Dog Tips, Care & Training
by shibashake 759 Comments
May 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm
In 2005 my wife gave me the best Father’s Day present: Miska, my red and white Siberian Husky. If I had know how much I love huskies, this is the only breed of dog I would have ever had. While Miska isn’t very sociable with strangers, she loves her family very much is always there to comfort any of us that are down.
May 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm
Yeah, I am a big fan of Sibes as well. Big hugs to Miska!
April 22, 2014 at 11:19 am
We have two Shibas, a black and tan and a white sesame, and though I love them dearly, I’ll never get this breed again. The shedding and molting is too much to handle. They can lose what seems like pounds of fur even after a professional grooming. Also, mine pee in my house. Everywhere. Two seconds after I let them out, they pee. I have not noticed them caring too much about it, either. Drives me crazy. They are very cat-like, though, and keep to themselves, especially when they were younger. Now that they’re getting old (10 years), my male likes to come sit next to my bed or at my feet when I go to sleep and again in the morning. They are also extremely excited when we come home and occasionally love to play with their toys. They do have killer teeth, though, and while both are very gentle with us and our kids (took a bit for them to get used to the kids), they will rip apart toys labeled for big, aggressive breeds in days. They were bouncing and darting balls of energy when they were younger and would run around and around and around the house without abandon. Now they lay around most days. My female defies most norms of the breed when it comes to personality. She loves attention, especially from strangers, and “talks” and “sings” to us regularly. My male rarely makes a sound unless he hears a noise or sees someone outside. Very interesting pets indeed.
April 17, 2014 at 7:05 am
I have been trying to persuade my parents to get a shiba inu for a while now. I have a younger brother and sister ( 6 and 4 respectively) and we own a very mellow four year old golden Labrador called jasper if I were to get a shiba would your recommend adopting a shiba or raising one from a puppy? I do realise how much of a handful these dogs can be but I am completely prepared to spend the time to properly train one if get one.
April 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm
I think it would depend on the adult Shiba, his temperament, past experiences, training, etc. An adult dog with a calm temperament, that is already trained, well socialized, confident, and balanced will be a lot easier to handle than a new puppy. However, finding such an adult dog will be a challenge.
My Shiba puppy was extremely mouthy, stubborn, high energy, and the opposite of mellow. 😀 As a breed, I think Shibas are known for their mouthiness, which is why they may not be the best fit in a household with young children.
Shibas are also known for their aloofness, and may not be very tolerant of being petted roughly on the head, getting their tails pulled or stepped on, etc. After much training, my Shiba is more affectionate and tolerant now, but he is still a lot less so when compared to my Huskies.
More on Shibas and why they can be difficult dogs to train.
April 22, 2014 at 11:21 am
If you’re going to get Shibas and plan on them coexisting with little kids, I’d be sure to tug at their ears and tails a lot when they’re puppies. This is what we did with ours because we knew we wanted kids some day and it really helped when our children came along. They weren’t as tolerant with our first son, but by the time our second son came around, they were fine.
April 3, 2014 at 7:59 am
I posted here last year, about my two Shibas, Sebastian and Copper, and my Siberians. I don’t have any photos online of the gang, but 8 Siberians ( I am in a Siberian Rescue—reason for having many), and 2 Shibas keep me busy.
This is a great informative, and humorous website about the little Shiba alligators!
Very interesting too, reading all the Shiba owners comments, I was very lucky, the family that had Sebastian and Copper socialized them well….but the “Real” Shiba Inu comes out in them from time to time! Haha
Best to you and all the Shiba fans out there!
April 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm
Hey Bruce, Glad to hear that everything is going well with your furry gang! 😀
July 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm
Thanks for posting. We have friends with a seven-year-old Shibu that they need to foster for a while due to a health emergency. We are considering taking Pele in, but not sure that our Maine coon and it will be a good mix. He’s always been a delightful pup at their house when we going to visit, but not sure what changing his environment will do to his personality. Not sure how he would tolerate being separated from his favorite owner, but it this point there isn’t another option.
.Fun to read everyone else’s stories and get an idea of what we could be taking on.
nick marak says
April 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm
My shiba inu mix is like living with a small devil in dog form. He bites everyone I have ever met. your better off with a hamster.
April 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm
my shiba inu mix is awful. He scratches up every door i own. he always poops in the house and bites anyone one he doesnt know…dont get one
March 10, 2014 at 7:46 am
We love our puppy Nyko to death. He has the best personality with other dogs as well as humans. I walk him twice a day for about two hours and we often visit dog parks or go hiking. His high energy levels never got to me but I do think that people who are looking for a calm companion should either adopt older Shiba or look into other breeds.
March 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm
OMG are shibas as bad as all the above comments? I thought I wanted a shiba but now I’m not so sure. I located a 5 year old male retired breeder & fell in love with his picture. He’s black & tan and looks like a miniature husky. The breeder said he is a sweet boy who loves everyone. But he has been raised in a kennel and she says has a “strong prey drive”. I have a cat & she said she didn’t think he would be very nice to a cat. She said they are very independent, stubborn dogs. I have a 3 year old female rhodesian ridgeback that I wanted to find her a friend. She is very independent, strong willed & stubborn, but she doesn’t sound as bad as a shiba. She is very destructive, even at 3 years old. Has been to 2 obedience classes and the only thing she can do is “sit” if I have a treat to give her, So I’m very discouraged, maybe a shiba is not the breed for me. Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated. I haven’t met the shiba, he is about 800 miles away from me. Thank you.
March 10, 2014 at 11:47 am
Sephy is very strong-willed and stubborn. He prefers playing and interacting with easy-going dogs who just like to play. He will not back down from a challenge, so he does not get along with dominant dogs. For a second dog, I was very careful to pick one that is more easy-going and submissive in nature.
What kind of dogs does your Ridgeback enjoy playing with? What energy level? What type of temperament? What size?
