Why you should not get a shiba inu
Having grown up with dogs, I learned early on that a good dog is not one that obediently follows all commands, but rather one that thinks independently and chooses what it wants to do. A good owner aligns his interests with the dog such that obedience is mutually beneficial.
It was this search of a breed with an independent spirit that drew me to the shiba inu. As many sources will say, the shiba inu is a smart and strong-willed dog that will challenge even an experienced dog owner. I love a challenge!
Well it turns out that, like having a roommate, a challenge gets old after awhile. 9 years, so far. And my shiba inu is very much like a disagreeable roommate. Every day brings a new power struggle, where the shiba inu will test the boundaries of its relationships.
The shiba inu is manipulative, playing multiple members of the same household against each other to get what it wants. The shiba inu is stubborn, oftentimes stopping dead in its tracks and refusing to walk until it gets to choose the direction it's walking. The shiba inu treats commands like suggestions; he knows what is best. Every interaction is another opportunity to reestablish who is top doge.
Prior to getting a shiba inu, I considered myself an experienced dog owner, having trained and raised many dogs, and having grown up mostly peacefully with dogs that were physically bigger than my 60-pound child self. But the truth is, I'm in over my head with this shiba inu.
He's not a bad dog; likely I'm a bad owner. I love my shiba inu but I would not recommend this breed to anyone casually interested in having a dog.