This breed has a big personality despite its small frame. More often than not, Shiba Inu have a dominant personality. And this makes it hard for them to make friends with other animals.
But the good news is that they are intelligent dogs. You can teach them how to interact with others, whether it be a dog, a cat, or other smaller animals. This may take time due to their stubborn nature, but this is not impossible.
Of course, you have to go through a lot of steps to achieve this. So if you want a peaceful multi-dog household, this article will help you achieve that.
Do Shiba Inu Like to Be With Other Dogs?
Being such a dominant character, Shiba Inu generally do not do well with other dogs. But they can be best friends with other dogs only if you put in the effort.
You cannot expect your Shiba Inu to know how to interact with other dogs right off the bat. As a young puppy, you need to teach them good manners when meeting another dog. Only then can they genuinely like being with other canine friends.
If you skip this crucial step, your Shiba Inu will follow their instincts. They will try to dominate other dogs, no matter their breed or size. And especially if they are with dogs of the same gender.
This is not a submissive breed, and they do not like having another dog bossing them around. They will bully other dogs into submission if they can get away with it. It does not matter to them if they are facing a much larger dog.
And this is more of an issue if your Shiba Inu faces an unfamiliar face. They do not like strangers, whether dogs or people. So your Shiba Inu may become aggressive to keep them away.
With this, Shiba Inu will get along much better with other submissive dogs and even cats. If every other dog in the household agrees that the Shiba Inu is the boss, they can live in peace.
But keep in mind that these are only sweeping generalizations. Every dog has a different upbringing and personality.
A Shiba Inu who underwent proper socialization at a young age will do better with other dogs. So will a Shiba Inu who is social and accepts other dogs right away.
But even with this, your Shiba Inu will have a preference. Some may like to play with larger dogs, while others go with smaller dogs. Thus, it will also depend on whom they are interacting with.
Generally, Shiba Inu do not like other dog breeds who are overly friendly. If any dog always gets in your furry friend’s face, they will get annoyed. So the other dog must also respect their space.
Can Male and Female Shiba Inu Live Together?
If you want two dogs of this lovely breed, then a male and female is the best combination as they often get along well. Both dogs can be the alpha, and the only thing that differs is their gender. So this will help them decide on a pack order that they are comfortable with.
But keep in mind that this is only a blanket statement. It will still depend on how you socialize these dogs together. All this will tell you is that a male and female combo will give you a good start to a multi-dog household.
Other than that, there are also factors to consider such as their age, health, and history.
If you have an older and younger Shiba Inu together, the latter may get annoyed a lot. Young puppies have such high energy levels, and all they want to do is play, especially with males. So even if your older Shiba Inu wants to rest, the young one may bug him to play a lot.
Your existing Shiba Inu’s health is also a big factor in this. If they are suffering from any medical condition, they may not want a furry sibling. This can be due to various factors, such as being unable to play a ton due to chronic pain.
Other than that, if you are rescuing a Shiba Inu, you should also think about their history. Most rescues have a rough past, and part of that may be bad encounters with other dogs. Thus, it is better if they live alone.
Will Two Female Shiba Inu Get Along?
Two female Shiba Inu can get along, but this can be a deadly pair if you do not do the work. And there are many ways in which having this pair can lead to vicious squabbles. Fighting for dominance is not only observed between two male dogs but also between two females.
If you have this pair in your home, your two lovely Shiba Inu will fight to be the alpha female. Dogs, no matter their breed or gender, will always establish the pack order in your home. And their decision process can be violent and nasty.
When two male dogs fight, they will stop when one already gets hurt. But when two female dogs fight, they do so to end things once and for all, and you can expect a bloodbath. This can lead to getting severe injuries or even death.
And the most violent fights that occur between two females are when one or two of them are pregnant or in heat. Their hormones change during these, and this is what drives them to become more dominant.
You may think that getting two female Shiba Inu puppies will help in curbing this issue. After all, they play around and grow up together, so they will like each other, right? Unfortunately, this will not assure you that they will have a good relationship in the future.
As they grow older they will vie to be the top female of the pack. There are two points in their lifetime at which their relationship will get rocky.
