Being one of the hardest dog breeds to train, you need a lot of patience in training a Shiba Inu. Other than their stubborn streak, they also have a strong prey drive and will chase small animals. They also have a bold personality and will refuse to do anything that does not interest them.
It can even take a lot to get their full attention onto you. But if you know how to handle them, successfully training a Shiba Inu can be so gratifying. And your buddy’s success all boils down to your method, consistency, and motivation.
This is a finicky breed when it comes to interactions with their owners. So a solid understanding of how to work with their quirks will come a long way.
Are Shiba Inu Smart or Dumb?
Shiba Inu is a clever and cunning dog breed that can and will outsmart you. But if you take a look at dog intelligence rankings, this breed has average intelligence. They are smarter than what the list shows them to be, and you may be wondering why this is.
To understand how Stanley Coren came to this conclusion, you must know how he conducted his research. Coren has two criteria to assess a dog’s intelligence:
- How many repetitions a dog needs to learn a new command
- Their success rate at obeying a known command on the first attempt
The most intelligent dog breeds learn a new command with under 5 repetitions. They are also obedient, with a success rate of 95 percent or higher when carrying out a command on the first try.
Meanwhile, Shiba Inu did not do as well as these top dogs. This breed learned a new command with about 25 to 40 repetitions. Their obedience is not as great, with only a 50 percent or higher success rate at obeying a command on the first try.
They did well, though, but not to the level that the smartest dog breeds did. But keep in mind that there is no standardized test for a dog’s intelligence. Each dog was bred for a different purpose, and these tests do not take that into account.
For example, working dogs needed to be smart and obedient to carry out their owner’s commands. But Shiba Inu are hunting dogs, bred to be independent. This breed can think for themselves and do what they feel is necessary for them.
So what sets the Shiba Inu apart from the most intelligent dog breeds is their independence. When a Shiba Inu does not want to listen to you, they will ignore your command most of the time. And if they want to do something, they will do it even if they are going against your will.
This does not make the Shiba Inu any less intelligent. But what this tells you is that they are quite a stubborn breed, despite their wits. They are also known to challenge their owners and test their boundaries.
So your Shiba Inu knows what you are saying and what you want them to do. They just do not want to follow you all the time.
Why Is My Shiba Inu So Dumb?
Shiba Inu is not a dumb dog breed and they are quite the opposite. They are intelligent dogs, and they only seem dumb because they are quite stubborn. So this does not mean that your Shiba Inu does not understand you, but they often choose to ignore you.
This may be why you think that your Shiba Inu is dumb. Sometimes, even if you bribe them with treats, they will walk away if they are not interested. They do not have the best obedience, and this is part of their nature.
Unfortunately, this quality of theirs is what makes them notoriously hard to train. This is true even for experienced dog owners.
But keep in mind that you should never use the ease of training to gauge your buddy’s intelligence. Instead, you will need to change your outlook on handling your Shiba Inu.
Training one takes a lot of time and patience. Remember to use high-value treats to get them to listen to you. And if they are not interested, respect their decision and try again some other time.
Your Shiba Inu needs a firm yet gentle owner, otherwise, they will act out and disregard you even more. So you must gain their trust first and then go from there. If you still have trouble training them, you can always seek the help of a dog expert.
Are Shiba Inu Disobedient?
Because they are naturally dominant, Shiba Inu can be disobedient at times. They get confused in a household setting. Especially since in a dog-human relationship, the human should be the dominant one.
With this, your Shiba Inu will feel like they have to do things to become the pack leader. There are many behaviors that your buddy can do to express this need. But this can also come out as being disobedient and disruptive.
Other than their dominant personality, Shiba Inu is also strong-willed and a freethinker. They will only do things they want to, and so, they will ignore you if they are not in the mood. Even if your Shiba Inu respects you as the alpha, you will still get some sass from them.
Because of their nature, Shiba Inu are not recommended for first-time dog owners. These dogs are not easy to handle, and they have selective hearing too.
Why Is My Shiba Inu So Stubborn?
Shiba Inu are stubborn by nature, and this breed marches to the beat of its own drum. If they want to do something, they will fixate on it and not give up even if you tell them to. And if they do not want to do something, they will not move a budge even if you force them to.
Stubbornness is one of the traits of the breed that makes them notorious for being hard to handle. It comes as no surprise as this is an independent, active, and headstrong breed. All these combined can make them such stubborn dogs.
But there are other reasons why your Shiba Inu is acting stubborn, such as:
- Improper training
- Lack of motivation
- Pent-up energy
- Fear of you
A stubborn dog is not what anyone wants. So if you want to correct this, you need to learn more about each possible cause in detail.
Shiba Inu may be a stubborn breed, but this is not an excuse to slack off from training them. It is crucial that you establish and enforce rules for them to follow. But sometimes, this is not enough.
Many dog owners teach their dogs what not to do. But they do not teach their furry friends what to do instead. This can make them appear stubborn as they will only follow their instincts and not you.
So training your Shiba Inu does not stop with discouraging their unwanted behaviors. You need to guide them and teach them positive behaviors that you want to see.
For example, if your Shiba Inu barks at the ring of your doorbell, tell them to stop with your quiet command. Go further by asking them to sit or go to a spot when they hear the doorbell ringing.
Make sure to give them tasty treats after following your command. This is a great incentive that encourages them to listen to you. This way, they not only know that barking is not welcome. But they also know how to act in this scenario.
Lack of Motivation
If you are trying to get your Shiba Inu to listen to you with treats, you may be using the wrong one. Unappealing treats do not encourage your furry friend to listen to you. So make sure you use high-value treats during training sessions.
High-value treats are different from regular ones, and they have these characteristics:
- Extra smelly
- Moist or greasy
- Frozen or crumbly in texture
- Something that your Shiba Inu does not get unless you are training them
Another thing to consider is that your Shiba Inu may not be food motivated at all. While this breed often is, your buddy may be one of the rare few.
Instead, your Shiba Inu may find verbal praise and ear scratches more motivating. Or, they may be happier when you give them high-value toys or games as a reward.
With this, play around with different types of rewards and see what your Shiba Inu responds to the most.
Although Shiba Inu are happy to lounge around at home, they do need exercise. This is an active breed that needs both physical and mental exercise to be happy. If they do not get these, their pent-up energy can make them rowdy dogs.
It will be hard to get their attention if they have excess energy in their system. Instead of listening to you, they will run around and do what they can to shed off their energy.
With this, you must make sure that your furry friend gets ample daily exercise.
Sometimes, your Shiba Inu is not the issue, but their environment is. With too many distractions around, your furry friend will get overstimulated. This can make them freeze up and they will not hear anything that you are commanding them to do.
Other than that, consider this breed’s history of hunting too. They have a high prey drive and will likely dash to chase a squirrel they see. Smaller animals that activate the hunter in them are also distractions. And when this happens, your Shiba Inu will work with instinct. They will not listen to you and nor will they back down from the challenge.
Fear of You
How have you been training your Shiba Inu? This is an issue if you use aversive techniques like punishing them or hitting them. This will only push your Shiba Inu to fear you, and they will lose trust in you.
When that happens, they will not respond to what you are saying. And if pushed to be, their fear can also cause them to become aggressive.
So make sure you only train your Shiba Inu using positive reinforcement. This way, you treat them with respect while encouraging their good behavior.
How Do You Train a Stubborn Shiba Inu?
Training a stubborn Shiba Inu varies from how you would train another dog breed. As a Shiba Inu owner, you need to be creative and flexible, and you must know your pooch inside out. This way, you can always adjust your methods to what works best for your furry friend.
But before you can come up with a definite training method, you should start with something. So the list below will help you get started:
- Manage your energy
- Set clear rules
- Focus on socialization
- Make use of passive resistance
Manage Your Energy
Dogs are perceptive creatures, and your buddy is particularly sensitive to your energy. If you are in a bad mood, then your Shiba Inu will pick up on that and mirror how you feel. There are two possible emotions you may feel during training: fear and frustration.
You may feel fear because this breed is mouthy and would bite when they deem necessary. If you grow to be afraid of them, their behavior may get worse. Your Shiba Inu may become rowdy, jump on you, bite your legs, steal items, and more.
You may also feel frustrated because you cannot get complete control of them. This stress can lead you to shout at them or do other harsh punishments. But you are only making them fear you more, and they may act out of aggression as a result.
This is why it is crucial for you to remain calm at all times when interacting with your Shiba Inu. You need to set a good example of how they should control their energy.
Set Clear Rules
Shiba Inu are dominant by nature. And if you do not give them rules to follow, they will come up with their own. So for you to train them, you need to make sure they understand what you expect of them.
For example, your Shiba Inu should never bite anyone. They have sharp and large teeth and may hurt someone, even by accident.
Food aggression and resource guarding should be off the table as well. To do this, you need to make them understand that sharing is a good thing. You can do so by rewarding them and exchanging their items.
For example, if they are playing with a toy, ask for it. In exchange, your Shiba Inu can have the more interesting toy that you are holding.
Never grab the toy away from them by force, as this can make them more possessive. Other than that, your buddy may also lose trust in you.
Another rule that you should enforce is no rough playing. This breed has an extreme way of playing with other dogs, and they will wrestle them whether they are big or small. Your Shiba Inu may end up making enemies, as not all dogs are a fan of this.
Focus on Socialization
Shiba Inu can become aggressive dogs when faced with unfamiliar things. Their aggressive side may also come out if you push them to do things they do not want to. Unfortunately, your Shiba Inu will have times where they have to go out of their comfort zone.
So you need to make their early socialization a priority. This will get them used to various stimuli so they can be confident dogs. They will also learn how to handle situations and interactions with others.
