How To Keep Your Shiba Inu From Running Away (Answered)

I’ve heard horror stories from other pet owners attempting to catch a Shiba Inu that’s run away. It’s one problem I hope I never have to face.

Shiba Inus cannot be confidently trained to not run away. Their high prey drive, ancient hunting origins, and alert independent nature make it impossible to reliably train them to respond to commands off-leash.

I’ve had my fair share of close calls where Faith, my Shiba Inu, attempted to escape and run away. Mostly to chase a loose leaf in the wind or to run and greet a new person nearby, but they aren’t always that straightforward. And it turns out there’s no reliable way to prevent it through training.

shiba inu outside on a leash near a river

Shiba Inus Will Run Away When They Get The Chance

Shibas are well known for their alertness, strong natural hunting instincts, and seemingly endless stores of energy. All of which make Shiba Inus extremely likely to run away. This breed is also smart, quick to learn, and a natural escape artist. Making properly containing a Shiba Inu tricky at the best of times, if not impossible at the worst of times.

Can You Trust A Shiba Off Leash?

Unfortunately, Shiba Inus can’t be trusted off-leash due to their strong prey drive. This ancient hunting breed is quick to spring into action, chasing down anything that catches their attention relentlessly. Shibas should only be trusted off-leash indoors and in secure, fenced-in spaces.

5 Common Reasons Shiba Inus Run Away

Any number of things could catch a Shiba’s attention, resulting in them attempting to escape and run away. After talking to other Shiba Inu owners I’ve been able to work out a rough list of the 5 most common reasons Shibas run away.

1) Prey Drive

Shiba Inus are born and bred hunting dogs hailing from ancient Japan. Their origins stretch so far back in history that they’re one of six basal dog breeds, the closest natural relatives to wild wolves. With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine how strong, and frustrating, their prey drive can be when it kicks in. It’s important you always keep your Shiba Inu on a leash while outdoors unless you know the place your at is completely secure.

2) Boredom

Shibas are quick to learn and even quicker to bore. This intelligent dog breed not only needs regular daily play and exercise but due to their intellect, also needs to be mentally stimulated throughout the day.

A bored Shiba is a destructive Shiba, boredom is easily one of the most common problems owners have with their pets, right up there with aggression. Toys, especially puzzle toys, are a great way to keep your Shiba Inu occupied while you’re busy or away from home.

3) Territorial Aggression

Shibas are naturally independent, and stubborn, making aggression a common problem. Aggression comes in many shapes and forms, with territorial aggression being one of the most common types Shiba Inu owners face.

Their fierce territorial nature can even lead them to run away in hopes of chasing off, or catching, anything they perceive as a problem. Be it people, other pets, or wild animals. Aggressive behaviors should be properly disciplined and redirected towards better habits through routine training as soon as possible.

4) Separation Anxiety

Shiba Inus aren’t exactly known for being the loving and affectionate type, but they can be and they’re loyal. Either of which could leave them stressed out when you are away from home. Sometimes that stress and anxiety are so bad it drives them to escape and run away in hopes of finding you.

A sturdy crate, a recently worn shirt or hoodie, and some calm music or a tv show left on in the background have proven to be effective at helping calm a stressed or anxious Shiba down.

5) Mating Instinct

While less common, mating instincts can leave your Shiba Inu a little hot under the collar and acting a bit crazy, assuming they aren’t fixed. Natural urges and instincts have even driven a few crazy enough to run away in hopes of finding a mate. Unless you are planning to breed your Shiba, it’s best you talk to your vet to find the right time to spay or neuter your Shiba.

What You Should Do If Your Shiba Inu Runs Away

  1. Don’t chase your Shiba, they’ll see it as a game. Making them more likely to continue running in the opposite direction.
  2. Do your best to remain both calm and positive, your pet can pick up on the fact you are panicking and will be more likely to act similarly.
  3. Maintain sight of your Shiba, they’re significantly harder to find once you lose them.
  4. Call your Shiba’s name and try issuing commands, the odds they’ll listen are honestly fairly low but it’s always worth a shot.
  5. Call for help from a nearby friend, family member, neighbor, or even stranger passing by will help you regain control over your loose pet.
  6. If they’re out of sight it’s time to start posting on social media and local Facebook groups.
  7. If you haven’t been able to find your Shiba after several minutes or hours you should start looking up and checking in with nearby animal shelters.
  8. Signs are a slow option, but if it’s been hours or even a day or two they’re worth a shot. Print a couple of dozen out and start spreading them around your neighborhood, along with nearby ones.

Summary Of Run Away Shiba Inus

Shibas are natural escape artists that love to run away for several different reasons. They’re small, fast, agile, and can often see your chasing as a game, making the situation worse. Make a habit of double-checking that your Shiba’s crate, playpen, or gate is properly shut and locked. The same goes for doors and windows in rooms your pet has access to.

Don’t let your Shiba off leash while you guys are outside. The odds of your Shiba running away, intentionally or not, are extremely high. It’s not worth the risk. If all else fails and you find yourself in a situation where your Shiba is out of reach do what you can to stay calm. Panicking or even chasing your Shiba while they’re loose only incentives them to continue running away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Shibas Run Away?

Running around to investigate a new space or chase down potential prey is natural for every dog. There will be times a Shiba’s prey drive compels them to escape and chase whatever caught their attention. Unfortunately, since every Shiba has a high prey drive, all Shiba Inus will attempt to run away.

Why Do Shibas Try To Escape?

Shiba Inus commonly escape and run away due to their prey drive, but that isn’t the sole reason Shbias attempt to escape. Stress, fear, anxiety, boredom, or even poor bonding can compel a Shiba Inu to escape, or even run away from home.

Are Shibas Good At Escaping?

Shiba Inus are quick, nimble, and agile while also being alert and full of energy, not to mention their prey drive. All of those factors tied together lead Shiba Inus to be excellent escape artists. These Houdini-like qualities are why other owners and vets recommend microchipping a Shiba Inu.

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