Although the opinions of a Shiba Inu making a good service dog varies, one thing is for certain – all dogs have the potential of becoming a good service dog (including the Shiba Inu). In saying that, don’t be mislead to think it’ll be an easy ride.
If a Shiba Inu has been rigorously trained as a pup by a suitable handler, they can make a good service dog. As long as the Shiba Inu has acquired the fundamental skills of socializing, obedience, and training (in their specific service area) – they are more than capable.
Training a Shiba Inu to become a good service dog is certainly not for the faint of heart. The majority of owners will fail at doing so. However, it is possible for a few dedicated owners in conjunction with taking them to external places to further develop their training. If you’re interested in learning more about Shiba Inus becoming service dogs, continue reading.
Shiba Inus as Service Dogs
Generally speaking, most wouldn’t purchase a Shiba Inu to have them become a service dog. Mainly because Labradors or Retrievers are more commonly known to excel in such areas…
However, for the select few wanting their Shiba Inu to become a service dog; They’ve proven it isn’t impossible!
Properly trained Shiba Inus working as service dogs can provide unique qualities to the people seeking them. Their natural “stubbornness or feisty nature” can be easily dissuaded with the right trainer and handler.
Although the process of training a Shiba Inu to become a service dog can be exhausting and time-consuming, many people have attested to their abilities and assistance they can provide.
For example, the Shiba Inu can make as a great PTSD Dog or Disability Assist Dog. Given they receive the proper training.
Shiba Inus serve as fabulous service dogs, specifically for owners seeking a service dog for themselves. This is due to a Shiba Inu’s respect, loyalty, and trust that they build with their owners.
This is not to say that a Shiba Inu will not thrive as a service dog when being trained only with a training company, but instead have a higher success rate when trained from their owners as well.
Which Type of Service Dog Would a Shiba Inu Be?
As briefly mentioned, the best type of service dog a Shiba Inu can be is one which his specific owner requires. Otherwise, the Shiba Inu has proven to be a fantastic PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) dog, or Disability Assist Dog (physical, mental, or, emotional).
Remember: Every dog has the potential of becoming a service dog, however, it will require adequate training, perseverance, and patience.
Shiba Inus as Service Dogs Are Not For Everyone
It is true when said that Shiba Inus as service dogs are not for everyone. But why? Simply for the fact that training them is nothing like training a Labrador or Retriever.
Just like owning a Shiba Inu breed as a household pet isn’t for everyone, the same rule applies for owning a Shiba Inu to train as a service dog.
This breed possesses traits such as independence, boldness, and willfulness. All behaviors which may be difficult or viewed as undesirable for some. Especially in a training perspective.
In which instance, an owner may opt for a more “easy-going breed” such as a Collie or Greyhound.
For Shiba Inus and his owner in particular; Tackling stubbornness, dominance, and possessive issues as the dog grows up can be a challenge. That also does not account for the required socialization skills for which a Shiba Inu will need to obtain to thrive as a service dog.
Considering all the odds, training a Shiba Inu to become a service dog is not for everyone. However, the few who can possess such skills, receive helpful and wonderful benefits acquired through their efforts.
Training Struggle You May Face When Preparing Your Shiba to Become a Service Dog
Depending on the circumstances, you may face a few difficulties when training your Shiba to become a service dog. On the other hand, you may face numerous difficulties, causing training to become a struggle.
3 Main Difficulties When Training a Shiba to Become a Service Dog:
1. Lack of Self-Belief
When presented with something new or challenging, you may find yourself doubting your capabilities to handle such a task. It’s important to remember when training your Shiba to believe in yourself and your capabilities.
2. Identifying If He Is/Is Not Capable
You want your Shiba to succeed, however, if you’ve been training him for a prolonged period it may be time to reevaluate the situation. Although I believe all dogs are capable of becoming service dogs, it is only if they show such willingness and ability. If your Shiba is lacking in such areas, you may want to reconsider.
3. Ignoring Other Dogs (And Carrying On)
If your Shiba is in his adolescent stages or beginning to mature, it may feel like a setback when another dog (without a leash) runs up to your Shiba. For trainers, this is extremely difficult because depending on your Shiba Inus reaction, you may need to start from the beginning. As long as you continue to preserve and teach your Shiba to ignore, and carry on is the only way around such struggle.
Decide If a Shiba Inu Would Suit You Best
When deciding if a Shiba Inu would suit you best, you’ll want to weigh your options and answer a few questions first:
- Do I understand, accept, and willing to embrace the Shiba Inus breed history?
- Am I confident enough to train a Shiba Inu?
- Will I be able to listen to a trainee and carry on their recommendations at home?
- Am I prepared to take on the challenges associated with training a Shiba Inu in particular?
- Would I prefer this challenge over an easier-going dog breed?
- Can I commit my time, and consistency in shaping a Shiba Inu to become a wonderful service dog?
If you answered YES to the questions above, it’s safe to say a Shiba Inu would suit you best if preparing to train a service dog.
As mentioned throughout this article, there are both pros and cons of training a Shiba Inu to become a service dog. And although there are much easier dogs to train for such tasks, if you’re willing and able to train your Shiba Inu in becoming one then nothing should stop you!
General Public Reaction to A (Trained) Shiba Inu
For the most part, expect a Shiba Inu to be welcomed with curiosity and questions. Whether it’s a curious child or an intrigued adult, most people are respectful towards a Shiba Inu (and vice versa).
Many questions may be exchanged such as “What breed is he?”, “How did you train him!”, “Do you have any tips to share” – so be well prepared.
Unfortunately, however, on the other hand (and like most dogs)… there are many uncontrollably excited people who behave variously to dogs. With most people wanting to pet your Shiba Inu.
At the end of the day, it is entirely up to the handler to decide whether someone can pet a service dog or not. And thankfully, most of the general public respect service dogs and the unwritten rules around interacting with them.
Method You Can Use for Picking a Shiba (Genetics, Temperament, etc.)
Although choosing the perfect Shiba to become a service dog is considerably difficult, there are a few things you can look out for. To begin, it’s best to identify what you want in a service dog. That way you can relay that information with the breeder and you’ll work together in picking a suitable Shiba.
For example, an ideal Shiba service dog is one which:
- Has an even temper.
- Is personable.
- It can adapt slightly easier than the remaining litter.
- Come from friendly parents.
- Was raised adequately from its breeder.
As long as both yourself and the breeder are completely transparent, you’ll hopefully find the right Shiba for your needs.
Shiba Training Advice as a Service Dog
Shiba training can be a hard, long, and time-consuming process. Apart from choosing the most suitable Shiba, here is some advice to consider and remember when you begin training your Shiba as a service dog:
- Start as young as possible.
- Never yell, hit, or shout at your Shiba.
- Remain consistent.
- Listen to the training company’s advice.
- Socialize your dog.
- Constantly work on obedience.
- Don’t give up!
- Believe in your Shiba’s ability.
- Form a healthy bond with your Shiba.
- Be firm yet fuzzy.
- Reward when required.
- Trust yourself.
Remember, it isn’t impossible and with perseverance comes reward!
How to Choose a Training Company?
To choose the best training company for you and your soon-to-be Shiba, you should consider what type of service your Shiba will be used for.
If your Shiba Inu will be an all-round service dog, then choose a company that specializes in all breeds of dogs. Especially Shiba Inus! This way you can feel assured that your instructor has had first-hand training experience with the breed of dog.
As for a Shiba Inu becoming a specialized service dog, seek a company (or non-profit organization) that specializes in the area you require.
Many services train dogs for specific services, such as PTSD, Seizure Response, Autism, or Allergy Detection.