SHIBA INU BOOK is primarily dedicated to the Shiba breed and my beloved dog Noah. Noah was the first dog in my life – I learned (and am learning) everything about dogs from him and through him. After I have written the book, many people write to me with very specific questions about how to raise the perfect dog.
I can’t answer this question because we are all different and have different expectations of the ideal. To be honest, a much more interesting question for me is how to create a successful relationship with a dog? And this is more or less what the names of the four subsections of the book are about: Love – Trust – Fine tuning – Joy. For me, these are the components of a successful relationship.
I also want to add that you can have a satisfying relationship with both the dog and another person. And in my world, the components of a relationship with the dog are exactly the same. Back to dogs, it is a specific species that has its own needs due to its nature. And we are the ones who should satisfy those needs! Because we take responsibility for another being that is very different from us and, by no choice of its own, happens to live in a reality created by humans.
I’ve never been a special command enthusiast, maybe because I have a primitive breed dog that thinks for itself and doesn’t particularly like to follow human commands. However, as I mentioned earlier, the dog lives with us in a human world where there are streets, cars, lots of stimuli and many attractions that do not necessarily benefit the dog. Commands are the easiest way of communication with our dog. I consider as basic those commands that make the life of our pets easier and safer. These include: STAY, LEAVE IT/DROP IT, WAIT, LET’S GO, COME, JUMP, COME HOME. We use them appropriately to the situation, e.g. STOP when we are going to cross the street and we see an oncoming car that might not stop. LEAVE IT when we’re passing by discarded food leftovers. Dogs learn quite fast and when we consistently repeat specific words and reward appropriate behaviour (not necessarily with a treat), they connect those events (situation = desired behaviour).
From the very beginning, I have adopted the rule that the commands are to be as useful and natural to me as possible, and that they should be the words I use/would use in a given situation. I’m not in favour of using strange command names, codes that only the owner and his dog know. Of course, we can teach the dog one/two words that only we know and use them in so-called emergency situations. I think it’s more optimal to use standard words that will also be in the repertoire of other people who, for example, sometimes take care of our dog in our absence.
When Noah showed up in my life, I wasn’t into sleeping in the same bed with a dog. I just didn’t think it was very hygienic. Your puppy may also have some accidents and it may not be a good idea to sleep with your dog at this time, but he should definitely sleep close to us, by the bed or in the same room. As the years went by, Noah started getting into bed and it stopped bothering me. I also know that he doesn’t have any parasites. He doesn’t eat anything unusual on a walk and we regularly examine the poo, and the only problem with hygiene is that we need to change the sheets more often. I generally came to like sleeping together, and Shibas aren’t very big so somehow you can manage to fit in together. All the theories about how the dog dominates over us when we let him sleep with us, I consider to be made up. Noah sleeps in the bed when he wants to but also has his spot on the bedroom floor. Sometimes he switches between the two during the night. You can get used to that. It’s up to you whether you want to share your bed with your dog, but I think it’s good for a dog to sleep in the bedroom during the puppy period because it builds a positive bond.
We need to teach the puppy ourselves that his physiological needs are to be dealt with outside during walks. It may take longer in some cases, but the dog will surely learn this. We should try to go out for walks after the dog wakes up, eats and plays. I remember that with puppy Noah we took 4 standard walks during the day and generally adjusted them to mealtimes. Each of us has a different daily routine, a lot of people work outside the home and the puppy is left alone for quite long periods of time. When that is the case, then it can be useful to use pee pads. I completely disagree with the opinion that pee pads inhibit the potty training. On the contrary, I believe that they teach the dog to go potty in a particular place. Besides, when the puppy is left alone in the house and has to do its business, where is he supposed to do that? Pee pads are ideal for this.