The Shiba Inu Forum is also a good place to visit for a look at what various people think of their Shiba. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/
March 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm
No, really they’re not. As with any dog, shibas have general “breed trends” but are all their individual being as well. I was concerned when I got my Shiba, Sabrina, but I talked to the breeder previously about my concerns and she suggested the perfect dog for our family! Sabrina was 4 years old when we got her, which may have had something to do with it, and the breeder told us that her personality was calm and extremely mellow. We thought she was exaggerating, but that wasn’t the case at all! Sabrina is active, but if we don’t take her out on walks because we’re too busy, she just sleeps around the house. We don’t give her too many toys (just regular bones and balls) and she plays with them when she’s in the mood. She’s very cuddly – she likes being picked up and handled, and she’ll sit on our feet until we pet her. She’s very clean, and very independent when she sees that we’re too busy. She’ll occasionally show her attitude by sitting with her back turned towards us, but if you punish bad behavior by ignoring them, Shibas are such attention-loving dogs that they’ll learn very quickly. She trots perfectly by our side on walks after several times training her to do so. The cons are that 1) she’s VERY stubborn – it’s difficult to get her to do something she’s set against doing. But if you assert your dominance, she’ll listen. 2) she’s a very picky eater, and doesn’t eat a lot, so we’re constantly thinking of new things to mix in with the dog food to make her eat it. Mind you, this is for Sabrina in particular, but it should comfort you that I have experienced NONE of the horrors that shibashake has. All dogs are different, just like people, so you should state your needs to the breeder and enquire about your dog’s personality, and meet him/her prior to purchasing. Good luck!
Alison Camon says
March 3, 2014 at 9:16 am
I just rescued (at Christmas) a Shiba mix, and I love her to death. She is so agile I hope to teach her to catch a frisbee if this winter ever ends. She loves to walk on her hind legs so much, that she is almost a bi-ped. I am not sure what she is mixed with, but the quirks listed above, definitely fit her personality.
Pula Kulay is a happy little girl !!
March 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm
I am glad you both found each other! It is always great to hear happy dog stories, and doubly so for rescue dogs. 😀 Big hugs to your Shiba girl!
February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am
Just found your website. It’s wonderful. Great Articles. I’ve just taken on a Shiba inu mix(?) around 31/2. Her paperwork states shepard mix but I don’t see it. Two people have told me she is shiba inu so the jury is out on that. I knew she was stubborn and but very smart. Had her crate trained in 3 days. As I read your article on the good, bad and quirky I made so many connections. She is a cuddler but doesn’t like me grooming her. She really has been a delight. I also have a male german shepard and a male Rottweiler much older than her. Only problem I’ve encountered is she was an only dog in former home and now has to share me, so we’ve had a few instances of growling when the boys are getting attention from me, overall she appears to like the boys.
February 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm
Four paws up for helping out a dog in need! She sounds like a very interesting and lovely girl. I am glad she has found such a happy home. 😀
In terms of sharing, what has helped with my dogs is to set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I supervise them during play, meals, and more, and make sure that everyone follows the rules. One important rule is “no stealing”, and that includes affection from people as well.
My Husky will sometimes try to push Shiba aside to get more affection, and if she does that I no-mark and give her an alternate command, e.g. Down (in a specific location). If she does it, then I reward her by giving them both affection and some kibble. If she ignores me and continues to push others aside, then I body block her away from Shiba and she does not get anything. If she persists and keeps pushing, then I say “Timeout” and put her temporarily in a safe timeout area.
In this way, she learns that she gets what she wants (affection) by following commands and *not* by pushing. If she pushes, she doesn’t get any affection and may also end up temporarily losing her freedom.
I also try to reward them more and with better stuff when they are calm together. I find group obedience training to be useful with my dogs because they are together around me, and working together for food, affection, and more. I try to create as many positive together-experiences as I can, while at the same time minimizing conflicts.
Here is more on what I do with my dogs.
I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all my dogs. It is useful for my Shiba because it provides him with a certain amount of structure, and he learns that he has to work for the things that he wants.
Big hugs to your furry gang!
Lindsey Crummett says
February 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm
Hi there, I live in New Zealand and my fiance and I have a beautiful 2 year old shiba girl. She absolutely lights up our lives. We had her in puppy classes as early as we could, and have been consistent with training. She is such a good girl in almost every way- she never destroys anything in our house, never has accidents inside, and is even pretty darn good (for a shiba) at coming back when called at the beach where we let her off leash regularly.
So her one major problem…. she is extremely anxious (verging on agressive if approached) with children. We don’t have children, but she’s been regularly exposed to my niece who was a baby when we first got her. She’s ok with my niece, but still not very tolerant. She is extremely (unusually for a shiba) affectionate and cuddly most of the time with my fiance and I. Sorry, I didn’t know where else to go, but I thought I might ask here and get advice from other shiba owners. I really want to help her become less anxious around children, especially since we might be having one of our own in the not too distant future.
Thank you in advance for any and all advice. So far we’ve tried giving her treats and having children give her treats… she seems to forget quickly. I’m getting so worried! We would never in a million years give her away, so we have to find a solution! Thank you!
February 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm
With my Shiba, desensitization exercises helped him to be more calm around people. I start small, go very slowly, and make sure to always keep things positive and safe. http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-calm-a-fearful-reactive-dog#people
Here is an article from the ASPCA on dogs and children- http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/teaching-your-dog-how-behave-around-children
You may also want to post your question in the Shiba Inu Forum. There are many veteran Shiba Inu lovers there. http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/
April 9, 2014 at 9:15 am
I also have a Shiba bitch who though fine with adults was terribly fearful of children but I worked on persistent and most importantly ‘regular’ desensitisation with children to good effect. My neighbour has three children aged four, seven and ten and having explained my situation enlisted their help. EVERY day after school they would come into the house and completely ignore Ila. After about fifteen minutes I’d put the dogs on leads and we’d go out around the block for a walk passing Ila’s lead to the eldest child as soon as she was relaxed. She didn’t even notice then we’d come home and the kids would all give a treat to Ila before leaving. After about three weeks, she would greet their arrival and though still wary of noisy children, she’s a million times better and now I deliberately sit opposite a school playground for over ten mins every day during playtime so she’s not so anxious about their noises. It’s the regularity that’s important. Hope this helps.
