Shibas are very good about training. If you have just gotten a Shiba, you’re no doubt amazed with the celerity that you have learned to feed, walk, potty, and worship the Shiba with naught but a whine. And you’re so quick to learn what different whines mean! Such a good Shiba person you are! Now go, fetch the snack.
Shibas work best on an I- give- you- this- you- give- me- that regime. Shibas are incredibly smart and they get smarter if you stuff bits of chicken in their mouths every so often. A toy also works as a reward if your Shiba is very playful. Start training the minute the dog arrives in the house; even an eight-week-old puppy can begin practicing “sit” and “down” with food rewards.
Puppy classes are highly recommended to get an early start on puppy obedience. Seek out training classes based on positive reinforcement rather than punitive methods. Many kennel clubs have graduated programs that can take your dog from puppyhood to adulthood as its learning capacity increases.
Don’t view training your dog as a vehicle for your ego. A surefire way to an unhappy Shiba is to play yank-and-smack. Unhappy Shibas play more fun Shiba games like SCREAMING in your ear, running away from the lead, refusing to move to the point where you will drag their dead weight all over the place, and cringing if you look at them sideways.
Training is more than “come”, “sit”, “stay”, “heel” and “down”. It is also teaching the Shiba that nothing in life is free. Pookie should learn to obey commands before getting anything Pookie wants. Sometimes it means correcting Pookie immediately and decisively when he goes into all-out tantrum mode and never letting him intimidate you into letting him have or do whatever he wants.
A note on training collars. I support the use of graduated correction. This means, starting from a buckle collar, you find out the type of correction necessary to control your dog by slowly increasing levels of the force of correction. It makes no sense to outfit a dog with a higher level of correction if it will work just as well on a lower level. Too much correction will cause some dogs to “turn off” and ruin training.
Some dogs never need anything but a buckle collars. Others work better on martingale collars. Some will only pay attention to a prong or pinch collar. Very few dogs require an electric shock collar and they are not the “quick fix” that many companies advertise them to be.
Personally, I am of the opinion that most people have no clue how to use most training collars properly or of the damage they can do if used improperly. I don’t believe pet shops should be able to sell any type of “training collar” beyond a martingale, because of this ignorance.
I urge anyone who wants to train their dog and is finding that a buckle collar just isn’t working, to go to a reputable trainer and learn how to use training equipment in an effective and humane manner.
- start training right away
- keep training sessions short (start at 5 minutes for very young Shibas and go from there)
- find someone to teach you how to properly use a training collar
- keep bait in your pockets or a bait bag for quick rewards
- keep training fun for both of you
- end training on a positive note with lots of praise and treats
- expect a small puppy to remember training right away
- expect your dog to “know” differences between right and wrong as they apply to you
- yank or yell harshly at a young puppy
- leave a training collar on your dog. They can get caught on things, even crates and choke the dog to death.
- expect a Shiba to do anything for you without knowing well in advance what’s in it for them
DO NOT TRUST YOUR SHIBA OFF-LEAD
unless God lost a bet with you or owes you a big-ass favour. Even then, don’t.