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What Are Shiba Inu Like as Pets (The Pros and the Cons)?

Having a Shiba Inu as a pet is like getting both a dog and a cat in one furry body. They have the aloofness and cleanliness of a cat, but also the playful heart and body of a dog. This can be an issue for those unprepared to care for them because they do not know what they are getting into.
What Are Shiba Inu Like as Pets

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Like other dog breeds, the Shiba Inu also has its pros and cons as a pet. But there is an even bigger responsibility in weighing these with this breed. Shiba Inu is not only a hunting breed, but they are also a basal breed.

That means that they need a firm and consistent yet gentle fur parent. They also need one that understands all their quirks and knows how to deal with them. This independent and stubborn breed can even give an experienced dog owner headaches here and there.

For many reasons, a Shiba Inu is not a good dog for everyone, especially first-time dog owners. But if you are willing to take the responsibility and do your research on them, you stand a chance of caring for a Shiba. To figure out if they are the right fit for your household, this article will be helpful to you.

What Is Shiba Inu’s Temperament?

The Shiba Inu is an alert, independent, and lively dog breed. Apart from these, they are also fearless, loyal dogs that will do what they can to protect their owners. Their temperament creates a fun furry friend to have around, but they can also give you headaches!

With their independent nature, your Shiba Inu will enjoy their own company. Their curious minds will take them wherever they think they will have fun. But this can be an issue as they are also quite strong-willed dogs.

Once their minds are set on doing something, they will go ahead and do it. So if your Shiba Inu wants to go to your neighbor’s barbecue party, they are not even going to ask for your permission.

These qualities make them tough to get a hold of and training them may be difficult. But with their intelligence and your time and effort, this is not an impossible feat.

A well-trained Shiba Inu will be a great addition to your family. Shiba owners often say that with this breed, you get a dog and a cat in one furry body.

There will never be a dull day in your home with a Shiba Inu around. Watching them go about their day and do their antics is hours of endless entertainment.

Once your Shiba Inu warms up to you, you can count on them to have your back all the time.

They have so much love and devotion for the people they have bonded with. And as part of the pack, you are under your Shiba’s protection. This fearless breed will keep an eye on you and your home, watching out for danger day and night. With their alert nature, they will decide that this is their duty and they will take it seriously.

Your Shiba Inu may be a silly goofball during playtime, but they can be fearless warriors when they need to be.

Which Has Better Temperament – Male or Female Shiba Inu?

It is generally accepted that a male Shiba Inu has a better temperament than a female. Males are bolder, friendlier, and more playful. They do well in social settings and they enjoy being the center of attention.

A male Shiba Inu is also more affectionate and more eager to please its owners. They are also more food motivated, which may make it easier to train them. Although, they are also more independent so this can affect their trainability.

That is why a male Shiba Inu is more recommended for first-time dog owners than females. But even if you are an experienced dog owner, a female Shiba Inu can still give you a hard time.

A female Shiba Inu is more reserved, shy, and aloof. They are cautious of strangers and they are warier of their surroundings. This makes social settings harder for them, especially if they lack proper socialization.

But keep in mind that these are all generalizations so this does not apply to every Shiba Inu. These do not define each dog as their temperament will also depend on the following:

  • Their upbringing
  • Their lineage
  • Their health

And as you know, the first on the list has a huge impact on your furry friend’s temperament. Take the time to properly socialize and expose them to many experiences while they are young. This will make them better-behaved and more outgoing dogs once they are adults.

Are Shiba Inu Friendly?

With proper socialization and training, the Shiba Inu can be a friendly dog. But you cannot expect them to be as friendly as other dog breeds, such as a Golden Retriever. This breed is more known for their aloofness, not their eagerness to greet everyone they meet.

Even if they are friendly, they will much prefer to do their own thing rather than socialize. A well-trained Shiba may still have a lower tolerance for getting touched or handled. If they had enough of it, they will let you know and you will need to back off before they force you to.

A Shiba Inu’s friendliness is generally reserved for those whom they consider as part of the pack. But they can learn to tolerate and even show love to strangers that they meet.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Not Friendly?

Shiba Inu are not the friendliest of dogs to begin with as they are a basal breed. This means that they are a less domesticated breed than others. So they are not accustomed to getting friendly with other people and dogs.

But there may be a mistake that you may have made that contributed to their lack of friendliness. You may not have properly socialized them as a puppy. And because they are a basal breed, this is an absolute must.

Your Shiba’s puppyhood is when you need to expose them to as many experiences as you can. This is your one chance to make them happier and friendlier dogs in the future. If your Shiba got used to meeting strangers and dogs, they will be more accepting of them as adults.

Thus, they are more open to engaging with everyone they meet, and they will do this with a smile.

But if they lack socialization, they can have a variety of issues other than not being friendly. They will also grow to be fearful, anxious, and aggressive dogs. This is because they do not know how to behave in certain situations, especially in public.

All hope is not lost, though. If you did not do this while they were puppies, you can still socialize them even if they are a bit older.

But keep in mind that this is not an easy task, especially since this breed can be quite stubborn. Still, you can use their love for food to your advantage! Make use of treats throughout the whole process, and your Shiba will learn in time.

Are Shiba Inu Affectionate?

Shiba Inu has a lot of love for their owners, but they will show their affection on their terms. From time to time, they will come up to you for some love when they feel like it. But do not expect them to be cuddly goofballs who want to snuggle up to you all the time.

This independent breed is quite cat-like when showing their affection for you. They will want some pets here and there, but they will leave as soon as they had enough of them. Usually, they will enjoy doing their own thing more than getting some cuddles from you.

So if you want a dog that never leaves your side (or lap), then a Shiba Inu is not right for you.

How Do You Tell if Your Shiba Inu Loves You?

Your Shiba Inu has several ways of showing their love for you, such as staring at you and sleeping beside you. This cat-like breed does not generally like cuddles, and they tend to keep a distance from people.

Because of this, you may often wonder if your Shiba Inu even loves you. But keep in mind that, unlike other dog breeds, they show their love in more subtle ways. If you are not seeing the hints, the list below should help you out.

Your Shiba Inu Gives You Kisses

Those sloppy licks that your Shiba gives you? That is them kissing you, and it is one of the ways they show affection. This was their mother’s way of caring for them and now they are trying to do the same to you!

But keep in mind that these licks can mean other things too. It may be that you have some food on your face that they want a taste of. Or it can be that they are trying to grab your attention because they want to play.

No matter the reason behind this, any form of contact from a Shiba Inu is already special. They are not the type to be on your face all the time. So when they do this, make sure that you cherish the moment.

Your Shiba Inu Stares at You

It may make you feel uneasy when your Shiba stares you dead in the eye. But this is them trying to “hug” you with their eyes.

Locking their eyes with yours releases oxytocin, the love hormone. This hormone is also released whenever they bond with their mothers, and with you. So by staring at you, your Shiba strengthens their relationship with you.

Your Shiba Inu Sleeps Near You

Canines are picky about where they sleep, they choose a place where they feel safe and secure in. Your Shiba Inu may sleep beside you in your bed even if they do not want your cuddles. Or, they may sleep in the same room as you at night.

Either way, this is a sign that your buddy wants to stay close to you in their most vulnerable state. This is why wild dogs sleep in their packs.

Sleeping near you is not only a sign that they love you. But it is also a sign of their trust and loyalty to you.

Your Shiba Inu Is Empathetic

Once your Shiba has a strong bond with you, they get attuned to how you feel. So whenever you feel down, they act on their instinct and try to care for you.

Although they like to keep a distance, you may notice them staying near you whenever you feel bad. They may also put their paw on you or try to lick your worries away.

Dogs are excellent at picking up their owner’s emotions. And if your Shiba Inu reacts to this, you can say that they love you.

Your Shiba Inu Becomes Alert When They See You

They may be taking a nap or staring off into space. But once you enter the room, they drop what they are doing and become alert, almost in an instant. Somehow, it is like they get energized when they see you, another sign of their love for you!

Your Shiba Inu Follows You

A Shiba who loves you will follow you around because they want to be close to you. Although, they may only trail behind you from a distance.

They may do this because they have decided that you are theirs to protect. And if you are not in their sight, they cannot come to your rescue when you need it. This alert breed will look out for you all the time, especially in unfamiliar places.

Or, it can be that they find comfort in being in your presence. You are everything to your Shiba Inu.

