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Can Shiba Inus Be Service or Therapy Dogs? (Answered!)

Shiba Inus are hunting, affectionate, and agile dogs. Since they have a mixed nature, training them as either service or therapy dogs can be challenging.

That’s why you might be wondering whether you should treat them as therapy or service dogs. Though they are friendly with kids, it is better to treat them as service dogs.

This, however, might not be enough to quench your thirst about Shiba Inus. So, let’s dive deeper into the article.

Can shiba inus be service or therapy dogs?

Shiba Inus can be service dogs. They are small, active and easily trained, which are the characteristics that a service dog should have. Since they possess all these qualities, they are perfect as service dogs. Therapy dogs need to be compassionate, which is impossible to get from Shiba Inus.

Is a therapy dog like a service dog?

A therapy dog is not like a service dog. These two types of dogs have many differences. Additionally, their activities and nature are not similar.

However, to understand the discrepancies of their characters, you have to know the purpose of keeping a therapy or service dog.

Service dogs get trained so that they can perform various tasks for people with disabilities. Conversely, therapy dogs get training for conveying compassion for people in hospitals, asylums, nursing homes, disaster areas and schools.

Examples of service dogs may include hearing dogs for deaf people, seizure response dogs for mentally sick patients, diabetic alert dogs for people with diabetes, mobility assistance dogs for paralyzed, and autism support dogs for autistic patients.

On the contrary, therapy dogs are all types of mental support dogs.

Do shiba inus make good service dogs?

Shiba Inus make good service dogs. You can turn any dog into a service dog with proper training. However, Shiba Inus have specific traits that ease their transition of becoming a service dog.

Firstly, their breeds are flexible enough to be trained as required. This flexibility allows them to adapt essential stunts and habits faster than you can imagine.

Secondly, their agility and dynamic nature make them perfect for the job as a service dog. Often people with disabilities can’t move or need alerts. Shiba Inus can fulfil many of these peoples’ daily activities while giving signals as required.

While the dog enjoys being sprightly, the disabled people can fulfil their needs, which they didn’t get to do because of their diseases. Thus, Shiba Inus and the people with disabilities complement each other.

Can any breed of dog be a service dog?

Any breed of dog can be a service dog. While considering service dogs, training is the most important. With appropriate training and guidance, you can even turn a stubborn dog into a service dog.

Service dogs perform activities that meet the needs of people with disabilities. Therefore, they require strenuous and prolonged training. This training teaches them to change their nature and respond to specific signals.

Without these changes in behavior, Shiba Inus can’t become service dogs.

Do shiba inus make good therapy dogs?

Shiba Inus don’t make good therapy dogs. They are of a sportive nature which contradicts the behavior needed for mentally ill patients. As a result, Shiba Inus doesn’t do a great job as therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs are supposed to have soothing and chilling behavior because they must entertain mentally sick people. They also need to be cuddling, loving and caring.

However, Shiba Inus lacks these qualities. Though they love to cuddle with kids sometimes, it depends on Shiba’s moods. So, you might not get constant companionship—crucial for being a therapy dog—from Shiba Inus.

Can any dog be a therapy dog?

Not all dogs can be therapy dogs. They must be at least one year old. Otherwise, the training organizations will not accept them. Besides, they have to be very friendly and enjoy human contact. Thus, age and unique nature separate therapy dogs from their contemporaries.

The age of therapy dogs should be one year or more. If they are not mature enough, they face difficulties receiving the training.

Additionally, as therapy dogs provide mental support, you can’t randomly pick any dog as therapy dogs. Therapy dogs should be kind, gentle, submissive and docile.

Moreover, these are more internal characteristics, unlike the physical activities of a service dog. Therefore, you can’t inject those traits within any random dog even if you give them extensive teaching.

Can I train my shiba inu dog to be a service and therapy dog?

You can’t train your Shiba Inu dog to be a service and therapy dog. That’s because therapy and service dogs have different personalities. So, you have to choose one type of training, service or therapy, for your Shiba Inu.