April 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm
Great story Chrissy. I am also a big fan of desensitization, and you are absolutely right, regularity is key.
Ruckus the Eskie says
February 20, 2014 at 9:36 am
Great post! My sapiens are considering adding to the family. Do you think a Shiba can handle an Eskie like me!
February 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm
I think it will depend a lot on you, your sapiens, and the temperament of your new Shiba sister.
Shibas can be very stubborn and strong willed, so you may have to be more tolerant and accommodating. 😉
What is your play style? What types of dogs do you currently like playing with? Are you ok with sharing your toys, treats, bed? What is the personality of your current favorite dog friends?
When we were thinking of adding to the family, here are some of the things that we considered- http://shibashake.com/dog/getting-a-second-dog
February 18, 2014 at 8:54 am
At first, when I read your story before getting our pup, I was kind of nervous; we read a lot about shibas, we knew how stubborn they can be (even a guy on the street with his own shiba told me :”you know they’re really stubborn, right”?), difficult even, and I wasn’t quite sure of how I would handle his peculiar personality.
Then we met Mikko. When we left the breeder, who’s been breeding shibas for a long time, she told us that we had “a nice little dog”. Even the dog trainer said we had no major issues with the puppy, besides being uncomfortable around other dogs (in dog parks, when you are not quite aware of other dog’s behavior), whining for attention in the middle of the night, or bitting me all the time over its first 4 months. He then lost his teeth and the situation got a little better. He got clean very soon, never broke anything (yet, fingers crossed, but he chewed a step of our stairs, nothing that a children safety gate can’t handle), is really sociable with other people (in his first months, we were told that a puppy needed to see at least 100 people to be comfortable around them; we did so with Mikko, bringing him to my family gatherings with more than 70 people; everyone loved him and was very surprise by how little he would bark). He is now in his teenager phase and challenges a bit more our authority (he is not accepting our commands very often, but when calm and submissive, everything is a bit easier)
My point was, and the trainer told us, that yes there are a few characteristics that are mostly common with a specific breed, but never forget the personality of your own dog. In our case, knowing what shibas are known for, and their personality gave us additional tools on understanding our puppy, and eventually training him the right way. We don’t have a problematic dog, but we know that we should never loose our temper with him, and repeat everything until he understands that we are the ones in control, not him.
Don’t get discouraged: shibas may be a handful, but nothing that time, patience (A LOT OF PATIENCE) and attention can’t cure! Make sure to ALWAYS keep your pup in check in his first months, letting him know what he can and cannot chew on, and setting strict boundaries. And before getting a shiba, know that he will never be as easygoing and soft as, let say, a Golden Retriever or a Labrador, and be ok with it. If not, shibas may not be the right dogs for you.
Johnny Tomson says
February 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm
This is my first Shiba Puppy and he is amazing….Totally the most amazing animal ever!
February 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm
Hello Shiba Inu lovers, could you please help me find a home for this beautiful Shina Ibu/Wesh Corgi Cagney. He is very beautiful, playful in this video when the shelter first took him in. Now a month later, he is unhappy, not well treated, andhe is at defense. The shelter did not pass him on his temp test,saying he is aggressive. Please see this video, and this portrait when he first arrived, so beuautiful and happy, and then the most recent is the very sad eyes… they reach into your soul,.so nigh after night, I am looking for a good home for him…a forever home, where he will need to be kept in a separated area, for a while, until he was comfortable…in his enviorment.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=710602592284914&set=a.705235432821630&type=1&theater¬if_t=photo_reply You can see his previous link here: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=710602592284914&set=a.705235432821630&type=1&theater HIS VIDEO, IS HERE..PLEASE WATCH:https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=710602592284914&set=a.705235432821630&type=1&theatery He only has until next Monday, or he will be put to sleep. I am networking him on facebook, follow that link w his sad eyes, click on the photo, and you can see we raised $200.00 in pledges for this handsome boy…if you can adopt him, we will be looking for a rescue or if you know a rescue, a 105c rescue, they can pull from this shelter, if you are not in this area, this boy CAGNEY can fly across the country to find his forever family, person or persons..if you love animals and understand the countless hours, networking,,then you wont let him die…please pass the word, and network..lets not let him be killed. They will put him to sleep at the shelter, if he can not be rescued.
February 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm
Hello and thank you for the very informative site and continued upkeep. I have grown up w/ dogs my entire life (probably had 7 different total from early childhood to high school graduation). For some reason also, animals seem naturally drawn to me and always seem to interact w/ me very well. Even my girlfriend’s dog hated every single male she was around and sometimes for weeks. When we first met, the dog wouldn’t come near me and barked nonstop until I left. The second time, about 5 minutes of barking, a couple treats, and I was teaching her how to give high fives. I have rarely seen a shiba but we both decided we wanted one. We have no animals except a fish which is easy to relocate ( : ) ) and we are a normal, work for a living couple. As a result, we will not be home many hours of the day during the week. I have thought about getting a 4×4 ft pen or maybe even bigger to keep the dog in when not home. How do they generally handle those?? I feel I could train this animal well as I’ve always had pretty good luck in doing this.
I don’t feel like there’s much else I could ask as I’ve read a lot of these comments and they’ve pretty much answered all questions. Basically, what I can see is, when you get this dog, expect it to have the personality of a spoiled teenage girl and handle it accordingly LOL. Would that be accurate? These dogs just intrigued me. Probably b/c I enjoy challenges and this seems like it may be one. I see things about all dogs being this way or that way but I feel that training is absolutely crucial throughout a dog’s life, especially younger. If you train it well, then it shouldn’t be as much of a problem.
Sorry for my rambling LOL. Any additional comments, info, etc would be appreciated.
