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Are Shiba Inu Good Dogs (All Your Questions Answered)?

To a majority of people, Shiba Inu are the adorable and goofy dogs that they see on the internet. But to those who know this breed, Shiba Inu are challenging to care for. Some people get this breed unprepared, so they deal with a lot of frustration. So if you are eyeing getting a Shiba Inu, you must do your research to figure out if you are the right person for them.
Are Shiba Inu Good Dogs

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This breed is a small dog with a big personality. A Shiba Inu will do what a Shiba Inu wants, and they will often not let you be the boss of them. This can resort to some people being harsh with them, but this only causes big issues.

Shiba Inu will not hesitate to fight anyone that threatens them. This is why they only learn through positive reinforcement. By doing so, they will see you as a fair and loving leader, and they will learn to respect you.

Once you earn their trust, they can be obedient and very loyal to you. A good relationship with them is a must for you to bring out their best qualities.

How Popular Is Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu garnered widespread popularity throughout the world, especially in the last decade. Thanks to popular culture, they are one of the most recognized dog breeds around the world. And their rise to worldwide fame had a pretty unconventional start.

This breed had always been popular and well-loved in Japan. They got recognized as a national treasure there way back in 1936. Until today, Shiba Inu remains the top companion dog in the country.

During the following years, Shiba Inu have gone on to other countries. Their distinct, foxlike appearance was a show-stopper. But many were still not familiar with the breed.

The rise of internet memes is what rose the Shiba Inu to fame, though. The “doge” meme, which features the breed, spread throughout the globe. Because of the meme, people from all walks of life are now quite familiar with Shiba Inu.

Following this, people continued to make the breed more popular. Around the same time as the meme, “Dogecoin”, a cryptocurrency, became established. This features Shiba Inu, and despite being around for a while, it only peaked in recent years.

Even if Shiba Inu are an internet sensation, its AKC rankings do not reflect this. To give you a better picture of this, here are their popularity rankings since 2013:

  • 2012: 46
  • 2014: 47
  • 2015: 45
  • 2016: 44
  • 2017: 45
  • 2018: 44
  • 2019: 45
  • 2020: 43
  • 2021: 42

As you can see, they are only a consistent top 50 ranker. But keep in mind that AKC ranks this based on the breed’s registration numbers each year. What this tells you is that not a lot of people register their Shiba Inu. Or, it may also mean that not a lot of people own a Shiba Inu compared to other breeds.

Why Are Shiba Inu Popular?

There are several reasons why Shiba Inu are so famous, and it would be a lie to say that their good looks are not a factor. This breed looks like a fox and has squishy cheeks, kind eyes, and an adorable grin. Their beauty will turn heads, and people will even try to strike up a conversation with you to ask about your buddy.

While their looks do attract people, it is the dog inside that captures the hearts of many. For a small dog, Shiba Inu has a big personality and they have a lot of funny quirks. They are also loyal and playful dogs that many want in a canine companion.

Once you earn their trust, your Shiba Inu will stay close to you at all times. They will be your eyes and ears, warning you as soon as they sense anything unusual. This makes them great watchdogs, which is a big bonus to those who live alone.

Shiba Inu also appeal to those who live in smaller spaces. This is a medium-sized breed that will adapt well to apartment living. As long as you take them out each day to play and do their business, they will do fine.

Not only that, they are not nuisance barkers as well. So if you share a wall with your neighbor, Shiba Inu is great for you as they do not make much noise. They only bark when necessary, such as alerting you that someone is at the front door.

And another appealing thing about this breed is that they are clean dogs. They spend a lot of time each day grooming themselves, and they do their best to keep their coat and home clean. Shiba Inu, especially females, even go around puddles to avoid getting dirty.

When Did Shiba Inu Become Popular?

The worldwide popularity of Shiba Inu began in late 2013 because of an internet meme. An image of Kabosu, a Shiba Inu, became viral during this time, cementing the breed as part of popular culture. This made the Shiba Inu one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world today.

In the same year, Dogecoin began circulating on the internet. This cryptocurrency used the image of Kabosu, further boosting the breed’s fame. This only widened the reach of the breed even more.

Since then, this breed’s popularity has not seemed to slow down.

In August 2020, another cryptocurrency took the world by storm again. Shiba Inu, or SHIB, is a meme coin created to poke fun at Dogecoin but still garnered huge attention.

Because these two bear Shiba Inu’s image, they helped to boost the dog’s internet presence. The Shiba Inu seems to be the internet’s or even the world’s darling.

But before they even got this status, Shiba Inu already had huge popularity in their home country. It is hard to tell when they rose to fame in Japan, as this breed has been around for a long time. To give you context, their origins trace back to 7000 B.C., when the first settlers came to the country.

What Country Are Shiba Inu Most Popular?

It comes as no surprise that Shiba Inu are most popular in their home country, Japan. They are the most famed among the six native Japanese breeds and are one of the top companion dogs in the country. Shiba Inu even takes up around 80 percent of all Japanese breeds in Japan, proof of their popularity.

Japan regards Shiba Inu so highly that they declared the dog breed a national treasure. These dogs are usually in the spotlight too, being a mascot in mainstream media.

How Rare Are Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu were rare dogs in the past due to an extinction threat, but this is not the case today. This breed is now a loving companion dog for many throughout the world. But they are still quite elusive in some countries, such as the United Kingdom.

While the breed, in general, is not rare anymore, the number of other types of Shiba Inu is scarce.

There are only around 520 Sanin Shiba and 170 Mino Shiba in existence today. The former is a slimmer dog with a straighter tail. While the latter is distinguishable by its small frame and dark red and brown coloration.

As you can expect, these dogs are mainly found in Japan. And breeders of these two Shiba Inu types work hard for their preservation. These two types of Shiba Inu are part of the three dogs that kept the breed alive today, along with Shinshu Shiba.

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Dog for First-Time Owners?

Unfortunately, Shiba Inu is not a good dog breed to start with as a first-time dog owner. They are not recommended as they are hard to handle and even experienced dog owners find this to be true.

