Are Shiba Inus Truly Independent?

by shibashake 8 Comments§ If you look at the personality, temperament, or breed descriptions of Shiba Inus, they are always listed as independent dogs. Are they truly independent? and what does independence mean here? According to Dictionary.com there are 17 different meanings to ‘independent’. Many of them describe the Shiba Inu well, especially the definitions pertaining to independent thought and action. Are Shiba Inus Truly Independent? Indeed Shiba Inus are not easily influenced or controlled by others – they have a mind of their own and that is why Shiba Inus can be challenging to train and to share your life with. However, the other key definition of independence has to do with reliance– i.e. whether someone relies on another for their existence, care, and support.

Indeed Shiba Inus are not easily influenced or controlled by others – they have a mind of their own. Clearly by this definition, all dogs are somewhat reliant on us and never totally independent. However, I would argue that Shiba Inus are even more reliant on usthan

it is best not to get a Shiba Inu. She is good at entertaining herself and always manages to find something interesting to do. If you must be away at work or somewhere else for most of the day. They may be independent when it comes to following commands. Read more about the Shiba Inu personality … . and to bond with him – EVERY DAY. Only consider getting a Shiba Inu if you have a lot of time available to spend with your new Shiba Inu puppy – to train him. and in the general vicinity of his humans. to play with him. including working on food toys. If you leave them alone for too long they will become destructive and/or escape. My Shiba goes outside sometimes but he prefers being inside the house most of the time. Owning a Shiba Inu takes a lot of time and patience. my Siberian Husky will go hunting and exploring in the backyard on her own. some dog breeds are more ‘independent’ than others. My Shiba Inu on the other hand will only sleep when he is by himself. For example. 3 Shiba Inus like engaging in activities with others. playing in the backyard. 2 Shiba Inus need to have their people around. In particular 1 Shiba Inus are indoor dogs. or playing with toys. Are Shiba Inus truly independent? Not in terms of self-reliance. but they are extremely reliant on their people. For any other activity. he will wait until someone else is there to do the activity together with him. This is probably true of all dogs because they are pack animals. however. to walk him. Are Shiba Inus truly independent? Not in terms of selfreliance.many other dog breeds.

The Dog Whisperer. there is much confusion and debate surrounding the concept of dog dominance. and attribute all the ills of their furry friend on the dreaded d-word. I want to consider dog dominance – what is fact. The Dog Whisperer airs on the National Geographic Channel and is currently the most popular dog training program.Owning a Shiba Inu takes a lot of time and patience.  Is dog dominance a myth? Has dominance theory been debunked?  Does dominance cause most bad dog behaviors?  How do we deal with a dominant dog?  Who is right and who is wrong in this dog dominance debate? . Here. claim that there is no such thing as dog dominance. Cesar Millan places a heavy emphasis on dog dominance and pack leadership in his dog training show. ban the mention of the d-word from their forums. Others. and continually decry that the socalleddominance theory has been debunked. Some people cannot stop talking about it. Often. and what is fiction. Only consider getting a Shiba Inu if you have a lot of time available to spend with your new Shiba Inu puppy Is Dominance the Cause of Most Bad Dog Behavior? by shibashake 3 Comments§ Dog dominance has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years due to Cesar Millan.

~~[The Free Dictionary] In a dog pack. all the animals clear out. What is dominance? There are two meanings that apply when it comes to dogs. Dominance however. lions are powerful predators that have dominance over most of the animal kingdom. thus they have dominance over other members of the pack. as well as controlling resources and territory. 2. We also have dominance over animals. rather than from our physical . Dominance – the state that exists when one person or group has power over another. Our dominance comes from building tools and structures. When they stop at a water hole. For example. but because of our brains. is not tied to only pack animals. the alpha male and female has the power to give orders and make decisions.The Dirty D-Word in Dog Training – Dominance Is Dog Dominance a Myth? Is Dog Dominance a Myth? Some people claim that dog dominance is a myth that is only perpetuated by television trainers to improve ratings. 4. not because we have sharp claws and powerful bodies. Dominance – the power or right to give orders or make decisions. for example.

. especially those who cannot protect themselves. In fact. we have laws against using physical punishment and violence to gain power and control over other people. Human institutions today gain supremacy mostly through the control of resources and diplomacy. and tyranny. sometimes. despotism. A better way to achieve dominance is through our control of resources. Another way to achieve dominance is through persuasion and the manipulation of resources. sometimes. there are multiple ways to achieve dominance. Does dominance exist between dogs and people? Yes. This type of dominance is often referred to as absolutism. However. One way to achieve dominance is through threat of punishment or violence. Does dominance exist between dogs? Yes.attributes.

what has been debunked is the concept that a group of wolves get together. but she is only playing a fun wrestling game. Rather. . Has “dominance theory” been debunked? Based on the studies that I have read.e. as food. In this picture Husky puppy Shania is on top. and have Thunderdome style fights with each other to establish physical dominance. that involves the tendency to take priority in access to limited resources. or space. dom·i·nance Animal Behavior. it is not about dominance at all. ~~[Dictionary. it has been discovered that most wolf packs are family groups where the alpha male and female are simply the parents of the family. that has been proved to be inaccurate. usually acquired as the result of aggression. they are in a position of authority) but that position is *not* gained through physical aggression. This is a myth. mates. At the end. The alpha pair still has dominance over its members (i.com] It is this concept of high status through physical aggression.Often. high status in a social group. the last one standing is King or Alpha.

it is because he is trying to show us that he is leader of the pack. Why did the dog pull to get ahead? Frequently because he is excited and wants to get to the next bush to smell and mark. it is because he is trying to dominate us. If a dog walks ahead of us. that has been proved to be inaccurate. Dominance has nothing to do with it.It is this concept of high status through physical aggression. it has become popular to attribute almost all bad dog behaviorsto dominance. dogs jump because they want to lick us on the face which is an appeasement behavior. . Why did the dog jump on a total stranger? Sometimes. it is because he thinks he is the boss. Why did the dog growl when people approached his food? Because from experience. Does dominance cause most bad dog behaviors? Dominant Dog Recently. the dog has learned that when people come near his belongings. If a dog jumps on us. he starts to protect his stuff before it gets taken away by force. If a dog growls when we approach his food or his toy. dogs jump because they are excited and want to play. he loses it forever. At other times. As a result.