February 6, 2014 at 10:26 am
We used to crate our shiba when she was a puppy. one day, my wife came home and found the puppy roaming around the living room. apparently she had climbed to the top of the crate, pushed the top open and climbed out. we still crated her after than but eventually we let her roam the house when we are at work and for the most part, she just sleeps and waits for us to get home before she starts up her antics. one long walk and some play time usually takes care of a her energy.
just an fyi: did not have a dog growing up, my wife did, but i really love having our shiba around (eventho the dog probably views my wife as alpha, then herself as beta, then me as omega)
February 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Yeah, Shibas can be really wonderful dogs and they are very loyal.
I have thought about getting a 4×4 ft pen or maybe even bigger to keep the dog in when not home. How do they generally handle those??
When Sephy was a puppy, he had some separation anxiety. He had two siblings, and lived with his mother and uncle, so being alone in a new home, was somewhat stressful for him. In the beginning, what seemed to work best for Sephy was to *very slowly* get him used to alone time.
I would start with very short periods of alone time (seconds) and practice that many times throughout the day. Then, I would slowly build up from there. Otherwise, there would be Shiba screaming and the neighbors would not be very happy. 😀
I also slowly desensitized him to his crate and pen, so he would learn to view them as positive places where he could relax and rest.
I have found that a new puppy needs *a lot* of attention, supervision, and training. My partner took time off work to help with puppy Sephy, and we also got help from trainers and a dog walker (after Sephy was fully vaccinated). As Sephy got older, he became more independent and together with training, is now ok with longer periods of alone time. However, he still likes having a very fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. Daily exercise and structured activity are also very important for him.
Some Shiba breeders will also place adult dogs who are done with showing in homes. That sometimes can work out very well, and the puppy stage is already taken care of.
Hope this helps and good luck with your upcoming puppy!
January 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm
As mentioned previously, shibas are cat-like. They like people, but they don’t want to be told what to do directly. To get a shiba to behave, its all about setting the routine and norm – and not challenging them directly all the time. Same thing with physical contact – it has to be mutually agreed to, you can’t just pick up a shibe & cuddle. Avoid the direct challenge.
That said, my shibas love people – they watch people more than other dogs. Shibas like to hang out with their owners & do thing outdoors ( hiking is their ultimate dream activity). They are often dog aggresive – i think.more often than people aggressive.
That said, they are dogs and not cats, so obedience training works. Find a trainer that likes primitive breeds. My shibas are much more responsive to verbal requests than the cats ever were.
One quality that hasn’t been mentioned is that a shiba may have incredible prey drive. One of my two shibas has caught three small animals while on a six foot leash.- shrew, grey sqirrel, and a rat This dog is extremely fast going after a target.
If you want a strictly obedient dog, a shiba is not the dog for you. If you want a baby, again not a shiba. But if you want a dog that fits into your routine, and your routine includes some walks and outdoor time, a shiba can be superb!
January 28, 2014 at 8:16 am
If you google the words trendy shiba inu and click on images – that’s my boy!! The handsome little chap in a bow tie on my garden table is Arthur!!! :0)
January 28, 2014 at 11:55 am
Haha – I love the bow-tie! Arthur looks very classy, proud, and distinguished! I really want to add in a monocle and a hat. 😀
Poppa Bear says
January 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm
Love your insights, we got Kage at 17 months from a breeder that was hoping to show him. He could not as Kage had one ball fall to drop and can not be shown or bred. We had Kage fixed 5 weeks ago. We have seen marked improvement in his tendency to try and dominate everything and he will now accept being around other dogs although not too close. Kage loves people, all people, little people big people just kisses everyone. Just a happy little guy that has lots of energy. We are retired so we are home a lot but we do leave him every day for up to 2 to 4 hours, he has the run of the house and has never been bad. We have cameras watching him and he either plays with his toys or lays on the sofa waiting for us to come home. He was fully housebroken when we got him and he sleeps in the living room all night and never makes a sound. The only quirky thing we have seen is everyday about 4pm he starts with a fast pace around the house and starts to cry, we ignore him and he stops after about 2 to 5 minutes…… There is one other thing we see, we call it the berserk mode, a couple of times a week he will just start to run really fast up and down the hallway for about 5 minutes, then he just lays down and goes to sleep… He is a joy to have, much like our Akitas of past but different in some ways. He is every bit a BIG dog in a small package.
January 27, 2014 at 8:00 am
Have you heard of the ‘Yellow Ribbon’ scheme for space dogs in the UK ie my dog needs a bit of space from your dog? It’s just about to go National and is a great idea. All you do is tie a yellow ribbon to your dogs collar and that tells other dog owners to control their dogs and give your dog a bit of space. See: http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk
January 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm
That is interesting and a good idea. Over in my neighborhood though, it would be a great improvement if people would just keep unsupervised dogs and dogs with no-recall, on-leash or properly secured. There are leash laws, but some people feel that they are above such things.
Today, we got charged by a Pit Bull. He was a very friendly dog, and luckily, a couple of people were out and came over to help and secure the dog. The owner, however, was nowhere in sight.
January 27, 2014 at 7:33 am
I loved reading this as it made me laugh and rang soooo many bells! I live with two beautiful Shiba’s. Ila; a beautiful, sensitive, gentle little girl of four who doesn’t have a bad bone in her body but is a consummate thief of anything that is mine and Arthur, whose official title is “Arthur of Arrogant”(also four). He’s incredibly handsome and though soft as butter with me and loves people, he’s a little monster with other dogs, vets, groomers or anybody who thinks they can impose anything on him he hasn’t asked for! An open door is a personal invitation and getting his own way is in the contract. I’ve worked with rescue dogs all my life, mostly German Shepherds and Leonbergers so ‘know’ dogs but Arthur has been by far my most challenging housemate ever, not least because I have never met a dog as intelligent as him. He has an enormous vocabulary, which means he understands general conversation and can ‘read’ people/situations with ease, always one step ahead of everybody e.g. if I’m looking for my glasses, he runs and fetches them without my ever having said a word :0) Once he screamed the whole park down because he stepped in another dogs poo and he wouldn’t take another step until I’d cleaned his foot for him! I love both my Shiba’s to death but they certainly aren’t for the fainthearted or inexperienced dog owners. A woman once said of Arthur; “Good job he’s attached to you or I’d take him home” to which I replied, “That’s Ok, tomorrow you’d be looking for me to give him back!!” lol
January 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm
Once he screamed the whole park down because he stepped in another dogs poo and he wouldn’t take another step until I’d cleaned his foot for him!