One is once they reach sexual maturity, at around 6 to 9 months of age. The other is during their social maturity stage, occurring between 1 to 3 years of age. They will have changes in hormones and social status at these stages, so you can expect some fights.
But keep in mind that two female Shiba Inu can get along and like each other.
One thing to consider is timing. You should get another female Shiba Inu once the other is already an adult. This will establish the older one as the alpha, and they can also teach the young one manners.
Age is also a factor, and this ties in with the mating process. Two females of the same age may consider each other as mating competition. Thus, nasty fights will occur especially if both are in heat.
Last but not the least, consider spaying both females. Hormonal fluctuations will get lessened this way. Thus, there will be fewer fights over dominance.
Do Male Shiba Inu Get Along?
Like females, it takes a lot of work for two male Shiba Inu to get along. This is a bigger issue because the males of this breed are naturally territorial. They are also more prone to aggression directed at other dogs, especially if they are intact.
The fight for dominance still plays a huge role in their relationship. Your male Shiba Inu duo will determine who gets to be at the top of the pack order. And for them to do so, they must fight to prove their worth.
Unfortunately, these fights can end up with a change in personalities. One Shiba Inu may end up too dominant. While the other can be extremely submissive.
This is why you should take proper steps in introducing your two boys. And one great way to do this is to wait until your existing Shiba Inu is an adult. Then, you can introduce a new Shiba Inu puppy into your household.
A puppy will not be too intimidating for your resident Shiba Inu. They may get along and the latter can show your new pup the ropes. In a way, your older Shiba Inu is helping you train the new addition to your family.
But keep in mind that as your puppy grows older, conflict may arise. This may start once your Shiba Inu puppy reaches sexual maturity. At this stage, their testosterone peaks and this pushes them to become dominant.
So your younger Shiba Inu may decide that it is time for a change in the pack order. They may continue to do so until they agree on this.
Other than dominance, your two male Shiba Inu may also fight due to their territorial nature. They may guard their food and toys, and they may even fight over you. So make sure you have some order in place to lessen the conflict.
Other than their gender, other factors influence how they may get along. This includes the following:
- Training: Your existing Shiba Inu should already be obedience trained. And they must respect you and follow your commands without issues.
- Personality: Not all dogs want to be with other dogs, and your Shiba Inu may be one of these. They may fight the new pup because they do not want another canine in your home.
- Health Issues: An ill dog will not have enough energy to keep up with a playful pup. The younger one may get to your older buddy’s nerves, resulting in a fight. The same can happen if your Shiba Inu is already a senior.
What Dogs Get Along Well With Shiba Inu?
One of the dog breeds that go well with Shiba Inu is the Golden Retriever. This comes as no surprise as the latter are friendly, fun, and even-tempered dogs. And your Shiba Inu will not have trouble playing rough with them because of their size.
Many other dog breeds may get along with your Shiba Inu well. They come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. So you are bound to find a new friend for your buddy!
But before you do get one, there is one crucial factor to consider. You must first determine whether your Shiba Inu is dominant or submissive. And when getting a new dog, make sure that they are the opposite.
Two dominant dogs will only end up fighting to be the top dog. Two submissive dogs will do well together, but this is not the best for their emotional health. One has to be dominant for there to be a pack order, and this will make your pooch happy.
Shiba Inu are usually dominant, though. So take a look at submissive dogs first!
Now that you know how to look for the best bud for your Shiba Inu, here are dog breeds that are likely to be their friends.
- Labrador Retriever
- Shih Tzu
- French Bulldog
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Bearded Collie
- Basset Hound
Like Shiba Inu, Beagles are also hunting dogs who are friendly and sweet-natured. These two will have fun playing outdoors, and both make good watchdogs.
But because you now have two hunting dogs with high prey drives, there is more on your plate. They will have fun together, but they can be a handful for you. So make sure you train both dogs well.
Like Golden Retrievers, these dogs are also known for their friendliness. Labrador Retrievers are energetic and love to have fun, a great match for your Shiba Inu. Both can have a blast while exercising each other, but the Shiba Inu may get tired faster.
