The Shiba Inu Breed

He looks just like a fox!

You have probably seen this foxy little dog, walking his little walk around your neighborhood. Or perhaps you saw him at the dog park, strutting his stuff,… or maybe it was at the dog show.

These little foxes are striking. They act like they are on show all of the time, and they stand out wherever they go.

What are they?

Sounds like Sheba Inu, Shibu Inu, Shiba Enu … the one and only Shiba Inu.

The Shiba Inu – What’s That?!

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog breed. There are six original distinct breeds of dog from Japan, and the Shiba Inu is the smallest one.

The largest in the group is the Akita. There aren’t many red and white Akitas in the United States, but the few that I have seen, look just like larger versions of the red Shiba Inu. And not in the Schwarzenegger-DeVito sort of way.

Between the Akita Inu and the Shiba Inu, are the medium sized Japanese dog breeds, including the Shikoku, Kai, Ainu, and Kishu. These six Japanese dog breeds have very similar appearance and temperaments. They all belong to the Spitz dog family.

Shiba Inu – What Does It Mean?

The Kanji or Japanese character for ‘dog‘, can be pronounced as ‘Inu‘ or ‘Ken‘.  Therefore, Shiba Inu simply means Shiba dog. Sometimes, you will also hear the Shiba dog being referred to as Shiba Ken.

The exact interpretation of ‘Shiba‘, is less clear. It could mean ‘red shrub‘, for the red bushes that grow in the region, where Shibas come from. Alternatively, it could also mean ‘small‘.

The Shiba Inu is certainly a cheeky little red shrub, so both interpretations work out well.

Shiba Inu – What Does It Truly Mean?

I know that discussions of red shrubs are truly riveting, but you probably want to move on to what it truly means to be Shiba, am I right?

Well, you know what they say about red-heads and their fiery temper.

The same is also true of the red-headed Shiba Inu. You may think that you can get around this thorny issue, by getting a Shiba of another color, such as the red-sesame, black and tan, or cream colored versions. However, the Shiba God is indeed one step ahead of you.

Shiba Inus of all colors, have the same fiery red personality.

That is why they are also known as –

  • The ‘devil dog’,
  • The ‘not for everyone dog’, and
  • The ‘honey, why the hell did you get this thing?! dog’.

Indeed, the Shiba Inu is not recommended for first time dog owners.

However, figuring I was smarter than everyone else, or mainly because of lack of research, I decided to get a Shiba as my first dog anyway. It was not an easy first dog experience, but after over a year, Shiba Inu Sephy and I reached a somewhat peaceful state of cohabitation.

My little red shrub still has some thorns, but he is growing some beautiful flowers as well.

Mame Shiba

Standard sized male Shiba Inus tend to range between 20-25 pounds, for an average weight of around 23 pounds. Female Shiba Inus are slightly smaller, and have an average weight of 17 pounds. There are always outliers though.

My male Shiba is a big boy, and comes in at around 30 pounds. He is not an overweight dog, just big-boned.

Recently, some breeders in Japan and the United States have started breeding Mame Shibas, which are essentially smaller sized Shibas. ‘Mame‘ means ‘bean‘ in Japanese, so these are bean-sized Shibas.

Mame Shibas are not recognized by any of the kennel clubs in Japan, or in the United States. As a result, the breeding of Mame Shibas is not regulated, and many of the breeders who sell them, do not breed for health or temperament.

Since the Shiba Inu is already a difficult dog breed to begin with, we want to try and get one that has a balanced temperament. Therefore, it is best to get a Shiba from an accredited club breeder, who has to follow strict breeding guidelines.

Jomon Shiba

The Jomon period is the time in Japanese history from around 14,000 B.C. to 400 B.C. The Jomon inhabitants reared hunting dogs that were a big part of their culture.

Archaeological sites have uncovered well-preserved skeletons of the Jomon dogs, which show that they have prick ears and a sickle tail. Scientists believe these dogs to be the ancient ancestors of the Shiba Inu, and the other five original Japanese dog breeds.

Some breeders in Japan have founded the Shibaho association, to breed dogs with physical characteristics that conform to the Jomon dogs of old.

The Jomon Shiba is a more feral looking Shiba, with a narrower head, and larger teeth. True to their even more primitive roots, Jomon Shibas are more stubborn and less obedient, than their domesticated Shiba Inu brothers.

Given the already high level of stubbornness and willfulness in a regular Shiba, it may be best to stay away from these Jomon dogs.

Shiba Inu – Why Not?

Truthfully, there are many easier and friendlier dog breeds than the Shiba Inu.

The Shiba Inu is independent and aloof. If we want a lap dog who likes to cuddle with us, then the Shiba is not for us.

The Shiba Inu is feisty and active. If we want a calm dog that just lies at the end of our bed, and warms our feet, then the Shiba is not for us.

The Shiba Inu is a dog rebel. If we want an obedient dog that follows our every command, and only lives to please us, then the Shiba is not for us.

Why Do People Get Shiba Inus?

Yeah, they are a bit nuts. Maybe more than a bit nuts. However, once we get beneath that fiery red temper, we will find a rich and deep Shiba soul.

The Shiba Inu is a trickster. He likes to play tricks, and he likes breaking rules. We will never be bored if we live with a Shiba, because he will always be up to something. Sometimes, it is even something good.

The Shiba Inu is a clown. He likes being the center of attention, and he will do much to get to that coveted spot. What he does, will be original, funny, and very entertaining. In fact, Shibas remind me of stand-up comedians. They can easily make others laugh with their crazy hi-jinks, but they have a very sensitive and fragile soul.

The Shiba Inu is a charmer. He can charm birds from the trees, if he wants to. Most of the time, he may not want to, but when he does, look out! It is simply not possible to resist those deep dark eyes, his infectious grin, or roguish charm.

The Shiba Inu is one of a kind. He is not like a regular dog. In fact, many people describe the Shiba as a dog that is more like a cat.

If we want a dog that is a bit different, a dog that will challenge us and grow with us, a dog that will surprise us in both delightful and sometimes non-delightful ways, a trickster, a prankster, and a rogue, but sensitive, deep, and surprising – then the Shiba Inu is the dog for us.

He is like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, except with more fur and without the hat!

Getting a Shiba Inu

Should we get a Shiba Inu puppy?

That would depend on our temperament, lifestyle, and the amount of time we can devote to a new puppy. The Shiba Inu is a challenging dog breed, because he is extremely stubborn, dominant, and smart.

Shiba Inu training is a must, and it can be a very time consuming and frustrating process, especially in the beginning.

Patience and time are two key ingredients, that we will need in abundance.

Shibas are inside dogs, that need the company of their people. A Shiba puppy that is constantly left in his own company, will become stressed, unhappy, destructive, and aggressive.

If you still want a Shiba Inu after all this – then get a puppy from an accredited breeder, or from a Shiba Inu rescue.

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  1. Kristi says

    The reason we decided to adopt a Shiba Inu was because we found a stray several months back that stole our hearts and it happened to be a Shiba inu per the vet. She was a gorgeous cream and five years old. The owner surfaced a week later and it was devastating to give her back because we grew so attached to her! I am glad for the experience, because it showed us that we wanted to own a Shiba of our own. We now own a four-month-old female Shiba inu and she has a similar temperament to the one we found. I’m glad we made this choice, and it is important to find a reputable breeder. She was well socialized and is fine with other dogs. She has a beautiful sesame color and I’m excited to see what her markings will be like when she’s an adult! We all love her, and do get a kick out of her sweet and comical ways:) She is an excellent companion for my girls and is a bit aloof at times but is coming out of her shell more more. We understand the temperament and it may not be the right dog for everyone, but we love her personality! Not to go too deep into my history, but growing up, my family had adopted an Akita mix. He was the best dog that I’ve ever had! Akitas get a bad rap as well as shibas for aggression but neither of the dogs I’ve owned were like this.But every dog is different and every experience is different. I say, go with your gut and get the dog if you really want it! Do the research and talk to breeders and other owners about them. This is a great website as well to get ideas!

  2. Luis carlos pelizaro says


    I am a lover of race shiba Nu

    My dream is to have a couple of them here at home,
    I would love to buy from Japan for the quality and purity of the breed.

    I would like to ask for help to know which kennel can buy, how do you import it, I live in Brazil.

    I want to have security to buy a beautiful and healthy animal

    Thank you and I look forward

    Luis Carlos

  3. Niikky says

    Hello, I’ve been having my Shiba for 2 weeks now. He’s a fast learner but has very short attention span (he would even gets bored of treats). I taught him to sit, shake, high five, and lie down. But he gets too excited sometimes that he bites and would not stop. I tried to use your advice on redirecting him to toys, but he ignored the toys most of the time. If you have any advice. Please help!!! And also I would love to have some advice on putting harness & leash on him as well as when I should switch his puppy food to adult food. As you know Shiba is a smallest breed in Japan. However, I am not sure if it is a small breed in the U.S. as well. I’m having a hard time figuring out which food I should give him ince he outgrown his puppy phase.

    • Simba says

      Oh in the US my shiba, SImba, which is 23 pounds is considered medium at 38 cm high. My dog ignored toys and treats, the ONLY way I could train my dog was with positive reinforcement as in my excited voice saying good boy, good boy. In short my dog sometimes refuses steak as a treat if he doesn’t want to do what you are asking him, he will literally walk away but he is a sucker for good attention. Also, if you put the toys in a box and not on the floor and ONLY bring them out to train he may be less bored of the toys and also reduces toy agression with other dogs (my trainer taught me to do that as we have a german shepard as well). My dog was nicknamed the houdini as he got out of 2 different harnesses, he got out of a regular collar, and he got out of a collar and leash meant for pitpulls (the leash weighed 2 pounds and was metal- there were no spokes in the collar but when he tried to pull the leash out of our hands to run he was much slower and easier to catch). Finally, I stuck with a training collar that tightens when they try and pull, it does NOT stop him in the least and he hasn’t hurt himself but it is the only collar he has not gotten out of. I would switch his puppy food to adult food slowly and maintain the same kind of dog food so he doesn’t have a reaction. Usually the switch happens at 12-14 months of age for the dog.

  4. says

    Hi, I wanted to tell you that I’ve been reading your website for quite a while and finally decided to adopt a Shiba. I’m french and so I thought I could help people like you by making a similar website ( it’s not much but I hope it can help some people :).

    Thank you and have a nice day,

  5. Pamela says

    I have had my shiba since she was ten weeks old and shes 8 months now. Potty trained really easy and has been a great joy to me. I have an illness and on bad days she stays right with me and comforts me. She silly and very entertaining. Loves to cuddle and be where ever we are either inside or out. I can leave her out of her kennel when I go places for up to an hour and she has behaved the whole time. Yes, she does have her stubborn moments that only make me laugh because it is funny to me that these dogs which are not that big have these huge personalities!! She is also great with kids. I love my bailey girl.

    • shibashake says

      Always great to hear a happy dog story. Thanks for sharing it with us and and big hugs to Bailey!

  6. Anonymous says

    “Mame” means bean, right. But the Japanese put on everything smaller than regular size e.g. sleeve sized dictionaries, tankettles, midget subs etc. So in this case “mame” only means “small”.

  7. DogHappy says

    I have two dogs, one a Border Collie mix and the other my Shiba. Both are 4 years old, I’ve had the BC since he was a pup and the Shiba only for two years (her original owners could not handle her!) She is much calmer with my BC as a buddy than alone. She would be miserable as an only dog. These two are polar opposites when it comes to behavior and obedience. My BC lives to please me. 🙂 He does not like being scolded and he responds very well to praise. Shiba doesn’t really notice much either way. Both are food-oriented and I’ve managed way more progress training my BC than Shiba. Shiba learns quickly and takes a lot of time to unlearn bad habits (like not going potty while on leash… that took us months to overcome.) I have to outsmart her in order to get what I want. She does take a lot more of my attention and I enjoy learning how to be a better dog trainer. That being said, I would not recommend a Shiba for anyone who doesn’t have a ton of patience — that and a very flexible, creative approach will be necessary to thrive with this dog. I can never let Shiba off leash. She is crafty and sneaky. Example — she will eat the cat’s food in a heartbeat whereas BC knows this is wrong and will sit with a worried look on his face as he watches Shiba sneak cat food behind my back, knowing I’m going to be upset as soon as I realize it. HAHA! The BC is a great companion and partner, he can read my mind almost, and I prefer that in a dog. Shiba is super cute, no doubt, but in my opinion, requires advanced level understanding of animals and endless patience. There are too many Shibas without homes and in danger of being euthanized in a shelter — because owners fall for their cuteness and then cannot handle them. Mine was dumped after her owners bought her as a puppy for almost $1,000!!! Can you imagine? Two years later they dump her because she’s the “worst dog” according to them. On the contrary, she is a wonderful creature but takes a lot of attention. If you want one, please get a rescued Shiba or an adoption rather than pay money to support any type of puppy breeder!

  8. dan says

    my shiba inu Yusha is an angle! i didn’t exprience any problems… you need to train her as soon as you can. they are very smart breed and she knows very well what not to do.

    she is my first dog (but i worked at a zoo for 2 years..)

    • shibashake says

      Are you considering buying or adopting a puppy? What age is the puppy? What kind of training has the puppy had? What is the puppy’s background? What will be the puppy’s daily routine?

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so the daily routine, temperament, past experiences, environment, and more of the dog will all play a role.

      Puppies cannot hold their pee for very long periods of time, so they will need a lot of supervision during the potty training period. A Shiba puppy is going to need extra training, rules, and structured activity. When my Shiba was young, I got him used to alone time slowly. I start with very short periods of alone time (seconds) and *slowly* build up from there. This ensures that he doesn’t develop separation anxiety.

  9. Magdalena says

    I apologize in advance for any mistakes I might make, since I’m not a native speaker 😉 I am thinking about getting a dog in two or three years, and since I am really looking forward to it, I have been searching the Internet for suiting races. My boyfriend wanted a husky at first, but since we won’t be able to take them to work with us (like a friend who has one, he is a forestkeeper), or go hiking for several hours a day, and I am more into agility and obedience than into sheer running with the dog, a huskey probably isn’t the right choice.
    Since we both like the naturally looking dogs and spitz types, I stumbled upon the japanese races. I first thought about getting a shikoku, but apparently they are bred nearly nowhere in Europe. The Shiba is.

    I have some experience with a dog, a mix of a spaniel and a kooiker. She loves agility and running, especially chasing gamessince she loves agility more than sheer speed. But she is not really the dominant type, rather the opposite! So I am worried about getting a shiba, I have not much experience with really dominant dogs. How hard is it? Do they become rebellious against the owner if dominated? Or do they respect commands when they have accepted you as a competent leader? And: can you keep them in an apartment, if you go outside with them sufficiently?

    Do you know about the other japanese races? Are others maybe better suited for our conditions?

    I really love your page btw, one can see how much you love your cuties 🙂

    • shibashake says

      Do they become rebellious against the owner if dominated?

      What do you mean by dominated?

      My Shiba is very stubborn and he knows his own mind. He does best with a fixed routine, structure, and a consistent set of rules. I also need to be very consistent with his training, and with not letting him get away with stuff.

      However, forceful physical techniques did not work well with Shiba Sephy. Instead, I observe him very closely, identify the things that matter to him most, and then use those things to motivate and redirect him. I don’t physically force him to do anything because that will only make things worse and make him be more stubborn. Rather, I structure things so that he decides to do what I want him to do. 😀

      More on training my Shiba.

      I had a very difficult time with Sephy in beginning. Most of that was my own fault. I did not have any experience with dogs, did very little research into the Shiba breed, and really had no clue what I was doing. As a result, I made many mistakes in the beginning, including using aversive and dominance techniques. Things would have gone a lot more smoothly if I had done my homework before getting Sephy, as you are doing yours now.

      I have a much better relationship with Sephy now, and he is quite a wonderful guy to have around. However, he is still *not* a Yes-Sir,No-Sir kind of dog. For example, he is loyal and will generally stay close to his people. However, his recall is pretty terrible, and he will only come when it suits him. He likes following other dogs though, so if I recall the other dog, he will come along too. With Sephy, I need to be flexible and think outside the box. 😀

      More on why Shiba’s are difficult to train.
      My early experiences with Shiba Sephy.

      In terms of apartment living, I think Shibas can do quite well with that. Here is a comment from C about her Shiba and living in an apartment.

      I have not lived with any of the other Japanese breeds so I don’t have much to say there.

      The Shiba Inu Forum is also a good place to visit to get thoughts on the breed and the Nihon Ken has discussion on all six of the Japanese breeds.

      Hope this helps. 😀

    • Magdalena says

      oh yes, it does help a lot! 🙂

      by dominance, i didn’t mean leash jerking or something like that, I never could do that anyway! our dog hates things like that, too (my little sister sometimes does it, sadly), and though our dog reacts by shrinking away and submitting rather than defiance, it’s obvious it’s not the right way to get a happy and trusting dog. I rather meant: our dog, especially when she’s not sure what to do in a situation, looks to us for advice, and follows it gladly; she likes us being the ones in control, because she trusts us; her trust was very quickly earned, even after a week with us she already hid behind me in puppy class because she was afraid of one big pup 😀
      how about a shiba? does he accept you as more competent in some situations, or does he simply follow your orders because he was trained to do so, and would much rather like to have his own will? does he see you as a leader or a competent partner, or just someone who has more ressources (leash control, control of food and goodies) and therefore gets to decide (sometimes)?
      it’s not so much that i want an overly obedient dog, but the feeling that our dog trusts me and relies on me has always brought me the greatest joy. she is quite easily frightened when on her own, but when i do something with her she was initially frightened of, like going near big dogs, she immediately forgets her fear, and that is a beautiful bond between us 🙂
      can you get something like that with a shiba, if you do it right? or is he too independent of humans to bond like that?

      the forums will be of great help,too, I bet 🙂 I read some books and thoroughly searched the internet in the meantime, and found a breeder I’d like to visit, so the wish of getting a shiba is getting more concrete!

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba knows his own mind and he will only do things that make sense to him. He follows commands when it makes sense to him, for example when the rewards are deemed worthy of the task. He is very stubborn, so forceful techniques and head-on challenges do not work well with him. When challenged, he will dig in more and hold his position. Sephy has a very strong will, he is bold, and he makes his own decisions. He is definitely *not* a follower.

      Sephy also does not trust easily. It took a good long while to earn his trust, and even now he only trusts to a certain level. He is a lot more aloof compared to my other dogs. He will sometimes ask for affection, but much less so than my Huskies.

      Shibas are often characterized as a dog that is more like a cat. They are independent, clean, and aloof like cats.

  10. J says

    Hi… My shiba Khloe passed in June at the age of 2 1/2. To say I / we are devasted is an understatement. She was diagnosed with idiopathic chyle thorax with no hope. We tried everything and somehow I still feel like we failed her. I miss her so very very much. I used to follow your site while she was with us. Shiba’s are truly amazing.
    I’m sorry to bum your page out… I feel so alone in this… While researching shiba’s, I never stumbled upon chyle thorax. I was wondering if anyone has suffered through this with their shiba.? It makes me afraid to get another. Did I do something wrong… Could I have prevented it… Is it really common … Will my family and I go through this again…

    My husband isn’t ready anyway… But my home and heart feels so empty without her presences. I’m not trying to replace her by no means… But more times than not, I feel like another friend would do so much good for us.