This is only a generalization, and some find success in having a Shiba Inu as their first dog. But it will only work well if you know what to expect and if they fit your personality too.

Shiba Inu are not typical dogs as they are not eager to please their owners, which is why they are cat-like. This is why some Shiba Inu owners who are more cat people work well with the breed.

Other than these, it will also boil down to the dog’s personality. Some Shiba Inu are more laid-back and obedient. While others are too stubborn and rowdy, and will only listen to you if they get something in return.

So if you want this breed as your first dog, you need to get to know them more and understand their quirks. To get you started with this, here are some reasons why Shiba Inu are difficult to handle:

  • They have intense primal instincts
  • They have a strong personality
  • They are challenging to train
  • They easily get bored

They Have Intense Primal Instincts

Shiba Inu is a basal breed, which means that they are not as domesticated as other dogs. Because of this, they have a stronger desire to follow their instincts than your commands. They also keep some wild traits that are undesirable as a pet dog.

Keep in mind that this breed was once employed as a hunter of birds, rabbits, and more. So if our Shiba Inu sees a small animal running about, their hunting instincts get activated. Even if you ask them to stop, they will continue to run after the poor critter.

This can be an issue as Shiba Inu never surrender, and they will not back down until they are successful. Unfortunately, you will never catch them if they decide to hunt as they are one of the speediest dog breeds. Thus, your Shiba Inu will never be reliable off-leash.

Other than that, Shiba Inu dislike excessive handling. So if you want a cuddly dog, this breed is not for you. This can be a big issue if you are trying to brush them, as they will fight you every step of the way.

They Have a Strong Personality

This is a stubborn, dominant, and often territorial dog breed. All these combined can be a nightmare for inexperienced dog owners. Especially if you do not know how to correct these.

It can be frustrating to get a stubborn Shiba Inu to do some activities with you. If they feel like it is not worth their time, they will ignore you and not move a budge. But if they want to do something, they will do it even if you do not want them to.

Shiba Inu also have a dominant personality. And this can create fiction in their relationships with other pets, especially dogs.

If you plan to have more pets in the future, you must be careful. Shiba Inu will want to be the top dog in the hierarchy. If you get another dominant dog, they will fight for the title of the alpha dog.

If you get other smaller pets, such as a cat, their personalities may also clash. With another dominant cat, the two will bicker a lot. But having a submissive cat will encourage your Shiba Inu’s prey drive even more.

Being territorial is another big issue in the breed, as they do not like to share their belongings. With this, resource guarding is a concern if you will add other pets to your family. But they may also get defensive when children come near their prized possessions.

They Are Challenging to Train

Training any dog regardless of its breed is not a walk in the park. But training a Shiba Inu is even more demanding because of their stubbornness. Teaching them some commands will sometimes feel like they have selective hearing.

This does not mean that Shiba Inu are dumb, they are the opposite and are actually quite smart. But unless they have a good incentive to listen to you, they will not comply.

Working to please you is not part of their personality. Instead, you need external motivation for them in the form of treats or toys. This breed will always look for something in return, and you must keep this in mind during training.

They Easily Get Bored

Having a smart dog like a Shiba Inu is a double-edged sword. They understand you and pick up on training fast. But this also means that they need a lot of mental stimulation.

Your Shiba Inu always needs entertainment, especially if they are alone. Thus, you need to enrich their environment with various toys. Puzzle toys, interactive feeders, and balls are great options for this.

But more than their toys, your Shiba Inu needs meaningful interactions with you. The best way to relieve their boredom is to play with your furry friend. They may be independent dogs, but they need a lot of your time for play.

With this, you need to play with your Shiba Inu several times a day apart from their routine walks. If you do not do this, you must brace yourself from destruction. A bored Shiba Inu is notorious for being quite destructive.

When a Shiba Inu gets bored, they will act out and they will let you know their displeasure. They will find other ways to have fun, and this can mean chewing on furniture or your shoes.

What Are the Challenges of Owning a Shiba Inu?

A high prey drive is one of the many challenges you will face when owning a Shiba Inu. These dogs have a strong desire to chase smaller animals, such as cats and rabbits. But your Shiba Inu will test your patience in many other ways.

Before you get this breed, you need to know what you are getting into. Thus, here are the other challenges of owning a Shiba Inu:

  • They are escape artists
  • They are not good listeners
  • They get quite destructive
  • They love to play rough
  • They dislike strangers
  • They hate restraints
  • They are possessive

They Are Escape Artists

Shiba Inu are like ninjas, and they have a knack for escaping home to get their freedom. These dogs will go to great lengths for this too. They will squeeze through tight cracks, jump over fences, open doors, and more.

And when they become successful with this, you will have a hard time finding and capturing your Shiba Inu. While they are having the time of their life running around and having fun, they may get hurt or get lost forever. With this, you must always secure your Shiba Inu, and microchips are even more crucial for these dogs.

They Are Not Good Listeners

This breed is a proud and stubborn dog, and it is tough to get them to listen to you. It sometimes feels like they are living in their own bubble that you cannot seem to burst.

Shiba Inu will always look for something in return before they even think about listening to you. Thus, you must always look for the best motivation for your buddy while getting to know them.

Sometimes, even if you have something that benefits them, they will still not comply. Some Shiba Inu owners have experienced getting shunned by their dogs even if they have a treat in hand. If this breed sticks to what it wants, and if they are not in the mood for you, you cannot force them to.

They Get Quite Destructive

As an active and playful breed, Shiba Inu tend to act out if they get understimulated. This happens if you leave them alone without anything to do or skip their daily exercise. To show you how displeased they are, your Shiba Inu will chew or claw on everything in sight.

The thing is, physical exercise is not enough to keep your Shiba Inu stimulated. Because they are smart dogs, they need a lot of mental exercise too.

With this, you must come up with ways to mentally challenge this breed. While toys work well for this, your furry friend will prefer to play games with you.

They Love to Play Rough

Shiba Inu have an extreme play style as they love to roughhouse. The size of their playmate does not matter to them. Big or small, your Shiba Inu will play rough with any dog that they meet.