Thus, new experiences can be a positive thing for them, or at least neutral. They will not react out of instinct, and instead, remain calm. With this, you have control over them all the time and they will respond to your commands and training.
Make Use of Passive Resistance
Shiba Inu are mischievous and cunning, and they can misbehave from time to time. When they do, using passive resistance is the best way to keep them in control. With this method, you are engaging in a mental competition with your Shiba Inu instead of a physical one.
To do this, you must figure out what resources your Shiba Inu values the most. It can be their toys, treats, walks, or playtime.
Take walking them outside for example. You call your Shiba Inu to come to the door, expecting them to be ready. But their stubborn streak may come out and they will not listen to you because they want to go out on their own time.
Give them a chance first, counting to three and if your buddy does not come, leave and go about your day. After a while, your Shiba Inu will come to you and beg for you to take them out. But ignore all these.
Take them out again after a while once you are free, following the steps above again. In time, your Shiba Inu will learn that if they want to get their prized resources, they need to stick to your rules.
Are Shiba Inu Easy or Hard to Train?
It is widely accepted that Shiba Inu is one of the hardest dog breeds to train. This is due to their stubbornness and their primitive nature.
A Shiba Inu will do what it wants to do, and they often fixate on anything that they find interesting. Once they set their minds on something, it will be hard to redirect their attention to you. Especially if they are trying to chase and hunt down small animals.
Other than that, Shiba Inu is a basal breed and so they are less domesticated than other dog breeds. They do not know how to act like a pet, and they listen to their strong primal instincts a lot. You will especially have trouble with them if you do not have clear rules in place for them to follow.
It is tough to override these instincts, which is why this breed needs an experienced dog owner.
And because of their primitive nature, Shiba Inu are prone to dog aggression. While other breeds accept canine friends easily, the same does not happen with a Shiba Inu. Thus, socialization is another one of your big priorities when training this breed.
Another thing to consider is that Shiba Inu are naturally dominant. Surrendering is not in their vocabulary, and they will even challenge their owners. Thus, you need to take time in making them understand that you are the alpha of the pack, not them.
Because of these, there is a lot more time, effort, and patience that goes into training a Shiba Inu.
Are Male or Female Shiba Inu Easier to Train?
Generally, male Shiba Inu are easier to train than their female counterparts. Although both are intelligent, they vary slightly in their personalities. This can impact their trainability, so you should consider this.
Male Shiba Inu are easier to handle, making training sessions less challenging. Also, they are more outgoing and playful, so interactions with others will be easier too. They are more eager to please, which can give you more control over them as well.
But a drawback of training a male Shiba Inu is that they are not as smart as females. This could mean that training them will take much longer.
Meanwhile, female Shiba Inu are more stubborn and it can be tough to get them to do something if they do not feel like it. They may also give you some attitude and will not let you boss over them. Other than that, their mood can be unpredictable, especially when they are in heat.
But if you are up for the challenge, female Shiba Inu are often said to be the smarter ones. They learn faster, and as long as you know how to handle them, they will become obedient dogs soon enough.
Female Shiba Inu are also more food-driven, which gives you leverage during training.
But keep in mind that these are all blanket statements that you have to take lightly. Generalizations will help you pick your buddy’s gender, but you should not rely on them. Every dog is different, and these do not apply to all dogs of the breed.
Thus, the most important thing here is to meet the dog and assess its personality. This will help you know what to expect during training before taking them home.
Why Is My Shiba Inu So Difficult to Train?
Shiba Inu are independent, stubborn, primitive dogs, and this is why they are tricky to train. Dogs with these qualities generally are low in trainability, including your furry friend.
This dog is a freethinker, and it will do what they want even if you are against it. The moment they focus on something interesting, they can become obsessed. And because Shiba Inu are not the type to surrender, they will not give up on what they are fixating on no matter what.
The more you try to get their focus on you, the more your buddy will push themselves to investigate. This breed is also known to skip meals and playtime if it means doing something interesting.
Other than that, this confident breed will also challenge your authority. If they feel that you are not good enough to be the leader, they will take charge and make their own rules. They will also fight back if they feel that you are threatening them, and they can be quite scary.
The last thing to note is that they are also quite rebellious dogs. Contrary to what many think, Shiba Inu does enjoy attention from you. But any attention will do for them, even if they are getting on your nerves.
Most dogs only want positive attention from you. But to your Shiba Inu, getting negative attention does not matter to them. Getting the latter is easier for them, and the reactions they get from you are more intense.
If they want to get your attention, they may steal something from you, for example. This leads to a fun game of chase for them, but only one of you is enjoying it.
So although this breed is smart, they have quite a strong and spunky personality. They are not the easiest dogs to train, but this is only part of the package of caring for a Shiba Inu.
What Is the Best Way to Train a Shiba Inu?
The key to training a Shiba Inu is to use positive reinforcement. All dogs respond best to this, but even more for this independent and stubborn breed. What Shiba Inu need is motivational training that uses rewards as incentives.
With other dog breeds, you have more room for mistakes. These dogs can handle your pushiness and will still be okay to proceed with training. But for your Shiba Inu, you do not have this freedom. You have to take careful steps to ensure that you do not turn their mood sour.
As you know, aversive techniques do not work on them. Hitting them and even raising your voice at them is a bad idea.
With harsh training methods, your Shiba Inu will see you as a threat. They may turn against you and become aggressive, fighting you every step of the way. And because of this, you will not see any progress with their training.
Also, this is not a fun way for them to learn. If they feel that the session is boring, they will refuse to do anything for you.
So instead, use positive reinforcement to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction. With this method, you are not punishing them for unwanted behaviors. Instead, you are teaching them behaviors you want to see. You also reward them whenever they do good.
These rewards are crucial for a Shiba Inu for a few reasons. One is that it gives them the incentive to work for their reward. And another is that it makes the training process fun.
This is important for a stubborn breed like them. They are fast learners and they understand what you are trying to get them to do. But without a reward they will ignore you because they have this “what’s in it for me?” mentality.
Other than that, you must understand that Shiba Inu are not eager to please you like other dog breeds. So you need something as leverage to get them to listen to you.
With positive reinforcement, you are treating your Shiba Inu with respect. This will help you become firm yet fair with them, which is what this breed needs from its owner.
How Do You Train a Male Shiba Inu?
To train your Shiba Inu, whether they are male or female, you need to use positive reinforcement. With this method, you reward their good behaviors and ignore their bad ones. These two help your Shiba Inu learn what they should do while being gentle with them.
When your Shiba Inu does something good, reward them right away. But the reward can vary from one Shiba to another. One may be food-motivated, while the other may not. If your Shiba Inu is the latter, then look into verbal praise and playtime as rewards. You can take out a toy and play with them after they do something good.
But when your Shiba Inu misbehaves, you have two options to try. One is disengaging from the activity right away. Another is taking them to a different room for a timeout.
If you choose the former and your buddy misbehaves, say “no”, turn your back on them, and ignore them. This breed may not be needy, but they still want your attention. Thus, this teaches them that if they do something bad, they will not have the chance to have fun.
If you opt for timeouts, you must also say “no” as soon as their bad behavior comes out. Then take them to another room immediately and confine them for a minute or so. Your timing is crucial here, and you need to act fast for them to connect the punishment to what they did wrong.
Everything discussed above though is only one aspect of training your Shiba Inu. You also have to do some other things to help ensure the progress and success of your training:
- Start with walks
- Keep training sessions short
- Begin with the basics
- Use clickers
Start With Walks
Before beginning your training sessions, take your Shiba Inu out for a quick walk first. Two main benefits to this will make your Shiba Inu more manageable.
One is that this will shed off any of their initial burst of energy. If your buddy has pent-up energy, they will not listen to you as they will focus on releasing their energy first. But walks will do this for you so that you Shiba Inu will be in the right headspace for training.
Another reason is that this will make your furry friend a little bit hungry. If you use treats as a reward, this will motivate them even more to work for their tasty treats.
Keep Training Sessions Short
You must limit your training sessions to 10 to 15 minutes only. If you spend more time training them, they can become bored and unresponsive to you. Brief training sessions work best for them, and you can repeat this a few times each day.
Begin With the Basics
When training your Shiba Inu, start with simple commands such as sit, stay, and lie down. These are easy for them to follow, and will be the basis of other complex commands. Not only that, the basic commands will help in keeping them under control if you need to.
For example, if your Shiba Inu barks at the sound of a doorbell, you only need one of these commands. You can teach them to sit down when they hear a doorbell instead of barking. Once you progress, you can ask them to go to a corner and stay there if someone is at the door.
Clicker training makes use of behavior shaping (also called free shaping or marking training). You do this by marking behaviors that become closer and closer to the behavior that you want to see your buddy do.
The sound of a clicker lets your Shiba Inu know that a reward awaits them. Thus, you can accurately mark the behavior that you want to achieve.
By using this method, you are encouraging them to do a particular behavior in increments. This is without having to physically correct them.
This method is great for Shiba Inu because they do not like excessive handling. And some physical corrections may seem threatening to them.
Other than that, this is a mental process, getting them to think. Your Shiba Inu loves to get their minds to work, and this is a great challenge for them.
If you do not have a clicker, you can use a verbal cue as a marker too. You can say “yes” whenever they do good. Both work well, and it all boils down to your preference.
How to Train an Older Shiba Inu
To train an older Shiba Inu, you must first gain their trust and respect. This can be a lengthy process, so this means that you should not go into formal training sessions right away.
Instead, take the time to play with them, take them out for walks, and spoil them with tasty treats from time to time. By doing so, you are not only earning their trust. But you are also establishing yourself as a firm yet gentle pack leader. This will encourage them to listen to you during future training.
While you may think that this will only delay the training process, this is crucial. This stage is where you get to know your Shiba Inu, and what their likes and dislikes are. And this information is vital for you to create a proper training structure that works best for them.
