Thursday, July 21, 2022

What Dogs Really Need

I get lots of emails every day asking for Shiba puppies from very nice people not all of whom will end up being appropriate for the breed but I trust everyone is well meaning and kind and loves meeting well behaved Shibas they see and they genuinely feel they can raise a great Shiba. The fact is most people have it all wrong Here is an example of what people THINK a dog needs most, love and exercise.

Hi! My name is _______.  We are looking for a Shiba Inu puppy. The reason why we choose to keep a Shiba is that they are loyal, intelligent and confident. We would love its companionship, an additional family member that can offer unconditional love and emotional support to us, and we feel that the time is right to bring a puppy into our home and into our life.

My husband works from home during most of the week. I am currently a housewife.  For most of the time we will be available to take care of the puppy.  My son is 15 years old and he will be able to help to walk and take care of the puppy. So the puppy will be left alone at home very rarely. 

We live in a comfortable condominium with a 1700 sq. ft. livable area and it is near Redmond downtown. We live near Marymoor Park, where there is a large off-leash dog area. We plan to take our puppy there frequently so the puppy can get a lot of chances to socialize with the other dogs.  In addition, there is also a scenic walking trail near where we live. We enjoy walking on it and are really looking forward to going on nice walks with our puppy. We ensure that our puppy will have plenty of opportunities to exercise on and off leash so the puppy will live both healthily and happily.

I would appreciate if you can consider my application. Should you have any questions, please call me. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Kind regards,

My response......

Thank you for the nice introduction of your family.  Sounds like lots of exercise for your puppy how bout training?  Have you thought of that?  I have a mentee in Kirkland that could possibly help you with some of that BUT I do require my puppy people come to my home on weekends for Shiba training and you are very far away to drive here every weekend.  

While exercise is wonderful to keep a puppy fit the most important part of creating a well behaved and well adjust Shiba that doesn't bite is TRAINING.  A balance of exercise, training and affection is the key to proper communication and relationship with any companion animal and it is sadly imbalanced in all the cases bad behavior I see in my animal training practice every single day.  Giving lavish affection and over stimulating fondling & petting and letting a dog go wild in dog parks and pointless long walks is all one sided without a goal in mind this will back fire on you.   So it is my goal to teach proper interaction and create calm and gentle Shibas which after all, is what most people really want.

It is awesome that someone can always take care of your puppy but puppy must also learn to be alone at home without stressing out becoming destructive or barking and howling not to mention punishing YOU when you come home!  HA!  Being alone is not natural for many animals BUT they live in our society and I bet if you think about it there is more time your home is empty of people then you realize.  Staying alone is skill that must be taught to your puppy for his own mental health and safety.

I bet you did not think owning a dog would be so difficult.  Training is necessary for your Shiba but your family also needs to learn how dogs think, what motivates their behavior we deem "naughty" and how to avoid creating bad habits.  I find it is human nature to inadvertently reward Shibas when you think you are doing the right thing.  I can point it out all day just sitting in a park and watching people with their dogs or horses.  It is MY nature to think like an animal most of the time since I am surrounded by them on my farm.

Next, did you know you have a Shiba breeder in your same town????  It really would be to your advantage to work with a breeder who is closer to you that way she can help you with hands on instruction when you need it.  Her name is _________ and her information can be found on the breeder directory of the national Shiba club at  If she can't help you will see other breeders closer to you than I am.

I hope the information I provided helps you in your search for an appropriate companion from a fabulous breeder who will be there to support you while raising your new puppy.


In my years as an animal trainer and Shiba breeder I see and hear about it all the time.  Untrained & disciplined dogs, cats, horses & birds and children are everywhere you look.  This makes all involved unhappy, sad and disappointed in a dream they had for themselves AND for that animal or little human.  It sucks.  Frankly no wants to be around these undisciplined beings and their humans as they cause annoyance and in some cases chaos and fear.

I take full responsibility for making mistakes in a few placements of puppies over the years. It happens to all breeders. The people are nice and they SINCERELY think they can handle a Shiba even after I give them my spiel about how spoiled Shibas bite.  I also think going to shows and visiting breeders such as myself is misleading because it looks easy and the reality is that it is far from easy.  Returning a dog to the breeder because he is biting the family is devastating. Families love their Shiba regardless of it abusing them. Both the breeder and the buyer are emotionally and financially invested in the dog.  I have taken 2 males back recently, retrained them, discovered their quirks and placed them more appropriately and they are now freaking fabulous dogs for their new very strict owners.  I do the best I can to place appropriately the first time but sometimes you take a chance on a family and it doesn't work out.  All I can do as a responsible breeder is take the dog back.  

If you are reading my blog I hope you get something out of my honesty.  Breeders are human too and we all make mistakes.  Luckily dogs are the most forgiving animals created.  Humans can and do withstand outrageous trauma and drama and can bounce back but they aren't nearly as forgiving as a dog who lives its life in the moment.

Best wishes to you and the animals.