Kishi and Miko are always with me when the weather is cooler and there’s a dog-friendly patio where we can have lunch or drink beer with friends. Now that the cooler autumn temperatures are here, we’re ready to shake the summer air conditioning for time outdoors.
Yesterday, we stopped at a brewery after a 3-mile charity walk. They were perfect ladies as they’ve been so many times before. A toddler let Miko lick her fingers, and Kishi was happy to share pizza crust with anyone offering.
I can confidently take Kishi and Miko almost anywhere there is dog-friendly outdoor activities, and here’s why!
Kishi and Miko love people, including children; they are always admired for their Shiba good looks, and complimented on their polite manners.
When the girls were puppies, I let everyone hold them. Depending on where we were, “passing the puppy” was encouraged. My friends could cuddle and carry them without asking. I’d even encourage strangers (I trusted) to pet and handle them. I remember one night sitting on the patio of a local brewery when Kishi was less than 6 months old. A man sitting next to us was enthralled with her sweetness so I asked if he wanted to hold her. At first he couldn’t believe I made the offer then happily held her for a good part of an hour.
Miko was a winter puppy, which meant we didn’t have as many outdoor options for socializing her. Still, I took her to friends’ homes, puppy kindergarten, and enrolled her in doggie daycare with Kishi. All of these settings gave her ample time to socialize with people and other dogs.
The importance of on-going, life-long socialization of a Shiba Inu is important–something that can’t be over-emphasized. No one can guarantee that a Shiba will always “play well” with all people or other dogs, but you have a better chance of success if you take them wherever you can.
If you have a new puppy, I encourage you to let women, men, children, teens, and more mature friends and strangers (you trust) hold him/her. As the puppy gets older, continue to invite these interactions as long as you haven’t seen your Shiba become overly shy or show tendencies toward aggression. If you’re ever unsure what to look for, especially if you’ve adopted a Shiba, reach out to a professional trainer to help you learn your dog’s body language and come up with a plan for socialization.