So do not get annoyed when they want to tag along. Instead, learn to appreciate their devotion to you.

Your Shiba Inu Leans on You

If being in the same room as you is not comforting enough, your Shiba Inu will lean on you. Feeling your warmth makes them feel safe and sound so they seek comfort from you. Your Shiba may do this when they are afraid, so make sure to give them extra love.

Your Shiba Inu Brings You Their Toys

Humans give gifts to show their love and appreciation for one another. Your Shiba Inu does the same thing by bringing you their toys.

These are one of their treasured belongings. And they feel that you are important and worthy enough to have a go at them too. The fact that they want to share it with you is a compliment in itself!

It may not even be their toy sometimes. They may also bring you this amazing wooden stick that they found. Or, they will bring you an interesting rock that they have unearthed.

The item that they bring you may not sparkle your eyes like how it does to them, but it is the thought that counts, right?

Your Shiba Inu Jumps on You

How your Shiba Inu reacts whenever they see you is a good sign of how they feel for you. If they jump on you with a wagging tail as soon as you go through the door, they love you!

When they do this, it seems like they cannot contain their joy. So they release all the strong emotions that they feel by jumping up and down on you.

Your Shiba Inu Stays Calm When You Leave

Many dog owners think that when their puppy panics as they leave, their furry friend loves them. This may be true because their dog wants to be with them all the time. But this is a sign of insecurity and lack of trust. If your Shiba Inu does this, they do not trust that you will come back for them. They think that you are going to abandon them as soon as you walk out the front door.

If your Shiba Inu trusts you enough to come back home, they will remain calm as they watch you leave. This is not only a compliment, putting their trust in you is one of the greatest signs of love.

Your Shiba Inu Lifts and Wiggles Their Eyebrows

Dogs have various means of trying to communicate with you and they may do so with their eyebrows. Their facial expressions are more powerful than you think.

When they lift and move their eyebrows as you interact with them, it means you have their seal of approval. It can also mean that they accept how you are handling or interacting with them.

Do Shiba Inu Like to Cuddle?

Unlike other dog breeds, the Shiba Inu is not much of a cuddlebug. Instead, they are self-sufficient dogs who will enjoy spending their time alone. They may want some pets from you sometimes, but only when they want to.

So if you want a dog who craves your snuggles and attention, a Shiba Inu is not the dog for you. Much of this is due to their history as hunting dogs, so they seem more aloof.

They are also a basal breed, so they are less domesticated than other dogs. This means that your Shiba Inu is not a fan of getting handled, cuddled, or even touching you.

But keep in mind that dogs are individuals, so this does not apply to all Shiba Inu dogs. Their love for cuddles will also depend on their personality. Some Shiba may want to snuggle up to their owners, especially on a chilly day.

This will also depend on your furry friend’s upbringing. If you got them used to cuddles, they are likely going to be more physically affectionate dogs.

Do Shiba Inu Puppies Like to Cuddle?

As a puppy, your Shiba Inu may be more willing to cuddle with you. It is at this age that they are more open to any experiences that they may face. This developmental stage is crucial for you if you want to mold their personality a bit.

Exposing your Shiba Inu a lot to various situations will make them well-behaved dogs. You can do the same if you want them to be a bit more cuddly than they are.

By giving them plenty of cuddles as puppies, they will be more accustomed to it as adults. This may not mean that they will always crave your warmth like a lapdog. It may only make them more tolerant of receiving your cuddles even if they did not ask for it.

What makes this easier is that puppies will need more warmth and attention. They used to rely on their mother and their littermates for this. But after moving in with you, they only have you to ask for these.

How Do You Show Love to a Shiba Inu?

To let your Shiba Inu know that you love them, you have to provide for their needs and treat them with respect. You should also figure out what they like and do not like. This will help you know how to act around them without pushing their buttons.

For centuries, dogs have been providing humans companionship in various ways. Many of them have their worlds revolving around their owners, and your Shiba is no different. You are all your Shiba Inu has, so make sure they know that you love and care for them.

But taking care of them and their needs may be too broad. If you need a push in the right direction, here are concrete steps you can take to show your love for them.

Learn What Your Shiba Is Trying to Say

It is tricky to read your Shiba Inu because they are not like your typical dogs. They are generally not a fan of cuddles, they are okay being by themselves, and more. This may throw one off if they do not know how this breed works.

Of course, these are all generalizations and may not apply to your Shiba Inu. But this also makes it even more crucial to learn more about your furry friend.

Figure them out first before you try the tips below. They may not like it when you do some of these. This will do the exact opposite of what you want and may cause a rift between you two.

Only Use Positive Reinforcement for Everything

With every interaction you have with them, you should always make it positive for them. This is how your Shiba will learn best, with a gentle yet firm approach. And you can do this by using toys, verbal praise, or food as their motivation.

By doing this, your Shiba Inu will see you as the provider of everything that they need. They love these, and so they will form a positive association with you as well. Your Shiba will be happy whenever they see you as a result because you make them happy.

If you follow this, your Shiba Inu will never learn to fear you. Instead, they will learn to love you even more. Stay away from any form of punishment as this will only make them more distant.

Add Playtime to Your Daily Routine

Playing with your Shiba does more than exercising them and releasing their energy. It is also an opportunity for you to bond with them.

Your furry friend will appreciate that you took time out of your day to play fetch with them. They will remember this, and it will let them know how much you care for them and their well-being.

Take Your Shiba Out for Walks

Humans need a break from time to time to get fresh air, the same goes for your Shiba Inu. Your furry friend will love it whenever they get the chance to go outside. By making this possible for them, they will love you even more!

Walking them outside serves many purposes. It allows them to do their business, for example. But it also gives them the chance to socialize and experience the outside world.

They get to meet strangers and other dogs, making them well-socialized dogs. It also helps in getting them desensitized to scary stimuli, such as the sound of a car passing by.

Usually, dog owners walk their dogs during the day. But it may be time to take them out for a walk before you wind down for the night too. This is a great way to end both of your days on a high.

Take Your Shiba With You on an Adventure

The simple act of letting them tag along with you is enough of a reminder of your love for your Shiba. This makes your furry friend feel like they are a part of not only your day but also your life.

You can take them with you on activities that you love doing. It is nice to have their company on a hike, fishing trips, and more. You can even take them on a beach day with your family and this will make them feel like a part of the pack even more.

It does not even have to be a big adventure. You can take them along with you if you are running some errands. They do not even have to leave the car, and this is enough for them.

You can also have them stay in the same room as you while you work. Or have them sit beside you as your family watches a movie at home together. The possibilities are endless for this, but even this simple act makes a big impact on them.

Use the Power of Your Touch

While they may not be the cuddliest dog, your Shiba will still want some pets from time to time. Whenever they go near you, make sure to give them belly rubs, a back massage, or just touch them. It will also help if you talk to them in a soft and soothing voice.

Let your Shiba Inu know that you are happy that they are a part of your family. Tell them anything that makes them feel like you love and care for them.

Give Your Shiba Some Ear Rubs

If you want your Shiba to get an instant hit of euphoria, this is it. The back of their ear contains many nerve endings that you can take advantage of.

Gentle scratches on these areas in circular motions will put them on cloud nine. By doing this, you are sending impulses throughout the whole body.

This triggers the release of endorphins, which is a happy hormone. As a result, your Shiba will feel relieved and will feel your love too!

Surprise Your Shiba With a Tasty Meal

The way to your Shiba’s heart is through their tummy. Apart from their nutritious and high-quality daily meals, indulge them once in a while! Give your Shiba a tasty meal or treat that they do not get often and they will love you for it.

Feed Your Shiba Inu by Hand

Take some of your Shiba’s daily meal and have them eat it off your hand. This is a great way to build a strong bond with your furry friend, which only comes if they feel that you care for them. It also helps in gaining their trust, which is crucial in your relationship with them.

This intimate act will let them know that you are the provider of their meals. And because of that, your Shiba will understand that you love them.

Hand-feeding your Shiba also has other benefits. It trains them for bite inhibition and teaches them to impulse control.

Gaze Into Your Shiba’s Eyes

This is one of the ways your Shiba lets you know that they love you, and you can do the same! Do this whenever you talk to them, play with them, or even for no reason at all.

To help get your message across, try raising your eyebrows as you look at them. Your Shiba Inu knows this facial expression, and they see this as a sign of affection.

