Shiba Inus must be socialized regularly from a young age in order to behave well as adults. Shibas have a tendency to be standoffish with other animals, and their characteristic dominance and bullying can quickly cause a situation between two unfamiliar dogs to escalate. Teach your Shiba Inu the proper way to behave in the presence of other humans and animals by introducing them to new friends as often as possible. Listed below are suggested venues.
If your Shiba Inu is between the ages of 6 and 18 weeks, he or she can attend puppy school. Here, your Shiba will begin learning the foundations of basic obedience in a class setting with other puppies, and also be given play time with his or her classmates. A dog trainer will supervise play and discourage your Shiba from inappropriate behaviors such as humping, displays of overt dominance, and biting.
Obedience classes do double duty for dogs who are lacking in socialization skills. While most obedience courses do not have a play time component the way puppy school does, having your dog comfortably and calmly exist in the presence of other dogs is a huge step in the right direction towards proper socialization of your Shiba.
Structured play between one or two other Shiba Inu-friendly dogs is a great way to keep your dog’s socialization skills up-to-date. Some dog training facilities and pet stores also offer supervised play time in small groups. These sessions are a great option because the trainer will help maintain peace among all the dogs while also helping your dog learn proper techniques for safe play.
Doggy day care doubles not only as a socialization tool for your Shiba Inu, but also a safe place for your dog to spend the day while you are at work. For Shibas with separation anxiety or destructive tendencies, doggy day care can be a lifesaver. Throughout the day, your Shiba will be placed in small groups of dogs with similar activity and energy levels. An employee will supervise each play group and watch for inappropriate behavior, putting dogs in “time out” as needed.
Dog parks can be both good and bad for your Shiba Inu. For especially dominant and bossy Shibas, a dog park is not recommended, as the predictability of the dogs you will find in a dog park is often low. Shiba Inus do not like surprises, so unless there is a guarantee that a small group of mostly the same dogs will be at the dog park every time, Shiba Inus do not make good dog park patrons.
Dog Walking Clubs
A fun way for both dog and owner to meet new people and dogs, while also exercising, is a dog walking club. These clubs typically meets once a week for long hikes or walks on trails and bicycle paths. Walking with a group of other dogs who are also leashed can be comforting for a Shiba, or may be