If you are a busy bee who needs to leave home frequently, Shiba Inu are a great match for you. But this does not mean that you can get up and leave them at home without doing much. You also need to do your part in preparing them for the day.
This includes training them to be well-behaved dogs without your supervision. Since they are one of the trickiest breeds to train, you should start training them as puppies.
But if you leave them one day for a long time without easing them in, this can frighten them. As result, they will become destructive and they may develop separation anxiety.
How Long Can I Leave My Shiba Inu Alone?
You can leave your Shiba Inu home alone for around 6 to 8 hours. But you can only do this if they have ample food and water and a potty area that they can go to freely. Also, they need to exercise and play a lot before you leave them at home.
Shiba Inu are independent dogs and they are happy to do their thing without your company. Still, this does not mean that you can leave them at home without preparing them.
The preparation should start when they are still young. Other than training and potty training them, you need to teach them to spend time alone.
To do this, you need to crate train your Shiba Inu while they are still puppies. This not only teaches them to spend time in their crate. But crate training can also help you in potty training them. Combine this with training them on how to behave in your home. Soon enough, you can have them stay at home alone without putting them in their crate.
You should also provide them with toys to entertain themselves in your absence. Shiba Inu are energetic dogs and if they get bored, they can become destructive. So make sure to provide your Shiba Inu with a variety of toys. Ones that stimulate their minds are great to keep them occupied.
Once your Shiba Inu knows what to expect and what you expect of them, they can happily stay at home.
Can You Leave a Shiba Inu Alone for 8 Hours?
A Shiba Inu will do fine being by themselves in your home for 8 hours. But before you do, you need to train them to stay at home alone along with potty training. Once you do, make sure that they get a lot of exercise before you leave.
Shiba Inu do not need a lot of your constant attention. Leave them with toys, food, and water and they will not mind being alone in a quiet home.
With this, you need to start training them as puppies. Shiba Inu are notorious for being one of the hardest dogs to train. So you need to start them young before they spend 8 hours alone in your home.
Otherwise, they can be destructive dogs and you will come home to a mess. They will chew on anything and everything in sight. It will not matter to them if they destroy expensive furniture or your favorite shoe.
Does a Shiba Inu Get Lonely?
Unlike other dog breeds, Shiba Inu are less likely to get lonely. They do not demand much of your attention and they are happy to do their business without you. Although many dog owners have them as companions, this breed had a different job in the past.
Shiba Inu were primarily used as hunting dogs, helping their humans catch small game. With this, they are naturally strong-willed and they do whatever catches their interest.
Your Shiba Inu will find something exciting to do on their own. They follow wherever their curiosity takes them. This is why these independent dogs do not mind spending time alone.
Although they are not the type to get lonely, this does not mean that you can leave them to their devices all the time. Shiba Inu still need your time and attention.
This breed has so much love for its owners and they repay you with their attentiveness and loyalty. Shiba Inu will always worry about you, so take the time to show them lots of affection too!
Does a Shiba Inu Bark When Left Alone?
While Shiba Inu are not big barkers, they may bark when you leave them home alone. When they do bark, they can annoy everyone with their head-turning vocalizations. Looking into the possible reasons why they bark when alone will help you avoid this issue.
Your Shiba Inu may bark when left alone due to the following:
- Territorial behavior
- Separation anxiety
Shiba Inu are quite active and they need at least an hour of exercise daily. If you plan to leave them at home, you should take an hour to play with them. Otherwise, they will have so much energy during the day, making them restless at home.
This is even worse if you do not provide them with something to do at home. You should give them a variety of toys to play with while you are away.
A bored Shiba Inu is an unhappy one and they will let your neighbors know through barking. Your furry friend may even unleash their “Shiba Scream”, which many find ear-splitting.
Barking is a natural behavior for dogs and they find this pleasing to do. So excessive barking can be your Shiba Inu’s way to get them out of boredom.
Alert and protective dogs, Shiba Inu will try to keep strangers away from your home in your absence. They assume the role of being a guard dog even when you do not ask them to.
Part of this is barking at anything unusual that sets foot on your territory. This includes the mailman, another dog, or even a squirrel. Your Shiba Inu will let them know who the boss is and they are not afraid to use their voice.