After you have gone through this process, it is time to begin their proper training. Remember that you should base your buddy’s training on their preferences and needs. Below is a basic structure to help you get started, and feel free to tweak it to your liking:
- Reward positive behaviors
- Call out unwanted behaviors
- Make sure you are consistent with commands
- Provide them with adequate exercise
- Use clicker training
Reward Positive Behaviors
While you got to know your Shiba Inu, you should know by now what their reward preference is. It could be treats, pets, verbal praise, or even playtime. Now use this to let your Shiba Inu know that they did well.
Not only will they learn what you expect of them, but this will also encourage good behavior. Your Shiba Inu will learn that by following your commands, they get one of their prized resources.
Call Out Unwanted Behaviors
When your Shiba Inu misbehaves, let out a firm “no” so they know that you are not pleased with what they did. After that, you need to take an extra step to get your message across. Now there are two ways you can go about this.
One is by disengaging from the activity. Do this by turning your back on them and ignoring them for a while. This lets them know that if they misbehave, they cannot have fun with you.
The other way is by confining them in a small room for a time-out. After you have said “no”, take them to another room and leave them there for one or two minutes. This gives them time to calm down before they can resume their activities.
Taking action when your older Shiba Inu misbehaves is crucial. At their age, they have already established bad behaviors. And they need to unlearn this through training and correcting them.
This is one of your main focuses in training an older Shiba Inu. They learn new commands faster than puppies, so that should not be a problem.
Make Sure You Are Consistent With Commands
For your older Shiba Inu to learn, repetition is necessary. But you can only make progress if you use the same command for a specific action all the time. Otherwise, your Shiba Inu will get confused and they will not know what to do.
So if you live with other people, make sure that you are all on the same page. They should follow the commands that you use to avoid any issues.
Other than that, the words that you use are also crucial. Make sure you use simple words, one or two words are best. No two commands should sound alike, as this can also confuse your Shiba Inu.
And when you say your command words, do not use an angry voice. This will only upset your Shiba Inu, and you will not make progress with training.
Provide Them With Adequate Exercise
Before any training session, you should allow your Shiba Inu to burn off any initial burst of energy. By doing so, they can focus on the training session more. Not only that, but this will also allow them to remember all that they have learned better.
If you skip this step, your Shiba Inu may be too hyper to take part in the training. All they can think of is play, and this is not the headspace that you want them to be in. They will be rowdy, refuse to listen to you, and can be difficult to handle.
Use Clicker Training
A clicker is a powerful training tool for dogs, and dog trainers often recommend this. This allows you to teach them certain behaviors without getting physical. When your Shiba Inu does something you like, use the clicker and then reward them.
By doing so, they will associate the sound of the clicker with the desired behavior and the treats. This will send a clear message to your Shiba Inu, and it will reinforce their good deed.
How Long Does It Take to Train Shiba Inu?
It is difficult to give an exact answer to this as it will depend on your Shiba Inu and other factors. Some Shiba Inu get trained within 4 months, while others may take 8 months or more.
Here are some factors that will affect the speed of your furry friend’s training:
- Age: Young pups need time to mature, as they cannot keep up with certain training. For example, they will only get fully potty trained at around 4 to 6 months of age despite starting this early. This is because that age is when they start having good control over their bladder.
- Training Complexity: If your Shiba Inu is a puppy, they can only follow basic commands such as sit and stay. They can only handle trickier commands once they are around 8 months of age.
- Your Consistency: Be consistent with your reward timing, training schedule, and more. This is the key to training a stubborn dog breed like a Shiba Inu, and they will learn faster this way. Otherwise, it will take you longer to see progress during training.
How Do You Train a Shiba Inu Puppy?
When training your Shiba Inu puppy, you must always use positive reinforcement. This method works for every dog, but it is even more crucial for stubborn breeds like your pup. They do best with motivational training, as you are encouraging them to work for rewards.
This method also helps ensure that you make little to no mistakes during training. If you get carried away with your emotions and punish them, they will not put up with it. Small as they may be, Shiba Inu will fight you when they feel that you are a threat to them.
With this, your training method is not the only thing you should look at. Before starting any training session, you must first earn the trust of your Shiba Inu puppy. This is crucial for this breed’s notorious stubbornness.
Shiba Inu are smart, and they understand your commands once they learn them. But they will not follow you all the time, and a lack of respect for you can worsen this.
Thus, you must deepen your relationship with your Shiba Inu puppy first. Play with them, feed them tasty meals, and more. All this will help them understand that you are a loving pack leader, and they will put their trust in you.
Now that you have a good background of how to train your pup, you can base your training on these. But to help you get a headstart, below are concrete and basic ways to train your Shiba Inu puppy:
- Reward and mark good behaviors
- Mark and correct bad behaviors
- Use submissive training
Reward and Mark Good Behaviors
Make sure you give your Shiba Inu puppy a tasty treat whenever they do something you like to see. Generally, dogs are food-driven and this is true for most Shiba Inu too! Thus, high-value treats are going to be your best friend during training.
Treats that work best for your pup are smelly, moist, or crumbly ones. On top of that, your furry friend should only get these treats during training. This way, you maintain their interest in the treats.
But not all Shiba Inu will get encouraged to listen to you with treats. Some may like toys or verbal praise instead. So make sure you get to know your pup and see what works best for them.
But before rewarding them, make sure to mark their good behaviors. You can do so by saying “yes” or using a clicker after they perform an action you like. This way, you can accurately tell them what they did to warrant a reward.
Mark and Correct Bad Behaviors
Whenever your pup misbehaves, do not yell at them and scold them. This will only cause them to either fear you or learn to fight you. You will not see progress in their behavior this way.
So instead of that, say out a calm yet firm “no” once you catch them in the act. Do not stop at calling them out as you should also distract them from the bad behavior. After saying “no”, engage in play with a toy or their favorite game.
You can also take them to another room for a time-out. But only confine them in the room for a minute or two and then let them out.
If your Shiba Inu puppy wants to investigate something, tell them to “leave it”. You will need to practice this, but this command is important for this curious breed. They can fixate on something easily if they already set their minds to it.
You can also use the same command if they got their mouth on something they should not have. Shiba Inu are mischievous and they like to steal items. This teaches them to let go of any item you do not want them chewing on.
Use Submissive Training
Generally speaking, Shiba Inu are dominant dogs and they do not like it if anyone or any dog bosses them around. But if you do not do anything about this, you will have a hard time handling your pup as they grow older. Thus, your Shiba Inu puppy must undergo submissive training at least once a week.
Submissive training has two main benefits. One is that it teaches your puppy that you are stronger than them and that they are safe around you. Another is that they will learn that you will always reward them for being good.
These will help your Shiba Inu puppy build trust and respect from you. And you also get rewarded for having a well-behaved puppy.
Here is what submissive training looks like:
- Step 1: Find a comfortable and calm place to do this, and make sure you have a lot of time on your hands. Your Shiba Inu puppy should be full, hydrated, and not in a rush to do anything else.
- Step 2: Sit down and have your Shiba Inu lie down on your lap with their belly facing up. You must also hold their front legs by their armpits.
- Step 3: Your puppy’s natural reaction is to wiggle around to stand up, but keep holding them into position. In time, your Shiba Inu pup will give up and appear relaxed. They will get to a point where they can lie down on their back with no issues.
- Step 4: Move your hands away from your puppy’s armpits. If they try to get up, then hold them again in their original position. Do this for another 10 minutes and try getting your hands off of them again.
- Step 5: Keep repeating the process in the previous step until your puppy does not try to get up when released. This may take you a few days, but this is normal.
- Step 6: Once you achieve step 5, move your hand away from your furry friend again. But this time, touch their sides from their armpits down to their rear. If your pup moves or becomes tense, repeat step 4.
- Step 7: Keep practicing these steps, and manage your expectations as it may take you months to do this. In time, your puppy will remain calm throughout. This means that they submit to you and put their full trust in you already.
When Should I Start Training My Shiba Inu Puppy?
Training your Shiba Inu puppy should start as soon as you take them home. This is usually when they are 8 weeks of age when they are safe to go to their new family. This stage is a critical period for their development, so make sure you take advantage of it.
At around this age, your Shiba Inu puppy is more tolerant of everything they experience. And one of the most crucial things you should do is to have them undergo proper socialization. This will let your puppy get used to a lot of stimuli and experiences, so they grow up to be calmer adults.
Other than that, make sure that your Shiba Inu puppy gets used to handling too. They are not big fans of touch, but you can always teach them to tolerate it. This is especially important when your furry friend needs grooming.
An important thing to consider here is the complexity of your furry friend’s training. At this young age, it is best to stick to something simple.
So make sure to teach them basic obedience commands first, such as sit, stay, lie down, come, and heel. These will help you get better control of your Shiba Inu puppy even at a young age.
Make sure that you also potty train your Shiba Inu puppy. But since they are a clean breed, this will be a much easier process for you.
How to Discipline a Shiba Inu
Ignoring your misbehaving Shiba Inu follows the positive reinforcement method. But this works best for certain situations, such as biting during play. Thus, you need to know other disciplining methods that fit the situation most.
With this, here are some other ways that you can discipline your Shiba Inu:
- Praising them for behaving
- Follow the 5-second rule
- Ignoring unwanted behavior
- Withholding their rewards
- Redirecting their attention
Praising Them for Behaving
Rewarding your Shiba Inu for their good behaviors goes a long way in disciplining them. This lets them know that if they behave, they will always get good things in return. Like any other dog, Shiba Inu also love getting rewarded for doing something.
Once they understand this, your furry friend will want to keep doing behaviors you want to see. But whenever they misbehave and do not get rewards, they will know that you are not happy.
