1. polpol says

    Thanks for a great and informative article.
    I’m amazed at how precise your description of shibas are. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought you were describing my shiba.

    Feeding question.
    I noticed on several occasions, my shiba bringing her empty bowl to me after she’s done eating.
    We are on a pretty consistent schedule when we feed her, and we are not exactly the stingy type when it comes to feeding her. Is this a sign I should be giving her more food?


    • shibashake says

      I noticed on several occasions, my shiba bringing her empty bowl to me after she’s done eating.

      LOL! That is simply adorable! Definitely take some pictures!

      My dogs are also big time food lovers, especially my Sibes. They will eat and eat and eat if they can. 😀

      In general I feed them their allotted amount of food and don’t give them more than that. I also give them some treats, so I reduce their kibble intake according to their treat intake.

      With Shania especially I have to keep her slim so that she doesn’t have to support any extra weight (she is a 3 legged dog). I think it is generally good practice and healthy to keep dogs slim and well exercised.

      Remember to share those bowl pictures with us. I can’t wait to see it! 😀

  2. Jasmine says

    Omg this website makes me want a shiba inu even though there kind of a tough dog to take care cause you need to know so much about it and know how to take fully good care of it.

    • shibashake says

      Hahaha, yeah Shibas are a big pain in the ass! The get better when they grow older but they are always rebels at heart. 😀

  3. Lettie F. says

    I have a 10 month old Shiba female named Collie. We had her since she was 10 weeks old. She is a total momma’s girl. :)

    Her favorite place to go (daily) is the dog park. When we go there are usually 3-4 other Shiba’s (3-12 years old) and I’ve noticed that Collie doesn’t not want to play play with them vs gathering them up and ganging on the small dogs. :) Is there a reason why (certain) Shiba’s don’t like interacting?

    • shibashake says

      Heh, Shibas generally think that they are King and all other dogs should behave according to what King Shiba wants. 😀

      Sephy likes playing chasing games so he will usually steal balls and try and get other dogs to chase him. I think he is truly puzzled when other dogs don’t want to play chase with him because why wouldn’t anyone not want to play with a Shiba?!

      Sounds like Collie likes herding other dogs, which is also a type of interaction.

      Also, I have noticed that small dogs don’t generally like playing with Sephy because he has a rougher play style that can easily overwhelm them. I usually only let Sephy play with larger dogs.

  4. Clare says

    my shiba will not stop biting people! he often humps my leg and paws me and bites my hands and clothes and when I back up he follows and continues to bite. when we go on walks he won’t let me put on his harness and does this ‘scream’ thing. also he will not listen to orders unless he can smell food. is there anything you know that can help? mainly just no jumping up and biting ppl.


  5. says

    I loved your article. It was very fun to read. Some of the parts were very humorous to me. I was thinking about getting a shiba inu puppy(8 weeks old approx.) when i move. The thing is i work anywhere between 8-10 hrs usually. Would a shiba inu puppy be okay for that long by themselves? Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tyler,
      With Shiba Sephy, he really needed a lot of attention especially when he was a puppy. Not the cuddling type attention, but the “what kind of trouble I can get into now” type of attention. When left on his own, he would be biting at curtains, biting at books, and biting at everything in sight except his toys. 😀

      He is 4.5 years old now, so he is often happy to relax and sleep after his > 1 hour daily walk, but he still really likes having his pack close-by.

      In terms of how to keep a Shiba puppy entertained and somewhat contained while you are away, here are some possibilities –
      1. Dog daycare.
      This allows Shiba to be with people and socialize with other dogs. A good daycare will have small very well supervised playgroups. They will also group together dogs based on size and energy.—Good-Or-Bad?&id=1494435

      2. Group dog walks.
      Many dog walkers now offer group dog walks where they bring a group of dogs to a hiking park. This is usually a much smaller group of dogs, probably around 6 at most. It is also more structured than a daycare. However, a really good dog walker is probably required to be able to do this with a Shiba.

      This article on whether Shiba Inus are truly independent may also be of interest –

    • Clare says

      omigod u want a shiba?! i hav one and if this is ur first time it will be a HEADACHE! will u b able to STAND the biting? they often jump on u 2 greet u, scratching u in the process and leaving paw prints on ur clothes. r u ready for a shiba? also shibas tend to be the leader instead of u. my shiba is almost 1 yrs old and still isn’t well trained!

      but there is a good side!
      they r sooooo CUTE! especially when they roll over and let u scratch their belly or when they cock their heads to one side at weird noises. don’t fall for their ‘cute look’ when it’s meal time!

      good luck!

  6. meg says

    Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted. My moksha has been a model shiba well that is until now. Just recently he has decided that he is going to test me on every bit of the training that I’ve done so far. He will not do anything that I ask him too. He is doing things that he used to do when he was just a little puppy ie, biting furniture, stealing things, whining all the time and my least favorite being a little aggressive with other dogs. So lately I have been feeling like he is very much testing my patience…I swear it’s a good thing he’s so adorable. So anyway I think that all the other things will come around, but I am a little worried about the dog aggression. I would appreciate some suggestions about how I can get him to stop with the dog aggression safely. I mean so that he doesn’t tick the wrong dog off and get hurt. I have been using the NILF technique for all of his other behaviors and that has worked in the past, but the dog aggression I am pretty stumped on. I don’t feel like the dog park is the right place to work on this problem, but because I don’t have many friends with dogs it’s kind of hard to work on it at home. The other problem is that I could take him to the local dog trainer, but as every shiba owner knows it’s either hit or miss with dog trainers and I really don’t want to put a tremendous amount of money to spend time with a trainer for a half hour. All that to say if you have any ideas HELP!!!!!!!!! I love my prince moksha, but it seems as though the terrible twos is a cliche not only for humans but for dogs too.


    • shibashake says

      Hello Meg,
      Always good to hear from you and Moksha.

      I don’t feel like the dog park is the right place to work on this problem

      I would agree. Going to the dog park actually made Sephy’s behavior worse. There is very little structure in dog parks, and often, there are dogs there that do not want to interact with other dogs, are dominant, aggressive or untrained.

      Based on my experiences with Sephy, I have observed that different dogs have different tolerances when it comes to meeting other dogs. Dogs bred for protection are slower to trust and will be more particular when it comes to dog greetings.

      Sephy is pretty picky about his dog friends. He does not like dominant dogs and he does not like new dogs coming up to him and sniffing his butt. In general, we don’t stop and meet neighborhood dogs because most of them are over-excited and not under good owner control.

      In Sephy’s case I have found that it is best to create neutral experiences. We simply ignore other dogs, stay calm, and go on our way. For playing, I carefully choose his friends so that he only plays with more easy-going dogs that are totally not dominant.

      When Sephy was young I did a fair amount of dog-to-dog training with him at our SPCA. We would go over and have short sessions with a variety of dogs. Most of the time we would pick easy going dogs that Sephy can have fun play-sessions with. Sometimes, we would pick dominant dogs or intolerant dogs, and in those cases we practice focus exercises so that Sephy stays calm and ignores the other dogs.

      Sephy does not trust easily and he has very clear social boundaries, so I make sure that when he does meet new dogs, it is a successful meeting. For example, with the new puppy, Shania took to her right away. It took Sephy a few days before even starting to accept her into his circle of trust. However, once he has accepted her, he is very tolerant of her crazy puppy behaviors – it just takes him more time.

      How to train a particular dog will depend on what sorts of situations we want to prepare him for, what his temperament is, frequency of dog-to-dog encounters, context of dog-to-dog encounters, etc.

      Here is an article I wrote on my experiences with Sephy and dog-to-dog aggression –

      Hugs to Moksha. Let us know how it goes.

    • says

      I have raised and breed many German Sheperd dogs in the ’70s …then after my last one was old i decided to get shiba’ first instinct after getting him was well i’m the boss…and you have to very well enforce this from day one.. my shake can was always available and every nite after he was 12 weeks old i held him with back down and made him listen to a story. then with treats taught him to sit and lay down. and every day i took him to my hobby store to meet people and i think that daily socialazation is why he is so good today . he is absolutly great with any kid and if the kid is a testy on he knows it from the get go and just avoids them…but the nice ones he is always very good and gets his ball and plays…now adults he mostly says hi and goes to his spot on the window ledge..unless its a person who comes in every week…he never barks but is very vocal when he wants something….i suggest finding a calm dog and meeting him but only on a leash.,not to play but to socialize..and always get him to meet people every day..and even if he is old go to a class like petsmart or others…it may take several times but you have to be patient..playing fetch is always a fun way to get him to listen and sit and throw ball but have his leash on so you can keep him sitting then go longer for staying and laying..and catching the ball…if he gets bored after 2 minutes then wait and hour and repeat..i have found the fetching with shibas is easiest way to get male is nuetred as he has an underbite but perfect in every other sense.i now just got another female and she is show quality…Marion from classy kennels in michigan raises more champion shibas than anybody in the states…good luck..jeff

  7. Andrea says

    Haha, I can just see Lara giving the puppy battle cry and Sephy pretending to be above it all (while secretly enjoying all of the attention and shenanigans).

    If Kiba keeps doing well, we’re planning to get a little girl Shiba puppy next year. I love Sibes too, but I think they are just a little to big for our family.

    We start puppy class next Monday!

    Oh, I don’t think I mentioned it, Kiba’s a Christmas puppy, born on Christmas day. How’s that for an easy to remember birthday? :)

    Looking forward to pictures of Lara and Sephy playing!

    • shibashake says

      Kiba’s a Christmas puppy, born on Christmas day.

      That is awesome! My Birthday is actually quite close to Christmas but I didn’t manage to make it. The big upside to having a near Christmas birthday is that it is always holiday time and everyone is in a good and festive mood. The big downside is that people usually lump birthday and Christmas presents as a combo thing. :(

      We start puppy class next Monday!

      Should be a whole lot of fun! Definitely tell me how it goes. Would love to hear about Kiba’s classroom experiences.

      I just posted some Lara and Sephy pictures. Those are difficult to get because most of the time Sephy is too cool to play with puppy! 😀

  8. Andrea says

    I love this – If a Shiba were a person, he would either be an extremely successful egomaniac or in prison!

    I always tell people Kiba is very well aware of his own worth. In his opinion, nothing in the house is nearly as impressive as he is.

    • shibashake says

      I always tell people Kiba is very well aware of his own worth. In his opinion, nothing in the house is nearly as impressive as he is.


      How is Kiba?

      I have been really proud of Sephy. It took him a bit longer than Shania but he has now fully accepted puppy into his circle of trust. He tolerates her using all of the toys and sleeping on his bed. He is also really good about trying to ignore her when she pesters him to play with her.

      Last weekend puppy let off one of her super war-cries and launched herself into a sitting Sephy. Sephy just sat there and pretended to ignore her. Meanwhile puppy bounced off the Shiba wall, and fell onto her back. Then she let off another war-cry and went back to pestering Sephy. It was too funny! 😀

  9. Kate says

    Hello Shiba Shake,
    I have a Shiba puppy I got from my sister and he is very aggressive when he is playing and bite me. I was on my computer doing something and he bit my arm! Any suggestions on how to nip this in the bus, he isn’t always bad, he is sweet at times, but i find he is starting to become aggressive.


  10. Jennifer says

    “Sephy will whine, mope and act like it is the end of the world when he is unhappy about something (e.g. wearing a harness).

    Woe be to you if your Shiba gets hurt or even just thinks that he is hurt.”

    Ha ha ha! It’s like you know my dog, Kramer.

    I think anyone that is willing to make the effort with a shiba will be very grateful. My shiba is truly my best friend! He is always making me laugh and is such a great snuggler!

    • shibashake says

      I think anyone that is willing to make the effort with a shiba will be very grateful.

      Yeah, they really are awesome and unique dogs. So much personality in a small body. 😀

  11. luke says

    Hi i think i figured on part of my investigation out. About 15yrs ago we got a puppy from the local pound they told us it was a akita mutt. It looked like an akita but it never got over 25 lbs. We named him cubby because he looked like a blond bear when he was a pup. And i have to say he was the best dog we ever had. First thing was the potty training. One accident then we never even saw where he would go to the bathroom after that. He was so private about it.
    He loved going for rides, he would ride in the trucks, tractors, combines, but my favorite was the atv he would jump up behind you and stand on the back fender, He had the best balance i have ever seen, The only time he would get off is when the atv was stopped or he saw something to chase. He would always go with us to check errigation and if you took off with out him he would pout the rest off the day. He was fearless to, when he was 5 months old he jumped in a creek after a big coon, the coon did everything he could to drowned him and i did everything i could to call him off but he wouldnt give up. After he pulled that coon out of the creek i realized i better never let him see a mirror and see how big he really was, because a far as cubby was concerned he was the biggest baddest dog on the planet. I never seen him back down from a fight.
    The most impressive thing was how smart he was. We never had him on a leash, he had free roam of the farm but when he was a pup he got on the road once and i yelled at him, after that i never saw him on the road again. We could be at the other end of the farm and he would find us. But several times i would be driving home and he would be sitting in the ditch next to the road waiting because he wouldnt cross the road to get to us.

    He knew so many words i could have a conversation with him, but if you said the word bath, or vet you would spend 20 minutes searching the house because he would hide.

    anyway he looked just like a shiba and the way it sounds acted just like one acept he never did the scream and he was never on a leash, he never would do tricks (he knew how he just choose not to lower his self to a dogs standard) And if he did something wrong and you caught him his ears would lay flat down and he looked like you just beat him with a stick.

    Now i just have to figure out what else he was mixed with.

    • shibashake says

      Wow sounds like a super Shiba-mix! Would love to have a Shiba like that – off-leash and listens to commands.

      Wonder what other breed he is mixed with.

  12. meg says

    hello shibashake,

    It has been a long time since I have posted. My shiba moksha is now a year and a half and is in every way a shiba. He still has lots of energy and is too smart for his own good. I wanted to share a christmas story about moksha that I think everyone will appreciate. Of course I, along with many shiba owners, delight in spoiling my shiba. This christmas I got him several toys and filled his stocking with them on christmas eve night. When Moksha figured out that all these toys were for him he very quickly tried every thing in his shiba powers to get me to let him have a toy. You all know what I mean by shiba powers. First he tried looking cute, then he whined, then he tried throwing a temper tantrum by biting my shoe while staring right at me. It was very hard not to give into him, so I put his stocking full of toys on my dining room table which is about two and a half feet high and I no sooner than turned my back and my shiba had jumped from the floor onto the top of the dining room table. He immediately grabbed his toys and jumped back down. I was so shock as this is something he’s never done before. He was so proud of himself and honestly I had a hard time taking the toy away from him. I was truly impressed with the effort that this dog made all to get a couple of new toys. So that is my shiba christmas story. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoy telling it. I also have to ask a quick question…I have recently heard both very positive and very negative things about e-collars. Do you have any experience with them? I have been suspicious about trying anything without asking other shiba owners, because as you all know what works on a regular dog is not necessarily going to work on the very highly evolved SHIBA!!! So any info you have on e-collars good or bad would be much appreciated

    thank you,

  13. Weston says

    My mother recently got a Shiba. Her name is Kitsu short for Kitsuni or Fox, and she is absolutely insane. She goes from being loving and playful to barking at me, and terrorizing other family members. Kitsu is a diva, and she will prance and strut her stuff to the neighbors when she is walked. I love our Shiba, except for when she screams! As soon as I get my head onto my pillow, kitsu is making our house into a horror movie. I often find myself screaming with her at night, except I’m screaming for her to shut up. our shiba hates being alone, and will follow us everywhere, but hates being held! We will hold Kitsu and try to love on her until she starts punching at our face with those strong legs!

    love the website…great information and tips. Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Weston,
      Thanks for sharing Kitsu’s story with us. She definitely sounds like a Shiba! 😀

      Sephy has many similar traits. He also does not like being alone, does not really like too much affection, and does not want to be carried unless it has some higher goal – like getting into the car to go to the park.

      During Christmas, he stole a plastic bag and to him, that was the best present ever. He pranced around carrying it and enjoyed it more than all of his Christmas toys – LOL! Gotta love Shibas!