But not all dogs will like this breed’s play style. This is a bigger issue if they are interacting with a smaller breed.

With this, Shiba Inu must undergo extensive socialization while they are young. This teaches them how to play with others without getting hurt. And your Shiba Inu will also learn good manners when interacting with other dogs.

They Dislike Strangers

Shiba Inu are not naturally friendly dogs compared to other breeds. With this, early socialization is a must to help them become better with other people and pets. If you skip this, your furry friend will have trouble with their social skills.

They will be wary of every stranger they meet, whether they meet them in public or your home. Your Shiba Inu will fear them and this scenario can play out in two ways. They may either cower away or keep the stranger away and become aggressive.

With this, you need to put in extra work for this breed to make them more sociable dogs. This takes more of your time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end.

They Hate Restraints

Shiba Inu love their freedom and they will do all they can to get it. Because of this, they hate wearing leashes, collars, or harnesses. But these are necessary for the breed as you can never trust them enough to be off their leash.

This also means that your Shiba Inu may dislike crates, enclosures, and fences. But again, all these are a must to keep your Shiba Inu safe and secure.

So you need another extra step to get them used to this. With practice, a lot of time, and positive reinforcement, your buddy may tolerate these.

They Are Possessive

Resource guarding is a big concern for this breed. This may be due to their strong primitive traits. Wild dogs have to be extra cautious with their resources for their survival.

As a pet, your Shiba Inu does not need this, but this residual trait lives on in the breed today. They will not want to share their food, toys, and bed with other dogs. They may even growl at you if you come near their belongings.

Again, socialization plays a big part in this. Your Shiba Inu must understand that sharing is not a bad idea. You also need to reassure them that they will never run out of anything they need as you will provide for them.

Do Shiba Inu Make Good Family Pets?

Shiba Inu is a great family dog if you have older children or teenagers. But if you have younger children, they may not be the best fit for you. This is because of the general characteristics that this breed possesses.

Typically, good family dogs are the following:

  • Friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Gentle
  • Patient
  • Curious

Curiosity is one of the traits that a Shiba Inu has. And while they are wary of strangers if they lack socialization, they are friendly toward their family. But what about the other traits?

Shiba Inu are affectionate, although they are not cuddly dogs. Being close to you and keeping an eye on you is how they show their love. So if you have young kids who want to hug your buddy, they may not like it.

Other than that, Shiba Inu tend to have an impatient side to them. How people interact with them matters, and family members must respect their space. But young kids may overstep their boundaries, so your Shiba Inu may get provoked.

Last but not the least, Shiba Inu love to play rough. They are playful dogs and they will accept young children as their playmates. But Shiba Inu may end up hurting kids because of their roughhousing.

This breed also has other qualities that you must know about if you are considering them as a family pet. They are also territorial and stubborn dogs.

Shiba Inu can get very defensive about their resources, and they do not play nice about this. They will try to protect their prized possessions, such as their food and toys.

If you have kids who want to get their toys, your Shiba Inu may act out. This can manifest itself in many ways, such as growling and long eye contact. This is because your furry friend sees kids as a threat to their resources.

Being stubborn is also something you would not want in a family dog. Obedience is crucial because it will allow you to control your Shiba Inu when they misbehave. But this breed likes to ignore you if they want to.

Keep in mind though that these are all general statements. Not every Shiba Inu will fit these stereotypes. Thus, this will still depend on the individual’s personality.

Thus, you must always choose your Shiba Inu carefully. Take the time to meet them in person, including their parents. You have a higher chance of finding the right Shiba Inu for your family if you go to a reputable breeder.

Other than this, a big factor is also your furry friend’s upbringing. Proper training and socialization will make them well-behaved dogs as they grow up. If you put in the effort, your Shiba Inu will learn how to be a great family dog.

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Dog for Kids?

Shiba Inu are often not recommended for young children. But they do better with older kids and even more with teenagers. Still, this is a generalization and there are several factors to consider here:

  • Your Shiba Inu’s personality
  • Your Shiba Inu’s upbringing
  • Your children

Your Shiba Inu’s Personality

People often look at blanket statements about a breed to see if a dog breed best fits them. You will often hear or read that Shiba Inu are territorial, aloof, stubborn, and more. And while this applies to many of them, not all Shiba Inu are like this.

Keep in mind that each dog is an individual with its own personality. You may find a more laid-back, friendly, and patient Shiba Inu if you go to the right breeder.

Reputable breeders will allow you to meet the puppies and their parents. This is crucial so that you have a good idea of your pup’s personality. Make sure to spend time with their parents too, as they are a good indicator of how your Shiba Inu will grow up to be.

Your Shiba Inu’s Upbringing

Any dog will be rowdy and ill-mannered if you let them be. The only way a dog gets to be good around children is if they undergo proper training and socialization. Thus, a well-trained Shiba Inu is likely to get along better with kids, regardless of age.

Again, you will have an easier time with this if you go to a reputable breeder. A responsible breeder will begin the socialization process early on. So you must ask them how they raise their puppies, and what they have gotten exposed to.

Some breeders will already let their puppies be around kids. This way, the puppy grows up familiar with small children running about. This makes them less fearful of kids, and as you know, fear brings out aggression in dogs.

But the socialization process does not stop with your breeder. Once you bring your Shiba Inu home, you must continue this.

You need to get them familiar with the kids in your home, and even unfamiliar ones. Other than that, you must teach them how to handle kids as well. They must not play rough with kids and should be okay sharing their toys, for example.

Your Children

You must also consider the children your Shiba Inu are interacting with. Even a well-trained dog has its limits and may snap when a kid is too rough with them.

Older children get along better with Shiba Inu because they know how to handle dogs. They also know how to interpret your furry friend’s body language better. This way, they can back off if your Shiba Inu seems unhappy with the interaction already.

Other than that, older children also know how to respect their buddy’s boundaries. Shiba Inu love their personal space, and if they do not feel like playing, they must not get disturbed. It is easier to teach older kids this because they are more mature.

