Shiba Inu-HELP!!!

Posted by vs957
Jan 29, 2008
I have a 3 year old Shiba Inu rescue that I've had for one year now. We've done obedience training and she did great. The problem that I am having is whenever I let her off leash in the backyard she jumps the fence to chase squirrels, and won't come back when I call her. The only way I can get her back is to leave her. When she doesn't see me she comes back. Everything I've read about the breed says that this is a common trait. If anyone has exeperience with Shibas please help.
Posted by Todd
Jan 29, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

Yes this breed does often have a problem like this but the good news is with some patience, training and time i think things will get a lot better.

Below is the advice i give with these problems.
A long rope is a great thing to have in this situation. Tie the rope to the collar of your dog and open the door. Give her a metre of rope and make her sit. If she sits praise her with attention and petting. If she doesn't respond reprimand her with a loud GRRRRRR or AHHHHH and re-give the command.

After a few days of trying this give her a little more rope. Slowly over the next few weeks give her more and more rope. Continue reinforcing and reprimanding as you go.

Now once she gets the hang of this try her off the rope. If she behaves good if not go back a step and keep trying.

One of the best things for you to do will be to Clicker train your dog. Review the section of the book on Clicker Training for a full description of Clicker Training. In your case, I think it is a good idea that you use a food reward training method sometimes, to help keep your dog motivated.

You can start with a food reward and gradually wean them off them by introducing a secondary reinforcement, such as a Clicker. You may think that your dog will only come to you for the food reward, however, in the process, they quickly learn what the Come command is, and what the click from the Clicker means too!

Clicker Training

If you start to train you dog with the Clicker, you will find this very helpful when your dog decides to take off. For example, The second your dog turns to look at you, you should (after teaching her what the Clicker means) click the Clicker as if to reward your dog for looking over at you. This may help entice her to make a decision to turn back again.

An example on training your dog to respond to the Clicker:

• Ask your dog to sit; for example, say "Sally....SIT!" (always use its name in front of a command as this trains them to respond to their name),

• Then when your dog obeys, click the Clicker (you can find these at most pet stores), and follow the click quickly with praise/reward.

• Be consistent with your training and be rigorous when you are training your dog.

Then for the Come command do the same thing.

*Say "FIDO....COME!" and when your dog even moves a little towards you, click the Clicker and then hold out a treat (just to get your dog anticipating the Clicker as a good thing!). Pretty soon you will not need to use treats all the time, the vocal praise with the Clicker will be enough (however it is a good idea to sometimes reinforce the obedience from time to time with treats).

*It is also a good idea that you use hand signals when you are training your dog so that when your dog is in the distance, but can still see you, it will know what you are commanding and you will not have to yell.

*Practice asking your dog to come inside your home too.

*Never call your dog to you for something she will not like (e.g. a bath, or to be told off) as this will hinder your dog's trust in you.

It is very important with the Come command that you keep practicing it. In fact, I recommend this is something you practice through-out the life of your dog.

Some other good ideas are underground electric fences but this can be a bit extreme.

Good luck with her and please let me know how things go.

Kind regards

Todd Field