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The dog toy space is absolutely full of options, most of which I’ve found just don’t last when it comes to Shiba Inus.
Shiba Inus are a high-energy breed that are consistently aggressive chewers, easily shredding most toys you give them in a matter of minutes. They’re able to do this partially due to their scissor action bite, and tendency to get bored easily. Regularly turning to chewing on carpet and nearby furniture.
Thankfully I was able to save my sanity, carpet, couch, shoes, and wallet with a bit of research along with trial-and-error. I shared everything I’ve been able to learn when it comes to picking the right toys for a Shiba Inu down below if you are interested.
What Kind Of Toys Do Shiba Inus Like?
Shiba Inus love chewing and chasing anything that moves. Hard chew toys are an instant favorite, and help protect your furniture. While softer plush and squeaky toys are great, especially if you are willing to throw them.
Every pet, much like every person, has their own unique preferences. While raising your Shiba Inu I would keep an eye out for what types of toys your specific Shiba likes the most, and regularly replace them when they’re too old or worn out.
Common Types Of Dog Toys
Shiba Inus love to chew, like most dogs, but frequently get into trouble for chewing on furniture. This is because Shibas as a breed get bored really easily, and the best way to remedy their boredom is by finding their own entertainment.
For that reason, I highly recommend keeping a handful of durable chew toys around your house. Having several allows you to rotate through them if you find your Shiba Inu gets bored of playing with the same one, and gives you an opportunity to redirect their attention back to a toy if you catch them getting into trouble.
Puzzle toys are one of the best ways to mentally stimulate a Shiba Inu. They’re designed to be both challenging yet entertaining and used hidden treats to keep your Shibas attention. Puzzle toys come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and complexities. To minimize potential frustration, I would start with a smaller simpler puzzle to ease your Shiba into it while gauging their interest.
Rope toys are one of the best ways to play and bond with your Shiba Inu, especially if they love tug-of-war. But I don’t recommend leaving rope toys out if you aren’t actively using them. Most Shiba Inus are chewers and love destroying anything they get ahold of, with and without your permission.
Rope toys are great, but they aren’t designed to last regular intensive chewing sessions, be sure to store them until your next play session if you want your Shiba’s rope toys to last.
Plush-type dog toys come in a nearly indefinite variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Many are made of durable fabrics that vary in texture and quite a few come with an included sqeaker. Helping get and keep your Shiba’s attention for extended periods of time.
Something you absolutely should know about plush, and squeaky toys, is their durability. Shiba Inus have a “scissor action” style bite and love to chew, so they routinely destroy fabric-based toys when left alone.
It’s important to have a few plush toys on hand so your Shiba has a variety of options to pick from, but until you find ones you trust your pet with I recommend putting them away before you leave the house or go to bed.
Treat-dispensing toys are a simpler version of puzzle toys, opting to keep your Shiba’s attention with treats like peanut butter or canned treat sprays, while doubling as chew toys when they’re empty. Similar to puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys vary in size, shape, difficulty, and even material.
Should You Get Different Toys For Shiba Inu Puppies?
A puppy’s mouths are smaller, softer, and more sensitive than their adult counterparts, making it critical you don’t give a puppy toys focused on or marketed towards adult pets. Most brands make puppy-focused dog toys for a good reason. Puppies, including Shiba Inu puppies, have different needs when it comes to size, material, and safety.
Adult dog toys tend to be made with harder materials that end in sharper, less rounded corners, that can easily scratch and cut a puppy’s delicate gums. Many adult toys also come with long strings and ribbons or are filled with stuffing. All of which are a major choking hazards for a Shiba Inu puppy.
Most brands make puppy toys that are appropriately sized, helping minimize choking, made of rubber-like materials, lowering the risk your puppy gets injured while playing, and have less frilly bits for your puppy to chew off and eat. If you are looking for puppy-focused toys, I have a detailed list of recommended toys for Shiba Inu puppies over on this post.
The Best Toys For Shiba Inus
Best Chew Toy – Benebone Wishbone
The number one problem I’ve had when it comes to picking toys out for my Shiba Inu is durability, and Benebone has be the one brand I can consistently turn to for long-lasting chew toys. I know they aren’t for me, and this may sound a bit weird, but they’ve become my favorite toy as well.
They’re durable, often lasting for months while other toys struggle to last for weeks, if not days. They don’t break apart easily, so I haven’t had to worry about stepping on any jagged bits while I walk around at night or lay down in bed. And keep my aggressive chewer of a Shiba Inu occupied for hours. These are easily my number one recommendation for any Shiba Inu owner.
Best Plush Toy – Plush Lambchop
While not the most durable toy, this plush lambchop from Multipet has been a fan favorite in my household for years. They’re well made, extremely affordable, and even have an included squeaker that’s been great for keeping my Shiba’s attention.
Even if your Shiba Inu is an aggressive chewer, like mine, this is one of the best toys to get her attention with to play fetch. It is stuffed, so be sure to look out for loose stuffing if you’re Shiba does end up chewing a hole into it.
Best Stuffless Soft Toy – Stuffless Soft Squeaky Toy
If your Shiba Inu loves duck toys just as much as mine then this one will be an instant success. My favorite part is the fact it doesn’t have an included stuffing, minimizing the risk of your pet choking. What’s even better is the fact you can fit a full-sized water bottle into the medium and large-sized versions.
My favorite thing to do is throw broken dry pasta into the water bottle before sticking it inside the duck and shaking it to grab my Shiba Inu’s attention. You should know, especially if you put something inside the water bottle, it’s best you keep an eye on your pet while they play with this. While this toy doesn’t have any stuffing, it’s still made of soft fabrics that don’t last for aggressive chewers.