So be consistent with this so that your Shiba Inu can appreciate even the simple act of verbal praises.
Follow the 5-Second Rule
Your furry friend has a short memory, so you need to act fast to discipline them. With this, you need to respond to any of their actions within 5 seconds after they do it. This way, they can associate the action and your response so they can learn from it.
So you will need to catch your Shiba Inu in the act. If they pee inside their house, get to action and catch their attention by saying “no” in a calm manner. Then take the time to teach them where they can pee by taking them outside.
With this, you need to be careful about when you discipline your Shiba Inu. If you come home to destroyed furniture, do not look for them and scold them. Your Shiba Inu will not understand why you are getting mad at them for no reason.
This will only confuse them and they may even lose their trust in you.
Ignoring Unwanted Behavior
This method works best if you are engaging in meaningful activities with your Shiba Inu. A popular scenario for this is when your furry friend becomes a bit too mouthy.
For example, they start biting you during play out of overexcitement. The moment their teeth meet your skin, say “no” and turn your back on them. Ignore them at all costs and do not make eye contact with them for a few minutes.
Even if this breed is independent, they still want some of your attention. And they especially want it during playtime.
This will teach your Shiba Inu that when they bite, you will end the fun right away. This discourages them from doing the action again in the future.
Withholding Their Rewards
Another way you can show your displeasure is by withholding their rewards. But your Shiba Inu should understand that rewards are only for when they do good already.
A scenario where this fits is when you are training your Shiba Inu. If they keep their focus on you and follow your commands, they can expect some tasty treats. But if they get distracted or ignore you, you have to hide the treats away.
This will let your furry friend know that they can only get their treats if they listen to you. But make sure that they are in the right state to do so too. If they are already tired or are rushing to relieve themselves, take a break and do not punish them.
Redirecting Their Attention
This method works for almost any interaction you have with your Shiba Inu. If they misbehave, you grab their attention and have them do something else.
For example, if you catch them chewing on your shoes, have their favorite toy in your hand. Call their attention by saying “no”, and show them the toy. Your Shiba Inu will look at the toy, something they value more, and they will not bother with the shoe anymore.
Once they come to you, give them the toy and praise them as soon as they start to play with it. Make sure to give them treats for doing so too.
By doing so, you are letting them know what items are acceptable to chew. And by giving them praise and treats, you are encouraging their good behavior even more. Think of this as nudging them in the right direction without being too pushy.
How Do You Discipline a Shiba Inu Puppy?
To discipline your Shiba Inu puppy, you first need to lay out the ground rules for them. Keep in mind that you are dealing with an inexperienced puppy, so they are starting from scratch. And for them to learn how to behave, you need to help them understand what they can and cannot do.
Some of the rules that should be in place for your Shiba Inu puppy are:
- No Biting: This is quite a mouthy dog breed, and if you leave them to their own devices, they will bite. Your pup should learn that biting other dogs and people are not welcome. To help with this, you should also give them safe chew items to dig their teeth into.
- No Rough Playing: Shiba Inu are a fan of roughhousing, and not all dogs will like this. This is even more dangerous if they begin to play rough with humans. So early on, your pup should understand that they can hurt others by doing this.
- No Resource Guarding: This breed is territorial with its belongings. They will not hesitate to fight someone who threatens to take their items. But you should teach your pup that sharing is good, especially their toys and food.
Now that you have these rules, you can discourage their bad behavior in many ways. Puppies are needy, even if they are of this breed. So use this to your advantage when training your Shiba Inu pup.
Whenever they misbehave, you can give them the cold shoulder and turn your back on them. Ignoring them for a few minutes will be enough to get the message across. This discourages them from misbehaving again so you will not ignore them again.
You can also use the methods mentioned in the previous section, as they work for puppies too. But keep in mind to be extra patient and understanding with a puppy. The difference between them and an adult is that they do not have a good grasp of your rules yet.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Ignore Me?
Shiba Inu are stubborn dogs by nature, and it seems like they have selective hearing. When you give out a command, they ignore you like they do not understand or hear anything. But this quality of theirs is not the only reason why your furry friend ignores you.
This is a big issue for any dog owner. Your Shiba Inu will be hard to handle and train if they continue to do this.
To figure out how to correct this issue, you need to make sure that this is not only due to their nature. With this, here are some other reasons why your Shiba Inu may ignore you:
- You are nagging them
- Your command cues became ineffective
- They have trouble understanding you
- They are getting distracted
- They are not motivated enough
You Are Nagging Them
Do you repeat a command word more than once? With how stubborn a Shiba Inu is, you get tempted to do this a lot.
For example, you ask your Shiba Inu to come to you at the door so you can walk outside. But if they are not feeling it, they will not listen to you. This may push you to keep saying “come” again and again.
This is also an issue if you are teaching your Shiba Inu to learn a new command cue. They need a few seconds to process the cue, and you may see this as them ignoring you. But you only have to say it once and give them time to think.
If you keep nagging them with commands, then your Shiba Inu will learn to ignore you. This happens because they tune out your commands as no reward comes after them anymore.
Your Command Cues Became Ineffective
This possible cause is in connection to nagging your buddy with commands. If you keep doing that, they will learn that the repeated word is their cue to do something. So if you want them to sit, you may need to say it three times before they get to do it.
This can also happen if they begin to associate the command word with something negative. Shiba Inu dislike bath time, and when you use “come” to get them into the bathtub, they will fear the word. So whenever you ask them to come to you, they will ignore you because they think you are going to bathe them.
If you have this issue, you need to use a different command word for certain actions. Instead of asking them to “come”, you can say “here”. But of course, this means that they have to undergo training again.
They Have Trouble Understanding You
You cannot expect your Shiba Inu to carry out a command right away if they have just learned it. If this is the case for your furry friend, they are not ignoring you. Instead, they need more time to process what you are asking them to do.
So you must make sure that they have a solid understanding of their command words. If they already do yet do not listen to you, then you can cross this out as a possibility.
They Are Getting Distracted
If your Shiba Inu is ignoring you, take the time to assess their environment first. Kids running around, other dogs playing, and more can lose your furry friend’s focus on you. In this scenario, they do not choose to ignore you, but they cannot hear you with everything that is going on.
So if you are training your Shiba Inu, make sure to start at home in a calm and controlled environment. Once they master this, you can take them to a public place to test their skills. When you do, make sure you manage your expectations. Your buddy’s response time will still be slower than when you are at home.
They Are Not Motivated Enough
As you already know, Shiba Inu does not live to please their owners. So if you want to get them to listen to you, you need other forms of rewards.
High-value treats are the best option because this is a food-motivated breed. But not every Shiba Inu is like this, and some may respond better to praise, play, or toys as a reward.
So if you feel that your current reward does not work well, take the time to get to know your furry friend more. This way, you can choose a better reward to use.
But sometimes their treats are not the issue. Instead, the problem could lie in your reward timing.
You are rewarding your Shiba Inu to encourage them to do a certain action in the future. Once they understand good things happen after an action, they will do more of it.
But the timing should come within five seconds after performing the command. Dogs live in the now, and they can only associate rewards and behavior in a short timeframe. So you need to give feedback on their behavior right away. Otherwise, they will hear certain commands and ignore you. This is because they believe nothing good follows after doing what you want.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Not Come When Called?
Your Shiba Inu may not come to you because you use their name to call them. As a fur parent, you use their name all the time when you interact with them. But since your furry friend keeps on hearing their name, they will tune it out like background noise.
With this, you need to call them over using a word that you seldom use. But even if you do that, your Shiba Inu may still ignore you.
If this is the case, there are other possible reasons that you should look into:
- They think they are in trouble
- They are still having fun
- You stopped rewards too soon
- You did not train them in other environments
They Think They Are in Trouble
Your Shiba Inu may have gotten in trouble in the past when you called them. An example is when they bark at some squirrel at the window and you call them to you angrily. Your furry friend will begin to associate “come” or whatever your cue word is with getting in trouble.
So no matter how frustrated you are, never call your Shiba Inu in an angry tone. This way, you can avoid them forming any fear with the word.
If you have used your cue word in an angry tone before, then change it. You can use “here” instead of using “come” from now on.
They Are Still Having Fun
This often happens when your Shiba Inu plays in the park or is having fun. Why would your furry friend come to you and go home if they are still having the time of their life? It comes as no surprise that your Shiba Inu will not move a muscle toward you or run away from you.
Other than that, they may also form a negative association with the cue word. They know that the word “come” means that fun is about to end, so they do not like hearing it.
You Stopped Rewards Too Soon
As a stubborn dog breed, it takes a lot to get your Shiba Inu to listen to you. And they are not the best when it comes to coming to you too. This is why treats are an important part of training your furry friend.
Of course, your goal is to get them to listen to your commands without any treats. But since they are not people pleasers, this will take you a long, long time before they do.
So if you stopped giving them treats as an incentive to come to you, it may be too soon. Your training process does not end when your Shiba Inu knows what to do. This may even be a lifelong process that you have to go through.
Getting them to listen to you without treats is a gamble, especially in a public place. So make sure you continue to reward them when you are at a park. Continue to practice this until you can wean them off of treats.
But inside your home, you can cut back on the treats sooner. In a controlled environment like this, they can focus on you better.
You Did Not Train Them in Other Environments
Your furry friend’s recall may be great at home, even without the use of treats. But have you practiced this in a different environment? If not, then your Shiba Inu will have trouble coming to you in these spaces.
There is a lot that goes on in public areas, and various stimuli catch your buddy’s attention. So make sure to gradually practice with your Shiba Inu in other places too. This way, you can rely on their recall wherever you may be.
How Do I Get My Shiba Inu to Come When Called?
