Shiba Inus are a type of spitz dog native to Japan. The other types include the Hokkaido, Shikaku, Akita, Kishu and Kai. The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six spitzes that originate from Japan. All these breeds were first bred to help flush out birds and smaller animals on hunts. Today, they have become popular companion dogs and are beloved pets to owners from all over the world.
With proper training, they can be really great family pets, and really good with kids. Shiba Inus are a lot like foxes, with upright ears and energetic personalities. This dog breed is independently intelligent, which makes them rather stubborn. Due to this personality, they can be quite difficult to train, which is why you should start their training and socialization while they are still young.
Shiba Inus are quite loyal and dedicated dogs. They tolerate children as long as the children are not disrespectful or too rough with them. If you are planning to get a Shiba Inu and are wondering how it will fit in with the rest of the family, here is everything you need to know.
Foster Peace Between Shiba Inu and Children
If you ask most people about the relationship between a Shiba Inu and kids, they’d say outright it should never happen. One of the reasons they say that is because the Shiba Inu is a possessive dog and can snap suddenly. But they can’t be described as aggressive dogs. Perhaps a better word is ‘moody’ or ‘temperamental.’
That said, it is quite straightforward to figure out how to handle the Shiba Inu vs children relationship in the home. The most crucial thing you need to do as an owner is to foster peace between them. You will need to train both the dog and your children on how to handle each other.
Shiba Inus can have sudden and unpredictable mood changes throughout the day. For example, your Shiba Inu will temporarily get excited when you get home but its business as usual after a few minutes.
The best way to live with Shiba Inu in a house with children is to train them accordingly. For one, your children should be aware that Shiba Inus do not like being pulled, poked or even stroked. They possess an uncanny independent aura around them that needs to be respected at all times.
Teaching Children About Shiba Inus
At the end of the day, a Shiba’s socialization process is in two parts. On one side you have your babies while on the other side you have the fur baby. The symbolism illustrates their need for affection and care from you and each other.
You have to teach your children to be non-aggressive with your Shiba Inu. Toddlers and babies should be only allowed access to the dog under supervision. Teach the children not to view your Shiba as a toy or a plaything that can be pulled and pushed over. Shibas do not like that. They do not take fondly what they perceive as mishandling from children.
In the same spirit, the Shiba Inu should also be trained on how to live with children at home.
Training Your Shiba to be Around Newborns
Early on, as a puppy, you need to introduce the Shiba to the way of life of the human child. Grab every opportunity to showcase the best of the child and why he should never snap at them.
You can achieve this by introducing them to the friendliness and positivity that children have. As you prepare Shiba to embrace newborns you need to use positive affirmation gestures. One method is by training them on how to distinguish what is theirs and what is for the babies. This includes toys and other items. Remember he is a possessive dog.
Additionally, the dogs can be trained to have a workable and followers mindset. It’s easier to stop them from doing what they are not supposed to. The trick in winning over the Shiba is through mental training rather than physical training.
The Shiba should be taught how to live together with the newborns without any conflict. As the newborn advance in age then you can teach them the rules of engagement.
Training a Shiba Inu with Toddlers
The main challenge of a Shiba Inu living with a toddler is curiosity. They are out to discover the world and in most cases are not aware of their risks in their surroundings. If possible, the Shiba should be introduced to the toddler’s environment as a puppy.
The toddler might be tempted to poke fingers in his eyes or even cling on to him. The Shiba inu should be trained to be calm in such situations. On the other hand, the toddler can be trained not to get involved in rough play with the dog.
The Shiba can easily feel negative energy and that’s why positive affirmation is a plus with this dog. Teaching your Shiba obedience is key. Avoid taking the Shiba through negative experiences with your toddler. Ideally, let the experiences be either neutral or positive.
Never leave a small child with a Shiba unattended even if he is trained.
A Shiba Inu Needs
The Shiba Inu is an energetic dog that requires a lot of space to play around. However, if you are out for a walk, you should ensure he is in a leash. He is not a friendly dog to humans and animals alike. He likes hunting to chase cats, squirrels, and other small animals.
His stubbornness extends to the use of a leash. He hates collars. You have to be patient with him when leash training. Furthermore, he is a challenging dog to train and socialize. One of the hardest nut to crack with this breed dog is making him toe the line. It will take time to teach him obedience.
You should feed the Shiba at least two meals of high-quality dry food in a day. The dog size will determine the amount of food they can take, it is unique to each Shiba dog. You should ensure he does not get obese by eating too much. Take him for walks and allow him to play in a restricted area.
The Shiba requires grooming by brushing at least once a week. Naturally, he is a clean and odor-free dog. Also, you can brush their teeth 2 to 4 times a week. You can bathe him once every 3 to 4 months.
Activities for Kids and Shiba Inus
Shiba is not one of the best kids’ playmates. It does not do well with aggressive plays. Remember, this is a dog that interprets closeness differently. However, some games can be enjoyable for both kids and dogs.
For instance, you can go out to the park and play some ball games. They will keep the dog healthy while having fun. The ball game can be either catch or soccer. The choice will be determined by the interest displayed by the dog. In essence, they will help in coming up with the rules of the game.
Food puzzles are another great way of stimulating shiba’s mind. This kind of game has been designed to teach dogs how to get their food.
The Shiba will also enjoy runs. The runs could involve short speedy runs followed by slower runs to keep the Shiba in Motion. Remember that the dog should be in a leash to avoid running off. This should be done with an adult’s supervision.
