Thursday, 19 April 2012

16. Is she, isn't she?!

Today we popped down the road 20 miles or so to visit a Shiba Inu breeder to see if she could shed any light on our dear darling Bella and to see if she could share any tips, hints etc.  Thanks Linda, although you may have made us a little more confused about Bella's origins, you said some very sensible, general things and now we can make some corrections!
     Linda breeds Shiba Inus, and her first reaction to a Shiba Inu x Staffie was - to say the least - not one of enthusiasm! Maybe we should look more closely at the Staffie characteristics - if, of course, Bella is x staffie! Linda's Shibas were beautiful, just as described on the Shiba websites - on the small side, small upright ears, gorgeous thick fur and cute curled tails. These Shibas, as some websites led us to believe, did not have blue tongues, were not quiet, and they were not shy! In fact they could have licked thick mud off our hands through the fence if we'd stayed long enough! Linda did confirm that Shiba's climb, and she suggested a good strong wire fence with no foothold space, and hers were about 10ft high. One Shiba she's had in used to commute over a 6 or 7ft fence regularly! The adult dogs she had were all 'reds' - that is the sandy colour, much like a golden lab, and she had one 10week old pup who was black and tan - so cute!

     Describing what we thought were Shiba characteristics, Linda seemed unwilling to confirm our suspicions, especially as Bella was a rescue dog and many of her behaviour traits could be traced back to an abusive background.  For example, something we hadn't thought of, was her endearing trait to sit dead still when we drop the lead after a walk while we remove boots, coats etc. Bella doesn't move while that lead, be it the heavy flexi-lead or the slip-lead, is on the carpet at her feet. That could be, suggested Linda, that she had been tethered, which of course made sense, so that's a habit we will discontinue!

      Linda suggested that the mix of a hunting dog - Shiba - and a fighting dog - Staffie - could result in quite an explosive encounter when meeting with other dogs. But, rather than looking for a fight, Bella shows all the tendencies of playfulness when meeting other dogs - whatever their size - sorry CJ!!

      So Bella's identity crisis continues!

      Next step is to find a trainer and see if there's any hope for our young tearaway!

      Take a look :
      A Shiba Inu won the 2012 "Crufts Factor"

      Linda's website is 'under construction' but she has good info on the breed history and temperament.

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