Shiba Inu temperament Overview: Are Shiba Inus Aggressive With Other Dogs?

Are Shiba Inus Aggressive With Other Dogs?

Put two male Shiba Inu dogs under the same roof, and you are guaranteed to see how aggressive Shiba Inu dog breed can be. 

These natural-born hunters are also not your average dog breed; they are fiery, dominant, aloof with strangers, and not the kind of pet dogs to let off the leash in the park either as they will leg it for the squirrel trail-sniffing.

So, are Shiba Inu aggressive towards humans?

No! Shiba Inu dogs are not aggressive towards humans. The one thing that is not short of its availability is the fear-mongering speculating how difficult and aloof Shiba Inu dogs can be. 

While many Japanese dog breed owners agree with the notion that their dogs can be aloof and somewhat suspicious of strangers, temperamental aggression is not their trait. 

On the other hand, if you are planning to introduce other dog breeds or pets to a home with a Shiba Inu, you will need to invest time in socialization training for your Shiba. 

This way, you can nip in the bud the aggressive behavior towards other inferior pets or humans. But, as far as human interaction is concerned, Shiba Inus are not aggressive towards humans. Instead, they are aloof and tolerant. 

As long as you know that owning a well behaved Japanese dog breeds takes time to warm them up to people the dog considers to be strangers, training your Shiba dog is not going to be an issue. 

But, make no mistake, Shiba Inu dogs have a reputation of being a deliberate dominant dog which, if she does not have her way, the tendency of being aggressive towards other dogs is prevalant.

Quick Facts About The Shiba Inu Dog Breed

The Shiba Inu is a dog breed that originated in the northern mountainous parts of Japan some many years ago. 

  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Temperament: Charming, Alert, Fearless, Keen, Confident, Faithful
  • Height: Male: 35–43 cm, Female: 33–41 cm
  • Weight: Male: 8–11 kg, Female: 6.8–9 kg
  • Colors: Black & Tan, Red Sesame, Cream, Black Sesame, Sesame, Red

This small to medium-sized dog was bred to be a hunting dog. As such, it has a muscular appearance and can run at high speeds. 

It is the most popular Japanese dog in the world and they are the dogs that mostly appear in dog memes. 

It was recognized by the American Kennel as a non-sporting dog.

The dog is also known by the names Japanese Shiba Inu, Shiba Ken, Japanese Brushwood dog and Japanese Turf Dog.

The Shiba Inu- Temperament Overview

To help you decide if this is the right dog for your home, here are the characteristics of the Shiba Inu breed in detail.


The Shiba Inu falls in the “average intelligent dog breeds” category. With this characteristic, it takes some effort to train these breeds. This is because they are mostly stubborn during training.

On top of that, they have a very good memory. Once you train them something, they will do it that way for the rest of their life. 


These dogs have a great sense of loyalty to towards their owners. As such, the Shiba Inu is very protective of its masters. 

Along with this, they are brave dogs that are not scared to get in a fight, particularly when their family is in danger. 


It is self-assured and very independent in nature. Because of this, they do not seem to beg for their owner’s attention quite often.

The independent character also naturally makes these dogs stubborn. 

Are they gentle?

They have a strong character, which disqualifies them from this characteristic. Because they are not gentle dogs, they are not suitable for your home if you have young children as they will not get along.

Don’t let this discourage you. If you buy a puppy and let it grow up around your children they can get along just fine. 

Affectionate – Are Shiba Inus Dogs Affectionate?

If you are looking for the cuddly pet dog breed, the Shiba Inu is possibly not your first choice. These dogs are independent, loyal, and irresistibly amusing. But being curled up on the sofa or on your lap is not for Shiba Inus. 

So, Are Shiba Inus Dogs Affectionate?

Yes, the Shiba Inu is a very affectionate dog to those who receive their respect. Think of their excitement and prancing for joy when you get home as a shortlived event, though. 

Shiba Inus being independent and quick to get bored with cuddles, they will undoubtedly show how excited they are to see you back home. 

But that is where it stops! After a while, they tend to withdraw quickly, and if you dare be clingy, they will surely let you know that “ enough is enough” of your presence.

Overall, anyone looking for a dog that will be alert, protective, agile, active outdoors, and moderately affectionate indoors, then this is the dog breed for you.


When it comes to meeting a new face, these dogs tend to get aggressive and bark loudly. Their scary bark in combination to their sturdy appearance, will go a long way to scare off any intruders in your yard. 

Despite their aggressiveness, they are friendly to their entire family. 


The Shiba Inu can be a very entertaining dog to have. It can perform a lot of tricks to please its owners. 

Of course, this is why the Shiba Inu has been the number 1 breed found in dog memes- they are just fun to be around. 


This dog can be reserved around strangers. Also, they do not cohabit well with other dogs. Instead, they seem to get a lot well with cats- maybe because they are also cat-like in some ways. 

You need to socialize them at a very young age, especially if you are planning to have other dogs in the family. 


Just like we said before, the Shiba Inu was bred to be a hunter. Because of this, it is a very energetic dog. 

You must exercise it every day. The exercises should be about 1 hour long in average and should both mental and physical exercises.  


