7 Common Reasons Shiba Inus Ignore Their Owners (Explained)

While I expected my Shiba Inu to ignore me from time to time I wasn’t quite ready for how often she’d ignore me. Thankfully I figured a few things out and found a few helpful solutions.

Shiba Inus are an intelligent breed that gets bored easily and often ignores commands. Most Shibas ignore their owner’s commands due to a lack of motivation. Treats or a quick play session can catch your Shiba’s attention, making them more likely to listen and stop ignoring you.

There are ways to get a Shiba Inu to stop ignoring you, and the first place to start is to understand the reasons they may be ignoring you.

shiba inu laying on a couch ignoring commands

Is It Common For Shiba Inus To Ignore You?

Shiba Inus are an intelligent, independent, and stubborn breed. While loyal, they will frequently ignore their owners and their commands. Most Shibas are bored and looking for something to do, if you call them in a happy or excited voice they’re more likely to listen.

Can You Get Your Shiba To Stop Ignoring You?

Whenever I’m struggling to get my Shiba Inu, Faith, to listen to me I switch over to a slightly higher more energetic voice, which always gets her attention. She loves to play and run around, so If I’m about to ask her to do something I like playing with her for a moment or two so she’s fully engaged, paying attention, to me and what I’m saying.

It doesn’t work every time but it does work fairly well when she’s ignoring me.

7 Common Reasons Your Shiba Inus Ignore You

Your Shiba Inu could be ignoring you for a wide variety of reasons, 7 of which I’ve listed in detail below.

1) Active Prey Drive

Shiba Inus have an incredibly strong prey drive that commonly leads them to tunnel vision on something and ignore their owner. Other pets, a wild squirrel, cars driving by, or even leaves blowing in the wind could trigger a Shiba’s prey drive.

Regular training, roughly 60 minutes of daily play and exercise, along with plenty of bonding time can help tire your Shiba out, making them more likely to snap out of it and listen to you.

2) Low Motivation

Shiba’s are intelligent and full of energy but that doesn’t mean they always want to run around and do something. If you notice your Shiba tends to ignore you when they’re sitting or laying around you may have a motivation issue. Where your Shiba may see and hear you calling them, but do nothing about it. I noticed this more with my Shiba whenever she was tired or I haven’t played with her recently.

3) Lack Of Proper Training

While Shibas are smart that doesn’t mean they’ll bother to listen to you. Routine training and bonding time will help minimize the odds your Shiba ignores you, but you shouldn’t expect a Shiba to flawlessly listen to each and every command. Unfortunately, Shibas aren’t the people-pleasing type, so they may not be right for you.

4) Repeating The Same Command Multiple Times

Repeating the same command leads to confusion, at least in my experience. Whenever I’m trying to teach Faith something new I’ve found she struggles when I repeat it multiple times in a short amount of time. If you notice your Shiba is ignoring you or doesn’t seem to understand, during training sessions that’s your queue to slow down and help step them through what you’re asking.

On the other hand, if you notice your Shiba likes to ignore commands you are confident they know and understand you more than likely have a motivation issue.

5) You’ve Used Inappropriate Punishments

How you discipline your Shiba is just as important as how you train them. If you notice your Shiba Inu tries to run and hide when you get home or call them they may be afraid of you. Negative forms of reinforcement like yelling, hitting, dragging, crating, or rubbing their nose in accidents destroy your Shiba’s trust and confidence in you. They’ll quickly learn to fear, resent, or even hate you.

The best way to train and “punish” a Shiba is with positive reinforcement. Praise, treats, play, and attention do more to positively incentivize good behavior than negative reinforcement does to disincentivize bad ones. The more happy, friendly, and positive you are with your Shiba the more likely they’ll be to listen to you.

6) They’re Stress, Scared, Or Anxious

Stress, fear, and anxiety are powerful motivators that can lead your Shiba to ignore your command in hopes of doing something else. There is no “correct” answer when it comes to managing your pet’s fear if you believe they’re ignoring you because they’re scared, but there are wrong and incorrect ways to handle it.

Maybe your Shiba is afraid of a motorcycle because it’s loud and they’ve never seen one before. You have a few options:

  • Gently inch them toward the cart and show them it’s harmless
  • Go a different direction, around the bike, or avoid it entirely
  • Give them some time to build up the courage to walk past it on their own
  • See if they’re okay with you picking them up and carrying them in the opposite direct

All of the options above have you working with your Shiba’s fear or anxiety, resolving the problem. Now, if you instead decided to drag your Shiba towards or past the motorcycle not only are you needlessly stressing them out, they’re exponentially more likely to pull on their leash, run away, or even refuse to go on another walk anytime soon out of fear.

All of these don’t resolve the issue, instead, they make things significantly worse. Potentially damaging your relationship and making them more likely to kick, scream, and ignore you in the future.

7) They Didn’t Hear You

Sometimes your Shiba ignored you because they just didn’t hear you. I commonly notice mine didn’t hear me when she’s taking a nap, chewing on a toy, or is watching something outside. I’ve found she stops and starts listening to me when I walk over to see what she’s doing, usually petting her on the head or scratching behind one of her ears while asking her what she’s up to. She usually turns all of her attention to me when I’m done.

How Do You Train A Shiba Inu To Come When Called?

The most consistent way to get your Shiba Inu to come when called is by getting them moving first. Shibas are full of energy and love to run and play, so try tossing a toy. Next, make sure their reward is worth the effort. A simple treat or quick play session are fan favorites.

Summary Of Why Shiba Inus Ignore You Or Commands

Your Shiba could ignore you or your commands for a number of different reasons. All of which require their own approach and solution. If you want your Shiba Inu to stop ignoring you and listen to your commands more you need to understand the reason they’re ignoring you.

  • Are they focused on a squirrel?
  • Are they bored and don’t see a reason to listen?
  • Could they be afraid of something?

It’s common for Shibas to ignore commands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them to listen. Treats, a quick play session, or doing something unexpected can all get your Shiba’s attention. Making them significantly more likely to listen and follow you. If you’re looking for a dog that’ll always listen to you, Shiba Inus aren’t the right breed for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Ignoring Commands?

Dogs may stop following, or start ignoring, commands for a number of reasons. Ranging from they didn’t hear you, they’re distracted, fear, or even anxiety. If you notice your dog randomly starts ignoring you in a training session that might be a sign they need a break or have to go to the bathroom.

Why Does My Dog Ignore Me When I Call Him Sometimes?

Most dogs ignore being called when they’re distracted by something, they didn’t hear you, weren’t able to understand what you said, or are afraid of something. Start recall training with small sessions with loads of treats and praise to make it easier to get their attention next time.

Do Dogs Ignore You When They’re Mad?

Your pet could be ignoring you because they’re mad or annoyed at you. While uncommon, some pets will give you the silent treatment if you’ve gotten on their bad side. The reason they’re frustrated varies based on the situation.

How Do You Tell If A Dog Doesn’t Like You?

Common signs a dog doesn’t like you include hiding, running away, tail they’re tucking, flattening its ears, or its body stiffing when they see you. Most of these are signs of fear and anxiety, but dogs may also become aggressive toward someone they don’t like by growling or showing teeth.

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.

Recent Posts