Although they are highly independent dogs, Shiba Inu can also get separation anxiety. Excessive barking is one of the many symptoms of this condition. You may also notice other symptoms such as:
- Destructive behaviors (such as chewing on objects and digging)
- House soiling
Separation anxiety is tough on any dog, your Shiba Inu will be in great distress each time you leave them. If you suspect that your furry friend has this, you should consult your vet about what you can do.
Can Two Shiba Inu Be Left Alone?
Two Shiba Inu left at home while you are at work will keep each other company. Since they are playful, they will exercise each other and keep each other entertained. But you have to make sure you do your part first before leaving them at home.
Although they help each other get their exercise needs, this may not be enough. So make sure to walk them and play with them before you go. And even if you have two dogs, make sure to provide them with a variety of toys so they do not fight over one.
These independent dogs will do well in your absence, as long as they have food, water, and access to their potty area.
Can You Train a Shiba Inu to Be Alone?
Although this may take time, you can train your Shiba Inu to be alone at home. You actually need to do this before you plan to leave them at home while you are away. They may develop separation anxiety if you leave them suddenly for a long period.
The key here is to teach them how to enjoy alone time. But this has to be a slow and gradual transition and this may take you a few months to do.
How to Train a Shiba Inu to Be Alone
To train your Shiba Inu to be alone, you need to reward them for not reacting in your absence. Remember, this needs to be a gradual process, and you must take weeks to repeat this. So to get started with this below is a step-by-step process that you can follow.
Step 1: Make Them Stay in Bed
Start by going into the room where your Shiba Inu’s bed is. Command them to stay in their bed and reward them if they do. They should remain calm and quiet in bed; otherwise, do not reward them.
Wait for them to calm down before you give them a treat. Keep in mind that you should only reward them for behaviors you want to see. Giving them a treat while they are still being rowdy will only encourage them to misbehave more.
Send a clear message each time by only acknowledging good behaviors. This is the only way your Shiba Inu will learn what you expect of them.
Step 2: Take a Few Steps Back
Once your Shiba Inu is calm in their bed, move away from them. They should remain well-behaved and quiet. Come back to them and give them a treat for doing so.
If they start coming to you or barking, wait for them to calm down again. Your Shiba Inu will catch on to this with some repetition.
Now you have to slowly increase the distance between you and your Shiba Inu. In time, you should be able to reach the door without them making a fuss. But in this step, do not leave the room yet.
Keep practicing this step until you are confident in them. They should remain behaved no matter how many times you move away.
Step 3: Increase the Time You Spend Away From Them
While you are still in the same room, get them used to spending time away from you. Start by staying away from them for a few seconds, then 5 minutes, and so on. Practice this with varying distances away from them as well.
After your time is up, make sure to reward your Shiba Inu for being calm. But if they react or move, do not give them a treat. Remember not to punish this sensitive dog, this will help in teaching them.
Step 4: Go out of the Room
Now have your Shiba Inu stay in bed again. Instead of moving away from them, this time, go out of the room. But make sure that the door is still open.
Come back to them after a few minutes and reward them if they remained calm in their bed. Otherwise, you need to go back to the previous step.
If they are successful with the door open, now practice this with the door closed. Try leaving them in the room until they are okay with being alone for an hour. Keep repeating this step and never forget to give them a treat.
Step 5: Leave Them Alone for Longer Periods
Since your Shiba Inu is doing well spending an hour in their room, increase their time alone. Make sure they have toys to keep them occupied because they can get destructive when bored. This also teaches them that spending time alone can also be fun and not so scary.
Does a Shiba Inu Have Separation Anxiety?
Since they are incredibly self-sufficient dogs, Shiba Inu are not prone to separation anxiety. If you leave them with something to do, they will forget about everything and focus on their task. The trick is to make them think that these activities are their idea.
But like all dogs, a Shiba Inu can also get separation anxiety, no matter how independent they are. This condition makes them exhibit unwanted behaviors. So it may be hard for you to tell if these are due to a lack of training or separation anxiety.
You should be able to pinpoint the cause depending on when these behaviors happen. A Shiba Inu who needs more training will exhibit bad behaviors when you are around. One that has separation anxiety will only show these whenever you are not around.
With this, here are the symptoms of separation anxiety that you should watch out for.
Your Shiba Inu may have more accidents around your home, leaving poop or pee anywhere. This may not be due to a lack of potty training if they only do this in your absence.
Shiba Inu have a wide range of vocalizations and they are not afraid to use them. Your neighbors may notice this most since your furry friend barks a lot while you are gone.