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Dave. Yeah I did not see any listed RI breeders in the National Shiba Club of America breeder list.

      Another possibility is to consider breeders in nearby states and have one shipped over. Based on my experience with Sephy, I think it is more important to get a puppy from a good breeder than it is to get one from a local breeder.

      Chat with the possible breeders on the phone and make sure to ask them lots of questions about their puppies and breeding program. Here are some things to look out for while considering a breeder.

      Let us know how it goes. 😀

  14. Steven says

    Hi. I’ve had my Shiba Inu for a while and I feel like he’s co-dependent on my other dog. He tends to freak out when I have to take my other dog out [for a one on one walk or to clean him in the front of the house] and leave him behind in the backyard. I was just wondering if this is just a normal Shiba behavior?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Steven,
      What I have observed with Sephy is that he really likes his routine, so anything out of the ordinary and he will freak out. Last year we would sometimes take our other dog (Siberian Husky Shania) to daycare and Sephy got really stressed out from that.

      However, he is totally fine when I take Shania out for her regular daily walk.

      I just slowly got Shiba used to the daily walk routine. First, we would only go out for very short walks. Then we slowly extended the duration of the walks. Then we changed the time of the walks a bit, and so on. By making gradual changes, Shiba Sephy was able to get used to the schedule and nowadays he doesn’t even get up when we leave. 😀

  15. Sarah says

    My husband and I will be picking up our very first Shiba in November. He will be 9 weeks old. We decited to name him Clifford, because of his red coat and big personality. My husband has worked at vet clinics and taught dog obedience, and I grew up with alaskan spitz so we thought we could handle this little bundle. Any addvice on the first night and socialization?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sarah,
      Congratulations on your soon to be new family member! 😀

      Sounds like both you and your husband are already very experienced with dogs so things should go relatively smoothly. When I first got my Shiba I didn’t know too much about dog training, so it was a big challenge. But then, Shiba made me learn many things very quickly – lol.

      Any addvice on the first night and socialization?

      Shiba Sephy really likes being in the bedroom with us at night. He is happy to sleep nicely in his crate if he gets to be with us in the bedroom. I like having him in the bedroom as well so it works out for everyone. 😀

      For socialization with other dogs I did several puppy classes with Sephy. We specifically went to SIRIUS puppy classes which stresses puppy play training and dog-to-dog socialization. Another possibility, which we did with Shania, is to look for supervised puppy play sessions. Dog daycare centers and SPCAs sometimes organize puppy play sessions that are free and supervised. They also check to make sure that all puppies that attend are properly vaccinated.

      Post us some pictures of Clifford when you get him. Would love to see him!

  16. Kristina says

    I just love your site so much. I had a Shiba for a very long time – 15 years and he passed away. And wow do we wish we would have known you then. We made mistakes too, but you are so right about the trust issue with Shibas. I don’t think they respond well to aversive training at all. We did decide to get a new puppy, another Shiba, and wow, puppy teething must have been a “repressed memory”, I know we had to have gone through it, but I don’t remember the details with my previous dog. I think alpha rolls are a bad idea, as is a lot of other things. So you have to get creative, the bite inhibition training is crucial. We are trying the time out thing, and “Leave it”. There is a pretty good articles on the internet about bite inhibition. But I would like to pick all of your Shiba Heads out there and give me some reminders please. I thank you so very much:)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kristina,
      Congratulations on you new Shiba puppy!

      wow, puppy teething must have been a “repressed memory”

      LOL! Yeah when Sephy was a puppy he was such a Terror. Lucky for him he was a cute Terror.

      You are absolutely right, bite inhibition training is one of the best things I do with Sephy. When he got older, he started a bout of leash and jacket biting which could have turned out really badly. However, because he had good bite inhibition training, he never broke skin even when he redirected his bites onto me. This gave me enough time to come up with something effective to stop his leash biting behavior.

      Another thing that I was very happy I did with Sephy are resource exercises such as exchanging objects, adding food to his toys, and helping him with his food toys. I think all this made him be very easy going about his toys and his food. Sometimes he will bring his toys over to me to ask for my help. 😀

      If you have some time, check out this article I wrote on bite inhibition and let me know what you think.

      Big HUGS to Shiba puppy!

  17. Cher says

    Just got my Shiba last week she is just about 6 months. I must say after reading about the Shiba’s I was prepared for the worst. But she has been a real sweetheart. She is housebroke, doesn’t chew on things (just her toys and treats). Very condent when left alone. I do need to keep her from jumping up and wanting to chew on me when I come home. Don’t trust her off lead so we do a lot of walks she is quite pickie about going potty in her yard we have 10 acres so she like to go way out back to do her business. I was wondering if you or do you know of any one who has used a radio fence with a Sheba? Just wondering if she would run through the correction. I would appreciate any feed back on method of containment.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Cher,
      Congratulations on your new Shiba! She sounds like a total sweetheart which is very rare for a Shiba 😉

      I was wondering if you or do you know of any one who has used a radio fence with a Sheba? Just wondering if she would run through the correction.

      I looked into shock collars and electric fences when I first got Sephy but decided against them after reading some of the studies that have been conducted on their use. In particular, Polsky’s study showed that shock containment systems (invisible fence, underground fence) can increase aggression in dogs over and beyond their normal behavior.

      This is because such systems are usually tied to a simply trigger, for example the dog getting near the fence, and ends up over-correcting the dog and not using the right timing. For example, if a dog sees a human, another dog, or a cat, she will likely want to go check out the situation. Every time she does this, she gets a shock. This teaches the dog that humans, dogs, and cats cause pain, and the dog will likely start to see these objects are threats. Ultimately, the dog may resort to aggression herself to get these threats to go away.

      Also, Sephy got habituated to pain very quickly. His stubbornness was so great that it seemed to always trump even a painful aversive correction. This happened when I was using collar corrections on him. Finally, I just decided to go with reward training which has worked out much much better for the both of us. 😀

      This article contains more about shock collars and shock containment systems –

      Some other possibilities include –
      1. Fencing up a smaller area.
      2. Training for good recall. However, Shibas tend to be very stubborn and independent so it is difficult to get 100% recall with a Shiba. There is always some risk that Shiba will run off to chase a squirrel and may not return.

      While my fencing was being built, I put Sephy on a long lead with a flat collar and let him roam about that way. But I only did this when I was around to supervise because the long lead would sometimes get tangled etc.

      Hope this helps. Let us know what works out best for you and your Shiba.

  18. Pamala says

    I am so pleased to read all of these comments. We adopted a Shiba named Sheba about two months ago from her foster family. She’s been so sweet and I loved her the minute I saw her. She’s been coming out of her shell and ‘feeling herself’, as we call it it, lately. She never tried to run out of the house when we open the door. We’d been thrilled that she’d actually sit at the door or lay down in the garage and never tried to run out. Now, she’s trying to test her boundaries and of course when called, she ignores us!

    Sheba ‘talks’ at the dog park. At first she made me think she was being aggressive, until a play day with a boxer-pit that growled while running, Sheba barked while chasing him. I love it! So now, I have to advise dog owners that she is ‘aggressive’ in play but means no harm. The other owners, so far, have actually laughed about it! She’s been a little nippy with us when playing too.

    Overall, she’s affectionate, has great temperament with our kids, doesn’t bark and makes us laugh and shake our heads constantly. My husband joked, before I even read this thread, that if she wasn’t so cute, she’d be gone! LOL He loves her to death too.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Pamela,
      Congratulations on your new Shiba! She sounds absolutely awesome – just like how a happy Shiba should be 😀

      Sephy is a lot better now, but sometimes, he still gets into one of his Shiba moods and drives us crazy. The Shiba psyche is definitely very complex – which makes them infinitely interesting and mostly a lot of fun. They really are such characters. 😀

      Share some Sheba pictures with us when you can. Shiba puppies are too cute.

  19. Colleen says

    Does Sephy walk around the house whimpering in a “woe is me” kind of way for no apparent reason at all? Reptar has been exercising his vocal chords more than normal the past few days. It’s comical, but also strange. Just wondering if it’s a common Shiba behavior?

    Oh and pictures to come soon!

    • shibashake says

      Funny that you should bring this up. Sephy just acted like that a few days ago. I thought there was something wrong because he was walking around and would not lie down on his bed even for cheese. Finally he deigned to lay down, so I started checking his body and paws. However, he was very jumpy and kept pulling back his paws. I didn’t see anything wrong with him so he got his cheese toy and I just let him be for a while.

      He was back to his old Shiba self the next day. Sometimes he gets into these Shiba black moods. It is a bit strange. Maybe he had a bit of a tummy upset or something else disrupted his groove.

      So definitely yes – Sephy has those moments as well. It is so tough to be Shiba! 😀

  20. Franny says

    Your Shiba is so adorable! I am seriously considering buying a Shiba, even after learning about their feisty sides! I love cats as much as I love dogs so when I heard Shibas were cats in a dog disguise it really caught my attention.

    I have 2 questions though, I’ve been thinking about getting a rescued Shiba that is not a puppy. Do you think this is a good idea since I would’nt mind skipping to an age when the Shiba calms down a little?

    Also, how did you get your Shiba? I’m having difficulty sorting out the good and bad breeders, and the good ones seem quite expensive ($2,500).

    Thanks for making a great site too!

    • shibashake says

      I am seriously considering buying a Shiba, even after learning about their feisty sides!

      Feisty is a very nice way to put it! 😀

      I’ve been thinking about getting a rescued Shiba that is not a puppy. Do you think this is a good idea since I would’nt mind skipping to an age when the Shiba calms down a little?

      Hmmm, that would depend. Some rescues are already pretty well-trained, and they were given up because their owners had to move or could no longer keep them financially. Other rescues were given up because their owners were not able to properly train or manage their Shiba. The latter group will be a lot more challenging.

      When I got my second dog, I took her on a trial run of 2 weeks to make sure that she would fit in well to our home. Most rescues will not only let you have a trial run but also be willing to accept the dog back if things don’t work out at some later point in time.

      Also, how did you get your Shiba? I’m having difficulty sorting out the good and bad breeders, and the good ones seem quite expensive ($2,500).

      The best place to get a Shiba puppy is through an AKC registered breeder.

      Here is a list of accredited breeders from the National Shiba Club of America –

      Here is the AKC breeder search page –

      Most registered breeders also show their dogs, so they know more about the breed and are careful to breed for health and temperament.

      Still, make sure to interview the breeder and ask him/her lots of questions. If it is a local breeder, ask for a visit so that you can meet the puppy’s parents. Also ask for health certifications for the parents. For Shibas, this is usually a check for hip dysplasia.

      Here are a couple of articles about my puppy buying research and experiences –

    • shibashake says

      Awww – she must be too cute for words. Good luck!!

      Remember that you are the boss even when she gives you the irresistible Shiba look. 😉

  21. Katrin says

    I have totally enjoyed reading this site. I adopted a dog about 3 years ago and they told me she was a corgi mix. When taking her to the vet recently, I was told she looked like a Shiba Inu. After looking up the dog breed, this was for sure my dog. It is so great to read about my dogs personality traits, they are right on.. She was easy to train and does love to chase. She fit right in. Love this breed.
    Thank you,
    Katrin Wince

    • shibashake says

      She was easy to train

      LOL – yeah Sephy learned commands easily … but getting him to actually do the commands when you ask it of him is another matter altogether. There were a few times that he did extremely well in puppy class and we won some dog balls, but most of the time we were at the bottom of the class. One time a trainer barricaded us behind a wall of crates! 😀

      Ah, I do love Sephy. Life is always interesting with him around.

      Hugs to your Shiba. She sounds like she has a good mix of attributes.

  22. wanda says

    my shiba is name is Dakota aka Kodi he’s 7 mos old now and he just started letting me know when he’s ready, I’m trying to change his bathroom time from 3 times a day to two times a day because of the season is about to change from summer to winter and I know three times will be a little must for me so here lately him and I have been working on this, since we are working on this he is starting to wake me up now in the morning to eat and go out side earlier then usual, I don’t know if this is good sometime, but I keep in mind the time is different now, so I go along with it. I love him, and we both have learned each other habits and personality and so far so good, until I let him off the leash. I learned this the hard way, now I keep toys and treats on me and I only keep him off in a closed area and for a little while cause if I don’t I notice he gets this look on his face and it’s trouble after that he won’t come when I call him and he will run circles around me and keep on going. I try to take him once in a while to the doggie park, but some dogs don’t like him and this leave us to go solo. Me and my kodi

    • shibashake says

      LOL – Kodi sounds like a very awesome Shiba.

      I used to take Sephy to the dog park as well, and Sephy could not understand why some of the dogs did not want to play with HIM – a Shiba! He also liked stealing balls from the other dogs to start a chase game – which is not the best thing to do. Dog parks are a bit too unstructured for Sephy so nowadays I only do small supervised play sessions with dogs I know.

      I love him, and we both have learned each other habits and personality

      Seems like you have gotten off to a really good start with Kodi. I think what you say here is key. After I started really listening to Sephy and trying to understand his point of view, things got a whole lot better for the both of us.

      since we are working on this he is starting to wake me up now in the morning to eat and go out side earlier then usual

      Sephy also likes getting up early. But during the weekends, he will let us sleep in. 😀 One thing that helped when he was a puppy was to not give him water or dry food after about 7pm.

      if I don’t I notice he gets this look on his face and it’s trouble after that

      LOL – I definitely know that look! It is when Shiba is hatching a plan and he has that glint in his eye. Sometimes Sephy’s little tail will also twitch. I think that is when he feels playful, and is about to do something to engage me in a chase game – which is Sephy’s favorite. He also does this with my other dog. It is fun to watch them.

      Many hugs to Kodi. He sounds like a perfect Shiba.

  23. Kristin says

    I volunteer at an animal shelter and absolutely fell in love with a Shiba/Finnish Spitz mix puppy, but sadly he got adopted. Now 3 months later he got returned (most likely due to the owners lack of puppy knowledge) He is about 7 months old, weighs about 30 lbs-40 lbs. I’m still a college student, but I live in an apartment with no other pets and lots of walking trails/dog parks nearby. I spent some time with him the other day and he does not seem to be very food aggressive. He didn’t make a sound and he is very smart. I’ve owned several big breed dogs while growing up (Labs, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Weimaraner) but they seem to be easier to train than Shibas. I think I’m pretty dog savvy after training many at the shelter (I just want to reap the rewards of all my hard work!).

    He would be crated while I’m away for at most 6 hours.

    Basically my question is. Do you think he would be a good fit?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kristin,
      It is very awesome that you are volunteering your time at the animal shelter.

      absolutely fell in love with a Shiba/Finnish Spitz mix puppy

      He must be a really handsome boy! Is there a picture of him on the shelter website? Would love to see him.

      Basically my question is. Do you think he would be a good fit?

      Hmmm – I would have a long chat with the people who returned him. You already know a lot about dogs and dog training, so you can filter what they say and get a good understanding of what some of his issues are, and how he would deal with crating, etc.

      In my experience with Sephy, he needed a lot of attention in the first six or so months after I got him. He calmed down a bunch after over 1 year, and after 2 years, he got even better. But the first 6months to 1 year was pretty bad for the both of us 😀

      The final thing to consider is that a dog may curtail college life activities. One of the things that I truly enjoyed about college was that I was able to set my own schedule and hang out late with my friends if I wanted to. I don’t think I enjoyed more freedom than when I was in college and I had a great time. It was nice to stay up really late drinking coffee, and talking about nothing and everything 😀

      I also did a fair amount of traveling. During the summer I did some fun internships, and during Senior year I had to travel for interviews and such. Sephy really likes his routine, so this type of traveling would be hard on him.

      Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide to do and share some pictures with us if you can.

  24. Meg says

    Hello everyone,

    Well I have just experienced the absolute sadness of having a sick shiba. Because of the heat the last 3 days my poor prince Moksha has been very sick with diarrea. He is finally starting to perk up, but yesterday he needed to go out every three hours and just looked sooooo pitiful. He lost all of his little quirks that make him my lovable shiba. It’s so funny that when they are healthy you just want them to chill out, lay down, and just be a snuggly “regular” dog, but when their sick and they act like a “regular” dog you just want your shoe stealing, mouthy, back talking, aloof little shiba back!! Shiba’s and their owners are truly a unique breed.