Most bad dog behaviors occur because we respond incorrectly or with inaccurate timing. and gets him even more excited.Dogs jump because they want to lick us on the face which is an appeasement behavior. However. Often. this is a fun wrestling game where he gets a lot of attention. which encourages him to keep repeating it. our most common reaction is to push back with our hands and arms. Dominance can cause bad dog behavior. From our dog’s point of view. In the future. For example. including aggression. bad dog behavior is a result of mis-communication between us and our dog. we inadvertently reward our dog for his bad behavior. Does dominance cause most bad dog behaviors? No. he may decide to start protecting himself and his stuff with his teeth. when a dog jumps. As a result. This rewards the dog for jumping. For example. our dog learns the wrong lessons and the bad behavior worsens. most of the time. . if we keep using force to take things away from our dog he will learn to associate people approaching him or his belongings as a negative event.

Even today. However. If I try to force Sephy to do something. he comes up with many new and often humorous behaviors to test his boundaries. Try to make obedience training a part of our dog's home life. most of the time. I mean a dog that is more likely to show dominant behaviors. Do not expose our dog to more than he can handle. for example. The Shiba Inu. A Shiba Inu is also extremely stubborn. is a very independent and primitive dog breed. Independent and more primitive dog breeds will generally show more dominant behaviors. When I say a “dominant dog”.Dominance can cause bad dog behavior. including aggression. My Shiba Inu challenged me a lot when he was young. a bad behavior is a result of mis-communication between us and our dog. he will dig in and really not . How do we deal with a dominant dog? How do we deal with a dominant dog? More rules and structure.

I first ask my dog to do something for me. If we carefully manage our dog and set him up for success.  Frequent obedience training sessions. balanced. Instead. or fearful. In the end. and act out even more. If we get tense. we are teaching our dog that the best way for him to get what he wants. However. pain) to break our dog’s independence and stubbornness.do it. our dog will also stay calm and look to us for direction. Dogs are very good at sensing our emotions. . but they can hear and smell changes in our bodies. do it at a pace that he can handle and enjoy. is to do what we want first. our dogs will pick up on those emotions. Try to make obedience training a part of our dominant dog’s home life.e. Do not expose a dominant dog to more than he can handle.  Reward training. it is important to remain calm but firm. we will need to use a lot of physical force (i.  Always be calm but firm. A dominant dog will always fight back when faced with a physical threat. by using reward training and controlling the dog’s resources. get stressed. which will lead to less stress and frustration. Contrary to what some people may say. This is easily achieved through theNILIF program. before I do something for him in return. the more he will fight.  Management and supervision. frustrated. physical force is a poor way to deal with dominant dogs. The more dominant and stubborn the dog. Not only are they good observers. and ready to meet new challenges. he will be confident. A string of failures will not only encourage our dog to practice bad behaviors. When dealing with bad dog behavior. It is important to challenge a dog and give him a rich and interesting life. In this way. This builds a strong bond and keeps our dog’s spirit intact.Providing a consistent routine allows a dominant dog to quickly learn what his pack responsibilities are. but also be demoralizing for everyone involved. How do we deal with a dominant dog?  More rules and structure.

and a low quality of life for everyone. are themselves using their dominant position in the social group. even though usingdominance and physical force techniques was causing greater aggression. Ironically. to silence anyone that does not 100% toe the party line. . together with negative and dominant language. the same people who want to ban the word dominance. it is also counter-productive to deny the existence of dominance in dogs. Who is right and who is wrong in the dog dominance debate? There are many heated debates about dog dominance on the internet. When I first got my Shiba Inu. I became resistant to any changes in strategy. I learned that it is dangerous to blame everything on dog dominance.Always set our dominant dog up for success. more stress. from even being mentioned on certain forums. However. and often. Once I went down this road. Through this experience. I started with aversive training methods. we let our own egos get in the way.

and what they think. If it doesn’t come back. If it comes back. Sometimes. I got as much information as I could.” ~~[Doug Horton] . love it forever. I listened to my dogs and let them tell me what works best. and making the best decisions for them. Dominance is not in black or white. Sometimes. I am the boss. Sephy must go to the vet for yearly check-ups and that’s that.What matters most to me are my dogs. Once I realized this and put my own ego on the back burner. we give and we take. and most important of all. you never had it. and our dogs are not our enemies. we work together. There is little need to carry on an antagonistic “I win or he wins” relationship with our own dog. Most of the time. Ultimately. What matters most are my dogs. Sephy is the boss and he gets to pick where we go on our walks. It does not matter what my neighbors think about me or my dog parenting skills. “If you love something let it go free. I was more open to new techniques. things got a lot better. I learned that it does not matter who is right and who is wrong on the internet.

.Dominance is not in black or white. and our dogs are not our enemies.

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