Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Posted August 27, 2014
I've had two shibas from a young age, sadly neither are still with me, both due to health issues. They really are fantastic looking dogs, very lively and will always want to play no matter what their age. However, I wouldn't recommend them for a new dog owner as they are a nightmare to train.
I'm generally quite strict with my animals, I prefer them not to clamber over all the furniture, pull at lead and to be able to trust them to come when called but even with obedience classes, being strict and all the old tricks in the book, I was still fairly uncomfortable letting them off the leash lest they never return. (I swear Yuki had mastered the art of looking smug after another 3 hour disappearing trick in the park.) They are incredibly independent, wilful dogs which is part of their charm but sometimes you will find yourself wishing for a labrador.
Shibas are also rather vocal dogs, they're not yappy despite being fairly small and I'd mostly managed to stop my pair howling at visitors but they do make the most hilarious noises. Youtube is worth a trawl for some of the shibas vocal ranges. Taiko would rarely bark but could occasionally be found howling at things for no apparent reason.
I will always miss how fun and lively these pair were, though I suspect the postman is probably glad they're gone (any new event in the house was enough to set them scampering about) and if you're up for a challenge with a lot of rewards, I'd really recommend owning shibas. Perhaps I was just unlucky though, but it might be worth doing some research into common health issues as the vet bills did get quite unfriendly as they aged.