Lastly, you can take the dog out for exploration. The dogs will enjoy sightseeing. It can be a hike, a walk in the park or streets. Of course, the dog should be in a leash for its safety.
Potential Health Problems
Just like most dogs, the Shiba is affected by allergies including food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies.
- Chylothorax; is a condition that affects breathing through the buildup of fluids in the chest. They are caused by an underlying issue. The dog can be treated by removing the fluids.
- Glaucoma; this condition affects both humans and dogs. Typically the dog has a low vision from increased pressure in the eye.
- Hip dysplasia; this is a hereditary condition that affects the hips.
- Hypothyroidism; this condition affects the thyroid. This condition can cause obesity, hair loss, and epilepsy
Maintaining Shiba Inu’s Optimal Health
The best way to keep your Shiba healthy is through creating routine care, the right diet, and exercise. Observe your dog, supervising his behavior within and around the house. Ensure he does not ingest hazardous materials.
Brush his hair as stipulated earlier on, increasing frequency when she sheds at least twice a year. Brush their teeth regularly. Do not allow her to get bored, let her loose in a fenced yard to keep her mind and body fit.
Do not feed your dog human food. The diet he’s subscribed to should be high quality and consistent.
Also, exercise your dog regularly.
Be on the lookout for any signs and symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Shaking or scratching the head.
- Discolored urine.
- Itching around the eye.
- Reluctance to playing or even running.
- Body trembling or unusual tremors.
- Coughing and or unease around the belly.
Having a Shiba Inu Makes Children More Responsible
Having a Shiba and having to deal with everything that comes with owning one will make both adults and children more responsible.
Children have to act responsibly around the Shiba. Shiba Inus can be aggressive when provoked, so the kids have to be careful not to provoke him for any reason. They have to respect the Shiba’s space and only interact with it on its own terms and under strict supervision.
Sometimes, kids forget the rules and the Shiba might snap at them. They should consider this a polite reminder that the family dog can be dangerous if not treated thee right way. However, they should not come to believe that the Shiba should be feared. The trick is to approach it with maximum caution while respecting its independence.
Taking Care of Your Shiba Inu’s Emotions
As long as you are aware of the Shiba Inu temperaments, you will avoid doing these mistakes. If you make these mistakes you will elicit negative emotions from your Shiba Inu.
- Socialize them early; this is crucial, if you do not socialize the Shiba as puppies they will be a headache to you and your children. They will be overly stubborn and moody from little interference.
- Tame their aggression, some Shiba owners allow these dogs to show aggression from seemingly minor things. We know that it’s in their temperament to show aggression but you need to call them out when the aggression is unnecessary.
- Teach your kids to live with a Shiba inu; if you do not teach them how to behave around the dog, it might end up being disastrous.
- Keep him busy; when he is playing around or taking walks he gets to stimulate his mind which is a good thing
Don’t Tie Shiba Inu’s Rope to the Stroller
The Shiba has two characteristics that will make you not tie them to a stroller. They are both aggressive and natural-born hunters. In the outdoors, they might run off after a small animal such as squirrel.
If they get bored while indoors, they could potentially become aggressive. Besides, Shibas hate being leashed for any reason.
For safety reasons, you should never tie Shiba Inu’s rope to the stroller.
Don’t Let Children Tease Shiba Inu with Their Hands
Despite all the care, this dog breed requires it is still a great family dog. However, his greatness is attributed to conditional training and socialization. In short, if he is raised the wrong way, he will cause trouble later on.
Even though children need to be trained to approach every other dog with care, utmost precision is required with the Shiba breed. He hates petting with hands. He does not take kindly to being pulled around. Don’t poke their eyes.
Teach your children to respect shiba’s space especially when they are sleeping or eating. Furthermore, it’s good to reiterate that you should never leave your child with a dog alone unsupervised. The dog is still a domesticated predator.
The Shiba dog breed is also aggressive towards other dogs and other animals.
What Should You Do When the Child was Bitten or Scratched?
First of all, when this happens you need to perform first aid.
- You can start any controlling any bleeding. First, using a piece of cloth, press the bleeding area until it stops. If it takes longer to stop, you can elevate the area.
- After the bleeding has stopped, you need to clean it with soap and clean water. Next, you should hold it under running tap water for further cleaning.
- After applying some antibiotics, go ahead and cover the area with some fresh bandages.
- If it’s a neighbor’s dog, you should confirm whether he’s been getting shots lately.
- In case, it’s a deep wound or you are not aware who’s the dog owner or you can’t halt the bleeding after 10 minutes then you should call the doctor.
When are Shiba Inus Not Good With Kids?
Naturally, the Shiba Inu is not keen on affection. However, through proper training, it becomes a great companion. If your Shiba Inu is not well trained and socialized, do not expect it to be good with kids.
For instance, an adult Shiba that has not been trained to live with kids can be aggressive towards them. At the same time, a trained shiba might still not be good with kids perhaps because they are not in the right mood. This means that stress also plays a role in determining how the Shiba Inu acts around children.
Finally, your Shiba will not be good with kids if they invade his space, especially where he eats and sleeps.
The Downside of Having Shiba Inus and Kids
If you are a first-time dog owner, you will have a hard time managing a Shiba inu. There are several downsides to them especially when you have kids.
For one, they tend to be aggressive dogs and this is not good when you have kids around. They are sensitive and emotional dogs that can often be provoked by very trivial things such as petting. This is why they can’t be left for long periods alone or with your children.
These dogs were trained to be hunters, so they can sometimes revert to their primitive natures and attack small animals or young children. Therefore, do not allow your kids to walk your Shiba inu without supervision.