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The Portland Shiba Inu Meetup Group Message Board › I am new and looking for guidance.

I am new and looking for guidance.

A former member
Post #: 1
my name is Cody and I currently have my first shiba inu. Her name is Kiki and she just turned 1 in september. While this isn't my first dog this is my first shiba and needless to say I'm having a hard time training her. With my last dog being an australian shepherd who did everything in his power to make me happy, Kiki is a bit of a challenge. The biggest challenge is she is afraid of anything and everything foreign. Our life has been a bit crazy lately since in the past 4.5 months we have had to move twice and have had many new faces coming into our home more frequently. Now that my fiance and I have finally moved back into our final house, things have slowed down but Kiki's fear just continues. I find that if i try to have her socialize she gets grumpy with me and will ignore me later once the fear has worn off or that if i try to take her on a walk she just pulls and chokes herself as she tries to run and hide. She also is a fan of her kennel and at any time during the day she often rather just hang out in her kennel, however, I dont want her to live her life in a box. It becomes really difficult to take her on walks and work with her when the moment we exit the house she instantly wants to run and pulls at her leash. Making matters worse is that her fear is so great that she ignores whatever treats we use. If anyone can give me some advice id greatly appreciate it. I want to she her calm and happy wherever we go and I would love to take her to some of the meet ups but as she is now that feels like a distant dream. I hope someone can give some pro tips on shiba training because she is my little adventure princess and I want her to have the best life possible.
Vixey R.
Portland, OR
Post #: 13
Hi Cody! Congratulations on your first Shiba! I'm by no means a pro when it comes to these little furry critters, but I can tell you my experiences with them. I have a girl and a boy and they are both 4 this year. Vixey I've had since she was 4 months and Haru I've had since December 2011. When Vixey was a pup, I was lucky enough to be able to take her to work with me daily for the first few months so she got some great exposure to new things. We also enrolled in puppy kindergarten at PetSmart for basic training and exposure to new dogs. I've never walked her on a collar, I've always used a step-in harness. This has helped with my concerns of any pulling she may do. She hasn't ever seemed to be truly afraid of anything other than manhole covers. I just can't seem to get her over that one. Haru on the other hand was a different story. He was a rescue dog and came with a boatload of new issues I've never dealt with before. He was afraid of riding in the car, eating outside his kennel, thunder, loud sounds like fireworks, and he was aggressive with other dogs. It's taken a year, but I have a different dog now. I've just kept working with him, consistently exposing him to new things. I always show him and Vixey what things are, even if its not a "dog" thing. They get to check out anything they seem curious about or afraid of. If something happens and they scurry away and it's nothing to be afraid of in the people world, I go get them and talk to them and bring them back to the source and show them its ok. Thunder and fireworks will probably be something I can never calm Haru's fears about but he has overcome everything else. You have had some upheaval in your homes recently and this just may be her way of dealing with it. Give her a chance to reaclimate to your final home and see how she does. I know a lot of owners and even our rescue uses thunder shirts to help with anxiety, that may be an option too. I also use a Halit with Haru if we are going to be going somewhere that may be high stress for him. (Vixey refuses to wear one at all and will pout and refuse to move if I put one on her, so this suggestion may be 50/50) Keeping Haru's full attention with a Halti is another way we have been successful at places like the Doggie Dash or the Portland Pet and Companion fair. I've also found another lead that I would like to try that's similar to the Halti but its all one piece and the lead extends off the back of their head called the Infinity lead. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on getting one to see if it is more manageable than a Halti. I would just recommend keep working with your baby. Keep exposing her to your routine for a while and gradually include new things. If it is a big concern, you may want to speak to a behavior specialist to see what other input they may have. Good Luck!
A former member
Post #: 2
I just wanted to say thank you for all the advice it really helps a lot! I have been slowly working with Kiki getting her more acclimated to the leash and introducing her to more things while on it. It seems to be working. I don't know what switched but one day she just started becoming more and more daring. When I took her to the vet today, even though she was scared she was sniffing other people and not pulling nearly as much. I hope to bring her to the next meet up since being around other dogs seems to really loosen her up. Thanks again and sorry for the late reply!
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