Picking a Puppy

Puppies go through several stages as they grow. If you are at a breeder's house and deciding which puppy to take, below are some great steps to follow from Wikihow.

Shibas typically live to 15+ years, so make an educated decision for you and your family. Also, read our section on health to determine whether your puppy's parents are healthy and stable.

Ask the breeders to view health clearances and meet the parents of the puppies. The sire of the litter may not be available if he is from another kennel or semen is shipped from a distance.

Since Shibas are independent, they need a lot of handling and socialization as puppies. Make sure the puppies are very comfortable with you handling them.


Learn all you can about the different temperaments puppies can have.

In general, puppies are classified as responsive, nervous, aggressive or independent.

A responsive puppy is adaptable and bonds well with humans, which makes it a good choice for a first-time dog owner.

A nervous or shy puppy is unpredictable, and not a good choice for families with children or other busy households.

An aggressive puppy is dominant, sometimes unpredictable and does best in a household without children or other pets.

An independent puppy is stubborn and best suited to an outdoor lifestyle.

A nervous dog is stiff to the touch, his eyes are wide open with fear, he's scared and runs away, and won't eat. When performing the leash test, he won't move.

An aggressive dog will resist your handling and petting, will growl and bite your hand or the leash, and bark and lunge at everything.

An independent puppy isn't interested in you at all and wants to explore things on his own.

Take the puppy you want to test to a quiet, neutral place with no other dogs or other distractions.

Stroke the puppy from head to tail and lift up his feet, tail and ears. Evaluate how he reacts to your handling, and whether he enjoys it.

Pick him up, or roll him onto his back. Put your hand over his throat. See how he reacts, and whether he's scared or resists.

Make a number of different noises with your voice, from high to low. Whistle, and rattle a chain or your keys.

Put a soft collar and a leash on him. Give him a few minutes to adjust, then try walking a couple of steps and see if he will walk with you.

Take the puppy outside if the breeder or owner allows it. See how he reacts to other people and animals.

Feed the puppy once you're inside again. If he wants to eat, allow him to do so, then take the bowl away again after a few bites.

Keep in mind that a responsive puppy will be accepting of your handling, curious, and keep looking at you and wagging its tail.

Choose your puppy by temperament based on his reactions to the steps outlined above.

Remember, a responsive puppy is always interested in what you do and doesn't challenge you, unless it's to play.

Nervous and aggressive dogs require an experienced dog owner and a lot of attention to keep them in line, while an independent dog is best suited to be a working dog such as a guard dog, sheep dog, or hunting dog.