My first post, of hopefully many here. I've been lurking for a while.
My husband and I are getting a dog. We've done the research, talked to trainers, and breeders and have narrowed the list. My question is in regards to Shiba Inus. We live in upstate NY and the closest breeder is 3.5 hrs away. Before we make any decision we want to spend some quality time with the breed to verify our decision.
The next dog show in the area is in July, I know that's an option, but does anyone have any other suggestions for us as to how to get some face time with some Shibas?
Any info you have on them from experience would be appreciated as well.
I know this doesn't answer your question, but... When we were checking out various breeds, we visited a nearby AKC all-breed show in hopes of talking to owners. It was really disappointing. Several of the people we approached were icy -- borderline hostile. We made a point of not interrupting anyone preparing to show -- I don't know if we unwittingly broke some rule of dog show etiquette, or if this AKC show just attracts alot of unfriendly people. So -- just a warning that the dog show route may not work. (you probably already knew that)
I hope you get an opportunity to meet a shiba. I know someone who had 3 at one time, but she is 800 miles from me, and even farther from you. She liked the fact that the breed isn't constantly starving for human attention.
Only quality time I've gotten with a shiba was an agility trial. Long as she wasn't running, or waiting on deck to run she was very welcoming telling people about the breed and her dog specifically, and the trials and tribulations to get a shiba to want to run for her.. Doesn't help exactly.. But if you ask around, breeders might be able to point you towards trials where shibas may be present.. Many owners are more willing to brag and share I've found.
No idea on how you'd get quality time with a Shiba, but I'm sure if you look around there are rescues that have fosters that you might be able to spend time with. And I'm not sure how far upstate you live, but there is an NYC Shiba meetup group on meetup.com that might have some members near you that you could talk to.
I don't know how much you've researched on Shibas so far, but whatever you read on their personalities is probably all true. There will be variations according to each individual dog, but in general, most likely true.
Mine is aloof. He won't come when called, only when he feels like it. His personality is much like that of a cat. He can get territorial. But he loves to play. He has never once sat in my lap willingly. He'll do what he wants, but in general he does like being in my presence, i.e. he'll want to follow me when I walk around, but he won't snuggle with me.
Mafiaprincess, thanks for the great idea. My very dear friend runs agility does flyball and obedience with her dogs, and she is where I started my search. She does not know of any Shibas that run agility or flyball or do obedience in the area unfortunately. However I will have her get the word out and ask around, that's a fantastic idea.
Ntki, thank you for your help! I did find a rescue group in Buffalo, about an hour from where I live. I think I will contact them again. They were not terribly helpful my first shot with them, but I'm willing to try again.
Thank you for the Shiba tips, do you have any others about behavior, training, life with a shiba :). I have researched extensively, however I don't think books can do nearly as much as talking with an owner.
One of our main concern is the noise level of a dog. This is why we have been dogless for the past 8 years. We own our own home business and take many phone calls during the day. A barking dog in the background gives a home business away in a heart beat :). We also have 2 cats, and have read and been told that starting with a Shiba puppy that will not be a problem. I walk a ton, so having a companion for that will be grand. If you have anything else to warn or confirm with me please go ahead. I want the good the bad and the ugly :)!
