The Japanese treasure that is known as the Shiba Inu is a dog worth taking a good look into. They make a great dog for families because of their bold will to protect their loved ones, and are also very good at becoming your best friend, once a connection is made.
But you’ll have to get there first because Shiba Inus are one of the more challenging breeds to train. Their strong will makes them interested in activities that make sense to them, and are known to become stubborn during the learning process.
But it’s still possible to train them to an effective level. If you want to know how to make this happen, keep reading.
At What Age Can I Start Training My New Puppy?
When it comes to Shiba Inus, you can start training your new puppy as soon as possible! The sooner the better in fact; this is because of the personality of the Shiba Inu.
They can be pretty headstrung, and they are a true force of dog breed that has the capability of hunting animals twice their size; so training is a full time job, and should start as soon as your puppy begins to recognize you.
Typically, 7 weeks is a great time to begin. By this time, they have most likely become acquainted with you, and will be more willing to follow your commands during obedience training.
Naturally Clean Animals & Potty Training
Shiba Inus are very prone to cleaning themselves whenever there is a mess, or when their body is too dirty.
They aren’t a fan of having items stuck in that thick coat of theirs, and are known to clear out debris quickly, which makes them naturally clean animals.
On the other hand, potty training can be a bit challenging, but still manageable. The trick to success is to take them to their personal spot, and command them to “go potty.” It’s best to keep them there until they go, which builds their listening skills, and reduces the messes in your home.
Reward Training Method & Encouraging Desired Behaviors
Positive reinforcement is always a great tactic for training your Shiba Inu. It allows for the opportunity to give praise and positivity to your dog for being a good and successful listener.
Using treats as a reward system is a common manner of reinforcing desired behavior. Whenever you give a command, if they follow it completely, give them a piece of their favorite snack to show them that you are thankful for their obedience.
Reward training also helps to reduce their stubbornness during the process of being trained. They’ll be more prone to follow directions if they know that a head rub or a tasty treat follows their completion of a demand.
Tips to Make Training Go Smoothly
Use A Portion of Their Daily Food Ration as A Part of Their Training if You are Worried That Your Puppy Will Gain Too Much Weight
Shiba Inus are known to be the victims of gaining weight quickly due to the types of ingredients found in most doggy treats.
A great way to keep them motivated without the anchor of too much fat is to use their dog food as a reinforcer.
It will feed them during training, and will keep them at bay during their training process, and their food typically has better ingredients, so you won’t have to worry about excessive weight gain.
Use A Great Variety of Treats
Shiba Inus are a particular breed of dog, and tend to be picky about the food that they ingest, so choosing the right snack is just as important as having a spread of different selections.
They are more prone to more dense snacks due to their health concerns with food from this region; so snacks such as brown rice, smaller fish like Sardines, Bacon Bits, or a healthy commercial dog treat can do the trick.
The variety of treats plays a major incentive for making training an easier process for the both of you, and tends to be a worthy solution to lack of interest.
Do Not Give Your New Dog Too Much Freedom Too Soon
Shiba Inus are a strong type of dog, and are not used to being told what to do; so it is imperative that you don’t allow your dog to make their own decisions too soon, so that you have the time to establish a clear and direct relationship.
This relationship dictates that you are the Alpha of the “pack” and that your word is law; and your Inu will need time to grasp that concept. So of course they can run around the backyard, but be sure to keep them at your side in the beginning stages to establish the caretaker-pet rapport.
Have Realistic Expectations
No, your Shiba Inu will not be jumping through rings of fire within their first year of training, but they do have the capacity to learn how to listen to your commands, which is the first goal of training.
With that being said, it is imperative to be realistic during their training process. It’s best to take their personality traits into consideration, and start to build from there.
And although Shiba Inus share common traits of boldness and and stubbornness, they are able to follow through with commands, if they are simple and interesting enough for them to grasp and complete.
Knowing that your Inu may not want to train due to some unfortunate state of mind that they may be in, or you know that yours may be prone to accidents sooner than later, it’s a smart move to plan ahead with provisions that will eradicate any problem that could pop up during training.
For example, having extra pee pads and gloves during potty training, having extra treats lying around for more motivation, or even obtaining the right reinforcement to reduce their assertive behavior towards you has the capacity to make training much smoother for you, the dog, and both of your sanities.
Forcing The Issue Can Often Result In A Bigger Issue Down The Line
It’s best not to force your Shiba Inu pup to do formal training if you realize that they are being totally resistant. Forcing them to do something that they are 100% unwilling to do has the potential to drive a serious wedge between you and your new pup, which is not a good start.
When you are giving a command, and the dog simply is not into it, it’s a smart move to either switch up the activity to something more lively, or utilize those special treats that we discussed earlier as solid motivator.
Simply keep in mind that just like you don’t like to be forced to do uninteresting things, neither do Shiba Inus.