    Sorry again, just sharing. Enjoy your shibas! Once you go shiba… You no go back!

    • shibashake says

      I am so sorry for your loss. You will always have her with you though, in your heart. There is this quote from the movie Phenomenon, that I really love –

      George Malley: “Will you love me for the rest of my life?”
      Lace Pennamin: “No, I will love you for the rest of mine …”

      I feel that way with all of my dogs.

      While researching shiba’s, I never stumbled upon chyle thorax.

      Yeah, I haven’t heard of it either and had to look it up. You could try posting in the Shiba Inu Forum. There are many Shiba owners who visit there, and there may be some who know more about it. What did your vet say about it?

      Once you go shiba… You no go back!

      Haha, that is very true. They really do grow on us, and before we know it, we are hooked for life.

      One thing that helps me is to write about those that I have loved and lost. Sometimes I keep the writings private and sometimes I put them out there. I write poems, stories, memories, how I feel, etc. I also make art with photographs and such. It is a good outlet for when I am feeling sad, and helps me feel close to them.

      Big hugs to you.

    • Marilyn says

      If you fall in love with a Shiba, there is no other breed for you. My sympathy. My beautiful Shiba girl is 12+ years old and the sweetest dog in the world—none of the bad behaviors other than being a little stubborn and difficult to train. Other than that—an angel. I don’t know what I will do when her “time” comes.

    • Barbara Suyehiro says

      I am so sorry. I cannot imagine how sad you felt, and are still feeling. My Hana is 11 years old now, and despite her Shiba attitude, I still feel like adopting another when I see dogs waiting for a forever home. However, I know Hana will not accept another princess in her home.

      Yours came to you knowing you would fall in love with Shibas. She brought you that happiness.

  11. Taylor Wilson says

    First of all, this website is fantastic! Secondly, I just thought I’d leave a comment that may help some people interested in a Shiba.

    I got my male shiba (who I named Mirza) when he was 8 weeks old from a breeder in Ontario, Canada. He is amazing! He has never once went to the bathroom inside the house or in his crate – it’s as if he was potty trained since we got him (we were told he actually wasn’t yet). It’s true that Shibas are somewhat independent at times and like their own space, but 90% of the time Mirza is very affectionate and follows me and my girlfriend around everywhere.

    Being just over 3 months old now he began teething and we found he would bite on shoes and other non-ideal surfaces. To counter this, we provided many toys for Mirza and these chew sticks (the name escapes me but they are similar to rawhide – apparently healthier and safer too) and he absolutely loves them. We can give him one of these sticks and he’ll sit there for hours biting on it. They are very solid initially but become more squishy as he chews which we can tell feels good on his teeth. We often watch him chew on it with all of his teeth, from the front to the back – he really makes sure they’re all getting hit! Since we found these at a local pet store, Mirza VERY rarely chews on anything aside from the chew sticks. We give it to him every day for a few hours before bed, then take it away later on – and they need to be replaced about every week as they become stringy and worn.

    Mirza lives with two other older dogs and he is very good with them (he likes to play a bit more than they would like though, haha !). When in public, he is very friendly and timid with other dogs.

    We are now at the stage of making Mirza more comfortable with walking with a collar/harness. When he was between 8-12 weeks he would cry when we put the harness on him and walks were a chore as he would constantly stop every 2 seconds – or not walk at all.

    Recently he has become much better. He doesn’t cry when putting the harness on anymore and his stops are much less frequent.

    All in all, I’m more than happy with my choice of breed for a puppy. Mirza has been fantastic and turns heads wherever he goes – especially here in Canada where Shibas are very, very rare.

    Sorry for the life story, haha !

    • shibashake says

      Thanks for sharing Mirza’s wonderful story with us. Are the chew sticks called bully sticks?

      Mirza sounds like a fantastic boy. Big hugs to him. Feel free to share more of his adventures with us here. Also, I love Shiba puppy pictures, so please post us some links when you have the time. Thanks! 😀

  12. Lohi says

    thanks a lot!..this article been real useful!..and m serious of adopting a shiba inu.. i am frm india and i hav been looking out for some shiba inu pure breeders..but cud find none in india. Cud u please help me out to find a shiba inu breeder in india?..please!

  13. Nicole says

    Hi I have a 3 and a half month old shiba (male) named Rolo. My biggest problem is potty training. I take him out hourly, after naps, after meals, and last thing before bed/first thing in the morning. The problem is that he is so easily distracted when he is outside. Instead of going to the bathroom, he will obsess over anything and everything. Grass, leaves, rocks, etc. He doesn’t focus on going to the bathroom at all. He will even plop down and gnaw at bugs/the ground and just stay there. It’s not that he doesn’t have to go, because his bladder and bowels will be full. He will go without pooping for days. And he will pee on the carpet/in his crate. And soon as I see him trying to pee inside, I pick him up and rush him out the door. I treat him when he does go outside and praise him like crazy. I talked to the vet and she said that when he’s outside, I shouldn’t play with him, but I don’t. I stand back and watch. I give tugs on his collar when he’s gets caught up in wildlife, which will cause him to stop, but then he will just find the next thing to obsess over. How do I get him to focus on going to the bathroom? It’s to the point where he will poop twice during the night/pee multiple times during the night and then sleep in it. He has a space just big enough for him to turn around in, so his crate is the right size. And he has a bed and a blanket and I guess would still rather go on them than on the grass. I wash his bedding after each accident and when it comes to the carpet, I soak up as much as I can and then use Resolve. Can you suggest how to teach him to go to the bathroom outside and only outside? Another thing I should highlight is that when he goes go outside, it’s not right away. It’s after he’s mouthed every single little thing. I just think it’s odd that he holds it instead of going first thing when he’s outside when I know he has to go. And it can’t be healthy for him to hold everything in all the time. Also, can you tell me the best way to clean the carpet after accidents? I want to make sure I’m doing the best method possible.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH, I really hope to hear back from you. I am desperate!!

    • shibashake says

      What is his daily routine like? Do you take him outside to an enclosed backyard or to some more public area? Has he been fully vaccinated yet? Has he always peed and pooped in his crate? Did he come from a breeder, pet-store, rescue, or someplace else? What was his previous environment like? How long have you had him? What food is he on? What type of training is he used to? Does he make noise inside his crate when he needs to go? Is his crate in the bedroom or somewhere else? How much time does he spend inside his crate?

      When my Shiba was young, I take him outside on-leash, if I am under time constraints, e.g. at night. We go to a spot where he likes to potty and I wait for about 10 minutes. I do not let him wander off to do other things. I do not establish eye-contact either. Eye contact can be intimidating or it can be taken as an invitation to interact. I stay calm, and I just let him do his thing with no distractions (no eye-contact, no talking, no touching, no wandering around). If he doesn’t want to go, then after 10 minutes we come back inside.

      If he does go, then I make sure to reward him *very very* well with his favorite game, very high priority treats that he only gets for potty success, freedom to roam, and more. My Shiba is not very motivated by praise, but he really loves exploring and playing chase, so those are the things that I use to motivate him. I make it extremely rewarding, especially in the beginning, so that he quickly learns that going outside successfully is like winning the lottery. 😀

      Consistency is very important in potty training so I make sure to supervise closely, maximize successes and minimize mistakes.

      If a dog is consistently soiling his crate, and the crate is properly sized, then the crate is no longer an effective method for potty training. The key is to minimize mistakes. In such a situation, I would consider using a safe enclosure, when I am unable to supervise, with puppy pads and bedding. In this way, my dog would start learning not to sleep in his own stuff and not to pee anywhere else in the house.

      However, I would still try to supervise as much as possible and maximize outside potty success.

      More on how I potty trained my dog.

    • Anonymous says

      Just I want to say. I have two Shiba inus one is 5 the other is.1&5month. very fussy when they go to the bathroom. if the wind is not blowing the right way they won’t.
      but have patience will come around. sometimes one will go in the morning some one will go in the afternoon.
      I found one of my problems was the youngest of that night would drink water just before bed and then pee on the bed.
      so sometimes when we feed him is important. all I can say is that awesome dogs

  14. Maria says

    When we move to a house with a big yard, I’m getting a dog:D! I’m so happy but my dad wants a lab and I want a shiba inu. Which one should I get? Labs are very nice and easy to care for which would make things easier for us but I love shibas and I could read your super awesome website for info. Plus I like a challenge. Shiba inu or lab?

  15. Heather says

    I’ve heard that Shibas are supposed to be aloof. It’s more accurate to say that they are aloof when they want to be. Our 2 dogs sleep in the bed with us most of the time, sit in our laps, and almost always have to be in the room with us. They occasionally lay under the bed or couch, they seem to like the security.

    Yes, they can be devilish at certain times. They are most challenging as a puppy, when they are incredibly active and love to get into things and CHEW. Just like all pups. Mine are 2 and 3 years old now though, and they spend a lot of time laying on or near me. They are about as active as a house cat. And not nearly as aloof.

    I’ve never had a breed that is as amusing and full of personality. I wouldn’t recommend this breed to anyone who doesn’t have the time to spend with them. They are family dogs, and shouldn’t be left alone all day. That’s probably when the trouble comes in. Mine are with me all day, and they are fabulous companions.

    NOTE: You can never go on walks off leash with this breed. They will RUN and they are FAST. Make sure you have a secure fenced in yard, or are committed to going out at least twice a day for bathroom breaks.

  16. Katelyn O says

    We have a red shiba inu named Riley who is 1 year & 4 months old. I just want the record to show from the time she was a very small puppy to (especially now that I am expecting a baby) as I write this – she is an extremely affectionate lap dog. She follows my husband from room to room, sleeps at the foot of our bed, curls up with us any time we are on the couch & offers constant kisses. I think shibas get a rep for being aloof, but like any dog breed each animal is different. She is our first dog, and we have had a great experience with her. She is great at the vet (calm &accepting), great with other dogs at the dog park and with my friends kIds. As a small puppy she went through a chewing stage, but it is out grown now. She was extremely easy to house train, our only struggle is getting her to come when called off she is off leash at the dog park around the other dogs. Admittedly, we are a high energy couple who walks/runs her daily which may help curb destructive energy BUT I hope people aren’t afraid to give a shiba a forever home due to the shiba rep because we adore ours ♡

  17. Sue Norman says

    I believe my shiba Jasmine (Jazz or Jazzy for short) mayb the oldest in the UK. She is 18 yrs old and has the many lives they say cats have. She’s invincible, she’s always gettin in2 sum disaster. She’s been stomped by a horse, decides she’s had enough of the walk were on, so turns tail and runs completely ignoring my pleas to come back or stop. Then runs clear accross an extremely busy road and acts as if this is normal. There’s me an absolute quivering wreck about ready to have a nervous breakdown. Now though she’s always on an extendable lead, as she will now go to the toilet anywhere, she’s so fussy about things like were she’ll go wees an poss, but as she’s got older its a bit easier. She seems on the verge of giving up the ghost one day then the next is full of the joys of spring. So i take life with her a day at a time, i listen to her an her needs, how she feels etc. Anyway they are a truly wonderful breed. My Shiba was a rescue and has never really got over that so is very nervous an has very funny ways. This nervousness is not normal for the breed there bread for there courage. However she will out stare any cat in the neighborhood, so her courage comes in diffrent forms. She saved me from myself after my dear husband Gregg passed away 5yrs ago an Made me have to go out an face life. So i fear her passing away will bring up my grief for him also. But she will never b allowed to suffer as soon as her quality of life is no longer there i will do the right thing by her. I love my shiba inu an would say to anyone thinkin of getting one, “dont if uv no experience of dogs, or hav alot of commitment in other areas of urs life. As Shiba expect to b our lives, we are expected to dedicate our whole being to them. So think very long an hard before getting a Shiba Inu”

  18. maribeth says

    I just found Shiba Shake. My Shiba male ( Miku ) at 4 years looks just like Sephy and is large boned at 30# also. I purchased Miku from Jane Chapin who is considered an excellent breeder. Mik was a challenge! after many training sessions He decided He would live with me. I have to laugh at some of the comments because they are so true. We now have a great relationship. Several people have thought that Mik was to big for a Shiba but His lineage is Japanese.
    Thanks for posting the information.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, I actually like it that Sephy is on the larger side. His play-style is much more suited to larger dogs, so being a bit larger makes it easier for him to play with the big boys. He also has longer legs which I like. 😀

  19. Nathan Adams says

    Hi guys, just got a 2 month old male shiba inu named Ichiro. I couldnt find a great place to write this so this will have to do. I just want to thank you for the time you spent putting together these articles because they have been very useful to me, first time raising a puppy. Thanks!

  20. Shiying says

    Hello! Chanced upon your website while researching about Shiba Inus and really thank you for sharing so much of your experience and knowledge that dog lovers need =) I just want to ask if Shiba Inus can be left alone in the house (as sometimes my family and I will go out for certain occasions e.g. weddings for the evening) and not be all barky & disturbing to neighbours? Or does this depend on the temperament of my dog? Or do I need to train my Shiba (as I’m planning to get one but still in midst of deciding)?

  21. says

    Our Shiba Inu x Staffie (a rescue dog so no real confirmation) fits so many of the Shiba characteristics! Sometimes she’s like a cat – climbs fences, loves affection, etc, and indoors she is so very obedient! She’ll sit, lie down (even if she’s standing up inside!), go to bed when I just point to the kitchen etc. But when she gets outside, she’s another story altogether. As recommended by many, many websites, we NEVER let her off the lead! Did that once and she was gone for hours! She’s admired by everybody because she’s a lovely looking dog. She doesn’t jump all over visitors, which we all appreciate, but once a visitor starts giving out treats, that characteristic aloofness dissipates very quickly!! She’s had a few adventures ( but i wouldn’t want any other dog! I’ve gleaned a lot of info from your posts which have helped us understand this beautiful creature. Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      I love the mix of Shiba and Staffie features in Bella! Great athletic build, curly tail, and awesome coat coloring.

      Thanks for the link to Bella’s blog. I am having a lot of fun reading about her latest exploits and adventures. They have a very familiar ring to them 😀

      Big hugs to Bella!

  22. kat says

    Hi Shibashake,
    We are excited parents-to-be of a Shiba to be born soon. But, I am starting to have jitters as i read certain things. I get conflicting reports about Shiba shedding. I have read they shed about 3 times/year and have a friend with a Shiba that has confirmed this. But then I just saw a youtube video that says they shed a ton. We were about to purchase a Samoyed when I decided the fur was just too much – so we went with the Shiba. As a Shiba owner, can you comment on “the truth about shiba fur”? I realize it’s a dog and there will be fur – I am just wondering: why all the conflicting reports? Is climate a factor? Food? Hormones? Thanks if you can remark!

  23. Heather says

    Hi Shiba Shake!
    I tried to find an email or some way of contacting you, but this seems to be the only way! I just stumbled across this breed while bored on Facebook and I have to say I have fallen in love! Unfortunately, I can’t get a dog for a couple of years because I travel 50-75% of the year for my job, but I am trying to figure out if this dog is right for me. I have only had one family dog growing up, but I have had many cats. I actually prefer cats because they are so independent, but lovable and cuddly (when they want to be) at the same time. I’ve always wanted a dog because you can do more with them, such as walk them, running, playing with them (without having to fear for your poor fingers). You have talked a lot about staying home and working so your Shiba Inu is fine. Have you heard of any dog owners who have to work an 8-5/9-6 hour day and their dog is fine?

  24. says

    Hi, Siva es a female shiba that came to Renzo’s place, because we want them to have little shibas, but Siva thinks she is the male, I mean she does strange movements with Renzo’s bed, do you know why she is acting like that? thanks

  25. Aikidoka Bob says

    Despite your (and others) fair warnings I have decided to pursuit raising a Shiba Inu as a first dog. I want to thank you for showing me that raising a Shiba isn’t particulairly difficult but mostly requires conviction and determination. One reason of Shiba being the perfect companion for me. I am gonna visit a good kennel soon to meet a couple of Shibas and test if we get along. If I find a puppy I can ‘relate’ too and bring it home I’l send a picture

  26. elizabeth says

    Hi Shiba Shake-
    I read your post on seperation anxiety. We can’t afford dog daycare or sitters which is what I think she needs most. Also, I work from home so she is happiest when someone is home with her but I sometimes need to go out and those times are not scheduled. They can’t be, they depend largely on when work happens. I don’t trust her left out of it in our absence. If she destroyed her toys & tray (in kennel) I believe she will destroy my furniture. Could a larger kennel with more interesting puzzle toys work? She used to love the antlers we got her but I think her anxiety level has increased since she doesn’t care one bit about the fact that she now has a new one to work on when we have to step out.

    • elizabeth says

      Also…how large in general should the kennel be. Ours is large enough for her to walk into, turn around and laydown or sit but not much else. A dog trainer recommended against a larger one. He said anything larger would allow the dog to choose a side to defecate/urinate while ‘living’ in the other side. When left out of her kennel she lets us know when she needs or wants to go out but now since the anxiety started she always excessively drools and pees in the kennel. She even licks up the pee! I taped her for an hour during recently when we stepped out. Out of the hour she rested for only 15 minutes and spent the rest of the time struggling to get out and shiba crying the rest. Tongue hanging out and peeing 2x.

    • shibashake says

      With Sephy, what worked best is to do desensitization exercises to slowly raise his tolerance for alone time. I do the exercises many many times during the day. I talk more about this in the separation anxiety article.

      The ASPCA article also talks more about this in the section titled “Treatment for Moderate to Severe Separation Anxiety”.

      Now, Sephy is fine with being alone for several hours at a time during the day. However, I made *very sure* during retraining that he did not have any anxiety attacks. If that happened, it would undo much of the retraining.

      If it is separation anxiety, changing the size of the crate will not help much. Changing to a different containment area *may* help slightly, since she has already developed such a negative association with the crate. However, it *will not* solve the problem because separation anxiety comes from being separated from their people.

      The best way I know of to help a dog with separation anxiety is through desensitization and counter conditioning exercises.

  27. elizabeth says

    We have a 7 month old Shiba. When we first got her from the breeder she used to go in to the kennel voluntarily when ever she felt like it. Nowadays she hates it. I came home the other day and she had destroyed the tray that is the floor of the crate and she often urinates in it too. She is not kept in it long. We put her in at night with no issues but if we have to step out in the middle of the day for a few hours and put her in it we usually come home to a wet kennel even if we walk her and make sure she does her business before we put her in it. We also put her in with a few toys but its no good. How can we get her to love her kennel again?

    • shibashake says

      It sounds like it could be separation anxiety. When dogs are left alone unexpectedly, they may become stressed and anxious. This often causes them to chew, pee, etc. These behaviors are caused by the stress, and some of them are done to help relieve their anxiety, similar to how people pace or bite their nails.

      With my dogs, I set a very fixed routine so that they know what to expect. This helps to reduce uncertainty and stress. I also *very slowly* build up alone time.

