How To Take Care Of A Shiba Inu Puppy (Complete Guide)

So, you’ve decided to bring a Shiba Inu puppy into your life – congratulations! This captivating dog breed, hailing from Japan, is known for its bold and spirited personality.

As a Shiba Inu parent, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of puppy care to ensure your new furry friend thrives in their new home with you.

shiba inu puppy protecting her toy

Temperament and Personality

When it comes to your Shiba Inu puppy, you’ll find they have a unique personality that stands out from other breeds. These pups are known for their independent nature, which can be both a blessing and a challenge as a pet owner.

Shiba Inus are often described as aloof, but that doesn’t mean they lack affection. They do appreciate your love and care, but they’ll never be overly clingy or dependent on you. This can make them an excellent choice for people who appreciate a bit of personal space.

Keep in mind, their independence can also lead to stubbornness. Your Shiba Inu might not always obey your commands or respond quickly to training. However, patience and consistency will help you establish a strong bond and a well-behaved pup.

In terms of personality, Shiba Inus are curious and intelligent, making them quite interesting pets to have around. They enjoy exploring their surroundings, and you might even find them being a bit mischievous at times.

Socialization and Training

Obedience Training

When it comes to training your Shiba Inu puppy, obedience training is essential. Start by teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. Rewards and positive reinforcement are key in training, so use treats and praise to encourage good behavior.

Keep training sessions short and fun, as Shiba Inu puppies tend to have a short attention span. Be patient, consistent, and firm but gentle with your commands. Remember, consistency is critical to your puppy’s success in learning.

Biting and Barking

Shiba Inus are known for their vocalizations, including barking and the Shiba scream. While some barking is natural, excessive barking can be a problem. Address this early by teaching a quiet command. Reward your puppy when they stop barking on command.

Biting is another behavior that should be addressed early. Puppies often explore the world with their mouths, but it’s important to teach them bite inhibition. Redirect your Shiba Inu puppy’s biting to appropriate chew toys and praise them when they chew on the right items.

Prey Drive

Shiba Inus have a strong prey drive, which means they may be inclined to chase smaller animals. You can help manage this instinct by engaging in activities that allow them to expend energy, like fetch or tug-of-war.

Additionally, when out on walks, be sure to keep your Shiba Inu on a leash and work on training them to heel. This will help prevent them from darting after squirrels or other small animals.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Shiba Inus are energetic and intelligent dogs, so keeping them mentally and physically active is important for their overall well-being. As a Shiba Inu owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation daily.

Try to provide at least one hour of exercise for your Shiba Inu puppy every day to help them burn off their energy and keep them in good shape. This can be done through various activities, such as jogging together or playing fetch.

Keep in mind that younger puppies might not be able to handle a full hour of exercise yet, so adjust the duration according to your puppy’s age and energy level.

In addition to exercise, mental stimulation is a crucial aspect of caring for your Shiba Inu. Puzzle toys are a great way to engage your puppy’s brain and keep them occupied, especially when you’re not able to give them your undivided attention.

Simple activities like hiding treats and encouraging them to find them can also provide a fun challenge. Explore different types of puzzle toys to find the ones that best suit your puppy’s interests and abilities.

Remember, a mentally and physically stimulated Shiba Inu is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors or develop behavioral problems.

So, don’t forget to dedicate time each day to exercise and provide mental stimulation for your furry friend. Your puppy will thank you for it with their wagging tail and playful energy!

Nutrition and Diet

When it comes to your Shiba Inu puppy, nutrition is key to a healthy growth. A well-balanced diet is essential to ensure they grow up happy and strong. So, pay close attention to your pup’s dietary needs and preferences.

Your Shiba Inu puppy needs a diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Choose high-quality dry food or kibble, specifically designed for puppies. Look for formulas that are grain-free and contain high-quality protein sources, like chicken or lamb.

Portion Size and Frequency: Be conscious about the amount of food they’re eating. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues. On the other hand, underfeeding can slow their growth and development. Generally, puppies should eat 3-4 times per day. Always follow the guidelines on the food packaging or consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

  • 3-6 months: Feed 1/3 – 1/2 cups, 3-4 times per day
  • 6-12 months: Feed 1/2 – 2/3 cups, 2-3 times per day

Maintain a consistent feeding schedule and stick to it. This will help you monitor their eating habits and make it easier to notice any changes.

