Shiba Inus: Not for the faint of heart

May 22, 2014 by kelseythomas
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Our Shiba Inu, Ruthie, may only be 20 pounds, but she has a gigantic personality.

When Googling this particular breed, you will find that they are often adored for their sass, intelligence and heart-melting face but rejected for their strong-willed independence.

Once, I overheard my mom telling Ruthie she was lucky she had such a cute face because the rest of her was awful. She’s right, but her face is definitely more than enough to make up for her sassiness.

My mom had, much to Ruthie’s dismay, tried to clean her ears out the night before.  Ruthie punished her by refusing to sleep with her (opting to sleep in the living room alone) and when my mom greeted her the next morning, she turned around in her dog bed so that she was staring at the couch, refusing to make eye contact.

This apparently isn’t uncommon behavior for a Shiba. While many dogs are happy go lucky and rarely use their emotions to manipulate humans, Shibas are master magicians, and they have no problem combining their smarts and strong will to control their masters.

The best example I can provide you with is Ruthie on walks – or lack thereof. My brother and I adopted her at the age of 6 and she was previously trained as a show dog, so she walked amazingly on a leash when we first brought her home.  After a couple of weeks, she had apparently realized there was no need to impress us any longer.  She began picking and choosing her route and refusing to move if we didn’t walk the way she wished.  Several times, I have had to peel her off the street and carry her home because I wouldn’t give in to her sass and go, literally, the extra mile. The other day, she put on the brakes and laid down to take a little nap under the shade of a stranger’s tree. Before work, if I opt to take her the short way (up the hill), this is the result:


If I begin to walk down the hill, which is the path to a nice, long wooded neighborhood, she happily prances.





I type “stubborn Shiba” into Google, curious to see if others have similar quirks.  Turns out Shibas are manipulating their humans into longer walks worldwide.




This is only one exhibit of Ruthie’s (whose birth certificate so aptly names her “The Ruthless One”) well… ruthlessness. While many would find this behavior annoying, I find it endearing and quirky.  Her defiance is very articulate. She is such a lady, and she never makes a scene.  I want to get angry, but I always end up laughing out loud and surrendering. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy.

Who can’t love a dog this smart?

Tell us your tails

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