Loki and Juju: Opposites

Despite the fact that Loki is our problem dog, he is really easy to train. It sounds strange to say, but he's actually a really good dog ...  aside from the fact that he bites. But, no really, he is! I'm not entirely sure why, but he is so easy to train. He's willing to please. He's willing to listen. He just gets it faster. I even think that he really enjoys training. He loves it that we tell him what to do. He feels more secure when we do. And that is exactly what we want -- for him to feel secure and safe.

Juju, on the other hand, is incredibly difficult to train. We've been working on "down" with her all week long, and I still don't think she gets it.

So, we have one dog who is really easy to train and is very well-mannered, but has a bite history. And a second dog who is frustratingly hard to train, has no manners, but is a complete sweetheart. A baby and a vet can do anything and everything to this girl, and she won't complain. But don't try asking her to give you a "down" or to "come" or anything else for that matter. She is one stubborn dog. She wants to do what she wants to do and no one can convince her otherwise. Or she's stupid, but I don't think so. A stupid dog wouldn't do this or that. She just doesn't like anyone to be the boss of her.

Two dogs as opposite as opposite could be.


Judy Whitton said...

Actually what you are saying about Juju seems pretty normal for a Shiba, if anything, if Loki does all those things without any treats, he is the exception to the rule. I don't know of too many Shibas that will come when you call them, unless there is a treat involved and I hear that down is the most difficult thing to teach any dog as the down position is a submissive position.

The only thing my two will do reliable without any treat is sit. If I want them to do anything else, there had better be a treat in my hand. That is the independent nature of the Shiba.

My two are sisters and we took them to the same obedience class. I was training Sami and my daughter was training Miko. Well, with treat in hand, Sami kept all eyes on me, was quick to learn anything. Miko on the other hand was easily distracted and we had to search for a treat that was irresistible to be able to keep her concentration.

Shibas are very smart dogs and I think you could train them to do anything with the right motivation.

Cassaendra said...

Akemi won't really sit unless she thinks she is getting a treat or if the command is in a booming voice. It's as if she wants us to earn her obedience.

A shiba should come with a placard around their neck that says:
I am not hard of hearing, I am independent. (That pretty much sums it up -- everything else is a minor clause. Essentially, "what's in it for me?")
I am pretty aloof.
I am cute, and people will stop you everywhere you take me to let you know this. You'll always have to explain that I am a shiba inu. Twice. And explain that I am a Japanese breed, and this is how big I get.

They are a handful, and we've often said, "You're lucky you're so cute."

Judy Whitton said...

LOL Cassaendra! Yep, that about sums it up. I think the most important thing to do when you get a Shiba Inu is to take them out in public and socialize them with people and other dogs. The other thing is to have them go through at least one obedience class. Not that it will make them listen to you any better, but I think it helps establish that you are the pack leader.

I took mine through 2 obedience classes, beginner and intermediate and they are very well behaved and polite dogs at the pet stores and out in public. Miko is still a little on the shy side and she picks who she lets pet her. Sami on the other hand will take any attention she can get.

I have yet to run into another Shiba at the pet store, although I've had several times when a person would come up to me and say, hey, I have a Shiba Inu. They always remark how calm they are. When I ask them where theirs is, it's, oh we can't bring them to the store, they won't behave.

So, I do feel training and socialization are important to having a Shiba Inu from a very early age, even if they won't do what you ask them to do unless you have that treat in hand, they still get lots of benefits from it.

Vi said...

@Judy -- No, Loki isn't the most reliably trained dog without treats. Sometimes he'll obey, but sometimes he still needs those treats. When I wrote my post, I was still referring to training with treats.

I've discovered that my two dogs need different rewards. Loki can be trained on cheerios. Juju needs cheese.

Hannah said...

Funny -- my female shiba sounds *exactly* like Juju. Beginner's training went well, except for not jumping on people (down!) and loose-leash training. Intermediate simply didn't happen, despite attendance and participation. Everything is on her terms. But she's a sweetheart. She'll snarl at me... but when an 18-month-old child flat-out slapped her across her snout, she just blinked. (Not sure who was more relieved: The baby's mama, or the shiba's mama...) Little kids think it's fun to grab her cute, furry, curly tail, too -- and yes, that's with lots of supervision. She just sort of looks back over her shoulder to see what happened, and almost visibly shrugs. Vets, kids, strangers can all handle her pretty much as they want, and she's good. But if I ask her to do something, or try to train her on something new... Yeah. Not so much.

My *male* shiba, on the other hand, gets new behaviors within minutes, but is much more shy, and a total wuss at the vet's. He's never shown a desire to bite, thank God, but I'll watch for it, now, just in case. He doesn't seem to need or want the attention that my female actively seeks out. Also, he's my guard dog, too.

Maybe it's a gender thing, within the breed?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...