Meanwhile, younger kids can be too much for any dog, especially Shiba Inu. Kids are unpredictable, noisy, and rambunctious. They also tend to mishandle dogs, poking them, grabbing fur, pulling tails, and more.

While some dogs will tolerate this, Shiba Inu is not one of those breeds. Some are patient enough to just walk away, but they will not learn to like the kid. Others will snap at the kid and show aggressive behaviors.

But once your Shiba Inu bonds with your kids, your buddy will assume the role of their protector. They will be on the lookout for trouble. And they may even put themselves between any threat if they need to.

Why Are Shiba Inu Good for Kids?

If a Shiba Inu and kid know how to interact with one another, they can be great playmates. Many are familiar with the reasons why this breed is not suitable for kids. But Shiba Inu also have qualities that make them great for kids, such as:

They Love to Play

Shiba Inu are playful, full of energy, and know how to have a fun time, much like kids. This breed responds well to those who match their energy and they will happily play with kids. When done daily, this is a great exercise for both the kid and your furry friend.

While this breed is energetic, they are not on the level of working dogs. So once your kid has already had enough, your Shiba Inu will understand. Other high-energy breeds may still bug children to play some more.

But if this is the other way around, you need to teach your children to respect your Shiba Inu. When your Shiba Inu taps out, no one should force them to keep playing. This breed does not like to get pushed around, and they may snap when this happens.

They Are Protective of Their Family

One of the well-known and loved qualities of this breed is their unwavering loyalty. If you gain their trust and respect, your Shiba Inu will have your back. The same can happen with their relationship with your children.

They Are Alert Dogs

This trait ties in well with Shiba Inu’s protective nature. This breed is an alert dog, which is why they do well as watchdogs.

Their territorial nature can work to your benefit as well. This is because they are more likely to react to any strange stimuli in their environment.

Once your Shiba Inu senses anything amiss, it will let out loud barks to alert you. This will benefit all the family members, even your children.

They Are Just the Right Size

Although they may think so, Shiba Inu is not a big or powerful breed. This makes them more manageable when interacting with kids. Their small frame makes does not make it likely for them to overpower children.

Are Shiba Inu Good With Babies?

No dog, regardless of its breed, is a hundred percent safe around babies, including Shiba Inu. This is an even bigger issue if your furry friend is only seeing a baby for the first time. If you bring home a baby, your Shiba Inu may see them as a threat or an intruder.

Because of this, your Shiba Inu will constantly bark at the baby. As you can imagine, this can be a nightmare, especially if the baby is sleeping.

But in time, your Shiba Inu will get used to the baby’s presence. If they grow old together, they will form a strong bond. With this, the baby will also have your furry friend’s loyalty.

Keep in mind that you should never leave your Shiba Inu to interact with a baby unsupervised. Even if your buddy is well-trained, you will never know how to react. This is dangerous for a fragile and helpless baby.

Are Shiba Inu Good With Toddlers?

Toddlers often get onto the nerves of a Shiba Inu because of how rowdy, loud, and rough they are. They usually grab ears, pull fur, poke, and let out loud squeals. Shiba Inu loves a peaceful home, and this can be too much for them to handle.

This breed is keen on protecting its personal space. Toddlers tend to disregard this, though. If your Shiba Inu feels invaded, they will retaliate.

Some Shiba Inu may snap at the kid to tell them to back off, and this is something you should always watch out for. Other Shiba Inu may remove themselves from the situation and avoid the toddler.

But you may be lucky enough to have a child-loving Shiba Inu too! As you know, this breed is quite a drama queen. And they may respond to a toddler’s antics in silly ways.

Keep in mind that this not only builds down to your furry friend’s personality. How you train them also matters, as you need to teach them how to handle kids. But even if you have done that, never let your Shiba Inu play with a toddler alone.

How to Teach Shiba Inu to Be Around Children

There is no one way to teach your Shiba Inu how to be around kids, you need a combination of methods. It all starts with socializing them with kids. But they must also respond well to commands, resist unwanted behaviors, and more.

Your goal is for the two to have a good relationship where they respect each other. This is especially necessary if you have kids at home.

With this, here are the many ways for you to teach your Shiba Inu how to interact with kids:

  • Respect your buddy’s feelings
  • Constant socialization
  • Test their obedience commands
  • Establish rules and boundaries
  • Go through handling exercises
  • Crate train your Shiba Inu

Respect Your Buddy’s Feelings

Never force your Shiba Inu to interact with kids if they do not want to. They may fear kids, and pushing them toward kids will only make them more afraid.

If you continue to do this, your Shiba Inu will associate kids with fear. Other than that, they may grow to resent your children. Both scenarios are a step backward to achieving your goal.

With this, their interactions should be slow and gradual. The more your Shiba Inu sees your kids, the more they will warm up to them.

Make sure to always watch your furry friend’s body language. If they seem scared or agitated, take a step back and stop the interaction right away.

Constant Socialization

The best time for socialization is when your Shiba Inu is still between 8 to 16 weeks of age. This is a vital stage of their development. Whatever you do during this short window will shape how they will become as they grow older.

So make sure that your Shiba Inu gets exposed to as many experiences as possible during this stage. Have them meet a variety of people, dogs, and even children. If you have young family members, they are a great start as long as you supervise them.

Socialization does not stop after your Shiba Inu surpasses this age. You must continue to do this until your Shiba Inu is better with kids.

The best and easiest way to continue their socialization is to take them to a nearby park. Parks are where all sorts of people go, even kids. And having your buddy see them as often as possible will get them comfortable with a kid’s presence.

This will also help them get used to the various loud sounds that children make. Children will run around and have fun in the park, so your buddy can hear or even smell them.

You may even see children playing with dogs there, which is great for your Shiba Inu. Having them observe this will help them learn that they can have fun with children too!

Test Their Obedience Commands

Your Shiba Inu must be reliable in following their basic obedience commands. This includes commands such as sit, stay, and down. With these cues, you can control your Shiba Inu so that the kids around them are safer.