    • shibashake says

      when their sick and they act like a “regular” dog you just want your shoe stealing, mouthy, back talking, aloof little shiba back!!

      LOL – that is so true. Sephy has been out of sorts the last few days as well. He sprained one of his legs while playing and had to be put on a low activity routine. He does not like it at all and is constantly finding new ways to express his general unhapiness. 😀

      Thanks for the kayaking picture. It is amazing that Moksha goes in there with you! He is brave and handsome!

      Hugs to Moksha. Glad to hear that he is feeling better.

    • chrissy says

      Hi Meg

      Have you tried a pro-biotic drink like Yakault?
      I used to work in rescue with lots of vets and more than one told me this trick and it always works for me.
      When my dogs get an upset tummy I start by giving them a tablespoon of pro-biotic drink followed by a dollop of plain/ live yogurt. This is followed by small tablespoon sized meals of chicken and rice every hour with some plain cottage cheese to soothe and bind the gut.
      In the afternoon repeat the pro-biotic & yogurt and also at bedtime.
      No main meal, just the chicken & rice hourly throughout the day. Nine times out of ten your Shiba (dog) will be bouncing about back to normal by the next morning.
      Obviously if the problem persists you must go to a vet but here, the first thing they do is give a pro-biotic which they charge you a fortune for and is exactly what I’ve said here.
      If its very hot, have you tried a damp towel put in the fridge for an hour underneath him for him to lie on?

  25. brendan says

    Hey, we got dusty when she was 3 months old. were you able to get an of her sawdust/straw from when she was with her mum? I would try and get some from the breader if you can. we put some of this in the garden and from day one she knew to go there. we just sat with her a made a big fuss over her when she went lots of good girls, cleave girls and cuddles. she was soon going as often as she could to get the attention.

    Good luck

  26. Vanessa says

    I just got a female Shiba Inu and is very hard to potty train. She constantly goes to the bathroom in the house. We will bring her outside she will just sit down and then come in the house and go in here instead. Does anyone have any advice how I can break this earlier. She is only 3 months old and I know it’s a lot of work to train a puppy but I have never had her breed before. Please respond back if you have advice for me. Thanks

    • shibashake says

      Hello Vanessa,
      Congratulations on getting a Shiba! Shibas have great personalities and they will always make life interesting.

      In terms of potty training, what Brendan says is very true. Sephy also really loves attention so rewarding him by giving him lots of attention, play, and treats when he goes outside works really well.

      This was what I did with Sephy –
      1. When he did his business inside, I just calmly non-marked him (No or ack-ack) and then brought him outside. If he continued doing his business, I make a big fuss and reward him. Then I play with him for a while outside before we come back in.
      2. I took Sephy out as soon as he wakes up, and after rigorous physical activity. When I first got my Sibe, I had to take her out after about 5-10 minutes of play with my Shiba – lol. Once she gets excited – she had to go! When she goes outside, I reward her well and play with her. If she doesn’t want to go, I wait a couple of minutes, and then I bring her back in – no play and no rewards.
      3. When Sephy had to go, he will also start circling an area. Once he starts doing this I would bring him outside.

      Here are more of the things I did with Sephy and Shania for potty training –

      Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    • shibashake says

      That is really interesting – sometimes people think my Siberian is a black and white Shiba. Many people also think she is a hybrid wolf and get afraid of her – which is too bad- because she is such a lover.

      Would love to see your Shiba. Please send us a link when you can. Thanks!

  27. Shamir says

    This article really made me laugh.
    It made me laugh because its so true. My shiba has all of these traits except for the scream.. I’ve never heard her do that before.
    Thanks for this fun read though.

  28. Mabel says

    Very insightful website & posts- I would like to pick the brains of all you great Shiba owners. I’m thinking about adopting a 2 yr old female Shiba from a rescue shelter. They don’t know why she’s there and say she’s docile. I’ve never owned a dog before (rescue mgr says that this dog shold be no problem for 1st time owner). There are no kids or other animals here and no yard (but have a great dog park nearby). I’m concerned about my furniture & if I could leave her (she’s crate trained) for at most 6 hrs? What other concerns should I have and what should I ask the rescue shelter? Thanks for your input!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Mabel,
      Being in a shelter can be very stressful for dogs. Most dogs tend to be more reserved in such situations, and slowly get back to their normal self after about 2 weeks (or more depending on the dog) in a home. The people at my SPCA used to call this the honeymoon period – because that 2 weeks can be very useful for teaching the dog house rules and getting off onto a good start with a fixed routine.

      I think you already have a great environment for a Shiba because she will have the place to herself and does not have to deal with other animals. When I started out with Sephy I had a very similar situation – no other pets, and also no yard. I must say the no yard was very difficult for a Shiba puppy. Sephy was very energetic and not having any off-leash time was very difficult. Luckily our SPCA had a fenced compound and they let us use it to exercise Sephy.

      After about 1.5 years, Sephy calmed down a lot and did not need as much exercise. Now he is over 3 and he is very relaxed and lazy most of the time. He usually only needs his 1-1.5 hour morning walk and he is good for the rest of the day. Since the female Shiba is 2 years old, she may already be more calm.

      How does the female Shiba deal with other dogs? If she has lived for long on her own, she may be wary of other dogs, or certain types of dogs. I would also ask about how comfortable she is with food, whether she protects her food/toys from people or from other dogs.

      I was also a 1st time owner when I got Sephy – and he was very challenging for me. After about one year things got a lot better and Sephy taught me a lot about dog training. The two things that are probably most challenging about Sephy and many Shibas –

      Their stubbornness can be out of this World :)
      They are very independent and mischievous.

      Sephy is a lot better now but he will still test his boundaries and conduct scientific experiments on the people around him to see exactly what he can or cannot do.

      The other important thing is to not to go too quickly with a rescue dog. Let the dog come to you and don’t overwhelm her with too much attention. Shibas tend to be more on the aloof side anyway, and like keeping their own company. Below is a very useful guide for what to do and not to do on the first days –

      It is not a Shiba guide specifically, but it has good information that applies to all dogs.

      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes and what you decide.

  29. shiba_lover says

    Hi Colleen, Our shiba never shows his teeth either. You hit it spot on when you mentioned “nip”. That’s what my little one does (he’s 1 year and 5 months). You are right in it must be a shiba trait.

  30. Colleen says

    My Shiba, he’s 10 mos, also loves to “talk” while playing with other dogs. He also nudges and “nips” (never bites or makes teeth on leg contact with) at other dogs knees to try to get them to play if they are ignoring him. I’ve found that in small groups or 1:1 play sessions, it’s easier to comfort the other dog owner(s) that it is how your Shiba plays and it is not aggressive.

    I’ve never corrected my Shiba for nudging other dogs legs or “talking” while playing as it seems to be part of his play style but my Shiba also does not enjoy dog parks so we don’t have to worry so much about that.

    I thought it was just my Shiba that did those things. Glad to learn the talking, or monkey noises as I call it, and the play biting at the legs to play may be part of a Shiba trait after all….

  31. shiba_lover says

    Hi everyone! I have 2 male shibas that are 6 months apart. They absolutely love to play with other dogs at the dog park. There are some dog owners who fear that our shibas are being aggressive toward their dogs when in fact they are just playing. They love to “talk” to other dogs and when running after other dogs, our shibas try to play bite the other dog’s back or hind leg to stop them. By no means is it aggressive but of course other owners may think different. Is this common with everyone? Or is this something that we should correct so other owners are not afraid?

    • shibashake says

      They love to “talk” to other dogs

      Yeah Sephy does this as well! I call them his Shiba warcries 😀

      One thing that Sephy really liked to do while at dog parks is chase after other dog’s balls, steal them, and then start a chasing game. He loves playing catch me if you can games. However, some dogs may not like this kind of behavior, and it may ultimately lead to other things. What usually happened was that as soon as the other dog tries to correct Sephy with a growl, they get alpha rolled by their owners.

      As you say, sometimes the other owners get fearful, excited, etc – and this gets picked up by Sephy which amps up his behavior even more. Shibas, I think are very sensitive to the energy of the people around them. I have also met some people who will correct other people’s dogs with physical techniques – and that is extremely dangerous for everyone.

      Like Colleen, I have stopped bringing Sephy to dog parks because the situation there is just too uncontrolled and Sephy is a mischievous little thing. Also, not all the dogs there have bite inhibition – and their correction may ultimately cause physical damage. I also did not want them to get alpha rolled – when it was Sephy who started the whole thing.

      Here is an article I wrote about my experiences with Sephy and dog parks –

  32. brendan says

    Hey guys

    Quick question, is it ok to switch from wet food to dry food? When we first got dusty she was on dry, she didn’t eat it so we went for the wet stuff, she has been fine on this for the last 7 months but has been on hunger strike for the last 48 hours, we went and got some dry food and she cleared the bowl in seconds (normally she eats like such a lady and then burps after haha)


    • shibashake says

      Thanks for the pictures and word file Brendan. Dusty’s instructions are hilarious! You should definitely publish it, I think Shiba owners everywhere would enjoy it very much.

      Sephy also sometimes goes on a hunger strike for no discernible reason. I think he has a very sensitive digestive system so sometimes he just wants to clear it out. It could also be that the food company changed some ingredients in the wet food.

      In general when switching food it is best to go slowly and do it in quarters. 1/4 new food, 3/4 old food for 3-4 days. If everything is ok, then go 1/2 and 1/2 and so on. When I first got Sephy, he was on Eukanuba (what the breeder gave him) and we would practically have to jump through hoops to get him to eat the stuff. After I switched to Innova EVO things got a lot better.

      (normally she eats like such a lady and then burps after haha)

      Sephy is exactly the same way! He also eats like a lady and burps at the end LOL. In contrast my Siberian girl eats like a man, drinks like a man, and snores like a sailor! She is pretty awesome! 😀

  33. Meg says

    my little shiba Moksha is at it again. He has recently decided that everything in the house is his and has been stealing everything. I can hardly leave a room without him getting into something…and of course he then looks at me with his big brown eyes almost as if to say “it wasn’t me mom, I didn’t do it” Any suggestions on what I should do with my thieving shiba?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,
      Thanks for those pictures of Moksha.

      He has recently decided that everything in the house is his and has been stealing everything.

      Some possibilities –
      1. Have him attached to you at all times with a long lead so that he doesn’t get a chance to steal.
      2. Brush up on his Leave-It training, and set up training scenarios where you are ready to catch him in the act. If he keeps trying to steal but fails and gets a bad response for it, he will likely stop.
      3. Make sure not to chase him around after he steals because that is usually a big reward for a dog especially a Shiba. If Sephy steals something and nobody shows any interest, he will quickly lose interest in it as well 😀
      4. Remove all dangerous objects from Shiba steal radius.
      5. Keep him engaged with sanctioned chase games at home.

      Shibas love to keep testing their boundaries. They remind me of that Verizon guy except they say – “Can I do this now? What about now?” – LOL. Many hugs to Prince Moksha.

  34. brendan says


    I recently Left Dusty with my focks for 5 nights and she was no trouble at all (although she did get them to do things for her that i would never do, lift her in and out of the car ect)
    We took her round there a couple of times the week before we left and she was fine. think it helped that my parents have 2 black labs which dusty loves and uses as her body guard when she wants to go and sniff out trouble.

    we did get the happiest and loudest noises when we went to pick her back up and she took a night or two to settle back in at ours but it worked really well.

    good luck


    p.s i will get some pics to you guys soon, she is a big girl now, all 10.2kg of her

    • shibashake says

      although she did get them to do things for her that i would never do, lift her in and out of the car ect

      Hahaha – Dusty is such a super Shiba!

      Yeah I think what you describe is a great boarding solution. I believe that Shibas, in general, like being with people they know and in a place that they are fairly familiar with. In this way, they are also a very loyal breed.

      p.s i will get some pics to you guys soon, she is a big girl now, all 10.2kg of her

      O-O Can’t Wait! I love seeing Dusty. I always show her pictures to Sephy in the hopes that some of her awesomeness will rub off on him. 😀

  35. concerned traverler says

    Did you ever board Sephy while on vacation?
    My dog (recently adopted as a young adult) has food aggression problems and dominance issues that we are working through, but im starting to worry about our upcoming vacation.
    I’m not sure if a boarding facility could handle him. he’s been kicked out of daycare once for…well, pretty much being a bratty shiba!
    I’m worried that if he is boarded he will snap at feeding time or throw a fit.
    he has bit me a few times in the past.

    • shibashake says

      Did you ever board Sephy while on vacation?

      I did look into several options for doing that but they didn’t really work out for Sephy. The daycare people couldn’t really handle him and neither could the dog walker who also did home boarding. With the daycare he would either whine throughout the day or get into trouble during play-sessions. With the dog walker he did Shiba screaming, alligator rolls, and many of his other Shiba moves.

      The dog walker wanted to start using choke chains on Sephy and do extreme corrections, which I wasn’t comfortable with so it ended there. According to the dog walker, they have a Shiba boarding with them and he was ok, but only after they did some heavy duty physical stuff to him. I wasn’t willing to risk that with Sephy.

      I think the issue with boarding Shibas is that it takes time for them to trust a person and to feel comfortable the person. Short term boarding is usually a challenge because the people there do not have enough time to spend with a Shiba.

      Some alternatives that may work –

      Getting a neightbor/relative to house-sit. Shibas may be more comfortable with someone they already know and have spent time with.
      Have a pet sitter come over numerous times before vacation so that Shiba can get familiar with him/her before the real deal.

      I would definitely be interested in hearing what works out for you. I think many Shiba owners including me are in the same boat on this one.

  36. brendan says


    Thanks great, we also loving being able to walk dusty of the lead its so much nicer!
    well done you for being willing to give it a go.

    • shibashake says

      Hey Brendan – good to see you! Send us more pictures of Dusty – we all miss her. How is your super Shiba doing?

  37. Meg says


    I had to post and let you all know that I took my dog Moksha to the beach today and can you believe it…I LET HIM OFF LEASH!!!! He did incredible for about forty-five minutes and then started to become a little aloof so I decided to put him back on before he decided to take off entirely. It was so wonderful, because as you all know shibas are notorious for getting distracted and its not usually recommended to let them off leash. I was sooo excited. For the forty five minutes he was great… he mainly just followed me as I walked and when he would get distracted I would call him and can you believe it? HE CAME. He came when he was called! I had to pinch myself to make sure what I was seeing was my dog and not a mirage. I was just so ecstatic that I had to share it with all of you.

    • shibashake says

      That is amazing Meg! Sign of a great and strong bond.

      Loved your pictures of Moksha. Send us more when you get the chance.

  38. mary says

    Haha im very stubborn too xD i felt like a shiba would be a good dog for me but maybe a different breed is better. do you have any suggestions for what kind of dog i should get instead? im sort of looking for a dog that doesnt shed too much,isnt too big,and is all right with being left alone for a while. Thanks for the information about your shiba inu though.

    • shibashake says

      im sort of looking for a dog that doesnt shed too much,isnt too big,and is all right with being left alone for a while.

      Hmmm, I don’t have much experience with smaller dogs. One small dog breed that seems to behave very well is the Pug. From what I can tell, they are friendly, not very high energy, and are loyal. Here is a pretty good summary of their origins and characteristics –

      I would get on some pug message boards to get more details on the breed. Breed specific message boards usually have a lot of very knowledgeable people.

      Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)

  39. mary says

    such a helpful site! is the shiba inu good for me? im in middle school and i think having a dog would help me deal with my depresssion. what if i were to leave it in a roomy cage for about 6 hours because of school? and is the shiba inu good for 1st time owners?? D:

    • shibashake says

      Hi Mary,
      Very nice to meet you.

      is the shiba inu good for 1st time owners??

      Shibas can be very difficult dogs to manage – they are stubborn, dominant, sneaky, and did I mention stubborn? 😀 The stubbornness is really the worst. As a result they are usually not recommended for 1st time owners.

