Misconceptions About Shiba Inu Temperment

An Australian Shiba Inu breeder with horrid manners stated “if (aggression) is what people are saying should be in the breed then how do you show them and promote them to the public as a friendly breed.”

Since when should people breed to change the standard to fit what they want? This is an aloof breed, and aggression is not to be tolerated, so whoever said “aggression should be in the breed” is wrong, just as an overly effusive dog is not correct temperment either. 

It should be pointed out that soft temperments and “aggressive” dogs lack Kan-i, which is roughly, as I am no expert, a Japanese concept of balance, confidence and presence. It is the breed temperament and characteristic attitude that differentiates them from other breeds. Soft temperment and aggression is not correct temperment.

So, Shibas should not be aggressive, and nowhere in any of the standards is it mentioned that they should be friendly. Therefore, how does “promoting” them to the public as a friendly breed when they are more known for being reserved, do any service to the breed and keep them from being confused with Golden Retrievers, or service dogs? (I really have to shake my head and finger at breeders who bamboozle new owners into buying a Shiba as a service dog, by the way)

Seriously, if trying to represent the quality of Shibas in Australia, their breeding and their breeders, why tell someone who is questioning and trying to have constructive dialogue to go “eat shit” and “go fuck themselves?” Bad form, Snowstar Shibas, bad form.

6 thoughts on “Misconceptions About Shiba Inu Temperment

  1. how does one even find info on australian breeders!that is a shame, to believe that the original three concept words indicate aggression at all. I do not believe they do. Nor do I believe they indicate unquestionable friendliness. Even though Tsuki is a cream, her temperament is exactly what I think is prime in Shiba Inus. She is spunky yet calculated. Aloof but not fearful. She knows when to be still, quiet, loud and strong. She's a remarkable dog. I'm in awe of her. That's what should be attempted to achieve by both the breeder and the owner. A balanced, proud, loving inu.

  2. Indeed, breeders need to be precise about their words too. If it's not "aggression," it's something else that you need to stretch your imagination and, good heavens, the limits of your vocabulary to try and describe.It's one of my problems with that article on breed-specific profiles for aggression that mentions the Shiba, which I discussed in one of my posts. I think the term "aggression" is poorly defined amongst breeders and health researchers — though ethologists know how to refine their discussion of it. More thorough discussion amongst breeders and owners alike about what one can expect or what one should strive for with Shiba temperament is definitely called for.

  3. Whoa. Was this a personal interview or somewhere on the Web? Re: aggression. I agree with shibasenji that it's poorly defined. Aggression is merely a trait that can be positive or negative depending on how it is used and how the dog handler directs it. Unfortunately, it is a word that the public imbues with negative meaning, which can distort the message that someone wishes to send. A big problem is that people seem to think that aggression=vicious, which it certainly does not.

  4. –So who are the "people" this person suggests are stating aggression should be part of the breed? Honestly some folks are ill informed, not mentored well, or choose to remain ignorant… Maybe all of the above in this case. Being rude to others that's just what we colloquially dub as "assy" behavior. Indifference, aloofness, and reservedness toward strangers are typical of the breed and to be expected. There are exceptions of course as in any breed. Honestly there must be consideration of purpose when evaluating breed temperament. As a historically based hunting breed the Shiba should ideally have the ability to think on its feet to decipher what is important or dangerous, move well, work at a distance from the hunter, yet have some defined determination/tenacious spirit to harry prey with an ability regroup when the day is done. Maybe I am missing the point. However, in a logical sense it seems there isn't advantage to having or promoting aggressiveness when a hunter has a pack of multiple dogs. In this day and age none at all. As has been said before unfortunately any "numnut" can put dogs together and call themselves a breeder without consideration or understanding of the many factors.

  5. I saw that blow up from the breeder too. Couldn't believe he attacked a well known, highly regarded US breeder too. I was pretty appalled at what happened and how he reacted.

  6. @Jen- They are on Facebook and you can read it from my profile. Excellent points. Tsuki sounds like a great dog.@Shibasenji- We tried discussing "aggression" with them, but it was like dealing with a child: horrible spelling, bad grammer and lack of manners complete with a potty mouth and tendency to tantrum. I guess there's one in every country ;)@bravewolf- Facebook@Fuzzy- no idea who they were referencing. "Some folks are ill informed, not mentored well, or choose to remain ignorant", and all of the above is correct. I imagine it's hard to get good mentoring in really isolated places. I agree with the rest of your points. This brings me back to the discussions regarding breed preservation. Should we stop breeding for correct temperament in favor of breeding temperaments that make easier pets? It's certainly worth discussing, but the numnuts make that difficult.@Nicole- isn't it disgusting? I wish people would call some of the US breeders out who seem to also get away with this, but look what happens when someone tries? And WHY the hell do people put stuff on Facebook for all to see if they can't receive criticism at all?

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