Talk to Your Shiba

Whether you are reading a book or talking about your day, this is a great way to bond with your Shiba. Of course, they will not understand you. But they can recognize the tone of your voice.

Talk to them in a soft and soothing voice, while making eye contact and touching them once in a while. You can also try to lean on them and they will understand that this is a sign of love. This makes them feel involved and this simple act will make them feel your affection for them.

Why Is My Shiba Inu So Clingy?

There are many reasons why your Shiba Inu is being extra clingy. Oftentimes, they are trying to tell you something. This can be boredom, anxiety, and more.

Since this breed is generally not clingy, without a doubt, this can alert any Shiba Inu owner. If this is your situation right now, below is a list of what this could mean.

Your Shiba Inu Is Sick

As with any other changed behavior in your Shiba, you must first rule out health issues. This is a common symptom in many medical conditions. And taking immediate action could mean saving your furry friend’s life.

If you find their medical condition early, it will be easier to treat. This will also prevent the issue from worsening. So you will avoid any lifelong effects on your Shiba’s health.

Like a kid, your Shiba Inu will stick to you when they are sick because they feel vulnerable. You are not only their source of comfort but also their source of security.

So make sure to take them to the vet first. Once you take them home, make sure to give them more of your time and affection.

Your Shiba Inu Has Nothing to Do

You may have been busy lately, but your Shiba Inu schedule has been open. They may have been doing nothing the whole day, which will drive them nuts!

Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors in your furry friend. But it can also intensify their clinginess towards you.

They will cling to you like a leech, trying to get your attention. They may want to play outside, go for a walk, come with you on your errands, and more. This may be their desperate attempt to get out of the house and do something fun.

Your Shiba Inu Feels Stressed or Anxious

Both of these can manifest in dogs in various ways, this includes being extra clingy to their owners. There are many reasons why your Shiba Inu gets stressed or anxious. It can be due to scary stimuli, life changes, and more.

Your Shiba may cling to you if there’s a thunderstorm or a fireworks display. Or, this may be their response to life changes, such as:

  • Moving homes
  • Changes in their routine
  • Death of a loved one
  • A new pet or baby

They may also feel these whenever you feel anxious or stressed. Dogs are great at picking up their owner’s emotions. Sometimes, they may even feel what you feel.

Although this breed is not prone to separation anxiety, your Shiba may also develop this. This condition makes them extra clingy. Especially if they suspect that you are about to leave home.

Your Shiba Inu Does Not Want to Miss Out on the Fun

This curious breed is always up for anything fun. Because of this, your Shiba will get nosy and try to include themselves in your affairs. They want to know what you are up to all the time, even if you are doing the most mundane of tasks.

This behavior is more common in young puppies. They still have a lot to learn about the world, and they want to learn it with you.

Your Shiba Inu Imprinted on You

If you adopted your Shiba Inu very young, they could have imprinted on you. As a result, they treat you as their mother, following you around.

The downside to this is that your Shiba Inu gets so used to your constant attention. This will make them fear being by themselves as an adult. Unfortunately, this can lead to separation anxiety, which can be hard to correct.

So if you suspect that they imprinted on you, you need to work more on their socialization and training. This will build their confidence and make them the self-sufficient dogs that they are.

Your Shiba Inu Is Getting Older

Aging is inevitable, and your furry friend’s personality may change in the process. They may enjoy the still and quiet life more, and they stay beside you because they learned to cherish it even more. You may also notice that your Shiba is getting cuddlier, even for its breed.

But this can also be because older dogs are more vulnerable, so they seek you out for security. If your Shiba is losing their hearing and vision, they will need you to take care of them more.

This can also be a sign of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), which is like dementia in humans. CCD can lead to changes in how your Shiba interacts with you. So this may explain their clinginess lately.

CCD can make your Shiba Inu more confused, which can increase anxiety levels. And as you know, anxiety can also intensify their clinginess. So your Shiba will turn to someone familiar, which is you, to ease them as their world becomes more confusing.

Your Shiba Inu Suffers From Emotional Trauma

Is your Shiba Inu a shelter or rescue dog? If so, their past experiences may have led to their fear of abandonment. This makes them clingier dogs because they do not want you to leave them as their previous owner did.

Your Shiba Learned to Be Clingy Toward You

Their clinginess may be a bad habit that they picked up based on your interactions. There are many ways that they could have learned this. But this is all due to you accidentally rewarding their clingy behavior.

One example is that you got them so used to your attention as a young pup. So now that they are older, they continue to stick by your side like a helpless puppy.

Or, you could have created a pattern for them to work on. You may have rewarded their clinginess with treats and verbal praise in the past. It gets them what they want, so why should they change it now?

An example of this is giving them a treat whenever they go with you to the kitchen. Another is making a big deal out of them lying beside you, so you give them lots of praise. All these will tell your Shiba Inu that it is fine for them to be clingy.

Your smart Shiba Inu will remember all these. And they will use this to manipulate you into getting what they want.

Your Shiba Inu Is in Heat

Dogs may go through a behavioral change when they are in heat. Earlier in the estrus cycle, they may follow you around and snuggle up to you more. If this is the case for them, you should give your Shiba lots of attention to make them more comfortable.

Other than becoming clingier, here are other signs that your Shiba is in heat:

  • Bloody discharge
  • Swollen vulva
  • Excessive licking of their genital area
  • Frequent urination

You Are Pregnant

Many expectant dog owners say that their furry friends became clingier. You may not have told your Shiba, but they sense that your body is undergoing some changes. They can often tell by your smell or by the way that you move that a baby is on the way.

Their clinginess may be because you are feeling some intense emotions lately. To be more empathetic towards you, your Shiba will snuggle up to you to make you feel better.

These changes can also make your Shiba Inu more protective of you. So they will want to stay by your side all the time to do this. If they sense any danger nearby, they are the first to respond to keep you safe.

How Can I Make My Shiba Inu Less Needy?

To correct their neediness, you first need to figure out the root of the behavior. Some methods may not work for your Shiba because they will need a different approach.

This is crucial if your Shiba Inu is clingy due to a health issue. You first need to take them to a vet so they can get medical intervention. Only then will their need to seek you for security will begin to dwindle.

Once you figure that out, you need to build their confidence and teach them to be more independent. Below is a list of the many ways that you can do this.

Ensure That You Meet Their Needs

Take the time to reflect on your daily activities lately. If you have been too busy, chances are, your Shiba Inu lacks attention and interaction. This made them clingier than usual because you have not met their needs.

Apart from taking them out on their daily walks, do activities where you interact with them. Make eye contact and speak to your Shiba Inu without any distractions, such as being on your phone. Throw a ball for them, stroke their fur, tell them about your day, and do anything to interact with your Shiba.

If you have been doing this, take this as a sign that your Shiba needs more of your time. You need to spend more time giving them attention and exercising them. But consult your vet first about the appropriate amount of exercise your Shiba needs.

Take Them to the Vet

Your buddy’s neediness may be a cry for help. Being sick can cause them constant pain and discomfort, and it can also make them feel vulnerable.

There are many possible medically-related causes for this. Some include separation anxiety and epilepsy.

In the case of severe separation anxiety, your Shiba will need prescription medications. Along with that, your Shiba will also need a behavior modification program.

Give Them a Safe Space

Your Shiba needs a comfy place where they can relax and spend time alone. Convert a small spare room into their doggy haven and make it extra inviting for them. Place their favorite toys and treats inside along with fluffy blankets and their bed.

This way, your Shiba Inu has enough entertainment while they enjoy their company. These items will also help them form positive associations with their place. So your Shiba will want to stay in their safe space even more.

While you can use a small room, a crate may be better for your furry friend. Since dogs are den animals, a crate will mimic this well. The right-sized crate for them will make them feel safe, secure, and comfortable.

Crates are a great tool for keeping dogs calm. But it is also crucial in training them for various things, even in teaching them to be more independent.

The key here is not to force your Shiba to stay in their crate. A good way to start this is to also make their place more inviting with treats and toys. Have your Shiba explore the crate on their terms, until they get inside on their own.

Once they are comfortable going in and out of the crate, close the door on them. For the first few tries, close the crate for only a few minutes. In time, your Shiba will not mind being in their crate for a much longer period.

Provide Them With a Variety of Interactive Toys

While you need to engage in play with your Shiba, you also need to teach them that they can have fun on their own. Some dogs will ignore their toy unless you are there to throw them. But that is because the toy itself is not fun for them to play with.