Help Them Relax
Relaxation is the key to having a successful training process. Shiba Inus may be a bit behaviourally resistant at times, and keeping them in a calm and collected mood will ensure the basis for a proper bond while training them.
One way to keep them relaxed is to start with a nice walk. This will allow them to move around in enjoyment with you, while at the same time establishing your dominance over them. Another simple relaxation trip is to rub them.
They are prone to being appreciated with a good rub down, and are happy to experience the physical pressure of your love of them; from that point, give your command and watch the training commence!
Make Training Fun
Of course you want to make the training process as fun as possible! This is your opportunity to show that activity will be a part of the Inus life, and they are more prone to creative play than they are to formal training.
Try taking them to a park and running around with them; they’ll follow along, and keep you satisfied because they will listen a bit better.
Perhaps using their favorite toy could be a piece of the pie to make training a fun and more lively experience for them. Inus can be quite energetic when they want to be, and being prepared for fun-in-the-sun during training will surely create a more successful training process.
Understand Your Shiba Inus’ Body Language
Being able to comprehend your Shiba Inus’ body language is very important, and will make training way easier, once you can decipher what it all means.
When experiencing their body language, you’ll be able to tell what mood your Inu is in, to best decide how to train them at that moment. For example, if your dog is smiling or bowing, it’s time to play and learn!
However, if they are constantly barking, and seem resistant to following an order, then trying a new approach may be necessary. All in all, as soon as you learn what they are trying to say via their body, the easier your training will be.
Motivate Your Shiba Inu
Motivation is the key to any training, especially with a Shiba Inu. Their resistance can be a problem at times, and they may lose interest sooner than later; so keeping them motivated is highly important.
The best ways to keep your Shiba Inu motivated is to give proper praise when they are successful in a following through with a command, and providing treats as a positive reinforcement.
These tactics seem to do very well with keeping an Inu motivated, and are worth the shot in trying them out; and the better the motivation and praise, the quicker your dog will be willing to learn and train!
Things To Remember
The Sense Whether You Are Angry At Them or Not
Yes, just like many other animals, Shiba Inus are pretty good at picking up on energies. Their sensitivity to their caretaker can be impressively high, which means they are capable of picking up on whether you are satisfied with their performance, or if you are disappointed.
They are expressive about this realization too, and will either comfort you to make you feel better, or become resistant to you.
In either case, it’s best to always show love and patience to your Shiba Inu during the initial training process so that their patience can grow, as well as their skills.
They Are Very Sensitive and Communicative, Especially With Their Eyes
Shiba Inus are a very expressive breed of dog, and they will surely let you know it. Their body language is only one of the few manners in which they express how they feel; but their eyes are another significant part of learning about your new pup.
When feeling under pressure, or as if they are not doing a good job, Shiba Inus may cover their eyes with their paw. In other cases of happiness and achievement, they are prone to be face-to-face with you, with their eyes wide open for you to see.
So when you want to scope how well your dog is feeling, simply look at their face and body, and you’ll know what to do next.
How Often Should I Give The Command?
When training your Shiba Inu, you can give the command as much as necessary for them to grasp the point. Dogs tend to have short attention spans, so repeating the same command over and over again will seem tedious at some point.
It’s easier to start with simple commands and gestures; and after several sessions, your Inu can start picking up the command faster and faster at the start of each new session.
In essence, providing ample opportunities for your dog to learn the command-at-hand is all that’s necessary for having a successful training session.
How Much Time Should I Spend Training My Puppy Everyday?
A recommended amount of time that is best for training your Inu puppy can be around 1 to 3 sessions per week, for about 15 to 20 minutes per week. This will build your connection, while providing a significant, yet short, burst of energy for your Inu to want come and quickly learn a new skill, trick, or command.
What Can Be Done If My Puppy Is Too Distracted or Excitable To Control?
The best solution for this situation is to simply allow them the time to release all of that pent up energy.
A quick walk or run around the neighborhood, or maybe a game of fetch will do the trick. The point of this is get rid of the excess energy so that your pup will be more capable of listening and catching on to commands a lot quicker.
In addition, relaxation and calming techniques will also help to reduce distraction and excitability, in order to more forward efficiently with their training.
How Long Does It Take To Train a Shiba Inu?
A Shiba Inu’s length of training truly depends on the effectiveness of you, the trainer, and the rapport and listening skills of your dog.
Typical training can take several weeks, to several months, depending on what you are teaching them, and the type of dynamic that you share with your Inu.
Presuming that the relationship is decent, you can expect to train your Shiba Inu for approximately 2 to 4 weeks before seeing clear comprehension of your demands.
Should I Also Consider Training Classes?
Training classes are a solid option for training your Shiba Inu. However, they can be a bit assertive and timid towards new faces.
So in order for this option to be successful, it’s best to utilize a service or trainer that provides experience and patience with the dog.
If or when you decide to use classes for training, you’ll have assistance in being able to learn how to actively train your Shiba Inu.