      More on separation anxiety-

    • Ann says

      Seems like everyone is making this all a bigger deal than it really is. missy sheba just hangs out with me like a dog does. sits on my lap like a nice lap dog. hangs out @ home while I work. goes for walks. protects her food the same way any dog does. sleeps with my cat and grooms him same way my mixed breed dog does. etc etc Sibas are dogs. and act like dogs. Eat, sleep. play like dogs. All have different personalities from other Shebas or different breeds. Just treat em well.

  28. Vicki says

    My roommate has a Shiba Inu and he is the devil in disguise. He is territorrial and has urinated in various spots in my part of the house, including my bed. He paces in the backyard to the point he has worn a path in the the backyard, killing the grass. We have built indoor barricades or fences and piled them hi with pillows and such to keep him barracaded in his space. He manages to escape. He’s not a loving, cuddly dog. This dog may ruin an otherwise good roommate relationship because the dog is unfriendly and neurotic. I normally love dogs … but not this one. When they first moved in about 4 months ago, I thought the dog was beautiful … but now I can’t stand him.

    • Kristen says

      Hi Vicki,
      I’m sorry your doggy roommate is causing you distress. Does your human roommate excercise the dog, not just let him out in the backyard? If it is nasty outside and Raiden doesn’t get his walks, he can be a handful/ little terror. On the flip side, when he gets his four long walks a day, when we get home, he sleeps for hours. Shibas get bored very easily and he could simply need a change of scenery. Unfortunately, barricading these beautiful beasts is next to impossible. I hope the three of you can get through this!

    • Sean says

      It’s not the breed, it’s the dog (or the owner). I have a Shiba and know 5 others. Mine is as sweet as you can get and hasn’t peed inside since he was 10 weeks old (almost 4 years ago). One of the others (his grandpa) is a bit moody but all the others are like my Moshi – overgrown puppies…

  29. linda says

    i have a shiba and love him to death….hes so smart listes like no other dog ever did…not crazy over other dogs but does have his friends….sleeps in my bed with me he has to touch me with his paw all nite…never barks or bites…at any thing just if some dog gets to close to us then he gives the growel with the toothy look hahahah…he does what ever i ask him to do except play ball…..he is very clean always cleaning his self….his best friend is a pug and a very large cat….he is not aguard dog he is a watch dog never misses a thing………

  30. Rob says

    hey i would like to know wat should i do about my shiba inu Foxy she was first in a home at the beggining of her dog years but they had to give her up becuase they were moving she was with them since she was about 3weeks old to 7 months old i took her to my house for a weekend after that i gave her to my girl friend for a birthday present but now i have to bring her back to my smaller apartment compared to my girls she has been with my girl exactly a month… oh i have to bring her back because her sister is allergic to dogs but i would like to know if she would be affected coming over here and having me as a owner at 8months please keep in mind this is her third home third owner…oh and she will be mostly in my room but of course i will walk her regularly once i get back home in the afternoon.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Rob,

      Hope the move went well.

      Some things that helped with Sephy when we moved to a new place –

      1. We set up a fixed routine for him right away. Sephy gets stressed when he is unsure what to expect from his people and his environment. Therefore, I set up a very clear schedule so he knows when he goes for his walks, when meal times are, and also when his people will be home. I make sure to keep a consistent schedule myself, so that I am home at fixed times.

      2. I make sure to give Sephy enough structured exercise when I am around. Sephy is very creative, so if he does not get enough structured exercise from me, he will figure out his own activities – which are not usually very people or house friendly. 😀

  31. Sarah says

    Hi! I have been reading your blog and any training information you post for weeks now. I’ve been debating on which post to comment on, and I think this one is perfect! When my fiance, David, and I began talking about getting a dog, he asked me to move I with him so whatever dog we decided to get would respect both of our authority. We both really wanted a Husky, but with only an apartment, we knew that wouldn’t be possible. We then fellin love with Shibas. We contacted a breeder and have been in touch with her since about February and will have first pick of the two girls from the litter that was born exactly two weeks ago. David has had family dogs, but neither one of us has had our own dog – so we have definitely put a lot of thought into how raising a shiba would go, and we’re still determined as ever. We have both done hours of research through your blog, tv shows, training books, and we really feel prepared for just about anything we could expect from our feisty little puppy, but I was just wondering, do you have any specific advice for our first weekend with her? From when we will bring her home Friday afternoon until I go back to work on Tuesday? Haha, or more specifically – Any advice for a stubborn couple determined to raise a stubborn dog right? 😛

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sarah,

      Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!

      When I bring a puppy home, I usually let him go potty as soon as we get there. Then I walk him on leash in the backyard. Then I bring him inside the house and walk him on lead there, and introduce him to each room.

      I also make sure to set consistent rules right off and establish a fixed routine.

      I start simple obedience training exercises right away (e.g. mark, no-mark, focus exercises). I also start bite inhibition exercises and start to get puppy accustomed to handling. Shibas can be fussy about handling, so that is a good thing to do right away and keep up with.

      When I brought Shiba Sephy home, he was kind of reserved the first couple of days. Things were new and he was still unsure of himself. He didn’t start with his Shiba moves until he got used to the environment. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have established rules and some obedience during these first few quiet days. 😀

      Hugs to your puppy! Take lots of pictures – they grow up very quickly.

  32. James F says

    I love this in depth detail about this breed and I am so anxious because I will be purchasing my first pet, let alone a Shiba. I do hope that she will grown to respect me, and vice versa and that we have a warm and loving home together. I hope that I can handle it! Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Thanks James!

      Congratulations on your soon-to-be new Shiba puppy!

      Sephy was a big challenge for me – but mostly because I did not do enough research. Seems like you have done a lot of prior investigation, so it should go a lot more smoother.

      Let us know how it goes when you get her, and post us some puppy pictures as well. 😀

  33. Steven says

    hmm. my Shiba has developed this awful break in his fur due to his collar and I can’t seem to brush it out or repair it through a regular bath. is there another way to deal with this?

    • shibashake says

      That happened with Shiba Sephy as well. It went away on its own after we removed his collar while at home. Lately, I have put his collar back on for various reasons, but adjusted it to be loose (only when at home). That seems to work well and has not caused any fur issues.

      During walks we use the no-slip Martingale collar from Premier. But that has to be removed after the walk.

  34. mimis galinos says

    Helloo from Greece.. i have a Shetland sheepdog wich is also a wonderful dog 🙂
    but i want a dog for my sister and she loves shiba inu..where can i find a good breeder for this dog? thank ty very much and i am waiting forward hearing from you!!
    mimis 🙂

  35. Natasha says

    Hi there! I’m so excited to have come upon your blog! When I read your socializing the shiba to other dogs section, I couldn’t believe how many of the behaviours described my shiba Yuki to a tee. She’s now 2 years old and has been through puppy socialization and continiued dog training to this day.We’re part of a dog club and go to training every Sunday. She also doesn’t like strange dogs bounding up to her or trying to sniff her butt, she seems to expect a certain amount of respect from them. She has doggy friends and some dogs she doesn’t like, today she had a screaming fit at a big airdale who dared approach me when I was holding a treat! She kept lunging at him and “shouting” but she didn’t really attack him. I felt quite bad as it sounded worse than it was and some of the other dog handlers got a bit of a fright. I often feel I have to explain her behaviour so I printed out your socialization article for written backup proof!


    • shibashake says

      Hello Natasha,

      Heh, yeah Shibas definitely are definitely “characters”! 😀

      There was this one class that I went to with Sephy. Usually the sessions are conducted outside where there is more space, and he is ok in that situation. Plus he gets to play with the other dogs before class. However, one time it was raining so we had to move inside, into a room. Sephy spent the whole time making a fuss, and all he wanted to do was get to the other dogs. The instructor barricaded us behind a wall of crates! LOL!

      That still didn’t help though, so I took him out for a walk in a rain. He was better after that. Usually I find that removing Sephy from the “excitement stimulus” helps to calm him down. Here is another fun Sephy story …

      Hugs to Yuki, although I think she would prefer cheese a lot more! 😀

  36. Kristie says

    Hello. I have a 10 month old female Shiba Inu and about two weeks ago she started to lose her hair like crazy. No matter how much I brush her it just keeps coming off and is even just floating off as she walks about and if she shakes, actual tuffts will fall off of her. And then starting today, her undercoat is falling off like pine needles off of a dead christmas tree? I have done alot of research and I know that they “blow” their coats, but I’m not sure if this is the normal shedding or something abnormal and her vet is unsure also since ours is the only Shiba Inu he has ever had contact with. For comparison reasons, I can brush her for about 7 minutes and fill an entire quart size bag with her hair and then I can put her in our dining room to run around (wood floors) and even though I just vacuumed, I can come back after her playing with a toy for ten minutes and there will be hairs all over the floor… Our Shiba Inu is adored by 4 kids ranging from ages 8-3 and they love her so much, but every time they are petting her or cuddling her, they literally have to completely change their outfits because they will be covered in hair. I greatly appreciate any suggestions or help. Her food is a high quality Holistic Brand Healthy Extensions food which she has been on since we brought her home. The only other thing that I can think of is that she was treated for fleas for the first time since the end of summer a couple weeks ago with Frontline plus because she had been near another dog and I felt nervous that the other dog may have had fleas and she had acted rather strange for 2 days after receiving the correct dosage for her weight. Besides for that, we live in upstate NY where it is still very very cold weather with no indication of spring, another reason why I question that it may not be the seasonal blowing of the coat. She is inside 99% of the time where it is normally about 70 degrees though with nighttime going down to 55 degrees. Thank you again for any help!!! ~ Kristie

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kristie,

      My Shiba Sephy sheds a lot when he blows his coat. In fact, he is in the middle of his coat blow currently, and I brushed him for about 15 minutes today. There was a lot of hair! We always joke that we can make another Shiba from all the hair. 😀

      I use The Furminator to remove Sephy’s undercoat. It is very effective at getting the stuff out.

      When I furminate Sephy, his undercoat comes out but his outer coat is still intact. How is the coat of your Shiba girl? Is her outer coat quality normal?

      Is your Shiba girl doing well on other fronts? Is she energetic, drinking well, eating well, and has healthy stool?

      What you describe doesn’t sound unusual to me, unless there is something else that is causing concern.

  37. Sarah says

    Hi again Shibashake!
    Shiva’s had an interesting week so far. About five day’s ago I noticed a very strange bump appear on shiva’s face just below her left eye. I hadn’t noticed it before, and to me it just looked strange. I pressed on it lightly to see if it felt hard or fatty (like a tumor growth might), and it felt hard underneath my fingertips and her fur. I wasn’t too concerned until the next morning when the bump seemed to have gotten bigger.
    I then remembered my friend had told me that she had needed some minor dental work, but that her teeth looked fine and it could be addressed later. I checked her teeth and sure enough both her back-most premolars had funny looking marks on them. I started researching what to do for cracked teeth, then learned that abcesses can form in these teeth. I then realized that the mark on her face that I thought was just a flea bite she picked at too much was actually a mini rupture.
    This scared me a lot because I’ve never dealt with this in a dog before, and I wasn’t sure how bad the infection could get. It scared me to think I might lose my baby pretty much as soon as I got her. Shiva had been eating and drinking normally, lazing about normally, and playing with me as well. But I am also prone to overreacting when it comes to the care of my animals because I view them almost the way I would if they were my child, so needless to say as soon as the vet reopened after the weekend I was there with her to get the issue assessed.
    Turns out she did have abcesses, but both of them have seemed to drain on their own. The vet went ahead and cleaned her teeth for me and gave me a list of some dental chews and toys to use to further remove her tartar buildup. He also gave me antibiotics to give her in the mean time while i monitor the spots on her face.
    I’m so happy that she didn’t immediately have to go into surgery to remove any teeth. Those funny spots I saw were actually large chunks of tartar that had embedded themselves into the sides of those teeth causing minor damage and gum recession. The vet said as long as I do something to help her reduce her tartar build up, things should be fine.
    Moral of the story: Sometimes spots on dog’s faces below their eyes are indicitave of abcessed teeth, or abcesses due to tartar buildup and irritation. They don’t heal normally like a scratch or other mark might, they stay for much longer.
    When I still thought it was just a flea bite, I did clean to wound with some hydrogen peroxide to keep it from infection, and then put a thin layer of neosporin over the spot. I don’t really know how much good that did since it was an abcess and not what originally thought, but it at least prevented a nasty infection from rooting itself into the wound on her face.
    The chews the vet recommended were C.E.T. dental chews, and a nylabone (which i already have at home thankfully!). So hopefully soon shiva will be completely healed up and happy!
    Also, I was wondering, I know that while sifting through the many wonderful articles you have on this site about dog care and behavior, do you have any advice for brushing a doggie’s teeth??? I’m thinking I might start doing this since her teeth have so much tartar buildup.
    As for the art, no I haven’t tried 3D yet, but I do sculpt and paint. I’ll post more links to pictures in the future!
    Thanks again!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Sarah,
      That is very interesting with the face bumps. It is not something I have encountered before, and it is very good information to know.

      In terms of Nylabones, make sure not to get the super-heavy duty versions. I have read some reviews that those have a risk of causing cracks in teeth if the dog bites too hard. I have regular Nylabones and have not encountered any problems with them so far.

      Some time ago I got some processed deer antlers for Sephy and he cracked one of his pre-molars chewing on those. The dental specialist we went to told us to stay away from really hard chews such as hooves, and other chew-toys with similar properties.

      do you have any advice for brushing a doggie’s teeth???

      I brush Sephy’s teeth 3 times a week. He accumulates more tartar than my Sibes for some reason.

      Sephy does not really like handling or getting his teeth brushed so I use his favorite melted cheese+chicken meal during teeth brushing. I do not give him this food anywhere else so the only way he gets it is by letting me brush his teeth. Here is the process I use to brush Sephy’s teeth-

      Hugs to Shiva!

    • Sarah says

      I recently read that too, about the the non-edible nylabones causing fractures and cracks in teeth. I replaced shiva’s with the edible kind last night. Thanks so much for the advice on brushing her teeth! =)

  38. Kaitlyn says

    Hello! I have always wanted a Shiba Inu and I know people say they are independant, but my music teacher has one and she is very sweet. Anyway, I was just wondering how long it took you to socialize your Shiba, if he is already socialized.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kaitlyn,

      Anyway, I was just wondering how long it took you to socialize your Shiba,

      I am not sure how to answer this question. I guess it depends on what you mean by “socialize”. My Shiba Sephy is pretty good today about encountering new situations. However, there are certain behaviors that he considers to be rude, for example butt sniffing. He also does not like dogs that try to dominate him.

      Also, socialization is a life-long process. If we do a lot with puppy when he is young and then stop taking him out when he grows up, he will likely become unused to new situations. Here are a couple of articles on my experience with dog socialization-

  39. Sarah says

    Hi! I just recently adopted my first shiba baby! I’m already in love with her.
    She has some allergies and skin issues I have been trying to resolve since I adopted her last month. She’s extremely sensitive to flea bites, and due to information I received from when she was rescued, has the capacity to bite off all her fur and leave sores just to alleviate the pain/itch. Granted she was bald and covered in sores when she was first surrendered, she has now regrown about 95% of her fur. Although, I think her double-coat is still coming in, there are some areas that are uneven due to minor scars, and a few areas she still bites at on rare occasions. She’s been to the vet and is up to date on rabies and flea meds, and will be going back for her yearly visit and to get heart worm meds in a week. She was also checked for demo due to severity of her skin condition when she was brought in, and came up negative. THANK GOD!!! However I was wondering if you could give me some advice on a couple of different things.

    First, I was wondering what kind of heart worm prevention you would recommend. Comfortis is the only medication that she is currently on, besides a small dosage of wild salmon oil I picked up to help with her skin issues, and the occasional allergy pill (half a 25mg tablet, Pro-Pet brand, Diphenhydramine HCl) I give her when her itching seems to be excessive. I don’t want to give her anything that would conflict with these.

    Second, she has the tendency to sit down after she eats, lick the fur on her paws and bite her nails. I have changed her food twice, and she is currently on a no-grain high quality food. Could it be that this is just a habit of hers, like a nervous tick or compulsion? I have tried to make her stop and she just gets up, walks around, then sits and does it more until I reprimand her again.

    I’d appreciate any help or advice! THANKS!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sarah,

      Congratulations on your new Shiba! She is absolutely beautiful. I really like her long legs and body proportions. 4 paws up for rescuing her!

      1. In terms of heart-worm all my dogs are on Heartgard. According to my vet it is very important to get dosing right, and as you say, it is also important that it does not conflict with other medications. It is definitely a good thing to discuss with your vet. My vet is the one that recommended Heartgard so that was what we went with. I haven’t done any in-depth research into it myself, so I can’t say if it is the best. However, I have not encountered any problems with it so far.

      2. In terms of paw licking, Sephy does a fair amount of that as well. Sephy is pretty fastidious and spends a fair amount of time grooming. I think it is a common Shiba trait. They are very clean dogs, which is one of the reasons many people liken them to cats.

      How often does she do it per day? How does her paw look and feel? Does she allow you to touch her paw? Is her paw sensitive? Does she walk comfortably? Depending on frequency, it could just be a grooming thing. To be safe though, it is best to get the vet to check her paws when you go back.

      I am sorry I can’t be of more help, but with health issues it is best to consult with the vet. I usually just call them up and chat with the vet tech. They are pretty good about giving advice on what it could be, what to look out for, and whether it is an emergency situation.

      Btw. did you make the drawing on the photobucket gallery? It looks very good, very anime-ish.

      Hugs to Shiva. Great name – is she named after Final Fantasy Shiva?

    • Sarah says

      Shiva’s name is actually from the Sanskrit word (and the Hindu god). I picked it cause it means “kind” & “pure” in some translations, and because she’s pure white, except for little red tips on her ears!!! I Also have a bit of a thing for anything Indian. The friend I adopted her from introduced me to Indian food, which then inspired me to really learn about their culture, instead of just eating their amazing food, so it seemed appropriate!
      I’m taking Shiva to the vet for her yearly checkup in a week when I get paid again, so I will definitely bring up my concerns then. I think there’s a good possibility I am just being an anxious mommy because Shiva is the first dog I’ve had since I moved out of my parents home back in ’08. I really want to do what’s best for her.
      Her paw pads look fine thankfully. I was worried that maybe it was a grass allergy, but I discovered she does this even if she’s off the grass. She ‘grooms’ herself in excess of thirty minutes most times and one one of her paws has done it enough to thin the fur causing pink to show through. Any who, I will definitely bring it up to the vet.
      Also, I tried that treat thing you mentioned on part of your blog on new years – where you stuff a kong with wet dog food and freeze it. Shiva looooved it! I didn’t expect such a great reaction from her, but i was very pleased.
      Shiva also did something that she’s never really done before yesterday. It kind of melted my heart into a puddle. When I was petting her after i got home from work, she snuggled against me as close as she could get and leaned into my hands. I can’t even describe how good it feels to have her do that. It was like a doggie hug!
      As for the other picture on my photobucket, yes i did draw it. Art’s kind of a thing of mine. I used to draw in a more anime-style but after I went to an art program at SCAD a few times I incorporated a few of the realistic tricks I learned into my character drawings. =)
      Thank you for getting back to me! I really appreciate the advice.