That is where interactive toys come into play. These toys stimulate your Shiba’s big brain, so interacting with it in itself is exciting!

Puzzle toys, for example, are toys that your Shiba Inu will enjoy.

Since this breed is food-motivated, you can get ones that dispense toys as a reward. But before they get a treat, your Shiba must first perform an action. This can mean hours of endless fun for your buddy by themselves!

Hide Treats Around Your Home

Use their favorite treats and scatter them around your house to make your Shiba look for them. Your furry friend may try to resist the urge to look for their treats. But soon enough, they have to give in to the temptation.

Once they do, they will have no choice but to leave you in search of a tasty treat. This is a fun activity that rewards them for maintaining a distance from you. It also teaches them that there is nothing to be afraid of if you are not in their line of sight.

Use the Sit Command to Your Advantage

If your Shiba does not know the sit command, you need to teach them first. This is one of the easiest commands to teach your furry friend. Yet it is also one of the most useful for you.

Begin by telling your Shiba Inu to sit. Then take a few steps away from them slowly and then stop, wait a few seconds, and then reward them. You should only give them a treat when they remain calm and do not move from their spot.

Keep practicing this, increasing the distance between both of you with each repetition. Remember to give them a treat each time they behave. This way, your Shiba Inu learns that it is okay to be alone for a while.

In time, your Shiba Inu will reach a point where they can be by themselves in the room without making a fuss.

Desensitize Them to Your Movements

Your Shiba is intelligent, and they will pick up on certain cues that will mean you are going to leave home for a bit. This can be putting on your shoes, grabbing your car keys, wearing your bag, and more. Once your Shiba sees this, they may panic and begin getting all clingy toward you.

Begin by creating a list of these actions and get your Shiba Inu desensitized to these. Then pick one first and use this to train your Shiba to ignore your movements.

Try grabbing your car keys, for example. Instead of doing your usual activity and going out the front door, sit on the couch and watch TV. Keep repeating this until grabbing your car keys means nothing for them anymore.

In time, your Shiba will grow tired of trying to expect your departure. They will give up and learn not to respond to it in the future.

If they still keep following you, try to walk in circles until they give up. Your Shiba Inu will understand that you are not going anywhere. So they will leave you alone instead.

Understand Where Your Shiba Is Coming From

In certain situations, all you have to do is to accept your Shiba’s neediness. This is only in the case of clinginess due to the following:

  • Fear or stress
  • Pain
  • Medical issues

So you should assess the situation and see if your Shiba’s clingy behavior is out of their control. Are there loud noises that you cannot stop, such as fireworks? Is your Shiba suffering from dementia or a loss of vision and hearing?

If you said yes to any of these, just comfort your poor Shiba. There is nothing wrong with trying to comfort them if they are afraid or in pain. You are not risking anything by doing this.

Are Shiba Inu Loyal?

One of the qualities that stands out in this breed is their unwavering loyalty to their owners. They may be an independent breed, but you can count on your Shiba to have your back when it matters most.

Mari, a Shiba Inu from Japan, is a testament to the breed’s loyalty. An earthquake struck their village and caused her home to collapse. Without hesitation, Mari got to action right away to save her loved ones.

First, she moved her puppies to a safe place before tirelessly looking for her owner. When she did, Mari woke up her trapped owner and did what she could to free him. This touching story got immortalized in a Japanese film.

Loyalty is a hardwired trait in the Shiba Inu. But this only comes if you made the effort to earn their trust.

Your relationship with your Shiba Inu is a two-way street. Before you can see and feel one of their amazing qualities, you should show them that you are loyal to them first.

Are Shiba Inu Protective Dogs?

The Shiba Inu is a protective dog breed, and they often worry about the safety of their owners. How they try to protect their family and home is where you can truly see their loyalty towards you. Their protection only goes for their family and home, though, and they do not care for any other person.

This can be a big issue if your Shiba Inu lacked proper socialization from a young age. Since they do not care about other people, their instincts may kick in when they see a stranger. Your Shiba Inu will not hesitate to use force to get the other person away from you or your home.

Your Shiba Inu is always alert and looking out for danger. Sometimes, their alarm bells ring even when they have nothing to worry about. So you need to teach them at a young age that not all people are their enemies.

In the face of real danger though, you can count on your Shiba Inu to alert you. In general, they are not barky dogs. But they will begin to bark at the top of their lungs if they sense anything unusual.

But this may only be your furry friend’s way of protecting you. They are a small breed, which makes it difficult for them to physically protect you. While they can be ferocious, most intruders can handle a Shiba Inu due to its size.

Why Is My Shiba Inu So Territorial?

Your Shiba Inu is a naturally territorial dog who will do what it can to protect you, your family, and your home. They are untrusting and wary of strangers and they will keep them at a distance from you. When it comes to other dogs, they are dominant over them and will be possessive over their toys, food, and more.

While they can be territorial right off the bat, you can curb this while they are still a puppy. At a young age, your buddy’s personality is still malleable, so take advantage of this.

This is where early socialization comes in. At this age, you should be exposing your Shiba Inu to various experiences. This way, they will learn how to react in various scenarios.

Socialization is especially helpful when they deal with other people and strangers. Instead of barking off a stranger, they will learn to behave in their presence. And instead of fighting with another dog over their toys, they will learn to share them.

So other than their instincts, your Shiba Inu may become too territorial due to:

  • Lack of proper socialization
  • Underlying health issue
  • Pack mentality
  • External factors
  • Sexual maturation

If they have always been like this, you may not have socialized them at a young age. But if your Shiba Inu became territorial for no clear reason, the others on the list may be the culprit.

With any sudden change in their behavior, you always need to go to the vet first. This will help you rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition. Sometimes, the discomfort and pain that they feel due to an illness can cause this.

But if your Shiba gets a clean bill of health, you may have to reassess their environment and situation. This will help you correct the issue right away before it becomes worse.

Are Male or Female Shiba Inu More Territorial?

While both genders can be territorial, a female Shiba Inu can exhibit this behavior more. This comes out, especially when there are other female dogs in your home. Your female Shiba Inu will not want the other female dog to touch their toys, food, and maybe even their human.

Along with other factors, this is why a male Shiba is more recommended for first-time dog owners. But this is only a generalization of the breed, so take this with a grain of salt.

A male Shiba Inu can still be territorial. They are also more aggressive than females and this can be a bigger issue if they are still intact.

No matter their gender, early socialization, and proper training are a must. Your Shiba Inu is not only a product of their breed but also their upbringing.

So if you want to curb this territorial issue, you need to train them to suppress this.

Are Shiba Inu Aggressive?

Because of their history, this breed may have aggressive tendencies. The Shiba Inu is a hunting breed and has a knack for chasing small animals, such as birds. Their hunting instincts are still intact and this can contribute to their aggression.

This is not a good combination with their stubborn and independent nature. Your Shiba Inu will do what they want and when they want. And if they lack training, they can become aggressive if things do not go their way.

Your Shiba Inu can redirect their attention to anything. But the most common forms are aggression toward other dogs and strangers.

This breed does not care for strangers, their love is only for their family. If they lack proper socialization, they will not hesitate to nip at strangers. Especially if they sense that the other person has bad intentions towards you.

Other than that, the Shiba Inu is quite a dominant breed. They do not mix well with other dogs, especially those who are also dominant in nature.

If they live under one roof, your Shiba Inu can get possessive over their belongings. Fights will ensue if they see the other dog meddling with their toys and food. Your Shiba may also fight for the alpha rank of the pack and this can make them aggressive.

Even if you do not have other pets, your furry friend’s aggression may get triggered in public. If they are on a leash, they feel more defensive. So this can trigger their aggression toward other dogs in your local park.

This is also an issue once they see small animals on your walks. Their hunting instincts will take over them and they will not stop until they catch their prey. But if you restrain them, they may direct their frustration at you and get aggressive.

But keep in mind that your Shiba Inu’s aggression will still depend on their upbringing. A healthy, well-trained, and properly socialized Shiba should not have aggressive issues.

Any dog can get aggressive, no matter its breed. What matters is how well you take care of your Shiba Inu to curb this behavioral issue.

Are Male or Female Shiba Inu More Aggressive?