Shih Tzus are fun-loving fluff balls, like your Shiba Inu. So your Shiba Inu will find a playmate to spend time with in this breed.
But Shih Tzus do need proper training, as they can get mischievous. They may encourage your Shiba Inu to do the same. And Shiba Inu are often destructive chewers themselves.
Clownish and always playful, Frenchies are also a great companion for Shiba Inu. Both have their quirks, but it can be entertaining to see their interactions. Frenchies are one of the friendliest dog breeds you can find.
The issue with this duo is that Frenchies can be too friendly for your Shiba Inu. The former does not have a good grasp of personal space, something that may annoy your Shiba Inu.
These are one of the friendliest dogs right off the bat. They are a natural when it comes to forming a good bond with other dogs. Cheery and sweet, Havanese can compliment your Shiba Inu well.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Shiba Inu and Pembroke Welsh Corgi may get along because they are alike in many ways. One thing they have in common is their love for their family. And both are great watchdogs, alerting you whenever they sense danger.
Rottweilers are big and powerful dogs, and they can be intimidating. But deep inside, they are sweet and gentle dogs, and they can be very nurturing. Your Shiba Inu will not mind that the Rottweiler is much larger than them.
Pugs look cute and sweet, and this is a reflection of their personality. These dogs are calm, and they can form a good bond with Shiba Inu. Despite their size, Pugs are playful dogs that will want to have fun with any dog.
These working dogs are also independent like your Shiba Inu. They can be great together because Bearded Collies are calm. They will not be too playful around your Shiba Inu and this makes them less annoying to your buddy.
These dogs have an excellent ability to remain calm, no matter the situation. They can be the perfect nonchalance to balance your energetic Shiba Inu. Basset Hounds are also quite friendly to other dogs as well.
Is It Better to Have Two Shiba Inu?
Most Shiba Inu owners agree that this dog is better in pairs. Two Shiba Inu have the same quirks, thus, they understand each other better. They know what to do to keep the peace at home and they will respect each other.
And being in a pair, these two will never get bored. They are a source of each other’s entertainment while you are away. Your two Shiba Inu will also exercise each other, managing each other’s energy levels.
But for this Shiba Inu duo to be possible, you must not get two puppies at the same time. Can you imagine taking care of two growing and hyper Shiba Inu puppies at once? This can be a nightmare for any dog owner, as this breed is not easy to have.
Other than that, you need to give them time to develop their personalities. As puppies, all is well and they will enjoy each other’s company and play around. But as they get older and go through hormonal changes, this may also change.
Both of them may grow up to be dominant dogs, and as you know, this is a big issue to have. This is especially if you keep both intact, even more if they are of the same gender.
So get one Shiba Inu first, let them mature, and determine if they are dominant or submissive. Then you can get a Shiba Inu puppy who is the opposite to compliment your existing furry friend.
Other than that, there are a couple of reasons why you should not get two Shiba Inu puppies at the same time. This includes the following:
- Two pups are very expensive, especially during their first year
- More furniture destruction
- Double trouble if the pups get bored
- More expenses for puppy classes
- Trickier training sessions
- Risk of regression of proper manners
Why Does My Shiba Inu Not Like Other Dogs?
A reason why your Shiba Inu may not like another dog is that the latter has a dominant personality. This breed is often dominant, and they like it to stay that way. So they clash with another dominant dog because they want to stay on top of the pack order.
But this reason is not applicable all the time, and it will still depend on the situation. It can be scary if your Shiba Inu picks a fight with others, especially when out in public. Thus, you should figure out the root of the behavior to correct it.
With this, here are all the other possible reasons why your Shiba Inu does not like other dogs.
- Lack of Socialization
- Protecting You
- Same Gender
- Health Issues
Lack of Socialization
At a young age, your Shiba Inu must learn proper manners when interacting with other dogs. But this can only happen through proper socialization.
By doing so, your Shiba Inu will learn how to act around other dogs. They will know what their limits are, especially during play. This will also make them less fearful of other dogs, and fear can bring out their aggression.
