Are Shiba Inus Good for First-Time Owners? The Honest Truth

shiba inu puppy licking a hand

If you’re considering getting a dog for the first time, you may wonder which breed best suits you. One breed that’s been gaining in popularity lately is the Shiba Inu, a small-sized dog breed originating from Japan. But are Shiba Inus good for first-time owners?

Are Shiba Inu’s Good For First-Time Owners?

If you’re a first-time dog owner considering getting a Shiba Inu, you might wonder if they are a good fit for you. Shiba Inus is an ancient breed of dog that originated in Japan and has become increasingly popular in recent years. They are known for their independent and curious nature, which can make them a challenging breed to train.

Before bringing a Shiba Inu into your home, it’s important to do your research and understand what you’re getting into. Shiba Inus require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, so they are not ideal for first-time dog owners who have limited experience with high-energy breeds.

If you’re up for the challenge, there are a few tips to help make the transition easier. First, socialization is key. Shiba Inus can be wary of strangers and other dogs, so it’s important to expose them to a variety of people and situations early on. Consistent and positive training is also important to establish boundaries and prevent unwanted behaviors.

5 Common Challenges Shiba Inu Owners Face

If you are considering getting a Shiba Inu as your first pet, it is important to know about the challenges that come with owning this breed. Here are five common challenges that Shiba Inu owners face:

Shiba Inus Are Stubborn

Shiba Inus are known to be strong-willed and independent dogs. They are confident and have a mind of their own. This can make them challenging to train, especially for first-time owners. You will need to be patient and consistent in your training approach. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a Shiba Inu.

Shibas Will Run The First Chance They Get

Shiba Inus are escape artists. They are known to run away at the first chance they get. This means you will need to ensure that your Shiba Inu is always kept on a leash or in a secure area. They are also possessive of their territory, meaning they may become defensive if threatened.

Shiba Inus Must Be Socialized – But Don’t Like It

Shiba Inus are not naturally social dogs. They can be aggressive towards other dogs and strangers. This means you will need to socialize your Shiba Inu from a young age to prevent them from becoming aggressive. However, they may not enjoy socialization, so gradually introducing them to new people and animals is important.

Shibas Will Openly Ignore Commands

Shiba Inus are known to be challenging to train because they will often ignore commands. They are smart dogs and know what they want. This means you will need to use positive reinforcement and be patient when training your Shiba Inu. Establishing yourself as the pack leader is important to ensure that your Shiba Inu listens to you.

A Bored Shiba Is A Destructive Shiba

Shiba Inus are known to become destructive when they are bored. This means you will need to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy playing games and solving puzzles. Keeping your Shiba Inu entertained is important to prevent them from becoming destructive.

Are Shiba Inus Easy To Take Care Of?

Shiba Inus are generally easy to take care of as long as you keep up with their basic needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:


Shiba Inus requires regular grooming. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, so you will need to brush them frequently to keep their coat healthy and shiny. They also require regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing to maintain their overall health.


Shiba Inus are generally clean dogs and do not require frequent bathing. In fact, bathing them too often can strip their coat of natural oils and cause skin irritation. Instead, you should focus on brushing and grooming them regularly.


Shiba Inus are generally healthy dogs but can be prone to certain health issues, such as allergies, hip dysplasia, and eye problems. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can help prevent these issues.


Shiba Inus are a high-energy breed and require daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy walks, hikes, and playing in the yard. If they do not get enough exercise, they can become destructive and develop behavioral issues.


Shiba Inus require at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, but they can handle more if you have the time and energy to give it to them. They enjoy a variety of activities, such as running, playing fetch, and agility training.


Shiba Inus enjoy a variety of toys, but they can be picky. They tend to prefer interactive toys that challenge their minds and keep them engaged. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and tug-of-war toys are all great options.


Shiba Inus requires a high-quality diet that is rich in protein and nutrients. They are prone to obesity, so it is important to measure their food and avoid overfeeding them. A balanced diet can help prevent health issues and keep them at a healthy weight.

Coat Blowing

Shiba Inus sheds heavily twice a year, which is known as coat blowing. During this time, they will shed their entire undercoat and require frequent brushing to prevent matting and tangling. A slicker brush and undercoat rake are essential tools for managing their shedding.


If you’re considering getting a dog for the first time, you may have heard about the Shiba Inu. This breed is known for being loyal, intelligent, and strong-willed, which can make them both challenging and rewarding for first-time owners.

Shiba Inus are independent and smart, which means they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are also friendly, bold, and alert, making them good-natured companions who love to be around people. However, they can also be quite high-energy, which means they need plenty of exercise and playtime to burn off their excess energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Shiba Inus Hard To Handle?

Shiba Inus are known for being independent and strong-willed dogs. This means that they can be difficult to train and handle, especially for first-time owners. However, they can become well-behaved and obedient dogs with proper training and socialization.

How Long Can A Shiba Inu Be Left Alone?

Shiba Inus can be left alone for a few hours at a time, but they should not be left alone for extended periods of time. They are social animals and need human interaction and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

How Often Should I Bathe My Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inus have a thick, double coat that sheds seasonally. They should be brushed regularly to remove loose fur and dirt. They only need to be bathed when they are dirty or have a strong odor.

How Big Do Shiba Inu Puppies Get?

Shiba Inu puppies typically weigh between 10-25 pounds when fully grown. They reach their full size at around one year of age.

Do Shiba Inu’s Shed A Lot?

Shiba Inus shed a lot, especially during shedding season. They require regular brushing to keep their coat healthy and to minimize shedding.

Remember to socialize your Shiba Inu early on to ensure they get along with other pets and people. Finding a reputable breeder is also important to avoid any potential health issues like hip dysplasia. With patience and proper training, a Shiba Inu can make a great family dog that is loyal and affectionate.

Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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