How to Train a Shiba Inu to Not Run Away

Hard
3-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

With stubborn breeds, there’s always an uncertainty whether or not they’ll latch onto certain types of training. A larger breed may struggle with being too rough during play while a smaller dog might not enjoy meeting new people or going to new places. As an owner, there are certain responsibilities to keep in mind when it comes to training for the benefit of your dog’s safety. This especially includes things like keeping him from running away.

One of the notoriously stubborn breeds is the Shiba Inu. These dogs have gone viral in the last few years, popularized by internet videos and pictures and prompting plenty of people to try to bring one home for themselves. However, the Shiba Inu is hard headed and has the reputation of a rebel. This can become dangerous when you’re struggling to keep your headstrong Shiba from bolting out the door and into the street at every opportunity. In order to keep your dog safe, it’s important to establish boundaries early on.

Defining Tasks

Shiba Inus have a tendency to be motivated by only the things that interest them, which can make training with the wrong motivators a nightmare. If your Shiba doesn’t like what you have to say or what you have to offer him, he will likely turn and find something else to do, but the benefit is, you can easily tell when he is interested in something. The trick is just to find exactly what motivates your dog.

Training a Shiba to stay put when the door is open or on the off chance he escapes is important for a number of safety reasons. It can prevent him from getting hurt by another person or animal and it can keep him away from the dangers of traffic. Every dog should begin this training as early as possible and you should be prepared to dedicate anywhere between three to six months to repetition and training.

Getting Started

The most important thing you’ll need when it comes to training your Shiba is an appropriate motivator. Some dogs may be motivated by food while others will be motivated by toys. This can also be another object that your dog may enjoy such as a favorite pillow or piece of clothing. Find out what your dog obsesses over and focus on using this as a reward.

Other objects that may come in handy are indoor gates, secure outdoor fencing, a crate, and a leash. Depending on what works best for your situation, consider trying out a mixture of items for added security.

The Supervision Method

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Step
1
Watch your dog when outdoors
A great number of dogs run away simply because they are not being watched during outdoor time. Go outside with your Shiba to ensure that he is behaving and not making active efforts to escape. Bring him inside if you notice him trying to get away.
Step
2
Provide ample activity
Set out some toys or games during your outside time to keep the yard interesting. If he is invested in these items, your Shiba will be much less likely to run off.
Step
3
Offer opportunities for exploration
Take your dog out on walks often so he has a chance to explore the area that he wants to get to. If he sees daily excursions out into the neighborhood as an activity to share with you, he may not need to escape to see it by himself.
Step
4
Avoid opening the door with your dog close by
Check for your Shiba near your feet if you go to answer the front door. It’s easy to not notice when your dog is hovering around just waiting for an opportunity.
Step
5
Socialize often
Offer your dog plenty of opportunities to interact with other dogs or new people. More socialization can make strangers or other dogs walking by your home seem less of a ‘big deal’.
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The Restriction Method

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Step
1
Secure your yard
Use high fencing and concrete blocks to discourage jumping or digging out in the yard. Make sure your gates are closed and there aren’t any holes for easy escapes.
Step
2
Place gates to block off entryways
Use baby gates indoors to prevent access to the front or back doors. Consider whether or not your dog is capable of leaping over them to decide if this is a good approach.
Step
3
Install a front fence
On the chance that your pup likes to bolt out the front door, it may be worth the investment of installing a front fence as an added security measure.
Step
4
Use a crate when necessary
If you have to be in and out of the home, try getting your Shiba adjusted to a crate to relax in while the chance of escape is high. This can provide a safe space for him to wait until the house is secure again.
Step
5
Designate a separate room
Place your dog into a room with a closed door for short amounts of time when necessary. Provide him some entertainment to avoid restlessness and let him out when the area is safe to do so.
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The Recall Method

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Step
1
Use a reward as a lure
Use your Shiba’s best motivator to entice him to come towards you. This is usually a treat or a toy.
Step
2
Use your dog’s name once
Don’t overuse her name as you try to get her to come to you. This will generally just lead to her ignoring you. Say it once and once only. If she does not come, end the exercise and try again later with a different motivator.
Step
3
Encourage a return
Pat your legs and use a higher pitched voice to give off an inviting presence. Your dog will be more likely to come to you if you’re being friendly.
Step
4
Make recall fun
If necessary, turn recall into a game by waving around the treat or toy and running in the opposite direction. Your dog may be more likely to go to you if she thinks you’re playing a game of chase.
Step
5
Reward and practice
When she comes to you, immediately reward your Shiba with plenty of treats or her favorite toy and plenty of verbal praise and affection. Making the event seem exciting will encourage your pup to love coming to you when called. Practice with varying levels of distraction over time to prepare for any situation.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Yuka
Shiba Inu
1 Year
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Question
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Yuka
Shiba Inu
1 Year

