When you attend a fun dog show or when you watch amazing dog tricks videos on the internet, you would immediately think, “Wow, how smart those dogs are!”. I would initially think so, too.
But to debunk some notions, being smart cannot be equated to being highly trainable. Why? It is because there are quick and intelligent dogs who are a bit difficult to train. The same goes for us humans, right?
Also, there is no such thing as a “silly” dog, only those that can be challenging to train because they have unique personalities.
So, what are the usual dogs that are so easy to train and are commonly found either doing a show or a trending video?
Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Labrador Retriever, Papillon, Rottweiler, Australian Cattle Dog — these are just some of the highly trainable dogs that are usually admired by many because of their abilities.
Highly Trainable Dogs
My parents take care of a six-year-old Golden Retriever named Shirley, and they always tell me stories of her amazing tricks. I also experience this whenever we would visit them.
Shirley is easy to train, and she quickly follows instructions. My respect, care, and admiration for dogs leveled up because of how good Shirley is to her animal companions and us.
Is The Shiba Inu One Of Them?
Is the Shiba Inu easy to train as well, like Shirley and other highly trainable dogs mentioned above?
The answer is this — Shiba Inus can be trained, but they need more persistence and consistency from their trainers or owners. I can tell by my own experiences that this one is true.
It was five years ago when I went to an adoption center, and there I found a Shiba Inu puppy, which I immediately began to love. I decided to adopt him, and the staff advised me to train him persistently and consistently so that he would learn to live with us harmoniously.
I named him Hara, and just after a few weeks of living with us, he already knew that “Hara” is his name. I knew then that my male cream Shiba Inu has an intelligent mind.
However, unlike other highly trainable dogs, Hara is not extremely attentive and obedient. He would often play or run around the house alone, and he would sometimes act as if he’s the one in control.
Younger Hara was like that at first, but I followed the advice of the adoption center staff. We trained Hara persistently and consistently, and he realized that he should be able to follow his potty training, eating routine, grooming routine, and more so that he will be able to adjust well to our way of living.
In my five years of living with Hara, I realized that he is intelligent, but it would take effort and patience to train him. Reading a lot of references and information on Shiba Inus, I learned that I am not alone in this experience.
The Distinct Personality of Shiba Inus
Shiba Inus are known for their distinct personality and temperament, and these factors significantly affect their trainability. On a scale of one to five, with five being very easy to train, the Shiba Inu would rank three.
Shiba Inus are independent, bold, strong-willed, and active dogs. They are the top companion dog in Japan and among the most popular dogs in the US.
Based on my experience with Hara, I learned that he is very independent, which is so unlike other companion dogs who are clingy, cuddly, and sweet. Moreover, he has this bold and brave personality, which I think he has inherited from his ancestors, who were originally bred to become hunting dogs.
Hara is also strong-willed. He often follows his wants, instincts, and decisions. If he wants to chase something, he will do so without looking at me for permission. He is so free-spirited.
Lastly, Hara is such an active dog. He often moves, and it is infrequent to find him sulking in a corner or being laid back. He is always on his feet, and whenever he is in the mood, he would play with other animals and with us.
In my opinion, with these distinct qualities, the Shiba Inu can be challenging to train because it is very independent, and it has a strong and bold personality. Therefore, a trainer or an owner must be persistent and consistent in effectively training the Shiba Inu.
Where Did They Come From?
As many people would say and believe, your past or history significantly affects who you are today. I think that this also applies to dogs like the Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inus came from Japan, and they are among the six original Japanese spitz breeds, which include Kishu Ken, Kai Ken, Akita Inu, Shikoku Ken, and Hokkaido Ken. Among these breeds, the Shiba Inu is the smallest.
But even with a small to medium size, the Shiba Inu thinks and acts as if it is a large dog. Thanks to its ancestors, who were initially trained to become hunting dogs, the Shiba Inus today are indeed strong-minded, bold, mature, and intelligent.
Existing way before the 19th century, the Shiba Inu is a basal breed that thrived in the Chubu region, Japan. They were used to being active and helping flush out and caught a small game together with their human companions.
In the 1950s, a family has brought and introduced the first Shiba Inu in the US. Later in the 1990s, the American Kennel Club has recognized the Shiba Inu bloodline.
A Companion Dog With A Strong And Independent Personality
Indeed, the Shiba Inu is a dog with an independent mind and a strong personality. With these qualities, the Shiba Inu can be a bit challenging to train.
However, with consistent and persistent training, the Shiba Inu can learn its routines and live harmoniously with its human and animal companions as an excellent companion dog.
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