If you choose service dog training for your Shiba Inu, you will train them in different activities. And they will perform these operations for people with disabilities. Thus, the service dog training will be more focused on physiology.

On the other hand, therapy dog training for Shiba Inus includes lessons of compassion, gentleness, and kindness. As you can see, these traits are behavioral, which is the opposite of the training of a service dog.

In a nutshell, you can train your Shiba Inu to be either a service dog or a therapy dog, not both.

How do I train my shiba inu dog to be a service dog? — Train shiba inu to be service or theory dog

Service dogs do essential work that enhances the lives of thousands of children and adults with disabilities. These dogs add a new dimension of independence to their lives.

For training your Shiba Inu to be a service dog, you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

Prepare yourself first

Before training the Shibas, you have to prepare yourself. You have to be calm and patient. Some Shiba breeds can be aggressive. So, you may need sufficient patience while teaching them. If you grow impatient, the Shiba Inu may backfire.

Spend some time with the shiba inu

The first step of your training should be passing some time with your lovely Shiba. While it helps you understand their behavior, they also get a chance to adjust themselves with you.

Setting in a new environment can be a daunting task. The same goes for Shiba Inus. So, you may help their adjustment by spending your free time with them more and more.

Make your shiba inu practice certain tasks repeatedly.

As Shiba Inus are playful, they can easily forget their teachings. Therefore, you should not consider them as quick learners. Instead, repeat the same task again and again so that they can remember whatever you taught them.

Let the shiba inus enjoy their leisure time

After you stay with the Shiba Inus for a few days, you will figure out their favorite tasks. For example, they may like to throw-catch, play with balls, interact with other dogs or even play with your kids.

Keep some leisure time for performing their cherished tasks. This free time will bring them happiness and reduce their stubbornness.

Is it too late to train my shiba inu dog?

It is never too late to train your Shiba Inu dog. You can start the potty and house training when the Shiba is seven weeks old. Usually, age between 7 to 8 months is perfect for starting their teaching. This training can continue as long as you want.

If the Shiba Inu is too old, it instead makes their training easy. That’s because the more mature the Shibas are, the better adaptiveness they can show.

In addition, Shiba Inus live for 12 to 15 years. Therefore, you should keep their life span in mind while starting their training.

Can my therapist make my dog a service dog?

Your therapist can’t make your dog a service dog. Therapists can assist you in that process; however, you have to conduct the main training.

Only people with disabilities know whatever their needs are. There are plenty of organizations and services which provide service dogs with training. Yet, you can be the best trainer for your dog for becoming a service dog.

On the other hand, your service dog will be illegal in some states unless you professionally train them under an organization. So, you should check in with the state laws.

Are shiba inus good emotional support dogs?

Shiba Inus are not good emotional support dogs. Shibas are not cuddly or snuggly, which are crucial characteristics for being emotional support dogs.

Additionally, since Shiba Inus are stubborn, they may not do what they don’t like. As a result, they rarely build relationships with human beings, let alone supporting people emotionally.

For example, you may want to sweep the Shiba in your lap whenever you have separation attacks. But your Shiba Inu may leave your lap within 1 minute since they are nimble. So, you can’t get the mental support you expect.

What dogs make good emotional support dogs?

Emotional support dogs have to be tolerant, supportive, and caring. Good emotional dogs can work both as pets and healers for mentally sick people. The dogs that can make good emotional support dogs include:

  • Beagle
  • Corgi
  • Poodle
  • Pomeranian
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Golden Retriever
  • Chihuahua
  • Pug
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The energetic behavior of Shiba Inu does make them an ideal service dog. Therefore, if you are thinking of owning one Shiba Inu for your assistance, you should choose to train it as a service dog. Accordingly, Shiba Inus will make your life cheerful, lively and healthy. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Shiba Inus Live in Hot or Cold Weather?

Can Shiba Inus Be Off Leash?

Common Shiba Inu Behaviors And Solutions

Do Shiba Inus Bark a Lot?

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Do Shiba Inus Sleep A Lot?