Is A Shiba Inu A Good First Dog To Own As A Novice?

Is A Shiba Inu A Good First Dog

Ever wonder If Shiba Inus Make Good First Dogs for Novices?

Despite Shiba Inus not being as cuddly as Japanese Spiltz or the Japanese Chin, their cute looking nature makes them one of the most popular dog breeds for new pet owners. But, are Shiba Inus a good first dog for novices?

Yes! Shiba Inus are an excellent first time dog breed for novice pet owners. Japanese dog breeds like Shib Inu puppies tend to make good pets when they are well trained from a young age. In this regard, any owner would really enjoy having a Shiba Inu as their first pet.

So, if you are looking to having a Shiba inus as a new member of the family, as a new Shiba Inu puppy dog owners, you will make a good puppy mum or dad. Nonetheless, Shiba Inu puppies are likely to inherit this dog breed’s traits, which is known for being very challenging at first.

History of The Shiba Inus

The shiba inus were originally bred in order to hunt large as well as small game.These dogs have got a spirited personality as well as high agility.They are more popular in japan than any other country in the world and as of recent years they are gaining popularity in the USA.

First time dog owners will find having this dog very difficult although it is very small in size. These are naturally agile dogs who like to run around and do as they please, so they will need an open environment. The perfect home for a Shiba inus is a huge house, with a huge yard but is fenced well.

The other great issue with this dog breed is that they are not very good with pets and that is mainly because they were bred to hunt small animals; so because of that shiba inu may consider other pets in the house such as cats and parrots as prey.

These dogs are very good looking, they are also very agile and smart however they are very challenging to train. If you are a first time dog owner and considering this breed well it is doable but you just have to make a few considerations about their personality before you get it.

How The Shiba Inu Looks

Shiba Inu have got prick ears, squinty eyes and a curly tail.This breed looks more like fox or even a stuffed toy. These dogs are very small in size and they have got a lifespan of 12 years, they can live for up to 16 years if they are well taken care of.

These dogs can have a height of 13 to 17 inches at the shoulder and can weigh 17 to 23 pound if they are well fed.

They have got a double coat that gives them that bear or stuffed toy look. The outer coat is very stiff as well as straight while the undercoat is very soft and thick.

These dogs shed in a moderate manner throughout the year and a bit heavily twice a year when they blow. The coat colours that you can expect from this dog breed are orange, red, urajiro, cream with a bit of white markings on the tip of their tail as well as on forelegs and the hind legs.

Shiba Inu Temperament And Personality

This dog’s main personality trait is that they are very alert and bold. Most people who own these dogs describe them as being free thinking as well as very stubborn. Also known as Shiabs these dogs often have their own thoughts about how things should be, their personality is also described as being very cat like.

These dogs do not like to do anything at all and the professionals who are experienced at training shepherds or retrievers are often surprised when they train the Shiba. They find that the Shiba are much more difficult than the retriever and shepherd.

The Shibu inu can be a very loving dog when they are used to the owners but they are highly suspicious towards the strangers, they can also be very possessive and this can be very serious that it can manifest to aggressiveness.

 These dogs can be very defensive when it comes to their food and toys, so if you have got small children it is best not to let them play with the dogs food or toys when the dog is not trained well, also keep the children away from the Shiba inu dog house because they are also very protective of their territory as well.

Shiba Inu Grooming

These dogs are fairly easy to maintain when it comes to grooming. They are naturally clean as well as odour free so you will kind of have your work cut out for you. 

They of course do need to be brushed in order to remove some dead hairs and to distribute some oils at least once a week or more often during that time when they are shedding heavily.

A bath once every two months is necessary in order to keep them completely clean, do not over bath them because this may over dry their skin and their coat, many owners of this dog breed bath them at least every three to four months.

It is also very important to keep your  Shiba’s teeth brushed at least every two to three times a week, this helps to keep their breath fresh, their teeth strong and healthy as well as safe from any infections caused by damaged teeth or gum disease.

Once or twice trim their nails, these are very playful dogs so if you do not trim their nails they may wear them down naturally so this may cause painful tears and make your dog’s life very uncomfortable. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor trim them because that means they are too long.

The nails of a dog have got blood vessels in them so if you cut too long you may cause some bleeding and your dogs may not be too cooperative the next time you want to cut their nails. Be very gentle and make sure you are cutting the right size. If you are not experienced at this then it is better to seek the help of a vet or a groomer for some pointers.

The ears of your dog should be checked and cleaned regularly to make sure there is no redness or bad odour which can indicate that your dog has got an infection.

Shiba Inu Training 

As the Shiba Inu are a challenging dog breed to handle for first time owners; you will need to get this dog trained by professionals. This dog breed is considered one of the most difficult dogs to train so you will need all the patience you can get in the world.

These dogs will only respond to activities or commands that only make sense to them, they are very strong willed and will do whatever their mind is set on even if it is against what you told them to do. 

Because of their singular state of mind these dogs can become obsessed once they focus on something.

Understanding your dog’s personality will give you an upper hand when you are training them and these dogs will not do anything you tell them to like go for a walk, eat or even exercise once they feel that their pride is on the line.

The following are some training tips that will help you turn your Shiba Inus into lovable, loving, sweet dogs.

  • Potty training- These are naturally very clean dogs so the best thing to do for them is to set up a schedule for them, they have got a habit of consistency so this should make things easy for you.

Once an hour takes your dog to the place you want them to go to the bathroom, repeat this procedure until they get used. When they do this in the right place use some treats as reward this will motivate your dog to do it the same way tomorrow.

  • As a first time dog owner obviously you need your dog to be absolutely obedient, remember these are naturally dominant dogs and they will need to be provided with rules that are consistently enforced. Start enforcing those rules as early as possible. The most common rules that every dog owner uses on these dogs are “no biting, no jumping and no begging”. These are proven to be highly effective.

Shiba Inus Good Traits

Despite their stubbornness like all the other dog breeds the Shiba inus also have some really good traits. If they are well socialised these dogs can be very good family dogs. It is very essential that they be trained and socialised while they are still young.

These dogs get along very well with the children and they can also manage to get along with other pets in the family. The Shiba Inus can also be very friendly and playful once they have been trained.

Final Thoughts, Is A Shiba Inu A Good First Dog?

These dogs are not as easy to train like the labs and retrievers however if you put in the time and the patience the results will be really good. 

If they are well trained they can be very smart, understanding as well as affectionate for first-time dog owners. They can learn the rules of the house and once they get used to the environment around them they will actually become very protective of their owners.


Hey, I’m Eddie, one of the publishers at Japanese Dog Breed Guides. And from an early age, dogs have been a massive part of my life. I remember the day my family brought home a Shiba Inu puppy dog, and we called him Ginger. It was love at first sight, no wonder I’m always partially gravitating towards Japanese dog breed. Growing up around a dog breed like the Shiba Inu opened up a new window into this rare dog breed of Japanese Origin. And you would think that having been through with more than one of them, I would lose interest. Strangely enough, my passion for these blue-eyed dogs has exponentially grown from strength to strength! The magic of owning a pet dog is the unconditional love they exhibit towards their owners. And the Japanese dog breeds are no different at sharing that love, which is something special. They’ll always be a part of my life and I hope yours too.

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