These command cues will come in handy once your Shiba Inu interacts with kids. For example, if your Shiba Inu begins to get overexcited, you can ask them to lie down. This allows them to calm down before they can resume playing with the kids.

Other than that, you must also teach your Shiba Inu to “go away”. This tells them to move away from the children when you need them to.

This is useful if you see your Shiba Inu becoming uncomfortable with the situation. Some dogs do not realize that moving away from a scary situation is an option. If this sounds like your Shiba Inu, you first need to teach them this.

Establish Rules and Boundaries

Teaching your Shiba Inu rules and boundaries is crucial. If you do not do this, they will make their own rules as they go.

One example is you should never allow your Shiba Inu to jump on anyone, especially kids. They may knock off a small child, or you may let go of a baby if you are carrying them.

Another rule to enforce is that they should never touch the kid’s toys. This can be very tempting for your Shiba Inu to do, as they look fun to play with. But kid’s toys are not meant for your buddy, and they may end up destroying them.

Practice the “leave it” command with your Shiba Inu whenever they see your children’s toys. Make sure you redirect their attention to their toys, too, when you do so. And never forget to reward them with treats whenever they listen.

Go Through Handling Exercises

You need to prepare your Shiba Inu for some handling from children. Sometimes, kids cannot help themselves and go on to throw their arms around your furry friend. Shiba Inu dislike excessive handling, and you need to teach them to tolerate it.

You must go through this with your Shiba Inu before they even interact with kids. Hold their tail, ears, belly, and more while giving them praise. If they do not react, make sure to give them lots of high-value treats!

This will help your Shiba Inu associate touch with something positive. They do not even have to like it, but they must behave when they get touched.

But if your Shiba Inu gets anxious or fearful during this exercise, then they are not cut out for this. It is best to keep children at a distance from your Shiba Inu instead. But you can teach older children not to touch your Shiba Inu at all, too.

Crate Train Your Shiba Inu

Your furry friend’s crate is their safe space, somewhere they can retreat to when they have had enough. If your Shiba Inu does not want to interact with kids, they can hide in their crate and get comfortable in it. But for this to work, your kids must know that the crate is a no-no zone for them.

Your kids must keep a distance from your buddy’s haven at all times. By following this, your Shiba Inu can be at ease knowing they have a child-free space.

Keep in mind that crate training your Shiba Inu is a gradual process too. You cannot expect them to have positive feelings for their crate right off the bat. This positive association needs time, effort, and patience.

How to Teach Kids to Handle Shiba Inu

To teach your kids how to handle your Shiba Inu, you must set rules for them to follow and lead by example. Your actions, not only their words, will help them learn better. Thus, you must guide them throughout the whole process.

Here is what you need for your kids to learn:

  • Establish ground rules and boundaries
  • Let them learn a dog’s body language
  • Show them how to interact with your Shiba Inu

Establish Ground Rules and Boundaries

Begin by talking to your kids about your nonnegotiable rules on how to interact with your Shiba Inu. This will teach them how to respect your buddy’s dislikes, personal space, and feelings.

To help you get started with this, here are some rules that your children should know:

  • No Rough Handling: They must never squeeze, hug, or yank your furry friend’s fur. Teach your kids not to grab your Shiba Inu’s feet, ears, and tail too. Your kids must also not ride your Shiba Inu like a horse.
  • No Teasing: Your kids must never provoke your Shiba Inu to snap. This means no poking, blowing, and other ways of teasing them.
  • No Rough Playing: Do not allow your child to wrestle or lie on top of your Shiba Inu. These are painful for your furry friend and they may retaliate by biting.
  • No Yelling: Shiba Inu have an acute sense of hearing, so they are sensitive to loud noises. Your kids must never scream near your Shiba Inu. This may either scare or annoy them.
  • No Running Away: Your kids must not run away from your buddy, as this can activate their hunting instincts. Your Shiba Inu will chase after the kid, and they will not outrun your buddy.
  • No Disturbing: Dogs do not like getting disturbed when they are eating or sleeping. This is not only cruel, but it can also provoke your Shiba Inu.

Other than these, teach your kids to respect your Shiba Inu’s personal space too. Do not let them invade your furry friend’s crate or bed. Putting their face close to your buddy’s face also counts as intruding.

Let Them Learn a Dog’s Body Language

Children should know how a dog communicates too. This way they will know when your buddy is angry, in pain, or irritated. Below is a list of signs that you must teach your kids:

  • Growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Pinned-back ears
  • Snarling
  • Stiffness
  • Whining

Show Them How to Interact With Your Shiba Inu

It is easier to teach your kid by practicing with them rather than telling them what they should do. For their first real interaction, you need to ensure that your Shiba Inu feels safe. So have them go to your kid on their terms.

Allow your Shiba Inu to sniff the kid as they stand still. Now let them hold out their closed fist and let your Shiba Inu smell that first. If your furry friend accepts this, then you can let your kids pet them.

Start by letting your kid pet your Shiba Inu’s chin or chest. Petting them from above may not be a good start, as your furry friend may not like this. Now let your kid go on to gently pet your buddy’s neck and back in the direction of the fur.

If your Shiba Inu becomes agitated, snaps, or backs away at any point, end the session right away. Take a break, and try again later.

Once your Shiba Inu warms up to your child, then you must continue to teach your kid at home. Make sure you do not leave them unsupervised for their safety.

Are Shiba Inu Good for Old People?

Shiba Inu can be a loyal companion to old people, as long as they are compatible. Everyone has their preferences and lifestyle. So for some old people, this breed may be perfect for them.

There is no one specific dog breed that is great for all seniors. Others look for small, laid-back dogs like Pugs. While other seniors enjoy the company of an active Australian Shepherd.