LOL! Gotta love Shibas! Sephy did the same thing when he stubbed his toe on a small hole in the park grounds. They have such a unique and special personality.
A woman once said of Arthur; “Good job he’s attached to you or I’d take him home” to which I replied, “That’s Ok, tomorrow you’d be looking for me to give him back!!”
Hahaha, we say the same thing about Sephy. In truth tho, most Shibas *demand* love and devotion from their owners, and they get it! 😀
Big hugs to your furry pair.
Shiba Clan says
January 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm
We have three Shiba’s two male one female. Best companions we have ever had. They do have there moments and are unbelievably smart.
Great article about a wonderful breed.
January 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Thank you so much this website and how much time it must have taken to do! We adopted our shiba at 6 months old after the original owner (who had purchased her from a breeder) decided she couldn’t handle the biting and the struggles that came with a shiba puppy. It’s been a LOT of work taking a puppy that bit with extreme aggression if she didn’t like you adjusting her leash or being touched at all, let alone handled. But with many hours with our trainer, and with the help of your site, I can say that now, six months later, she is a very good dog, and we enjoy having her very much. 🙂 For any future owners- you get back what you put into it! Thank you!
January 24, 2014 at 11:57 am
We have an 18 month old female and an 11 week old male. Most of this article is right on the money with my female. She is a princess. BUT, such a joy and a doll! She is not a cuddling dog, but since we got the new puppy, she has become more of a cuddling dog. They are easy to potty train. We went one step further and we have bell trained our dogs. They ring a bell hanging from our door handle when they need to go potty. Easier to hear and better than listening to them yap. They were also immediate best friends! She loves the little guy. He is really does exhibit food aggression at times, and he is getting better. Best dogs I have ever owned. We walk them A LOT! I dont believe in a fenced in yard and just letting them out. They will find a way to escape. And Sachi (female) is extremely smart and she knows it! She brings a lot of joy to our household and I am sure Niko (puppy) will do the same.
January 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm
so these guys aren’t really cuddling dogs then 🙁
Jenn Gurney says
January 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm
Mine isn’t really, no. But this article is completely true that he is like dog royalty. In a good way. When he IS in a cuddling mood I feel like the gods are smiling down upon me. It is such a magical moment. They don’t love ANYONE like they love their owners. Not one person. They are the most wonderful dogs if you are extremely serious about training(i.e. consistent – don’t tell them the same command 50 times and then reward them otherwise that is how many times they will need to be told before they do what they’re told.) Otherwise, they will run your household into the ground. They have very smooshy fur on their heads, and mine doesn’t seem to mine too much when I hold his face and smoosh his fur for a bit before we go outside in the mornings 🙂
January 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm
You know, my shiba is very cuddly. At this second she is literally cuddled in my lap and very content. She started as a biter. You touched her and she would bite- so I believe it depends on an individual dogs temperament, and the training you put into them. My cousin has a shiba as well, and though he’s an extremely good dog, very calm and sweet- he is not a cuddler. So I believe it’s a combination of genetics and training.
January 27, 2014 at 7:36 am
They can be cuddly but really only with their own families. As a breed they tend to be quite aloof but are incredibly loyal and protective.
January 16, 2014 at 11:48 am
Wow, such informative
January 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm
thanks for this. I ran across your page by accident and it is delightful. you have truly captured the “shiba” essence. and oh, that deadly stare.
Bill Campbell says
November 30, 2013 at 3:30 am
Hi, Back again, with more questions. We have been looking at Shiba adoption sites as well as breeders. My question is this: With two 6+ Poms, male and female would it be better to introduce a puppy, rather than an older Bhiba?
December 27, 2013 at 6:37 am
Hey Bill, I’d say you would be safe with an older shiba that is well domesticated. Shibas are very smart and learn quickly, they can become tolerant of other dogs or animals fairly easily. Puppies are always a lot of work, and can easily cause stress to older dogs. Especially of the smaller variety. My mom has a 5 year old pom chi who gets easily annoyed with my 5 month old Shiba. I know there are a lot of adoption and rescue agencies with avaliable adoptees! However, whichever way you chose to go, a shiba is a great addition to your family. Best wishes.
November 30, 2013 at 3:19 am
Hello, We are looking at getting a Shiba Inu. We have done quite a bit of research on them. Seems like they have much the same behaviour at an Akita, as far as being independent and strong willed. We have had several dogs. An Akita, two Shetland Sheepdogs, a Finnish Spitz and now two Pomeranians. Of al the dogs, the Akita is the one that gave us the most trouble. Could not net him off his lead, or he would be gone, coming back only when he was ready.
I’m not too concerned with most of what I read here, not to sound over-confident. My concern is this While our male is fairly reserved, our female thinks she runs the house. She is pushy and when she wants something will not let up until she gets it. For instance, if she wants outside, she will start by licking. If that doesn’t work, she will lay on the floor and start kicking and growling. That is followed by jumping and bouncing on either me or my wife until one of us gets up and lets her out.
So, we have a little dog with a big personality. Would it be a bad idea to introduce a Shiba into the mix? It was suggested by a breeder we contacted that it might be better to get a female.
One other thing. I’ve read that the Shibas do well in colder temperature. I live in the Yukon. It sometimes get very cold here. Our Poms can’t stay out for more than a few minutes, but they don’t need to get that much exercise. How would a Shiba fare when it gets too cold to take them out?
So, thanks for giving me a place to ask these things.
December 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm
My Shiba (Sephy) has medium energy. He really needs his daily walks because he prefers to do his business outside (not in the backyard). He will try to hold all his pee in until walk time. I have talked to other Shiba owners who have observed similar behaviors in their dog.
