If you live long enough, you will eventually meet someone you do not like. Shiba Inus are much the same. How Shibas handle the meetings is more about training and distraction than about temperament.
While each Shiba Inu has a unique personality, the breed as whole does not like confrontation; however, these little dogs do not like to back down, either. When faced with a fight, Shibas are apt to forget who is the bigger dog and take on opponents twice as big. They will give the other dog a warning snarl and nip in hopes of the other dog backing down: if it comes to it, they will fight but would rather not.
Early socialization is key to preventing dog fights. When Shiba Inus understand what is expected of them, such as non-aggressive behavior with other dogs, they will avoid pouncing first or confronting other dogs. As with children, socialization teaches Shiba Inus the set of rules you expect them to follow. Begin socializing Shiba Inus as puppies for optimal results by introducing them to other dogs in a safe, supervised environment.
If you sense a fight brewing between your Shiba Inu and another dog, try distracting your pet with something more interesting. Look at body language as well to clue you in to the potential for a dog fight. If the dogs' ears lie back, or fur stands up on either canine's back, trouble is imminent. Use a favorite pet toy, treats and distance to keep the animals apart and to allow them to cool off. If you are out in public and the dogs are on a leash, keeping them apart should not be a problem. Avoid yelling or rough treatment, as most Shibas do not respond well to rough handling.
While some dog fights can be avoided, others come as a total surprise. Seeing your pet in the middle of a battle royal is alarming and your first instinct may be to protect your pet from damage, but your first priority must be to keep yourself safe while breaking up the fight. Avoid getting between the dogs: you can get bitten or scratched. Instead throw a blanket over the dogs, or, if outside, turn a water hose on them. The goal is to break the pets' attention on each other without incurring injuries.
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