As soon as your Shiba is fully immunized, take him or her out to meet the unwashed masses. It is extremely important that your Shiba learn fast that people are good things. DeathtoSquirrels will still be a good watchdog if you convince him that everyone is his friend. Life will be a lot easier if Screamlikewhistle graciously accepts a proffered hand instead of shying away.
Take your Shiba everywhere that you can, especially noisy places full of chaos (an outdoor shopping mall is good as are playgrounds). A Shiba of any age will quickly draw legions of adoring worshippers. Teach them to reverence properly. Give them treats to feed the High One and train the High One to grace the ground with his bottom when accepting an offering. This is especially important with young children, which a sturdy Shiba can knock over or nip trying to get at a morsel of sausage.
Speaking of children, don’t allow kids to just run up to pet the dog. Make them ask their parents or caregivers first. Then guide them through polite introductions.
Never allow children to overwhelm your puppy or you run the risk of the puppy becoming shy around them. Also, don’t let young/strange children pick up your puppy – they may not know how to pick up or hold a puppy and might drop it. Don’t listen to what they or their parents say; your Shiba is not a toy for them to play with.
An excellent idea (originating from an email from Bonnie and Sushi of the Toronto Shiba Inu Meetup Group) is joining or forming a group of Shiba people. Not only is this an excellent way to socialize your new puppy, you have a support group of people who know what you’re going through!