    • shibashake says

      I’m taking Shiva to the vet for her yearly checkup in a week

      Let us know how it goes. Would love to learn more about heart worm medications, and the paw thing.

      When I was petting her after i got home from work, she snuggled against me as close as she could get and leaned into my hands. I can’t even describe how good it feels to have her do that. It was like a doggie hug!

      That sounds awesome. Shiva sounds like a big time sweetie! My Sibe Shania does something similar, and it is the best thing ever. Shania also senses when I am upset and she will come over and give me hugs and licks. Dogs are the best! 😀

      Have you tried 3D art? There are some really fun things that can be done with the 3d tools available nowadays. Anyway, would love to see more of your art. Please share a link with us when you have the time.

      Bigs hugs to Shiva!

  40. Kassie says

    Hello, my name is Kassie and i am about to be the proud owner of a shiba inu min pin mix and i had a few questions about the wonderful breed. First i wanted to know about how old is a shiba when their tail curls? Second my puppy (Kuma) is a very calm and relaxed puppy, does this mean he will grow up and be just as calm? Third i want to know what toys the breed loves the most. I bought him a wide variety of toys but i would like to know their favorite. Now i understand all dogs are their own but im inquiring about the generalities of the breed. Here is some information about my puppy Kuma. As of right now he is 4 weeks old, he is half shiba inu on his dads side and minature pinscher on his moms side. Both parents are full blodded. He, as a puppy, looks exactly like a black and tan shiba pup and looks nothing like a min pin. his behavior is very calm and relaxed he rarely cries or wines and is a major cuddler. He sleeps ALOT! Hope to hear soon so i am better equiped to handle his home coming!!! Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kassie,
      Congratulations on your new puppy.

      First i wanted to know about how old is a shiba when their tail curls?

      Hmmm, I don’t remember for sure. I think Sephy’s tail was curly from the beginning. Sephy has a double curl in his tail, so it looks like a bob tail.

      Second my puppy (Kuma) is a very calm and relaxed puppy, does this mean he will grow up and be just as calm?

      Puppies and even dogs are usually more calm and quiet when we first get them. They are in a new environment, so they spend some time learning the ropes and figuring out their new environment. Many people refer to this as a honeymoon period. Sephy got all feisty after a couple of days though. He is a very bold dog, so it took him about two days to figure out that we were harmless. 😀

      Also, young puppies sleep a lot when they are young. A 4 week old puppy would likely spend a good amount of time sleeping. In terms of temperament, this is something that the breeder can observe over multiple puppy play sessions. With my Sibes, Shania and Lara, I specifically asked my breeder to pick a puppy that is more submissive.

      Third i want to know what toys the breed loves the most.

      In terms of games, Sephy really likes chasing games. He likes playing flirt-pole and also the water-hose game. Some Shibas really do not like water though, so this is also based on individual temperament. Here are a couple of articles on my experiences with dog toys.

      Good luck with Kuma and take lots of puppy pictures! 😀

    • Kassie says

      Thank you so much for your reply. Sadly i dont think Kuma will have a curlly tail 🙁 i went and visited him today and his tail only slightly curls:(and only when he is happy or excited, but thats ok i love him just the way he is. Today he was more playful and high spirited than previous meetings but he started to attack my furry boots( ah habit i will have to break early) he seems more happy gnawing on my finger than any toy ive showed him so we will see how that changes as he grows. Again thank you for your help!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kassie,
      Thanks for sharing Kuma’s picture. I love looking at puppies. I was unable to access it though. It says “This content is currently unavailable”. Perhaps it is not publicly shared?

    • Kassie says

      Oh yeah thats probably why try again i made sure that album is public not private go ahead and look at all his pictures from birth to recent.

    • shibashake says

      Awww, he is such a cute little thing! His siblings are also adorable.

      Love the bath pictures. Do they enjoy the water? Shiba Sephy generally dislikes water unless it is in service of play.

    • Kassie says

      Given that was his first bath his sisters complained more than he did. as long as i was holding him or talking to him he was alright. He absolutely hated the blow dryer though so we had to stop. other than that he didn’t seem to mind it.

    • Kassie says

      hello again, just an update i got kuma on the 8th and let me tell you its been a whorl wind of an adventure. the first night was the longest night of my life lol the second was so much better! he is only six weeks and he already understands that outside is the place i want him to do his business:) he is such a sweet little boy:)

    • shibashake says

      That is awesome Kassie! He sounds like a really clever and good boy. Definitely put up more pictures, they grow up really quickly. 😀

    • Kassie says

      He is way to clever for only six weeks. I started kennel training him the first night to get him use to being in it while im away and at first he didnt want anything to do with it but after about 2 days he realized it was harmless and recently i would place him in there after he had fallen asleep but leave the door open so he would know he is in there because he wants to be instead of him having to be. Now when he falls asleep on me i pick him up and put him by the door and he walks in and falls back to sleep. its only a mater of time before he goes in it to sleep on his own:) he certainly has the cunning of a shiba inu thats for sure 🙂

    • shibashake says

      That is a great way to crate train a puppy!

      Go slowly, always make crate experiences positive, get them used to a routine of sleeping in the crate, and very quickly they will be doing it themselves. I should post something about this.

      Kuma is a very lucky puppy! 😀

    • Kassie says

      Thank you :)kuma is now 9 weeks going on 10 and im having a few problems. Kuma gets bored with his food very easily. to begin we had him on just plain old dry food but he would only eat little bites a lot through out the day and night but i was worried he wasn’t getting what he needed so i found a lamb flavored wet food and mixed it with the dry and at first he couldn’t get enough of it. After a few days he went back to eating just little amounts. So i started mixing baked shredded chicken and steamed chopped baby carrots(his favorite treats) and he would eat it but we went back to dry food after he ate too many carrots one night and got sick. now we are mixing chicken and beef wet food with shredded chicken with broth and mixed in dry food and for now he is loving it but i can tell he is getting bored. I dont know how to please him so he can eat as much as he should. Any suggestions? My vet said that when he reaches 6 pounds to start a plan to feed him 3 times a day and to only allow a specific amount of time to let him eat it and it should correct it but im not so sure… he is stubborn like a shiba :)speaking of which another one of my problems is his stubbornness. he is a great boy… when he wants to be and when something is in it for him. i will tell him not do do something and i know he understands but he goes back and does it again. ive even removed him from a situation and even a room and he goes right back and does it again. for example i have plants in my living room that he wants to eat and ill tell him no and ill try to get him to chew his toy instead or take him out of the room and the next time he is in it he goes back to chewing them. i dont know how to stop him do you?

    • shibashake says

      LOL! I went through the same thing with Sephy! I also mixed in wet with dry, at which point Sephy would just lick up the wet food and not want to eat the kibble. Then I ground up the dry food and mixed it in with the wet, at which point Sephy would only eat little bits of it. Then I started mixing in boiled chicken, bacon, cheese, etc.

      Finally, I decided that he could stand to lose some weight, so if he did want to eat, that is fine. I only gave him his food at very fixed times, and only for a fixed duration, just as your vet suggested. He skipped a few meals, but after some time, he got hungry and started eating plain kibble. 😀

      Now, I also make him work for all of his food, including his kibble. He does commands, grooming, etc. and whatever is left over he gets through interactive food toys.

      i have plants in my living room that he wants to eat and ill tell him no and ill try to get him to chew his toy instead or take him out of the room and the next time he is in it he goes back to chewing them.

      Sephy used to love chewing up my books. I would no-mark him (ack-ack) and body block him away. Then as you say, I get him to do something else. If he keeps coming back to chew books though, he goes to timeout. I start with very short timeouts, maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute. If he chews books again when he gets out of timeout, then he goes back in for a slightly longer period of time.

      He stopped doing it once he realized that trying to chew books means he loses his freedom in the house.

      Hugs to Kuma! Let us know how it goes. 😀

    • Kassie says

      Hey its me again 🙂 so kuma eats fine now thankfully… but he will eat everything in my front and back yard 🙁 like twigs leafs he will even try to eat rocks… what do i do? he also barks at everyone and as hard as i try to hush him i cant get him to stop. another problem i have is him letting me clip his nails. as a younger pup he loved it when i played with his paws now he wont even let me get close???? help please?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kassie,

      In terms of the barking at people, doing people desensitization exercises may be helpful. Make sure to go slowly, be calm, and set the dog up for success.

      In terms of handling exercises, I find that it is something that I have to keep up with throughout Sephy’s life. For example, in the early days, I got Sephy used to us putting on his collar. After he got used to it, I just left on his flat collar and didn’t do any collar exercises for a while. After some time, Sephy got sensitive to collar handling again. Now, we do collar exercises with him every day.

      I also do not do nail clipping with Sephy because we had some bad experiences with that early on and I hit the quick of his nail while clipping. Now, I only do nail grinding with Sephy about once every week. I get someone to feed him his favorite fish treat, and I grind his nails while he eats.

      Here is more on what I did to grind Shiba Sephy’s nails.

      he will eat everything in my front and back yard

      Heh, yeah Sephy was like that as well. Puppies like to examine everything with their mouth. Sephy ate a used rubber one time – YUCK! – and got sick from it. Luckily he puked the whole thing out. I find that what works best with Sephy is to watch him like a hawk when out on walks. I make sure to prevent him from going after any street trash, and also do not let him go under bushes, which was where he got the rubber.

      Sometimes he will shred twigs and sticks. He doesn’t eat the wood, but just likes shredding it, so I let him play with it. Otherwise, I bring some toys along and get him to redirect on the toy. Making the walk interesting by playing the “Find-It” game and doing footwork exercises can also help.

    • kassie says

      For the barking at people part i walk him almost every day and i try to keep him calm when i see a person coming and when he doesnt bark i reward him heavily with affection and that seems to start to be having an effect. Kuma doesnt like having his nails grinded either :/its hard to have anyone help me with him but when i get the chance ill try it.

    • shibashake says

      Glad to hear that things are getting better.

      My Sibe puppy Lara can also get vocal people, especially when they talk to her. I find that using distance can help, and also telling the person to ignore her. Usually, I will move into a driveway and get Lara to do focus exercises with me. If she stays calm, I let her watch. If she gets too excited, I move a certain distance away and try again.

      Hugs to Kuma!

  41. Rin says

    Great article as always! I really love your blog and feel like I’m getting a little bit on the stalker-ish side with how much I read all of your articles, lol. I am getting a two year old Shiba and I’m excited that I won’t have to deal with the training, but I’m a little sad that I am missing out on the puppy years. Anyway, I know Sephy is 5 years old now, but I was wondering what he was like at 2 years old? Was he still playful and energetic like a puppy at times? Am I missing a lot by getting a 2 years old?

    Thanks for in advance for answering my questions! 😀

    • shibashake says

      Hello Rin,

      Anyway, I know Sephy is 5 years old now, but I was wondering what he was like at 2 years old? Was he still playful and energetic like a puppy at times? Am I missing a lot by getting a 2 years old?

      Sephy is still playful and energetic at 5. He is more calm than he was as a puppy, but he plays a lot with the Sibes, and when we least expect it, he will pull-out one of his “Shiba moves”.

      Truthfully, I would have been very happy to skip Sephy’s first year of terror. 😀

      Congratulations on your new Shiba. Let us know how it goes when you get him and share some pictures with us.

  42. Dawn says

    Can you please tell me the average length of a Shiba Inu from the tip of it’s nose to the rump (base of tail) – cannot find info anywhere. Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      Sorry, no idea. I could measure Sephy but he is a large Shiba so he wouldn’t be average.

  43. Rhonda says

    The more I read your postings, the more I fall in love with this dog. We must have gotten the exception with ours. He is mostly obedient, loves to “bring” stuff that you throw for him. He initiates play all the time and becomes very indignant when we don’t have time when he wants it.
    He will sit, down, roll over, high five, give paw, play dead, stay (mostly) and loves visitors.
    We recently took him to a town celebration where the people were passing by in droves. This was a training session for him to learn to be calm in that sort of setting. He was touchy at first, but with good treats, encouragement from us and a calm firm hand, it was a great sucess.
    He is excitable with other dogs, whining and crying to see them. Once he is calm, he will greet, but then turn in an instant. This is my only complaint. He is so crazy when other dogs are around. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      He is so crazy when other dogs are around. Any suggestions?

      Yeah, Sephy is pretty reactive to other dogs at all. What has worked really well for Sephy is to create neutral experiences and just move along. I also did a fair amount of desensitization exercises with him when he was young.

      Here are more on our experiences with other dogs.

  44. Christine says

    We’re on our 3rd shiba. Love them but I can’t remember when they learn the shiba smile. I remember that the previous puppy took a while to smile and then never stopped. Ideas?

    BTW, great site esp. for newbies.

    • shibashake says

      What an interesting question! I am not sure when Sephy ‘grinned’ for the first time.

      I was pretty clueless about Shibas in the beginning, so there was not much grinning in our household for the first few months. But Shiba Sephy is a great teacher, and got me in shape in no time. 😀

      Nowadays, the thing that is sure to get Sephy grinning is scratching him on the right spots. He really likes being scratched under his rear leg, right at the part where it connects to his body. Often, he will roll over, ask for scratches, and start grinning!

  45. Vanessa says

    Any tips for nail trimming? My little sheebs used to never have a problem with it and for some reason has decided in his little shiba brain that nail trimming is the ultimate torture. I’ve never cut his nails too short and try to make the process as calm as possible (treats, baby talk, etc), so I’m not sure why he’s decided to throw a fit every time the trimmers come out. Screaming, squirming, the works. It takes at least two people to get the job done.

    He’s also started obsessively rubbing his face on the carpet. Morning ritual consists of stretching, running out of his crate, commence rubbing his face on the rug for the next five minutes. I’m sure it must feel good, but he’s gotten to the point where he’s rubbed the fur and whiskers off from his snout.

    Thanks in advanced for any advice you have to offer!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Vanessa,

      Sounds like it could be some sort of allergy. I would consider calling up the vet and seeing what they say.

      Shiba Sephy gets easily irritated when he is not feeling in tip-top shape. If he is not feeling well, I think he starts to feel vulnerable, and will generally not let people handle him. It could be that the nail trimming issue is a mood or vulnerability thing that is related to the allergy issue.

      With Shiba Sephy, I use a nail grinder to groom his nails.

  46. Tina Sarao says

    I will be more than honest, my shiba ( Charlie) is an absolute love, he has all of the listed traits, some more than others LOL! patience is key, as well as calmness in handling, Charlie, was easily housebroken, trained to sit, give paw, as well as Fetch!!!..which we routinely do daily, Socialization of this breed with larger dogs, I find is key for friendly manner developement, he is an ALPHA by far, wit the smaller breeds, and that I find bothersome, but that is their personality, Charlie is the celebrity in my neigborhood, and is a total creature of habit, as we do the exact same hour long walk, so he can do his neighborly visiting of both my friends, as well as their dogs!!, and yes, he whimpers if I try to go in a different direction, so continuity is key with them….also the sound effects from him are quite Hilarious, especially when he wants a nibble of my dinner, all in all, it is true owning a Shba Inu, is not like owning your ordinary dog, they are different all in themselves, and I wouldn’t change a thing about him, and am proud to say, I am a Shiba Inu owner…..he brings so much character and happiness into my life, if you are up to it, then by all means get one….but they are not your standard house breed, they need stimulation, and lots of lots of exercise…the constant long and ENJOYABLE walks, have not only help me get back into shape, but have also helped me to decompress after a long day as well…

    • shibashake says

      Charlie sounds like a wonderful Shiba!

      Sephy will maybe fetch one or two balls, if he is in the mood, but most of the time he just gives me the Shiba-look. 😀

      they are not your standard house breed, they need stimulation, and lots of lots of exercise…the constant long and ENJOYABLE walks, have not only help me get back into shape, but have also helped me to decompress after a long day as well…

      That is so very true, and what a positive way to see things. The walks also help me decompress, and to think of things in new ways. Usually I will be struggling with some programming issue, and when I get back from the walk, I have figured out several new ways to attack it.

      Hugs to Charlie!

  47. Kuala says

    ThisI kuala I love the info you talked about
    I walk dogs and one of the dogs I walk is a shiba inu
    .I agree they are soo cute and I get alot of comments like
    “omg it looks like a little fox”.personly I love dogs that’s why I started walking them.
    Does shiba inus like clothes ?

    • shibashake says

      Thank you Kuala.

      Does shiba inus like clothes ?

      Heh, I think that generally, they don’t. Sephy will not let me put anything on him, not even a bandanna! Other Shibas are probably more tolerant, but they still just tolerate. 😀

      Good luck with your dog walking business.

  48. Franco C. says

    Just got mine from a friend recently he’s a year and a half old. He’s stubborn as hell but cowardly. He’s been great though, not a barker, does like attention and being around people, fairly active dog but doesn’t mind lounging for hours as well. He loves the Kong toys I’ve bought him, so perhaps this helps maintain their interest? I don’t know but he’s been smooth sailing so far…knock on wood!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Franco,
      Congratulations on your Shiba! It is good to hear that he is doing so well.

      As you say, I think as long as they get enough of the right attention and exercise, they are actually fairly low maintenance (except maybe when going to the vet). Also, I noticed my Shiba calming down a lot after he turned 1, so maturity is probably also part of the equation. Good early training also helps. 😀

      When Sephy was young, one of the most difficult areas to deal with was his mouthiness. But he has gotten a whole lot better about that.

      Hugs to your Shiba!

  49. Andrew says

    I’m trying to convince my family that shiba’s are the way to go but the thing that holds them back is the shedding. Could you do a blog post about what you do about shedding since you have a husky and a shiba?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Andrew,

      Shibas do shed a fair amount but not as much as Siberians. They blow their coat about twice a year, but there is probably some shedding all year round.

      When my Shiba is blowing his coat, I Furminate him almost every day. Other than that, his coat doesn’t really need much upkeep.

      In my opinion, coat grooming is probably one of the least problematic areas with a Shiba. It is their independence, boldness, and crazy stubbornness that will drive you nuts. 😀

  50. Elizabeth says

    I just wanted to say that this is the best Shiba Inu website I have found! I have a 2 year old shiba and I always love reading new things and reading other people’s opinion on living with a Shiba. Your website is perfect and very helpful. Thanks so much!

    • shibashake says

      Thanks for your kind words Elizabeth.

      I had a lot of tough times about my Shiba, but he is also such a funny, endearing, and lovable little guy. It is difficult not to love a Shiba. 😀

  51. Suedoo says

    Hey. Your site is very informative and the articles are very well written as well. I have gotten my first Shiba last Saturday, his name is Ace and he’s 2 months old/. Including Ace, my house now has 3 dogs. One Alaskan Malamute(Rei) and a Japanese Spitz(Husky). Both Rei and Husky are pretty chill dogs who aren’t really interested in play and prefer cuddles but Ace?

