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How to Train a Shiba Inu: 5 Expert Tips

Krystal Facey

By Krystal Facey

shiba inu dog in the grass

Shiba Inus are a dog breed known to be harder to train than other breeds. They naturally tend to shift towards being more stubborn and independent and won’t take too kindly to aggressive punishments. There’s a certain way the Shina Inu prefers to be treated when you are trying to make them respond to your calls and display proper dog behavior.

Understanding the best way to handle a specific dog breed is important before diving into the training process with them. Continue reading to learn five expert tips for how to train a Shiba Inu.

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The 5 Tips for Training a Shiba Inu

1. Build a Positive Relationship

shiba inu dog introduced to children
Image Credit: MENG KONGSAK, Shutterstock

When preparing for the training process with your Shiba Inu, it’s important to understand that a good relationship with a long-term pet is crucial. It’s about understanding that there is no benefit to asserting your dominance over an animal or trying to show them on a regular basis that you are the alpha of the home. This may sound incorrect because, with many dogs, it’s important that they listen to you and show you respect; in the case of the Shiba Inu, they do not respond well to an owner who displays negative or harsh reactions.

2. Use Redirection Techniques

One of the best techniques for training a Shiba Inu is to use redirection, averting a dog’s attention towards something else. It involves identifying when your dog is displaying bad behavior and then redirecting their attention to something like a toy or playtime with you. This will help the dog understand that their behavior will not be rewarded. It will stop the behavior from becoming a regular part of your dog’s routine and begin to teach them that the alternative is a better idea. For example, if they are barking outside the window, call them over to play with a ball.

3. Positive Reinforcement for Good Behavior

shiba inu sitting in the grass with his owner
Image Credit: MENG-KONGSAK, Shutterstock

One of the best ways to train a Shiba Inu is to use positive reinforcement, another technique that shows your dog which behaviors are good behaviors. This can include giving them treats or their favorite toy when they do something good. It can also be giving them a lot of affection or saying to them, “Good dog!”. This technique works wonders for Shiba Inu as they will associate the action with something positive. Your dog will now think, “When I am friendly with others, my owner gives me a lot of positive attention. I should do this more often!”

4. Avoid Aggressive Behavior With Others

Another good tip for training your Shiba Inu is to avoid any situations where you know that your dog is particularly aggressive or unhappy around strangers. This can include being around public spaces your dog may not yet have been exposed to, which could cause them stress or confusion. When Shiba Inus are nervous or scared, they react aggressively (like other dog breeds). Make sure you introduce them to other humans and dogs slowly and use the other techniques outlined to make the experience positive for them.

5. Do Not Show Aggression Towards Them

shiba inu dog sleeping in his owners lap
Image Credit: Elena Shvetsova, Shutterstock

The best expert tip for beginning training with your Shiba Inu is not to show aggression towards them. When you want to punish your dog, behaviors like shouting, hitting, or any other aggressive actions will not work with this breed. (Of course, no one should be hitting their pet, regardless of their actions.) They do not respond well to negative behaviors from their owners and will begin to act more nervous, untrusting, and eventually be aggressive themselves. The best way to show negative reinforcement to your Shiba Inu is to prevent things they like, for example, no treats, no favorite toys, and no overly affectionate behavior.

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In Summary

Shiba Inus are known for being independent, stubborn, and slightly standoffish dogs, but with the proper training and the right respect from their owners, they can be just as happy and friendly as any other dog breed. It’s important to understand what they need and how their breed learns best before you begin the training process. Similar to research new owners may do such as learning about the best diet, proper grooming practices, or how social a dog breed is, it’s just as important to understand how they respond best to commands.

Featured Image Credit: Spencer-Xu-Shutterstock

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