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September 27, 2005



We got our Hokaido (Kaido) 13-1/2 years ago... He is the absolute best little fella ever. He loves adults, but adores children..he will sit with a child for hours on end. Yes, he has the attitude of a cat, but when we ask him to do something. (sit, stay, come, lay down etc...) he does it immediatley with no attitude. He is the little king of the house, but not nasty. He doesn't have a mean bone in his little body. His health issues are starting to show now with his eyes and the start of his hearing loss. Hunter by nature, but will not hurt anything that is ours... cat, other dog, rabbit or guinea pig. Although; if it does not belong in our yard, he will eliminate it. Small dog, big attitude. He has been brought up with my three children with the youngest being 19 now. We believe that he is not our pet, he is the littlest member of our family. Yes, these little ones need a lot patience because of the temprement, but it is well worth the effort to have a life with them. I wouldn't change one moment. These dogs do need someone with more time and patience than they have.


Nice dog. What this dog is same breed like Hatchoke Movie. Thanks

Sewa Mobil Jogja

I have dog too. Hassky, but not like Your dog, she is very dificult to teach, just eat, slep and eat and sleep again, But i love her, cause i'am with her since i was kid

here you can learn the signs to look out for.


I forgot to mention also that the reason for your dogs phobias is likely due to poor socialization as a pup, poor breeding, and terrible experiences that happened to him. Shibas have incredible memories. There are ways to get him over those things, but most people are not aware of it, or are willing to put the work into it.

Shibas generally should always remain on leash, but a well trained Shiba will be able to be off leash. My shiba can be trusted on occasion to heel to me off leash. The circumstances have to be right though. She is still young, but it is possible if you start young. True bonding, leadership, partnership, and training is the way to accomplish this. She knows the times when she is allowed to run free off leash, but we have a command for it. She does go to dog parks often and knows that there she can run as much as she wants but we practice coming with called often there as well to reinforce those skills. So it is possible with a LOT of work and training.

I work with my dog several times a day, and she is always learning. I am always ready with a treat to reward her for something I like. Corrections are sometimes needed, but getting less so. That does not mean hitting her. She knows when I don't approve of something she did by my tone, and look. I sometimes give her a leash correction too, but depends on the situation.

Do your homework, get training early, socialize them when they are very young, and keep it going for life. Then you can have a wonderful dog on your hands.


I don't agree with the title of this blog. I think that there are dogs in any breed that could make a great service dog for the right person. I personally have a Shiba Inu as a Service Dog. She is still training, but has been leaps and bounds above my last service dog who was a lab. I chose the breed because I know them. I like the independent streak they have. I could not pick just any ole Shiba though! It had to be the "right" Shiba.

I met with breeder after breeder, saw dog after dog, puppy after puppy and nothing. None but one stuck out to me. The one that did was not available for sale. She was a Show pick. I chose to go the breeder route because a Good breeder will screen the dogs they use for breeding against genetic defects and such as that. I only saw the best. A few breeders I just didn't click with myself and it didn't seem like a good match. There was one breeder I really liked. I liked the way she handled the pups, how she raised them, her outlook on training, and her knowledge about dogs and the breed. She is who had the one pup I was drawn to.

We decided to wait for another litter in the future to get from that breeder. About two weeks later we got a call that the female we had really liked was actually available now. It was discovered she has an underbite that is not correctable. I was so happy. Now we visited there four more times to be absolutely sure this would be the right pup for us. She had to get along well with my family (I have two small children), she had to tolerate a lot, and she had to want to stick close to me more than any other. I also performed some temperament tests on her as well. I met her mother and grandmother, brothers, and all the other dogs onsite that were all together in a well working pack. It was awesome to see.

We decided to make it permanent and took our pup home at 10weeks of age. She is now 7months old. I have barely had to do any training with her besides the basics because she just picks things up so fast. I also make sure that no matter what I teach her I find a way to incorporate what she does naturally to make it something she will know for life. It helps that she is very food motivated as well.