    Hoo Boy… He’s a crazy little furry shark. Attempts to bite/chew everything and is almost always constantly on the go and up to mischief. I have read several of your articles prior to getting Ace and I thought “Alright! totally ready for this!” I was proven oh so very wrong. He prefers to chew on the furniture and other things rather than his toys most of the time. Also, he makes mistakes around the house and refuses to go on the wee wee pads set up for him in the toilet. He’s also pretty excited when we give him treats and handfeed him though he doesn’t bite the hands rather jumps and scratches us before being given the treat. As for the excitement, I have tried playing with him till he tires out but more often than so, he just loses interest in the toy and starts biting us or anything around him. I have tried saying ouch or yelping and even saying a firm no but he continues the biting and it is starting to leave marks as his teeth are very sharp. I cannot let him socialise with my other 2 dogs because they are pretty wary of him at the moment. Husky is pretty old and doesn’t really accept new dogs and Rei has a pretty low tolerance with dogs(he’s absolutely lovely with people though).

    Do you have any advice on the biting, potty training and excitement? So sorry if this has already been addressed in the articles D:

    Also, I cannot take him out for walks yet as he has not gotten his final puppy shot at the vets and we plan to start with his obedience training classes next month as we’ll be away for a week from the 31st.

    Here’s a little picture of Ace too (:

    • shibashake says

      Hoo Boy… He’s a crazy little furry shark.

      LOL! I love that description!

      I thought “Alright! totally ready for this!” I was proven oh so very wrong.

      Yeah, words, pictures, and videos cannot capture the true pain of the real Shiba experience. 😀

      In terms of the biting and excitement what worked best with Shiba Sephy is to stay very calm. When he bites, I do the yelp thing but in a more calm, low-pitched voice. Like your little fur shark, Sephy got excited really easily when he was a puppy and high pitched sounds got him going.

      The calm Oww usually startles him for a bit and he stops. At that point I put a toy near his mouth and redirect him to bite on something acceptable.

      Sometimes he will redirect, but often he will just continue biting my hands. At that point I non-mark him, Ack-Ack, stand up, fold up my arms, stop playing with him., and ignore him.

      But Shibas are usually pretty stubborn so they may continue to try and get attention by biting on clothes or feet. Sephy didn’t do that but he would go over to the bookcases and start chewing on books because he knows that this will get my attention.

      At that point I just calmly say time-out and remove him to a boring time-out area (usually the laundry room). He stays in there for about 30 seconds, then I ask him for a simple command (e.g. Sit) before letting him out.

      Here are a few articles on my early experiences with Sephy –

      As for potty training, Sephy really does not like going in the house. When he has to go, he will whine and go to the door. If possible, I would train puppy to go outside rather than on puppy pads.

      Some puppies, like my Sibe puppies are less picky and they will go wherever. For them, I made sure to always watch them very closely when they are in the house. As soon as it looks like they are about to go potty, I take then outside. If I miss their potty cue and they start to go, I interrupt them and take them outside.

      During puppyhood, I would bring Sephy out on-leash to a fixed place in the yard. Then I gave him the go potty command. I usually wait about 10 minutes for him to do his potty and I don’t let him play or roam about during that time. If he does his potty, I would praise him a lot and reward him really well with food and a fun game. In this way he learns that potty outside = lots of praise, rewards, and play.

      Here is more on my potty training experiences.

      Thanks for that awesome picture of Ace! Love that expression on his face and those ears! 😀

    • Suedoo says

      Hi thanks for your advice! Yeah, he is a handful haha. Regarding the time-out thing, I’ was wondering whether to let him out even if he starts screaming and crying during that duration or leave him till he calms down and then let him out? I’ve heard that releasing them while they yelp/scream/cry will teach him to continually use that to get out. He’s very smart and has learned to sit already too (: Ace was also very well behaved for his first time at the vet’s yesterday. He didn’t make a really big fuss about microchipping and nail trimming (much less than my malamute who needs about 4/5 people holding him down for temperature/shots)

      We did find out yesterday that he has started attempting to hump and all (I was surprised as he is still very young and my other/previous dogs only did it after a year old. They eventually stopped when we refused to play and ignore them but Ace us very persistent ). Any advice on that? since you did mention that Sephy had the same problem too.

      I also notice that you have quite a collection of toys that use/contain food. Does this affect Sephy/your other dogs’ meal times? or do you use it as a substitute for dog bowls?

      Taking care of Ace is actually quite a different experience for me compared to training my other dogs as they are usually compliant and are pretty much manageable.

      As for potty training, I’m now taking him up to the garden on my roof (we didn’t have enough space for a backyard and my parents were afraid that the other two dogs would soil it) every now and then for potty and some outdoor space. Is this advisable or should I just use the garden for potty? He won’t be going outside to parks and the sort till he gets his jab for parvo and distemper in 2 weeks time.

      Thanks for your help (:

    • Suedoo says

      Sorry to add in, but he also does bite his leash. I was thinking of playing the “Find-It” game as suggested. Is the objective of the game ultimately to focus on the treat and not the leash and does it effectively stop leash biting?

    • says

      I’ was wondering whether to let him out even if he starts screaming and crying during that duration or leave him till he calms down and then let him out?

      Yeah they are very smart and as you say, will learn to use their patented Shiba Scream to get out if they can. I usually don’t let Sephy out until he has calmed down and is not whining. In the beginning, I waited for a very brief pause in his whining and then asked for a sit. As he got older, I slowly lengthened his necessary quiet time.

      Ace was also very well behaved for his first time at the vet’s yesterday.

      Wow that is really impressive! I wish Sephy was better at the vet. He is very sensitive to pain and is very fearful of vet visits.

      I am not a big fan of humping so if Sephy does that to people he goes immediately to timeout. Nowadays, he doesn’t do that to people anymore but he will sometimes try to hump the other dogs during play. I stop that as well and if he keeps trying to hump, he goes to timeout and loses out on the play session.

      Does this affect Sephy/your other dogs’ meal times? or do you use it as a substitute for dog bowls?

      Yeah, all the dogs have to work for their food. They get some of their food from doing commands, some from Find-It, and some from interactive toys. I think they enjoy working for their food and it helps to give them some mental exercise. It also makes them eat more slowly which is better for their digestion.

      I supervise them very closely during meal-times to make sure there is no stealing.

      As for potty training, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. I think it is easier to teach a puppy to go somewhere outside the house because then it is clear that in the house there is no potty whatsoever. However, dogs can also be trained to go on potty pads, in the same way that we train them to go outside. It may just take a bit more supervision and repetition because they may not know initially whether it is ok to potty in a particular room, or whether it is just in the corners of rooms, or whether it is only on the puppy pads.

      Hugs to Ace!

    • says

      For leash biting, it depends to some degree on why the dog is showing that behavior.

      With many dogs, especially a puppy, it may simply be a play behavior.

      In Sephy’s case though, he was mostly leash biting out of frustration. For example, he used to be very reactive to dogs and would sometimes go into a crazy leash biting dance when he did not get to go over to meet them. In these instances, it was a lot more effective to just quickly remove him from the area and take him home. If he continued to leash bite, he goes to timeout.

      Here is a bit more on my experiences with leash biting –

  52. Debra says

    I have my first Sheba and as a former dog trainer, I definitely feel like she is much more difficult than any other breed. But SO smart! She is six months old and rings the bell when she needs to go out (though she is starting to do the multi-times out and I’ve been using time out for that, I plan to modify her outside visits to limit her movement as suggested above, but she definitely knows “go potty” command lol). she watched my daughter’s Yorkie Pinm Einstein, and learned how to go “up” (sitting on her butt and raising front up for treat) on her own and now does it on command. I’m amazed by her intelligence every day and surprised how she now likes to lay not just near me but often touching me while she sleeps (one night she even came up and butted her forehead against mine and slept that way). I look forward to your page for insight in the future!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Debra,

      Your little Shiba girl sounds adorable! 😀

      Yeah Shibas are very smart – and not just book smart, they are also extremely street smart. Sephy is very good at figuring out all of my buttons and he knows which one to push to get what he wants.

      He can sometimes be a big pain in the ass, but he makes up for it by doing really funny and surprising things that make everyone laugh.

      Congratulations on your Shiba puppy and big hugs!

  53. Elias says

    Hi I have a Shiba Inu puppy her name is Akira she is going to be a year in november. She is unique in the sense that she still retains some of her black mask and has black eyebrows where the white should be. Anyway the problem I’m having with her is the biting and getting her to do her commands. She did not give me trouble and people even were astonished at her temprement so much that they said that she could not be a Shiba Inu. We took her to training as soon as she was a week old. I had a life threatening situation where I was in the hospital for 3 days and I was in the hospital so I left he with my sister and her kids. She is very close to me and is still close to me and will come lay down with me if I take a nap but ever since I got back it has been like something snapped in her. Whenever the doorbell rings now she gets anxious and howls and when anyone comes in the door she jumps on them and bites them in play. At first when we played with her before the incident she did not bite but squeezed but now she is biting. She does not listen to me sometimes when I call her and now she seems like she has made it her mission to get into anything she can get her mouth on. Akira’s favorite pastime is to tear paper and she seems to do it just to spite me. I read that she just wants attention and not to give it to her but none of the methods that I learned from her training class seems to work. When she bites I do the ack and turn away but instead of calming down and turning away she either goes around or bites on the back of the leg. It’s to the point now that she’s becoming destructive biting up paper and on chair legs. She will be a year in November will it be to late to change her behavior? I use her crate as her time-out zone and she knows the word Kennel which is her time-out zone and usually gets her to stop what she is doing. Is this a just wait it out thing or do I need to take furthur measures to get her to stop biting and jumping because the ack isn’t really working and I’m tired of her jumping on my friends and family members. She is almost never alone and when she is she is alone for 3 hours tuesday and thursday because those days I am in school. I try not to reward her bad behavior with attention but she finds a diffrent angle on how to bite or get hold of something she isn’t supposed to have.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Elias,
      Shiba Sephy is very similar in that he really likes his routine. He is also very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. So big changes in his environment cause a lot of stress for him.

      As for the biting, timeouts work really well with Shiba Sephy because he really values his freedom. If Sephy does not respond to the yelp, I stand up, fold up my arms, and turn away from him. If he continues to bite, I calmly say timeout and take him directly to timeout.

      In general, it is best not to use a crate as the timeout area because we want the dog to view the crate as something positive. This makes it easier to crate puppy when she is sleeping or home alone. I use the laundry room as my timeout area for Sephy and make sure there is nothing in there that he can chew, eat, or would be dangerous to him.

      Here are some additional things I tried with Shiba Sephy in terms of biting –

      Other things that helped when Shiba Sephy was a puppy –

      Another thing I did with Sephy when he was young was take him to the SPCA to play with other friendly dogs there (under supervision). He really needed a fair amount of off-leash time and I didn’t have a backyard then, so the SPCA play sessions really helped a lot.

      A tired Shiba is a good Shiba. 😀

      Hugs to Akira. Let us know how it goes.

  54. Claudia says

    I totally stumbled upon your site, but loved reading some of your articles. I have a 4 yr old male Shiba named Suntori. He’s his own man. And just like your article, he comes around when he wants something, but is usually lounging around on his bed, or snout out under the sofa.
    I have always wanted a German Shepherd,Lab, Husky, Golden Retriever, or Samoyed a dog a bit more loving and affectionate, just to give things a bit of a balance. I am in the process of researching what is the best fit for us but my main concern is Suntori. He doesn’t really care to socialize with other dogs and just like you said somewhere, as far as he’s concerned, he’s royalty.

    I really want another dog and am really interested to see how you invited your new dog into your home and how your Shiba responded. Any words on which of the breeds I mentioned would be best? I do like a spitz, but that is not my sole deal maker/breaker.

    Thanks and I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    • shibashake says

      I really want another dog and am really interested to see how you invited your new dog into your home and how your Shiba responded.

      My Shiba Inu Sephy does not trust very easily. He was pretty stand-offish when we brought puppy Lara home. He did not want puppy messing with him, sniffing his butt, and he did not play with puppy. He did sniff her, examine her, and then he kept his distance.

      During the first week I made sure to supervise them very closely so that puppy does not bother Sephy and so that they did not have any negative experiences together.

      I also made sure that they had many positive experiences. I had many short training sessions with puppy and during this time, Sephy would come over to beg for food. I made sure to praise and reward both dogs really well when they were calm and peaceful together. After a bit, Sephy would always come over whenever I started training sessions with puppy.

      It is also very important to be fair and consistent with all the dogs. Puppy has to follow the same rules as the other dogs. In fact, puppy has more rules.

      It took about 1 week before Sephy warmed up to puppy Lara. Once he included Lara into his circle of trust though, he became very tolerant of her and lets her sniff, jump over him, step on him, etc. Still, I supervise them so that Lara doesn’t bother Sephy too much and overly stress his patience. 😀

      Here are more of my experiences with getting a second dog.

  55. Tyler says

    NOTE: Sorry for repost. I just noticed that my previous message was posted as a reply to my own comment so I didn’t know if it would be noticed by anyone down there.

    Original Message:
    Hi everyone!

    We just got our new Shiba puppy this Sunday! Here are some pictures of her: http://front–

    Her name is Kumiko (Kumi for short)and so far she has brought the expected mix of terror and delight. Certainly a full blown Shiba scream is something that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

    This is our first day leaving Kumi at home while we both work. We’ve kept her confined to the hallway by closing all the doors, but I’m still paranoid that she’ll have found a way to destroy everything or summon the police by screaming.

    We have a crate and a decently sized exercise pen for her for longer term confinement. However she seems to absolutely hate these two things and will start screaming and crying within two minutes of being placed in one of them. Obviously this is not ideal. We’d like to be able to leave our Kumi unattended for a few hours without here sounding the alarm constantly.

    Does anyone have any tips about how to get her acclimated to being confined to her crate or pen?

    Also, often she whines to be taken outside to do her business, but when I get her out there she just meanders about eating grass and sometimes just sitting in the grass without doing anything. Then when I take her back inside she’ll start whining again and if you ignore it she’ll just go poop in the corner somewhere. It’s a bit frustrating to take her out 3 times in an hour only to have her poop in the house!

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy! Thanks for sharing all your great pictures – Kumi looks absolutely adorable!

      In terms of crating, what seems to have worked pretty well for my Sibe puppy is to go very slowly. Currently, she is tethered with a very short lead to the crate at night. She will sometimes go in there to sleep but the door is open so she can come out for a short distance if she wants to. Initially we put her on a longer tether and we have slowly shortened it as she slowly gets used to her routine.

      Another possibility, is to train puppy to go in there for very short periods of time initially and then slowly lengthen the time. For example, the first few days, give the crate command, throw a treat in, puppy goes in, Good!, treat, and let puppy out again. Don’t even close the door. Then once puppy is comfortable doing that, close the door and then open it back right away, and so on.

      In terms of the potty, what I did with Sephy (when he was a puppy) is always bring him out on lead. I take him to his potty spot and say “go potty”. Then I wait for a few minutes. In that time I do not let him go exploring etc. – which is where the lead comes in very handy. If he does go potty, then I praise him a lot, reward him really well, and then he gets to go off-leash and explore in the backyard. We also play some fun games. If he does not go potty, then we come back in.

      Usually, I have a black-out period after we come in, where I don’t take him out even if he whines. But I do watch him for potty signals. If I see him heading to the corner (that is usually his tell that he is about to go potty) then I take him out and repeat the process above.

      In this way, he does not get rewarded for whining because he doesn’t get to go exploring when we first go outside. However, if he actually does his potty, then he gets rewarded really well.

      Also try posting your questions on the Shiba Inu Forum –

      There are many Shiba veterans there with a lot of good information. Let us know how it goes!

  56. Charlie Seaman says

    My husband and I adopted a Shibu about 4 months ago…raised in a kennel…7 yrs old, we had her spayed and now she is very nervous and jumpy. We are trying the kindness/reward training. Scolding/yelling/jerking leash only made situation much worse…loves goose meat treats…long walks with her catching small birds when possible, are her favorite. Does not know how to play…yet…We are hoping she can be off lease in a few months and run the 320 acres we have and come back to kennel up at night— using a leash for the rest of her life is not our vision of fun!

  57. D'Andra Clark says

    Does anyone notice their Shiba is neurotic about their tails or is it just my dog? If a fly lands on her back or tail she’ll literally go into a tail spin seeing if it’s still there minutes later. Sometimes she sprints to her bed or couch and lays down like she’s been punished.

    • shibashake says

      Sephy used to be very neurotic about his tail and actually about his entire posterior region. We started handling him a lot in the back areas and tying that to rewards. That has helped him get more comfortable with unexpected touches or insects on his tail.

      He is still pretty neurotic about flies though. If one gets in the house he will not rest until the fly is dead. 😀

  58. Clare says

    Help! This is my first dog and I finally convinced my parents to get one. I picked a shiba bcuz it was so CA-YOOT! Then yea- trouble began and u guys capture the personality in the articles. can u teach me how to make my shiba lose his ‘i want this so too bad i’m gonna do it and ya cant stop me’ behavior.

    thx so much if u can help!

    p.s- don’t u luv it when ur shiba rolls over and lets u scratch its tummy and licks u(well until u realize they were just covering up the bad thing they did)

  59. Michael says

    Hi ShibaShake! Thanks for responding, I’m putting another ‘question’ up as I can’t reply to yours for some reason.

    Anywho, about my two other dogs. They are literally just hams. They love to be loved and they like to snuggle and just be touched.

    The Papillon is an extremely calm dog, only barks when the front door is opened, and the Poodle I sometimes forget is there. He’s that quiet.

    After a few days with Max (We’re seriously thinking about calling him Taz now). I’ve discovered that he does the shriek when I pull at his collar when he’s under the table/goes somewhere he doesn’t want to go. He shrieks when I have his food taken away as well.

    In a day it seems he’s learned that when I say “no” to him eating at the other dog’s bowl (They like to share), he understands. But he keeps running away to under the table. And when I try to get him out of the table, the Scream commences.

    So I put him in time-out, which is at the patio of our apartment. I don’t know how long it appropriate for a Shiba to be put in time out, but I find that I keep him out there from 15-20 minutes on average. When he comes inside. He’s sweet. Until he goes under the table and I have to pull him out and then he screams all over again.

    Then I have to put him in time-out it seems for shrieking like that.

    It’s a cycle that I don’t know how to fix! With me alone, and with my girlfriend, he’s great. He’s loving. He likes to (for some reason) sit under my legs whenever I’m standing/sitting in a chair and he likes to be touched.

    But is the shrieking something that I can mitigate, is it something I can show Max that I don’t appreciate it and like it?

    • shibashake says

      We’re seriously thinking about calling him Taz now

      LOL – I like that name. It would suit a Shiba very well.

      He’s sweet. Until he goes under the table and I have to pull him out and then he screams all over again.

      The under the table thing sounds like he is hiding rather than anything else. I would carefully observe what are all the triggers that cause him to run under the table – is it when there are loud noises? when the other dogs stare at him? when voices are raised? Then he can be slowly desensitized to that trigger so that he no longer sees it as something scary that he needs to run away from.

      Also, what happens if you just leave him under the table? If it is a fear response, going in after him may trigger even more fear, which causes the screaming, etc. In general, I have found that it is most effective to deal with the root of the issue – which is what is triggering the run-under-table behavior in the first place.

  60. Michelle W says

    Hi, ShibaShake.

