People always say that
the Shiba Inu is a dog that is more like a cat.
Therefore, I thought it would be fun to look at –
- How Shiba Inus got their cat like status, and
- How they are similar to as well as different from cats.
Shiba Neko 1 – Independent, Aloof, and Stubborn
Probably the most important way in which a Shiba Inu resembles a cat is in his independence, aloofness, and stubbornness. Like cats, Shibas enjoy their own company and are usually not interested in too much human attention.
Unlike some of their dog brothers and sisters, a Shiba will pretend not to hear you and may not even deign to look at you, unless you have something he really wants – then Watch Out!
Shiba Inus like playing hard to get, and are not afraid to give you the Shiba Snub.
Shiba Neko 2 – Very Much into Personal Hygiene
Like cats, Shiba Inus are extremely clean and will spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves. Frequently, my Shiba Sephy will not only groom himself, but also help clean my Siberian Husky.
Clearly, Husky Shania does not meet the Shiba standards of cleanliness!
With a Shiba, there will be no slobber, and potty training is often a breeze. Even the way a Shiba drinks water is very dainty and clean; no driblets flying all over the place.
Sephy will also avoid rain puddles and mud. I think he expects me to wear a cape, so that I may drape it upon the ground and protect his dainty Shiba-feet from coming in contact with hideous slimy mud.
However, if there are playful dogs around, the mud puddle rule goes out the window.
Shiba Neko 3 – No Touchy. No Touch!
Like cats, Shiba Inus will only allow human handling when it is done according to their schedule, and according to their rules. The No-Touch rule goes into high gear when a Shiba is in distress, which can make examination and treatment extremely difficult.
I suppose in this, they are more like feral cats.
There is definitely more than a little bit of the Wild in a Shiba Inu, or should I say Shiba Neko.
How Is a Shiba Inu More Like a Dog?
It is also interesting to consider which Shiba traits are more dog-like in nature.
- Good Guard Dog
- A Closet Homebody
- A Loyal Companion
Shiba Inus are good at guarding the house and will always alert you when something is out of place.
Shibas like to put on a show that they are extremely self-sufficient, but in reality, they really like being in the house and somewhat close to their people.
Sephy likes staying in the house with me most of the day, whereas Husky Shania is always out in the backyard doing her own thing.
Sephy gets more anxious when he is alone, whereas Shania is happy to keep herself occupied, and then give us a very wet greeting when we come home.
This seems like a strange property when combined with their apparent independence and aloofness, but Shiba Inus are really quite loyal.
My Siberian Husky is a very friendly dog, who loves to meet people and get affection. However, she will probably go home with the first person who gives her some pieces of sausage.
Sephy on the other hand, will only go home with his family. I have no doubt that he will also do all that he can to protect us if the need ever arose.
Whether more like a cat or a dog, a Shiba Inu has a truly special and indomitable spirit.
This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read! My pom-inu is the EXACT same it felt like a tarot reading for my dog lol. Plus i have a pomsky (part husky) as well!! Such similar stories lol
So glad to have found your site!
I really appreciate your smart thoughtful advice.
Hope to be finding my Dream-Shiba-Girl in the next 6 months!
Best wishes to you and your pack.
I was reading about Shona inus I want one
i was lucky enough to find a senior dog for myself, who also is a senior. I combed the shelters and found a mix i had never heard of. Shiba Inu- Chihauhau mix, she was 8.5 years old and felt she was the perfect one because of her smiling pictures, especially the one with a party hat on. I read up on the shiba breed and liked what i read and we became roommates. That was 3 months ago.
My report is i have never found a more lovable, stubborn, smart, demanding dog then her, so clean and funny. She makes me laugh all the time. She took some time to behave on a leash when she saw another small dog, same size as she. Yes , she must always be on a leash as she can act very aggressive but it is possible to make into a dog you want, she is truly not like any other dog and i think that is part of her charm, i would not want her any other way. My friend said we are a match made in heaven. I do feel blessed by her being in my life.
Tina T. says
For Christmas, my boyfriend surprised me with a Shiba and I was SUPER excited. ( my first dog, and i’m a little nervous that it’s a Shiba) It is very true, they are super easy to potty train. There were a few accidents here and there, but nothing major. I was very impressed when we came home from work to a clean house. He barks when he gets too excited and cry a little when he’s not being played with or when he’s seeking for attention. These articles has really helped me try to train him to the best of my abilities.
Recent interest in a Shiba Ainu made me think I might like to purchase one I’m at work 3days per week is there any history of them turning on their owners they look great I’m looking for a companion as well as a watchdog but I do not want a large dog and how do I prepare for this dog as you see I have lots of questions
No history of turning on their owners. They DO have to stay on a leash when out and about, that stubborn aloof streak in them causes them to run after whatever fancies them: BUT they will return home, when ready… just hope they don’t get hit by a car, picked up by animal control, et all.
I have a shiba/chow mix, she looks pretty much like a shiba inu, but she has a purple tongue, and extra fur padding on her hips, looks like she’s wearing knickers! My question is this: she likes to wind her way through my legs, leaning on my legs and rubbing her face/eyes against my jeans. Is this behavior typical for a shiba inu (it’s definitely cat-like!) or just a lucky fluke? She can be aloof, but not for long, and competes for attention with our lab/collie mix.
Haha, yeah one of my Sibes loves doing this. It is too adorable! My Shiba is not really into this, so I think you got one of those awesome affectionate Shibas. 😀
My Shiba does the same! He stuffs
His face between lower legs and loves to be scratched on his back. It’s so cute!!!