You can train your Shiba Inu to come to you in a few steps. But before you begin, make sure you have smelly, high-value treats for them. This will encourage your buddy to listen to you because something tasty awaits them.
The goal here is to build their recall behavior. So remember to be consistent and keep practicing with your Shiba Inu. The steps below will help you with this:
- Step 1: Settle on a cue word for getting your Shiba Inu to come to you, and do not use their name. If they do not respond to your old cue, use a new one.
- Step 2: Begin training in a calm and quiet environment in your home. Make sure that nothing will distract your Shiba Inu, such as other dogs or rowdy children.
- Step 3: Keep a good distance between you and your Shiba Inu and crouch on the floor. Now call their attention with a whistle, happy voice, or kissy noises. Once they look at you, show them the high-value treats you have in hand.
- Step 4: Once your Shiba Inu comes to you, say “yes” to mark their good behavior or use a clicker. Now give them a treat right away and shower them with praise. Make yourself sound as fun and as happy as possible to let them know they did great.
- Step 5: Move to a different spot to increase the distance between you and your Shiba Inu again. Keep practicing the steps above until your furry friend gets the hang of it.
- Step 6: Once your Shiba Inu masters this, you can move the training outside to your yard. Follow the process above and never fail to reward your Shiba Inu.
- Step 7: If you see progress, you can move on to a calm and quiet public place. Make sure to start somewhere with the least amount of distractions possible.
To make your training as fun as possible, you can play hide-and-seek too! Your Shiba Inu will enjoy this as they feel like they are playing a game with you.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Jump So Much?
Dogs jump once their owners step through the front door, and your Shiba Inu is no different. This is their way of greeting you, and their wagging tails tell you that they are happy you are back!
But your furry friend may also jump for other reasons, such as:
- Poor social skills
- Show of affection
- Getting your attention
Keep in mind that you may encourage your Shiba Inu to keep jumping depending on how you react. People often push them away with hand movements to shoo them off.
But your buddy may see this as a sign that you are playing with them, and this gets them more excited. So make sure to be mindful of your reaction. If your Shiba Inu does not have a good reason for jumping, ignore their behavior. This way, they will learn that they do not get anything out of it.
How to Stop Shiba Inu From Jumping
There is no one way to stop your Shiba Inu from jumping, as this will depend on the root of their behavior. Tackling jumping as a form of greeting will be different from jumping due to fear. Thus, you must first know your buddy’s reasons for jumping.
Now that you have identified that, here are ways for you to stop your furry friend from jumping around:
- Ignore their jumping
- Manage your environment
Ignore Their Jumping
This works for your Shiba Inu if they jump to greet you, show affection, or grab your attention. These are not good reasons to jump, and so ignoring them can discourage this.
Once you go through the front door, say a calm greeting for your Shiba Inu. If they begin to jump on you, then turn your back on them and ignore them. No matter how they try to grab your attention, give them the cold shoulder.
Maintain this until your Shiba Inu calms down. Only then can you notice them again. Make sure to give them praise, treats, and attention to let them know that they did well.
This way, your Shiba Inu will learn that staying calm when greeting you is better than jumping. And if they opt for the latter, they will get radio silence from you.
Manage Your Environment
If your Shiba Inu is a fearful jumper, then you first need to figure out what triggers it. Once you do, you have two ways to address the issue.
One is by avoiding exposure to their triggers as much as possible. Another is by desensitizing your Shiba Inu to their trigger.
The latter is a better long-term solution, although this will take you time. This involves exposing them to the trigger in increments until they do not react to it anymore. If you go with this, never force your Shiba Inu into a fearful situation as this will make the situation worse.
Your furry friend may become even more scared and resort to aggression. It may also cause your Shiba Inu to lose trust in you. These are not the results that any dog owner wants.
Other than these two, you should also provide a safe space for your Shiba Inu to retreat to. You can use a crate or a playpen for this. Make it a positive place for them by adding toys, treats, and everything else your buddy loves.
Make sure to never use their haven for punishment purposes. These are not where you send them off for a time-out. If you do, they will not see these as their safe space anymore.
With proper training, your Shiba Inu can learn good manners and social skills. And they will know better than to jump on your guests when you have them over.
Here is a step-by-step process that you can follow for this:
- Step 1: Ask for a friend’s help to act as a guest in your home. But make sure that your Shiba Inu already likes this friend.
- Step 2: Go near the front door and ask your Shiba Inu to sit.
- Step 3: Your friend must go through the front door and approach you and your furry friend. If your Shiba Inu stands and begins to get excited, your friend should turn their back on your buddy. After that, have your friend walk away.
- Step 4: Try again and ask your Shiba Inu to sit. Have your friend walk through the door again.
- Step 5: Keep repeating the steps above until your Shiba Inu remains calm when someone visits. Whenever your Shiba Inu behaves, make sure to reward them with treats and shower them with praise.
Now that you have the basics, you can try again with another friend of yours. This will be a test for your Shiba Inu.
Some people will tell you that they are okay with your Shiba Inu jumping on them. But remember that you need to be consistent with your training. So enforce your rules, and do not let your furry friend jump on anyone.
How Do I Keep My Shiba Inu Entertained?
There are many ways to keep your Shiba Inu entertained, whether you are with them or not. Even their daily routine keeps them entertained. But you may want to switch it up a bit from time to time.
Variety is the spice of life, and your Shiba Inu may get bored with their usual activities. The good thing is that if you get creative, you never run out of ways to keep them entertained. If you are looking for ideas, then here are some of them:
- Physical activities
- Mental activities
- Social activities
- Mealtime fun
Shiba Inu love to take walks, but they also love to sprint around a spacious yard. So if you are a runner yourself, you can have your Shiba Inu as your jogging buddy!
But these may not be enough for your furry friend. They are a highly capable breed, so you can level up their activities. Some popular ones are the following:
- Flirt pole
Digging is fun for any dog, and this can also count as a mental exercise for your Shiba Inu. To do this, you can hide some of their favorite toys or treats and have them go on a treasure hunt! This can be hours of endless entertainment for your furry friend.
Other than that, you can engage in hiking activities with them for weekend fun. Remember that these dogs used to live in mountainous places. So they can traverse uneven terrain with such ease!
This is a popular activity for the breed as they will be in their element. But make sure to keep them on a leash as they may chase small animals. It is tough to override their strong prey drive, so make sure to secure your furry friend on a leash.
Your buddy’s mental exercises are just as important as their physical activities. This is even more crucial for the intelligent Shiba Inu. They are curious dogs that always look for something that stimulates their minds.
Some mental activities that you can do are the following:
- Mental games
- Dog sports
As silly as it sounds, training can keep your Shiba Inu entertained. They may not like it, but this puts all their energy into working their minds. And this breed loves a good challenge, so this can be fun for them!
Other than that, you can also engage in mental games with your Shiba Inu. This includes a treasure hunt at home by hiding their toys or treats and letting them look for them. Hide and seek is also a mental exercise as much as it is a physical one.
Last but not the least, why not get your Shiba Inu into dog sports? They are an athletic and nimble breed, so they will do well with agility training.
Even if dog sports sounds like more physical activity, it also stimulates their mind. This is because they constantly have to listen to your commands and follow them. They also have to be quick on their feet to go through the track.
But your Shiba Inu can also go for other dog sports such as:
You do not even have to engage in competitive dog sports. This is something that your Shiba Inu can enjoy in the comfort of your yard!
If your Shiba Inu is a friendly dog, then they will enjoy the company of other people and dogs. This is entertaining to them, and they may not even want to go home!
You can arrange doggy playdates with your friends if they happen to be dog owners themselves. Or you can always go to a dog park and have your buddy play with other dogs there.
Other than that, you can take them around with you on errands. This is a great way to socialize them with other people they encounter. Your Shiba Inu will also enjoy overseeing everything that is happening around them.
You can even entertain your Shiba Inu while they are eating their meals. But for this, your furry friend needs to work for their food. And as long as you make it fun, they will engage in the activity.
One way to do this is scatter feeding. To do this, take half of their kibbles and hide them around your home. Or you can scatter it on the floor and have your buddy look for each kibble.
You can also use a snuffle mat for this. These mats have a lot of pockets for you to hide their treats. They need to use their nose to find each one, and this taps into their wild instincts of searching for their food.
How Do You Keep a Shiba Inu Puppy Entertained?
To keep your Shiba Inu puppy entertained, you need to provide them with a variety of toys. Entertaining them is different from an adult because they are still undergoing development. Thus, it is easy to overexercise a puppy, and this can mean serious consequences for their body.
So make sure you have plenty of toys for them to play with, such as chew toys, puzzle toys, and more. With this, they can entertain themselves on their terms. And when they get tired, they stop to take a nap and not push their bodies to the limit.
Other than that, make sure you spend time playing with your Shiba Inu puppy. This will also strengthen your bond so they grow to respect and trust you. How long these sessions are will depend on their month of age.
You should also work on training your Shiba Inu puppy. This will not only keep them occupied but is also necessary. But make sure to keep your training sessions short too, as they still need to refuel their energy more often.
Do Shiba Inu Get Bored Easily?
As an intelligent and active dog that is a hunter by heart, Shiba Inu get bored quickly. This breed loves a good challenge, so they need plenty of mental exercises such as puzzles and games. They are also curious dogs that love to get involved in anything you do, as long as they find it interesting.
Failing to provide them with this can lead to other issues as a bored Shiba Inu can be a handful. When your buddy feels bored, they can get destructive and mischievous.
If you leave them at home without anything to do, you may come home to destruction. Your Shiba Inu may rip off furniture, chew your shoes, scratch doors, and more. They can get creative when bored, and this is their idea of having a good time.
But even if you are at home, your Shiba Inu will still let you know if they feel bored. They will steal some items that they should not have, bark to no end, and other frustrating behaviors. This is their way of getting your attention, and they will make sure you do.