    My fiancee and I just got a Shiba Inu 2 days ago. Neither of us had read about the Shiba, and its various characteristics (trust me, I wish I had). It’s only Day 2, and I’m so stressed out. I’ve never owned any kind of pets before. Luckily, our work schedule works out fine, and the Shiba is alone during the day for 3 hours, 3 days of the week. Yesterday, while I was driving to work, I wanted to turn back around and just stay home with her lol.

    I guess I have a few questions. What’s your method for when she does something bad? (Like biting, which she does mostly in the mornings) Right now I’m starting to say “No!” sternly and grabbing her face so she looks at me when she does it (my fiancee says to grab her by the back of the neck.. what would you suggest). I’m trying not to smack her.

    Also, we live in an apartment on the second floor, and when we take her out to potty, she will not go up or down the stairs (she’s 12 weeks old). At what age should I start trying to get her to go up and down the stairs?

    And what’s your opinion on the Bark Off?

    Thank you so much. Of course, I haven’t gotten much sleep the past 2 nights, and I read in one of your articles that that’ll happen for the next couple weeks. Right now, my fiancee lays down on the floor next to her crate when she’s fussy till she calms down a bit.

    • Angelique says

      Well, I’m not Shiba Shake of course, but I just wanted to comment. I can’t say I’m an experienced Shiba owner yet, I just put a deposit toward a 2 wk old shiba female though…after MASSIVE amounts of research and interviewing shiba owners via email. If you haven’t started on that, trust me you will want to now because there is a LOT to know. Until I did my own research I had no idea how different shibas are from most other breeds, caring for them is -very specific-. The good thing is your puppy is young so you can apply what you learn right away. Just some things I was able to gather: most websites will tell you they are headstrong and difficult to train, so be aware of that. You have to be consistant with your training, and establish your dominance. They also need to be socialized with other dogs and humans at an early age, as well as leash trained. Like I said though, I’m not personally experienced since my puppy hasn’t arrived yet 🙂 but you definitely need to start reading -everything- you can about shibas now. It will help a lot in reducing your stress, I’m sure. Also, everywhere I’ve read says that if you give the puppy an article of clothing of yours to sleep with (anything that smells like you) your scent will soothe them and make them feel more comfortable when they are alone in their crate. One last tip I read: a gentle dominance training trick to use on puppies is holding them in cradled in your arms like you would a baby. They will struggle and whine, but don’t set them down until they have relaxed and given in to being held…this shows them your dominance (or so I read…sounds logical to me though.) Good luck and hope things go well for you!

    • Michelle W says

      Yeah, my fiance read about the holding them like a baby thing too.

      I read that you don’t wanna put any blankets or clothes in the crate when they’re too young cause that’ll encourage them to eliminate in the crate. Who knows. My fiance and I are both learning. It’s only been two days, but we swear, she’s already gotten a little bigger.

      Good luck with your Shiba when you get it! They are so adorable! (Especially when they’re playing with their toys or sleeping next to you)

      Keep me posted when you get your Shiba! My email is mishu09 at the site hotmail -dot- com.

      ** From ShibaShake – Michelle, I edited the email so that it can’t be extracted by web scrappers. In general, it is best not to post your email in a public page. If you want your email totally removed, let me know.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Michelle,

      Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!

      What’s your method for when she does something bad?

      When I first got puppy Lara the first two things I taught her were a mark (Yes or Good Girl) and a non-mark (No or Ack-Ack). A mark indicates to her that she is doing something good and it usually followed by a reward. A non-mark indicates to her that she is doing something not-good and is usually followed by an alternate command (and a reward), or a “punishment” which usually means she loses one of her freedoms or does not get something that she really wants.

      For biting, I have found that bite inhibition training is very useful for my dogs. Bite inhibition training teaches the dog to have a soft mouth when it comes to people. This is great because even if an accident occurs, and the dog bites on a person, it will likely not cause much if any harm. I mostly do bite inhibition training through hand-feeding.

      Here are a couple of articles on dog biting and bite inhibition –

      Sometimes a Shiba can be stubborn though and will not stop biting even after I non-mark and redirect him. In these cases a time-out works best for Shiba Sephy.

      Once I have good bite inhibition then I switch to a No-Bite policy, but I still keep up with hand-feeding.

      In terms of physical forms of discipline, I tried that with Shiba Sephy when he was young and that did not work out well for us at all. This is the story of my early days with Shiba Sephy –

      We had a lot of challenges, but things worked out in the end. 😀

      At what age should I start trying to get her to go up and down the stairs?

      With puppy Lara she started going up stairs first. I think that is easier and less scary for them. It was something that I just let her do by herself and when she was ready, she just did it. She probably started doing that after being with us for a couple of weeks – but that would depend on the puppy. It took another couple of more weeks before she tried going down stairs.

      I did sometimes play games with her on the stairs – just going up one or two steps with a toy and she would come after me to get it. While playing, she is focused on doing something else, so she doesn’t think about how scary the stairs are. 😀

      And what’s your opinion on the Bark Off?

      I have never used Bark Off before. From reading the reviews though, it seems that this method of sound aversion is not very effective with many dogs. Shibas are usually more stubborn than most breeds so I am not sure how well this would work.

      Another sound aversion training technique that I did try on Sephy when he was a puppy is to put a bunch of coins in a soda can, tape up the open tab, and then shake the can. Sephy definitely did not like that sound and it worked for more minor types of rule breaking.

      However, for more serious things I use a time-out which has been the most effective thing for Shiba Sephy. It also worked very well on Siberian puppy Lara. I only do that for serious things though, like continued biting, leash biting and humping.

      This article on puppy training may also be helpful –

      Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

    • shibashake says

      a gentle dominance training trick to use on puppies is holding them in cradled in your arms like you would a baby.

      It can definitely work on many dogs, but I think the most important thing is to be flexible and tailor the techniques to suit the individual dog and their own unique personality.

      For example, I have seen many people do the baby-cradling move very effectively with their dogs. On Sephy however, it did not work out well. When my other half tried to do that to him, he just got really fearful and had to get away no matter what. Holding a dog like that is taking away his freedom to run away and at the same time putting him in a very vulnerable position (with his belly exposed). If I stranger did that to me – I would be freaking out too. 😀

      When Sephy was forced to stay in that position until he was calm, he got so scared that he pooped all over the place.

      This taught me to always listen to Sephy and to be flexible about the training techniques that I use.

  61. Michael says

    Hi Shib.

    First, I want to say that your blog is simply astounding. You’re a fountain of knowledge and help.

    My problem:

    I’ve wanted a Shiba since I was a younger boy playing Nintendogs. I saw the wolf-esque looking animal and since then have fell in love with the breed.

    I posted an ad on Criagslist saying that I was looking for a Shiba to either buy, or rehome. I was hoping for a female, but instead I got an e-mail saying that a couple was offering a male. The Shiba (Who is named Max, apparently) was just ‘dropped’ on them by a family member and they couldn’t keep it because the girl was allergic to him.

    I saw him, and he’s a great guy. He works really well with people it seems and is pretty nice when it comes to us.

    However, when any of our other two dogs gets near his toys, or a place that he’s ate, he starts to growl at a worrying rate. I had put food in my papillons bowl to feed him, and Max went in for himself. I tried to take the food away from Max and he started to bare his teeth and growl.

    When we brought him home, he immediately ran under a table. I tried to get him out, but he started to make this high pitch shrieking noise (Which I think is what is called the “Shiba Scream”), and I have NO idea how to respond to it.

    Was it a mistaking taking in a Shiba under the conditions that we have two other dogs (soon to be one other, my mother is taking our poodle), or should I keep trying?

    And if so, could you help in *anyway* possible, with some tips, tricks, some way to establish *myself* as the pack leader?

    You’d be saving myself so much time, and heartache. Thank you!


    (P.S., do male dogs just gravitate towards women more, or is that something that’s a myth?)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Michael,

      Sounds like Max has some resource guarding and food aggression issues. These issues usually arise because every time someone or another dog comes near them, they get their stuff stolen from them – so they feel that they must start guarding. Shibas have a pretty high protection drive, so they are also more likely to guard than the average breed.

      There are a variety of ways to reduce this guarding behavior, but food aggression training requires a fair amount of time, supervision, and careful management. It also depends on how often and how long the dog has already been practicing this behavior. Here are a couple of articles on my experiences with food aggression issues –

      I would also consider going to see a professional trainer about it. Food aggression issues can be dangerous to people, so it is best to start off on the right foot.

      When we brought him home, he immediately ran under a table. I tried to get him out, but he started to make this high pitch shrieking noise

      LOL, yeah Shibas do the Shiba Scream when they find themselves in a situation that is really not to their liking. Shiba Sephy used to do that with my dog walker when she tried to force him to walk in a heel position.

      The running under the table thing sounds like he is just unsure about his new surroundings. Shiba Sephy actually did that at the breeder’s house when we tried to put a collar on him.

      The way I deal with the Shiba Scream depends on why Shiba is doing it. For things that he is fearful about (e.g. running under the table because of the collar), I make sure to desensitize him to it when we are home, in a quiet place, and when I have a good amount of time for training.

      If Sephy is just whining or screaming because he wants something, like for me to open the door for him then I totally ignore him until he stops and is calm. Once he shows the behavior that I want, then I open the door for him.

      If he is outside and whining then he loses his outside freedom and has to come in the house. If he continues to scream he either just gets ignored or he gets put in time-out.

      I have found that with the Shiba Scream, the worst thing to do is to give Shiba a strong reaction because that is what Shiba is usually looking for. However, if he gets no reaction or just a calm time-out, then it is no fun for Shiba and he will stop and try something else.

      Was it a mistake taking in a Shiba under the conditions that we have two other dogs

      That is very difficult to say. It would depend on the temperaments of the dogs, the people, the amount of time, etc. It certainly does sound like a challenge though. It would of course be much easier to get a dog that does not already have food aggression and guarding issues.

      do male dogs just gravitate towards women more, or is that something that’s a myth?

      Heh, not in my experience. I think dogs gravitate towards the people who spend the most time with them, and give them the most resources (food, play, etc.). Actually there was a study that indicated that both wolves and dogs can pick out people who are in a more attentive state and these are the people they will beg from. 😀

      They showed, for the first time that wolves, like domestic dogs, are capable of begging successfully for food by approaching the attentive human. This demonstrates that both species — domesticated and non-domesticated — have the capacity to behave in accordance with a human’s attentional state. In addition, both wolves and pet dogs were able to rapidly improve their performance with practice.
      ~~[ Science Daily ]

  62. Othman says

    Hello Shiba Shake,

    I love your website is has so much great advice about the shiba inu’s. I was walking today in the pack when I fell in love with a dog went to the owner and asked few questions about him that’s when he told me its a japanese breed called shiba inu, he gave me the breeders number and everything but I have never owned a pet before and I am more of a cat person than a dog but from what he told me that they behave similar to cats. From reading your website its seems to be a challenge to train and maintain a shiba inu this is my very first time what advice do you have for me what should I where and where do I start? Thank you very much I appreciate all your help!

    Love you website,


    • shibashake says

      Hello Othman,

      I got a Shiba as my first dog and it was definitely a big challenge for me. 😀 It is doable – but will require more time and effort than many other breeds. Also, unlike most other dogs, Shibas tend to be a lot more aloof (this is one of their more cat-like characteristics.)

      Shibas also have pretty high prey drive, so they have to be trained to get along with house cats.

      Looking back, I think I would have started with a different breed and then get the Shiba as a second dog. In this way, I would already know a lot of the general dog stuff from my first dog, and can focus on the Shiba specific stuff with my second dog.

      However, I am also a big believer in getting the dog that we want most. Dogs are a lot of work, a lot of money, and can sometimes be a big pain in the ass, so it is important not to have any regrets over the look, breed, and temperament of the dog that we choose to share our lives with.

      If you are interested in getting a Shiba Inu, check out the breeder list on the National Shiba Club of America –

      When I was looking for my second dog, a Siberian Husky, this is what I did –

      Here is what to look out for in terms of finding a good breeder –

      Let me know if you have more questions.

  63. Doug says

    I have a dog that looks very much like a Shiba but I am unsure. How can I tell?

    Is it possible to send a photo to you?

    Many thanks


    • shibashake says

      Hello Doug,
      I love looking at Shiba pictures so please feel free to post a link or send a photo to me. However, I would only be guessing as to his breed. You would probably know better than me because you have first hand knowledge of his temperament and quirks.

      A more accurate way of identifying a dog’s breed is to do DNA testing. There are now a variety of places that offer dog DNA testing and they range in price from about $50-$100.

  64. Winton says

    Dear Shibashake,

    I am very sorry that I have not sent you my dog birthday photos I have been extremely busy, I will send them as soon as I can.

  65. Jennifer says

    Hi ShibaShake!

    I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I love Shiba Inu’s and have wanted one for a few years and a few weeks ago I found one on craiglist for only $600 and she’s 8-9 months old with the most interesting markings I have ever seen on a Shiba Inu, so I was ecstatic and asked my mom if she could call Inuki’s (the Shiba Inu) owner and see if we could meet her. So we met her a few days ago and she’s a beautiful dog, but she did almost everything that you said in your blog wasn’t good to let a Shiba Inu do. She tugged and chewed on her leash, did the ‘alligator-roll’, ate leaves, sticks, etc. and she got so bored and frustrated that she started grabbing the tips of my hair and ripping it! The owner didn’t see her rip my hair, but everything else he did see and he just chuckled at them. He told us that at home, when he’s working she’ll take his dirty clothes and scatter them or put her paw on his hand and force it off of the desk and when he’s walking around she’ll snap at the air in front of his feet. He thinks it’s funny and cute and I did too (except for the snapping at the air part) until I read your blog. We told the owner that we needed a few days to think about it and after we left my mom said that we shouldn’t get her since the owner let’s her do all that stuff and it’ll be too hard to teach her not to do that stuff since she’s almost 1 year old.

    So that’s my dilemma, ha ha. What do you think or suggest I should do? I’d really love to get Inuki, but I’m worried about her little ‘habits’.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jennifer,
      Heh, when I first got my Shiba I didn’t do much research so he developed a lot of bad habits. Then I used aversive techniques on him which didn’t work out well at all. After about 6 months, we finally started on the right track with careful management and reward training. It took me another 6 months to reverse most of my earlier mistakes, but lucky for me it is always possible to retrain undesirable dog behaviors.

      Shibas are stubborn though, so retraining will be more of a challenge than with many other dog breeds.

      If this is your first Shiba, it may be best to go with a puppy or well-trained adult. Check out the breeder list on The National Shiba Club of America for AKC registered breeders in your area.

      Many of them will have websites. Then give some of them a call to see if they have upcoming litters or even trained adults that they want to place. AKC breeders have strict breeding guidelines and they usually breed healthy dogs with good temperament.

      Do you already have other dogs? If so, it is probably easier to get a puppy.

      This article is about getting Siberian Husky puppies but many of the things apply to Shiba puppies as well. It may be an interesting read –

  66. Dakota says

    Hello Shibashake,
    Just been surfing and found your site. I have a couple questions i hope some one can answer for me. I adopted my Shiba 2 years ago, Bella will be 5 in June. I just LOVE this lil girl to bits. However, just recently she has been getting a little nippy in the past few days. Bella put on a few pounds this past winter. No more bread and butter from the table, I swear! But now she hasn’t been eating much. We have been doing major spring cleaning. Could this be the reason? She normally has the run of the house but since the cleaning,washing carpets and walls etc., her space is limited. Bella ran down the stairs and strained her back paw. Could this contribute to the “nipping”. Also, this year she hates to walk. Last year as soon as i put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher she was at the door. Now I have to chase her around the house. Shut doors, block off the stairs.Bella just runs and hides. But once i get her lease on she is ready to go. She will “trot” the whole time, for spite i think. I must admit after 15 minutes of running around the house and i don’t lasso her. i just give up. How can I get her out the door?
    Again I love my very much dog!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Dakota,

      Bella ran down the stairs and strained her back paw. Could this contribute to the “nipping”.

      It could be. When Sephy is in pain he gets more mouthy than usual. I guess he feels more vulnerable and views more things as threats. Might want to consider taking her to the vet just in case.

      Now I have to chase her around the house.

      Hmmm, Sephy will try to do this sometimes. A game of chase before a fun walk is always better than just a fun walk. 😀

      If he runs away, I go about my business and then go out to put on my shoes. Then I come in again and count to 3. If he does not come, I take off my shoes and he does not get to go walk. I try again after a couple of hours.

      Usually, when I go out to put on my shoes, he will come to the door and be ready for his walk.

      Hugs to Bella. Let us know how it goes.

  67. Drew says

    hi there. came across your site and just love it. you hit the shiba inu on the spot. Anyways i have a 8 month old shiba. his name is Dag. we think he might be a little of a runt. because of his size, he only weighs 20 pounds. he isnt fixed. and hes really cocky. King Dag. the only problems iv had with him is when he gets loose. and i play the chasing game… rain or shine. anyways does your shiba constantly whine? and holy heck does he cry when i touch his paws. like i was chopping them off lol.

    • shibashake says

      anyways does your shiba constantly whine?

      LOL – yeah Shiba Sephy is a big whiner. The most annoying is when he wakes up early in the morning and whines to come out of his crate. He pretty much whines any time he wants something and isn’t getting it. 😀

      holy heck does he cry when i touch his paws. like i was chopping them off lol.

      Yeah Sephy is sensitive about being touched as well. After a lot of desensitization work, he is a lot better. Now, he even lets us grind his nails, wipe his paws, and brush his teeth.

  68. Shirley says

    Hi Shibashake!

    I came across your site a while back just when I got my shiba puppy, Taiga and your information is super helpful =) I know you’re not a vet, but I just wanted some suggestions if you have any. Taiga is 19 weeks and is showing signs of humping and my breeder did mention maybe consider neutering him earlier at 5 months old. I was considering going to a vet for a checkup first to make sure he was ready. I was wondering if you knew how long it would take for a shiba to recover for a neuter surgery? He has several obedience classes scheduled for the next few weeks, so I was wondering if I should delay the neuter until he is done his classes? Any help would be great, thank you so much!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Shirley,

      Sephy also got neutered at around 5 months. They did one of those dissolvable stitches thing. On the first night there was some leakage, then it was good after that. Sephy was a big biter though, so he had to have the Cone of Shame (the e-cone) on the whole time.

      The most challenging part was keeping a young Shiba occupied for those 2 weeks with no running and no jumping. Frozen Kongs were awesome during that time. I am also using them now on my hyper Sibe puppy. 😀

      Let us know how it goes with Taiga.

  69. Brett B says

    Help! Advice for Ziva and her never ending shedding needed!! Her winter shed started in February but the coat blowing I expected has never completed the cycle. She has a few tufts here and there–then it stops blowing but keeps “dribbling off”. We bathe her and she sheds lots…but then it slows down. We brush…we Furminate….we undercoat rake….but still, it’s never ending. Don’t get me wrong, the shedding never really stops, but I was expecting a two week blow out–instead we’re getting a gradual avelance of hair. Any advice for getting this on and over with? Shiba Ziva and I would greatly appreciate it, as both of us are tired of having Shiba Undercoat in our eyes! We live in the Deep South, and temps are getting into the 70s and 80s and she’s about to be miserable if she doesn’t get rid of this winter coat.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Brett,
      Sounds like you are already doing all the right things so I am not sure what more I can add. My Shiba breeder told me that a bath and a blow-dry afterward gets the most hair out.

