Dogs Will Be Dogs (What Else Would They Be?)

by nycgadgetgirl on June 17, 2008 · 3 comments

in Dogs

Recently, my favorite Shiba mailing list erupted into some nasty bouts of name calling and misunderstandings. The whole thing was brought about by a troll who apparently joined the list just to start trouble. What’s the fastest way to start trouble on a list? Bring up a hot button topic!

Shibas are notoriously untrustworthy off-leash. They were bred to hunt… not to hunt and retrieve mind you; they were bred to hunt and kill. When the Shiba prey drive kicks in, you seldom know what has happened till it’s too late. For this reason, responsible breeders and rescuers always, always, always recommend that Shibas are NEVER off leash except within very secure areas. There are a lot of long time, experienced Shiba fanciers on this list. There are also several hundred lurkers who simply listen to (and hopefully learn from) the conversations. Into this comes said troll posting merrily about walking around with his Shiba off-leash and how she had perfect recall.

The firestorm was unleashed (no pun intended)! It started with people posting what a bad idea it is and why. Some excellent and informative posts were made explaining the nature of Shibas in particular and dogs in general, asking “what about other dangers to your dog” and generally trying to get him to change his mind and protect his companion appropriately. Nothing made a difference though and he maintained that his Shiba was too perfect and too well-trained to ever make a mistake.

Of course, some people couldn’t control themselves, the name calling started and the nastiness ensued. Fortunately, in the middle of all this, a fellow Shiba rescuer (with much more experience than I, by the way), chimed in with a wonderful story illustrating – with humor – why even our best trained companions shouldn’t be expected to go against their own nature 24/7. With her permission, I’m reposting it here for all three of my loyal readers to enjoy:

In addition to the shibas, I have a few other dogs. Tippy was my 12 year old border collie mix. The most well behaved dog I’ve ever met. It was very rare that she was ever on a leash. She was always next to me, always came when called. If it weren’t for the fact that she was a mixed breed with only 3 legs, you would have seen us in the obedience ring. A couple of months ago I was loading up the dogs for a trip to the vet. 2 shibas, a husky and Tippy. The shibas and the husky were on leads and me with a death grip on the handles. Tippy was walking with us off-leash to the truck. Now these shibas are fairly good shibas and generally I’ve never had a problem with them bolting. But on that day, the husky spots something in the driveway. A burger king bag is blowing across the end of the driveway. The dogs bolt and I fall down. Leashes are ripped out of my hand (along with a bit of skin!) and the dogs are off. I jump up, throw open the door to the truck and yell “load up!” The shibas and the husky corner at full speed and nearly knock me down again while they jump into the back seat. Tippy, my super obedient girl who listens to my every word, is completely ignoring me. She is hopping down the driveway at full speed to get that bag. I call her- nothing. I close the truck and run after her (she is surprisingly fast for and old crippled dog!). I catch up with her and she still hops on. I grab her and give her a heel command. She looks at me and turns back to the bag. I had to carry the silly dog back to the truck. Then I ran back inside for another leash. It is the only time in her life that she has ever ignored me. I have to say I was furious. My perfect dog ignored me. It was like a betrayal. 12 years of love and training and I was no better than a burger king bag. Severe kick to my ego. But I use that story as an example when I’m teaching obedience classes. You can be a great trainer and have a great dog, but none of us are perfect. You never know when that burger king bag is going to come along!



1 Nikko's Mom June 17, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Trolls, they are abundant. For his shiba’s sake, i do hope they never come into a situation where his “faith” is challenged.

Love that story! Very visual.. as i check my driveway for the errant burger king bag… =)

2 Janet June 18, 2008 at 10:06 am

Humor is so much more effective than yelling and screaming, yet yelling and screaming is what so many of us resort to. Wonder why?

Wolf loves bags or a bunch of leaves in the road…he ALWAYS wants to investigate it!

Took him to the vet yesterday…seasonal allergies, chewing paws, rash = antibiotics. So this morning I give him his first pill in a spoonful of plain, fat free yogurt…and it falls between the crack in the stairs (outside). I fish it out and (am mad) put it in his mouth (wasn’t thinking). Spits it out, doh! One more spoonful of pill laced yogurt and it goes down smoothly.

He’s also down to 3/4 a cup of food a day … we’ll see if this helps.

Janets last blog post was What Is It Wednesday #116

3 bibby June 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

We have a huge jack rabbit that has taken up residence in our street . Lily took off after it through a screen door and gave up when she couldn’t fit through someones gate. She works as a team with Bear killing birds with skill. Lily never ever could be off leash ,Bear goes from my car to the dog run with leash on but not held but that’s as far as I would go.

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