Improper socialization can also occur if they got separated from their family early. Their mother and littermates are their first teachers. And if you take them younger than 6 to 8 weeks old, this can negatively impact their social skills.
Fear is the most common reason why dogs get aggressive. You can tell if this is the case with your Shiba Inu if you see these signs:
- Lip licking
- Flat ears
- Tucked tail
And this only shows up at the sight of other dogs. There are many reasons why your buddy is fearful of other dogs. This includes a traumatic experience with one in the past.
If you see those signs, it is best to distract your Shiba Inu and walk away from the situation.
Keep in mind that Shiba Inu are loyal dogs, and they can be very protective over their loved ones. They are also territorial and they may see you are being part of their territory. So when other dogs come near you, they can resort to resource guarding.
This is an ancestral trait that lives on in domestic dogs today. In the past, they did what they can to protect their resources for survival. And this is a remnant of that trait.
Dogs, no matter the breed, will often dislike other dogs of the same gender. This is normal, as they will want to decide what the order of the pack is. And for them to figure this out, they will fight to see who gets to be the top dog.
While you may see this often in male dogs, female dogs can also exhibit this behavior. And fights between two females are more vicious, none of them will stop until they shed blood. Unfortunately, this may lead to death.
Some dogs are just not dog friendly, no matter what their breed is. They like being the lone dog because no other dog will be there to bother them.
This is common if your Shiba Inu faces another dog that is too friendly. These types of dogs often get on the nerves of a Shiba Inu. This is because friendlier dogs often do not respect your buddy’s love for personal space.
Dogs have an acute sense of smell, as you know. And while you may not find anything wrong with another dog’s smell, your Shiba Inu may.
Your furry friend has a complex sense of smell. So they can also tell if another dog is aggressive, happy, and more, by smelling them. Other than that, they can also smell if another dog is not friendly or dominant without going near them. So if your Shiba Inu does not like another dog’s smell, it is not because they find the other funky.
If your Shiba Inu is suddenly aggressive toward other dogs, this may be the cause. Any abrupt changes in their behavior are always a cause of concern. And the first thing you should do is rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Pain and discomfort can also bring out aggression in your Shiba Inu. If they are sick, they may avoid playing with other dogs to prevent any pain.
Thus, they will keep away other dogs asking your buddy to play by growling or snapping at them. This can happen even to other dogs that are already their friends.
If your buddy’s physical health is okay, then look into psychological causes. So you must work together with your vet to pinpoint the exact cause.
How Do You Introduce a New Shiba Inu?
To introduce your new Shiba Inu to your existing dog, they first need to get familiar with one another. First impressions are crucial here, so you need to get everything right.
If you do not know how to start with this, do not worry. Below are some steps you can follow to introduce your two dogs to one another.
- Step 1: Meet at a neutral area
- Step 2: Keep an eye on their body language
- Step 3: Bring them closer
- Step 4: Walk together
- Step 5: Allow off-leash interactions
Step 1: Meet at a Neutral Area
Never let your two dogs meet at home, as your existing dog may get territorial. And if this happens, your buddy may become aggressive.
So choose a public place to introduce your two dogs first. This can be at a park or even a calm area of the neighborhood. Make sure there are little to no distractions around, such as other dogs playing around.
Now have your two dogs on a leash, and ask someone else to handle your new Shiba Inu. And make sure they know how to read a dog’s body language. This way, they can walk away with the dog if the situation escalates.
Make sure there is a good distance between the two dogs—close enough for them to see each other, but far enough for their comfort.
Step 2: Keep an Eye on Their Body Language
Make sure both dogs exhibit happy or calm body language. If their tails are wagging, then that is a good sign!
But if even one of them seems unhappy, give them more time to look at one another. Hard stares, tucked tails, and flat ears are some signs to watch out for.
If your Shiba Inu is trying to get away, let them do so. Do not bring them back as they need a break from the introduction.
Step 3: Bring Them Closer
Once both dogs are calm enough, you can bring them closer to one another. Have your friend walk toward you and your furry friend. But do not let them walk directly in front of you, have them walk to your side. By doing so, you are lessening the chances of your Shiba Inu becoming aggressive.