He was very energetic during puppyhood, but he calmed down some after over 1 year, and then some more after 3 years. Now he is 7 years old, and he really only needs 1 walk per day of about 1 hour in length. He also has a pretty intense play session with my Sibes in the mornings and sometimes again in the evenings. The rest of the time he is pretty Zen and happy to sun himself. He does like to wrestle and play pretty rough though, so small dogs don’t really like playing with him.
Sephy also doesn’t like the cold very much – especially walking on cold surfaces.
Of my three dogs, Sephy (male) is the most dominant, stubborn, and picky. Therefore, when getting a third dog, I picked a more submissive female. My other Husky (female) is also pretty submissive, so the two girls are pretty laid back and get along well.
In terms of puppy vs. older Shiba, I think it would depend a lot on the older Shiba. A puppy is very energetic and needs a lot of management and training. An adult dog will have a more established personality, and will likely need less exercise compared to a puppy. However, an adult dog may have behavioral issues carried over from their past.
Good luck in your Shiba search and Happy Holidays! 😀
January 27, 2014 at 7:44 am
I would think in all honesty that it would be a bad idea. For a start they often bully smaller dogs and have such a rough play system that other dogs, even big ones, misread the signals and get upset with them so that it kicks off. Also the Shiba is more like the Akita than any of your other dogs, though with a great deal more intelligence and personality so take the worst aspects and multiply by a hundred! Also they are a complete nightmare off a lead, disappearing for literally hours and only ever doing what they want to do. Brilliant in the house but outside is a different matter!
November 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm
My 20 year old son brought home an abandoned Shiba from a job site. He couldnt bare to see it go to a shelter. I am a widow and do my best to get by but didnt want a dog due to financial restraints. Once I saw my son with this dog I didnt have the heart to say no. Things went well for some time but now she has developed a skin irritation that she bites at and she has lost a lot of the hair on her backside and tail. I have put her on a grain free diet and add flea treatment to her food and add Vitamin C for immune system. Dont really have the money for vet visit but Im ready to skip Christmas if this means helping this sweet dog. Thoughts? Suggestions?
November 28, 2013 at 9:08 am
Hmmm, it could be fleas, which usually causes hair loss at the base of the tail. Fleas are usually visible to the eye, so I would check the area carefully and see if there is anything there.
If I can’t identify the source, I usually take my dog to the vet to check for mites. There are many possible causes for skin irritation, so identifying the source can sometimes be a challenge.
With fleas and mites, management of the environment may also be necessary, or the dog will keep getting reinfected. Here is more on my experiences with dog itchy skin.
December 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm
Could be dry skin or a food allergy. Try switching the protein source. Fish instead of chicken or turkey.
January 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm
Try eliminating any beef or beef flavored products. Shibas are known for specific food allergys. We are on our third. Shiba and we feed only grain free high protein dog food. Our second shiba had the same problem you described and my wife eliminated the beef and he healed quickly and became a bundle of energy & lovable self.
January 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm
Very possible that your dog has yeast infection on its skin, Try diluting vinegar with water and dab on skin if this doesnt work a trip to vet maybe needed
Karen M . says
March 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm
Could be mange easily treatable at vet.
November 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm
Appreciate all the comments on here. I too love the look of the Shibas but after reading the posts I should probably get a lab :-). I had dogs growing up but none that were solely my own. I would consider a Shiba in the future but not at this time. Thanks all for the great advice
November 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm
How can I tell if I have a Fnnish Spitz or a Shiba Inu? The people we got the dogs from say they are part Golden Retriever and Chow Chow but I don’t see any resemblance. I think my one dog is a Finnish Spitz but then looks like a Shiba Inu to. We have had Golden Retreivers and they are so much different than that
November 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Some people do dog DNA tests. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-dna-testing
November 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm
We have sibes. One of which came from a home that also produced shibas. I thought they were amazing although I’m a very loyal husky girl. My niece has just bought a shiba though – win win!! Pointed her towards your blog!
November 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Haha, yeah they are both awesome breeds. I think you may enjoy this – http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-vs-siberian
November 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm
I’m looking into getting a 3/4 German Shepard and 1/4 shiba inu, do you think that he will be like the shiba inu because those seem like 2 very different breeds?
November 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Hello Tony, It is not possible to tell which traits a puppy will inherit from each of his parents. How old is he? Have you met his parents? If both parents are well temperamented, then their puppy will have a good start.
As with us though, behavior is based on both genetics and learning/experience (e.g. training, socialization, environment, and more).
Wayne Reeves says
November 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Thanks for keeping your site active. I posted a couple of years ago. I live in Mexico with my shiba boy, Paco. I have the site as a desktop favorite, and I visit often. Pehaps you saw the recent article in Pets magazine, “Ten Dog Breeds that Act Like Cats.” Of course, shibas had to be there. Here is what was printed. Thanks! Wayne
November 14, 2013 at 9:21 am
Thanks Wayne, it is an interesting article so I added the link to your post. Hugs to Paco.
Mike DeRose says
November 2, 2013 at 12:24 am
New Shiba acquired at 8 weeks old. Now 12 weeks. Any tips on the biting? Not aggressive but he thinks he’s playing and with the razor sharp puppy teeth, my arms look like they went through a grinder. Every one wants to pet him and he likes it but he thinks he has to gnaw on them and this causes him to be a social turn off. Discipline does not work either.
November 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Congratulations on your Shiba puppy!
This is what I do to teach my puppy not to bite on me.
I also do bite inhibition training with all my dogs.
More on puppy biting- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-tips-solutions
October 31, 2013 at 5:23 am
I’ve been owned by Ciaran nOg for 9.5 years now. My first shiba – I’ve always had Malamutes. (Yes, a big, or rather ‘small’ change. I got him after researching the breed. I wanted the same type of personality that my Mals had, but in a smaller package. I got those traits and then some!!! Holy Moly has he kept me on my toes. Every yard we’ve lived in has had to have landscape cloth (small square wire) taked to the bottom of the fence and buried in the ground. He is definitely NOT an off leash dog, ever. My cat is MUCH more demonstrative, but I love Ciaran dearly and am a complete fan of the breed. However – Ciaran has developed an auto immune disease which is not unknown to spitz type dogs – and I’m wondering if any here have had to deal with it? Pemphigus F is the name. Any feedback is appreciated. After chemo almost killed him, we’ve been treating him with traditional Chinese herbs and prednisone for the past 10 months.