Both genders can display aggression, but male Shiba Inus tend to be the more aggressive one of the two. Males are more dominant in nature, so they may try to challenge your authority. This will come out, especially when they try to be the alpha over other male dogs.

But keep in mind that aggression is in this breed’s genes due to their history. Even with a less aggressive female Shiba Inu, you may still run into some issues. And when they get aggressive, they can get pretty nasty.

A female Shiba Inu and another female dog do not go well with each other. Your female Shiba will fight for her spot as the top dog, not stopping until she draws blood.

Fights between two female dogs are often more brutal than ones between males. Neither of them will want to concede and this may lead to serious injuries. Sometimes, this may even cause one of them to die.

But aggression in a Shiba Inu is not only due to their genetics. Lack of training and socialization can also make them aggressive.

Without proper training, your Shiba will not learn how they should behave. You need to set them straight and teach them how to interact with people and other dogs.

If they lack socialization, they grow up to be fearful dogs. And one of their common reactions to fear is to become aggressive. This is their way of self-preservation, and those around them may face their fury.

Even your training method will play a part in their aggressive tendencies. No matter their gender, you should only train a Shiba with positive reinforcement. This is how they learn best, and this is how you avoid reinforcing their aggression.

Punishing them in any way will only make them more aggressive. They will learn to fear you and fight you to protect themselves.

An intact male or female Shiba Inu is also more prone to aggression. So if you are not going to breed your Shiba, have them neutered or spayed. This will help in curbing their aggressive tendencies.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Suddenly Aggressive?

There are several possible culprits for your Shiba Inu’s sudden aggression. It can be their reaction to some trigger in the environment. Or it can be a sign that they need you to take them to the vet.

Any sudden behavioral change is alarming, especially aggression. This can put you, your family, and those around you in harm’s way if you do not take action. But to address this, you first need to figure out the root of the behavior.

With this, here are the possible reasons why your Shiba Inu is suddenly aggressive.

Underlying Medical Conditions or Injuries

Your Shiba Inu will not feel their best when they are ill and this can make them cranky. Oftentimes, they are in pain if they suffer from a health condition. This can lead to them getting aggressive because they do not want you near them.

As a result, your Shiba will growl, bark, or show their teeth whenever you come near them. They are afraid that you might touch them, especially in their sensitive areas.

Other than pain, these health issues can take a toll on your Shiba Inu mentally as well. The symptoms that they exhibit can increase their anxiety. And if their condition leads to a change in their routine, this can send your Shiba haywire.

All these combined can make your Shiba Inu high-strung and grumpy. You will be walking on eggshells around them or else they will get aggressive.

If your Shiba allows you to touch them, inspect their body and check for any signs of injury. Look for swelling, open wounds, cuts, and more. Have a thorough inspection of their paw pads too, as these are prone to superficial injuries.

You should also check your furry friend’s mouth for dental issues. They may have a broken or loose tooth, swollen or bleeding gums, or oral injuries. You should also look for any stuck foreign object such as a chunk of food, a toy, and more.

If you cannot see anything, then the issue may be deeper. The only way to figure out the issue here is to go and see a vet.

Age-Related Issues

There are inevitable changes that come with aging. Unfortunately, your Shiba Inu may not handle this well. As a result, they may resort to aggression.

One of these changes includes losing their vision or hearing. If this is the case for your Shiba Inu, they easily get startled and as a result, they will act defensively.

Another age-related issue is canine cognitive dysfunction or dementia. Dogs who suffer from this experience a behavior change, including sudden aggression.

There are other causes for this as older dogs often suffer from health issues already. Even arthritis can make your Shiba aggressive because they are in constant pain.

Reaction to Fear

Fear is a motivation for your Shiba Inu to become aggressive in certain situations. Oftentimes, this is due to them feeling trapped or cornered. But new places, experiences, and people can also cause this.

Your Shiba Inu may also become fearful due to restrictions and pets often have a lot of this. Being on a leash, behind a barrier, and even fear of punishments are all culprits of fear too.

When your Shiba Inu feels fear, its parasympathetic nervous system goes into action. This controls their involuntary actions, causing a sudden behavioral action.

Once this happens, hormones rush into your buddy’s bloodstream. This then triggers their fight or flight response. They may cower away in fear, or become aggressive right away.

All these can happen to a Shiba Inu without notice. But if your Shiba has always been aggressive, fear is deeply rooted in them already.

They may have a history of neglect and abuse, so they are more sensitive to everything. This can also happen if your Shiba has a traumatic experience in the past.

Possession Aggression

This is also known as resource guarding. The Shiba Inu is often protective over their possessions or anything they value. This may be their food, their toys, their territory, or even their humans.

As a result, your Shiba Inu can get aggressive when they feel that something is a threat to their belongings. For example, they will not let you or another dog go anywhere near their food bowl. Or, they will not let another dog play with or even look at their favorite toy.

They will often hover over the item and watch over it if they sense a threat. Once you try to inch near the item, they will begin growling and may lunge and bite if you do not listen to their warnings.

The degree of aggression that they exhibit may vary. This will depend on your Shiba Inu and the item in question.

For example, your Shiba may not mind if you go near them while they are playing with their kong toy. But once you do the same while they are busy with an edible chew, they will snap at you. This tells you that they value the edible chew much more than their kong.

Resource guarding is inherent in dogs. Especially in guarding their food, which can mean their chance of survival in the wild.

But as a domesticated dog, your Shiba Inu should know that you will provide for all their needs. They will never run out of food or toys to play with under your care. So you need to make an effort in making them understand this.

Stress Due to Changes

A stressed Shiba Inu is more likely to snap and resort to aggression. Why they feel this way can be due to a variety of factors. But the common denominator here is that these are changes in their environment.

This can be a new household member, like a new roommate or partner. It can be a family member coming home after being away for so long. It can be a change in their routine, moving homes, and much more.

These new individuals can create a change in your home. It can change the daily routine, and as a creature of habit, your Shiba will not like this. The new person may also treat them differently from you, adding to their stress even more.

Sometimes, your Shiba Inu can feel stressed because you feel the same way. Dogs sense how you feel and they often absorb it like a sponge and mirror it.

All these can be too much for your Shiba Inu to handle. So when there is a change in your home, you need to keep everything else constant. This will help them cope with household stress.


Aggression due to this can either be barrier frustration or redirected frustration. Both of these occur when your Shiba Inu wants to do something that they cannot. So they look for another way to release their frustration and this can lead to aggression.

In barrier frustration, they cannot do this because they are either leashed or behind a fence. For example, a dog is passing by your home and your Shiba Inu may want to greet and play with them. But because of their restraints, they cannot do this and their frustration builds up.

Your Shiba Inu will begin to growl and bark even more to let it all out. Once you approach them to see what is going on, they may take it out on you. You may get bitten by your Shiba in the heat of the moment.

In redirected frustration, they turn to the person or dog next to them for their frustration. Your Shiba may be in a fight with another dog over a toy.

If you try to break them up, there is a high chance that your Shiba may redirect their anger towards you. They may lunge toward you and nip you because you are the closest to them.


To be the alpha of the pack, a dog may become aggressive to prove its worth. So they will show their teeth, growl, lunge, and even bite the other dog to assert their dominance. While this is usually between dogs, your Shiba can also do this to you.

Not only may they challenge your authority. But they will also fight you to be the head of the household.

So while your Shiba is still young, you need to firmly establish that you are their alpha. Doing this early on will make them respect you. What you say goes and they should follow it.


Dogs have a limit, and if you push their buttons too much, they can retaliate with aggression. This is why it is crucial to know what your Shiba will tolerate and you should respect their boundaries.

This breed does not like getting handled, to begin with. If you repeat an action they do not like, such as touching their ears, they will warn you off. They will begin to growl or snarl at you and if you do not listen, they may begin to bite.

With this, you should always supervise a child whenever they are around your Shiba Inu. Children are often rough in handling dogs. But your Shiba will not hesitate to tell the child off if needed.

This may also happen between your Shiba and another dog. They may not see eye to eye on everything, and this will push them to aggression.

For example, another dog may want to play with your Shiba but your furry friend does not want to. Having another dog being all up in their face will annoy your Shiba. So your buddy will get their message across with one nip.

If the other dog does not obey, then this can quickly lead to a dog fight. This often occurs when two dogs have different personalities and play styles.

Why Is My Female Shiba Inu Aggressive?