      I have also noticed with Sephy that when I do more regular brushing during the year, he has a lighter coat blow. Last year I was less regular with his brushing, and his most recent coat blow was quite heavy and a big hair fashion emergency.

      Try asking this question in the Shiba nihonken forum. Somebody there will probably have some good suggestions.

  70. Britton says

    Your site has been incredibly helpful and is quite thorough and well made. Thank you for sharing all your advice with the rest of us.

    One question, I am about to inherit a well behaved, if a tad cowardly, Imo-Inu from a friend. Do you have any experience with this hybrid? She’s supposed to be a 50-50 but seems to look and act much like a shiba

    • shibashake says

      Hello Britton,
      I don’t have any experience with the Imo-Inu.

      However, like the Shiba Inu, the American Eskimo dog is also from the Spitz family, so the combination would likely be independent and stubborn. 🙂

  71. Michael V says

    I really love this breed, been eyeing it for years now, it’s just my work schedule that prevent me from getting one.

    I’m usually off work from 7am to 5.30pm weekdays. Would that be fair for a shiba to have no access to human care for that long? If i get one, how do i make up for the time loss? would that even possible?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Michael,
      A possibility is to put Shiba in a dog daycare some days of the week or to hire a dog walker. I tried daycare and group dog walking with Shiba Sephy when he was young and both activities really tired him out.

      However, it can be a challenge to find people who can properly handle a Shiba. Also, such services can end up being somewhat expensive.

    • Andrea says

      I wouldn’t advocate it – but our Shiba is frequently home the whole day by himself. He is surprisingly nonchalant about it and doesn’t have any noticeable ill-affects. However, he is also a fairly mellow guy. We keep him in a play pen so he doesn’t eat the whole house with some toys, food and water.

      When we get home, he is super happy and jumpy for about 20 minutes, we play a game to work off some of the excess energy (fetch or the kibble game), take him for a walk, and then he’s fine the rest of the night.

      We do put him in doggy day care once a week for dog socialization and I take him in to work with me periodically to help keep him from getting too lonely. (He just sleeps under my desk – he’s kind of lazy).

      I would talk to your breeder when you get the puppy. They can usually help determine if the dogs they are raising are going to be mellow or neurotic based on the parents (though it’s not an exact science!) and tell you if they may adjust to being alone or if they will go bonkers.

  72. Tara says

    Hi Shibashake, my name is Tara. I just came across your website while researching shock colloars for my dog. I have a one year old male black and tan Shiba Inu named Kelsey – he’s my baby and I love him, but we have reached a scary crossroad. Last night at a family birthday party he attacked a guest and drew blood in several places on the guests hand. Kelsey, just like all of the descriptions I’ve seen on your site, is sneaky, wild, aloof at times, and listens only when he knows it will be to his benefit. He is enrolled in obdedience traning with a well-respected trainer, but he’s smarter than the system – he performs in class and then thinks he’s the boss at home. This is not the first time he has drawn blood – he has a serious collar phobia (which he’s had since I brought him home at eight weeks). My dad was Kelsey-sitting for me while I was out of town and Kelsey slipped out of his collar; while trying to get the collar back on, Kelsey, who is terrified/hates the action, bit my dad and caused deep enough wounds to need stitches. My dad was broken-hearted and put the dog in his kennel without the collar on. After this experience my dad took Kelsey to see a dog behavior specialist, who deemed Kelsey “fear aggressive”. Not only is he aggressive, but he’s every inch the typical Shiba – steals food off the table, hides my laundry, barks at all other dogs, hates strangers, and trusts very few people. I don’t know what to do – I love my dog and don’t want to give up on him because underneath his bad behavior he is still a sweetheart… even though the sweetheart shows a little less lately than the werewolf. I don’t believe in shock collars and I swore I’d never use one on my dog (Kelsey is my first dog), but after what happened last night my family is scared of Kelsey and even I cannot trust him – my family is urging me to take a more aggressive appraoch if I want Kelsey to be welcome anymore. I desperately need wisdom from other Shiba owners, because Shiba’s are unlike any other dog. This experience is exhausting – please let me know if there’s anything I can do/try to save my dog from a life of isolation. Thanks, Tara

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tara,
      I had many similar experiences with my Shiba Sephy. When I went to pick him up from the breeder (10 weeks old), we tried to put a collar on him, and he ran away to hide. We cornered him under the table, and he bit us when we tried to put on a collar (so that we could take him home). He did not break skin, but he was really afraid of people handling him, especially strangers.

      I started out with the “more aggressive approach” because Sephy’s breeder and our first vet tech recommended the more aggressive approach. I later realized that that only *deepened* his fear aggression and it made things worse. Every time he did something wrong, he got some kind of pain/dominance correction which included strong leash corrections, alpha rolls, or finger jabs. While these pain based techniques seemed to work for me initially, Sephy got quickly habituated to the pain, and he would fight back even more because he had started to associate people with pain.

      Here is the story of Shiba Sephy and me –

      At the end, the “more aggressive approach” worked out poorly for Sephy. He became even more aggressive, even more aloof, and he did not trust us at all. At this time, I did consider using the shock collar because I was very afraid of Sephy and did not want to go near him. After doing some research on shock collars, however, I decided against it.

      Here are some of the things I found on shock collars –

      What ultimately worked out best for Sephy was to institute a lot of rules within the household as well as a fixed routine. However, I would enforce those rules simply by controlling his resources – I did not get physical with him at all. I made him work for everything – including his food, his freedom, and even my affection.

      As for the collar, I desensitized him to it so that instead of seeing it as a negative object that gets forced on him, he started to see it as a positive thing that we put on before a fun walk outside. Here is what I did with Sephy –

      Here is an article about the difficult period I went through with Sephy and some of the techniques that worked well with him –

      Here are some other things that helped with Sephy at home –

      Feel free to drop a comment anytime if you want to chat. The Shiba Inu forum can also be a great place to hook up with other Shiba owners.

  73. Winton says

    Timber is having his third birthday soon! Do you have any suggestions of what I could do for him on that one special day?

  74. Winton says

    Shiba shake thank you! Your advice helped me a lot I carry and air horn with me now when I take Timber out it keeps unfriendly dogs away. I chose the air horn because I feared if I used the riding crop or the dog pepper spray I might actually hurt the dog or at least provoke the owner. Your advice has helped me a lot, and Timber gets better everyday.

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Winton.

      Glad to hear that Timber is doing well. You bring up some great points with the air horn vs. pepper spray and riding crop. I will probably write an article about this at some point.

      A big Merry Christmas to you, Timber, and your family! Have a wonderful holiday!

  75. Winton says

    I read your reply and figured it out my dog was trying to protect one of his treats turns out my friend touched his treat with his head please also please read my other comments.

  76. Winton says

    Dear shibashake I am very angry right now because within a matter of minutes my dog has been viciously attacked. here’s what happened: I saw a dog looked like a malamute approached my dog. I didn’t suspect anything due to the fact that recently my dog has been behaving very well with other dogs, he sniffs them and then quickly loses interest but today the malamute attacked my dog the owner could not control him due to the fact that the dog was to big. They fought for a few seconds before we could pull them away Timber then coughed and let out something that looked like blood. I took him home immediately instead of risking anything my family then found out while wiping his paws that he had a huge deep cut on his neck we stopped the bleeding and comforted our dog. I had never seen such violence from a dog. Timber of course fought back to the dog because of his never surrender attitude, he used his nasty biting teeth. I hope he did not draw blood from the dog but at the moment I couldn’t care less. I simply wanted to share this and would like to ask what to do if I encounter this situation again.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Winton,
      Wow! Any dog fight is a bad situation but I think you handled it very well by separating the dogs and just leaving. If the other dog attacked your Shiba, then the owner should also pay for vet bills, etc.

      Shania has gotten alpha rolled a couple of times by loose dogs in the neighborhood that charged us. Usually, after one incident, their owners realize that it is dangerous to leave their dogs running about and more carefully manage them. I have also looked into how to deal with charging dogs. Some options include – dog pepper spray, air horn, and a riding crop. Some people in the neighborhood also carry bats or walking sticks while out on walks.

      I am now very careful about letting Sephy or Shania meet new dogs. Some dogs you can tell by their body language that they are friendly – they usually have loose posture, are easy-going (not intense), they play bow, and show good calming signals. I always avoid any dog that is showing dominant posture or stiff posture.

      Owners usually say that their dog is “friendly” if the dog is friendly with humans. However, in my experience, they may not necessarily know if the dog will get along with another dog. It is best to observe the dog and make the determination of “friendliness” ourselves.

      Also some dogs may have certain quirks during dog-to-dog greetings. Sephy, for example, does not like strange dogs sniffing his butt because it is a dominance move. He will only allow butt sniffing after they have played around for a bit and have gotten to know each other. So I don’t allow other dogs to move into his butt area during greetings.

      How is Timber?

  77. Kim L. says

    A biting dog could also be a sick dog: please take him for a thorough check-up with the vet. It is well known that when dogs fall ill, their behaviour changes in one way or another. They can’t tell us what hurts and may try to hide it – but the pain will come out one way or another! Please take your best friend to the vet this week.

  78. Winton says

    Biting and bleeding of a friend what now?!
    a little while ago my dog Timber the shiba inu attacked a friend on the forehead and made him bleed! I have never seen such violent behaviour from my dog yet I don’t o why he is biting down harder and biting most people to! it seems after what happened this dog has been turning more aggressive

    • shibashake says

      Hello Winton,

      Probably the best thing to do is to find a good professional trainer. I would get the trainer come over to the house to observe Timber and see what triggers his aggression.

      For example, Timber could have been guarding something, and did not want others taking it away from him. Alternatively, he could have seen the person as threat, or felt cornered. One of the best ways of dealing with aggression is to first identify the trigger, and then to help the dog re-associate the bad-trigger with something positive/neutral instead. This is also called the desensitization process.

      This article has more on finding a trainer –

      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes with Timber. [Btw. love that name.]

  79. Gabriella says

    Hi! I’m writing from Italy… my English is not so very well but I love your web site! It’s for me my “shiba bible”!!! I’ve started to read all about shiba inus last winter, your webstite too, and after months and months of thoughts I and my family decided to adopt one. In April she is arrived!! Our Iris! And day after day I continue to read your precious things

  80. diana claitor says

    we have a very handsome young shiba inu mix although he looks very shiba and has most of the characteristics, but he was in a shelter and not socialized for the first year of his life so he has issues, like overly submissive, a little freaked by some dogs, uncertain how to play, a little goofy. He is probably part basenji too.

    we are planning to get a female puppy, 6 months or under, and I am thinking what we wanted might be too overwhelming for our boy: we were looking for a wire-haired terrier mix. Too assertive?
    Or do you have a suggestion for a breed to avoid? Or one to look for, to help him have fun and gain confidence.

    thanks a million, diana

    • shibashake says

      Hello Diana,

      I love the look of Basenji’s as well! Would love to see pictures of your dog.

      “we were looking for a wire-haired terrier mix. Too assertive?
      Or do you have a suggestion for a breed to avoid? Or one to look for, to help him have fun and gain confidence.”

      Based on my experiences with Sephy, I have observed the following –
      1. He absolutely does not like dominant dogs because he will not submit to them.
      2. Little dogs don’t like Sephy because he plays in the rough and tumble Shiba style.
      3. Dogs that are protective over their space don’t like Sephy because Sephy can’t understand why other dogs don’t appreciate his Shiba-ness 😀
      4. Sephy likes playing with other goofy dogs that also like to rough and tumble.

      Which are the dogs that your Shiba likes to play with most? What are their attributes? Observe him carefully, and he will tell you what his preferences are.

      Here are some of the things I did before getting Shania and right after getting Shania –
      Second Dog Before
      Second Dog After

  81. Kathy says

    wow I found you again but I seem to be on the wrong comment pages. I lost your website when my computer crashed earlier this year. You may rememeber my puppy Bear who is now almost a year old! Its been an exciting year of growth for both me and my Shibas lives! Except for the very occasional heart attack he gives me everything is great! He is getting ready to have a birthday party with some of his doggie friends that also have birthdays around the same time as his. Ok call me crazy having 10 or more dogs playing in my backyard and eating doggie birthday cake! Glad I found you again and point me to where I was commenting back the end of 2009 beginning of 2010!

  82. Jamie says

    Hi, I like your site. Very informative. I have a question and you seem to be familiar with shiba inus. I have a 10 month old shiba (boy). I got him a playmate, a girl shiba. She is 2 months old. Do you have any suggestions on how I can introduce them? He is very calm. He plays with other dogs at the park but he also doesnt like them to sniff him. I dont know if this is normal behavior for shibas or my dog is just shy. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Jamie,
      That is really interesting. Shiba Sephy is the same way. He does not like strange dogs sniffing his butt. Butt sniffing can sometimes be seen as a dominance move- especially when the dogs don’t know each other well.

      When I got my second dog, Siberian Shania, I had Sephy on a lead with me and I had some yummy food that Shania wanted. Shania was a bit shy at first because Sephy was very excited. 😀 She would come over and get some of the food and then move away. She repeated this a few times, and then started playing with Sephy and they have been best friends since.

      In the beginning I closely supervised all of their play sessions so that each knew their limits and boundaries. I also set up a routine for puppy so that she didn’t go bug Sephy when he wanted to be alone to sleep. Here are more of my experiences of getting a second dog –

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Sounds like your Shiba is already a very good boy so

  83. Quinn says

    My Shiba is about 10 weeks old now, should I start her with deworming meds and frontline plus? should this be given every month from here on out??

    • shibashake says

      Hello Quinn,
      I would call up your vet and ask him these good questions. My vet told me that getting the dosage exactly right on HeartGuard is very important.

      I did not use tick/flea medication on Sephy until he was older. I only went on short neighborhood walks in safe places with Sephy until he got all of his shots – so that was at least a few months in.

      Best to get advice from your vet on these issues.

  84. Pam says

    Hi, my Shiba is acting totally different. Her name is Makita and all of a sudden she wants to be a lap dog. She is scared of everything and I don’t know what happened or what is wrong with her. Makita has always slept on my bed and kept to herself but now she wants to be on my lap every second and when I go to bed she hides in the bathroom and she never goes in there. Please any advice you can give me would be great. Thank you

    • shibashake says

      Hello Pam,
      Sounds like something really spooked her. Did something happen recently that Makita reacted strongly to? Loud noises? Change in environment?

      One way to help her with something like this is to identify the cause/trigger of her stress and then slowly desensitize her to that trigger. If it is a particular noise – then you can record it. Then start playing it back really soft, while doing commands with her and getting her to focus on you. This teaches her to ignore the sound, and rewards her for focusing on you.

      My Sibe used to be really afraid of the garbage truck. Every time we saw the truck, she would go into a panic and want to rush home. Therefore, every garbage day, I would sit and do commands with her – first inside the house. Once she was ok with that we slowly moved closer and closer to the door, then we did it with the door open, outside the door, etc. Nowadays she has learned that the garbage truck isn’t so scary after all 😀

      Hugs to Makita.

  85. Eric says

    Our Basenji is a mix. We never had her tested, but sometimes it looks like she has some pit in her, but as she ages I suspect she looks more like she’s mixed with a lab. She’s around 50 lbs. She learned to bark from our old dog, so she’s not barkless like a typical basenji.

    We had our first class last week and I brought our Shiba alone. He was much better behaved than the Basenji was, and my only real complaint is he didn’t want to sit on command. Once seated, however, he stayed seated until told to do otherwise. I want to attend another class or two alone with him before I bring Trixie in, and I can tell right now that she needs a lot of review and brushing up.

    Trixie is also wary of barking, aggressive dogs, but Rocky, the 21 lb. shiba, wants to jump in with both feet first. There’s a beautiful full size German Shepard in class that barks a lot and appears aggressive. Rocky isn’t afraid of him at all, but I keep him away for now as I don’t want him to get hurt. After a few classes we’ll see what happens.

    Both dogs play very well together without any real dominance issues. If Trixie brings a toy for me to play with, Rocky will get involved, and sometimes she will put him in his place at the sidelines and he obeys for a short time. Also, Trixie is virtually silent when they play, while Rocky is constantly snarling and making really weird noises. My daughter pointed out that he sounds like a monkey, and she’s right. Both dogs always want whatever the other is playing with, but Trixie will wait until he’s distracted and take it, where Rocky will lay on his back, wave his paws around, and make monkey noises to try and draw Trixie to play with him and ignore the toy, which he’ll then steal. This only worked once or twice, but he keeps trying it and it’s hilarious.

  86. shibashake says

    Hello Mari,

    They now have dog DNA testing so that may help with determining your dog’s breed. I have never done that myself though, so I am not sure how accurate it is, especially when differentiating two breeds that are so close in ancestry.

    Definitely call up several places and ask them a lot of questions. Let us know what the results are 🙂

  87. shibashake says

    Hi Eric,
    Yeah I like the Basenji breed as well. They have a very nice sleek look to them – kindda like a cross between a Shiba and a Greyhound. I was thinking of getting a Basenji as a second dog, but finally went with the Siberian instead.

    How did obedience class go? Should be interesting with a Shiba and a Basenji 🙂

    Based on your experience, what are the key differences between your Shiba and Basenji? Both breeds seem very similar in temperament on paper, but I imagine things are quite different in practice.

  88. mari says

    I have 2 Shiba Inus. The female is 6yrs. and the male is 2yrs. My female ranges between 17 and 20lbs. My male is 40lbs which is big for a Shiba Inu. I have been doing a bit of research on the japanese breeds and also when I was walking the male a japanese woman asked if I knew what breed he was. when I replied Shiba Inu she said no he is a Shikoku. The breeder I bought him from is Alvin and Patsy Ann Zimmerman and have him registered as a Shiba Inu is this due to the fact that the Shikoku is not recognized in the ACA. If any one could help me out thanks.

  89. Eric says

    I just wanted to say that I enjoy your site very much. We adopted a young shiba just over a month ago, and I have found some good information here. Our other dog is a 2 year old Basenji mix, also a stubborn and free thinking dog, but she has calmed with age and has learned just enough obedience to keep us both happy. Our shiba has learned a lot from her and is basically a very good dog, but he’s also the trickster as you described. We start obedience class next week, so we’ll see how this unfolds. I will probably take both dogs to brush up the older one and give our shiba something of a role model.

  90. shibashake says

    Wow – now I’m very envious! 🙂

    I am a big fan of video games (mostly RPGs) and anime. Blizzard, I think, would be an awesome video game company to work for, although I hear that the people there work super crazy hours.

    Good luck! Sounds like you are heading for much fun and excitement.

  91. Kate says

    Help!!!! My shiba inu, Kibo, (1 year old) has a yeast infection in her left ear. We are having THE hardest time figuring out how to administer the ear and treat it. Kibo is so squirmy and strong. She can’t hold her right or get her to sit still. We use a muzzle and two people, but still have the no luck. Any suggestions on the best way to hold her down, calming her so we can put the drops in or any advice at all to letting us treat her? The infection is getting worse, and the poor thing is constantly shaking her head. Thank you so much!!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kate,

      This is a tough one. I have had the same issues with my Shiba, with very similar results.