Kumiko is my Shiba Inu, who is beautiful, intelligent, witty, intuitive, and all around awesome. She is one of the best little Shibas I have seen. She is so much better than my lab ever was and she is not even half way through with her training. She has her moments, but so do we all. She is young, but she picks up on things really quickly. She is calm and collected when working and running around like mad with my kids training close behind around at home. She loves and respects my whole family and easily accepts new faces.

So to say that all Shibas don't make good service dogs is not a good statement. Maybe most Shibas, but also most dogs in general do not make good service dogs. Not all labs, not all german shepherds make good police or service dogs, not all big dogs are good for all service dogs, not all small dogs make good service dogs either. So I don't think that it is fair to say that any one breed doesn't make a good service dog. I have seen dogs of just about any breed.

I know this was written a few years ago, but I still feel this is not a fair statement.

s s

we got our shiba at the spca and she is 5 years old. her owner died. only had her a week and she is coming a long real good.e yesterday we had our first visitor and to answer the question do they bark..oh yes, she barked lot. a great watch dog..
when she wants attention, she lets us know other than that a lot of park walking, car riding and she is great with my 10 year old. they run together at the park and she loves to roll in the green grass. we just love her so very much. so far she and my 8 year old male cat are getting along..ok..i totally recommend shibas to a family that can get out and go and take her with them.


Great stories! Prince, our 'royal highness' of 3 years, has turned my heart to mush. He is very independent, very stubborn, and a little 'holier than thou' at times, but he loves the whole family - each in their own way. You just have to get to know him. Just like with people. I don't think I could ever TRAIN him to do a thing, but there's really not much going on between us that's disagreeable to either party! We give food & shelter & exercise and love. He gives 100% unconditional love all the time. It's just not wrapped up in a golden retriever package. You have to know what you're looking for!

Mary and Kira

It's great that you adopted Toby. I recommend to people interested in buying a puppy from me to consider Rescuing. It can be very rewarding. I'm also sorry about Toby's eye problems and nervousness.
Like some of the others however, I also have to disagree with your opinion of their potential as a Service Dog. My foundation female for my kennel (now retired and spayed) passed her CGC with no formal training, and is also my personal Medical Alert Dog, alerting to coming migraines, seizure activity, and has recently started to alert when I haven't taken my medications on time. I also know of several Shibas who are Hearing Ear Dogs.
I've found that working with them in basic Obedience when they're young is a must. I don't think there's much a Shiba can't learn, if you have the patience and sense of humor to work with them.


Great story and thanks for rescuing! I disagree about Shibas being poor service animals, though. Mine functions very, very well as one.


P.S. I have yet heard the Shiba Scream...but have been warned about it...but my dog barks more then most shibas i would think..only when he wants to play with other dogs he barks loud


I am soooo glad that you chose to rescue Toby from a Shelter, I think Shelters are the worst places for dogs. 1 Week and they can be traumatized...However I do hope you decide to get a new shiba from a breeder, when toby is gone or even now...Because I bought a male shiba from a Pet store and i love him. He is 7 months old...and th loudest thunder can be going on right over his head, sirens, frietrucks, he wont budge. But if a crumb of food falls to the floor, he's there in a second. I have never experienced such an acitve, hyper, yet so loving and mushy to me. I have fallen in love with him...and im glad i got him out of that pet store while he was too young to know what was going on...He flew on a plane in a crate and went to the pet store and was there only 4 days before i took him home @ 7 wks old. I worried that car rides would scare him from his long travel...but he loves it, i constantly take him in the car and to other peoples houses with other dogs and he is sooooo friendly...VERY HYPER!!! but very affectionate.

Bonnie and Sushi


I"m sorry your Toby is losing his vision. He is very lucky to have found such a wonderful, loving, caring family that will take such good care of him.

I agree with everyone you posted, however, I do know of a breeder that actually has a few Therapy Dogs that are Shiba Inus. Of course, they are not Service Dogs, so I suppose there is a difference ;)

Yeah...the husband used to wear earplugs when we would clip our Sushi's toenails, lol!

Bonnie & Sushi

malamute lover

nice story. i love shibas. i also have an alaskan malamute. people are very surprised to hear that my malamute has won 4 trophies in the last three years for obediance and agility for 4-h.people thought that breed was imposible to train. it just goes to prove that evry dog is different from what people say they are.


