Training Your Shiba
Crate and House Training
What about housetraining older dogs?
It is never too late to crate train your dog! The number one reason dogs end up in shelters is behavior problems. Crate training, at any age, can help break bad habits and solve most of these problems.
Crates are not just for training, they are good for the lifetime of your dog. By providing a crate for your dog, you are in essence providing him with his own bedroom. Crates are especially important for older dogs that use it to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday family life, which often includes small children or other pets that may harass them.
Dog crates are the best house training tool available. They provide a room for your dog while protecting your home furnishings from damage. However, even a crate isn’t an absolute safe harbor for your pet. As per crate manufacturers’ warnings, you should always remove standard collars before placing your dog in a crate. Always make sure there are appropriate toys & treats to keep your dog’s attention in the crate. In the car a crate can provide safety for you, your dog, and your passengers and provide comfort and protect your dog during sudden stops and turns.
Separating your dog from the rest of the family can add stress to your dog. Dogs are social animals, so the ideal location is a room full of activity. Your dog will enjoy his new room while still being part of the family. At night the bedroom is an ideal place for a crate so your dog will feel the security of being close to you.
Confining him in his crate for excessive periods of time will be a negative experience for your dog.
If you keep your puppy in the crate all night, you can’t crate him during the day. This will cause your puppy a lot of stress and will build up too much energy. Also can cause bad habits such as chewing on paws or barking. We suggest to block off your kitchen with a baby gate. Have a container or a basket filled with all kinds of puppy toys and chewies. If you puppy starts to chew on something he is not suppose to just take him to the puppy toys and give him one. He will then quickly learn that the toys are for him.
Another great idea for housetraining is the poochie bells. Simply hang them on the door you will be using to take your puppy outside. If you carry your puppy ring the bells as you go out the door. Very soon your puppy will learn to use the bells to let you know its time to go outside to potty.
Top veterinarian behaviorists and dog trainers recommend covering the crate. This makes the crate a more den-like environment, providing more security, which reduces barking. Covering the crate will result in a better experience for both you and your dog. Inside the crate Very few dogs exhibit a desire to chew their own personal dog beds.
Alpha Or Being The Leader Of The Pack
We have provided love and socialization form the time your puppy was born. At 8 weeks old when you take your puppy home its now time for you to take over. The puppy you now own is sweet and highly intelligent, but can become stubborn and possible aggressive within months if you do not continue proper socializing and training. Becoming alpha is a must for the Shiba Inu. If not established within the first month your Shiba can easily become the head of your pack. Training must include everyone living in the house, even children. It is you and your family’s responsibility to train and socialize your puppy.
Starting from day one continue to do the exercises e have been doing. Touch your puppy everywhere! Head, ears, over the eyes, in the mouth, nose, under the chin and do one paw at a time touching between each toe and then the paw pad. Shiba’s do not like having their feet touched, doing this now will help when you are trimming nails. Then roll your puppy over on his back and massage his cheeks. If your puppy struggles keep him there until he stops. Then let him up. If you let him up before he stops you have now taught your puppy that he as won and he is now the alpha. If done properly your puppy will just submit, roll over and relax. During the exercises everyone must be serious, no talking or laughing. For everyone to remain alpha the exercises need to be done everyday at different times with other family members. If you decide not to do these exercises your Shiba will quickly learn he can now challenge you at any time. Becoming possessive of toys, bones, food and where they sleep.
Another exercise is everyone should be able to feed your puppy and be able to put their hand in the food bowl. If at any time your puppy growls, take the food away and do the touch exercises. Teach your puppy to sit, before giving his food. You must take control of the situation.
Owners must teach their puppies that mouthing and biting on your hands, feet or clothing is not acceptable. It might seem cute to you, but its another way for your puppy learns to be alpha.
