The Shiba Inu is a so-called primitive dog breed, of the Spitz type. This means that the breed has been shaped relatively little by humans and therefore retains some characteristics of wilder dogs. This is a factor that’s very important to take into account when training a Shiba Inu.

What Age Should I Start Training My Shiba Inu?

Training your Shiba Inu is an essential step that should begin as soon as you welcome your new puppy home, at the age of 2 months old. It’s important to be clear and set boundaries right from the start. Put rules in place and try not to deviate from them. For example, prohibit your Shiba Inu puppy from doing anything you wouldn't want them doing later on. It will be much easier to grant permission later, for things like sleeping in the bedroom or sitting on the sofa, than to withdraw permission granted too early. Bad habits are hard to fix! 

Your Shiba Inu must be able to trust you. These are dogs whose trust and loyalty needs to be earned; they won’t give it to just anyone! As such, it’s vital that you learn about this Japanese dog breed before deciding to proceed with an adoption.

Is it Possible to Train an Adult Shiba Inu?

Puppies are more receptive to training than adults because they still have everything to learn! But it’s still possible to train and socialise an adult Shiba Inu. Dogs can learn new tricks at any age. You just have to bear in mind that older dogs may come with lots of history of their own, which can also mean hidden trauma. With an adult Shiba Inu, patience and compassion are key. Don’t hesitate to use a professional dog trainer to help you with this task.


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The Main Principles for Training a Shiba Inu

In their youth, Shiba Inus are known for being quite rowdy and excitable. So in order for everything to go smoothly, you really need to understand the Shiba Inu breed, as well as the basic principles of dog training.

The Shiba Inu is known for its difficult and sometimes stubborn nature. This is an independent dog breed, who needs a naturally authoritative master. However, you should never use violence with your dog. The slightest hint of an angry gesture or word could risk turning your Shiba Inu against you. In the words of Napoleon, “Put your iron hand in a velvet glove.” Take the time to properly teach your furball what you expect. The Shiba Inu is not disobedient by nature, on the contrary. Just be sure to handle your Shiba with patience and care to slowly progress and strengthen your relationship.

At the same time, familiarise yourself with dog training. There are three main principles to consider when training your dog: patience, coherence, and consistency!

Be Patient 

Don’t try to rush things. The Shiba Inu is smart but can’t be expected to understand everything right away, at the click of a finger. Take the time to repeat exercises with your Shiba until they master them. Be gentle and try not to get cross with your dog if they don’t understand what you want immediately. 

Be Coherent

It’s important to keep your commands short and easy to remember, and to stick to them along the way. Changing things up will only cause confusion. Your Shiba Inu will not accept the slightest hesitation from you and will soon let you know this by refusing to obey you. Each action or request should be clear and simple and correspond to a specific word, which is easy for your dog to understand.

Be Consistent

Repetition over time is the only way to achieve concrete results with your dog training. Plan to practise new or previously learned exercises for fifteen minutes a day, no longer. Take advantage of fun experiences like games or walks to reinforce the lessons your pooch has learned.

Please note: Always keep a positive approach to training your Shiba Inu. Ban all types of punishment, both physical and verbal. The most important thing is to encourage positive behaviour, rather than reprimand negative behaviour. This means reinforcing good behaviour with healthy dog treats, cuddles, or playtime, and ignoring poor behaviour completely.

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