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I realize that this question may be a bit open ended, but the follow up question is not.

I have never owned a dog before, but almost everyone I know has one. Until recently I've had no desire to get one until I saw a Shiba Inu a while back. With further research about the breed, I've quickly found out that they cannot be off leash (for the most part), are somewhat independent, and issuing commands to them may be difficult. These seem like deal breakers, but are they?

I want a dog in which will be my buddy instead of getting easily bored, and one in which will not attempt to compete for leader/not listen to me, as they are very intelligent. I've also seen that they are much like cats (one of which I own), and can be independent. The also don't like being touched which may become difficult. Despite the fact that I'd follow all leash laws, it remains that I'd want to have some time with it off to play/fetch. As I live in an apartment building with no enclosed yard, this seems difficult.

With more research I believe that I like Spitz dogs, such as this, this and this, however, many of the dogs I've looked at seem to be difficult to handle. A Canaan for example; I've simply heard many reasons as to why they may not be a good choice as they are very alert like a wild animal.

Are the above reasons deal breakers? Why or why not? Are Shiba Inus a good first dog choice for a male living in an apartment with no backyard?

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You're right, those sort of traits could be seen as deal breakers. But not the only ones.

What sort of hours do you work?

Can the dog come with you to work?

Will the dog be left alone for long periods of the day?

Does this dog breed require a lot of mental stimulation and exercise?

Will I be able to supply this throughly?

Am I looking for a dog based purely on the idea that it looks an interesting breed or because I feel this is the best animal for me and my lifestyle?

A dog is so much more than their appearance. Their characteristics differ hugely and you need to take into account the dog's own mental state as well as your ability to cater for this on a daily basis. For 10-15 years.

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