      When my Shiba was young, I took him to a variety of trainers and even some trainers had problems with him. The dog walker couldn’t handle him and didn’t want to walk him anymore, and several daycare centers could not handle him.

      Shibas can be very feisty and even experienced dog people can have trouble handling them.

      Shibas are also very intelligent and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Shiba Sephy works for all of his food, he gets to play with Shania, he gets walked > 1 hour every day, there are play sessions, etc. and he still has the energy to get up to no good. Such a character he is!

      If left alone for too long, Shibas will become unhappy and destructive. They are very good at escaping from crates and even enclosed backyards. When bored, they will escape to find adventure outside – then neighborhood beware! 😀

      Another thing to consider is that Shibas really are quite aloof dogs. If you are looking for companionship and a loving dog, you will probably be disappointed in a Shiba. Most of the time, my Shiba likes being by himself and he dislikes getting too much human affection. He only wants to be loved on his own schedule and will walk away otherwise.

      Let me know if I can be of more help, and happy summer holidays!

  40. Maggie says

    WOW! you have THE BEST site! wonderful and very detailed info! i want a shibu sooooooo bad! but my dad would never let me :/ He likes big, well behaved dogs. such as great danes. don’t get me wrong, i love my gus(my gret dane) but i want a cute, small dog i can cuddle up with and just… idk… not have him squash me every time he moves! but i’m going to try REALLY hard to talk my dad into getting me this dog. so i have a few questions:
    1.are they good with cats? cuz i have like 20 cats.

    2.are they good most-of-the-time out side dog? cuz i live out in the country so i have lots of open space for him to roam, but i can’t have him inside to much because two reasons:my dad doesnt like inside dogs;and i have school so he would be un supervised inside,and with my past experiences,thats not a good thing. they need some kind of special food? cuz we get the genaric stuff.

    thank you!i really do love yout site. it’s amazing!

    • shibashake says

      Thank you for dropping by Maggie. Great Danes are very awesome. My Shiba loved playing with them whenever he met them at the dog park. It is funny watching him play with such a large dog because he will be trying out all his Shiba moves to no avail – lol.

      1.are they good with cats? cuz i have like 20 cats.

      Shibas are bred to hunt so they have a high prey drive. While they can be trained to accept cats (if brought up from puppyhood), their instinct will be to hunt them.

      2.are they good most-of-the-time out side dog?

      Shiba Sephy is definitely an inside dog. He doesn’t like being outside for too long, and if the grass is wet, he doesn’t like stepping on it. 😀 He is such an interesting fellow.

      Shibas also like having their people around – not too close – but around to serve them. My Shiba spends most of the day inside the house with me while my Siberian mostly likes being outside. they need some kind of special food? cuz we get the genaric stuff.

      Shibas may be allergic to certain ingredients. For example Shiba Sephy is allergic to wheat and all wheat products so I have to get him special grain-free kibble.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  41. Roxanne says

    I am so glad I found this webiste! It is sooo helpful! My Shiba Inu, who we named Django, arrived at our home after someone apparently abandoned him in the countryside. We had no intention of owning a dog, but after two months no one had claimed him at the pound(we had been temporarily housing him for this time) we were in love and decided to give it a go.
    The honeymoon is over. I can’t believe the first day he showed up we left him out front tied with only a little rope in case his owners came by! As he becomes more comfortable, he reveals his strength, independence, and affection… yes, affection. I have so many stories to tell, but right now we are concerned about how exactly we should house this guy. Inside, outside, indoors a crate while we are at work or in his large roomy outdoor pen(with couch and doghouse)… where he screams and yelps and causes us much concern. We can’t have him run loose in the house because of the cats, except for limited times, when they are upstairs. Somtimes I worry he needs a better home. But who could love him more? We just want to create the right environment. Any advice? And how to stop this screaming when he is left outside!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Roxanne,

      Two paws up and a BIG WOOF for taking in a Shiba in need.

      I have so many stories to tell, but right now we are concerned about how exactly we should house this guy. Inside, outside, indoors a crate while we are at work or in his large roomy outdoor pen(with couch and doghouse)… where he screams and yelps and causes us much concern.

      Yeah my Shiba was like that too. He generally likes being in the house. Is is possible to set up the pen in the house? or perhaps set up a safe area/room for him to stay in? When Sephy was young, I set up a gate to block off my kitchen area and let him stay in there. The kitchen is nice because of the tiled floor (can’t chew on carpets), there are no electrical outlets he can get to, and the counters are too high for him to steal stuff off.

      Another thing I tried with Sephy is to let him go to dog daycare for a couple of days per week. I also tried group dog walking. There are now many dog walkers who will take a group of dogs for a nice off-leash romp in a nearby hiking park. They come to pick up your dog and will drop him off after the hike. I actually liked the group dog walk more than the daycare, but it was difficult to find a walker who could handle Sephy 😀

      He is a terror that flaps in the night!

      Let us know how things go with Django. Would love to hear his stories.

  42. Meg says

    Hello Shiba Loving Friends,

    It has been a while since I posted so I wanted to give you a little update. I am the owner of a beautiful black and tan shiba named Moksha. I am happy to report that I lived through the first year of my Shiba’s life. He was a year old on March 14th. He had a big birthday party and I spoiled him rotten. He probably couldn’t have cared less he just looked at me like, “now this is the way I’m supposed to be treated, why are you making such a big deal out of this?” In the afternoon he took the longest royal nap I’ve ever seen him take. He is such a PRINCE! So I lived through the first year, but there are still quite a few challenges with his royal highness. I am still working on a little mouthing when he is not getting his own way, He is still jumping on people and he is still soooo excited all the time. I am working with a personal trainer on some of his issues, but I highly recommend working one on one with a trainer especially with a shiba, it is much easier to get him to focus with just me and the trainer and not a ton of dogs around. Anyways, I just wanted to give you an update, because I have found a tremendous amount of support here on this site. Support that is truly necessary when raising a shiba. It has been amazing for me when I am talking with other dog owners how incredibly different shibas are from the rest of the dog population. It really takes saint like patience to live with a shiba, but for some of us it’s the only way to live…I don’t think i’ll ever own anything but a shiba at this point. Anyways thank you so much for all of your support throughout this last year and I’m sure that I will continue to post and chat with shiba lovers like myself. Could you tell me where I can send some pictures. I think if you could see him you will understand the “prince” comments. And to be totally honest, I love to show off my little shiba. Thanks again, you all are great!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,

      So glad to hear from you and Moksha. I am happy to hear that all is going well.

      It has been amazing for me when I am talking with other dog owners how incredibly different shibas are from the rest of the dog population. It really takes saint like patience to live with a shiba, …

      That is so true. Also, not many people know the Shiba breed, so it was difficult for me to find trainers for Sephy. Many of the initial trainers told me he was a really extreme Shiba – which I later learned was not true at all. It turns out that he was and is just a typical Shiba – lol.

      Could you tell me where I can send some pictures. I think if you could see him you will understand the “prince” comments. And to be totally honest, I love to show off my little shiba.

      Oh – I love Shiba pictures! 😛 Please send me a mail through –

      Thanks and Happy Easter! Hugs to Moksha – hope he finds lots of Easter eggs 😀

  43. says

    Absolutely Hilarious!!
    It is very clear to me after browsing this website that you guys know exactly what you are talking about, when it comes to Shiba’s.
    My Shiba Inu Kenji is Nuts and does everything you say on this website. Other readers comments are killing me as well. Obviously it is the breed unlike any other that makes these dogs so amazing! My Golden Samantha-Jo never did half the crazy things Kenji has already pulled off.
    I am still finding myself telling him that he’s very lucky he is so cute or he would be elsewhere…
    Good information and a Great Website! :)

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Curtis.

      I am still finding myself telling him that he’s very lucky he is so cute or he would be elsewhere…

      Hahaha – yeah, good-looking dogs can get away with so much more, just like good-looking people! I guess good-looking people tend to be more on the high-maintenance side as well 😀

  44. Montasaurus says


    Thanks for your great website. I looked at it soon after I got my puppy, Monty, and am now looking at it again.

    Monty is a great dog. He is incredibly friendly towards people and other dogs and very well-behaved at home. I’ve also used reward training as I got the sense, as you have, that my shiba could get aggressive with me if I used force or aversion training. Besides being terrible at recall, things have, for the mostpart, gone very well.

    Now that he is 9 months old, however, he is developing some aggressive behaviour and more stubbornness. He has never bitten me but now becomes completely crazed when it comes to trimming his nails whereas he was fine before (perhaps it’s because he had his nails trimmed at the vets after a very traumatizing neutering experience(?)). He plays well with almost any dog but he has also started becoming aggressive with them over food and even over (their) toys or sticks. When I take him to the dog beach, this has become a particular problem. Today he snarled and snapped at one dog over a stick (when Monty was trying to steal it) and stole another dog’s ball (he has no interest in playing fetch with me). Where before he would eventually stop when I went to get him, today he ran away from me and I spent a good 15 minutes chasing him with the annoyed dog owner and dog following us around for the ball. I am concerned that someday he will be severely put in his place by another dog or run off and be hurt.

    I have a groomer come in to do his nails now but Monty is used to getting a lot of exercise and loves going off-leash at the beach (which is very far from any road and the only time he is off) and I would prefer not to stop doing this. I often leave a leash trailing so that I can catch him more easily. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can curb the aggression and get him to be a bit more obedient?

    • shibashake says

      LOL Montasaurus, I like that!

      Today he snarled and snapped at one dog over a stick (when Monty was trying to steal it) and stole another dog’s ball (he has no interest in playing fetch with me).

      That is amazing – my Shiba was exactly like that when I took him to the dog park. He would pretty much steal all the balls and the poor other dogs got alpha rolled by their owners when they rightly got annoyed with Shiba and attempted to correct him.

      I think Shibas quickly learn that if they steal balls etc., that is the quickest way to get attention and to start a game of chase with other dogs or with people. In this way they get two of their most favorite things – “eyes on them” and a fun chase game.

      This is one of the main reasons why I stopped taking Shiba Sephy to dog-parks. The environment there is just too unstructured for him, and he was also starting to pick up bad habits from the other dogs.

      Instead, I took him to the SPCA nearby. They have a nice enclosed grass area and I let him play with the SPCA dogs on a one-on-one basis. I also take him hiking on trails (on leash) and he really enjoys that. I have tried taking him on off-leash hiking trails and he has done well on-leash even with the other off-leash dogs. I find that the owners in hiking trails are better at supervising their dogs and really have good off-leash control over them.

      Before I moved, I also had a great neighbor with a very friendly young dog named Kai. I would bring her over to my house several times a week for supervised play sessions with Sephy. That worked out really well.

      If you truly want to continue trying the beach thing – putting on a really long lead (only on a flat collar) may help. A really long lead (like the ones that people use for recall training) will allow you to stop him before he initiates chase, and put him on a mini time-out. The disadvantage is that it can easily get tangled if he starts wrestling with other dogs. It may also get caught on trees and such.

      The important thing is to quickly shut down the chase game as soon as he starts to go after balls. Shibas are really smart and once they learn that they can do whatever they want at the beach or dog-park and you cannot effectively stop them, they will keep doing it, and with great gusto!

      Some people use shock collars but that has many risks. In a situation with other dogs, the shocks may just encourage aggression towards the other dogs or worse with people.

      Here are some of the things I found when I looked into shock collars –

    • Montasaurus says

      “The important thing is to quickly shut down the chase game as soon as he starts to go after balls.”

      Thanks for your comments. I think you’re definitely right on that one. I try to intercept him immediately now before he steals a ball or stop him as soon as I can. Basically, I call him quite sternly and hold up a finger and, if he chooses to look at me, he will eventually stop. My boyfriend will give him a flick on the nose (I don’t) but just the threat of it seems to let him know I mean it. If he does not look at me, however, he will actually run off the beach up to the path and jump on people as if to show off the ball… arghhh.

      I will probably see how it goes. If he continues to do this or has a conflict I will definitely keep him on lead. For now, I just leave a leash on trailing behind him so he will be easier to stop. The threat of going back on the leash may also be helping.

      Thanks again.

    • shibashake says

      If he does not look at me, however, he will actually run off the beach up to the path and jump on people as if to show off the ball… arghhh.

      LOL! That is so like a Shiba! They *know* they are God’s gift to humankind 😉

  45. Nicole says

    Hi, I had a ? we have a shiba who is 14months old at first she was sweet and kind we have a 2year old rat terrier who dosnt play but now she attacks her all the time if we throw her in the cage she rips at her or even if u yell at the other dog for doing something she attacks her or if u yell at her for doing something she takes it out on her our rat terrier has had her ear torn her leg bit in to her back cut open, Im at my wits end I dont know what too do?? ANy suggestions Ive never had a dog so aggressive and over small things to and yesterday she grabbed my arm tryin to get to the other dog.. She gets loved and played with and treats all the time I dont understand do you think if we get her fixed she’s be more calm?? Please if anyone has any idea let me know …

    • shibashake says

      Hi Nicole,
      Shibas tend to be stubborn and bossy when they can get away with it. When I first got Shiba Sephy he was a ball of badness :)

      It is important, especially for a Shiba, to establish rules in the house and outside the house. Some rules that my Shiba absolutely has to follow include no biting people, no getting on furniture, no humping, no bullying my Siberian, and no guarding of food or toys.

      If he breaks any of these rules, I non-mark him, and ask him for an alternate command. If he does not listen, he gets his freedom taken away and he has to go to timeout. In this way he learns that doing certain things = no freedom, but doing what I ask of him = nice rewards.

      Another thing that helped me a lot is following the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) program. This means Shiba has to do something for me first before he gets anything in return – including food, toys, freedom in the backyard, and *affection*.

      Here are some things that really helped me when Shiba Sephy was young-

      In the same way it is important to establish boundaries between your two dogs. My Siberian is a three legged dog so in the beginning I always supervised my Shiba very closely while playing with her. No bullying will be tolerated. Whenever he starts any kind of bullying – which includes humping – I will step in, non-mark, and stop play.

      In this way he learns that certain behaviors = no play, but playing nice = rewards and lots of fun play.

      By controlling a Shiba’s resources (food, treats, affection, freedom), you can teach her what are acceptable behaviors and what are non-desirable behaviors.

      Staying calm is also very important when dealing with a Shiba. In the beginning I would get angry and frustrated and that only made things worse with Sephy. Stay calm, and have a plan on how to deal with each bad behavior. Once I did that, things improved significantly with Shiba Sephy.

      Here is another article that may be helpful –

      It may also be a good idea to get a professional trainer. It is easiest to train a dog when they are young, so now is a great time to start. A good professional trainer will be able to come up with a comprehensive program for you including how to set boundaries for your Shiba, and how to get her to listen and do what you want.

  46. says

    Our Tessa is now 2 1/2 yrs old and we learn from her daily. She has decided the extent of her training is complete, but we reinforce her tricks and commands constantly. She doesn’t chew or destroy anything, other then her toys, is a wonderful watch dog, very verbal, little barking, without going overboard. Is very tolerant of people, a little standoffish of children. We were encouraged by the breeder to socialize her starting at a very young age, with people and other dogs which we did. We thought we had significant experience in dog rearing, but this one has taken it to a new level. The only issue we are concerned about is being too territorial, and only at our home, not at our summer home, and only with other dogs. She will turn into the Tasmanian devil is 2 seconds flat. Teeth beard, growling, spit flying, will draw blood if she reaches with other animal, totally out of control. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Jackie,

      Sephy also gets a bit snarky when other dogs come to visit. It is mostly because he is being protective of our tripod dog, Shania.

      One thing that seems to help is to have him on leash when the new dog first comes. Then the dog gets to meet my Siberian first. Meanwhile, I have Sephy with me doing commands from a distance. If he is calm, then we move a few steps closer to the action.

      If he starts being snarky, I no-mark him and move back.

      Maybe you can try something similar in your situation. Have Shiba at a distance, and have both dogs on leash. Initially just try with the other dog on the front lawn and your Shiba a good distance away so that she is calm. Do some obedience with her and if she is calm, praise, reward, and move one or two steps closer, etc.