You have several factors to consider when choosing a dog, such as:

  • Grooming Needs: Some breeds need regular baths, clipping, trimming, and more. This can be a lot for you if you opt not to seek the help of a professional groomer. Other dog breeds only need regular brushing, so they are easier to groom.
  • Temperament: No matter their breed, any dog can grow up to be friendly. But some breeds are naturally accepting, friendly, and affectionate toward people.
  • Energy Level: Your furry friend’s energy level must match yours and your lifestyle. High-energy dogs need more daily exercise, otherwise, they will misbehave.
  • Size: Smaller dogs are more manageable, fit on your lap well, and adapt well to small living spaces. Handling larger dogs can be overwhelming and will not do well in condos or apartments. Their size can also be an issue if they tug on their leash during walks.
  • Age: Puppies have so much energy that is too much to handle for anyone, especially older people. You train them to go to the potty, to listen to your commands, and more. Thus, seniors should go for mellow and mature adult dogs.

So if you are keen on getting a Shiba Inu, you need to get to know the breed more to see if you are compatible. This breed has traits that appeal to older people, such as:

  • Easy grooming needs
  • Moderate energy levels
  • Small size
  • Independent

Easy Grooming Needs

Shiba Inu only need baths every month or two if they do not have skin issues. Other than that, these dogs do not need trims or shaves at all, as this can damage their coat.

The only issue with this breed is that they are double-coated, and so they shed a lot. With this, the only thing you need to focus on is a regular brushing routine. This way, you can take off any loose hairs that are ready to fall off.

It also helps that Shiba Inu are a clean dog breed, and they spend a lot of time grooming themselves. This allows you to stretch the time between their baths.

Moderate Energy Levels

Shiba Inu are the perfect balance when it comes to energy level. They love to play and get active each day. But they are also content with lounging around with you indoors.

Keep in mind though that this breed needs at least an hour of exercise each day. And because they are smart, their minds need to get stimulated a lot. Still, they are more manageable than herding or working dog breeds.

Small Size

This breed is a medium-sized dog, but they are on the smaller end. They only stand at 13.5 to 16.5 in (342.9 to 419.1 mm) tall and weigh around 17 to 23 lbs (7.7 to 10.4 kg). For most people, this is a good size as it makes them manageable.

Shiba Inu can fit on your lap and you can carry them around with no issues. They also have no issues living in apartments, condos, and care facilities.

Other than that, they are not as powerful as larger dog breeds. You can walk them on a leash without worrying about getting dragged around.


Unlike other breeds, Shiba Inu are not needy and can handle themselves well. This can benefit you as you can go about your day without worrying too much about them. While other dogs will look for you to get your attention, Shiba Inu will come with you to observe what you are doing.

But this quality of theirs is something you may like. Their idea of showing affection is staying close to you all the time. They are not cuddly dogs, and this may be a dealbreaker for you.

Are Shiba Inu Good for People With Anxiety?

Any dog breed can offer emotional support for those who suffer from anxiety, even Shiba Inu. But because of this breed’s quirks, they are not the best for the job.

In general, dog breeds that are great for those with anxiety are the following:

  • Calm
  • Affectionate
  • Confident
  • Loyal
  • Loving
  • Friendly
  • Outgoing

These traits are what make them soothing and suitable for emotional support. While Shiba Inu are some of these, they also have other undesirable traits.

For one, Shiba Inu are stubborn, and they live in their own world. If you need emotional support from them, they are not always ready to do so. This breed will only do what it wants and will focus on its business more than on you.

And while they may be mellow most of the time, they get bursts of zoomies throughout the day. Since they have trouble listening to commands, you will have a hard time stopping them. Thus, they may worsen your anxiety instead of calming you down.

Other than these, dogs who are great for people with anxiety are touchy-feely. They love to give cuddles to humans whenever they need to. Unfortunately, Shiba Inu are not these types of dogs.

Instead, Shiba Inu are independent dogs who value their personal space a ton. Their idea of showing affection is always keeping close to you, instead of snuggling up to you. While this may appeal to some, this is not what a majority of those with anxiety want.

But keep in mind that there are always exceptions to this. The drawbacks mentioned above are only generalizations about the breed.

Dogs are individuals, and you must treat them as such instead of going for blanket statements. Any dog can be great for you if you have anxiety, and this will depend on the following:

  • The dog’s personality
  • The dog’s upbringing
  • Your bond with your Shiba Inu

With this, you may be lucky and find a Shiba Inu that can be a great emotional support dog for you. But you must do your research and meet several dogs before you bring home one.

Are Shiba Inu Lap Dogs?

If you want a lap dog, Shiba Inu may not be the breed that you should go for. Great lap dogs are very cuddly, and this is the biggest criterion to look for in one. But this is where Shiba Inu often fall short.

This breed is quiet, loyal, loves naps, and wants to get involved in everything you do. They are also affectionate dogs, but they often want to show their love for you from afar. Instead of snuggling up to you, they would rather watch over you.

Shiba Inu likes to be near people but not on them. And this is why they do not make the best lap dogs.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to this as each dog is different. Some Shiba Inu owners find that their dogs love nothing more than to sleep on their laps. And this is surprising as this is not characteristic of the breed.

Considering these, Shiba Inu can be a great lap dog, but it will depend on their personality. If you want this breed to be a lap dog, you need to look for one as they are rare. This takes a lot of time and effort from you, though, so it may be best to just go for the usual lap dog breeds.

Are Shiba Inu Friendly With People?

Some Shiba Inu can be friendly depending on their personality and upbringing. But by nature, Shiba Inu are not friendly dogs, so they keep their distance. This is especially true if they meet unfamiliar faces, whether humans or dogs.

You may find some that are friendly and welcoming to everyone they meet, but they are rare. Through proper socialization and training though, any dog can be friendly. And this includes this breed.

The key to making your Shiba Inu friendly is early socialization. This should happen once they are 8 to 16 weeks of age, as this is a crucial time for them to develop social skills. So once your Shiba Inu reaches this age, you must take extra effort to bring them outside.

You need to have them meet as many people and dogs as possible. This way, they get used to seeing new faces all the time. By doing so, they will see strangers as a normal part of life and they will not act negatively toward them.

Even if you do everything right though, you need to manage your expectations. If they do not have a friendly personality, then they will not welcome everyone they meet with open arms.

What socialization and training will do is help your Shiba Inu tolerate people and dogs. They may even seem standoffish to some as they are independent dogs who like to keep their distance.