As your friend walks near you with the new dog, keep giving your furry friend treats. This will help them form a positive association with the new dog.
If your pooch shows aggression as the other dog nears, separate the two. Have your friend walk away and take a break. Then you can try this again later.
Step 4: Walk Together
If neither of the dogs misbehaves, you can now take them on a walk together. Have them walk parallel to one another.
They should be far enough so that they do not fixate on one another. But close enough that they can be aware of the other’s presence.
Walk in the same direction at all times with some distance between them. After a while, switch places with the other duo so that they can smell where the other dog walked.
Allow them to sniff each other if they want to. And if one of them poops or pees, have the other scent those too.
Whenever they smell each other or interact with each other calmly, give them treats. This will further make the experience positive for them. Thus, making them accept one another more.
Step 5: Allow Off-Leash Interactions
Only proceed with this if you are comfortable that both dogs are calm with one another. Move to an enclosed area, such as a backyard. Then while on a leash, have the dogs sniff each other out while giving them praise and treats.
Continue to walk them parallel to one another one last time. After a while, take off their leash. They may continue to smell each other and allow them to do so.
They may begin to play at this point. You can tell if it is a friendly interaction if you see the dog bow, which is an invitation to play. This is when a dog puts their elbows down on the ground while holding its rear up in the air.
Make sure you keep an eye on them during their interaction. Watch out for their body language, and separate them if anything arises.
How Do You Introduce a Shiba Inu to a Puppy?
There are several steps you need to go through to introduce your Shiba Inu to a new puppy. This introduction is different from introducing two adults. You need to consider the fact that puppies still cannot go out in public.
So if you are unsure about how to do this, below is a step-by-step process that you can follow.
- Step 1: Get the puppy comfortable in their new home
- Step 2: Alternate their places
- Step 3: Continue your activities
- Step 4: Make the switch again
- Step 5: Introduce them in a neutral place
Step 1: Get the Puppy Comfortable in Their New Home
Move your Shiba Inu to a different room first to separate them from the pup. Now have your puppy explore your home as much as they like. This will let them get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of their new home.
While this is going on, your Shiba Inu can already smell the new puppy. This allows them to get used to their new sibling’s scent, without spooking them out too much.
Have your new puppy go to the door of the room your Shiba Inu is staying in. They can sniff each other out through the crack of the door while staying safe.
Step 2: Alternate Their Places
Now you can switch your two dog’s places. Have your new puppy stay in the room your Shiba Inu stayed in. And let your Shiba Inu out to explore your home.
Both will pick up on each other’s scent. Have them sniff the beds the others stayed in, the toys they used, and even the blanket that they sleep with. By doing so, you are getting them accustomed to the other’s scent.
Step 3: Continue Your Activities
Proceed with your Shiba Inu’s daily routine. Take them out for a walk, play with them, give them their meals, and more. This will reassure them that not much will change with their home life, even if there is a new pup in the house.
Remember to give them love and affection too. Your puppy is not the only dog who is undergoing this transition. So make sure to do these to help your resident Shiba Inu feel at ease.
Step 4: Make the Switch Again
Continue by taking your Shiba Inu to their room again and doing some activities with your new pup. Play with your pup, take them out to your yard, and keep them company. This will further help each other get familiar with the other’s smell.
Keep swapping their places after every half hour or so. And encourage the dogs to play with the other’s toys or go through their stuff. You are helping them form a positive association with the other’s scent this way.
This may take you a few days, so do not rush anything. The more they are familiar with one another, the better their interaction will be.
Step 5: Introduce Them in a Neutral Place
After a few days, you can now have both dogs meet face-to-face. Have them on a leash and take both dogs out to a yard. A neutral area like this will prevent one of them from getting territorial.
Make sure you have someone to help you handle your new puppy on a leash too. Keep them near one another so they can get a whiff of each other’s smell. But keep a good distance between them still.
Now walk both dogs toward one another, giving them treats as they near each other. This drives their focus onto their handlers so they will not fixate on the other dog. This will also make the experience positive for them.