These behaviors are a sign that they want your attention but they are not getting it. This is their way of asking you to spend time with them and play with them. As annoying as they may be, they know that negative actions are more effective to get you to notice them.
What Do Shiba Inu Enjoy Doing?
Any activity that gets the body and mind to work is something a Shiba Inu enjoys doing. This breed enjoys walks, not only because they get to shed off their energy. But also because it stimulates their mind as they take in various sights, sounds, and smells!
Not only that, but they also get to meet new faces. If your Shiba Inu is properly socialized and friendly, they will enjoy this. Who knows, they may find a new playmate in one of their walks!
But this is not the only activity that this breed likes. They are athletic and smart, so they are capable of doing so much more. Depending on your buddy’s personality, here are some activities that they may enjoy:
- Barn hunts
These activities above are not everyday things as they are hard on the body. But they are wonderful weekly activities that get your Shiba Inu to work a little harder. The good thing is that they love challenging activities, so these are perfect for them!
You also have other fun activities for your Shiba Inu on normal days. Other than walks, you must also make meaningful interactions a part of your daily routine. And the two ways you can do this are by engaging in play or training your Shiba Inu.
Sure, your Shiba Inu can play with puzzles and other brainteaser toys. But this only works best if they are alone. When you are at home with them, you should give them your full attention during playtime.
To them, playtime is more fun when they get to spend it with you. Shiba Inu love to play tug-of-war, fetch, and more. They also enjoy playing with a flirt pole and pushing a soccer ball around.
There are other activities that your Shiba Inu may find fun, but this will depend on their preference. Once you know what they like, you can get creative with how you spend your time with them. Your Shiba Inu is not restricted to the activities mentioned above.
Do Shiba Inu Like to Play?
Shiba Inu is a fun-loving dog breed that always perks up when they are playing. In particular, a Shiba Inu puppy loves to play so much that it is all it can think about. But once they grow older, they will mellow down a bit.
Once your Shiba Inu becomes an adult, they will begin to value sleep a lot more. This is normal if they wake up feeling refreshed and ready for fun! This is their way of recharging their fuel for their next playtime.
Sometimes though, your Shiba Inu will become more playful and rowdy than usual. If you match their energy, then you are hyping them up and they get even more excited!
What Games Do Shiba Inu Like to Play?
Being athletic and energetic dogs, Shiba Inu can play almost any game as long as they find it interesting. Each dog is different, and so you have to take your furry friend’s preference into account. Your Shiba Inu may prefer to play with specific toys, or they may want to do outdoor activities.
Thus, you need to get to know your buddy through some trial and error. But to give you a headstart, here are some activities that Shiba Inu often enjoy playing:
- Ball games
- Food games
- Flirt pole
- Hide and seek
- Searching games
To play this, you need to have a ball, of course. But not any ball will do, as the wrong size may harm your Shiba Inu.
So make sure to get one that is big enough so that they cannot swallow it whole. But also small enough that your Shiba Inu can catch it with their mouth.
Now that you have a ball, you can play two games with this depending on what your buddy likes. You can either play fetch or catch with them using a ball.
To play fetch, your Shiba Inu must undergo training so that they know the rules of the game. But in the meantime, they can catch the ball when you throw it, and it will still be a fun time for them.
You can also use a bigger ball, such as a soccer ball to play chase with your Shiba Inu! They love to run around and chase something because this is what they did as hunters in the past. Your Shiba Inu will push the ball around with their nose, and this is enough entertainment for them.
If your furry friend is food-motivated, why not take advantage of that? You can either play food games with toys or your Shiba Inu can play it with you!
Interactive food toys are a must-have for this breed. They have to figure out what to do to get their treats out of the toy. This is a great mental game for them, and they love a good challenge!
But you can also play food games without a toy. You can scatter some of their favorite treats around a certain area in your home. Your Shiba Inu will use their nose to look for each one, and you will also have fun watching them do so.
You may not be comfortable with this game, and it is understandable. This may encourage your Shiba Inu to bite, and they are a mouthy breed, to begin with. But as long as you set clear rules and they are not aggressive, you can play this.
Make sure you control the start and the end of a game with a command. Say “tug” or “take it” to let them know that they can grab the tug toy. Then tell them “drop” to end the game, and they should let go of it.
Remember to stop the game right away as soon as their teeth touch your skin. This is unacceptable for the game, and your furry friend needs to understand this.
Flirt poles are just like the wand toys that you use for cats. Shiba Inu enjoy playing with these toys, as they love chasing the toy at the end of the stick! A flirt pole is also great for you, as you can play with them by being stationary.
Hide and Seek
If you can hide your furry friend’s treats at home, you can also hide and have them look for you! You should still use treats here, and give them one as a reward when they find you. This encourages your Shiba Inu to go look for you, otherwise, they will not have the motivation to.
Shiba Inu is a curious dog breed, and when they get interested, they can fixate on it. With this, you can have them play as an investigator! This is so much fun for them, as this challenges their mind to look for items.
As mentioned, nose work is a great option for them. You can hide treats at home, or anywhere you would like. But you can also use other items for this game.
Pick out your buddy’s favorite toys and some of their chews. Now you can hide them around your yard and have them explore around. This way, it makes them think that searching for their items is their idea, and they love this.
If you have a sandbox for their digging area, then you can bury their items there too. This combines two activities in one, and dogs love to dig. Thus, this is great mental and physical exercise for your furry friend.
Do Shiba Inu Like to Play Fetch?
In general, Shiba Inu loves to play fetch as they find it a challenging activity. Getting the ball and retrieving it makes them feel satisfied. It makes them think that they accomplished something on their own.
The key here is to figure out what type of item your Shiba Inu loves to fetch. Some may prefer a tennis ball, while others would rather fetch a chew toy. Getting to know what they like is important as this will give them the motivation to play.
But keep in mind that this all boils down to your furry friend’s personality. Some would rather play with a flirt pole than play fetch. So take the time to figure this out, and keep switching out the item you use for a good game of fetch. If your Shiba Inu does not respond to anything you used, then playing fetch may not be their thing.
How to Train a Shiba Inu to Fetch
To train your Shiba Inu to play fetch, you first need to figure out their favorite toys. This is important, as those toys will motivate them to play. Other than that, you should also have some high-value treats to reward them.
Training your Shiba Inu to play fetch only needs a few simple steps. But the hard part here is getting them to perform. So while this is simple, you need to keep practicing this to make them understand the rules of the game.
Here is what the process will look like:
- Step 1: Start training at home where there are not a lot of distractions for your Shiba Inu. If you have a yard, then you can train there too. Make sure you have their favorite toys and treats in hand.
- Step 2: Let your Shiba Inu stay by your side. Now show them one of their toys and wave it around to get them to focus on it. Bring it to their nose and hover it around and then throw the toy in front of you.
- Step 3: Since you waved the toy in their face, your Shiba Inu should follow the toy and look at it. If they go after it, reward them as this is your main goal for now. If not, then leave the toy on the floor and throw another one, they should chase after the toy in time.
- Step 4: Your Shiba Inu will pick up the toy you threw after they chase it. Once they hold the toy in their mouth, praise them and give them tasty treats right away. Be quick about their rewards, as this is how they learn.
- Step 5: Now that they have the toy in their mouth, ask them to come to you. They may drop the toy before coming to you, but do not reward them for this. When this happens, throw another toy and ask them to try again. Your Shiba Inu should only get rewarded if they come back with the treat.
- Step 6: Once your Shiba Inu comes back with the toy, ask them to drop it and reward them as soon as they do. Keep practicing these steps and your Shiba Inu will soon get the hang of it!
Can You Play Tug-Of-War With a Shiba Inu?
You can play tug-of-war with your Shiba Inu, but only if they are a good fit for it. Regardless of breed, not all dogs are good for this game as it can cause issues. So do not play tug-of-war with your Shiba Inu if they are any of the following:
- Have a history of aggression
- Have dental issues
- Have fragile teeth (a puppy)
- Have musculoskeletal issues
If your Shiba Inu has shown aggression before, a game of tug-of-war is off the table. This may encourage them to bite and become more aggressive.
Dogs with dental issues should also not play this game, as it may only cause them more pain. Each time they tug on their toy, their dental condition may worsen too. This is especially an issue if they already have chronic pain due to dental diseases.
In connection to dental health, young puppies must also not play this game. If they are going through the teething stage playing tug-of-war may damage their teeth. Keep in mind that they still have fragile pearly whites, so you must not put too much stress on them.
Other than these, you should also consider their body condition. If your Shiba Inu has arthritis, you are only adding to their discomfort by playing tug-of-war. Dogs with hip dysplasia, IVDD, and other similar issues must also not play tug-of-war.
But if your furry friend does not have any of these, then you have nothing to worry about. To avoid any issues with a game of tug-of-war, make sure that you have these down:
- Your Shiba Inu must follow the rules at all costs
- You must enforce the rules at all times
If your Shiba Inu has difficulty following the rules, proceed with caution. You must continue to teach them the rules of the game. And in time, they will have good tug-of-war manners.
Is Tug-Of-War Bad for Shiba Inu?
A game of tug-of-war is not innately bad. Some people say that it encourages aggression or makes a dog aggressive. But when done the right way, this should not be an issue for your Shiba Inu.
A good game of tug-of-war can even be good for your Shiba Inu if done correctly. Some of its benefits are the following:
- Teaches impulse control
- Boosts their confidence
- Trains them to settle down fast
- Strengthens your bond with your Shiba Inu
The two main factors that you should consider for a game of tug-of-war are your Shiba Inu and yourself.
The first step is to figure out if your Shiba Inu is a good fit for the game. Have they shown aggression in the past? If so, you should not play this game with your furry friend. They should also not play this if they have dental or joint issues.