Still, this is better than an undersocialized Shiba Inu. If your buddy does have a good upbringing, they are quick to aggression toward other people and dogs. So you are still benefitting a lot from training and socializing them.

Do Shiba Inu Get Attached to One Person?

Shiba Inu often tend to choose their favorite person. But this does not mean they love the rest of their humans any less. Some Shiba Inu, though, never choose their person and get attached to everyone equally.

When this breed does choose their favorite person, they have a strong bond for life. All dogs are loyal, but Shiba Inu are particularly loyal even to a fault. Many even claim that Shiba Inu will only accept one master in their lifetime.

Unfortunately, they can be unpredictable when choosing their favorite person. They may not get attached to their owners, and many Shiba Inu owners can testify to this.

Why Do Some Shiba Inu Pick One Person?

Shiba Inu pick a favorite simply because they have positive associations with them. The more time and attention you give your buddy, the more they are going to get attached to you. Having fun with them all the time only amplifies this even more!

With this, you may think that they choose their owners as their favorite people all the time. But this is not always the case as they also get attached to other people more.

This all boils down to how compatible they are with the person as well. If your personality aligns with your Shiba Inu’s, you are likely their favorite.

How Do Shiba Inu Choose Their Favorite Person?

There are a few ways in which Shiba Inu choose their favorite person. As you can expect, this will all depend on your interactions with them. To be more specific, here are their criteria:

  • Puppyhood bonding
  • Quality time
  • Personality compatibility
  • Positive associations

Puppyhood Bonding

You make a strong and lasting impact on your Shiba Inu while they are still puppies. The person who cares, feeds, and plays with them most at this age is likely to be their favorite. This is a critical time for this, as this is their socialization period.

Quality Time

Your Shiba Inu continues to get socialized even after puppyhood. And how you treat them will continue to cement whom their favorite is going to be.

They will build a strong bond with the person who gives them the most time, affection, and attention. But more than the quantity, the quality matters most here.

Being passive with your interactions will not do anything. This means that playing with your buddy with a flirt pole while watching TV will not do much.

Instead, engaging in meaningful activities with them with your full attention is best. So when you are playing fetch with your Shiba Inu, you need to be fully present in the moment. Make eye contact, talk to them, and focus on them.

Personality Compatibility

People who resemble a dog’s personality are likely to be the favorite person. The more you have in common with your Shiba Inu, the more you understand each other. With this, you enjoy each other’s company a lot and thus, you spend a lot of time doing things you like with them.

Positive Associations

As you know, any action a dog gets rewarded for is likely to get repeated. Outside of training, this is also true when building a relationship with your Shiba Inu.

You can help your furry friend build a positive association with you. This is why vets give dogs treats during their visits, this makes the dog like them more. So the more you do good for your buddy, the more they will relate you to good things.

Limiting their negative interactions with you also helps with this. If you scold them a lot, you are taking a step back for this.

Do Shiba Inu Need a Lot of Attention?

Because of their independent nature, Shiba Inu are not that demanding of your time. This breed does not crave or need so much of your attention, as they can handle their own. They even like to spend alone time away from people from time to time.

With this, Shiba Inu have no problems being alone at home while you are away for work. As long as you get them used to it, you can leave them for eight hours at a time. This is why this breed is not as prone to developing separation anxiety compared to other dog breeds.

Is It Expensive to Own a Shiba Inu?

Although they are not the most expensive dogs, Shiba Inu are costly to buy and own. You can expect your annual costs for them to be around $1,525 to $8,525 per dog, excluding the cost of buying them. And naturally, their first year with you is likely to be most costly, at around $3,450 to $3,800.

The price of a Shiba Inu puppy is anywhere between $650 to $3,500, which is already a high price. You will get a more pricy puppy from a reputable breeder because their litter quality is much better. So depending on where you buy, you may have to shell out more.

But the spending does not end once you bring your new Shiba Inu puppy home. You need to buy food, toys, and other necessities. Other than that, you must consider their health insurance, too, to prepare for the future.

Where does all your money go, though? To help you prepare your finances, here is what your Shiba Inu needs.

Initial Expenses:

  • Buying the puppy
  • Trips to the vet (health exams, vaccinations, medications)
  • Dog bed
  • Dog crate
  • Playpen
  • Leash, harness, collar
  • Toys (especially mentally stimulating ones)
  • Microchip
  • Dog bowls
  • Dog food
  • Grooming supplies (brushes, nail trimmers, shampoo, etc.)

Annual Expenses:

  • Veterinary expenses
  • Medications
  • Dog food
  • Pet services (professional training, grooming, pet sitter, etc.)
  • Pet insurance
  • Miscellaneous (new toys, poop bags, etc.)

It is crucial to point out that you must have insurance for your Shiba Inu. Many dog owners only see this as an option though. Shiba Inu are relatively healthy dogs, but they are prone to some health issues.

Treating these conditions can be expensive. Depending on where you live, the severity, and more, here are their costs:

  • Allergies: $200 to $3,500
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: $200 to $600
  • Glaucoma: $350 to $3,500
  • Patellar Luxation: $1,500 to $3,000 (per knee)
  • Hip Dysplasia: $3,500 to $7,500 (per hip)

Keep in mind that these are only average estimates to help give you an idea. These costs can stack up, and these exclude medications and other vet costs too.

Thus, you need to prepare for your Shiba Inu’s future. They may be healthy now, but as they get older, they become more prone to health issues.

It is tempting to get pet insurance later on in their life, but this is a mistake many make. By the time you get one, you may be too late.

Getting pet insurance for your Shiba Inu at a young age is best. This is because you will get a better and cheaper quote when you do. Insurance companies will charge more for older dogs, so you will spend more yearly.

Other than that, companies may refuse to give insurance to dogs who are already ill. With this, you must invest in your buddy’s health early.

Is a Boy or Girl Shiba Inu Better?

No Shiba Inu is better than another based on their gender. They have slight differences, and this is what you should look into to decide which one is best for you. Thus, this will all boil down to what you are looking for in your furry friend.