Whenever Yuka gets off leash or dashes, it takes hours to get her back. Most of the time we have to just leave the door open and wait until she comes back at night, although we worry for her safety as we live near large roads and she sprained her paw last time. She listens to callback and will follow you around once she calms down, however if you make any move to lean down to put leash back on she dashes again to play. She will not follow inside. She is too excited to let you touch her at all. Another example of this behavior was when we went to a small fenced in dog park to work on call back. She did fine approaching me, however when it was time to leave and I went to put the leash on her she would not come, and for 20+ minutes would sprint around avoiding in a playful manner. I am not sure how to further our training that callback doesn’t just mean come to me, but to let me put the leash on her as well.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, having Yuka out alone at night (or any time) is a definite concern. I would make sure she is securely leashed before opening the door. To continue working on her recall: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-come-back. This guide gives excellent tips on solidifying a recall for a dog that loves to run. I think you need to integrate obedience into the recall; sitting upon arrival back to you is ideal. Get Yuka used to sitting before every event. Sitting before she gets her meal, sitting before she gets her leash on to go out, sitting before a treat, sitting before getting into the car. This should ingrain in her mind that sitting brings good things. Then, when using the recall, have her sit and ideally she'll stay to get the leash on. For more obedience tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-whippet. Good luck!

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Malia
Shiba Inu
2 Months
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Malia
Shiba Inu
2 Months

She’s seems to be really Motivated with food for once she’s full she doesn’t listen very well I try to excite her every time when she greets me so she feels good to see and come to me. After playing inside for a while and doing some training I allow her to go outside for a potty break before a nap She seems to be very disobedient when going outside she tries to escape under my Fence and she’s gotten under once, I’m new to being a puppy owner and I want to make sure she grows up to be an obedient dog. She likes to ignore and when she’s overly tired she gets fairy aggressive with her bites

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on potty training, as well as teaching recall for running away. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Montclair
Shiba Inu
4 Months
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Montclair
Shiba Inu
4 Months

So I got my dog from a breeder which I always thought wasn’t the best Imean she comes 3 months in trained and used to a totally different owner,she has time to get aquatinted to the environment and last but most important she comes equipped with a name already so now a month and couple weeks in she is terrified of me she finally got outta sittin in the create and crying all day to sittin in the corner crying all day and her favorite thing to do is run from me into small spaces that I eventually have to be a bit aggressive to get her out of I really like her but I’m thinkin it’s more mental then anything Imean she was taken from some huge house with a large backyard of grass and space in Ohio to be with me in my one bedroom city apartment in the heart of the city of New York I’m hoping it’s not as sever and her and I can come thru this but I jus don’t know going on two months almost and her behaviors aren’t improving to say the least please I need advice ASAP ..,.sincerely,
SiiYeR

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1125 Dog owners recommended

Hello SiiYer, Check out the free PDF e-book that can be downloaded at the link below, "AFTER You Get Your Puppy". www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Aiko
Shiba Inu
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Aiko
Shiba Inu
6 Months

My shiba inu is completely scared of me when i try to pet him he runs only time he is happy with me is when we go for walks but during the walk he wont let me touch him also i have no clue why he is so scared of me it has been like this ever since i got him i think its because when we first got him he never came out his crate so i would take him out kind of forcefully and take him for walks he also wont play with any toys if i have them or any food if i have it he wont eat with me around at all please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1125 Dog owners recommended

Hello Latrell, I highly suggest contacting a behaviorist or trainer who specializes in anxiety. It would also be worth speaking to your vet about his behavior. It sounds like he has been extremely timid since he was a very young puppy - as such it doesn't sound like something happened to him to cause him to be this way but rather possibly a genetic issue or fear that's due to an unaddressed physical issue that your Vet might be able to help with. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Idgie
Shiba Inu
4 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Idgie
Shiba Inu
4 Months

She has a thing for eating dirt.. And will find mossy grass pull it up run off shaking it all over.. She also is bulling my 12 year old male Shiba to no end! I cannot seem to be able to stop her from either of these two things. She also developed this whining that she does out of boredom that's driving me insane.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1125 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, I suggest teaching pup the Out and Leave It commands and keeping pup on a leash while outside around the dirt for a couple of weeks so that you can better enforce the command to break what is to her a fun game. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If there is a specific area in the yard she tends to dig and eat you can also create a deterrent to her going into that area - it can be anything that blocks it off, covers the area, or she finds unpleasant. As far as bullying your other dog goes: I highly suggest crate training the puppy. If you do not there could be future separation anxiety issues, dangerous destructive chewing habits, and other issues. Right now is the easiest time to work her through her fear and allow her to bounce back from her experience. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Instead of letting her out of the crate when she cries, use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained then life with both dogs can be a lot easier for everyone. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or hide. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. I also highly suggest enrolling pup in a puppy kindergarten class that has time for moderated off-leash puppy play to help her learn to be softer with her mouth and learn social skills around other dogs - puppies play differently than adult dogs so the best way to learn this is by being with other puppies in an environment where the play is moderated to give pups breaks when things are too rough. Check out the article linked below on what to look for in a puppy class. Probably no class will be perfect, but that article will give a good guideline of what to look for - be especially sure that there is time for off-leash puppy play though in whatever class you choose and that that play is moderated by the humans to prevent bullying. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Finally, know that you just hit a very alert and more energetic age and it's not unusual to be dealing with rough play, barking and destructiveness. Check out the free PDF puppy e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, that can be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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