Your female Shiba Inu can also become aggressive due to fear, pain, frustration, and more. The list of causes for aggression in the previous section also applies to them. But there are two possible culprits for aggression that only apply to female dogs.

You have to consider your furry friend’s heat cycle and maternal instincts.

When a female dog is in heat, they are going through a drastic change in hormones. This can make your Shiba Inu moody and more prone to aggression, even if she did not exhibit this before. Your Shiba in heat may experience pain, anxiety, and irritability as a result of these changes.

And as you may already know, these three things can make a dog snap, almost in an instant. Unfortunately, your female Shiba Inu will go into heat twice a year. So if you are not planning to breed them, it may be best to spay your Shiba to avoid this issue in the future.

If you do not plan on this yet, then you need to figure out their heat cycle and triggers. This way, you can prepare for their heat and prevent them from becoming aggressive.

For example, female dogs will compete with each other to be the mating partner of a male dog. If your Shiba lives with another female dog, it is best to keep them away for the time being.

Depending on where they are on the heat cycle, your female Shiba may also fight with a male dog. This is when they are not ready to mate yet, and this occurs early on in the cycle. With this, it is even more crucial that you keep track of their heat cycle.

Another thing to consider is if your Shiba Inu recently gave birth. During this period, her maternal instincts will kick in and her focus is on protecting her pups.

So your Shiba may growl or show her teeth whenever you come near her litter. If you do not listen to these signs, she may resort to biting you to keep you away.

This may be hard, but you need to reassure her that her puppies are safe in your hands. Try to talk to her in a calm and relaxing voice, praising her whenever she behaves as you inch closer to the pups. You can only touch her puppies once she relaxes and feels at ease in your presence.

Why Is My Male Shiba Inu So Aggressive?

Aggression in a male Shiba Inu is often due to fear, pain, or a stress response. It can also be a show of their dominance or their way of guarding their belongings and territory. A male Shiba is more territorial and dominant than females, so they are more prone to aggression.

Since a male Shiba Inu has more aggressive tendencies, you always have to raise them well. The main things to consider are their training and socialization. These will help you curb their aggression, especially when you start them young.

If you do not make an effort for these, your Shiba Inu will act with their instincts all the time. You did not teach them how to behave, so they have no choice but to do their primal behaviors.

This is also not only a question of a lack of these. How you train your Shiba Inu also matters.

While they may be aloof, this breed is also quite sensitive. Using harsh training techniques on them will not benefit both of you as well.

This will only instigate more fear in your poor Shiba and they will not learn to trust you. And their fear will lead to them becoming aggressive towards you whenever they see fit.

So do not punish them at all for whatever reason, even if their stubbornness gets on your nerves. Stay away from hitting them, shouting at them, using choke collars, and more. Punishing them whenever they do something bad is not the way to go.

Instead, you should only use positive reinforcement on your Shiba Inu. Reward them whenever they do good, and they will learn. This will encourage them to keep on doing good deeds in the future.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Puppy So Aggressive?

Most of the time, what dog owners see as aggressive in their pups is due to play fighting. This may look aggressive, but this is normal for young puppies. Play fighting is even a crucial part of their early development.

With play aggression, your Shiba puppy can look like they are being rough with its playmates. They will pin another pup to the ground and stand over them, biting their ears, muzzle, feet, tail, and more. Other than these, here are other signs that your Shiba is only play fighting:

  • Barking, snarling and growling
  • Snapping their jaw
  • Jumping on another pup

It is easy to mistake these as signs of an aggressive puppy, but you have nothing to worry about. Through these, your Shiba learns important life skills that they may need in the future.

One of the lessons that they learn from this is bite inhibition. Your Shiba will learn how hard they can bite and where they can bite before hurting their playmate. This is also important as they interact with their humans too.

While aggression in young puppies is rare, you may still encounter this issue. So how do you know if your Shiba Inu is truly aggressive? Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Nonstop barking and biting
  • Possessiveness over their belongings
  • Uncontrollable prey drive
  • Snapping at your face
  • Snapping the air like they are trying to bite you
  • Biting you when you pet them
  • Biting your feet when you walk past them

Now that you can say that your Shiba pup is aggressive, the next step is to figure out the root of the behavior.

The most common reason for their aggression is resource guarding. And this is an early sign of aggression in your Shiba Inu puppy.

But there are other reasons to consider behind this unwanted behavior. Below is a list of the possible reasons behind your puppy’s aggression.

Resource Guarding

Take note of how your Shiba Inu puppy acts whenever you go near their food bowl or toys. Does your puppy growl at you while you pass by or reach for their food bowl? This can happen while they are eating or even if their food bowl is empty.

This is a sign of aggression due to possessiveness over their items. Your Shiba Inu may also act this way toward other animals in your home.

Your Shiba Inu puppy may also try to claim certain items in your home. It may be a spot on the couch, a specific chair, or even their bed. The moment you or another animal come close to these, they begin to display aggression.

Fear Aggression

Oftentimes, people think of aggressive dogs as misbehaved or dominant. But a dog does not become aggressive without a reason. And the most common motivator for their aggression is fear.

This is your Shiba Inu puppy’s response when they cannot run away. They feel backed up into a corner with no choice but to fight any perceived threat. Your Shiba pup will growl, lunge, and bite to make the scary stimulus go away.

And when it does go away, they learn that this is an effective tactic. So in the future, they will resort to aggression because they know it keeps threats away.

Territorial Aggression

It is innate in dogs to become protective over their territory. This is where they live, where they spend most of their time in. Of course, they are going to want to feel safe in their home.

Because the Shiba Inu is an alert breed, your pup can quickly sense anything unusual. If someone is trying to come near your home, they will get all defensive. They will protect their home with all their might which can lead to aggression.

While this may be great for any trespassers, this is an issue if they do this to the wrong person. People who mean no harm, such as delivery people and even your visitors, may face your puppy’s wrath. This is especially an issue if you have visitors coming over to your home.

Predatory Aggression

The Shiba Inu is a hunting breed with a high prey drive. As a young pup, your Shiba may listen to their instincts more because they still have a long way to go in their training.

When they do give in to their instincts, they can switch to being a ferocious hunter. They will chase and nip almost anything that moves, especially small animals. Unfortunately, small children may also experience this.

Conflict Aggression

Your Shiba Inu pup is still learning how to interact with the world and those around them. But in the process, they may display aggression because they do not know what to do in the situation.

Like fear aggression, your Shiba may learn that barking or growling at you may work to back you off. They do this whenever you do something to them that they do not like.

For example, your Shiba Inu puppy does not like it when you clean its ears. To let you know this, they will snap at you. Your natural reaction is to take a step back for a bit, but doing this rewards your pup’s behavior.

Are Shiba Inu Aggressive Towards Strangers?

They may not be friendly to strangers, but this does not make them aggressive towards them. Your Shiba Inu is naturally wary of unusual people and they will keep an eye on them to sniff out their intentions. If your Shiba Inu senses a threat, only then may they begin to show aggression.

This is their way of protecting you from strangers, a testament to their loyalty and love for you. But sometimes, they may become aggressive for no clear reason, which of course, will puzzle you.

Your Shiba may dislike the mailman, passersby, and anyone they meet on the street and they will show it. If this sounds like your Shiba Inu, then this is the consequence of a lack of socialization.

As part of their socialization, you should teach your Shiba that strangers are not to be afraid of. Have them meet and interact with a variety of people outdoors as a puppy. This way, your Shiba will get used to them and this will curb their aggression toward strangers.

Your Shiba Inu will then learn how to behave around new people. And they will know that biting, growling, or lunging at them is unacceptable.

The key to making them friendlier toward new people is to socialize them while they are young. As a puppy, your Shiba is more open to new experiences and people. So this is the best time to begin their socialization and this will make the process easier for you.

If your Shiba Inu is already an adult, it is still not too late for them. But this will take more effort, time, and patience from you.

Are Shiba Inu Aggressive With Other Dogs?

With early socialization, a Shiba Inu will not become aggressive toward other dogs. But without this, they will not hesitate to fight if they feel like they need to.

This breed is naturally dominant, and this may not make them get along well with other dogs. This goes for other dominant dogs or dogs of the same gender as them.

When they meet other dogs, their instinct is to establish themselves as the alpha. With a dominant dog, the fight for the top spot may not end. In this situation, they may never get along well or live in peace in one home.