Best Rope Toy – SHARLOVY Variety Rope Pack
Every Shiba Inu loved to play, and it’s hard to pass up a round of tug-of-war. While rope toys aren’t known for their durability, especially when if your Shiba is an aggressive chewer, you can extend the life of your Shiba’s rope toys by putting them away when you’re done playing with them. Another thing you can do is buy rope toys in bulk, which I highly recommend.
I especially recommend this variety rope toy pack from SHARLOVY. I wouldn’t say they’re anything special individually, but they’re durable enough and you get a lot of them without spending an arm and a leg.
Best Beginner Puzzle Toy – Nina Ottosson Dog Brick
Dog pluzzle are an excellent opting for those struggling to keep their Shiba Inu mentally stimulated. While many Shibas are perfectly content chewing on anything they can get ahold of that definitely isn’t true for all of them, and this entry-level dog puzzle from Nina Ottosson did the trick for me.
It’s easy to setup, a breeze to clean, and straightforward enough for most pets to get the hang of after a few tries. And the fact you load them up with treats, as many or as few as you’d like, is an easy way to keep your Shiba occupied while you’re busy.
Best Advanced Puzzle Toy – KADTC Dog Pluzzle
If you find the previous puzzle I recommended above a bit too easy for your pet then I would move on the this advanced puzzle from KADTC. It’s larger, making it easier for your pet to interact with, but that doesn’t mean the individual parts of the puzzle are any easier to solve. If anything, it’s allowed them to add more complexity to it, keeping your Shiba busy for even longer.
Just like the beginner-level puzzle, you can load this one up with as many treats as you like. Helpful tip, simple vegetables like diced carrots and broccoli are an excellent alternative to regular dog treats if you are worried about your Shiba Inu gaining too much weight.
Best Treat Dispencing Toy – Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball
While a regular old KONG toy does the trick, I’ve found they aren’t as fun for either me or my Shiba Inu to play with. My Shiba Inu gets bored while playing with her KONG toy after a few short minutes, but not with the treat ball from Pet Zone IQ. While it’s stiff plasting outer shell doesn’t sound like a good chew toy, that’s because it isn’t.
This little treat ball has consistently gotten my Shibas attention, and keep it, because it randomly spits out a treat while it’s rolled around. No batteries needed and refilling it is easy with it’s twist-off outer shell. A handful of treats has consistently kept my dog busy for 15 to 30 minutes at a time while she’s batting it around the living room.
How Many Dog Toys Should A Shiba Inu Have?
Most dogs get bored of playing with the same toys for weeks on end, and Shiba Inus are no exception. I’ve found most pets I’ve been around are routinely more interested in their toys when they’re on some kind of rotation. But rotating through different toys isn’t all that matters, the number and types of toys left available for your Shiba also make a big difference. Especially if your Shiba Inu is struggling with boredom.
It’s best to have four to five different types of toys available to your Shiba inu that are rotated out on a weekly, or semi-weekly basis. Based on your Shiba’s engagement with them. If you find your Shiba has no issues playing with the same toys for over a week, stick to bi-weekly cycles.
The specific types of toys you should have available to your pet depend heavily on your specific Shiba Inu. For example, my Shiba Inu, Faith, loves to chew on hard toys while she lays around, so I have three different hard toys on a weekly rotation, alongside one soft toy. Her fifth toy is a childhood toy she loves carrying around from time to time that she always has access to.
If you find you’re Shiba is also a heavy chewer then I’d focus on rotating through harder chew toys to help keep your Shiba entertained, and to the most out of eat toy. The same idea applies to soft toys if you find your Shiba prefers to nibble and chase balls or stuffed toys.
Summary Of What Toys To Get For Your Shiba Inu
With so many different options for dog toys on the market it’s easy to get overwhelmed when it’s time to replace your Shiba Inu’s old worn-out toys. I’ve found hard chew toys and puzzle toys work best for this breed, when compared to other dogs. Because Shiba Inus tend to be aggressive chewers, and thanks to the way their scissor-like bite works, they shred through most soft toys in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
Benebone has be the most reliable dog toy brand for me, my family, and many other pet owners I’ve talked to. I can’t recommend them enough, especially if you are just starting out and want something simple that will last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Toys To Train My Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inus are an intelligent high energy dog breed that bores easily, especially with age. An excellent way to keep their focus during training sessions is by incorporating toys and play. Using short play sessions as a reward while training keeps Shibas happy, health, and strengthens your bond.
How Often Should I Clean My Shiba Inu’s Toys?
You should clean your Shiba Inu’s toys at least once a month. Most toys can safely be cleaned using hot water and unscented Dawn soap, be sure to rinse any remaining soap off. It’s best to let the toys dry off completely, especially if their soft or stuffed, before giving them back to your pet.
What Do Shibas Like To Play With?
Most Shiba Inus are chewers and love chasing anything that moves. Durable chew toys are a must to protect your shoes, carpet, and furniture. Balls, pet-specific stuffed animals, and other soft toys are also a great option, especially if you play fetch with them.
Do Dogs Like When You Give Them Toys?
While this isn’t always something we think of, most dogs love getting a new shiny toy. Toys are exciting for your Shiba Inu. They symbolize play, happiness, an outlet for their anxiety, and way for them to interact with you through play.
Do Shibas Get Bored Of The Same Toys?
While it isn’t the case for every Shiba Inu, most do get bored of playing with the same toys for weeks and months on end. Just like how we as people get bored of eating the same meals. The best away around this, and to extend the life of your Shiba’s toys, is by rotating through a batch of them weekly.