Supplements: Some puppies might require additional supplements, especially if they have specific health issues. Talk to your veterinarian about the need for supplements, like fatty acids, to improve your puppy’s skin and coat health.

Remember to provide fresh water for your Shiba Inu puppy at all times. Hydration is an important part of their diet.

Finally, treat your puppy occasionally but avoid overusing treats or feeding them human food. Inappropriate treats can lead to weight gain and stomach issues. Stick to dog treats specifically designed for puppies, and use them sparingly for rewarding good behavior.

Grooming and Coat Care

Caring for your Shiba Inu puppy’s coat is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. You’ll want to establish a routine to help maintain their beautiful, fluffy appearance.

Start by brushing your puppy’s coat regularly – at least once a week. This helps remove loose fur, dander, and dirt, while also preventing mats and tangles. Use a slicker brush or a comb with both wide and narrow teeth for the best results. During shedding season, you might need to brush your pup more frequently, as they shed their undercoat.

Baths are another crucial part of Shiba Inu coat care. Aim to give your puppy a bath once every month or two. However, if they become especially dirty or smelly, don’t hesitate to bathe them more frequently. Use a gentle dog shampoo to avoid irritating their skin and work up a good lather. Afterward, rinse them thoroughly to remove all soap and residue.

While drying your Shiba Inu, gently towel them off and avoid rubbing, as this can cause their fur to mat. If your pup doesn’t mind the noise, you can use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting. Just make sure to keep a safe distance, so you don’t overheat or startle them.

In addition to these grooming basics, keep an eye out for any skin issues that might arise. Watch for redness, irritation, or flaking skin which could indicate a problem. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian for advice and treatment.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Shiba Inu puppies generally have a lifespan of 12-15 years. During their lives, they may experience a few common health problems, just like any other breed. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are two common issues that can affect your Shiba Inu’s health.

  • Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, causing pain and, eventually, arthritis.
  • Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. It can affect any dog, but certain breeds, like the Shiba Inu, may be more susceptible to developing it.

Preventative Care

To keep your Shiba Inu puppy healthy, it’s essential to stay on top of preventative care. Here are some crucial steps to take:

  1. Vaccinations: Make sure you follow your vet’s recommendations for vaccinations. They will protect your puppy from a range of diseases, like parvovirus, distemper, and rabies.
  2. Regular check-ups: Schedule routine check-ups with your vet so they can detect any health issues early on.
  3. Keep them active: Exercise your Shiba Inu regularly to promote healthy joints and prevent obesity, which can lead to more health problems.
  4. Quality diet: Feed your Shiba Inu a well-balanced, age-appropriate diet to help reduce their risk of developing health issues.

Bringing Home a Shiba Inu Puppy

Getting a new Shiba Inu puppy is an exciting time for any family! Bringing your Shiba Inu puppy home is the beginning of a long-lasting bond you’ll develop through their growth and development in puppyhood.

When you bring your Shiba Inu puppy home, it’s essential to establish a comfortable and safe environment for them. To do this, create a designated space for your puppy to call their own. You can use a crate, a playpen, or a separate room to start. Make sure it’s stocked with a comfortable bed, fresh water, and some chew toys to keep them entertained.

Introduce your Shiba Inu puppy slowly to their new surroundings and family members. Don’t be alarmed if your pup is initially shy or reserved; it’s normal for them to feel a little overwhelmed at first. Allow them to explore their new home at their own pace, and soon they’ll start feeling more confident.

During the early stages of your Shiba Inu puppy’s growth, you’ll want to set a consistent routine and schedule. This includes regular feeding times, potty breaks, play sessions, and walks. Routines help your puppy feel secure and make it easier for them to adjust to their new family.

Socialization is a crucial part of any dog’s development, and your Shiba Inu puppy is no exception. Start socializing your pup early by introducing them to various people, experiences, and environments carefully. This will help them become a well-rounded, confident adult dog in the long run.

