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Due to the popularity boom of Shiba Inus many families are wondering if it’s okay to bring home a Shiba to a household that has kids in the mix.
In fact, in many cases, it’s the children that know all about the “doge” phenomena and want their own doge for themselves!
This article will lay out some helpful information to assist you in deciding if a Shiba Inu can be a good fit for you and your family.
Why Some Shibas May Be Okay With Children
Thoughtfully and ethically bred Shiba Inus usually have calm and easy going temperaments.
With proper socialization and training, these Shibas can coexist happily in a family environment with children.
This is especially true in situations where the family has raised the Shiba from young puppy hood and included socialization in their upbringing.
Because Shibas Inus are typically calm, they won’t add too much ruckus around a child that is full of energy. They may even help to calm the child down.
Once a Shiba Inu accepts a family member, they’re very loyal with them and will stick to their side.
This loyalty and sensitivity can create a special bond between a Shiba and a child.
Another plus with Shibas is their size.
They’re not as big and intimidating as German Shepherds, yet not too small where they can get trampled by rambunctious kids.
Their size also makes them easier to manage on walks with kids in tow. Even when excited, a Shiba is not likely big enough to drag a toddler down the pavement.
By teaching both parties how to get along nicely with another - bonding and friendship are sure to follow.
Why Some Shibas May Not Be Okay With Children
Because Shiba Inus are “wilder” than their more domesticated counterparts - these wild tendencies can still be present in the bloodlines of some Shiba Inus.
This means that the Shibas from the less domesticated lineage will exhibit wilder traits that can include aggression.
Unaltered female Shibas are the most aggressive - especially when there is another female dog in the home.
Shiba Inus also tend to be aloof and independent and may not have the patience to deal with children that are overbearing and don’t give them their personal space.
If the Shiba Inu has resource aggression, the Shiba will likely not like their food nor their toys taken away from them kids with busy hands.
This could be a possible bite / nip risk situation.
Can Shiba Inus Be Dangerous Around Young Children?
Any dog from any breed can be potentially dangerous around children.
Each dog has a unique personality and temperament.
It’s the owner’s responsibility to assess the safety risks of the dog.
A huge factor that affects the temperament of a dog is how the dog was bred.
Irresponsibly bred dogs from puppy mills, backyard breeders are often plagued with temperament issues such as anxiety, aggression, and fearfulness.
On the other hand Shiba Inus bred from reputable breeders rarely have aggression issues. This is because responsible breeders will not purposely breed an aggressive dog.
Additionally, the dogs bred by responsible breeders are less stressed during the birth, and puppy rearing leading to happy and healthy puppies.
In general, well-bred, socialized, trained Shiba Inus should not be a danger to children. However it still depends on the individual dog - so a thorough assessment is still necessary for each case.
Young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog at any time.
Introducing a Shiba Inu to Young Children
When first introducing a Shiba Inu to a child or vice versa, it’s best to do so in a neutral environment like a park.
Even better would be to have the first interaction be at a place that your Shiba Inu is especially fond of.
This way your Shiba will likely be in a better mood and form positive associations with the first encounter with the child.
Bring your Shiba’s favorite treats and or toys to further strengthen the positive associations.
Before the child meets the Shiba, it’s important that you have a talk with the child to explain what kind of behavior is best to ensure that the Shiba Inu is comfortable and happy with the encounter.
Here’s are some tips to teach the child about first encountering dogs:
- Use their “quiet” voice - dog’s don’t like loud noises like shrieking
- Be as calm as possible - Shibas don’t like hyperactive kids just like childless adults don’t like hyperactive children
- Practice slow movements when first approaching a Shiba, don’t force anything too quickly or abruptly
- Teach the child how to approach a dog calmly without invading the dogs space
- Once the dog seems comfortable around the child, you can give the child a treat to give the dog. (So long as the dog is not food aggressive or a bite risk to the child).
It goes without saying that a home is not complete without a canine.
And since you were a kid yourself once, you probably already know how much you wanted a puppy during your childhood.
It’s a fact. Almost all kids want a dog in their life.
Shiba Inus are great dogs, especially in families that understand their needs.
Unfortunately, not every dog owner has the skills and knowledge of understanding how to train and socialize a Shiba Inu.
This means that Shibas may not be the best dogs for certain families that have less experience with the breed.
In the end, it comes down to the individual dog and the family.
If you’re really set on bringing a Shiba home to your family one day you just need to have the patience to find a Shiba that works with your family dynamics.
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