Nobody likes dogs that beg. I don’t either. One of the tips you will probably get from people whose dogs don’t beg will to not give anything to your dog during your meals because that’s how the begging starts. Well, yes and no. Dogs are very intelligent creatures and it’s true that by feeding them at the table we teach them that they will always get something from us. In our case, however, Noah knows I don’t like begging at the table but that he can get lucky when I eat something on the couch. And somehow, he doesn’t confuse these two situations. Therefore, think about what is and isn’t acceptable for you and support the desired behaviour but discourage the undesired one. Why do I give food to Noah when I’m sitting on the couch? Again, I go back to building a bond. Dogs react very well when you share your meal with them, it creates a bond because eating is very important for dogs. Assuming I eat something that he can eat as well and that I am sitting on the couch, Noah sometimes gets a snack as well. When I don’t feel like it, I say no, or I put the snack in his bowl and say, “it’s in your bowl.” He then goes and eats from the bowl.
You have to play with your puppy! It was quite revealing for me, because, as I wrote earlier, Noah was the first dog and puppy in my life. There are many different games you can play with your dog and they are important because they relax your dog and build a positive bond between you and him. In this way we also teach our dog how he can play by himself when we’re tired of getting harassed by the puppy. I don’t see anything wrong with a dog initiating play with us. When we don’t have time or desire to do that, we just tell him we’re not going to play with him at the moment. However, we should also ask ourselves when was the last time we played with him and maybe dedicate some time for that. When we have more than one dog, the situation sometimes solves itself because dogs play with each other, but we can also join in this fun.
Socialising with other dogs
One of the most important issues. It’s good when your puppy has contact with other dogs from a young age (I described my exact approach to quarantine in the book). When we do these 4 walks a day, we can plan them in such a way that the first walk is a purely hygienic one, the second is an arranged walk with a few familiar puppies, the third is a parallel walk on a leash with a balanced adult dog, and the fourth walk is a typical hygienic one. It is also important to walk with your dog alone and use those walks only for training purposes. It will be more difficult for us to teach our dog something (e.g. not to pick up anything from the ground) if he’s just after a 40-minute play with other dogs, endorphins are raging, and he’s in the mood for play. I really doubt that the dog will be very focused on us.
I always recommend working with specialists, but only people who use positive methods and know the breed. The fact that somebody once saw Shiba on a walk doesn’t mean he knows the race. In addition, we have to choose a person who has similar beliefs, world vision, and a similar ideology to ours. It’s crucial to me. I remember our first meeting with a “behaviourist” recommended by a random friend, and it was a total failure. We should listen to our intuition and observe our puppy’s behaviour. Luckily, I then found a nice, matter-of-fact behaviourist who introduced me to the dog world, and who Noah liked as well.
Support – dog friends, internet group
It’s just priceless when we have a weaker moment and don’t understand our dog’s behaviour. It’ s really useful to talk in a group or during a walk with your dog friends. Everyone goes through such worse and better moments. This is the norm during the puppy period: we are tired of walks, the dog doesn’t listen, he ate something on the walk, cut his paw, another dog attacked him, etc. A sea of new emotions and situations that you need to share with interested people, without giving up the professional help of a vet or dog trainer. On facebook you can check Group
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After two years we did it and english version book about Shiba Inu is available 🥳 You can pre-order it now on Amazon.com Link in BIO ⬆️ For those who didn’t read polish version (obviously 🙂 SHIBA INU BOOK to small, full of content book for all those who dream about Shiba but are a bit afraid. Although the book is basically about the Shiba Inu breed, the much more important task I set myself was to show you how to create a successful relationship with your dog. The names of the four main subsections of the book: Love, Trust, Fine tuning and Joy are for me the components of such a bond. 🐾 Like before inside book you can find a lot of photos my dog Noah but also different beautifule dogs from four kennels. The whole is complemented by graphics’ an artist Anna Sitnikova @my_buddza 🧡 #shiba #shibainu #book #preorder #amazon #shibainubook #myshiba #japanesedog #psiamatkapl #naturalbeauty #bookstagram #blog #booklover #shibakennel #shibainupoland #shibahodowla #shibakennel #shibabook #shibatraining #shibaguide #mukashimukashi #chukenkikukensha #zakatekizi #toraniwa #sitaka #shibaphoto