As soon as possible enroll your puppy in socializing classes. Most large pet store have classes and you can also ask your vet. After puppy classes you will need to go on to obedience classes. We recommend classes for your Shiba up until he is 2 years old. You also have a goal to meet 100 different people, including children during the first 6 months. Expose your puppy to different places. If you are having trouble finding people just stand outside your local supermarket or walmart. I guarantee you will have lots of people curious to see your new pet. Also pet stores, home depot, lowes allow pets inside.
Remember if you and your family do not learn how to become alpha over your puppy when he is very young and continue through their lifetime you will have serious behavioral problems as your puppy matures.
For more information and help training your puppy we recommend an e book written by Adam Katz “Secrets Of A Professional Trainer”. Also included 24/7 Access to chat with Adam himself or one of his Professional Trainer friends. That’s right! Even in the middle of the night!!!
Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer Reveals:
– Learn to be alpha
– Crate training
– Raising a puppy the easy way
– Off – leash training. Help my dog is running away from me!
– House break in a hurry
– How to build a strong relationship with your dog
– Territorial aggressions
– Food aggressions
– My puppy is biting me!
– Teaching your dog not to pull you on a leash
– Why most amateur dog owners fail
– Adopting a second puppy
– Teach your dog to listen to you!
– Do not be intimidated by your own dog!
– Take the 10,000 dog trainer challenge Page. 284
– How to bring a new dog into your home
– How to teach your dog to listen to you
– Learn faster training results
– Secrets to housebreaking your puppy in a hurry
– Stop puppy biting
– Training your dog off leash
– Aggression problems
– Written for the ordinary pet owner to develop a happy and satisfying relationship with your dog
The first year is the most important for your puppy to learn. Never keep your puppy confined to your home. We recommend:
1. You take your puppy on an outing every weekend to different places.
2. Have your puppy meet a 100 different people, all shapes and sizes during the first year.
3. Groom your Shiba almost every day. Touching your Shiba daily over most of his body will play an important goal later in life. Nail cutting – a Shiba’s worst nightmare! Start early and don’t give up. We recommend cutting just the tips once a week. If you decide this is not necessary, just wait and you will soon hear the “famous” Shiba scream.
How To Socialize Your Puppy
Acquiring a puppy prior to eight weeks of age can also create problems. These puppies miss out on important interactions that take place with other puppies in the litter. A puppy selected too young may miss out on the consequences of biting a littermate to hard. This puppy’s new owners will then pay the price when it bites them to hard while playing.
Eight weeks of age is the ideal time for a puppy to adjust to a new home.
How do we get our puppies socialized so they grow up to be well-adjusted, adult dogs that are comfortable meeting strangers, children and other dogs? The key is to make sure your puppy gets exposed to everything he may ever be exposed to during his lifetime, while he is very young. The critical age of socialization is between 8 and 16 weeks of age. If not exposed to new situations during this critical period, your puppy may always be fearful when exposed to new things in the future.
After you have chosen your new puppy and had it examined by your veterinarian, you can begin to expose it to new things. Your puppy will not have all his vaccinations yet, but you may still take him to a family or neighbor’s home to expose him to children or friendly, vaccinated dogs. If you have small children, dogs or cats in your family, you are fortunate. Your puppy will become accustomed to the screaming and active play behavior of children and will be exposed to other pets.
If you are single adult, a couple without children or a senior citizen, you will have to go out of your way to expose your puppy to children of all ages. You can invite well-mannered children into your home to have supervised play with your new puppy. If you don’t know anyone with small children, you can often find families with children at local parks. Keep some tasty treats available for the children to give your puppy so he associates them, with food rewards.
When you have visitors come to your home, when the mailman delivers mail or the deliveryman brings packages, do the same thing. Give them a dog treat; have them make your puppy sit, and then give the puppy the treat for sitting. This will teach the puppy if he sits for strangers he will be rewarded. This is an excellent way to prevent your puppy from jumping up on people. Your puppy will also learn that visitors will come bearing gifts, instead of being something to bark at and to protect the family from.