      If she gets snarky no-mark and move back.

      I keep sessions short and try to set my dog up for success. Here is more on Sephys adventures with other dogs –

  47. Richard says

    Man i guess i got lucky because my Shiba Inu is the best behaved dog i have ever had, she has yet to do ANYTHING wrong,she even gets along with our cat. she is fine with other dogs as long as they respect her space and if they don’t she will snarl at them and continue to do so until they get the idea but she wont bite.we got her as an adult dog, she was four and her owners didn’t want her anymore. i can only assume they spent alot of time in obedience classes because she is a purebred shiba with perfect manners,she even steps around puddles and mud instead of walking through them and waits to go through a door until you have walked through. the independence trait is there she doesn’t like a lot of affection but i dont like dogs who make people the center of there existence,shes perfect for me,she is proof that good training can make for a really good shiba. the only thing she is snobby about is coming when i call her, she does it if she feels like it and if not i need to go looking for some treat of some sort to bargain with. i can live with that.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Richard,
      It does sound like you have a pretty awesome Shiba – lucky you!

      Sephy was really bad in his first six months – but then I was pretty clueless as well. Then in the next six months he was still bad, but improving. At over 1+ he got a lot better, and challenged rules much less frequently.

      I recently noticed that at 3+ he has mellowed even more.

      Shibas get better with time – like good wine 😀

  48. jo says

    I am completely frustrated. My shiba was the puppy from heaven….I bragged that I had never had a puppy that was so easy, well behaved, loving, etc. Then at about 7 months, my sweet boy turned into hell on 4 legs. I do take him on long walks, he has play time with another dog daily, he has plenty to chew on, BUT I cannot turn my back on him anymore. He likes to chew and dig at wood….not outside but my great grandmother’s antique oak table, all the legs of my tables and the latest was my cherry sleigh bed. It looks like he dug and chewed a 1/4 inch deep hole into the foot board. I have someone come in and walk him during the days that I have to be gone for long periods, and that is what is so frustrating. I have no choice now; he will have to be crated whenever I leave the house. I feel that I have done everything right, but apparently not. And suddenly he won’t come to me if I call his name or listen to me at all…in fact, he won’t take treats from me except at night, not cheese, not hot dogs, nothing. Getting into his bed at night seems to be the only that he will do when I command it. He will however obey my 18 year old son when he comes to visit. I am baffled. He is still very well behaved around other people and animals; his problem seems to be with me and destroying all my wood furniture.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Jo,
      Yeah what you describe really reminds me of my Shiba’s old days with chewing curtains. I would step away for 1 second to wash my hands, or just eat a quick breakfast, and he would chew and tear off sections of the curtains. :)

      I got really angry and frustrated with him, but that only made things worse.

      What helped with Sephy the most is to restrict his freedom some. I would make sure the doors to the bedrooms are always closed so he could only prowl around in the kitchen and living room. I also installed a baby gate at the kitchen doorway so when I needed to be in there, he goes in there with me too.

      I also crated him for short periods during the day when I was not able to closely supervise him.

      The other thing that worked very well is following the NILIF program and making him work for *all* of his food (either from interactive food toys or from doing stuff for me).

      I would ask him to do something that he knows how to do and if he does it, I praise and reward. Shibas will sometimes try to see what they can get away with though.

      Sephy started not doing the command or seeing how long he could delay before doing the command. So in those situations, I would just leave, together with all my great food and he would get ignored for a while. If he comes to bug me with whining and such during that time he will be ignored or put in time-out.

      After some time, I will try another obedience/feeding session.

      It is important for Shiba to learn that he gets nothing for free, and the best way to get what he wants is by first doing what you want. :)

      Here are some things that really helped me with Sephy when he was a puppy –

  49. Kathy says

    My Shiba puppy(Bear) is now 5 months old and is the most loving and friendly dog I have ever seen. He wants to play with everybody and when we go to the vet, every other animal. He and my Bengal cat play together all the time. He is not allowed in the kitchen (which he knows) and if you turn your back he runs to the cats food bowl and grabs a mouthful and runs out of the kitchen. He is typical in that he won’t listen and everything is a negotiation but I wouldnt trade him for anything. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he stays as loving as he is now as he grows older. He will be getting neutered next month as I had questioned that in an earlier post.

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba puppy(Bear) is now 5 months old and is the most loving and friendly dog I have ever seen. He wants to play with everybody and when we go to the vet, every other animal.

      Go Bear! And Kudos to you for socializing him so well.

      Amazing that Bear and Bengal get along so well. Beautiful cats but I hear that they can be very temperamental as well. You must have great animal kung-fu! :)

    • Kathy says

      Bear is now 6 months old and typical Shiba. He starts his obedience training this week. Or rather I start my training! I am having a professional trainer work with us in our home as it seems better to work on the places he needs to behave! He is really good and only has a few normal Shiba quirks. This choice came about when I took him to the vet and as we were getting out of the car I did not have a tight hold on his leash and off he went right towards the road.. nose to the ground and not listening to my calls. Luckily there were a couple of people that he saw and went over to play with. whew!! I was so devistated about what happened that I decided right then and there to call and get him and me some training. I will keep you posted on our progress!

      Kathy and Bear

    • shibashake says

      I know what you mean! Sephy escaped from me twice when he was young and we were out walking. Squirmed out of his collar. Luckily he just went to the person walking ahead of us so I was able to get him back. Now I use a Premier martingale which is very good at preventing collar escapes.

      And I definitely agree with you. Having a trainer come over and give me pointers was very helpful. Sephy was a terror that flaps in the night when he was young- lol.

      Definitely let us all know how training goes and what methods work best for Bear.

    • Kathy says

      Well our first day of training was a big success! Bear always would go to the door and try to get out to see the “world” but now after one day of training he has a boundry that he is not allowed to cross when we are at the door. He is allowed to go to the door to “warn” us there is someone or something there but then stays behind his invisible barrier. Shibas are so smart it took just training us humans to know what and how to tell him to stay back. He also used to charge the kitchen the minute he was let out of his crate to steal a mouthful of cat food on his way outside, now he goes right to the back door to go out. Of course I still dont totally trust him and dont leave the kitchen open all the time! We are still working on other things and will keep everyone updated but so far so good!


    • brendan says

      Well Dusty has got through the big op (sped) she did take a day to warm up to use again after collecting from the vet but is now back to her cuddly, loving ways. She waits at the door for me every night to get back from work and I get a few happy noises (anyone else’s shiba do this) like a shiba scream but not as loud or a blood curtailing. She has been ok about not licking the wound and have been distracting her with a Kong which is working well. Can finally take her back for walks at the weekend.
      Also Kathy your right about how smart Shiba’s are. Dusty has just passed her level one puppy training and now moved to class too, she is the youngest they have ever had in class two the cleaver girl.
      Anyone else seen the ad for the new film coming out with an Akita dog in it? Looks just like a shiba.

    • shibashake says

      Kathy – that is awesome that Bear is doing so well. He sounds like another super Shiba! Definitely share some pictures with us when you have the time.

      Brendan – Glad to hear that Dusty is recovering well from her surgery and behaving like an angel. She is truly amazing. Sephy was a holy terror while he was recovering from his neuter.

      Yeah that Akita movie is going to be sad. I saw the Hachiko story while watching the Akita episode of Breed All About It. Very sad but also very inspiring. A lot of difficult issues to deal with in there.

      And you are definitely right – a red Akita looks just like a Shiba. It is strange though that there aren’t too many red Akitas here.

  50. Ana Raquel says

    Hi,as the other Ana, I am also from Brazil, but I moved to US a couple of years ago and I might say that the best dog (I mean half dog/ half person) is our little Cisco (our red shiba inu)! He is our love! I am getting worry about his diet: he is 7 months old and he is not just eating that much anymore, we change his food from Natural Choice to Puppy Chaw (or something like that) but I don’t know, if is just that or because his teeth has grown and now he wants another kind of food…. do you have suggestions?

    Thanks again for the post! I loved your site, it’s being very helpfull lol

    • shibashake says

      Hello Ana,

      Very nice to meet you. One of my neighbors just visited Brazil and he had a really good time there. I would love to visit one of these days. Maybe when the dogs are a bit older :)

      As for food, my Shiba also ate more when he was a pup. As he grew older, he started eating less because he wasn’t growing as fast as before.

      My Shiba is allergic to wheat though, so nowadays I feed him a high protein kibble. I am currently using Innova EVO with both my dogs and it has worked well. In general, it is best to use a kibble that does not contain wheat, corn, soy, or any fillers such as hull, etc.

      Here is more on the different types of dog diets.

      Hugs to Cisco!

  51. Raquel says

    Hello! I have an 8 year old Shiba who is the apple of my eye; which might’ve lead to the problem I’m now having. I did a lot of research before picking the Shiba Inu as my first dog. While the shiba personality matches me 100%, as he’s gotten older…he’s developed sudden aggression. And I mean sudden! A little background; he got along with other dogs until we moved somewhere not close to anyone with a dog, he has always been destructive (doors, trim, toys), but is pretty much 100% shiba. As I was petting him last night, on the rear (maybe in a place that was different??), when all of the sudden (no growls, no lip curl) he started attacking my arm! Loud barks and snarls but no bitting and lasted only seconds as I yelled to correct him. This also happened a few weeks ago after he had chewed up a rubber toy. I bent down to pick up the pieces, he was on his back (like I was gonna pet his belly) and as I picked up the last piece he jumped all over my arm, snarling, barking, and biting. SHOCKED, I kneed him in the chest and he flew accross the room. He “snaps” out of it within seconds of correction (which up until that point hadn’t been physical as I’ve always used verbal) but it was scary (reminds me of springer rage). He has done this with my fiance and I assumed it was an alphaa male thing, but now…I’m affraid it’s rage. Up until now, I’ve never been at the recieving end of his anger and I’d hate to think my only option is euthanaisa. Any thoughts?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Raquel,

      I would first consider taking him to the vet. It may be some internal aches and pains that he is responding to, which makes him more sensitive to handling.

      If not, then consider what has recently changed in his routine and environment. Usually when my Shiba exhibits aggression it is in response to something that has changed in his lifestyle. My Shiba really likes routine, so he gets stressed whenever big changes occur suddenly, and he does not understand them. I am the same way :)

      With dogs it is often about fear and stress rather than about anything else.

      Has this behavior only happened recently? Has he showed any guarding behavior before – with you or with strangers?

  52. jasmine says

    I wanted to get a shiba inu too but i feel it’s really great responsibility to get a dog especially breeds like shiba which needs a lot of attention. I read all of the comments and smiled to myself because it’s wonderful seeing how you guys are happy with your shibas ^^ I think I should give it a few years down the road to think again cos i want to make sure my pup has the right amount of care and attention. Thanks for sharing all these useful tips and advices!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Jasmine,
      Glad you enjoyed all the Shiba stories. I agree with you 100% that dogs especially certain breeds like the Shiba are a great responsibility. I wish I did more research, just like you, before getting my Shiba. He would have had a much easier first six months. As it was, we both had to go through some tough times – lol.

      When you get your little Shiba – he will be a very lucky guy to have found you! Have a great 2010!

  53. carla says

    I have a 12 year old black and tan Shiba. I love the rascal. He has a problem with chewing and licking his paws, and scratching his face incessantly. Anyone else experience this?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Carla,

      The two main causes that I know of for extreme dog scratching and itching are-
      1. Allergies – This could be food or skin.
      2. Skin parasites – .e.g. fleas or mites

      My Shiba had some food allergy issues initially and I was able to narrow it down to an allergic reaction to wheat. Has anything changed in your Shiba’s routine in terms of food or environment? Environmental changes could cause skin allergies if he is coming in contact with certain plants, chemicals, etc.

      My Siberian had an episode with skin mites early on. She got them from other puppies at daycare. In addition to the itching she also had hair loss on her paws and face. The vet was able to give us something to take care of the mites.

      Here is more on my experiences with dog itching.

    • carla says

      I went to the vet yesterday. He thinks that my dog, Yoshi, is allergic to grass. I already feed him a special diet due to his IBS problems. I don’t give him any dairy, for instance. The only carb in his natural dry dog food is oats. He doesn’t have fleas or mites. Does anyone know of any natural alternatives to treating canine allergies? Thank you for your comments thus far. :)

    • shibashake says

      Grass allergy can be tricky. Some things that may help –
      1. Use dog shoes when your Shiba is out for a walk.
      2. Wipe your Shiba’s paws and muzzle when he comes home from a walk. I just do that with a wet sponge.
      3. I also use DermaPaw on my Siberian’s feet to keep them tough and healthy. The people who created DermaPaw had dogs with pretty bad foot allergies, so it may be worthwhile to check out their website.

      You may also want to re-post your question on the Shiba nihonken Forum –

      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.

  54. Meg says

    Unfortunately, all of my entries on this site to date have been trying to find information just to make my life with my 9 month old shiba bearable. Today I am happy to report that I am writing on this site to sing the praises of my wonderful little shiba male (moksha)…We have recently put up a christmas tree and stockings all with in reach of my little tyrant…as you can well imagine I was prepared for a very long and drawn out fight with my little man. However, I have at this point only told him once not to chew on the branches of the tree and he has done wonderfully…I do believe that he is coming around and I am finding that the benefits of a shiba far out weight all the little excentricities that they are well known to have…I do believe that my little shiba has given me the best christmas present that any shiba owner could ask for…OBEDIENCE!!!

    A Very Content Shiba Owner

    • shibashake says

      That is wonderful Meg! Go Moksha! And what a great name too (I looked it up on Wikipedia because it sounds so interesting).

      Yeah I also value obedience and affection from my Shiba a lot because it is harder to come by. I guess Shibas really have us figured out! 😀

      Make sure to take lots of pictures of Moksha and share then with us in the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  55. S. McNeal says

    Our one year old, very high spirited and totally disobedient (at least with me who she obviously considered weak) has run away! It’s not the first time, but this time, I could not catch her and I am heartbroken. She was my son’s dog and only obedient with him (he’s been following the Cesar Milan training methods)and I hate to see him upset. She’s so beautiful that I’m sure if someone found her, they are thinking of keeping her. The difference with Foxxy though is that she loved to be touched and bathed and handled in general. She craved attention and like to give kisses and snuggle. She was not aggressive at all, with people or other dogs. Quite the contrary, she always thought all people and dogs should play with her. I’ve put up signs and contacted shelters and pray someone brings her back.

    • shibashake says

      Foxxy sound like such a good Shiba. My Shiba is more aloof, so he should definitely get some lessons from Foxxy.

      My breeder also told me that female Shibas tend to be more adventurous and are more likely to bolt. In fact, when I first visited my breeder, one of her female Shibas ran out and had a nice prowl around the neighborhood. She always returned home though after she had had her fun. I am sure Foxxy will as well.

      Our thoughts and positive Shiba energy are with you and Foxxy.

  56. Steven says

    I am interested in your “mouthy” comment. It is very true that Shiba’s are very mouthy, so much so that our puppy is beginning to nip people upon meeting. I wonder if you have any advice on how to “tame” this behaviour. He (Monty) also leaps up at people, which can be quite scary for some. But of course the Shiba only reads the scary reaction as more play and continues the assault! I had one couple actually try to kick Monty. It was like they had never seen a dog before!

    • shibashake says

      Here are some things that helped with my Shiba –
      1. Ask people to ignore him – no talking to him, no touch, and no eye-contact. The last one with very important but difficult for people to follow.
      2. As soon as he jumps, non-mark him (No or Ack-ack) and move him away from the people. Ask him for a Sit. If he complies and is calm, then you can try the greeting again after a short time.
      3. Initially my Shiba would escalate his behavior and start biting the leash or redirecting on me. When he does this I leave and end the fun walk.

      This way he learns that jumping and biting means he doesn’t get to interact with people at all but being calm will get him attention.

      The most difficult thing in terms of people greeting is that people will try to push the dog away, or otherwise engage with the dog physically when they are jumping and biting. This usually just gets my Shiba even more excited, and any kind of physical interaction is a reward to him. As a result his jumping and biting behavior was just getting reinforced.