But other than your furry friend, you should also not play this game if you do not have clear rules. That said, you and your Shiba Inu must follow these rules all the time. If not, you will face issues such as encouraging them to bite.
With this, here are the rules that you should enforce with a game of tug-of-war:
- Their teeth should never touch your skin
- You should always be the one to start and end the game
- You must always be in control and they have to follow command cues
- You must take short breaks and ask them to sit, lie down, and more, before resuming
But what should you do if your Shiba Inu breaks any of the rules?
Here is what you do if they put their teeth on you, whether by accident or not:
- Let out a loud yelp and turn your back on them
- Grab the tug toy and walk away from them as a time-out for 30 seconds
- Come back and ask them to sit
- Practice giving and taking away the toy a few times before playing again
- Say your start cue such as “tug” or “take it” to begin the game again
If they take the tug toy without you telling them to, here is what you must do:
Ask them to drop the toy, turn your back on them, and walk away
- Give them a 30-second time-out
- Come back and have them do basic obedience commands such as sit and lie down
- Resume the game again using your start cue
If your Shiba Inu breaks the rules thrice in a row, then end the play session right away. There are no exceptions for this, and your furry friend must understand this.
Is It Normal for Shiba Inu to Play Fight?
Roughhousing is normal for dogs; this is how Shiba Inu likes to play. This breed loves to wrestle with other dogs, but it is all in good fun. They may also chase, bite, and jump on the other dog without any ulterior motive.
But because of their extreme play style, many dogs will not want to engage with this breed. Larger dogs can handle the roughhousing of a Shiba Inu, but smaller ones will not appreciate this. So you must be careful when selecting a playmate for your furry friend.
Keep in mind that Shiba Inu are dominant dogs. With this, you need to distinguish play fights from actual fights.
You can tell if your Shiba Inu is play fighting if they show these signs:
- Play bow
- Bouncy movements
- Smiling with an open mouth
- Exaggerated and continuous growling or snarling
- Exposing their bellies (a sign of being vulnerable)
- Coming back to their playmate for more fun
But if your Shiba Inu shows any of the signs below, then they are out for a real fight:
- Closed mouths with their lips curled
- Stiff posture
- Raised hackles (the hair on their upper back)
- Ears flat and pinned back
- No exaggerated and bouncy movements
- One dog tries to get away from the interaction
How Much Playtime Does a Shiba Inu Need?
An adult Shiba Inu needs at least an hour of playtime each day to please their active personality. But if your Shiba Inu is now a senior, then they will need less.
It is tricky to figure out the right play duration for a senior Shiba Inu. It is natural for them to slow down, so they may not keep up with activities as well as they used to. Health issues are also a consideration here.
Even with their age, your senior Shiba Inu should still have 30 minutes of playtime each day. This is necessary for both their mental and physical stimulation.
How to Play With a Shiba Inu Puppy
You must go for low-intensity activities when playing with your Shiba Inu puppy. This will help ensure that you do not overwork their growing bodies. If you engage in strenuous play with them, their development will be affected.
Your Shiba Inu puppy may experience stunted growth, misshapen legs, and more. And these are lifelong consequences that your furry friend will have to deal with.
Some less intense play that your Shiba Inu puppy can do are:
- Free play with a variety of toys
- Running and exploring around in your yard
- Walking them in your house (or outside if they are fully vaccinated)
- Playing hide and seek or other searching games
- Fun ball games (such as chasing a ball or fetching it), playing with a flirt pole, and more
Lengthy running sessions, climbing up the stairs, and hiking are too much for your pup. Anything that pushes their bodies too much for too long is something that you should avoid.
The best way to let your Shiba Inu puppy have fun is to give them free rein. They can stop whenever they feel like it, so there is less risk of overexercising them. This also makes them more independent and confident, building their character as well.
How Long Should I Play With My Shiba Inu Puppy?
A Shiba Inu puppy will need 5 minutes of exercise for each month of age twice a day. This means that a 2-month-old Shiba Inu puppy’s play sessions should be 10 minutes long. But this should be twice a day, so they need 20 minutes of daily exercise all in all.
As they grow older, you must add 5 minutes to the duration of their play sessions.
How Do You Teach Shiba Inu a Trick?
To teach your Shiba Inu tricks, you must only use reward-based training. With this method, you give them a reward that they like most whenever they perform an action you want to see. This way, you are encouraging them to keep doing this as they know something good will happen if they do.
So make sure that you know what your Shiba Inu wants as a reward. Most of them are food-motivated, so opt for high-value treats as a reward. These treats should be smelly, and moist, and should only be for training purposes.
A high-value treat keeps your furry friend’s motivation to keep listening to you. The strong smell and interesting texture are irresistible enough for them. But if they only get these during training, then your buddy cannot say no to you!
But some Shiba Inu prefer toys, play, or praise as rewards. So whenever they do good, give them a toy, play with them for a bit, or shower them with verbal praise. This will all depend on your Shiba Inu. So take the time to know what reward is best to keep their interest.
Another thing that will help in teaching your Shiba Inu tricks is a clicker. A clicker will help you mark behaviors you want to see with a sound. Whenever your Shiba Inu does a trick, use the clicker, and reward them.
By using a clicker, you can let your Shiba Inu know what they did well with accuracy. The sound follows the action within seconds to help them learn better. But if you do not have a clicker, you can use verbal cues such as “yes” instead.
The last thing to keep in mind is consistency. You must always use the same word for a certain trick, and other family members have to follow this too. Switching up the command words will confuse your Shiba Inu, thus, they will not follow you anymore.
You should also be consistent in giving out rewards. Give their treat or toy within five seconds after they did a trick.
Keep in mind to take one step at a time. You should only teach them a new command after they have mastered the current one.
How to Train a Shiba Inu Puppy Tricks
To teach your Shiba Inu puppy tricks, you must also go for reward-based training. Thus, you can follow the tips mentioned in the previous section for adult Shiba Inu. The only difference here is that your puppy is still inexperienced.
Your Shiba Inu puppy will start with a clean slate, so it will be trickier to train them. It may also take them longer to learn a trick, so you must handle them with utmost patience.
But as long as you are making this a positive experience for them, then they will learn in time. You must be consistent with your training sessions, and let them have fun as well. This makes the process less daunting for your Shiba Inu puppy.
What Tricks Can Shiba Inu Learn?
With their high intelligence, your Shiba Inu can learn almost any trick there is. This may take you a while, though, as their stubborn nature is a challenge that you need to overcome. Even with this, Shiba Inu can learn basic commands, such as:
“Sit, Come, Stay, Take it, Leave it, Drop it, Heel, Down”
The last command, down, is a crucial command that you must teach your Shiba Inu. This can be their emergency stop, so they drop immediately as soon as they hear you say it. You can use this in situations where you need control of them right away.
All these commands mentioned above are necessary to start with. They will help you teach your Shiba Inu more advanced tricks in the future. So if you skip any of these, you will have a harder time teaching them more fun tricks.
Once your Shiba Inu has mastered these, they can learn almost anything you teach them. Some of the entertaining tricks that you can train them for are the following:
- Play dead
- Shake hands
- Walk backward
- Roll over
- Bark or speak
But there are many more of these that they can learn, and you can get creative too! You can even teach your Shiba Inu to retrieve items for you, as long as they learn the item’s name.
The possibilities are endless here because they are such smart dogs. But the only thing getting in the way is their stubborn streak. So make sure you take one step at a time, and you must also manage your expectations.
How Many Commands Can a Shiba Inu Learn?
It is hard to quantify how many commands your Shiba Inu can learn, so there is no exact answer to this. But according to studies, dogs can learn as many as 200 command cues and signals. They can also understand up to 165 words as well, so they are smarter than we give them credit for.
But of course, this will not apply to every dog and this will still depend on their upbringing. If you are active in training your Shiba Inu, then they may very well reach this level of success. But you cannot expect them to learn on their own because you need to help them associate the word with the action.
Other than that, this will also depend on your furry friend’s willingness to learn. This breed only does what it wants to do, and if you force them, they will fight you. So you need to put their personality into account as well.
How to Teach Shiba Inu to Sit
There are three methods that you can try to teach your Shiba Inu how to sit. Since each dog is different, having a variety of methods will help you figure out what works best for your buddy. With this, here are three ways you can go about this:
- Treats method
- Toys method
- Conditioning method
To use this method, you must have a high-value treat in hand. Choose a calm and quiet environment for the session so that your Shiba Inu can focus on you.
- Step 1: Stand in front of your Shiba Inu and get their attention by showing them their treats. Allow your buddy to smell the treats so they know what awaits them.
- Step 2: Once your Shiba Inu focuses on the treat, hold it up a bit over its head. Their eyes should be on the prize, this means that you now have their full attention.
- Step 3: Move the treat from the top of its head to the back of its neck. Their nose will follow your hand, and they will lift their chin as they do this. This motion is what will put your Shiba Inu in a sitting position.
- Step 4: If your Shiba Inu does not sit, you can guide them by lowering their rear onto the floor.
- Step 5: As soon as they sit, say your command word, such as “sit” and give them a treat. Make sure to shower them with verbal praise, too, and act all excited. This will let them know that they did something good.
- Step 6: Keep practicing this until your Shiba Inu gets the hang of it. This may take you a few weeks for them to master the command. Soon enough, you can replace the treats with verbal praise as a reward.
Like the method above, make sure that you and your Shiba Inu are in a calm environment. It is crucial that you have their full attention. If there are other dogs or children in the room, they may not be able to focus on you.
- Step 1: Play with your Shiba Inu for a few minutes using their favorite toy. Take away the toy and give it back to them a few times. This will make them want to have their toy even more.
