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With the fact Shiba Inus are one of the most difficult breeds to train, I always found myself asking just how much training do Shiba Inus really need?
Shiba Inus learn best when they have two training sessions per day, ranging between 10 to 15 minutes, with at least an hour-long break in between each session. For the best results, you should take your Shiba on a short walk before starting to burn any excess energy.
With dog training being so straightforward it can be hard to understand why Shibas struggle with training so much. I’ve found, through research and personal experience, there are a number of factors leading a Shiba Inu to require more training than other breeds. But first, we should start by understanding how Shibas learn best.
Shiba Inus Need Consistent Daily Training
Shibas, like other dogs, do best on a consistent schedule. That consistency is critical for them to learn and develop new habits. Whether it’s for daily walks, grooming sessions, or even training. A consistent daily routine helps your Shiba learn and recall any new tricks or commands you’re teaching them.
While that consistency can sound rather boring or tedious at first, it’s actually the opposite for your pet. Consistency brings a degree of structured activity to your Shiba’s day and gives them additional opportunities to spend time with you, helping you forge a long-lasting bond with your Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inus Are An Intelligent Yet Stubborn Breed
Shiba Inus are an intelligent breed but that intellect comes at a cost, Shiba Inus are quick learners but are notoriously stubborn. That stubborn nature is a major reason Shibas are so difficult to train, and why they aren’t recommended to first-time pet owners. But there are ways around it.
Just like you and me, your Shiba will do something with the right motivation. I highly recommended you get to know your Shiba Inu well enough to figure out what does and doesn’t get their attention. While you’re at it I also recommended you get a feel for how active they like to be. Shibas as a whole are active dogs that are full of energy, but some can be downright lazy or even couch potatoes.
Excess energy can exaggerate your Shiba’s stubborn personality, making it harder for them to focus because they’re bored. Take a few extra minutes to go on a walk or play, the extra physical and mental activity will make your Shiba happy while also making it easier for them to focus. Both of which will make training them easier.
Common Reasons Shiba Inus Need So Much Training
With all the buzz around how difficult Shiba Inus are to train, just getting started can be overwhelming. But there are a few key things you can focus on to streamline your Shiba’s training. Saving both of you time and stress in the long run.
While Smart Shibas Don’t Always Listen
A major reason training a Shiba takes so long, or is seen as difficult, is that they will flat-out ignore you. Shiba Inus are smart but they also get bored easily and love doing their own thing when they don’t see what’s in it for them. Proper daily exercise is part of the reason many Shibas don’t listen, but poor motivation is ultimately the root cause.
Shibas Won’t Do Anything If They Aren’t Properly Motivated
Every Shiba is different, some are highly motivated by treats while others prefer to play or even receive pets and attention. Take some extra time to get to know your Shiba. What do they like? What do they not like? Then ask yourself how can I implement this into our next training session?
An Ancient Breed Comes With Ancient Struggles
Shiba Inus are one of six basal dog breeds. A breed so ancient they’re more closely related to wild wolves than nearly every other dog breed you see today. And that ancient history comes with primitive traits and responses to different situations. It’s a major reason Shibas have a strong prey drive, is independent, can be so aggressive, and unanimously lack proper social skills. All of these make training them more difficult that modern people-pleasing breeds like golden retrievers.
How To Approach Training A Shiba Inu
Training your Shiba Inu doesn’t have to be as difficult as other people claim it is. I’ve had tons of success training my Shiba Inu, Faith, by following the framework listed below. It’s simple, yet effective enough that I no longer struggle to teach her new things.
Habits And Consistency Are Critical For Shibas
Shiba Inus surprisingly enough love habits and routines. Daily habits like going for walks or eating around the same time each day add a level of consistency to your pet’s day, giving them something to look forward to. It’s also how your Shiba can learn and develop new habits, or slowly learn any bad habits they’ve picked up over the years.
If you are struggling to teach your Shiba Inu something and you aren’t consistent, your signing yourself up for frustration and failure. Start small and build up a consistent training schedule over time. You will start seeing results if you stick to it and after a few days, your Shiba will even look forward to their next training session.
Stick To 10 Minute Training Sessions With Long Breaks
While dogs can learn and remember things in a similar way to people, that doesn’t mean they’re able to sit through an hour-long lecture. Shiba Inus learn best when their training sessions are short, sweet, and to the point. I recommend starting your Shiba off with a 5-minute training session paired with at least a 60-minute break starting out. Once you’re confident with their progress work your way up to two 10-minute training sessions per day.
Don’t Get Frustrated At Your Shiba During Training
A consistent training schedule that revolves around short sessions with plenty of time for your Shiba to relax and decompress puts their training on the fast track to success. But, just like all things in life, nothing is perfect or goes as planned.
Everyone has good and bad days, including your pets. A critical part of training any pet is staying positive. Frustration commonly leads to anger, and that anger will scare your Shiba. Shiba Inus are incredibly loyal and affectionate towards their people, forging a bond that’ll last a lifetime. But all of that goes out the window if you punish or discipline them inappropriately.
Reward Your Shiba Inu For Their Effort
Shibas do best when you reward them appropriately for their efforts. Shibas are smart and can tell when you aren’t being fair with them. Unfair actions or rewards can demotivate your Shiba Inu, making training harder and harder as time goes on. Be fair, reasonable, and generous when you can.
Summary: Shiba Inus Require More Training Than Other Breeds
Shiba Inus on average require more training than modern breeds like golden retrievers. The key reason for that is their origin, Shibas are an ancient basal breed that isn’t fond of socializing with others or being handled. Those primitive traits and responses, when paired with their intellect and how easily they can get bored, makes training them rather time-consuming. But there are a few things you can do to put your Shiba Inus training on the fast track to success.
Really spend the time to get to know your Shiba, how much do they like to play? What really motivates them to listen? What do they not like doing? All of these questions give you the opportunity to tailor your Shiba’s training to them, making things significantly easier. Another thing you can do is stick to a consistent schedule.
Both of these will help you and your pet build a daily habit of training, and proper motivation will help them stick to it. Ideally, you should train your Shiba Inu twice per day anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes at a time. In between sessions I recommend you take at least a one-hour break so your Shiba can relax and destress between sessions.
Which will help them recall what you were teaching them. It also gives you a chance to vent any stress or frustrations away from your Shiba Inu, instead of toward them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shiba Inus Difficult To Train?
Shiba Inus are a harder breed to train. They’re intelligent, have lots of energy, and get bored easily, all of which can make training Shiba Inus difficult. But proper physical and mental exercises, along with a consistent routine, help minimize common struggles with training this breed.
Can You Train Your Dog Too Much?
It is possible to overtrain your dog. While dogs can learn and remember things in a similar way to people they do best with shorter less frequent sessions so they can mentally digest what they just learned. Overtraining can lead to burnout, stress, and excess frustration.
Do Dogs Need Consistent Training?
Dogs learn best when they’re on a consistent training schedule. Routine training, at least twice a day for 15 minutes, helps them steadily learn new tricks or commands. Regular training also makes it easier for your pet to remember what they’ve learned, leading to a happier and more relaxed pet.