Enrolling you puppy in a puppy kindergarten or a puppy training class will have many benefits. This will be a way to take your puppy out of the house once a week where he will be exposed to many new situations during a critical period of socialization. Be sure to choose puppy training class where the emphasis is on having fun and meeting new puppies and their owners. Instructors should use only a buckle-type collar and never a choker or pinch collar. Basic training using praise and food rewards for motivation will make you and your puppy enjoy going to class.
Choosing the correct puppy for you and your family that fits your particular life-style is critical. Exposing your puppy to pleasant experiences such as strangers, children and other dogs between 8 and 16 weeks of age, is critical to having a well-adjusted adult dog.
For thousands of years dogs have lived in social groups called packs and each pack member has his own position or rank in the pack. Once puppies are able to walk and interact, they try to determine their position in the litter. A puppy soon learns if he is submissive, the other puppies will push him away from the food. If he is larger and stronger than the other puppies he will most likely be the one doing the pushing. As puppies get older they will have to figure out their position in the pack.
After a puppy is adopted into his new human pack, he has to re-establish his position. If he was the bully of the litter, he may try to bully his new pack members. If he was submissive with his littermates, he will probably start out being submissive. As he grows older and larger he will try to determine where he fits into this new human pack. His ultimate rank will depend on how his human pack members respond to his actions in various situations.
When first introduced to his new family, a puppy will usually act somewhat submissive. When greeted, your new puppy may roll over on his back and urinate or he may squat and urinate. He is sending you a message in dog language which says, “Don’t hurt me; I am not a threat to you.” If he submits in this manner, do not scold him or you will make the problem worse.
As a puppy grows older he will take his cues on how he should respond to his new owners by the way they react to his actions. For example, a puppy is chewing on his favorite chew toy or rawhide and a child approaches the puppy. The puppy uses the body language he learned from his littermates to warn the child not to come any closer. These warning signs may be a low, soft growl, a curled lip, raised hackles or a nip directed at the child. If the child heeds the warning and backs away, this puppy has just learned that a threatening growl is a good way to keep his prized possessions away from this particular child. The puppy also learns that his rank or position in his new family is higher than this child’s.
Sometimes children are not able to interpret a puppy’s body language and they do not back off when warned. After several such incidents, the puppy feels he has given enough prior warning and he bites the child. Other members of the family may not witness the earlier incidents when the puppy growled and did not bite the child. When the child finally gets bitten, the mom or dad will often say the puppy bit the child for no reason, with no previous warning and they may want to get rid of the puppy.
If a puppy gets away with threatening a child or younger member of the family, he will usually try the same thing when other family members come near one of his favorite possessions. If the family member gives the puppy a stern correction and lets him know he should never growl at humans, the puppy has just learned that his position in the new family is lower than the family member who corrected him but still higher than the child he threatened. Over time, similar incidents will likely occur with every member of his new human pack. The response of each family member to the puppy’s actions will help determine his ultimate ranking.
Once he determines his family ranking and he submits to higher-ranking family members, there may not be any more problems until he reaches his social maturity. The best way to describe social maturity is when the puppy becomes a teenager. Social maturity usually occurs between 8 – 12 months of age. He is now older, stronger, and more confident and his attitude toward family members may change. This mild-mannered, young, adult dog may now begin to challenge higher-ranking members of his human pack that he had previously submitted to.
The best to way assure your puppy knows his proper position in his human pack is to begin making him earn everything he receives, as soon as he joins your family. Prior to receiving anything such as food, petting, or play, you must make him sit to earn these privileges or rewards. By making your puppy sit, you will teach him that he must submit to you before you will give him anything. Nothing in life is free. Everything must be earned.
Use small pieces of dog biscuits, Cheerios or other tasty treats for this training. To teach the sit command, hold a small piece of treat at the level of the puppy’s nose. Your puppy will smell the treat and move his head toward it. When he sniffs the food, slowly move the hand holding the food back and slightly over the top of his head. As he stretches his neck to reach for the food, continue moving the treat over the top of his back toward his rump and repeat the command “sit” several times. Most puppies will drop into a sit position in order to reach the food. If you raise the treat too high over the puppy’s head, he will likely rise up on his back legs to reach the treat and not sit. As soon as the puppy sits, give him the treat, act very excited and lavish him with praise saying “good puppy”. Continue short training sessions until your puppy sits automatically when given the “sit” command. You will be surprised how quickly most puppies will learn this technique, often in just a few minutes.