If one has unhappy body language, walk away and take a break. After some time, you can try again.
You will get to a point where they are already in front of each other. Allow both dogs to sniff each other, especially in the rear area. This contains their anal sac, and it produces a scent unique to the dog.
They will continue to do this until they can relax in the presence of the other. If you see wagging tails and a play bow, it is time for some fun! Make sure you supervise their interactions at all times.
How Are Shiba Inu With Cats?
Shiba Inu can live with cats in peace, but this can be a challenging feat. Remember that Shiba Inu are hunting dogs for small prey. So seeing a cat around the home can activate their prey drive.
Another thing to consider is the canine and the feline’s personality. Shiba Inu are often dominant, and they may clash with a cat who has the same personality. But if you have a submissive cat, it will further trigger your pooch’s high prey drive. In both scenarios, none of them will live in a happy home.
Other than that, your cat’s smell could be too strong for your Shiba Inu. As you know, a cat’s pee smells of strong ammonia. Because your Shiba Inu has a strong nose, they may not like this. This is an uncomfortable situation for your Shiba Inu. Especially if your cat does not cover their pee right.
But having a multi-pet household is not impossible. As long as you socialize both pets, then they can learn to respect and even like one another.
How to Introduce a Kitten to a Shiba Inu
To introduce your new kitten to your Shiba Inu, you need to get them familiar with the other’s scent. This must be a slow and gradual process, and it will take time. Thus, you have to keep the two separate in your home first.
There are steps that you need to follow for a proper introduction. And if you are not sure where to start, below is a guide that you can follow.
- Step 1: Provide your new kitten with a room
- Step 2: Have some barriers in place
- Step 3: Give them the other’s belongings
- Step 4: Test your pooch’s obedience
- Step 5: Arrange a meeting place
- Step 6: Supervise their interactions
Step 1: Provide Your New Kitten With a Room
Your kitty must have a place to call its own as it gets used to its new home. So pick a small room in your home and have your kitten stay there for the next few days. Ensure all their necessities are there, such as their food, water bowl, and litterbox.
Have your Shiba Inu go to the door of the room your kitty is staying in. And let them smell your new kitten through the crack of the door. This will help your Shiba Inu get used to the smell of their new feline friend.
Step 2: Have Some Barriers in Place
Make sure you set up a baby gate in the kitten’s room. This gate should not have any gaps large enough for your kitty to slip through.
This will keep your Shiba Inu and kitten separate from one another. Your new kitty has their own space, while your Shiba Inu has free roam of the home.
Baby gates are useful to keep your kitten safe when you cannot supervise them. This will also allow them to keep sniffing each other through the cracks.
Step 3: Give Them the Other’s Belongings
To further get them used to each other, make sure you switch up their toys from time to time. Give your kitten your pooch’s toys and vice versa. Take the time to play with them using these toys as well.
With this, they will associate the other’s smell with something positive. In this case, your Shiba Inu will think of playtime whenever they get a whiff of the kitten’s smell.
Step 4: Test Your Pooch’s Obedience
Make sure that you go through a refresher with your Shiba Inu. They should still know and follow their commands, even if they only have a grasp of the basic ones.
This will help prepare them once they meet the new kitten in the flesh. You have control over your Shiba Inu this way so you can protect your fragile kitty.
Whenever they get too excited, make your Shiba Inu lie down. This gives you enough time to pick your kitty up and bring them to safety.
Step 5: Arrange a Meeting Place
Clear out an area of your home, because now, your Shiba Inu and kitten can meet. Have your kitten in their crate and bring them out for your Shiba Inu to meet. Your Shiba Inu will get curious and come near the crate.
Allow your Shiba Inu to sniff the kitty, and let your kitty do the same. If your Shiba Inu begins to growl or get aggressive, stop the interaction and separate them. Go back to the steps above, and wait for a few more days.
But if all goes well, play with your Shiba Inu while the kitten is in its crate. This will divert their attention away from the cat, which can be useful if things escalate. This will also help them get used to each other’s presence.
After a while, have your Shiba Inu on their leash and take the kitten out. It is best if you have someone with you to hold the new kitty.
