Which Puppy Should I Get?
Choosing a puppy can be a challenge. It’s even more difficult for a first-time dog owner. What type of puppy should you get? Well it depends on your circumstance and living conditions. The best advice is to probably go off of personality and gender! But based on looks only if go with the right one 😅 what are the sexes?
Hopefully you have a breeder that has been observing the puppies you are thinking of and can give you a better idea of which would be the best lifestyle fit. You should talk to some reputable breeders about the breed and their dogs, and you should actually spend some time with several before deciding they are absolutely the right breed for you.
Don’t Go for a Challenge
I’ve heard some people want a challenge with their dogs? I can’t think of anything worse. I think the problem with wanting a challenge is that you don’t know what a challenge is. Even raising an “easy” beginner breed, like a lab, golden, or poodle, can/is a challenge if you’ve never raised a puppy before by yourself.
My Experience with Shibas
It’s one of the big things Caesar Milan pushes with regards to puppy selection. In the litter I chose from (6 Shibas) certain ones demonstrated much more intense alpha behavior and were clearly more dominant and strong minded. I chose a more passive submissive pup who showed more interest in human visitors and it really paid off. I see his siblings at puppy obedience classes several of us registered in and the more aggressive ones haven’t changed much in their first 6-months of life.
Shibas Are Not a Biddable Breed
The problem with dogs like Shibas is that they’re not a biddable breed. Biddability in dogs refers to the desire to listen and follow commands; it’s easy to teach them things because they want to do what you ask. Biddable breeds are things like Labs, Borders, Goldens, etc, which is why Labs are a classic first-time dog.
The reason why biddability in dogs is so important for first time dog owners is because they don’t tend to have a whole lot of experience working with dogs who, to be frank, don’t give a rats ass what you want. Every dog can be motivated by something, but “stubborn” breeds can be frustrating and discouraging for first time owners.
I own a breed that’s a step or two below a Lab or Border when it comes to biddability. I know what motivates him, but he can absolutely be frustrating when he just decides “today this other thing is more valuable to me”. Sometimes he goes nuts for Milkbones and other times he finds something else more exciting. I love the challenge though and I’m okay with owning a “stubborn” breed (Rottweiler).
So Glad I Chose a Calm Shiba
I think I’m a calm person so I chose a calm Shiba. I will say especially with shibas, just because they aren’t upfront with people doesn’t mean they’re bad tempered.
Mine was very timid for like the first year I had her (and it took a lot of frustrating socialization) but now she’s very friendly, and she loves kids, cats, and other dogs. But she is/was very much cat like, very independent, but loooooooves people. But kinda like a cat, she only wants to be pet when she wants pets, but boy can she snuggle. She’s so much different now than as that shy scared little pup.
But she’s also sooo submissive which is 100% most important thing imo. Mine is so submissive she’s literally been attacked at the dog park (ran in and scooped her up right away) and didn’t fight back, which having known that it makes me much more comfortable with her meeting other dogs, because I know I can protect her if need be, and don’t need to worry about her starting anything and getting sued.
Granted, my happiness with having an approachable/non aggressive shiba is just based on hearing from everyone and their brother about how aggressive shibas can be (of the 4 shibas that go to my vet, mines the only one they don’t muzzle). However, I’ve personally not met a mean shiba nor seen a tale of an aggressive shiba.
Also, like I mentioned, training a regular old dog breed that is biddable and a people pleaser is tough. Doing so with a shibe is tougher because even puppy Shibes aren’t really interested in people that much. Training is very hard-you’re dealing with a dog that isn’t really motivated to listen, or to get attention or pets, and a lot of Shibes I’ve met aren’t even particularly toy motivated.