Hunting & Working
Hunting with Shiba
Years and years ago before I got my Shiba there was almost no one producing hunting Shiba's here in the West. Moko has passed and now I have İnatçı, the Maremma/Akbash. I've seen an upswing in interest towards hunting with the Nihons, helped by lots of imports of actual hunting dogs.
I know the Jomon's are basically only bred to hunt. I don't know of many Japanese Shiba owners/breeders hunting either. What about here in the West? İs there anyone breeding or has a Shiba that is good at hunting from a specific breeder?
I loved Moko and she was an excellent hunter. I really do like the Nihon way of hunting. I'm not interested in big game, mostly small so I'm looking into Shiba's. Also considering breeding a decent hunting line. I like Moko's breeder a lot (leggy, built, high prey drive, short and rough coats, less weird foxy look, decent biddability.... For a Shiba) but am also interested in any other breeders who are doing some nice hunters. I'd rather have a head start then begin my journey at the bottom...
I don't know about shiba, but there are hunting Kishu and Kai in the US, dogs who hunt legal game with their licensed owners deliberately. Following this thread to see what turns up for shiba.
I have found- in seeking others who hunt with pointy eared dogs- that I've have to expand to learn enough. I learn from the Laika people and the other barking spitz hunters (norbottenspetz for example) - even though the Kai isn't a barking hunter like those breeds, a lot is more similar than learning about spaniels and pointers and traditional western hunting training.
Kai to the Core!
That's generally what I've found as well. The Kishu, Kai and sometimes Shikoku have very good ideas on hunting type and how to get your dog to DO it rather than be distracted. It sounds similar to how I teach my cats to hunt; bring it to me and I'll kill it for you. When they can't kill it themselves they will attempt to chase it my way or get me to come dispatch it for them. Kind of annoying but it's better than thinking they can kill squirrels.... Looking at YOU, Skooma...
Laila is definitely a similar type of dog. I have heard they air scent though, which Moko didnt. That's only one dog, however, maybe other Shiba's do? The bigger game dogs shouldn't really air scent so I'm not surprised they don't. Shiba though....
I can't run dogs on most large game here so small game it is. I'd be interested in doing tracking when I do get my yearly deer.
Do you have any books that you would recommend or sites that you found had good info on hunting with NK/Laika? (Other than the forum or Shigeru's blog, I've still been going through old posts on both
Brad recommended some Laika books, which were great. I've just been thirsting for more info while I wait for my future Kishu hunting buddy
Post edited by TreySmith417 at 2017-01-08 22:48:42
You'll be hard pressed to find shiba breeders that focus on hunting. For the most part, they are bred for show and pet, with a few also working in dog sports. It also doesn't help that the breed has become an internet craze with many unscrupulous breeders looking to cash in.
It would be cool to see a hunting shiba line developed, they really are unique dogs and it would be nice to see them being worked as their ancestors had done a long time ago.
Lol, most of my knowledge does come from Laika and blogs XD I've been looking at Hounds as well. Coonhounds, rabbits etc have some similar ideas. There's also a fbook group called... Sports for Nihons or something? There is a Kai that hunts small game on there!
My biggest issue is the fact that most Nihons are big game, and so are most hunting dogs. Either that or only retrievers, or pointers etc. Laika is probably the closest you'll get to Shiba style. I'd definitely read a LOT on all types of hunters and how they train.
İf all else fails I may end up with a sport bred Shiba. I'm currently looking up Barnhunt, Rally, Agility etc titled dogs. At some point I have to contact Shigeru about any Jomon's I could import... And cross my fingers.
I mean, if I was smart I'd pick a Laika and be all "yeah!!!!" but no, I gotta go with a breed that doesn't *even* anymore
But I love the Shiba, love the look, love the personality, love the drive and just <3 <br />
I'm really excited to do some hunting with one! And possibly tracking (also something local hunters could use). My LGD is... Very much not good at it.
No, there are no books on hunting with NK - there probably are some about Laika. I know the magazine Full Cry writes about them from time to time, though it is by far mostly about hounds.
You have to take what is out there about hunting in one hand and what you know about working NK in the other hand and adapt the hunting stuff to the dog. There is more being done with positive reinforcement in hunting now (there's a book called 'Positive Gundogs' for example now) but mostly you want to listen to hunters like Shigeru, and Gen and Dr Dave. I found that blood tracking appears to be a great NK sport- and shiba could totally do it! (if it's legal where you are) the bible of this activity is Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer
The author works dachshunds himself but in his book he emphasizes the connection between dog and handler and never being harsh, the kid of attitude that makes NK proud to work with you.
Also hunting is about the dog-hunter relationship, but also as much about learning the prey animal's habitat and sign, and learning the land and weather. I learn as much useful stuff for my hunts from studying tracking and wildlife, and looking at maps and walking stream corridors and wetland edge and observing, really humbling myself and letting the land and wild sign appear to me, and letting my dog show me what they notice.
Then on top of all that - dog training, learning the animals and land, learning the silent reading of the dog (and believing the dog!), dog relationships, scent and air and seasons- there is one's own acuity at shooting. I've neglected to practice this part of it this year and it showed- my dogs found the birds and put them where I had a shot, but I couldn't put them away and I missed. So I need to work on that this year much better than I have. The dogs are developing well, and I need to level up as a shooter to do right by them!
Ive found the Grouse Hunter's Guide to be helpful and encouraging as a research tool for learning my quarry and the seasons and food and flush behaviors. It's really fulfilling to learn it all, and makes time spent afield even better!
Kai to the Core!
İf you can find someone who hunts with Laika or does small game in your area I'd definitely get a mentorship going. İf you can go along on time trials and hunt tests for hounds you can get a good idea on training or take what their dogs do and see if you can recreate it your own way. İf nothing like that exists you can see about going to... Aw man what's that thing called where the dogs chase the bag? But, that. Nosework, barnhunt maybe rally.
For me, my dad has hunted since he was born. He trapped, he falled and so on. Currently he works for a German Guide here who blood tracks with two Slovensky Kopov. On top of that we're a pretty big hunting province, we have falconry, and several Laika hunters around (not.. super close but still).
The difference between Laika and the other barking spitz (I have a friend who hunts with Norbottenspetz ) is the barking. My Kai are much more subtle and quiet- and they aren't what the magazines call "big running" dogs- they hunt "close". The closest dog to the way my dogs hunt is probably a springer spaniel.
My brother hunts over english pointers and my cousin over GSP, and those dogs cover a lot of ground, hold point and you go find them. My Kai hunt what is considered "close" in hunt circles- and they are within 60 yards a lot of the time. This is important because I need to be close when they flush to have a shot. This year my male learned to point birds that flush to a tree - he's quiet about it, I have to notice. Whereas a norbottenspetz or a Laika will bark a lot to let you know, and loud so you can go find them.
I blog about hunting and blood tracking with Kai here:
Kai to the Core!
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