I just got a 12 week old Shiba. I can already see how independent he is and how smart he is. I have had him for three days and he hasn't done his business on the floor once. In fact he will not go unless I take him to a specific grass patch (it's like he was pre-programed potty trained). Two things he doesn't like 1. He doesn't like the leash. 2. He doesn't like my wife or I to be in the kitchen while he eats. My real question is he is playful at times however many times when I get down to play with him he will pace around me in circles. He will also not play tug o war. He'll pickup a toy but when I touch it he drops it and starts to pace again. I think it may be a matter of him adjusting to his new home but I wanted to see if anyone had any tips on earning his trust/recpect so to speak. -J.
For the leash, put it on him and let him run around the house with it on to start him getting used to it. have it on him when he eats, and give him treats with it on, too. Don't worry about tug of war. It's really not a good game for dogs because it is said to create competition between dog and owner and you don't want that. people play tug of war with no problems, but that is what is said. you'll want him to eat with you and your wife in the kitchen. feed him his dog food from your hands only in the kitchen. this is to learn that you are associated with food and he doesn't have to protect it. this is very important. then feed him little by little in his bowl with you putting the food in a little at a time. there is a book call "childproofing your dog" that covers food, and it's not just for getting your dog used to children. it's small and not too expensive, check the bookstore and library. about the pacing, i don't know.
Pearl gives good advice on the food thing. You say he doesn't like you to be in the kitchen with him while he eats, as in he wont eat or like he growls at you? If he's growling and he's only 12 weeks old, you definitely need to pick up the food bowl and only feed him by hand, kibble by kibble if necessary, for like a week, both you and your husband. Keep a leash on him and make him sit before you give him food, so he has to 'work' for his food. Then sit down with his food bowl in your lap and feed him from your hand still, then start dribbling food in the bowl, etc. Regarding his pacing when you get down to play with him, I suspect this is because to a dog's mind, especially a breed like the Shiba, which like the akita, can be very dominant, he is a little confused regarding the dominance issues. When you take the toy away from him, you are to his mind showing your dominance over him by taking what is his and making it your own. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, you do want to be dominant to him, but you also want to play with him. My Akita acted very confused if I laid down on the floor, and sometimes when I sat down. Try sitting in a chair and playing gently by offering him a soft toy and waving it around, maybe gently brushing it against his face. Let him have it back, and then take it again, but keep it fun. Regarding the tug of war, some dogs just don't like playing tug o war, once again I suspect this is a huge challenge in dominance to a Shiba, and not just a fun pasttime like it woudl be for a lab. Again, do not tolerate any sort of food aggression. Your puppy is young, so you should be able to train him out of it, but you need to start immediately.