Hold the kitten in hand and have your Shiba Inu smell them. Again, if things go out of hand, distract your Shiba Inu in place.
If both are calm, try playing with the kitten. Your Shiba Inu will watch and learn that their new feline friend is not a threat to you or the household. After a while, begin to play with both the kitty and your Shiba Inu.
Step 6: Supervise Their Interactions
Now that both of them know that neither is a threat, have them interact with one another. Remember to keep your Shiba Inu on a leash at all times. And you should always provide your kitten somewhere to run off to.
If you notice that your Shiba Inu is getting too excited, make use of your commands. Have them lie down and wait until they are calm. Give them a treat for listening to you too.
Keep doing these controlled interactions for a few days and do not rush anything. In time, your Shiba Inu and kitten will get along well.
But again, always make sure the latter has somewhere to retreat to. They must have a place to go where your Shiba Inu cannot reach them. This will help in keeping the peace at home.
Are Shiba Inu Good With Small Animals?
Because your Shiba Inu may perceive small animals as prey, they may not be good with them. Keep in mind that this breed was originally a hunting dog for small game. With this, they will chase around a poor small animal in your home.
But they can get along with small critters. With proper introduction and socialization, you can make this happen. It will take time though, and this is not an easy task.
You need to put in a lot of work to override their strong hunting instincts. And obedience training will help you a lot with this.
How Do You Introduce a Shiba Inu to a Rabbit?
Introducing your Shiba Inu to a rabbit starts with having them meet at a neutral place. Your rabbit should be in a safe enclosure where they can feel safe too. But because of your buddy’s prey drive, there are many other steps you need to follow.
It can be tough to begin this, as you may not know where to start. If you are feeling a bit lost, you can follow the step-by-step introduction guide below.
- Step 1: Look for a neutral area
- Step 2: Keep the rabbit in an enclosure
- Step 3: Have them interact
- Step 4: Interaction without a barrier
Step 1: Look for a Neutral Area
Choose an area of your home where your Shiba Inu does not frequently stay in. This will prevent them from getting territorial, which is normal for any dog breed. Make sure you can control the area too, and keep it calm and quiet.
Step 2: Keep the Rabbit in an Enclosure
Your rabbit should be in a cage so that your Shiba Inu cannot get to them. This way, you are keeping them away from harm.
Step 3: Have Them Interact
Have your Shiba Inu on a leash. Allow your Shiba Inu to come up to the cage and have both animals sniff each other. The rabbit will also get curious and go near your Shiba Inu to smell them.
Never allow your Shiba Inu to bark, whine, or utter anything else. If he does, you must stop them right away. And if this persists, take your Shiba Inu away from the crate.
Keep practicing this until your Shiba Inu learns not to bark. And for your buddy to learn this, give them a treat whenever they stay calm near the cage.
Once your Shiba Inu understands this, they will stay calm and quiet near the cage. They will only watch and sniff the rabbit. You can only proceed to the next step if your Shiba Inu does this reliably.
Step 4: Interaction Without a Barrier
While your Shiba Inu is on a short leash, sit on the floor next to the cage. Have your pooch beside you while they are lying down on their side. This is a submissive position for your buddy.
Your Shiba Inu should remain this way at all times. This signals to the rabbit that your Shiba Inu is not a threat. But it also teaches your Shiba Inu that they are not dominant over the rabbit.
Now open the cage door and have your rabbit do what it wants. If it wants to come out, let them do so. If it stays in the cage, then do not force them out.
Your bunny may go near your Shiba Inu if it does decide to come out. They may sniff your Shiba Inu, and this is what you want to see. Your goal here is for the rabbit to feel safe.
Remember that your Shiba Inu should remain in a submissive position throughout. Reward your Shiba Inu for doing this and remaining calm at all times. Keep practicing this for a few days until you are confident in your Shiba Inu.
In time, you can have them interact more freely and you can even take off the leash. Your Shiba Inu should always lie down in the presence of the bunny. So make sure to supervise all their interactions.
Also, you should never trust them to interact without your presence. You will never know when your Shiba Inu goes into hunting mode.