Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Liza discusses her very stubborn dog

Jess is my shiba inu/chow mix. Her temperament is all Shiba, but the chow gave her a black tongue and a broad chest.

I don’t know if the pairing was intentional, but the results could have easily made the World Worst Dog, otherwise known as a WO-WO-Dog.
Here’s the temperament of a Shiba:

The Shiba is smart and ever alert.

Jess can be sleeping in a room on the other side of my house, but if I sit on kitchen bench to put on shoes to take her hiking, she’ll arrive in seconds.

The Shiba is confident, courageous, bold and brave.

Here’s a video of her going after a 600 pound bear. Need I say more?

Note to self: Remove the ‘smart’ attribute above.

The Shiba is loving, if she does not see you as prey or a threat. She is not loving to prey, unless the attitude “I would love to have you for dinner” is considered ‘loving’

 The Shiba is trainable, if she wishes.

Jess knows useful commands to improve our hikes in which she takes on a sixteen foot leash. Since she leads, she can, if she wishes, follow the following commands:  Go straight, right, left, Hold, Go around the tree, Other side, Up, Under, Here, Heel, Sit, Over, Forward, Don’t Pull, Cross, Leave it, Move, TskTsk (pay attention to me, I want you do something) Silent signals for Here and sit. These she learned in the first six months and knows them well except she doesn’t trust me on left and right commands since I often yell out the wrong one.

However, if she spots prey, notice I didn’t say small prey, since she prefers to go after deer and bears, the wolf in her takes over and me and my silly commands are ignored, or would be if she weren’t on leash.

I have recently tried to teach her to shake her head yes and no. Seems like it would be an easy task. However, Jess has decided it is demeaning and she will not participate in such nonsense.

Shiba Inus are supposed to be clean and most try to avoid puddles.

Jess avoids water, and gives the appearance of cleanliness UNTIL she locates foul smelling dog poop. Then she poop dives, covering her neck in foul brown crap.

Then she gets a bath. Jess must not hate baths as much as she pretends, or she wouldn’t go right back outside after said bath and poop dive, yet again, gaining herself yet a second bath.

Jess gets so many baths, that she's spongey.

Shibas are easy to housebreak.

Since I got Jess third hand, she came housebroken, but I must say, she’s not ruined, chewed, pissed on, or pooped on anything in my house.

Shibas don’t bark much.

This is true, unless she refuses to come in when I call here, so I go to bed without letting her in, and just as I’m about to fall asleep, she decides she’s ready for me to open the door so she can come in. Then she can bark forever. Each bark more annoyed than the last.

Now we come to the trait that limits the people who should have a Sheba Inu:
If Shiba’s are not convinced you are a competent leader, and they will constantly test you in this matter, they will declare themselves Alpha.

Jess and I have been in a battle for Alpha since 3 days after I took her in. (She was delightful the first 3 days). She’s been mine for 3 years now, and I still hold Alpha, but I must fight every day for it. She is not a dog that says, oh, all right, you win.

With her, it’s ‘you win for the moment.’ And she constantly tests my credentials for being Alpha. Thus, we’ll be in the woods and the trail becomes hard to see. She’ll stop and look at me, challenging me to find the trail. She know I can’t ‘scent’ a trail. However, I can read a map and I do possess a compass.
For now, I remain Sr. Partner in our partnership. While Jess’ nose is clearly superior, as is her ability not to fall, I am the one who brings home the food and treats. Also, the shelter is mine…even if she does sleep in my nicest room. As a natural hunting dog, surprisingly close in DNA to the wolf, a Shiba should not be trusted with small pets. Now for Jess, this includes cats, raccoons, possums, rabbits and large birds. (The latter two belonging to my neighbor.)

A Shiba expects/demands to be walked/hiked every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Failure to do so will result in escalating bad behaviors.

This explains how I came to own Jess.
And I’m glad I did.  Because after six months of Alpha battling, and my consistent ability to find our ways out of any woods entered, Jess stopped challenging me every two weeks. Now we can go for 6 months before she wakes up one day and says to herself, “Liza is an idiot. I should be Alpha,” and I must once again prove my dominance.

So most of the time, Jess is my WoBeDo: World’s Best Dog making the short battles with WoWoDo tolerable.

While experiencing the WoBeDo Jess, I wrote her into my novel Saving Casey. As a male dog, she stars in first and last chapter.


Hi, I’m Jess. Please read the first and last chapters of Saving Casey. Then send me a video explaining how you will be a proper beta to my Alpha.
Liza turns out to be annoyingly stubborn on this matter. And her new desire to make me shake and nod my head has got to stop! So I am looking to upgrade to a better servant. No cats please. They make worse servants than even Liza.


  1. LOL It's nice to finally see Jess. I've heard so much about her. :) Can't believe she chased a bear. I would have been freaking in your position. And the Alpha thing, that sounds like my mom's Australian Shepard. It was always a battle to be top dog. But now she (the dog) is older and going blind, so she's given up trying to be Alpha.

  2. I couldn't believe Jess would go after that bear either. We've met the fellow once before, when I had firm control of her leash. He was about 30 yards away that time. Jess was barking up a storm, insulting him left and right, but he just stared at me and my fox. I thought she was putting on a show because she knew she was on leash and wouldn't be able to follow through. Evidently, I was wrong. She thinks she can take a bear. This means we can never leave NJ. Bears in other states would kill her with one swat.

    BTW I wasn't nearly as calm as I sounded. In fact the lack of sound in one section is because I was cursing.

  3. I will always root for the Alpha Dog! Where did you get her from Liza? I love Shiba's. Please tell Jess that I am sorry but there will be no video from me...I am woefully challenged when it comes to technology.

    1. Don't worry, because I'm never giving Jess up. So those videos won't get you a dog. She's the best dog I've ever had and the best dog I know. How did I luck out? Her previous owner acquired a fiancee and Jess didn't take to the lady and matters escalated south. Jess got sent to the basement,which prompted her to behave very badly. So they asked my former pet sitter to find her a new home. I said I'd try her out. She was so well behaved during her first sleepover I thought her former owners mad. I told them I predicted she'd be the best dog I ever had, and that turned out true. I also warned them that once they handed her over, I wasn't giving her back...or to anyone else. She's mine and I'm hers. We'll just keep fighting over Alpha.


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