      I also got some friends to come over to help with my people greeting training. This way I was sure that they would follow all of my instructions, and I had full control of the environment.

      Make sure that jumping and biting = they don’t get to meet at all; and only let them interact when they are calm and have all feet on the ground.

  57. Debra says

    I love the Shiba 500 comment! That is exactly what we call it when mine runs around the front yard in cirles! She is so energetic. We love the dog parks, she is very friendly with other dogs. At 42 pounds I now walk her on a front lead harness. It works well. She is now 8 months and I took her to get her nails trimmed….oh boy….for the first time ever she FREAKED!! THey had to put the cloth muzzle on her even though I was sitting right there. I guess I will be doing it from now on. WONDERFUL dog though…I love her!

    • shibashake says

      She is now 8 months and I took her to get her nails trimmed….oh boy….for the first time ever she FREAKED!!

      lol – yeah Sephy is not big on nail clipping either.

      I now do nail grinding and it is a very significant improvement. I don’t have to worry about clipping into the quick, and Sephy will actually lie down nicely and let me do it in return for some mackerel.

  58. Maria says

    Hello, I have a one year old Shiba. She is the love of my life. I have never had a dog quite as special as my Shiba. We actually named her Shiba because from day one that was the only name she would respond and react to. I have a question – I know that generally Shibas are never supposed to be off a leash. My Shiba has ran out of the house 5 times through one of her sneaky escape routes. She runs for a few blocks and I run after her until she gets tired and sits down for a rest, that’s when I grab her. Do you have any suggestions on how we can get her to stop or to obey my commands as im running after her? I always have this fear one day she will run too fast or too far and I won’t be able to keep up.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Maria,
      Shibas are big escape artists and they are not usually great on recall :)

      Here are some things that helped with my Shiba –
      1. Drag lead

      In the early days I left a drag lead on my Shiba. Only use a flat collar for this and only do this when you are around the house in case the lead gets caught on something. This way I don’t have to play his chasing games.

      My Shiba loved doing anything to get attention and then having people chase him. When he got naughty, all I had to do was step on his long drag lead and instead of getting to play chase he gets a time-out.

      2. Chasing reinforces the escaping behavior.

      To a Shiba having people chase them is a fun reward. This encourages them to escape more often because Escape = chase = lots of fun.

      Therefore you want to do everything you can to prevent the escapes and instead play chase games with your Shiba in the backyard. This way she learns that doing what you want = fun chase games.

      My Shiba loves playing the flirt pole and the water hose game. In the flirt pole he gets to chase around a squirrel-tail toy and in the water hose game he chases around a stream of water.

      In the early days I also crated my Shiba when he was alone in the house.

      3. Recall training.

      What worked well for me was to decrease the number of escapes (chasing episodes) and increase the number of recall successes. So while you are preventing the escapes, you can also start training her on recall. Sardines worked well for me in recall training. You can also throw in a fun game. She will quickly learn that

      Going to mommy = Fun chasing game :)

      4. Door Manners

      It also really helped to practice door manners with my Shiba. Every time before we go for a walk he has to come to me and Sit nicely while I put on his collar and lead. Then he does a stay while I open the door. He does not move until I give him the Break command.

      Make sure you can body block her if she breaks from her Stay. And if she does, the door closes and she doesn’t get to go for the fun walk. Then just keep practicing.

      She will quickly learn that rushing out the door = no fun walk and Sit/Stay = get to go for fun walk.

      Hope this will help you too. Let us know how it goes :)

  59. brendan says

    just a quick not to offer hope to others that read that you cant take your shiba off a lead.
    Well we have had dusty a while now and after getting her over the panic of having a lead on we are now able to take her to the park and let her off her lead. I would not do this in a small park or near cars/roads.
    Dusty is great for about 30 minutes then she starts to get a little over excited and want to chase birds or becomes very aloof and is hard to get back. we them put her back on the lead for 15 minutes before allowing her off again. its working great. we have been working very closly with the trainers on her recall prior to doing this.

    Lowerlifeform : I know what your saying about the cuddles. we are very lucky and Dusty loves a belly rub or a cuddle during the day, she does become a little less keen at night time unless we are eating. I wish you luck in your challenge

    • shibashake says

      That is awesome Brendan!

      Btw. please give us a link to some Dusty pictures when you get the chance. Would love to see one with the belly rub :)

    • brendan says


      if you provide me a address to send the pics to i would love to share them.
      I feel that i must have got one of a kind in my shiba as when we did her nails it was so funny it was as if she was a lady in a nail shop she just sat there and gave us her two front paws.
      One of the odds things with her is that when every you give her a bone from the butchers she is sick.. Anyone else have this problem.

      With regards to the letting of the lead, i would suggest alot of work with a trainer on recall and follow their advice. Dusty is great but i would never let her off her lead walking the streets ect as she can be fickle at time. I never chase her but call and then walk in the other way. she wants to know what i am doing so soon come running after me.

    • shibashake says

      I feel that i must have got one of a kind in my shiba as when we did her nails it was so funny it was as if she was a lady in a nail shop she just sat there and gave us her two front paws.

      LOL! Yeah Dusty sounds like a very balanced and well-temperamented Shiba. Did you get her from a local breeder? Or did you have her shipped? Did you visit the breeder prior?

      Sephy was not very well socialized by his breeder so he is a bit neurotic :) Also, I could have done a lot better when I first got him.

      Anyway, write to me here when you have the time.

    • brendan says

      I got her from a local breader, there is only 4 that i could find in the UK. she was about 2 hours away from where i live.
      We visited twice and she stood out as not being to forward but not shying away to much.
      she cost us £950 ($1700) and we had to sign an agreement to say that we would not breed her.
      she is fantastic the only things she does that are a bit naughty are she likes to chew the sofa if not watched, likes to eat the lawn and is not very keen on little kids. She is ok but if there are 2 or more at a time she gets very shy and scared. She is fine with adults tho.
      Love the happy noises she makes when ever i get home for work or if i have just left the house for 10 minutes you would think i had not seen her for a week, she is a treat to come home to.


  60. JAMES STONE says

    me and my fiance are sooooo interested in this breed and seems to fit our lifestyle and personalitys perfectly. we have both grown up with different dogs and animals such as birds, ferrets, cats, iguanas, and dogs. i would appreciate any input or advise from current Shiba owners to a new couple wanting to adopt one to join our family!! thank you

    • shibashake says

      Hi James,

      Shibas can be great dogs but they are definitely on the higher maintenance side, especially in the beginning. They tend to be more stubborn than other dog breeds, and are also more prone to mouthiness. As a result, they need to be closely supervised when interacting with children and seniors.

      They are also a hunting breed and will often go after cats and small critters.

      I had a lot of problems with my Shiba initially. He was extremely mouthy and he was very good at using his many Shiba skills to manipulate me. I had to go through a lot with him, and put in a lot of time, but ultimately he taught me a lot about Shibas, dogs, and life :)

      Also check out the nihonken Shiba message boards. There are many knowledgeable Shiba owners there.

      In the beginning I visited many message boards and got a lot of useful information from other Shiba owners who have gone through similar Shiba problems.

      It also helped to see that my Shiba was just being a regular Shiba and was not some mutant devil Shiba 😀

      Two paws up to you for adopting a Shiba in need!

  61. Lowerlifeform says

    HELP!! I feel I am the lower life form here. My 2 shibas could care less about me(unless i have a porkchop hanging around my neck). I give them a healthy lifestyle; good puzzle games, long walks, trip to mickey Ds’, but they never want to play, cuddle, get pet,or hang out with me. They dont want anything to do with me unless it involves food. A friend of mine suggested smearing peanut butter all over myself of which I am serious considering… any suggestions???

    • shibashake says

      they never want to play, cuddle, get pet,or hang out with me.

      Yeah Shibas are an aloof breed. My Shiba is not really into getting too much affection either. When he gets too much unwanted attention he will get up and walk away – as if to say “Talk to the butt” :) My Sibe really loves attention though, so they make a really good pair.

      Also dogs may sometimes see hugging and cuddling as a dominance move. When dogs interact with other dogs, the gesture of putting their paw over the shoulder of another dog is sometimes used to show dominance.

      You can enhance the hugging experience for your dog by slowly desensitizing him to it, and tying the hugging experience with positive rewards.

      Here are some ways to help your dog enjoy hugging.

  62. shibaveteran says

    My two 15 year old Shibas(boy and girl) and what’s been helpful for me when taking them for walks (we stopped going to dog parks years ago where they made scene after scene because of the boys’ dominance issues)is when your about to meet with another dog assert your dominance and tell him to sit down (let him know you mean it) stand where you are between the two dogs line of sight. It seems they arent aggressive when they know that I am there acting as the dominant one to protect them. After 15 years they still look like puppies and get lots of attention, however they better than ever at being shibas! :)

  63. Meg says

    Never a dull moment, It feels like it’s one thing after another with my Shiba. I am currently having trouble with my shiba. The problem is that he seems to be having trouble with little big man syndrome. He was kicked out of day care because of his mouthy nature and I tried to keep socializing him at a dog park, but he has been been starting fights there as well. He growls and shows his teeth…I haven’t seen him bite any other dogs yet, but he does alot of snapping at other dogs. What do I do?…I have tried some of the dog whisperers tactics but they don’t seem to be working with him…HE IS RELENTLESS…His manners with people also leave something to be desired…he doesn’t bite people, but it seems that no matter how much exercise he gets…he is still an endless supply of energy. he goes for long walks and he walks on a treadmill several times a day but he is still always bouncing around…PLEASE HELP!…I want desparately to fulfill his needs but he just seems to be soo hyper all the time….I would very much appreciate some new ideas…One of the great things about him though is that he is extremely mentally challenging and I can’t imagine life without him…and no matter how obnoxious he is I can’t be mad at him. He is the most adorable dog, but he is driving me nuts.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,

      What you describe sounds eerily familiar :)

      He was kicked out of day care because of his mouthy nature and I tried to keep socializing him at a dog park, but he has been been starting fights there as well.

      I have tried putting my Shiba in 3 different daycares, and only after doing research on them and checking each of them out. He didn’t like any of them. Spent the whole time whining, and wanting to play too rough. Ultimately, I think the whole experience was just very frustrating for him as well as for the people at the daycare – lol.

      I have also tried enclosed dog-parks – which I do not do anymore because the environment is too unstructured for an excitable Shiba. He started practicing bad behaviors and also became a lot more mouthy.

      What worked best for my Shiba in his younger days was to have nice neighborhood dogs come over for visits and do one on one playgroups that I supervised. One of my neighbors had a lovely dog that she found abandoned on the road. Her dog – Kai – is extremely social and friendly. Kai was best friends with my Shiba. Whenever we walked by her house, my Shiba would sit by the gate and wait for Kai to come out and play :)

      I also took him to my nearby SPCA to play with social dogs there – one on one.

      Another thing you could try is to find a dog walker that does group dog walks at hiking parks (not enclosed parks). My Shiba did that for a while – but the walker wanted to start using a choke chain on him – so it didn’t work out in the end. Only use a dog walker with a lot of experience. It is better if the walker is also a trainer or linked to a trainer. Otherwise – he/she will not be able to handle a Shiba.

      I have tried some of the dog whisperers tactics but they don’t seem to be working with him…HE IS RELENTLESS

      Some of Cesar Millan’s techniques worked well on my Shiba but some of them made things a lot worse. In particular, what Cesar says about energy and being calm and assertive is very true and absolutely necessary for a Shiba. My Shiba is extremely sensitive to my energy so I always stay calm with him.

      Techniques that didn’t work out include alpha rolls and leash jerks. Those made things a lot worse for my Shiba.

      Here are some things that helped when my Shiba was younger and also very hyper. My Shiba also loves playing the flirt pole and the water hose game.

      My Shiba got a lot more calm after over 1 year. Nowadays I just walk him in the morning, and he is good for the rest of the day. Most of the time he is too lazy to even play with my Sibe. She has to really convince him before he will awake from the royal Shiba nap :)

  64. brendan says

    Dusty has also started puppy classes and the trainers are all so impressed that after two weeks she knows sit and lay and is also toilet trained. Do have the odd accident but such is life and happily they tend to be round my parents house when she is playing with their black labs

    Dusty has recently taken to eating the grass which is so funny she comes in with mud all up her nose. When we first got her she was red and white but as time goes past she is getting more black (dad is black and white) she looks so cute also makes everyone think she is a husky puppy and not a fox which is handy as i was starting to getting some funny looks walking around with a puppy that looked like a fox on a lead lol.

    • shibashake says

      lol Brendan. I love your stories of Dusty!

      Yeah my Siberian has started eating grass as well because she wants to follow her older brother :)

      The other day while Shiba was poking around in the grass, he caught/found a lizard! It was his first one – he is usually pretty lame about catching anything. The funny thing was, once he caught it he didn’t really know what to do with it.

      He just let it go – probably because he was grossed out by it. Can’t get the royal Shiba paws dirty 😀

  65. Jason says

    Nice website. I’ve had my male Shiba for 7 months now and he is the best puppy I ever had. Loves to lick you, sleep with you, and is very friendly with everyone including other dogs. I’ve done the socialization from day one and put him in the fetal(on the back) position anytime he acts up. I do recommend a puppy training class for new owners. Worked like a charm. He basically learned all the simple commands after 3 weeks! Very smart dogs! I am amazing. btw, the Shiba 500 is the funniest thing ever! lol

    • Jason says

      Sorry had to make a correction. He basically learned all the simple commands after 3 weeks! Very smart dogs! I am AMAZED, not amazing =)

    • shibashake says

      Hi Jason,

      You are also pretty amazing for bringing-up such a well-adjusted Shiba. :)

      Yeah they are so extremely smart. I just wish mine would use his smarts for Good rather than for Chaos :)

  66. Gracie Joe says

    My blackand tan female is about 2 years now. At about 18 months a friends girlfriend had her for a day. She taught her sign language in one afternoon.she knows sit,down, and stay at a snap. and even not using it much she remembers it instantantley.

  67. Brendan says

    Hi All

    Well today was the big day and after 8 weeks of reading and thinking about it and waiting we brought home our shiba. she is a red 11 week old and is wonderful. We have already run into the first difficulty which we would welcome advice on. We put her lead on today as we wanted to walk her around the block so she could have a smell and were treated to the shiba scream (ohhh it really did make my blood run cold). is there something we could do to her her get used to the lead? she has been sulking for about an hour and is only now starting to even look at me :-(


    • shibashake says

      Hi Brendan,
      Congratulations on getting a Shiba! They are a pretty awesome breed that will keep you on your toes all the time. :)

      One thing that helped with my Shiba is to fasten the leash onto the collar, and just let her drag it around. This will help her get comfortable with the feel of leash.

      Make sure to supervise so that the leash does not get caught on anything. And only do this with a flat collar.

      You can also play the Find-it game with her while she has the leash on. Fasten the leash and bring out some of her favorite treats. Throw one a small distance away and say find-it. Once she gets it, praise her a lot and throw another one and so on. This way you get her moving around and playing something fun with the lead on.

      Once she learns to Find-It you can throw in some recalls. Walk a few steps away from her and call her. Praise her a lot for coming to you, treat her, and then do a Find-It, then just keep repeating.

      She will quickly get used to the leash and see it as something really positive.

    • brendan says

      Thanks for getting back to us so quickly. We had a great night with Dusty. She sat between us and cuddled for about an hour before she wanted to take herself of to bed. My other half was cuffed as she was worried she would not be a dog that wanted to sit with us and cuddle.
      As for the leash thing, we have put it on her (we got a look but no scream which was good as it was 6.15am) and have started to play games with her and see seems ok. We will keep doing this for a few days before we try and take her out on it.

      I am so amazed at how much a Shiba can say to you with just a look, unlike any dog I have ever had before. Dusty is of the mind that she is royalty that’s for sure.

    • shibashake says

      I am so amazed at how much a Shiba can say to you with just a look, unlike any dog I have ever had before.

      lol – my Shiba is especially communicative when he wants something from me or when he is unhappy about something. It is tough to resist him when he is doing his best begging positions :) He is a very good moocher.