January 27, 2014 at 7:55 am
I’m so sorry for you both. I had a German Shepherd with the same condition and lost him at six. Whilst I cannot suggest any alternative treatments except combining vet care with homeopathy (which ‘helped’ but did not cure or ultimately save Deisel), I can at least say that the disease is not breed specific and not usually associated with Shiba Inu.
October 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm
Just returning , and catching up on your website, I posted here a couple of years ago when I adopted Sebastian and Copper, father and son , from a local family, we bonded very quickly, and words cannot describe my respect, devotion and love for them. They go with me everywhere, and I enjoy their company , there has never been any serious issues with them , other than encounters with other people’s dogs, when the owners didn’t respect my dogs space, to be honest their aloofness is one of the traits I like, we mutually understand each other. I don’t need them smothering me to know they care about me. Believe me, when they want attention they will come around. Do walk your Shibas each and every day, they pout if you miss a walk. I am lucky, I live on a farm, with plenty of open fields with briar patches , which is Shiba heaven! Thanks for keeping the website going, I also have 8 Sibes! (I am a volunteer in a Siberian rescue.)
October 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm
2 Shibas and 8 Sibes – You must drink a lot of Red Bull! 😀
Would love to see your gang. Do you have any pictures online?
October 25, 2013 at 12:23 am
I have a shiba inu myself he’s called Reo!
reading through the shiba shake, I cant believe how alike they are!! I would class ourselves as blessed because he has been an angel, he rarely gets aggressive brilliant off lead (unless there is cattle in the are) we tend to keep him on the lead then, he decided to start playing with sheep and it took me a good hour to get him back on lead!!
One thing Reo tends to do when playing with other dogs is the as we call it “shiba bum bash”! he will literally throw himself 360 degrees and use his bum as a weapon whilst playing!! is this common play for a Shiba?
October 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm
we call it “shiba bum bash”!
LOL! I like that.
Shania (Husky) loves doing the ‘butt-check’. My Shiba does not do it as much. Maybe it is because he is smaller, so he is just bumping at their legs. 😀
It is very interesting to watch them play. Sometimes, Shiba and Sibe will just stare at each other, like in those Kung-Fu movies where they are playing out the entire battle in their minds. It is hilarious. Sometimes, I do the voice-over for them.
October 24, 2013 at 12:31 am
My shiba, Akai, is 10 months old and exactly everything you said. I was quite aware of a lot of the shiba qualities before searching for him, but some took me surprise…he cleans our mastiff’s mouth. He just licks all the water out of her jowls while she lies there sleeping. He also hates grass. Of all types. Will not walk on it unless forced. ;-/ And the shiba scream got animal control called on us, more than once…but he is the greatest, most loving dog. He is not aggressive or shy. He has to be touching myself or my fiancée at all times while he is lying down or he doesn’t feel safe. He will follow me and do anything I say, unless it involves stepping on grass or getting wet. He is the most loving, ponderous dog/cat/fox ever.
October 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm
It’s been so long since I’ve visited your page. Salem is now 8 and absolutely awesome (and it took some serious training and patience to get there!) He’s my first dog-yes, I ignored the advice and had a shiba for my first dog Through some serious trials..lots of tears and sweat and yes, blood too, he’s now training to be an Emotional Service Dog for me. We have a bond that’s impossible to describe. If I’m having an off day, he’s there to make it better. If I’m about to have a panic attack, he’s alerting me that it’s coming and soothing me as it happens. It’s amazing to have such a companion.
I noticed a lot of people say your article is negative. I disagree. Had I known what I was getting myself into, I would have taken him home again. I adore my dog through the bad years and the good. It’s better to be realistic and let potential owners know what they’re getting into than to say “they’re grrrreat!” They’re not for the faint of heart. They need a companion that can direct them in a positive way with patience. Keep up the good work!
October 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Our Shiba is 14 years old (we have her since she was 12 weeks) and she exhibits all the good and bad traits mentioned in your article. Her Shiba scream involved in the bathing process however is really something to behold. The first time we tried to give her a bath our downstairs neighbors came up, pounded on our door and inquired “What the F___ are you doing to your dog”. Subsequently, we tried a very popular dog washing facility in NYC. Our little sweetie is banned except for certain days and hours. The owners provide grooming and have a doggy day care services and did not want passerbys thinking they were hurting the dogs. Also, our Shiba is more loyal to me than my wife. I can do things with and to her that she never lets my wife do.
October 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm
lol – gotta love that Shiba scream. Sephy has used his to great effect. Here is his resume. 😀
Shiba Lover says
October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm
I LOVE this article–I have a rescue pup that is def a terrier mix, but we were trying to determine Shiba or Canaan dog as primary. We’ve now determined Shiba. He’s getting private training soon–but this describes my baby in a nutshell!
October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm
I got a shiba from a foster dad and he didn’t know much about her. I think she was abused cause she is very scared of men, even my husband. She Also seems very bored. I try playing with her but she doesn’t like to play that much. Only for about ten mins at night time does she want to fetch or play with her kong. I have tried everything to get her to have some fun What are some tips?
October 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm
How long have you had her?
Shibas tend to be aloof dogs. They are loyal but they do not trust very easily. It took time, training, consistency, and patience to gain my Shiba’s trust.
What I do to help my Shiba stay calm and more relaxed with people.
In addition, changing homes and being with a new family is a very stressful situation for a dog, so it will take some time to adjust. With Sephy, I set up a fixed schedule and a consistent set of house rules so that he knows what to expect from me, and what I expect from him in return. This creates certainty, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
As for games, Sephy likes playing chasing games most. He is not really into Fetch. I observe each of my dogs carefully, try out a bunch of things, and see which ones appeal to them most. They each have their own favorite activities. 😀 Here are some games that I play with my dogs.
Here is more on bonding with my dogs.