Usually, this is a big issue for male Shiba Inu because they are more dominant than females. Having a male Shiba with another male dog will likely end in a fight. This is a bigger issue if your Shiba Inu is still intact.

While they are less aggressive, this can still happen with a female Shiba Inu. They may not bother other male dogs. But if they are with another female dog, this is a deadly situation.

When two female dogs fight, they will not stop until they draw blood. They are even more vicious when establishing who the dominant dog is.

More often than not, your Shiba Inu will get along with another dog of the opposite sex. Whether they are another breed or another Shiba Inu.

But remember, aggression is only an issue if you did not make an effort to train them. You can take this tendency out of them if you socialize them while they are very young. This should help you avoid any conflicts between your Shiba and other dogs they may meet.

Why Do Shiba Inu Fight With Each Other?

A Shiba may fight with another Shiba because they are naturally dominant dogs. While they do not like confrontation, neither of them will back down when there is conflict. As a result, this could lead to a nasty fight between the two.

This often happens when both dogs are of the same gender. They have an instinctive need to establish the hierarchy in the pack. And when both dogs want to be on top, this becomes a long and tireless battle between them.

When they do figure out who the alpha is, the fighting usually stops. But because they are both dominant, one of them will be unhappy. Forcing them into submission creates a stressful home environment for them.

This is why if you plan to add another dog to your family, make sure that you choose a submissive dog. You may also find a Shiba Inu who is more submissive in nature.

The dominant Shiba will be happy as they are the leader of the pack. And the submissive Shiba will have no problems with the hierarchy.

Even with this issue, a Shiba Inu is more likely to get along with another Shiba Inu. This may be because they understand each other’s quirks better.

For example, a Shiba Inu may not want to play all the time. They value their alone time as much as their playtime. But a different breed that is more active will not understand this.

So when they ask your Shiba for permission to play, your Shiba may get annoyed. This can lead to them snapping at the other dog if they do not back off. There is a clash in personalities here and this may cause a rift between them.

But a Shiba Inu will respect another Shiba’s need for peace and quiet. With proper socialization and a fixed hierarchy, fights are less likely to occur.

How to Stop Shiba Inu Aggression

There are various ways to stop your furry friend’s aggressive tendencies. Because aggression has many possible causes, not every method may work for you. This is why you first need to know why your Shiba Inu is behaving like this.

How you approach this issue will depend on the root of the behavior. But there are some general methods that you can try as well. This may work well in combination with how you tackle your Shiba’s specific case.

It will help you a ton if you have a variety of methods to use. With this, below is a list of general and specific fixes for your buddy’s aggression.

General Approaches to Shiba Inu Aggression

Take Your Shiba to the Vet

Sometimes, your Shiba Inu may be aggressive because they need medical attention. Any health condition or injury can cause them a great deal of pain. And because of their pain, they may be more irritable than usual.

Your Shiba Inu may not want you touching them because you may hit a painful spot. They may even not allow you to go near them at all. To tell you to back off, they will snarl or growl at you or even attempt to bite you.

If you can, make sure to inspect your Shiba Inu for cuts, bruises, swelling, and more. These superficial injuries may only need your first aid kit at home. But it is still best if you take them to the vet for a more thorough inspection.

If you cannot see anything, this is more alarming. This warrants a trip to the vet even more. It is hard to figure out what is wrong with your Shiba if the pain is invisible.

After your trip to the vet, medications, and treatments, your buddy’s pain should go away. As a result, their aggressive tendencies should also disappear.

Try to Remain Calm

Your furry friend can sense your mood and the energy you give off. They pick up on your body language and your facial expressions as well. And sometimes, they can mirror how you feel at the moment.

When they do, this can make them feel stressed. As a result, they will start to misbehave and show aggressive behaviors.

Now that they are getting aggressive, it is even more important to stay calm. If you approach them with harshness and aggression, they will do the same. This will escalate the situation even more, which you do not want to happen.

So take deep breaths and focus on your breathing. Think happy thoughts and mind your posture as well. Do not show your Shiba any signs of negative emotions, so keep an assertive posture.

Create a Plan

The more you spend time with your Shiba, you will understand when they become aggressive and why. Now that you have that information, you should come up with a plan. So the next time they misbehave, you will know what to do.

For example, if your Shiba bites their leash, you should end the fun. Remain calm and take them home right away once they do this unwanted behavior.

Keep doing this until your Shiba learns the consequences of their action. Biting on their leash will mean that they go home right away and they do not get to have fun. But if they do not do this, they can continue with their outside adventure.

Plenty of Exercises

This is an energetic breed that needs a lot of exercise to remain happy. Otherwise, their pent-up energy may translate into aggression. What you should do is provide them with a healthy outlet for their energy.

Exercising your Shiba will not only let them release their energy. But it will also make them calmer and tired, and they will opt to take naps instead. A tired Shiba Inu will not think about misbehaving, because they will want to rest.

Frequent Short Walks Outdoors

Your Shiba can be a handful when walking outdoors. Outside, your Shiba experiences a variety of stimuli that can make them act out. Unfortunately, you have no control over the environment so it is hard to keep your Shiba in check.

But taking them outdoors for a walk is a great training opportunity. This will help in desensitizing them to interesting stimuli. As a result, they will learn not to react to these anymore.

Begin their training even before you walk through the front door. Have your Shiba sit and remain calm while you open the door and close it behind you. When they do, only then can you take them on a walk.

This will further cement your position in the household. You are their alpha, and so, they should listen to you.

Walk your Shiba Inu near your home first, so that you can quickly come home when they misbehave. This is their “time-out” whenever they show any aggression. But go outside again after a while, and see if they improve.

In time, you can explore further from your home without them getting aggressive.

Neuter or Spay Your Shiba

This may not be an option for everyone, especially if you plan on breeding your Shiba. But having them fixed can avoid aggression due to their sex hormones. It is widely known that intact dogs are more prone to showing aggressive behaviors.

Set Clear Rules and Remain Consistent With Them

This is crucial in straightening out your Shiba Inu. They need to know your rules and they should follow them. Otherwise, they do not get what they want. This includes their favorite treats, going to the backyard, their toys, and more.

By controlling their resources, you are also establishing yourself as their leader. You are their provider, and they have no choice but to submit to you.

If they want access to these resources, they should work for it. Whenever your Shiba behaves, make sure to give them what they desire the most.

Some simple rules you can enforce at home are the following:

  • No possessiveness over their belongings
  • No growling, biting, or showing their teeth at people
  • No leash biting

Specific Approaches to Shiba Inu Aggression

While the general methods above will help you, you may need to nip the issue in the bud. These specific approaches below will help them associate the training with the act. This may be better at making them understand what they should do.

Food Aggression

Protecting food resources is a natural behavior in dogs. This stems from them worrying that their food gets stolen. But this does not give them a pass when they snap, growl, or bite you if you go near their bowl.

Food aggression usually starts when they are puppies, and is one of the early signs of aggression in dogs.

To correct this, your Shiba needs to get comfortable having people around their food bowl. Your Shiba should also understand that there is enough food for everyone in your home.

There are three ways in which you can curb their food aggression, all listed below.

1. Hand-Feeding Your Shiba Inu

One is by hand feeding your Shiba Inu. Take some of their daily meal in your hand and have them eat it. Do this while talking to your Shiba in a calm voice and petting them.

Keep doing this until they are at ease with the idea of having you around their food. In time, you can have them eat from their food bowl.

Try to stay next to your Shiba while they eat their meals and talk to them in a friendly voice. Praise your Shiba, rub their ears, and try to put your hand in their bowl to disrupt their eating. Once you are comfortable, grab some of their food to see how they react.

If your Shiba lets you do these, then you have curbed their food aggression. But you are not out of the woods yet. Do this every few weeks to see if they are still okay with this.

2. Separate Your Pet’s Food Bowls

If you have many pets at home, then your Shiba may be insecure with their food even more. Make sure each pet has its bowl and that they are far away from each other. This will prevent one from going into another’s bowl as this can lead to a fight.

3. Disrupt Their Food Aggression

Whenever your Shiba does become unhappy as another pet comes close to their bowl, stop them. Let out a loud sound, clap, and do whatever you can to grab their attention. This will disrupt their thinking and have them focus on you instead.

Possession Aggression

This breed is notorious for being possessive of its belongings. The common items that they guard are their toys. But they may also exhibit this over their territory and food.

