Young Shiba Inus are fearful of many things.---trains, planes, traffic, shopping malls, etc. The pups are highly uncivilized and need a lot of exposure to things before they will feel comfortable. But beware! Once they feel comfortable, they can become arrogant. They have big egos.
It takes a while to gain the trust of a Shiba Inu, but once
they become very attached. If not socialized a lot, they can become
protective as well, eagerly confronting perceived threats to their
leader. In this respect they show no fear. The size or ferocity of the
"enemy" doesn't matter to them at all.
Disobedient but Devoted
Shiba Inus resist captivity and any form of restraint, such as wearing a collar. It takes a lot of work and patience to get them to walk properly on a leash. And if they ever slip the leash, they may disappear. But most return by themselves (after they have had their fun). They have an amazing sense of direction. Trouble is, they don't look both ways before crossing streets and so could get killed in traffic.
If you command them to "Come", they stare at you inquisitively, as if to ask "What for?" If you answer "treats" or "play" or "walk", they'll probably come running. If you don't answer, they probably won't come.
Though fiercely independent, they are nonetheless faithful to their leader. They are sort of one family dogs. They don't become destructive when separated from the family, but they get very, very sad. Most people wouldn't have the heart to board their Shiba Inu when they go away on vacation. It's better to find another family member to look after the dog.
Active but Calm.
Shibas love activity and would like nothing better than to play 24 hours a day. They are notorious attention seekers. But they also like chewing a bone and taking naps, especially if they can snuggle up close to someone they like. But they wake up quickly if there is any activity going on in the house. Start doing a household chore and they appear out of nowhere. Open the fridge door and they're there. They appear everywhere---like little fairy sprites.
Sociable but Aloof
A Shiba Inu could never be happy living in a doghouse. They want to be with the family at all times. They are very inquisitive, interactive, in-your-face dogs. At the same time, they may not give a warm reception to every guest that comes into your home. When some people come over, they won't even go into the same room. On the other hand, they may adore other guests, especially if the guests are willing to play with them, and play the games that they like.
Extra Sensory Perception
A Shiba Inu can read emotions remarkably well. You can't fool a Shiba Inu with a phony smile. If you are harboring any resentment, they will know it. If you intend to trim their nails, they will know that, too. Even if you just think about trimming nails, they will know.
Images of deer, wild boar, and other prey are buried deep within the recesses of a Shiba Inu's mind. These primitive tendencies become apparent at Christmas-time. A Shiba Inu may attack any lawn ornament that depicts reindeer or antlers.
Just a dog?
A Shiba Inu is not just a dog. It is a unique animal. The Japanese people recognized the special qualities of the breed and declared it a National Treasure. Great contentment comes with owning a Shiba Inu. Not only do you enjoy companionship with the animal but you develop a kinship and friendship with all living things.