- Step 2: Stop playing with your Shiba Inu and hold the toy up. Position it a bit over their head, and their eyes should only be on their toy too. You should not allow your Shiba Inu to get their toy at this point.
- Step 3: Continue to dangle the toy and then move it over their head toward their tail. Again, this motions your Shiba Inu to sit as they follow their toy. If they do not sit, lower their rear to the ground instead.
- Step 4: If your Shiba Inu turns around to get the toy, restart and do step 3 again. They can only have their toy once they do what you want them to do.
- Step 5: As soon as their rear touches the floor, say “sit” and give them their toy. You must also say verbal praise to get them excited about a job well done.
- Step 6: Keep practicing this until your Shiba Inu gets the hang of it. Soon, they will sit down as soon as they hear the command word.
This method is different from the two mentioned above. This is because you need to wait for your Shiba Inu to sit instead of trying to get them to do so.
- Step 1: Stand in front of your Shiba Inu with a treat in hand. Make sure that they can see and smell the treat to keep them motivated.
- Step 2: Wait until your Shiba Inu sits on their own. This will take time, but they will wait for you as long as they believe they are getting a tasty treat.
- Step 3: After a few moments, your Shiba Inu will sit in front of you as they wait.
- Step 4: Once your Shiba Inu sits, give them the treat and shower them with praise!
- Step 5: Practice the steps above again. But this time, say your sit command before holding the treat up and waiting for them to sit. Remember to give them their reward when they do.
- Step 6: Keep practicing the steps above until they sit down once they hear you say “sit”.
How to Teach a Shiba Inu to Lay Down
To teach your Shiba Inu to lie down, you must lure them with a high-value treat. This way, they can follow the direction of the treat so they can lie down on their own. It will help a lot if they already sit on command, but this is not necessary.
To help you with this, here is a step-by-step process that you can follow:
- Step 1: Have your Shiba Inu sit down. If they do not sit on command, then you can have them stand up in front of you instead.
- Step 2: Show your Shiba Inu the treat and hold it in front of their nose. Make sure that they do not get the treat yet.
- Step 3: Move the treat down to their chest and down on the floor, between their front paws. Their head should follow your hand.
- Step 4: Now move the treat a little further away from them. Your Shiba Inu should go down and stretch, lying down on the ground.
- Step 5: As soon as they are in a down position with their elbows and hocks on the ground, reward your Shiba Inu with the treat. You can follow this up with some pets and verbal praise.
- Step 6: Now lure your Shiba Inu into a down position with an empty hand. Once they follow you, give them a treat on the other hand. This teaches them a hand signal to follow for the action.
- Step 7: Keep practicing this until your Shiba Inu knows what to do. Once they get the hang of it, add a verbal command. Say the word “down” or “drop” while moving the treat on the ground.
Other than this method, you can also capture this behavior. The trick is to catch your Shiba Inu whenever they are lying down. Once you see them do this, come up to them, say “down” and reward them.
You can use this method in conjunction with the one above.
How Do I Get My Shiba Inu to Roll Over?
Before teaching your Shiba Inu how to roll over, they must already know how to lie down on command. Otherwise, you will have a much harder time getting them in a starting position.
Now pick a calm and quiet place indoors. Choose a soft spot to practice in since your buddy will have to roll around several times. Make sure to keep distractions away too, such as children and other animals.
Once you have prepared those, here is how you can train your Shiba Inu for this:
- Step 1: Command your Shiba Inu to lie down. Their belly must be on the ground with their paws in front of them. Now kneel beside your Shiba Inu with some treats in hand.
- Step 2: Hold the treat in front of their face so that your Shiba Inu can smell and see it. Make sure that they do not grab it.
- Step 3: Move the treat from the front of their nose to their shoulder. Your Shiba Inu should follow the treat with their head. Keep moving the treat further away from them and this will put them off balance. Thus, they will flop to their side.
- Step 4: Give them a treat once they lay flat on their side. Keep practicing this until your Shiba Inu gets the hang of it.
- Step 5: Once your Shiba Inu can lie down on their side, add another step to complete the roll. To do this, follow the steps above. But once they are on their side, move the treat further from their shoulder to their backbone. This causes them to roll over to the other side.
- Step 6: Give them a treat once they complete a rollover, and keep practicing this.
- Step 7: Once your Shiba Inu is consistent in following this, add a verbal cue. If they complete a rollover, add the command “roll over” and then give them a treat.
- Step 8: Continue doing this with the command until your Shiba Inu associates the action with the cue word. In time, your furry friend can roll over as soon as you say your cue.
Is It Bad for Shiba Inu to Roll Over?
Unless your Shiba Inu has back problems such as IVDD, rolling over should not be a problem for them. This is one of the behaviors that dogs do, and they often do so when they are playing around. A healthy Shiba Inu should not experience pain or discomfort if they do this.
But if your Shiba Inu has issues with their spine, this is something that they should avoid. Rolling over may put extra pressure on their spine. And this may worsen their condition even more.
There is also a myth that rolling over can cause gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). But a study has debunked GDV, so your Shiba Inu will not develop this by performing this trick.
Still, you must make sure that your Shiba Inu is rolling over a soft surface, such as a carpet. This will ensure their comfort as they roll over, especially if they are getting older.
How Can I Make My Shiba Inu Happy?
For your Shiba Inu to be happy, you must provide them with all their needs. This ensures that they are properly taken care of, thus, they have a happy life with their loving parents. With this, make sure that your Shiba Inu has the following:
- Daily mental and physical exercise
- Nutritious and well-balanced meals
- Regular trips to the vet
- A regular grooming routine
- A safe and comfortable home
But as you know, keeping your Shiba Inu happy is more than keeping them full with a roof over their head. Their interactions with people, the environment, and others also matter. With this, you must also strive to give them the following:
- Praise Them When They Do Good: It is always nice to feel appreciated, and your Shiba Inu feels the same way. Whenever they do something good, praise them to let them know that you recognize it. This will also help in strengthening their bond with you.
- Switch Up Their Activities: Your Shiba Inu may love a routine, but it can get monotonous sometimes. Make sure you change their routine a bit, such as doing something else during the weekend. You can take them out for a hike, for example.
- Enrich Their Environment: You need to provide them with various stimulating toys. This way, they can have fun indoors. Foraging mats and puzzle games are some good examples of this.
- Keep Their Toys Interesting: You can hide some of their toys and rotate them from time to time. This way, you can maintain their interest in their toys.
- Explore Other Dog Meals: A Shiba Inu who eats only kibbles will get bored of their food. So make sure to indulge them in healthy meals from time to time. The good news is that you can even make your own.
- Keep Up With Their Socialization: Your buddy’s world may revolve around you, but they also need to socialize with other people and dogs. This lets them know that there is more to explore in the world outside of their home.
- Take Them on an Adventure: This breed is naturally curious, and they are always looking for fun. So why not take them with you for errands, hikes, or any other activity? Not only are you bonding with them but they also get to have new experiences.
How Can I Make My Shiba Inu Puppy Happy?
Keeping your Shiba Inu puppy pretty much follows the same methods in the section above. But the difference between them and an adult is that they need more of your time. So spending time with your Shiba Inu is even more important while they are young.
Make sure to engage in meaningful interactions with your Shiba Inu puppy. Playing games or with their toys is always a good idea, as it keeps them stimulated. This will also help in building their trust and respect for you.
You must also take their young age as an opportunity to train and socialize them. These two are crucial as they will dictate how well-behaved your Shiba Inu will be as they grow up.
But because they are still growing, you must always be cautious of overworking them. Once you see that they are already tired, end the training or play session right away.
How Do You Know if Your Shiba Inu Is Happy?
You can tell if your Shiba Inu is happy by looking at their body language. A wagging tail and an open-mouthed smile are more obvious signs. But here are other signs that tell you your Shiba Inu is happy:
- Staring at you with a soft gaze
- A relaxed body
- Airplane ears
- Bouncy movements
- Showing you their belly
Other than their body language, your buddy also does some stuff to show their happiness:
- Being Well-Behaved: A happy Shiba Inu will not be destructive, which is a sign that they are not bored.
- Playfulness: Your Shiba Inu must always have an interest in having fun. For example, they will walk around the house with a toy in their mouth. Or, they will try to ask everyone to play with them.
- Being Talkative: If you are familiar with the Shiba scream, this often comes out when they are very happy. So if your buddy is hurting your ears with their screams, they are only telling you how delighted they are.
- Following You Around: Shiba Inu may not be touchy dogs, but they do love to stay close to their owners. If they do this, this means that they are comfortable being with you.
- Good Appetite: A happy Shiba Inu is a healthy Shiba Inu. And when they are eating well, this is a sign that they are in good physical condition.
- Cat Naps: A contented Shiba Inu loves to take a nap. As long as they feel energized after sleeping, your buddy is a happy dog.
- Offering Their Toys: When your Shiba Inu gives you their favorite toy, you must feel lucky. This breed is not a fan of sharing, but if they do this to you, this is a sign of gratitude.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Look Sad?
Your Shiba Inu may look sad for no reason other than getting your attention. Research has shown that dogs change their expressions with human attention. Thus, your Shiba Inu will give you a sad puppy face when you interact with them. So they may not be sad, but they are doing this to get your attention more.
Before claiming that your dog is sad, make sure to look for these signs first:
- Whining or whimpering
- Lack of interest in things they enjoy
- Lack of energy
- Refusing food or treats
- Squinty eyes
- Change in behavior or sleep pattern
Now that you have confirmed your buddy’s situation, here are possible reasons why they are sad:
- They are sick
- They have clinical depression
- They are grieving the loss of a loved one
- They are adjusting to their new home
- They have a new family member
- They are anxious or stressed
- They lack your attention