      But I know what you mean. I was just commenting on another page that Shibas have a large repertoire of looks, poses, and moves. Many of them are very funny and entertaining. That is how a Shiba earns his/her room and board :)

      Glad to hear that Dusty is settling in so well. Sephy usually just gives me the “talk to the butt” move.

      Let me know how the walks go. Sounds like she will be fine now – and will be pulling you around in no time 😀

    • Brendan says

      WOW it has been a long weekend.

      After the first night when she slept really well we had a copy where she cry/howled from 11pm till 5am. After going to the lady living next door with some flowers and explaining that it might be a noisy time for a few nights, we decided to just let her cry it out. We gave her a radio playing quietly next to her cage and a couple of toys as well as a fluffy teddy with a clock in it.

      It’s now been 3 nights and she still cries for 30mins when first put to bed and a couple of time during the night but we can live with that just because she is such a ball of excitement during the day.

      She loves to sit between us on the sofa and nap. She is just starting to show some interest in chewing the tables so having to watch her like a hawk.

      We have taken her to meet the mother in laws dog (cocker span) and they get on great gun (dusty is clearly the boss and play is on her terms)

      Hope all are well.


    • shibashake says

      After the first night when she slept really well we had a copy where she cry/howled from 11pm till 5am.

      lol – I remember those nights! You have some really good advice –
      1. Be a good neighbor!
      2. Leave a radio playing.
      3. Soft teddy with calming ticking sound.

      One thing that really helped with my Shiba is to put his crate in the bedroom. He is a lot more calm when he can keep an eye on his people I think :)

      How goes the walking?

    • brendan says

      well the nights she is now better at going to sleep but still has a cry every couple of hours and then is so excited when you go and see her in the morning.
      Dusty will now walk around the block but does get worried when cars go past. She really is hard work but so rewarding.

      Love her to bits and its only been a week lol.

      just out of interest. people here feed their shiba on wet or dry food. we tried dry but she was not so keen so moved on to some natural wet food (meat fit or human consumption) so it i very get snowed in we can all share the chicken, rice and veg packs 😉

    • shibashake says

      If i very get snowed in we can all share the chicken, rice and veg packs

      LOL! Sounds yummy! One time CNBC was highlighting the dog food industry and they had the Wellness CEO come on for an interview. He ate his own dog food during the interview – always remembered that! He offered it to the news anchor but was declined 😀

      As for food I give both my dogs Innova EVO kibble mixed with some boiled chicken or cheese. I like using kibble because I can use them with the interactive toys. Both of them can get a bit picky about the kibble, but they will work for it and eat it when they are hungry.

      They will always mooch for the good stuff, but they know that they have to finish the kibble before they get more of the good stuff :)

  68. Kathy says

    Ive been enjoying reading all the questions and answers here as it has helped me a lot with understanding what I am getting myself into getting a new Shiba puppy. I have a question that I have not seen answered yet. I am getting a male puppy and was trying to decide whether to have him neutered or not. What are the differences in personality with a male that is not neutered compared to one that is. Normally I have had all my pets neutered but with this one I was thinking of possibly using him as a stud. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I get the feeling I will be visiting here a LOT and asking for LOTS of advice.

    • shibashake says

      What are the differences in personality with a male that is not neutered compared to one that is.

      Hi Kathy,
      I don’t breed dogs so I don’t have first hand experience with this. From what I have read and heard from breeders, unfixed dogs can be more dominant and can trigger aggression in other fixed dogs. They also tend to want to roam more, especially if there are unfixed females around.

      My neutered Shiba is already enough of a challenge for me :)

      One thing you can do is call up the accredited Shiba breeders near you and ask them for advice. My Shiba breeder was just starting out when I got Sephy from her, and what she did was attach herself to a more established breeder so that she could get help on breeding and showing her dogs.

      I contacted many of the Shiba breeders around my area when I was having troubles with Sephy and they were very helpful and supportive. I even visited a few of them and got to see how they set up their kennels.

  69. SHIBALOVER says

    yeah i have a shiba who is almost 2 years old and he always gives me the shiba look
    i caught him eating my one thousand doller phone i would normally be so pissed he looked at me with those eyes i couldn’t resist them so i gave him a hug and praised him LOL bad thing to do i know but his adorable

  70. Cayla Laughman says

    Hi. We have a female Siberian Husky and are thinking about getting a male Shiba Inu. Do you think they would be ok together? Our female is very much ‘The Boss’ (or so she thinks she is) when it comes to other dogs & I’m not sure how she’d like a little male puppy running around.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Cayla,
      It can be difficult to tell how dogs will get along. When I got Shania (my Siberian) I got her for a trial period of 2 weeks. I wanted to use that time to see if my Shiba got along well with her, and whether we were the right home for her.

      It turned out really well.

      Before I got her, I looked into adopting a dog, and brought my Shiba to meet several rescue Siberians. That didn’t go as well because my Shiba tended to spook the rescue dogs and they got aggressive with him.

      It is best to meet the dogs first, or bring the dog/puppy home for a trial period. Then evaluate if getting a new dog will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the family.

  71. Meg says

    I need some more advice…My now 7 month old shiba male will be getting neutered this friday. Do you have any advice about care after being neutered? I know that I really can’t baby him too much, I don’t want to make him insecure, but some advice would be good. I have never had a dog neutered before so I don’t know what to expect. Thank you Again

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,
      The hardest part of the neutering will be to keep your active Shiba fairly sedate for at least 7-10 days. No jumping or running around.

      Mine totally hated the e-collar and tried getting out of it. He half succeeded one time, and got minor cuts on his lip as a result.

      Some things that helped –
      1. First day he will be pretty out of it – so I just left mine alone.
      2. Frozen Kongs to keep Shiba somewhat entertained. I held it for him because of the e-collar.
      3. Make sure the e-collar is on properly. Initially, they only put his collar through 2 of the e-collar tabs and that was how my Shiba half got it off.
      4. E-collar was a must for my Shiba because as soon as it goes off, he was trying to get at his stitches.
      5. Make sure you don’t give Shiba too much free reign – no Shiba running during this time. I had a long drag lead on mine, and had him in the kitchen with a baby door when I could not supervise. If he still wants to run and jump, you could also consider using a tie-down.
      6. Figure out new ways to challenge Shiba mentally – he will have a lot of pent up energy because he can’t do his usual physical things. Put cheese in rubber toys to get him interested in chewing, etc.
      7. I was very happy when the stitches and e-collar came out 😀 Probably happier than my Shiba!

    • Meg says

      hello…I was hoping for some more ideas…my shiba just got neutered on friday and he is in very good spirits…he is doing well at not licking the stitches and he’s even doing well at not doing his little shiba run, but there is a problem…HE IS GETTING INTO EVERYTHING!!!…I think it’s cause he’s bored and i’ve tried to come up with things to keep him mentally challenged…I.E. Kongs w/peanut butter, hiding treats that sniff around and find…I even got him some new toys, but instead he’s stealing things off the coffee table and today he even tried to take my sock right off my foot…PLEASE HELP!!!…I need some ideas on how to keep him mentally engaged…he is used to having a good hour and a half walk every day plus extra exercise so he is going crazy…any and all ideas would be most helpful…thank you very much…GOD I LOVE SHIBA INU’S…never a dull moment.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg – Hang in there :) My Shiba drove me CRAZY during this period as well.

      Chew toys could keep him occupied for some time – especially if you stick pieces of cheese onto it. Do you have the Nylabone Rhino ball? Sometimes I stick sardines into the holes of the ball and my Shiba really loves that. Here are more food toy ideas

      My Shiba also loves shredding up cardboard. As long as your Shiba does not show an inclination towards eating cardboard, this could be another interesting activity. Just don’t let him eat the cardboard as that could lead to digestive issues.

      The e-collar will probably get in the way of some of these activities, so make sure to only give him challenges that he can solve with the e-collar on, or with some help from you.

      I am not usually a proponent of using sedatives – but this is a special one time case where limited use of sedatives could be helpful. It is best to talk to your vet about this option.

    • Meg says

      I MADE IT!!! my shiba’s stitches came out this week and he is back to his wonderful little self. However, he picked up the habbit of biting while he was recovering…I need some ideas on how to deal with that…I definately don’t want him biting…I swear it’s one thing after another with my shiba….sometimes I do wish that he could have a lab personality for one day a week so that I could have a break…I still wouldn’t trade him for the world…I must be crazy..anyways…I would really appreciate any advice you might have.

    • shibashake says

      YAY Meg!! I was ecstatic when my Shiba’s stitches came off! Hurrah to you and your Shiba 😀

      As for the biting what worked best for me are –
      1. Redirection – non-mark (ack ack) for the bite and redirect him onto a sanctioned toy. If he redirects, praise him, play with him and maybe put some food on the toy so that he will play with it.

      2. Time-out – There will be times when Shiba does not redirect and will keep wanting to mouth on you. If he does not stop after you non-mark him and does not want to redirect, then say time-out in a stern voice, and put him in timeout briefly. Ask him for a command before letting him out of timeout. If he goes back to biting, put him back in timeout.

      3. Bite inhibition – Shibas are naturally very mouthy, so bite inhibition is a very useful thing to train them on.

      Here are more details on the techniques for puppy biting.

  72. Anna Pavlova says

    I am wishing to bring a Shiba into our family. I have two children 5 & 6, along with 2 male Ragdoll cats…(my husband is getting further down that peking list). 1. Do you think that I would be placing my cats in any danger by adding a Shiba to the family? I think that they are just gorgeous, but I am afraid that this dog may “turn” and bite one. 2.Also, are these dogs ok with being kept in a roon like the laundry to sleep at night. 3.Is a male dog “easier” than a female?

    Fingers and toes crossed, that this is workable.

    With thanks Anna.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Anna,
      It is great that you are doing so much research before getting a dog. I didn’t do much before getting my Shiba Inu and ended up with a holy terror on my hands :)

      1. Do you think that I would be placing my cats in any danger by adding a Shiba to the family?

      How dogs are wrt. cats often depends on their prey drive. Shibas have pretty high prey drives given that they are hunting dogs, so their instinct will be to chase cats and other small animals. You can train a Shiba to live with cats, especially if you train them from young. However, given their higher prey drive, you will need to put time into training and they will not generalize across different cats. You may need to repeat the training for each different cat.

      2.Also, are these dogs ok with being kept in a roon like the laundry to sleep at night.

      My Shiba really likes being with his people so he likes being in the room with the family at night. That being said, dogs can get used to almost anything. Shibas are extremely stubborn though, so there may be a whole lot of whining and such in the meantime.

      3.Is a male dog “easier” than a female?

      Based on my conversations with Shiba owners, that certainly seems to be the case. I don’t have a female Shiba, and don’t plan to get one. My male Shiba is challenging enough :)

      Shibas also tend to be aloof and can be mouthy with people. All this is trainable, but they are harder to train and take more time to train because of their stubborn nature.

      Your kids may have more fun with a less aloof, and more people oriented dog breed.

      Let us know what you decide :)

  73. Bill says

    We have many Shibas and they all have their time in the house alternately. They stay in the house alone for many hours each day and don’t destroy anything. Our first one was in the house when we went to visit a friend for the day. However, a snow storm came up suddenly and we were stuck away from home for 2 days. Upon returning home we expected to find piles and puddles, but, to our surprise (pleasant surprise) there were neither. I must admit she was VERY ready to go outside!!! In our sixteen years of owning Shibas we have only had three that destroyed things and only in their very young ages. We start training early and their mothers teach them, as well.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Bill,

      In our sixteen years of owning Shibas we have only had three that destroyed things and only in their very young ages.

      You must have very good Shiba kung-fu! If there are any good tips that you can share with us, please post them below. I think lots of Shiba owners will be very thankful- including me :)

  74. Lance says

    I’ve had my Male Black and Tan shiba for about 1 1/2yrs. He does almost everything that is listed on this page. From knocking stuff of the counters, dressers, and end tables then destroys them. Sometimes my cat even helps him out by knocking stuff off so he can get it. But lately I’ve had a problem I can’t seem to fix. I recently adopted a female pitbull they get along pretty well accept at dinner time. But that isn’t my problem he recently has been going #2 in my bedroom in the same spot almost every time. This is right after I take him for a 20-30 min walk in the morning. It’s like he’s holding it just to spite me. He’s never had this problem until we moved into our new apartment. I don’t know what to do if you could give me any kind of insight I would appreciate it.

    Thank You,

    • shibashake says

      Hi Lance,
      It could be that the particular spot has smells from a cat or perhaps a dog from the previous owner of the apartment? Try cleaning out that spot with enzymatic cleaner, that is specially made for pets.

      Be consistent with your rules and discipline in the new apartment. Dogs don’t tend to generalize across different locations, so your Shiba may think that the old rules do not apply to the new apartment.

      Also sounds like there has been a fair number of big changes for Shiba (new apartment, new dog), and he may be stressed from it. My Shiba really likes routine and structure, and he gets really stressed out whenever there are changes in my schedule or if anything unexpected occurs.

      Other things that may help –
      1. Start establishing a fixed routine again.
      2. Close the door to your bedroom for now and always supervise him when he is in your bedroom so that you can stop him if he looks like he is about to go potty.
      3. Exercise him more, for now, so that he has a healthy outlet for his stress.
      4. Make sure that your new dog is playing nice with your Shiba.
      5. Make sure to apply the same rules and same discipline to both dogs.

  75. timber says

    i had my a cream seven mth old shiba for about five mths now and he does about the same thing mentioned on this page. He whines when he cant follow me in some areas of the house and its hilarous. He makes it seem like its the end of the world. he use to rip up my bedsheets and bite anything he can find. However i bought him those rawhide bones an he loves them. Doesnt bother with my covers anymore. But he still pulls on my pillows when he wants to go outside in the morning. Love him to death though even though he destroyed my furniture the first mth i had him. He also that shiba 500 which is hilarous and he also likes to climb stairs and walk on thin ledges like a cat. Lol. By the way your shiba is adorable. =)

    • shibashake says

      Hi Timber – your Shiba sounds adorable! I especially like the walking on thin ledges bit.

      Love him to death though even though he destroyed my furniture the first mth i had him.

      lol – yeah, Shibas are not the easiest to love, but we love them anyway :)

  76. Meg says

    I have another problem with my 6 month old male shiba inu. Most of the time I think that I overreact to every little thing. I want so bad for him to be happy and healthy. For the last week my shiba inu has been sneezing alot and very hard…everything else about his health seems fine…he is eating, drinking, peeing and pooping normally. He doesn’t seem to be lathargic at all. He is just sneezing soooo much. The vet says that it could be allergies, but nothing in the house has changed since he came home at 8 weeks and I’ve never seen him sneeze like this…do you have any suggestions. By the way I very much appreciate your previous advice and it’s worked wonders for him…Thank you so much for all help

    Concerned Shiba Parent

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,

      Most of the time I think that I overreact to every little thing.

      I am the same way too. When he got his first tick I rushed him to the emergency room – lol. The nurses there thought I was totally nuts :)

      As for the sneezing, my Shiba also does that sometimes. I think it is due to the change in seasons, and different types of pollen getting into the air. If it gets bad, I give him some allergy medicine. Your vet should be able to help you with that.

      It doesn’t sound like this is the case here, but I do want to mention that sometimes, sneezing can also be caused by some foreign object in the nose. One time my Shiba got a fox-tail in his nose, and it was really bad. I took him to the emergency room for that because fox-tails are really bad news for dogs. It gets in there and sticks and won’t come out on its own. But when that happened, he was also sneezing out blood. Now I am very careful to keep him away from those things.

      Btw. I really like The Well Dog Book
      by Terri McGinnis. She is a vet and she writes about all the common health issues with dogs, what symptoms to look out for, and when a vet visit is necessary.

      Hugs to your Shiba. Please let me know how it goes.

