How can you not fall in love with this fuzzy face?
As much as I love my dog, I’d be lying if I said that raising Loki has been easy. Hes the first dog I’ve ever raised, and I sometimes find myself wondering ‘hmm, should I have adopted a more obedient dog instead?’ Breeders discourage first-time owners from raising shibas for this reason – they are aloof, independent, wickedly smart, and could care less about what you want. They require an extremely patient, confident, and compassionate owner to instill confidence and gain trust. Its easy to read these words and think “yeah yeah, I’ll get my dog to behave! Other people just don’t know how to do it right!” I’ve been raising Loki for the past 7 months now, and even I must admit that I’ve underestimated the challenges of raising a shiba. I’ve watched too many positive reinforcement training videos on youtube to remember, and scoured through forums hoping to find the perfect solution. Do these training methods work on shibas? Yes. Do they work reliably? Well….maybe in a couple of years…I hope.
I know I’m just venting right now after a long day. Disclaimer: we never yell, we never get physical, and we always train him through positive association (clicker training with treats). Hes very quick to learn, yet every time he senses me wanting to hold him (brushing his fur or putting on his harness), its yet another game of cat and mice, with a lot of grrr’ing in between. And that quickly gets old after a long day at work. STOP RUNNING AWAY DAMNIT!
I’ll be back in happy Loki mood in my next post. But for now, sigh. Loki, you are one hard dog to train. On the bright side, perhaps training Loki is a good precursor to whatever children will bring to the table. Night night.