Bowen has recently been surrendered to a no-kill Humane Society in NH by owners who abandoned him and another dog when they moved away from their home. The dogs were left in the empty house alone and were visited only to fill the food and water bowls.
The vet thinks Bowen is between 4-5 yrs old. The shelter employees are not yet allowing adoption to the public because he has shown food aggression and has nipped a bit. They are not that familiar with the Shiba breed, so I went to visit Bowen to give them my assessment and assist with determining how to rate him.
Any experienced Shiba owner knows what are normal Shiba tendencies, and what is a result of bad raising. Bowen knows ‘sit’, but so far that seems to be the only command he was taught. As I spent a few hours with him, and allowed him multiple walks outside and free range of the shelter (fortunately it is a small country shelter with few pets), he quickly began to warm up to me and enjoyed being petted, massaged, and played with. He was raised mostly outside, and it seems pretty clear he was not loved and babied like most of us true Shiba owners do with our dogs, so he may not be the cuddling type of Shiba, but rather independent. He was very focused on figuring out the layout of the place and how to get out, and even seemed hopeful he’d be going home with me. The shelter staff will allow him free-roam for a bit during the day to help ease his stress of the shelter, but we’re all concerned about him being there too long.
I believe Bowen will be fine in any Shiba pack or multi-dog pack so long as the owner is either Shiba experienced, or a superb dog lover who will allow Bowen to be who he is while under positive oversight and good guidance. He will definitely be an escape-artist, so a leash and fence will always be necessary. He will need a lot of exercise, and does seem to have strong intent on chasing cars, so his new owner will need to be strong physically as well as strong as a dog trainer to not allow him to pull on a leash. Since he has a tendency to guard his food, his new owner will need to be prepared for this and help train him out of that behavior.
I think since he was a mostly-outdoor dog without much love, he will probably do fine with being alone while his new owner works. It is not known if he will shred toys and beds – it’s possible he never really had access to those things before, so hard telling.
He is neutered, but full health report not yet in. He does need a good bath and brushing, as his coat is a bit dingy from his outside life.
If you think you can be the savior for this abandoned Shiba, please contact me for more information.