  77. safa alvand says

    Hello my name is safa and i just baught a shiba inu for my birthday because he was just too cute but i didnt realize what kind of dog he is and how hyper he is i have a 2 year old maltese that i had since he was two months old and the shiba and the maltese nonstop fight but the maltese sits down and the shiba bites alot and hurts my maltese and makes him scream i always have to keep them seperate and i dont want to give away my shiba and im afraid of the shiba getting older and seriously injuring my maltese do you have any advise on what i should do. if you can email me at [snipped e-mail] thank you so much

    • shibashake says

      Hello Safa,

      To keep yourself safe from spam-emails, it is best not to post your e-mail address in the text of comments. For this reason, I have taken out your email in the post above.

      As you have probably read from the article and comments above, Shibas are difficult dogs and usually require a fair amount of time, effort, and patience to train. You need to ask yourself if you truly truly have the time to commit to your Shiba.

      If so, I would consider getting a professional trainer. Here are two articles that may also be helpful –

      Puppy Obedience Training

      Shiba Inu training secrets

      If you decide that the Shiba is too much to handle at this time, then now is probably a good time to find a different home for him. He is young, so he is probably most adoptable now, and will be able to find a good alternate home.

  78. Mark says

    Females are the alpha of this species, not the males. If there are two pregnant females in the pack, they will fight to the death. I think mine really is a cat in dogs clothing. She’s friendly to every animal. She will swim (while I walk) along the breakwater, gladly. A year ago, she managed to leap from my car window. The window was cracked as usual, but she got some leverage from a blanket up against the door. Broken leg = $4,500 and lesson learned.

    • shibashake says

      Females are the alpha of this species, not the males.

      Isn’t that the case with everything? 😉

      And yeah I definitely agree with you that the female Shibas rule. From the breeders I have met, it seems that this is true with other breeds as well. This would be a great poll to have. Thanks! :)

  79. Debra says

    I just got a shiba. She is 6 months old. I am glad to hear all the comments about how active they can be. Thank goodness I like to take walks!! Now, about leash training….any helpful hints. She loves to run ahead and explore, she is interested in EVERYTHING. I don’t want to be one of those people whose dog walks them.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Debra,

      The red-light, green-light as well as turn-around techniques both worked very well for me.

      red-light, green-light
      Every time the leash gets tight, I stop. As soon as the leash is loose again, I start walking again. In the beginning I had to start and stop a lot but after a while my Shiba learned to stop pulling because pulling gets him nowhere.

      turn-around –
      Sometimes, my Shiba will keep pulling and pulling because he is excited about something in front of him. He may even keep pulling and choke himself when we are stopped. When Shiba is too excited, I will turn around and walk back where we came. Once he starts walking nicely again, I turn back and see how he does.

      I consistently kept repeating these two techniques and Sephy learned that pulling never gets him in the direction that he wants to go. Once that happens, he stopped pulling.

      Initially, I used a harness while walking my Shiba so that he won’t choke himself while pulling.

      Here is more on leash training –
      Leash Training my Shiba Inu

  80. Kt says

    my shiba hits each of these characteristics on the nose. She is wild, crazy, and out of control most of the time, while also having a sensitive, sweet, lovable side. once i had her, i knew she’d stick with me for a long time. they are such a hyper energy level breed you wouldn’t believe. i recommend this dog for someone who is also very active and likes to keep running. not someone who doesn’t have the patience.

    • shibashake says

      I recommend this dog for someone who is also very active and likes to keep running. not someone who doesn’t have the patience.

      Great advice. Shibas have to be exercised every day. In addition, they *will* challenge you – more so in the beginning but they will probably do it for their entire life. Patience is key for any dog, but especially for a Shiba :)

  81. Breynn says

    You talk about Shibas being smart. My Shiba, Jiji, is very good at sneaking out the house…most of the time. If my husband or I leave the door open, even a crack, he will find any chance he can to sneak out. But if my kids open the door and leave it wide open he will just sit inside. The kids are ages 2 & 4 and somehow Jiji knows that they are not responsible enough to shut the door and he won’t leave. He will sit inside with the door wide open and not go anywhere. Too smart.

  82. Meg says

    I have some training issues with my shiba…he gets good exercise everyday and I try to give him alot of attention and play with him alot…however, more recently he is whining alot…I will take him outside and then when we come back into the house he will whine within 15minutes of being in the house…any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Meg,
      Yeah, don’t give in to the whining. Shibas will often use that to get what they want. Is your Shiba already potty trained? If so, just ignore the whining and only let him out when the whining stops. Don’t give him anything when he is whining, as that will only reinforce that behavior.

      As soon as he stops whining, wait a short bit more for some quiet, mark him (good boy), then let him out. Then, slowly increase the quiet time on subsequent sessions. You can also ask for an obedience command before you let him out. My Shiba always has to sit before I open the door for him.

      You have to try and really ignore him though – which means no giving in, and no feeling bad, irritated, stressed, etc. Shibas are very sensitive to human energy, and as long as they get a reaction from you, even just an internal reaction, they will keep going.

      You can also try a time-out, but I find that ignoring is usually sufficient with my Shiba.

      Also, the NILIF program is a very good idea for Shibas. Don’t do anything for Shiba unless he does something for you first – he sits before he goes out, he lies down before he gets toys, etc.

      Of course, if Shiba is sick, then you want to let him out etc. whenever he needs to.

    • Meg says

      Thank you very much, I tried what you said and it worked in one day. I have another question…when I first brought my shiba home I made the mistake of leaving his food out for him all the time…Now I am trying to get him on a schedule but nothing I’ve tried has worked he still won’t eat very much…do you have any suggestions on an eating routine…He is a six month old shiba

    • shibashake says

      Glad to hear that it worked out. As for the food, just do the same thing. Shibas can get extremely picky about their food if you let them. I give Sephy his food on my schedule, and I also make him work for it by using interactive food toys. If he doesn’t want to eat it, that is fine. I take it away after a bit. At the next scheduled time, I try again. Sephy will eat when he is hungry.

      Sometimes my Shiba won’t eat for a whole day, then the next day he makes up for it. To get my Shiba to work for me, and do grooming tasks, I usually use high priority food.

  83. Ann says

    I have to agree with you on almost your entire website. But i think Shiba’s can be home all day and not destroy your house if you manage them right. I have a 3 year old male named Omi and he stays home Monday-Friday from 7am- 5pm with out destroying my house, the kids toys or misbehaving. After work the kids and I come home and we either take him on a 3-5 mile walk or we play “Shiba Soccer” in the backyard to help him get rid of the pent up Shiba Crazy Energy that builds all day while we are gone. It took about 6 months to be able to leave him uncrated during the day, but he does great! By the time we get home he has emptied his bucket of toys and hidden them all over the house and we spend half the night finding his toys and putting them back in his toy box so he can hide them again the next day.

    On the puddles, Omi will literally stop walking and wait for me to carry him over the puddles. Getting his feet wet is not an option.

    • shibashake says

      But i think Shiba’s can be home all day and not destroy your house if you manage them right.

      I think you are right – but the key words are “if you manage them right” :) As you describe, they still require a lot of exercise, play time, and attention. 3-5 mile walk and Shiba Soccer sound great! Lucky Shiba!

      Love the toy hide-and-seek. My Shiba does that too, but only on toys that he ‘thinks’ he is not supposed to have. He likes going for the toys on shelves and such. Or he will try to open the closed toy-box. Sometimes I will challenge him by putting toys in hard to get places – lol.

  84. Stacie says

    You couldn’t be more right about shibas! My Salem is a cream male that is such a goofball. He puts his head on the ground with his butt in the air and digs sideways. He hates water but loves to play in the rain and has a ball in the mud. I’d love to get another but our pug is content being the baby in the family! lol

    • shibashake says

      He puts his head on the ground with his butt in the air and digs sideways.

      LOL! That sounds like a Shiba! Mine does the sideways walk thing when I scratch him on his hind legs. Shibas really are clowns. They are always coming up with new stand-up routines. :)

      He hates water but loves to play in the rain and has a ball in the mud.

      That is exactly like my Shiba – lol. I should really include this in the article. My Shiba walks to avoid puddles of water on the sidewalk, but likes playing in the mud pools at the park 😀

      Shibas really make life interesting …

  85. JNew says

    i am looking at a shiba at a rescue and it was kinda hyper, in its own world, definatly her personality described evrything u said, but she has been in there for a month and is about 1-2 yrs old, is a stray. do u think she has hope? for training? thanks!

    • shibashake says

      Thanks for dropping by JNew, and it is really great that you are considering adopting a dog.

      All healthy dogs can be retrained and managed. Some dogs however will take more time, and patience. Shibas tend to be more difficult to train because they are naturally stubborn and dominant.

      It all depends on what you want from a dog, how much time you have, and how much patience you have :) Shibas will never be totally obedient, but if properly trained and managed, they can be a lot of fun and a great joy to live with.

  86. Barry Beaver says

    I am glad to hear all of your comments about the sheba but I feel a little left out. All of your comments are about he does this or he does that.I have a Female Black And tan that is 18 months old and I have seen very few pictures of a female or a black and tan.Don’t mean to be without knowledge but is my female black and tan rare or not as well known.She has all the perfect markings.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Barry,
      Congratulations on getting your black and tan Shiba. There are probably not as many of them around as the reds, but I have also seen a fair number of them around. Cream colored Shibas are probably the most rare.

      I only have a red Shiba so he is my freely available photographic subject :) Would love to see your Shiba! Send us a link to some of her pictures.

    • shibashake says

      Hahaha – That is an awesome video. That pouncing play move is so Shiba! Do you have 5 Shibas? You are very brave 😀

  87. Koritai says

    So sad, we were about to adopt one but then we hit the bad of the personality. I’m glad to know that this is not the dog for me, despite how adorable he was.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Koritai,
      It is good of you to do your research first. If more people did this, there would be much fewer dogs that need to be rescued or surrendered.

      Good luck in your dog search and 2 paws up to you for choosing to adopt a dog in need.

  88. says

    I loved reading all the insights and stories. We have two Shibas (they really should come in pairs), Tyler and Tasha. We realized Tyler was getting lonely as he approached two so I told him I would find a little girl named Tasha for him and we did. They are the best of friends, but Tasha rules, she is the Queen of Shiba. Ours defy alot of the negative aspects of Shibas, they are very well behaved. They step aside and sit while on our walks if we encounter oncoming walkers, with or without dogs. When you see two Shibas doing the Shiba 500 it is a hoot. Tyler “munches” on all sorts of soft things, including me when he wants to wake me, but not Tasha. He likes to tuck us in at night and will pull the blankets back. They have a big back yard to run, hunt and play in and don’t try to escape now that they are all grown up. I’m a photographer and they are my main models for cards, posters, ads and such. They are camera hams. I love them more than any other dog I’ve ever had. They go practically everywhere with me (they love going into the Lowe’s store).

    • shibashake says

      Hahaha – you know most people that I talk to with multiple dogs, it is usually a female that rules the pack. I think it is the same with people as well. 😉

      “Ours defy alot of the negative aspects of Shibas, they are very well behaved”

      Heh – want to exchange Shibas for a few months? Btw. where did you get your Shibas from? It would be great to get breeder names from all the people with good temperamented Shibas. Then we can create a list that people can go to.

      “I’m a photographer and they are my main models for cards, posters, ads and such.”

      That is awesome. Sounds like a great life that you have with your Shibas. Will definitely check FaceBook!

  89. lindalea says

    hey there! I was wondering if your dog ever “bites sheets”? We think he does it to clean his teeth but it’s kinda gross and we don’t know how to make him stop! He also will bite the edge of pillows- really not in an aggressive or playful way- more like just a very strange habit. Ever heard of this?

    • shibashake says

      Hello LindaLea,

      Yeah my Shiba is definitely into biting all kinds of soft bedding. He used to have several soft beds, but he would not stop attacking them. It is a lot better with the durable elevated beds we got him.

      As for pillows, sheets, etc. – we have a no furniture rule in the house so he is not allowed on those things. If he gets on furniture, he goes straight to time-out. Nowadays he just tries to crawl under the bed – lol.

      I get my Shiba Inu a lot of chew toys for his chewing and teeth cleaning pleasure, but in return he is not allowed to chew on sheets, blankets, pillows, etc.

      The time-out works really well for my Shiba –
      Shiba Time-Out

      Let me know how it goes :)

  90. Ana Brito says

    Hello. My name is Ana and I´m from Brazil!! I googled shiba and checked your website which by the way describes very well our shiba puppy. We´ve had him for only a week and he´s already showed us he´s such a drama queen and I think sometimes our neighbors might think we´re sacrificing the poor puppy! He´s so funny. We´re so in love with him!!!
    Anyway… thanks for the tips… if you have more about the breed please send it to my email address!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Ana, very nice to meet you.

      Re drama queen – yeah Shibas are really funny that way. When mine comes home from the vet he just goes off to the backyard and howls to the moon – as if to say – “Look! Life is so unfair!” – LOL. I have tried desensitizing him to handling and such but it only goes so far with a Shiba …

      I would love to visit Brazil someday. When I do, I’ll come visit your Shiba :) What is his name btw?

    • says

      Hi there!!! Our puppy´s name is Kenzo!! If you come to Brazil you´re more than welcome to check out our baby!!!
      Last night Kenzo was all crazy for about 10 to 15 minutes, he´d chase his tale nonstop…and then he´d put his ears back and run like a crazy dog sliding through the kitchen! Does yours do that too??We´ve been potty training him for a week now… he seems to have learned exactly where we want him to go… but he seems to insist going potty on the second floor of our house… anyway, we lock him and he will “cry” and whine a lot and then he´ll do the right thing!!!
      I will upload a few pics of him on myspace… check it out!!!

    • shibashake says

      Lol Ana – Yeah my Shiba used to do that crazy running around. It is so common among Shibas that many people call it the Shiba 500. If you do a search on “Shiba 500” you will see many humorous stories about it :)

      “I will upload a few pics of him on myspace… check it out!!!”

      Thanks for sharing your pictures of Kenzo. He is a majorly handsome Shiba! Love all those pictures with him under the blanket. I never really gave my Shiba any blankets because he would just shred them all up – lol.

      Drop me a note if you load more pictures :)

  91. chris says

    i have a 15-month old shiba. every time i get mad at him i remind him that he’s lucky he’s beautiful, because it’s the only thing keeping him around! i also have a beagle, their interaction is priceless.

    • shibashake says

      LOL! I do the same thing with mine. I think he knows it too because he will give me that deep look – then not 2 minutes later he is off to some mischief again :)

      How are beagles wrt. temperament compared to the Shiba? I really like the look of beagles as well.

  92. says

    We get a lot of ‘Wow, she looks like a fox’ comments. The best one I heard was from a little girl, who pointed and said, ‘Hey Mommy, it’s a cat-dog!’ LOL!

    • shibashake says

      Linda! So glad to see you. How are you? How is Mochi?

      lol cat-dog. Interesting how kids always notice these things that we adults often miss :)

    • Linda says

      Mochi and I are doing well. :) Thank you for asking. How are you doing?

      Yea…I always felt shiba inu is a mix of cat, dog, and fox. 😛

    • shibashake says

      We are all doing well. The dogs are really dead during the day when it is hot, but they rally their strength when the temperature drops :)

      So I actually have some free time! lol

  93. Jared says

    Ha ha…I think my Shiba is a mix of all the above (at least 1, 2, and 4)! But ultimately, consistent exercise keeps him tame. 1 week ago he had his ‘alteration’ surgery. That messed up the exercise patterns we have established for him and he started ‘acting out.’ He was in too much pain to exercise but still mobile enough to create terror around the house. But, he’s now back on track and is back to himself.

    I do find that physical dominance works with Mossi. But, you put it well in an earlier commentary that you need to be very in tune with your dog to make it work.

    • shibashake says

      lol – I *know* what you mean. I was trying to think of all sorts of ways to keep Sephy occupied after his neutering. We did a lot of Kongs, and got him all kinds of chew toys, but he had so much pent him energy it was difficult to keep him from his “bat out of hell” antics. I was so afraid that he would tear his stitches. Everyone was very happy when it was all over with :) And I definitely agree 100% that a busy Shiba is a good Shiba!

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