Out of restlessness, your Shiba Inu may destroy some of your household items. They will chew on whatever they can get their mouths on, including your favorite shoe. They may also dig a lot of holes in your yard if they have free access to it. Other than that, they will scratch floors, doors, curtains, and more.
The sad part of this is that they will do these things even if it results in self-injury. Your Shiba Inu may break their teeth, paws, and nails, and get wounded as a result.
Your furry friend is a natural escape artist, even if they do not have issues. But separation anxiety can exaggerate this dangerous behavior.
They may injure themselves trying to find an escape route, such as clawing through doors. But the bigger issue is when they get out. Your Shiba Inu may get lost, run into traffic, and have a whole lot of other scary scenarios.
Other than these symptoms, your Shiba Inu may also exhibit the following:
- Lack of appetite
- Constant pacing around your home
- Excessive drooling or panting
Does a Shiba Inu Grow Out Of Separation Anxiety?
Your Shiba Inu will not outgrow separation anxiety and they always need intervention. So if they have this condition, you should do your part as their owner to help them.
Mild separation anxiety can improve with training and a lot of reassurance. But for moderate to severe cases, you may need to work with your vet. If you do not do anything about this, their condition will worsen with time.
They may get prescription medicine from your vet, behavioral therapy, or both. But in any case, you need to work with their separation anxiety at home too. There are many ways you to lessen their anxiety, but you need to be patient with them.
How Can I Get My Shiba Inu to Stop Having Separation Anxiety?
To help your Shiba Inu overcome separation anxiety, you need to teach them that being alone is not so bad. Thus, you should set up a behavior modification program that you can do at home. You can also ask your vet for medicines that will help you in this process.
There are many ways to do this, although it may take time. Below you will find some ways you can help your Shiba Inu with their separation anxiety.
Use Your Predeparture Routine
Shiba Inu are smart dogs that can pick up on signs that tell them you are going to leave for a while. This includes grabbing your car keys, putting on your shoes, picking up your bag, and more. When they see these, they will start barking, pacing, and other signs that signal stress.
But you can use these routines to your advantage. Let them know that these do not always mean that you are leaving home.
So try to do your predeparture routine with your Shiba Inu watching you. Once done, instead of leaving, stay at home and do something else. You can watch TV, prepare a meal, or do anything else that you enjoy.
In time, your Shiba Inu will learn that grabbing your keys does not always mean that you are leaving the house. This will help in lessening their anxiety each time they see these cues.
Set Up a Safe Space for Them
Your Shiba Inu should have a space at home to call their haven. This can be a small room filled with their favorite toys and blankets. Make sure your Shiba Inu has enough entertainment as they spend time here.
Leaving a shirt with your scent on it can help them feel more at ease. It will make them feel like you are still with them, even if you are at work.
Drain Their Energy
As much as they love playtime, a Shiba Inu also knows how to relax. But they cannot stay calm if they have a lot of pent-up energy that they want to release. So before you leave home, make sure to give them tons of exercise so they get tired.
A tired Shiba Inu will happily nap throughout the day while waiting for you to come back. This will lessen their stress and anxiety so they can enjoy their time alone.
Leave and Come Home Without a Fuss
Whether you are leaving home or coming back, you should not make a big deal out of it. This will only make your Shiba Inu more agitated or excited, but you want them to remain calm.
So when you leave, only say a simple goodbye to them and do not linger or say sorry that you are leaving them alone. Make sure that they already have something to do before you leave.
When you come back, walk through the door and ignore your excited Shiba Inu. Do not give them attention until after a few minutes, once they have calmed down. Only then can you greet your furry friend cheerily.
This teaches them that staying calm whenever you walk through the door is what you expect of them. It will also help in teaching them not to wait for your return throughout the day.
Get a Pet Sitter or Go to Doggy Daycare
Opting for any of these will ensure that your Shiba Inu has company while you are away. There are many benefits to this and one of them is that they can play and exercise in your absence. This will also help in making them well-socialized dogs!
But before you choose a pet sitter or a doggy daycare, make sure to do your research first. You do not want to put your Shiba Inu in the hands of the wrong person.
Choose a qualified pet sitter with good references who is as much of a dog lover as you. Your doggy daycare should be clean, well-maintained, and supervised. Take the time to talk to the people in the doggy daycare to make sure that they can take care of your Shiba Inu well.