Training your Shiba Inu is instrumental in controlling him. The breed is very active and quite dominant. Your dog will mop the floor with you if you’re not up to par. There are a few basic obedience commands which your dog must know. The first and most important is to teach him to focus his attention on you.
The “Watch me” command makes everything else seem like an evening walk. It’s actually so useful for a Shiba Inu that most behavior problems are already solved when he learns that you’re in control.
A word of caution on training your Shiba Inu. This dog doesn’t like punishment, harsh tones or negativity. He responds well to a well-timed praise and reward system. Keeping in mind that training is something fun for the both of you, there couldn’t possibly a better way to teach him.
Teaching your Shiba Inu the “Watch me” command
So what are you trying to do? You want to make him think you’re a lot of fun that whenever you want his attention he knows it’s going to be good. So start with your dog near you, grab a treat and get ready.
Don’t worry if you feel silly doing this, your Shiba doesn’t know what silly means, so as long as it’s only the two of you you’re fine. Hold the treat between your eyes and say “Watch me”. As soon as he stares at you praise and reward him.
Don’t be fooled, he’s not staring at you. He’s staring at the treat of course, but at least it’s in your direction. When he’s looking at you (read treat) every time start holding the treat in your hand where he can’t see it.
Say the command again and, if he looks at you praise and reward him. If he doesn’t look at you say something like “no,no, watch me”. If he looks at your face, reward and praise.
What you’re trying to do is single out a specific behavior or scenario, out of a more complex scene where he’s doing multiple things. So when he’s looking at the treat between your eyes he’s also looking at you, he’s just not focusing on that.
You’re trying to teach him to change his focus from the treat to your face. If he does that he gets rewarded. If he looks at the treat he doesn’t. So you’re the one with all the secret food, now I get it. See the trick? So does your Shiba. If he doesn’t get it, start mixing them up, sometimes hold it in front of your eyes, other times in your hand. Don’t worry about progress, it will come naturally.
Teaching your Shiba Inu the “Watch me” command is probably the most useful thing you can teach him. And, if he’s especially good with it you can probably take his attention away from a cat or mouse running around if he ever gets unrestricted outdoors access.
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