      The thing that has worked best for him in this situation is to make him an offer that is too good to refuse and to go very slowly. I basically used the same desensitization exercises that I do for his teeth and nail grinding.

      One person gets some really good stuff – and I mean really good that he usually does not get anywhere else. I use mackerel for nail grinding, cream cheese for muzzle training etc, and Sephy Surprise (plain microwave chicken, melted cheese and a little bit of bacon) for teeth brushing.

      Then let her come to you – which she probably will because it smells so good. Get her to do a down-side, reward a small bit. Touch ear briefly, reward a small bit. Repeat until she is comfortable.

      Then you can slowly progress to just dripping a bit around the ear area. My vet told me that I had to put the drops right into the ear and then massage the base of the ear, but I started with just trying to drop in the general ear vicinity. Then slowly worked my way towards my end goal.

      I only did very short sessions, and usually waited until Sephy was on the more hungry side. This keeps him very interested in what I have to offer and he is usually willing to let me do the handling that needs to be done.

      Make sure to go very slowly, especially in the beginning, because she is probably somewhat wary about the ear drops.

      Let us know what works out. I think this is a common issue faced by most Shiba owners.

      Hugs to Kibo and hope she feels better soon.

    • Kate says

      Thank you so much for your suggestions. I am a bit nervous that we have totally tainted the situation because we are perhaps being too forceful — holding her tight and using a muzzle. I think your approach is a good one, and definitely something we are going to try. Adding the muzzle to the ear drops I think heightens her anxiety, so we are going to start with no muzzle. Also, those are great treat ideas. Maybe I will use your Sephy Surprise. 🙂 Thanks again!


  92. Dillon says

    I had a few ideas, both involve Video Game Development. My original thought was to study in Japan, though I don’t know Japanese, so I’m thinking of studying at Digipen (which I hear is one of the best) then when I get a job in the field, oh lets say like Nintendo or Microsoft (I’m keeping my hopes high lol) then I see if I cant transfer to japan.

  93. shibashake says

    I think I will keep doing research for when I am ready to get a Shiba (maybe in a few yeas)

    That sounds like a great idea! Let me know if you have any questions.

    Also, best of luck with college. I am a bit envious of you – college is a fun time. What are you planning to study?

  94. Dillon says

    Thank you that was a very helpful answer. I think I will keep doing research for when I am ready to get a Shiba (maybe in a few yeas), and hopefully by that time I will be able to give my Shiba the time he/she needs.

    Thanks again!

  95. shibashake says

    Hello Dillon,

    It is great that you are doing so much research and thinking carefully about this.

    As you already know, Shibas can be very difficult dogs and they need a lot of attention. I spent a lot of time with Sephy and did a lot of training with him but did not notice a big change until after over 1 year. Shiba Sephy just turned 3, and I noticed another big mellowing out around this time. I think it takes time for a Shiba to learn, bond, and mature.

    Personally, I think you can enjoy the college experience a lot more without having to worry about a dog at the same time. I had a great time in college, and don’t think I would have had the same types of freedoms and experiences if I had to be responsible for a dog. A dog can place a lot of constraints on your time and schedule, and they can also be very expensive with their yearly shots, teeth cleaning, and sometimes unexpected vet visits.

    There will be plenty of time to get a Shiba later on, but now is the time to enjoy college, enjoy new people, and enjoy new experiences. This time in college only comes around once 🙂

  96. Dillon says

    HI, I think shiba are are really cute and for the past couple weeks I am really considering getting one. I have contacted most of the local kennels for their opinion and now I am asking yours.

    Here is the thing, I am a college student. I would assume by me saying this your first reaction is no, but I have read on many sites, including yours, so I know what I will be getting into. I guess the hardest part would be when I go to school, though If I get one over the summer and push and get as much training in before school starts is there some chance that it will work out?

    When I first saw them I wanted one (based on looks), then I thought, that If I got one he/she will force me to play and even get out side, be a better person, and even keeping me away from things that I shouldn’t be doing (i.e. video games).

    Even though everyone says shiba are hard to train, I have seen videos on youtube of shibas even off collar! Im going to be very optimistic and shoot for this (thought they are expensive so I most likely not do this).

    I study traditional martial arts so I know patients and all of that. PLEASE if you still think this would be a bad Idea let me know I want an honest answer, even If that means I end up not getting one 🙁

    Thank you very much!

  97. Mina says

    I have a 3 year old shiba inu who has lived with us since he was 8 weeks old. Now I am thinking about adopting a 6 year old female shiba, who has recently been retired from breeding. I really like the idea of giving this older dog a new home, and a new life. My only concern is that she won’t bond with our dog, who is the current lord and master of our house. Any advice or suggestions would really be appreciated!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Mina,
      Kudos to you for adopting an older dog.

      Some things that may help –
      1. First let them meet on neutral ground (e.g. a quiet park or school field)
      2. Go for a walk in the park and see how they act while walking with each other.
      3. Female Shibas tend to be a lot more dominant than the males, so it is important to supervise all their interactions in the beginning to make sure that nobody is getting bullied. It is best when both dogs learn that it is the humans who set the rules, and do the disciplining.
      4. Consistency and fairness are key. Usually when I reward my dogs I reward them both. I also do obedience with them together so they learn to work together. They get better rewarded when they work together 🙂
      5. I also make sure that each dog gets quiet time when they want it. My Siberian is a ball of energy, so I will stop her from bothering my Shiba when he has had enough and just wants to rest.

      Hope this helps. Congratulations on your new Shiba! Let us know how it goes.

  98. Andrew says

    I have been looking forward to getting a shiba for a long time but I’m not sure what is the right timing to get one. I’m moving into a new apartment in June and then starting a new job in July, so I’ll have a good month of free time. Would this be a good time to get a puppy so I can train and bond with it before I start work or would it be better to be settled in the working routine (8am-4pm) first?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Andrew,

      Sounds exciting! Congratulations and good luck on your new job.

      Personally, I would wait until things have settled down to a regular routine. If you spend a lot of time with the puppy initially, and then suddenly change to a different routine, the puppy may get stressed and anxious because of the big change.

      My Shiba really wants to have a fixed routine or he starts to worry and becomes unhappy.

      You deserve a holiday first anyway – once you get your Shiba there will be little time left for yourself 🙂

      Mine was a holy terror for the first 6 months, and a regular terror for the 6 months after that. 😉

  99. Colleen says

    Hi there. We have a rabbit problem in our backyard and Reptar goes crazy eating the rabbit poop. I would like to use some sort of deterrent to try to get the rabbits out of our yard however am having a hard time finding something that is safe for my Shiba in case he ingests it as he loves to put everything in his mouth. Blood meal is often used to deter rabbits and is also safe for the gardens. I have read mixed reviews on if it is safe for household pets. Do you have any information on Blood meal or any recommendations to get rid of the rabbits.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Colleen,
      We had some problems with earth critters (voles and their other rodent friends) when we moved in. After we just put in a new lawn, it looked like it was about to get eaten 🙂

      We tried Shake Away – which only had natural ingredients. Supposedly the smell will keep away the critters – but it didn’t really work very well. They would stay away from one hole for a small bit, but then another hole would sprout out close to it.

      It really looked kindda bleak, but then – suddenly – they all disappeared. It was because my Siberian started spending a lot of time outside and she would keep the critters out, as well as mark all over the lawn. She is great at keeping the backyard clear. Shiba Sephy is pretty lame because he doesn’t like marking at all in the backyard, is to lazy to chase after the critters, and even if he did magically find one, he wouldn’t really want to touch it.

      I have not tried blood meal so I don’t know much about it.

      Try posting on the nihonken forum, maybe other Shiba owners have tried it and can give you more information.

  100. Eric says

    Hello again,

    Seem like our puppy is growing out of her crate .. She has doubled her weight at the 4 months mark . she is now 8 lbs and doesn’t seem to fit her crate very well. Does anyone know what the best size crate will be at adult age ?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Eric,

      I have the medium sized crate (36 inches long) for my Shiba. But he is a big Shiba and weighs about 32 pounds. Females will probably be smaller than that.

      Most Shiba owners that I know of go with 30 or 36, and use dividers if necessary.

      Shibas grow really fast in the first few months as you have noticed, but things really trailed off for Sephy after about 5-6 months. Just to be sure – you mean 18 pounds right? 🙂

  101. Shuan says

    My male shiba, Kai, is 4 years old, and had been well behaved till about 3 months ago when he became more resistance to our command. he does not want to go for a walk, he sleeps all day, and he relieve himself in the house for no good reasons. you website is very educational and i learned a lot. But I wonder if you have dealt problems like these. Thanks,

    • shibashake says

      Hello Shuan,
      I would take him to the vet as soon as possible. Shibas generally hate relieving themselves in their living space – so it could be something physical. A vet will be able to tell and give you peace of mind.

      Hope your Shiba is ok- let us know what the vet says.

  102. Angelina says

    I really want a shiba inu, but I don’t know where to buy/adopt one! I want it to be healthy, a orangeor red female puppy,not named, 11 weeks or under and not a SCAM! I have no clue where to get one in New York! Please HELP ME!!!

  103. shibagirl says

    I have a black and tan shiba inu. she is one year old,very friendly, and well trained. although, when I leave her alone at home she always ends up chewing somthing up, shoes,rolls and rolls of toilet paper,the legs of chairs. I have tried locking her up in a kennel,i have bought her chew toys, she just doesnt want to listen. any suggestions on what i can do?

    • shibashake says

      Hello ShibaGirl,

      What you describe sounds like separation anxiety. My Shiba really likes routine, and can get very stressed when I leave him alone unexpectedly, or for longer periods than expected. When my Shiba gets stressed, he starts chewing on things to relieve stress.

      Do you only leave your Shiba alone when you go to work? Is it always at the same time? Is it always for the same period of time? When did this behavior start, or has it always been that way?

      If it is separation anxiety, then you want to try and desensitize your Shiba to being alone for short periods of time at first, and then slowly lengthen the duration. Hiring a dog walker or doing dog daycare may also help.

  104. shibashake says

    Hello Toni, Yeah Shibas are great fun to live with. Never a dull moment because they have so much personality and are always doing something new and unexpected. 😀 I always tell people – depends on what you want from your dog. If you want an obedient type, then don’t get a Shiba! lol

    PARTY ON, DUDES!!! 😉

  105. Toni says

    I have always wanted a shiba inu since i was about 5 years old. I am 11, going on 12, would absoulutly recommend the shiba inu. They’re lovable, cute, and a bit stubburn, but you gotta love them, right?

  106. shibashake says

    Yoshi sounds wonderful! 🙂 I think the great thing about Shibas is that they are always doing unexpected crazy things to surprise you. Never a dull moment – lol.

    “the only way to do it is by playing and rewarding him, this is not a dog to be harsh with otherwise he will lose confidence in you”

    I totally agree with you on this. I really lost a lot of my Shiba’s trust initially when I was using aversive training. His behavior improved significantly once I switched to reward training and everyone is having a much better time 🙂

    Yoshi is a lucky Shiba to have found you.

    I must visit Portugal someday. Such a beautiful country.

  107. Maria says

    Hi there! I’m from Europe (Portugal) and I have a Shiba Inu (and 2 cat’s :-), he’s name is Yoshi and he’s 6 months old, until now we are getting along really good, he’s really crazy and… I love it! I was able to teach him to sit, lay down, stay and only to eat in my comand (after lot’s of reading in the internet from blogs like yours so thanks for it!) and the only way to do it is by playing and rewarding him, this is not a dog to be harsh with otherwise he will lose confidence in you. In Europe this is not a common breed so everyone is always asking if it’s a real Fox and most of the people never heard of Shiba’s.

  108. shibashake says

    Hello Shiba Owner,
    Yeah I love Shibas of all colors. Sephy, my Shiba is red in color so those are the pictures that I have. Would love to see your Shiba, so send us a link to some pictures.

    And it is great that you are socializing your Shiba to other dogs. My Shiba really loves playful, younger dogs. The more dominant dogs though generally don’t get along well with him 🙂

  109. SHibA OwnER says

    I own a shiba & shes beutiful. shes black & tan…. u mite wanna put up some more pics of tht color. i luv her 2 death & shes sometimes ok w/ other dogs. shs kind iffy. but we inspired my friend 2 get 1 2. htey luv her!

  110. Missy says

    I’ve had 2 sheba’s for about 7 years now, they were inherited & not my 1st choice. They’ve grown to be the most loving wonderful family dogs! From standofish snobs to loving kids attention!! though still dog aggressive we can’t imagine our home w/out them!!

  111. shibashake says

    Hi Missy,

    You are so right! Shibas really *do* grow on you. I think mine has me pretty well-trained now 😀

    My Shiba is also iffy with other dogs. He really does not like new dogs coming up to him and sniffing his butt. He prefers to get to know them first before he will allow butt sniffing. I suppose I can understand that – I wouldn’t want some stranger sniffing my butt either until I have gotten to know them better – lol.

  112. rchicaferro says

    Great Hub! And, my bet is that Shiba Inu has the same personality as its mom, Shibashake! 🙂

  113. shibashake says

    Thanks chicamom – Beauty always has its price 🙂

    lol frogdropping – Nah stay away from em – they are no good. Plus I don’t think Shiba Inu will get along with Kevin. Both want to be Ruler of the Universe 😀

    RVilleneuve – “so beautiful and so impossible” – that pretty much sums up a Shiba Inu 😀

    rchicaferro – LOL! Sadly, it is true 😀 We are both very high maintenance, but I haven’t caused any bite wounds … yet!

    lol Janetta – knee deep in dog poop – story of my life 🙂 Things are actually going well. Almost done – then I just have to fix all the other non-dog ones, my squidoo articles, and my website. Gotta eke out that extra 10 cents of AdSense cash! 😀

  114. Janetta says

    Hey Shiba! As always, loved looking at the pics of pretty puppy Sephy!! Great job on the hub– how are the reconstructions going?? Still knee deep in dog hubs ?? lol

  115. RVilleneuve says

    Yes, I had one of these dogs. He was so beautiful and so impossible. He even chewed his way through a crate.

  116. frogdropping says

    Shiba – I’d love one. I like challenging animals. Even my horses have been harder work than they had busines being … I spent more time on the floor than actually on their backs.

    Probably my biggest challenge, pet-wise, was my Shepherd. He took hours and hours, months and months – of dedication. But he was worth every second. And I’d do it all again.

    Great article Shiba 🙂

  117. shibashake says

    Good to see you Rochelle. Actually I started off with very little patience, so my Shiba Inu has really helped me grow quite a lot as a person 🙂

    lol – Good choice Gypsy. I am not sure if I will get another Shiba Inu. I love my Siberian Husky and am very interested in trying out other dog breeds. Shiba Inus really do kindda grow on you though 🙂

  118. Rochelle Frank says

    I can see why you are enthralled with this attractive breed. You obviously must have a lot of patience and energy. Beautiful dog.

  119. cassie says

    We have a shiba and are contemplating getting her a husky friend. How do your shiba and husky get along? Are they compatible? The husky we would be getting is a very laid back and docile pup, and our shiba is little miss alpha female, so we would need a more submissive dog. Is this sort of the dynamic yours have?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Cassie,
      My Siberian and Shiba get along really well. They really enjoy each other’s company and play a lot together. In fact, I chose a Siberian because they have a play-style that suits my Shiba well – energetic, rough play, full of wrestling and tumbling.

      As you already noted, Shibas tend to be more dominant so I was very careful to find a Siberian Husky that is very submissive. I got her as a puppy (8 weeks old). I had her on trial-run for 1 week to make sure that she would fit in well with my Shiba. I was a bit concerned that my Shiba would bully her because she is so submissive, but it turned out that my Shiba loved her so much that he let her have her way most of the time.

      Couple of things that was a bit surprising:
      1. Siberian Huskies shed A LOT. Even though they have the same double coat as a Shiba, they shed a whole lot more. Be ready for hair all over the house, all the time.
      2. Siberian Huskies are extremely energetic. My Sibe easily tires out my Shiba even though she is a three legged dog. After an active play session, my Shiba will be totally tired out while my Siberian is still hopping around looking for adventure.

      Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions.

  120. jamie miller says

    Why is the cream color Shiba not allowed to be shown?
    I have one and she is gorgeous. She is the best dog and was trained easily. Very loving.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jamie, Thanks for coming by.
      I do not show my dogs, so I am not really “hooked-in” to the show circuit. As I understand it, the cream colored Shibas cannot be shown because their white markings cannot be seen. Apparently, the white markings are an important part of the breed standard.

      Conformation dog shows, as I understand it, have less to do with good looks and more to do with how the physical characteristics of a dog conforms or comes close to the “breed standard”. This breed standard is often determined by well-respected breeders in each particular breed.

      I also read somewhere that cream Shibas may have mixed ancestry with the Jindo, and this may be where the white coloring comes from. This could be another reason why they are not allowed in conformation shows.

      Personally, I love Shibas of all colors and I believe that the temperament of a dog is much more important than his/her looks.

  121. Paula Peeper says

    I have a Shiba (Rusty) 3 yrs old-he rubs his eyes and face on the snow and ice also inside on rugs. He has such sore places around his eyes (looks like a racoon eyes). I do not think it is food allgeries as have tried that theory-have had him to vet 3 times wants to give him shots again but can’t keep from going inside while I’m at work. Normally he is kept in kitchen when I’m gone & does not seem to have any anxiety when I leave or come home. We have gotten so very close & he trained to come upon command but I want to help him out with the terrible itching by his eyes & on his face.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Paula. Rusty sounds like an awesome boy. Send him over so my Shiba can take some lessons from him 🙂

      It can be difficult to pinpoint the source of an allergic reaction, and sometimes, there can be multiple sources.

      Usually with food allergies, the itching is also accompanied by loose or watery stool. My Shiba is allergic to wheat, and he used to get really itchy from it. I started giving him really plain meals (boiled chicken and rice) to see if he got better, and he did. Note that it may take a few days before things get better and the allergians clear out of his system. Some dogs may be allergic to poultry, so if the boiled chicken doesn’t help, then switch to an alternate meat source e.g. duck, venison or rabbit. Then I slowly introduced his normal food back into his diet one by one until I found the problem food. Usually you want to use kibble that is grain free, and has good protein sources.

      The itching can also be from skin allergies to plants, pollen, or other chemicals. My dogs often stick their muzzle into all kinds of holes, bushes, etc. The best way to deal with this is to keep the dog away from the offending chemical(s). Try keeping your Shiba inside only during the weekends or try to get someone to shiba-sit for you, and see if the itching improves if he doesn’t explore outside. One time, I visited a Shiba breeder with a very handsome, long-haired Shiba. Unfortunately, she told me that the handsome Shiba is allergic to grass.

      The itching can also be from mites, fleas, etc. My Siberian just recently got a mite attack and started losing hair around her mouth and eyes. This can be easily diagnosed by the vet with a skin scraping.

      These are the three main reasons that come to mind, although I am sure there could be other causes. Try to find a vet who is willing to come up with a program to help you identify the source of the allergy rather than just treat the symptoms with shots.

      Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.

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