Hi there...ok I am going to drop my two cents in here : ) I have had Shibas for the last 4 1/2 years. I have one male and one female. I bought them from the same breeder. There is a little difference in their personalities. My male is not a cuddler but he loves attention. He loves to be pet and loves to fetch his ball. He occasionaly barks if something is really wrong or out of the ordinary.We can let him off his leash and he will stay right by us BUT if he gets loose when we are not around, he will take off. My female is a cuddle bug and thrives on attention. I can't lay on the living room floor without her running to lay across my stomach or right by my side. She follows me all over the house and is constantly interested in me and whatever I am doing. She like my male will not bark unless soemthing is wrong or out of place. She does not have a real deep bark..sounds more like a yodle or a baby crying...funny sounding. They were both really easy to potty train and very very smart! They can be stubborn and have a deaf ear....like NTKI said.....they are very much like cats. I have 2 indoor cats that get along great with my Shibas. My Shibas have grown up with cats and are used to them.....I have never had any trouble with them in that department.They are territorial....my male gets along fine with other dogs but not my female. It takes her awhile to warm up to other dogs. My female has never met a stranger and loves people and children. My male takes awhile to warm up to strangers and children but once he warms up...he does great. I like you, did a lot of research before buying my Shibas.I was very unsure that this was the breed for me. I found a breeder who spent a lot of time sending me pics and answering all my questions. I ended up buying my female and loved her so much, I bought my male 1 year later. I wouldn't trade my two SHibas for anything, I love them! I hope this helps with your desicion. If you have any other questions or want to see pictures please e-mail me at: MeBeCeCe@aol.com. I am always up for talking about my Shibas : ) Make sure that if you decide on this breed, you buy a Shiba puppy from a breeder who will take the time to answer all your questions. This is an alouf breed by nature so find a breeder who raises puppies in the house and that are socialized with people from the day they are born.
"Thank you for the Shiba tips, do you have any others about behavior, training, life with a shiba :).
Training wise, my Shiba responded very well to clicker training. I think this is because he didn't feel like I was forcing him, but it was just a matter of conditioning him to do what he did naturally on command. i.e., my Shiba wouldn't learn the "down" command for beans. I would try the whole thing where you have him in the "sit" position and then slowly move the treat down and out. I would also try holding his legs and pulling them out. He wouldn't have it. I believe that some dogs are just too dominant to learn "down". That was possible for mine, or he was just too stubborn. He'd just lunge for the treat or wriggle out of my grasp.
So eventually, as I was eating a bag of chips and he was just waiting for me to give him a little bit, he lay down after getting tired of waiting for nothing. I immediately clicked and gave him a little piece of chip. I think it took about 15 minutes or so of repitition for him to learn. They're incredibly smart, it's just a matter of giving them what they want.
Life with a Shiba is, well, life with a Shiba. lol. He's a very low maintenance dog minus the seasonal blowing, and the looks of annoyance I get when I try to get his attention without food. He's very funny to watch sometimes. Like when he thinks he's being tricky as he sticks his entire head into a box of treats to very carefully pull out a cookie and eat it.
"One of our main concern is the noise level of a dog. This is why we have been dogless for the past 8 years. We own our own home business and take many phone calls during the day. A barking dog in the background gives a home business away in a heart beat :)."
Shiba's are known to be very quiet dogs. Mine is too. My friends often wonder why he never barks. He'll only make noise when he hears suspicious things, similar to someone knocking on a door or actually opening the door. And even then, it's not a full bark. He'll sort of huff/bark with his mouth closed. I've very rarely seen him fully bark, unless there's another dog out to rip treats out of his mouth.
"We also have 2 cats, and have read and been told that starting with a Shiba puppy that will not be a problem."
I heard this is no problem either with a puppy but I don't have personal experience.
"I walk a ton, so having a companion for that will be grand. If you have anything else to warn or confirm with me please go ahead. I want the good the bad and the ugly :)!"
I think a full grown Shiba will make a great walking companion, but not a running companion. Or at least mine gets tired really easily because he'll run a full sprint for a few minutes and then just sit down.
They are good dogs in general. But a thing to keep in mind is that they are not, say, a Golden Retriever. Many are known for door-bolting and most cannot stay off lead. But lovable nonetheless. A good general word to describe mine would be independent.
Good luck again, and let me know if you have anything else you'd like to ask!
Mateka02 & Ntki thank you both so very much for the information you have provided me. You both seem to have confirmed everything I've read and found in my research. I'm so happy to talk to individuals that work with and love on their dogs.
Mateka02 I'm so happy to hear that your girl is so friendly. We have a lot of people in and out through the week, and I was hoping there was a chance for a dog like that. However everyone that comes over is very respectful, and the dog (possibly the Shiba) we get is not so gregarious that will be ok too.
I will keep you posted. Ntki, feel free to send me a PM with your email address if you want me to send you information on my decision. I will make sure to make a general post when I decide as well.