To help you pick which one suits you best, you must take a look at their differences in the following:

  • Size and weight
  • Personality
  • Training
  • Activity level
  • Cleanliness

Size and Weight

A male and a female Shiba Inu only have slight differences physically. Thus, this may not have a big impact on your decision.

Male Shiba Inu are larger and heavier. They stand at 14.5 to 16.5 in (368.3 to 419.1 mm) and weigh around 18 to 24 lbs (8.2 to 10.9 kg).

Female Shiba Inu are smaller and lighter. They have a height of 13.5 to 15.5 in (342.9 to 393.7 mm) and weigh about 15 to 20 lbs (6.8 to 9.1 kg).


Male Shiba Inu are often friendlier and more sociable than their female counterparts. They tend to be more affectionate, too, and are more open to lounging on the couch with you for cuddles. They are confident, bold, and more playful as well.

So if you want a Shiba Inu who is more of a social butterfly, go with a male Shiba Inu. Because of their qualities, males are often recommended more.

Meanwhile, female Shiba Inu are more aloof, cautious, and mellow. They are also more independent, valuing their personal space a lot. With this, they are also less cuddly than their male counterparts.

If anyone or any dog invades their space, she will protect it at all costs. They may be small, but they stand their ground and bark at you to leave. If you do not listen to them, you will face their wrath.

Even with their personality differences, both are dramatic dogs. They will throw a tantrum when things do not go their way, and they will scream at you.


Both genders have qualities that make them harder or easier to train, so this may not matter as much. Stubbornness is a characteristic of a breed, so this is an issue you will have with either of them.

Compared to females, male Shiba Inu are more eager to please their owners. Thus, they can be easier to handle than females. This is also another reason why males are more recommended than females.

While they are easier to handle, male Shiba Inu may not be as smart as female Shiba Inu. So training a male can take you much longer.

Female Shiba Inu are smart, but they have an attitude and moody temperament. They may not allow you to boss them around, so their dominant personality will come out. But if you train them right, they can learn better and faster than a male Shiba Inu. It also helps that female Shiba Inu are more food-motivated, and you can use this to your advantage.

Activity Level

Male Shiba Inu are more active and energetic than females. This is all down to biology, and testosterone could play a huge role in this. So if you are an active person, a male Shiba Inu may be the better companion to join your activities.

But keep in mind that a male’s activity level may also be a disadvantage. You need to work harder to tire them out, otherwise, they will get destructive.

But if you have a slower lifestyle, a female Shiba Inu may fit you better. They are calmer than males, and they will enjoy sitting by your side in the park.


This breed is cleaner than other breeds, so they will fit you well if you are a clean freak. But you may have an easier time keeping a spotless home if you have a female Shiba Inu.

Females will go out of their way to keep themselves and their area clean. They will avoid mud and go around puddles as much as possible.

Males are also clean dogs, but they are more adventurous. So if they find something interesting, they will explore and investigate it. They may fixate on a puddle for a while and dive and splash around in it.

Other than that, male Shiba Inu are more prone to urine marking. This is especially an issue if they are not neutered. So fixing your furry friend may help to lessen this issue.

Is a Male or Female Shiba Inu More Dominant?

Although this breed is generally dominant, male Shiba Inu exhibits dominance more. Neutering them plays a big part in this, as intact males are more likely to show dominance. Because of this, they will have a habit of humping and urine marking.

But keep in mind that female Shiba Inu have dominant tendencies too. No matter their gender, they often do not get along with other dogs of the same gender. There will be some competition to be the alpha of the pack.

But if you have dogs of the opposite sex, they are likely to get along better. A male and female dog can both be the top boy or top girl, and they will respect each other’s title.

Is a Male or Female Shiba Inu More Friendly?

Male Shiba Inu are friendlier and more open to socializing with other people and dogs. And because they are more playful, they will accept jolly people and dogs faster. If they see that they can have a new playmate, they are more than happy to have fun with them.

But keep in mind that this only happens if they are properly socialized. If they do not undergo socialization, they can be quick to aggression toward others.

Female Shiba Inu are more distant, especially with unfamiliar faces. They will keep their distance from strangers. Their friendliness is only to their close social circle,

Is a Male or Female Shiba Inu Better for Kids?

A Shiba Inu’s gender is not a good indicator of how well they are with children. This breed is generally not a great family dog because of its quirks. But any dog can learn how to handle kids, even your Shiba Inu.

While they are young, they have to undergo extensive training for this. You must teach them how to be patient and gentle with kids from a young age. Only then can they be good dogs around your kids, but under your supervision.

This is why many do not recommend this breed for families with young children. They do better with older children and teenagers instead.

Is a Shiba Inu the Right Breed for Me?

Shiba Inu is the right dog for you if you can handle its stubbornness and quirks. They are not for a majority of people, and even experienced dog owners have trouble handling them.

Shiba Inu are difficult to train because they are strong-willed. They will not let you force them to do anything, and if you do, they will retaliate.

And you do not have much room for mistakes in training this breed. Their mood will turn sour in a snap just by raising your voice at them. They need a calm, patient, and understanding owner who only uses positive reinforcement. Any form of punishment will only push them to get aggressive with you. Thus, your relationship with them will be at stake.

Shiba Inu are independent dogs, and this makes them appear moody and standoffish. They may love their humans, but they will not go as far as cuddling with you. If you are looking for a touchy dog, then they are not for you.

Shiba Inu are not eager to please their owners too. And for them to listen to you, they must have something in return. This is something that may frustrate many people.

Shiba Inu are also a basal breed of dogs, so they have trouble how to act like pets. They hate getting handled, they have such a high prey drive, and they often have possession issues. These are only some of their quirks that can cause friction between you two.

There are other reasons why a Shiba Inu may not be for you, and these are only some of them. But if you are the right person for them, they will brighten up your life.

It is not hard to see why Shiba Inu is so loved by many people around the world. They are loyal, protective, and intelligent dogs with funny antics that put a smile on your face. But you will only see them this way if you are willing to work with them.