October 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm
My neighbor’s shiba inu has attacked two of our cats, completely unprovoked, resulting in the death of one cat and serious injury to the other. Please consider carefully when choosing this breed. They require a great deal of supervision, frequent and rigorous exercise and an environment where they can be adequately maintained.
October 9, 2013 at 3:13 am
This is true for most dog breeds; the problem may be attributed to your neighbor’s most probably lack of socializing and training his shiba with other animals.
October 24, 2013 at 12:32 am
My shiba abhors cats. He has never chased, attacked, or not listened…ever. He has never run…until a cat comes around and then it is all bets off…
December 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm
NBC in Columbus, Ohio is reporting two Shibas just killed a baby! Sorry to report this, but people need to know (who in the world would put an infant around ANY unmatched dogs?). Sadly, Dog Lover
January 27, 2014 at 8:18 am
Sadly many dogs, if not brought up and socialised with cats specifically, will chase/attack/kill cats so its certainly NOT a breed specific trait. My Shiba’s live with cats as did all my dogs (German Shepherds/Jack russel/Leonberger/Greyhound/lurcher). Though I feel desperately for the cats and the owner when anything like this happens, its about the owners NOT the dogs!!!
October 5, 2013 at 1:52 am
I wish I had a pet Shiba Inu
September 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm
I’ve never owned a dog before that was mine and not the whole family’s. We still have our dog, she is now getting old and has always been pretty laid back and well behaved. I’m wanting another dog to be my own. Although it’s quite unlikely that I’ll get one, I’ve been looking at breeds. I’m definitely a victim of having fallen in love with the Shiba look. On top of that, a dog that is more independent, clean, and cat-like does sound ideal for me. I’d be pretty excited to have a dog that I can play with and take on walks. I’m wondering if it would be a bad idea for me to get a young Shiba (probably not a puppy) since I don’t have experience with more intelligent independent, higher energy dogs. I’m wondering if I could do it if I did lots of learning first and took training classes when I got the dog. What do you think?
October 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Shibas can be difficult dogs because they are stubborn, strong-willed, aloof, and usually mouthy. If we put in enough time, effort, and patience, they can be trained to live well with us. However, the initial period will be difficult, especially if we are less experienced with independent and stubborn breeds. In addition, Shibas can be quite aloof, so if we are looking for an affectionate dog or lapdog, we will be disappointed.
I was not very experienced with dogs when I got Sephy, and we had a very difficult beginning. His natural aloofness made things even more difficult. Here is more on my rocky beginning with Sephy. Here is more on why Shibas are difficult to train.
Dealing every day with a mouthy dog that is aloof, doing zoomies around the house, and chewing on books, curtains, and cables, can be very tiring and stressful. I learned a lot from Sephy, but it took a lot of perseverance for the both of us to get to a good place. 😀
Another thing that I learned from Sephy is that it is important to socialize him, and get everyone in the family to participate in his care and training. Shibas who are under-socialized or overly dependent on a single caretaker may develop aggression issues and other unhealthy guarding behavior.
A balanced and socialized dog can go to many places with us, and when we are busy, we can easily find other trusted caretakers to step in. Sephy is a very loyal dog but he does not trust easily.
September 20, 2013 at 10:16 pm
Hi, I’ve never owned a dog before, and I’ve had a fear of dogs for the majority of my life, (granted I’m not THAT old lol, mid twenties) but a few of my close friends have gotten dogs over the last few years, large and small, and I feel like I’ve come to the point where I’m ok being around dogs now. Looking at the different breeds, I love the shiba for it’s looks, that it’s playful and loyal, and I’m interested in getting one, but I’ve been told its not wise to get a shiba for a first dog, would you agree? Considering my past too, part of me is concerned maybe it would be too much for me, but at the same time I feel like it would be a dog I would grow to bond well with and would be more like a best buddie than a dozzie dog lol if you get what I mean. Any thoughts welcome 🙂
September 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm
I’ve been told its not wise to get a shiba for a first dog, would you agree?
Yes. My Shiba (Sephy) is very stubborn and he was very mouthy when he was young. I had a very difficult time with him in the beginning.
Here is more on why Shibas are considered to be difficult to train.
Here is more on my difficult beginning with Sephy.
September 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Shiba Inus are not easy dogs , they are hunters and chasers by instinct , and they won´t give up easily … they are dominant and stubborn . But they are cute and playful , if you adapt yourself to them . If you want one as your mascot he/she will give you a lot of work !
December 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm
My shiba inu is adorable! I had German shepherds in the past. I thought I could never love a dog as much as my dog Xena. I have to say I love my shiba too! She is beautiful, smart, loving and just so adorable. She is happiest when included in everything. Training her involves positive reinforcement. Strong correction is not helpful with my shiba. She needs regular “good girls” and she loves attention! You have to win the love and approval of a shiba.
Lisa luke says
September 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm
I have a one year old shiba named Yoshi….. He sure is a handful…. My problem is…. do they ever stop digging hoes in the yard!!! It looks like a golf course… Funny thing is my mother in law dog sits for us when we are having a long work day and he doesn’t dig hoes in her yard. Any solutions? Or will he grow out of this bad habit!
September 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Both my Huskies love to dig. They dig to hunt for rodents and such that are in our backyard. Shania is almost 6 and Lara is almost 3, and they both still love to dig. It is part of their prey instinct. Some things that help with my Huskies –
1. We have a non-landscaped area in the backyard that my dogs use for their digging pleasure. Some people create a sand-pit for their dog and hide toys in the sand. I also walk them in trails where they can dig. Giving them acceptable outlets for their digging behavior allows them to enjoy digging, but in a controlled and structured way.
2. In the beginning, I supervise my dog very well. When she digs in the grass area, I no-mark, and lead her to the area where she is allowed to dig. This teaches her where it is ok to dig, and where it is not. Like potty training, it is important to be consistent and to catch my dog in the act, so that I can not only maximize and reward successes, but also minimize mistakes.
3. Increasing their daily exercise also helps with my Huskies. They are more likely to dig when there is a lot of ground rodent activity and when they have a lot of extra energy.
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