What Is It Like Owning A Shiba Inu?

What Is It Like Owning A Shiba Inu?

Ever wonder what Is It Like to own a Shiba Inu Puppy dog as your pet?

Shiba Inus are fast becoming a household pet dog to own, they are impeccably cute when they are puppies and continues to dazzle even more when they are old dogs with their resemblance look of a fox. But; what is it like to own a Shiba Inu?

Owning Shiba Inu dog breed is hard at first as these dogs have got a mind of their own but when they are trained they make really good pets, however, if you are looking for a dog that is affectionate, that craves attention, Shiba’s are not it, these dogs are extremely independent.

As a novice pet owner myself, I know a thing or two about wanting a cuddly dog who rolls belly-up and play tickle on the floor while kids are pulling the tails in the opposite direction. Shiba inus are nowhere near that kind of personality.

Shiba inus are naturally bold, independent, loyal, and fearless dogs whose personalities intrigue many pet owners. This Japanese dog breed is an excellent pet dog with desirable unique characters you would want in a family pet.

Now, for many of you, asking what it’s like to own a Shiba Inu has more todo with the idea of having a cuddly dog type. Sadly, Shiba Inu dogs’ personality is none of that! They are exuberant and full of energy type of dogs, but if you want to get them into a group activity with the family, to play fetch with you and your little ones on the beach, Shiba Inu dogs are not your perfect fit.  

In fact, Shiba inus are extremely food-motivated when you want them to move a muscle for fun unless if they want to. Shiba inus also enjoy playing with their toys and are happy to lazy about sleeping all day while you are at work. But, personalitywise, they are pretty different than most dogs. Shibas are independent.

Shiba Inus like to follow their owners around but not too close, they keep a little distance of a few feet away.These dogs like to only be pets on their very own terms that is why most owners say they behave like cats.Shiba Inus are very loyal but also very territorial, they tend to love their owners very much but not care so much for anyone else. 

When they meet other dogs in a public place like the park or when they are going for a walk they are totally fine but when the visitors come to their territory they completely go crazy.

These dogs will bark for almost two minutes when they see a stranger come to their home, this is just so the visitors know exactly who the boss is, after that they totally get over it.But when it is just them and their owners at home these dogs are really just awesome pets.

Because of their fox look, these dogs will get a lot of attention in public ,they get a lot of compliments like if they are a fox and often people say they are beautiful as well as ask how big these dogs can grow.

Most people who own this breed have said that these dogs are very clean and they do not smell at all, these dogs can be given a bath twice a year and still look they are given a bath every day. 

Shiba Inus are strong willed, when it comes to training these dogs they are smart enough to learn some tricks but they also lose interest very quickly unless you incentivize them with some tricks.

Brief History Of The Shiba Inus

Shiba inus do not really get along with other pets in the house such as parrots or cats and that is mainly because of their history. 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 as well.

How Do Shiba Inus Really Look Like?

Shiba Inus are a well-groomed version of a fox looking like dogs who are cute and bold in demeanor. Though these dogs are not very social people still love them so much and that is mainly because of their looks. Shiba Inus have got prick ears, squinty eyes, and a curly tail. This breed looks more like a 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 colors 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. 

The Shiba Inus Temperament

Temperamentally, Shiba Inus are moderately calm and tolerant to their family. However, Shiba Inus are dominant and intolerant of other live-in pets as well as same-sex Shibas. These 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 done at their own time.

These dogs do not like be 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.

How To Take Care Of Shiba Inus (Grooming)

Knowing what it is like to own a shiba inus also means knowing how to take care of them as well, these dogs are very different from other dogs in terms of attitude but when it comes to taking care of them it is almost the same as other dog breeds.

These dogs are fairly easy to maintain when it comes to grooming. They are naturally clean as well as odor 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 odor which can indicate that your dog has got an infection.


Experts who train the retrievers and labs found that training the Shiba inus was much harder than training the two dogs that are known as the hardest to train which are the labs and the retrievers so owning this breed means you have to be really patient and put in the time and work.

At first you will feel like this is the hardest dog you have ever come across but as time goes on you will find that these dogs can really be very protective of their owners. 

All you have to do is to start training them while they are still young age, you also have to socialize them well by taking them for a walk around the neighborhood or just taking them to the park where they can get used to being around other dogs as well as children and people in general.

Owning this dog breed is almost like owning a celebrity, these dogs may be so grumpy but they will draw some very positive attention to you, people love to play with them because of their unique fox appearance, because of their thick coat as well as sharp features this makes the Shiba inus a very desirable breed to many people.

Some people who have met many different Shiba inus have found them to have personalities that are all over the place, some are affectionate but most of them are not so I guess the way in which you train and socialize your Shiba Inus plays a big role in how your dogs will turn out in future.


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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