shake. For the next hour he will just kinda lay in a corner somewhere. He also doesn't like the blender or the mixer because of the similar loud noise.
  • Bowser hates hockey.
  • HibariShibaHibariShiba
    Posts: 204
    Like Kung Fu Panda, his old enemy is... stairs. Not the ones at home, but anywhere else, and he refuses to go up or down them, at least the first few times.

    I reported that in January, when he was 6 months old. Indeed, he hated stairs, shied away from them, so much so that sometimes I had to carry him over them.

    Now it's May, and he's 10 months and change--and now he LOVES stairs! When we walk and he sees a flight of stairs, he goes right to them and climbs to the top, never with any encouragement from me. I have no idea why, either.
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293

    I have spent the past 4weeks of Bellas' life(and will do so for the rest of it!) exposing her to everything we can think of(the check list on here was been great!).

    She was wary of a neo mastiff when she went in for her shot, that was a little funny considering she loves her Rottweiler friend!
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • notoriousscratnotoriousscrat
    Posts: 1686
    Zim's afraid of the vacuum cleaner, the scale at the vet, the groomer (although he always behaves), baths and stairs without backstops (he loves normal stairs though---he could go up and down them just fine about a day or two after he came home at 8 weeks). He also used to be scared of the buzzer to one of our friend's apartments but just stuffing treats into him every time he heard it got him over that.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Today Bel was scared of my husband's car. He was working on it, and every time he revved the engine, she got more scared. She climbed up on top of me and followed me around the house. Then she got under the bed, but the bed is low, and she is not a small Shiba and she got stuck, which of course scared her more, and unfortunately, callous owner that I am, I was laughing at her. She did manage to get out, finally. Then I vaccumed which caused more trauma all around. Bel did not have a good day.

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