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Shiba Inus can be great loyal friends for the rest of their days, or they can be a complete nightmare. The difference is knowing what you are getting yourself into beforehand.
Most Shiba Inu owners underestimate the amount of training and socializing required to bring this dog’s larger-than-life stubborn attitude down to reality. Aggression and antisocial behaviors are the norm for this breed, they’re also high energy and get bored easily. Resulting in biting and chewing.
Feel free to keep reading if you want to see these problems in a bit more detail. It’s best you do some research before getting in over your head.
1) Shiba Inus Aren’t The Best Family Pets
Shiba Inus are as stubborn and short-tempered as they are loyal and friendly. How you interact with these dogs matters, and most kids may accidentally provoke them. That potential for backlash means these dogs aren’t the best choice for a family pet compared to other breeds.
These dogs need to be regularly trained and socialized, especially as puppies, if you want to minimize antisocial or aggressive behaviors. With that, it’s possible for them to be amazing family pets, but it takes work.
2) This Breed Is Not As Affectionate As Other Dogs.
If you are looking for a lap dog, who will cuddle with you, and is always happy to see you, you’ve come to the wrong place. Shiba Inus are cat-like in many ways, one of them being their lack of interest in affection unless it’s on their own terms.
3) Shibas Get Bored Easy And Turn To Destructive Behaviors
Shiba Inus are smart, high energy, and get bored easily. Not the best combo in a pet with zero issues chewing on anything and everything they can get ahold of. Shibas need at least one hour of physical exercise per day, and steady mental stimulation.
4) They’re Aggressive Without Proper Socializing
Aggression is a common issue for Shiba Inus. Their stubborn, independent, aloof personality takes exceptional socializing compared to other dog breeds. Territorial, antisocial, resource-guarding, and predatory aggression towards smaller animals are common.
Shiba Inus are well known for being standoffish and suspicious of strangers. On average they are slow to warm up to new people and are dominant around other pets. It’s possible for Shibas to be curious and outgoing, but that is far from the norm compared to other breeds.
5) They Can’t Be Trusted Off Leash Or Alone In Open Places
Unlike other breeds, Shiba Inus can not be trusted off-leash. Their high prey drive and endless amounts of energy make leash pulling and running away common. It’s nearly impossible to get them back once they are on the run. They see you yelling and chasing after them as playtime.
On top of that, Shiba Inus are natural escape artists. Their high intelligence and frequent boredom drives this breed to seek out their own entertainment. It’s common for something in another room or across the streets to peak their curiosity, driving them to break out.
6) Shiba Inus Are Difficult To Train
Shiba Inus are one of the most difficult and frustrating breeds to train due to their stubborn nature, aloof personality, and self-centered attitude. For the best results, you should stay calm, stick to a schedule, be consistent in your corrections, and reward them for behaviors you’d like repeated.
7) They Shed Constantly And Aren’t Hypoallergenic
Shiba Inus shed heavily twice a year during the first 3 weeks of March and September, and need to be brushed almost daily during this time. They also steadily shed throughout the year, but to a lesser extent, and need to be brushed at least once a week.
This breed also has a double coat that they rely on heavily to stay clean, healthy, and regulate body heat. And unfortunately, you can’t shave them to reduce the shedding. Shaving a Shiba Inu permanently ruins their overcoat, because it doesn’t grow back right if at all.
To top it all off this breed is not hypoallergenic, and with the volume of shedding this small to medium-sized dog does, you’ll need to vacuum a lot. Baths can help, but frequent bathing strips the natural oils out of their coat. The very same oils that help the overcoat keep them dry and clean.
Shiba Inus aren’t happy and social Golden Retrievers. They’re very much cat-like, do things at their own pace, on their own terms, and have no qualms voicing their disapproval. Poorly trained and socialized Shibas act like terrible two-year-olds, and if left in that state for too long, becomes a difficult habit to correct.
Do not rush into getting this dog just because they look like a fox. The overwhelming majority of people fail to realize how stubborn, domineering, and aggressive these dogs can be when left to their own devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shiba Inus Good With Cats?
It’s possible for a cat and Shiba Inu to get along, but nothing is guaranteed. The Shiba’s high prey drive and insistence on being dominant drive them to chase, bully, and generally be aggressive toward smaller animals. The best chance is to introduce them while they’re young and always supervise them.
Do Shibas Get Along With Other Dogs?
Similar to cats, Shiba Inus “may” get along with other dogs, but it takes work and ground rules. Shiba Inus love being in charge, even around larger dogs, and have no issue fighting another pet to assert its position. Regular training and heavy socializing help minimize these aggressive behaviors.
Why Do Shiba Inus Not Cuddle?
Shiba Inus approach affection the same way cats do, on their own terms. If you are looking for a breed that will happily rush to the door when you get home, you are looking at the wrong breed. While socializing and bonding with them improves this it doesn’t always make a difference.