Once your puppy has mastered this exercise, every member of the family, including all children, must be taught how to make him sit. You will have to portion out the dog treats to be sure your puppy does not receive too many. The puppy must now sit before he receives anything. If he wants to play, he must sit. If he is being fed, he must sit before receiving his food. If he wants you to pet him, make him sit first. If he runs to the door to be let out to eliminate, praise him for going to the door, but make him sit before opening the door. You are rewarding him for signaling you to let him go out, but he must earn the privilege of having the door opened for him. When you open the door, make your puppy remain sitting until you and other family members go out the door first. This will show him that higher-ranking members of the pack go out the door first and hopefully this will keep him from bolting out the door whenever it is opened.
Mealtime is a very special time for most puppies. The individual feeding him is a special member of his family and is often considered a higher-ranking member. If you have children, help them measure out the puppy’s food and have them place a few pieces of food into the dish. After the puppy eats them, have the children add a few more pieces until all the food is gone. This lesson teaches the puppy that a child’s hand reaching toward the food bowl means the child is giving him something and not taking anything away. This exercise will help desensitize your puppy to children around his food bowl while he is eating. Allowing the children to do the feeding will elevate their rank because the puppy must depend on them for his food.
Another good idea is to have all family members do things to distract the puppy while he is eating. Pet him, rub him and gently pull on his tail and legs. This will serve to desensitize him to human contact while eating and make him less likely to be protective during these times.
Do the same thing when he is chewing on his favorite chew objects or playing with his favorite toys. Take these objects away from your puppy, praise him and then give him a food treat as a reward for giving up his prized possession. Eventually, you will not have to use food as a reward. Praise him and give back his chew object as a reward. Once your puppy will allow you to do this without any incidents, supervise and allow your children to do the same thing. Eventually every family member should be able to take things away from your puppy and reward him for giving them up.
Adopting an Older Shiba Inu
Many people think that only very young pups can bond for life. I don’t know where this myth got started but I would like to explain what really occurs between a dog and his new owner-based on 50 years of breeding, showing and training dogs of every breed from small to big.
First, I would like to tell you that one of the dogs I truly bonded with, I never even met until he was 6 years old. He was a Shiba Inu who came to me when he was 6 years old. The dog and I were inseparable until he died-when he climbed up into my bed to lie next to me as if to say goodbyes. This was truly unique, as he never once in his life would jump onto a bed or sofa. Also, the first month when he came he would barely allow me into my own house. He didn’t know me and didn’t trust me.
We place out our retired females when they are about 5 years old into new homes. The first few weeks it is very difficult for them to adjust after all they have been separated from all their friends at the ranch, they are scared, don’t know their owner’s etc. Yet these females become very close, bond very strongly with their new families if they are given a chance to adjust and the new owners give them love and attention. I often hear from these families how these older adopted dogs are the best dogs they ever owned.
Let’s take people as another example. When did you meet your best friend, husband or wife? Did you meet these people when you were babies or young kids and that’s why you bonded so well? Nonsense. Some of the happiest married couples didn’t meet until later in life, incredible friendships are often made when you are 30-40 years old, etc.
Yet, some people feel that a dog and they can only bond if the pup comes into their life at 8 weeks old. Let me explain to you that is not bonding-that is dependence. At 8 weeks or 10 weeks old a pup must have someone to feed them and protect them or they would soon die. A young pup will like everyone who offers food and some attention but to call that bonding is a little farfetched. Of course the pup becomes dependent on you-he just doesn’t know any better and you have complete control of his life. Personally, I do not equate control to bonding.
Bonding is a genuine feeling between two people, dogs, or a person and a dog. Its special chemistry that is difficult to explain but when you have it-it is very special.