The approach to this is much like correcting food aggression. Your Shiba should be comfortable sharing their items with others in the family.

There are two common scenarios for possession aggression to occur. Below, you will know what these are and how to deal with them.

1. Another Pet Comes Near Them While They Play With Their Toy

This is usually how it goes, and your Shiba will begin to growl at the other pet as a warning.

To correct this, you have to schedule a play session with both pets. Divide your attention between them as you go along. This will let you see what issues arise from their interactions with a toy.

When they do act up, correct their behavior right away. Show them that it is okay for the other to play with the toy. And when they let this happen, reward them with a treat.

It will also help if you keep their high-value toys out of sight. Do not leave the toys wherever your Shiba can have free access. It is best to let them play with their toy while you are watching them.

2. Your Shiba Has an Item That Is Off-Limits

Your Shiba may see your favorite shoe as something valuable for them as well. But this is not something that they should dig their teeth in. So you have to take this away as soon as you can.

Do not snatch an item that they are not supposed to have right away. This will only startle them, make them fearful, and retaliate by biting you.

Instead, call out their name and command them to “leave it” or “drop it”. If this does not work, show them an item that is more valuable than your shoe. It can be their favorite toy or some tasty treats.

This will divert their attention to the new attractive thing, and they will drop the item right away.

Territorial Aggression

Your Shiba Inu does not like it when an invader is threatening the safety of their home. They may direct this aggression to other people and pets. But this can be an issue down the road.

The main thing to consider here is to take control of your Shiba before they even become aggressive.

For example, if you have visitors at home, have your Shiba on a leash. Ask them to sit first and keep them away from your visitors.

During this, you should tell your visitors to pay no attention to your Shiba as well. This will help diffuse their aggression even more.

Once they are calm, only then can you give them a treat. You are rewarding them for behaving. And with more repetitions of this, your smart Shiba will know what to do next time you have visitors.

Conflict Aggression

This issue stems from a lack of early socialization. In certain social situations, your Shiba Inu may feel stressed or threatened. This can be due to another dog charging at them or getting pawed by another pet.

Your Shiba Inu will then resort to aggression to put a stop to these. But you can teach your Shiba how to behave around other dogs. Remember, your buddy’s personality will also depend on your training.

To correct this, have your Shiba Inu on a shorter leash. This will give you more control over them when they act up.

Then take them out on a walk to give them a chance to meet other dogs. Start by passing by other dogs first. Then you can take a small step forward by having your Shiba Inu near them.

Whenever your Shiba remains calm, shower them with praise and give them treats. This will teach them that staying calm in the presence of another dog is what you want to see.

If your Shiba begins to growl, separate the two dogs and take a time-out. Once your Shiba is calm, you can try this again.

Keep practicing this from a distance first. Once you are confident in your Shiba, have them meet another dog face-to-face. Do this for only a few seconds and then walk away.

In time, your Shiba Inu can tolerate being close to a dog for longer periods.

Why Is My Shiba Inu So Destructive?

If your Shiba Inu is still a young pup, their destructive behavior is most likely due to teething. This is a painful and uncomfortable process that they have to go through. Their aching gums may only find relief in chewing on something even if they destroy your shoe.

But if your Shiba Inu is through with this stage, then you have several other culprits to consider. This can be a sign of stress, anxiety, boredom, and many more.

Nobody likes a destructive dog in their home. But for you to put a stop to this, you first need to figure out the cause.

With this, here are the possible causes of your Shiba Inu’s destructive behavior.


This breed is energetic and playful and so they need a lot of daily exercise to be happy. But if they do not get this, they will look for other ways to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, boredom often leads to destructive habits in this breed.

They may dig random holes in your yard, chew on your furniture, and more. Since they do not have anything to do, they will make do with what they have in your home.

So if you want to stop this, you need to maintain a daily exercise routine for your Shiba. And if you need to be out for work, your Shiba can still have fun on their own. All they need for you to do is to provide them with a variety of toys and they can handle the rest.

Anxiety or Stress

Dogs have unusual ways to cope with the negative emotions that they feel. When anxious or stressed, they can resort to excessive and destructive behaviors. This is their attempt to distract them from how they feel at the moment.

This may be a response to something scary in their environment, such as fireworks. Or, it can be that your Shiba Inu has separation anxiety. The latter is not common in this breed, but it can still happen.

Excess Energy

Pent-up energy is the root cause of a lot of destructive habits in dogs. Because they have so much leftover energy, they will look for ways to release this. Oftentimes, they choose unhealthy habits to channel their energy, such as excessive digging.


Your Shiba Inu is a naturally curious dog, always wanting to explore and have fun. This is why they can be nosy sometimes because they want to get involved in what you are doing.

But their curious mind can get the best of them sometimes. They may take interest in items that they should not, such as your curtains. Their inspection of an item may lead to its destruction, unfortunately.


Your Shiba Inu is a dog with a bold, fiery personality. This strong-willed breed will do what they want, even without your permission. But if they cannot do this, they will show their frustration.

This can happen when they want to go outside, but you do not allow them to. Or they may want to play with a dog they meet on the streets, but they are on a leash.

These will push your Shiba to channel out their frustrations on items. They will scratch your floor, tear anything up, destroy their toys, and more. When a Shiba Inu throws a tantrum, you can expect them to be thorough about it.

Why Do Shiba Inu Get Mean?

The Shiba Inu can show their mean side when provoked, and they have quite an impatient side to them. There are several possible causes for their meanness, some of which are:

  • Harsh punishments
  • Resource guarding
  • Fear, anxiety, or stress
  • Excessive handling
  • Frustration

Your Shiba Inu should not be mean, as this is one form of aggression. Thus, common forms of aggression in dogs may also be the culprit. This includes the following:

  • Conflict aggression
  • Possessive aggression
  • Barrier frustration
  • Redirected aggression
  • Status-related aggression

The commonality of all these issues is a lack of training and socialization. Keep in mind that the Shiba Inu is a basal dog breed. They are not well-domesticated like other breeds, so you need to train them more than other dogs.

Slacking off on their socialization and training can make them mean dogs. They will act on their primal instincts, which may include aggressive tendencies.

Are Shiba Inu Crazy?

The Shiba Inu is definitely a weird dog breed, and others may regard them as crazy furry beings. They are like a cat, stuck in the body of a dog who looks like a fox. Their independence is central to what makes them crazy, and it brings out the quirks of the breed.

Your Shiba Inu will do the most unusual of things, but these make them quite an entertaining dog to watch.

They will dig a hole and see if they can fit their head in it. They will chase their tail in circles, without feeling tired. They are big drama queens, giving the Husky a run for their money with their vocalizations.

Try to search for some videos on this breed on the internet, and you will see why they are weird dogs. A lot of their antics even have names now such as the following:

  • Shiba shake
  • Shiba scream
  • Shiba zoomies
  • Shiba stare

As you can see, the Shiba Inu is a crazy dog in the most delightful way possible. If you have one by your side, you will never see a dull day in your life again.

Are Shiba Inu Dangerous?

A Shiba Inu can be dangerous if they had the wrong upbringing or when something provokes them. Keep in mind that this breed is a hunting dog, so there is still some aggression in their genes. So there is a crucial need for proper training, socialization, and care for this breed.

Other than that, they are also a basal breed of dogs. Their genetics are much more closely linked to wolves than other breeds. With this, their canine primal instinct is much stronger, and you need to suppress this.

So if you do not make an effort in their upbringing, your Shiba Inu will act on their instincts. That means that they may misbehave, become aggressive, and be rowdy. This is because they do not know how to act otherwise.

In certain situations, they can be ferocious dogs. This can be due to fear, such as when they are being punished. Or when your Shiba senses that their food resources are being threatened.

The good news is that their personality and behavior are malleable. This is especially true while your Shiba Inu is still a young puppy.

A properly bred, trained, and socialized Shiba should not be dangerous. They should be polite with other people, even strangers, and dogs. They should not react with aggression when fearful, stressed, and more.

But even with the right upbringing, your Shiba may still be dangerous when they sense danger. This is a fiercely loyal dog who loves its family so much, putting them at the center of their lives.

So if your Shiba senses that you are in danger, or if something is wrong, they switch to fight mode. They may be small, but they will not hesitate to use all their might for their family.

A Shiba Inu can be very dangerous if anything or anyone dares to threaten their loved ones.