Remember to have patience and give your Shiba Inu puppy lots of love and attention during this transitional period. They’ll soon adapt to their new home and become an integral part of your family. Enjoy this exciting time, and cherish the memories of your Shiba Inu’s puppyhood!

Adoption and Buying Tips

Deciding to bring a Shiba Inu puppy into your life is exciting! There are a few important things to keep in mind before you adopt or buy your new furry companion.

1. Consider adoption first: Did you know there are Shiba Inu rescues out there? It’s worth checking local animal shelters and rescue organizations to see if there’s a Shiba Inu in need of a loving home. Adopting a puppy or adult dog may not only save its life but also helps with pet overpopulation issues.

2. Do your research: It’s essential to learn as much as you can about Shiba Inus before making a decision to bring one home. They have specific needs and personality traits, so make sure it’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

3. Find a reputable breeder: If you plan to buy a Shiba Inu puppy, look for a reputable breeder who follows ethical breeding practices and values the health and welfare of their dogs. You can find a list of breeders on the American Kennel Club’s website or by asking local breed clubs for references.

4. Ask the right questions: When contacting a breeder, don’t hesitate to ask about the puppy’s health, genetics, and temperament. A trustworthy breeder will be happy to give you information about the pup’s parents and any potential health issues.

5. Meet the breeder in person: If possible, take the time to visit the breeder’s home or facility. This allows you to observe the living conditions, meet the dogs, and check if everything seems well taken care of.


Taking care of your Shiba Inu puppy may seem daunting at first, but with proper knowledge and understanding, you’ll soon be a loving and effective pet parent. The keys to keeping your puppy happy and healthy involve providing a balanced diet, ensuring proper exercise, offering love and affection, and maintaining their grooming needs.

Begin with feeding your Shiba Inu puppy high-quality dog food that’s specifically formulated for puppies. Keep mealtimes consistent and adjust portions as your pup grows. Never overfeed or give table scraps, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Exercise is important for your Shiba Inu’s physical and mental health. Engage in daily walks, playtime, and training sessions. This not only keeps your puppy fit but also strengthens your bond. However, be cautious not to over-exercise your puppy during their growth stage to prevent joint and bone issues in the future.

Socialization is crucial for the development of a well-rounded Shiba Inu. Introduce your puppy to various people, animals, and environments at an early age. This ensures they grow up to be a friendly, confident, and well-behaved dog.

Lastly, grooming is an essential aspect of Shiba Inu care. Their thick double coat requires regular brushing to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Bathe your puppy every few months, clean their ears, trim their nails, and brush their teeth regularly to keep your pup in tip-top shape.

By following these guidelines, you’re setting your Shiba Inu puppy up for a happy and healthy life. Remember, caring for a puppy is a commitment, but the love, joy, and companionship they bring are absolutely worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Feed My Shiba Inu Puppy?

Provide your Shiba Inu puppy with a balanced diet of high-quality food. Choose between dry kibble or wet food. Consult with your vet for a suitable feeding schedule and amount based on their weight and age.

How Often Should I Groom My Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inus have a thick double coat that requires weekly grooming to maintain its cleanliness and shine. Use a pin brush to remove any loose hair, and increase brushing frequency during shedding periods. Additionally, it is important to regularly trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth.

What Kind Of Training Does A Shiba Inu Puppy Need?

Start socializing and training your Shiba Inu from the beginning to ensure a well-behaved and obedient pet. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, and be consistent with your commands. Keep training sessions short and engaging to keep your Shiba Inu puppy motivated.

How Much Exercise Should A Shiba Inu Puppy Get?

Shiba Inu puppies are energetic and need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. This can include walks, hikes, or play sessions. Remember that puppies may need shorter and more frequent exercise breaks compared to adult dogs.

Are There Any Specific Health Concerns For Shiba Inus?

Shiba Inus are usually healthy but can develop hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and allergies. Regular vet checkups can detect and manage conditions early. Monitor their weight and ensure they get enough exercise to avoid obesity-related health issues.

How Can I Socialize My Shiba Inu Puppy?

Socializing your Shiba Inu puppy is crucial. Introduce them to different places, people, animals, and situations. Enroll them in puppy socialization classes to help them develop confidence and good behavior around others. Reward positive interactions with treats and praise.

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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