If you happen to have a Shiba Inu, you probably are familiar with their bold, playful and confident personalities. Yet, they are also intelligent and are quite trainable. In fact, contrary to popular belief, you can train your Shiba Inu to come when you call her.
Professional dog trainers call this behavior “recall.” Although you can teach the basic command in a single session, you will need to plan on practicing often, and in a variety of different places, in order to make sure you build a strong and reliable recall for your Shiba Inu.
One note about this breed: Shiba Inu were bred for flushing small game and hunting large game. As a result, they tend to have a very high prey drive. Unfortunately, this means that you may never be able to rely on her ability to come back in the presence of distractors that could trigger her prey drive. It does not make recall training worthless, it still may come in handy in an emergency, it simply means you will have to continue to keep your Shiba Inu on a leash around potential prey.
We will show you step by step instructions to train your Shiba Inu to come in the methods below. In addition, follow these tips during your training to keep that recall strong and reliable.
Don’t punish your dog after a recall. This will lead your dog to have some concern that coming when called may not end well for her, lowering her willingness to come when called
Touch the collar before the reward. If you do not include this ritual in your recall, you may find that although your Shiba Inu comes to you in the field, he may not let you grab his collar to get him on the leash.
Say the command once, and then enforce it. Although it is recommended that you ignore failure early on in training, at some point you will need to start enforcing the command. By only saying the command once and then enforcing it, you are teaching your Shiba Inu that she only has one chance to get her reward.
Here are some things to have ready when training your Shiba Inu to come:
Long line: In order to work on recall outside, you will need a long leash or rope (at least 25’, maybe longer) so that you can regain control of your dog if she decides to bolt after something. In addition, as you add distractions to your training, you can use the long line to help her get past them if the temptation is too strong.
High-value rewards: We suggest you start with food rewards such as small treats, pieces of chicken or cheese. However, as you progress with your training, other rewards like a tug, a toss of a ball, or vigorous praise are good to add to the mix. Just make sure your rewards are things he thinks are the bee’s knees.
Hidden treats: If you only train in certain places with your treat pouch attached, your dog will figure out pretty quick that she is only going to get rewards when you are in “training” mode. Once she has the basics of recall down, start calling her from different rooms of the house when she least expects it and use a secret stash to reward her.