I run the Misanthropic Shiba website and I've got to say this rocks! Just what I'm trying to tell all the people of the omgitssocuteImusthaveadogjustlikethat.


Traffic practically came to a halt at 39th St and 8th Ave in Manhattan one winter day because my Shiba, Snickers, got salt in his paw and let out a massive shiba scream. Everyone within a three block radius thought a dog had been hit by a car!

I also had a neighbor check to make sure everything was OK when I was giving my screaming puppy a bath. (He's adjusted to baths now, thank goodness.)

Shiba Inus DO actually bark, although they only bark when they have a good reason. Basenjis are the only barkless breed. I'm surprised that your Toby never barks. Beyond the scream and a miriad of other interesting vocaliations, Snickers will indeed bark if he feels he needs to warn me about something (someone outside the apartment, a scary costume on Halloween, etc.).

Sorry to hear about Toby's vision. Sounds like he's a lucky boy to have been rescued by someone that takes good care of him.

Gimpy Mumpy

Thank you Kathy for sharing the story of your service dog!

Kathy Podgers

I so enjoyed reading your story! It's so well written, and very entertaining; just what I needed today!

Here is my story...I have the most improbable service dog one could imagine, a bure bred Siberian Husky. However, I have more trouble with those who question why I have a Husky as a service dog, than I have with her. At least she knows how disabled I truely am; I have a hidden disability, and when I ask for help I am usually told I "look" just fine.

Siberian Huskies are not supposed to be service animal material because of their infamous dis-obedience. My Husky is very obedient, when it pleases her. To tell the truth, I do not need her to sit, fetch nor heel. In fact, I do want her walking in fron of me, pulling steady, as a trained sled dog will do, and going left or right on voice commend. And, sometimes, not always, she will sit on commend, when we come to a main street.

Popular opinion states Huskies are not good service dogs because they will always run, run away, escape artists, etc. My Husky is the world's best escape artist dog. I hade to endure much on the job training to deal with this major flaw. I have succeeded, and now, when she is in the house, I can let her off leash! LOL

However, my Husky, and not my previous dog, a German Shepard, can "smell" my disease acting up. She then agitates me until I will pay attention to her, then she tries to get me to lie down. I have reinforced this "sense" of smell, and she has become my savior on more than one occasion.

She eats very little, and does not worry about any schedual. She does not mind being awakened repetedly all night long, and she comes when I call, and lends a hand. Willingly, loveingly. She bears no resentment, and is not waiting to inherit when I die.

Of course, she does other neat things that I trained her to do, like bracing, etc....but she is not obedience trained to perform cute tricks. Well, one she does do; my son tauget he to "shake hands" when you say "paw." How absolutely shocked I was to see that! I immediately put an end to it. Son, I said, do you want to confuse that service dog? No more tricks! But what I really thought, she CAN learn obedience, she just doesn't want to!

As for barking, since Huskies are not territorial, they do not bark to protect territory. That means they will make up to just about anyone. A guard dog they are not, but this is just fine with me, and it gets me into a lot of conversations with people, who otherwise would have nothing to say to me at all.

She doesn't chase cats, but there are no more squirrels in my yard.

Thanks for your great story, it motivated me to write about my service dog, too. :)

Gimpy Mumpy

Thanks! He is Very photogenic; I had hoped to put more pics up that I had done yesterday on my cell phone/camera but it seems the usb cable isn't working properly today. Had some really terrific pics.
Jasper sounds wonderful, I will look up the "lurcher" breed. I hadn't heard of the lurcher before :)


awww, what a cute picture! I love it how all animals understand that they are being photographed. They'll always put on a spontanious pose in front of the camera, don't they?

Thanks, it's enlightening info about the shiba inu breed. I've never heard of the breed before in my life. I can see Toby isn't guide dog material Neither is our pet dog (labrador crossed with Lurcher). The Lurcher in him makes that impossible really. Jasper hasn't got the concentration to guide and, gets easily distracted. Mind you, doesn't stop me pushing Jasper forward in guide dog mode. That's when i hit a blind spot when i take him out for walks. It's just instinct for me and, I know I've gotta go careful as, he's not guide dog material.

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