It is a playful dog around its family. With proper training and early socialization, this dog can learn to play with young children. 

Otherwise, they like playing various indoor games, like hide-and-seek, and outdoor games like fetch. 


One of the traits that make this dog a great watchdog is its alertness. It is very alert to its surroundings and will bark if it sees something unusual. 

Also, it is alert during training, especially when you use treats as rewards.  

Vocal – Do Shiba Inus Bark A lot?

The Shiba Inu is known for its unique “Shiba scream”. It is a high pitched scream that the dog will produce when it is unhappy or provoked.

So, Do Shiba Inus bark a lot?

No! Shiba Inu does not bark a lot like other dog breeds. However, they can be vocal when they need to. Shiba Inu dogs are also synonymous with their wide-ranging of vocal stylings they make. 

If you live in an apartment complex, your neighbors are likely to hear your Shiba-screams, which are characterized by an ear-piercing high pitched, loud scream.

And, if you are unlucky, your neighbors might just call animal protection agency for you as they will think you are torturing your Shiba Inu puppy.

They also produce this sound when they are very happy, in times when they see their owner returning home after a long absence or the arrival of a familiar person. 


Because Shiba dogs were bred to be a hunting dog, this breed has strong hunting instincts which include a good sense of smell and a prey drive. 

You will often see this dog chasing rodents or other smaller animals like rabbits- it is in their nature. 

Quick History of the breed.

The Shiba breed’s first appearance was in the early 19th Century- in the northern region of japan.

They were originally bred to hunt wild game such as rabbits in the mountainous areas of the Chubu region.

They slowly started to increase in popularity and were in high demand. Breeders became interested in crossbreeding this dog with other Japanese dogs. 

Due to the occurrence of the Second World War, the breed nearly became extinct to bomb raids and the distemper virus. 

After the war, only a few of these dogs survived but they were dispersed.

The first Shiba Inu made its way to the US by an armed service family in 1954. Not long after that, the first Shiba puppy was born in the US, recorded in 1979. 

In the year 1993, the American Kennel Club recognized this breed as a non-sporting dog and since then, the dog’s popularity has gradually been restored. 

In 2016, the dog ranked as the 44th most popular breed. 

Today, Shiba breeds are kept as pets around the world and are said to be great companion dogs.

Behavior Problems

Do they bark and howl when left alone?

Despite that they are independent dogs, they miss their owners, particularly if their owners have been gone for a long time.

They will not often bark when the owner is away but they will welcome their owner back with the “Shiba scream”

Do they jump at, and do they pull the dog walking leach?

These dogs have a high prey drive which will often lead to an unusual chasing behavior. When you take them out, they will constantly pull the leash if they see something interesting to chase, such as a squirrel. 

To minimize this behavior, consider buying a no-pull harness for small to medium sized dogs that have hooks on which you can attach a leash. 

A harness will also make sure that your dog’s neck is safe from choking. 

Training Needs For Shiba Inu

Use of Positive reinforcements

When training your Shiba, make sure that you stay away from actions that it will associate as being negative. You might be tempted to punish the dog for its stubbornness during training.

If you do punish the dog, it will more likely be disinterested in the training all together. 

Benefits and Impact of early socialization

Early socialization is the most important part of making this dog friendly and social around strangers or even other dogs. 

It is never too early to start training your dog to socialize. An adult Shiba will be challenging to socialize. The younger, the better. 

House training

You can train your dog on how it should be acting when it is indoors. On the other hand, you must housebreak them. 

Surprisingly, Shiba dogs tend to housebreak themselves every now and then.

On top of that, you should training your dog the appropriate method on toileting. 

You can do this by taking them outside after meals or after they have their nap. 

Later, they get used to the drill and will go out by themselves. 

Finding the perfect Shiba Inu puppy

Who to buy from (Regulated Dog Breeders)

Despite having a Japanese origin, their popularity has spread them all over the world and as such, you can easily find these breeds at your reputable breeder. 

Check that they are a licensed breeder to ensure that you buy a legitimate puppy. 

How to choose your ideal puppy?

Choosing the right puppy can be a mammoth challenge for many dog owners. As such you should make sure that you call an expert to help you choose.

The expert will most likely look at details such as the dog’s health, any vaccinations that it may or may not have received yet, or even details about the parents’ health. 

A reputable breeder should have these documents.

Should you get a rescue/use adoption or buy a puppy?

Whether you choose to adopt, buy or even rescue a Shiba Inu puppy, you won’t go wrong. You should, however, get the puppy checked out by the veterinarian near you before taking your puppy dog home.

As there are scrupulous Shiba Inu dog breeders, making sure that your Shiba puppies are bred in a healthy environment is key. Your local veterinarian normally runs quick check-ups to ensure that the puppy is healthy. 

Your vet can also give you details about how to take care of your Shiba. 

How much does the dog breed puppy cost?

This breed goes at a price range of $300 to as high as $800, depending on where you choose to purchase your Shiba puppies. 

Final Words

  • Because the Shiba has a high prey drive, you must make sure that you enclose your house in a fence to keep them from escaping and getting into trouble. 
  • Also, they must be kept on a leash at all times when you are outdoors with them.


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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