Is the Shiba Inu for First-Time Dog Owners? 4 Things to Consider

The tear-jerking movie about a loyal dog “Hachiko” and the famous meme “Doge” might be two different concepts, but one thing they have in common is the Shiba Inu dog breed. This particular breed has a mischievous fox-like face that can charm humans to no end. But is the Shiba Inu for first-time dog owners? What characteristics of this breed might make it difficult for new fur parents? 

About the Shiba Inu Breed

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese dog breed originally bred to hunt. They are well-muscled, energetic, good-natured, and have a strong prey instinct. 

This dog breed is Japan’s most popular companion dog and is recognized as one of the country’s national treasures. It was bought to America 60 years ago, and since then, it has grown in popularity in the west. 

They are characterized by their fox-like face, thick coat in colors red, red sesame, or black and tan, distinct white markings, pointed ears, and curly tail. The Shiba Inu is very perceptive, loyal, and an amazing escape artist. They are good companions if you are an experienced dog owner. 

But what if it’s your first time taking care of a dog? Is the Shiba Inu for first-time dog owners? Let’s find out. 

What you need to know about the Shiba Inu 

Shiba Inu for First-Time Dog Owners

Shiba Inu puppies are extremely adorable, and first-time dog owners would be tempted to take one home. However, with Shiba Inu, we strongly advise researching and knowing everything you must before deciding to go with this breed as your first pet. 

So is the Shiba Inu for first-time dog owners? This article will discuss everything from temperament to health so you’d know if this breed is for you. 

Temperament and Personality

The Shiba Inu is a confident dog. They are very alert, loyal, and energetic. This dog breed is the perfect companion for humans who live an active lifestyle. However, due to their strong hunting instincts, they tend to be independent and territorial. 

Inquisitive. Shiba Inus are playful and good-natured. They want to be involved in everything their owners do around the house. 

Dominant. They have a dominant nature that proves to be a problem if they are left as is. This is why it is important to set boundaries early, and owners should take an unaggressive alpha role, so their Shiba knows who is in charge. 

Stubborn and independent. As mentioned, Shiba Inus were bred to be hunting dogs, so they have a strong prey drive. They are best kept on a leash, especially in an area with small animals. 

Vocal dogs. Shina Inu owners have grown accustomed to the “Shiba Scream,” but new fur parents find this a bit overwhelming. Shiba Inus are vocal dogs. They are not big barkers, but they have different ways of communication. They yodel when they want attention and release a high-pitched scream when excited. 

Impatient. Shiba Inu for first-time dog owners or families with young children might not be the best choice, as kids might test their impatient side. However, they are wonderful companions for experienced fur parents. 

Territorial. The Shiba Inu breed does not share well. They are guard dogs and are extremely loyal to their owners to the point they don’t care much for other things. This leads to them worrying about their fur parents. Sometimes, they aggressively guard their food, toys, or territory. Also, remember that they might not get along with other dogs as much. 


Shiba Inu needs a lot of exercises and mental stimulation. This is why they are perfect companions for people leading an active lifestyle. This is to avoid boredom and to help them maintain an ideal weight. 

The Shiba Inu is an extremely intelligent breed. They are easy to train but can be headstrong sometimes. This is why the Shiba Inu for first-time dog owners can be challenging.

This is why recall training is important to Shiba Inu’s training. Since they have a hunting instinct, they are attracted to chase anything that moves, especially smaller animals. 

How to keep your Shiba Inu happy? 

A bored Shiba Inu is not something you would want. When they are too bored, they tend to have destructive behavior, such as chewing at furniture, scratching doors, or unrolling the toilet paper. One of the best ways to prevent this is to indulge them in mentally stimulating activities with interactive toys and games. 

And while they might be independent, they love affection, attention, and involvement in every little thing their humans do. 


The Shiba Inu breed needs 40 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. This is enough for their energetic and active personalities. A long walk that stimulates their smelling and hearing senses is one way. You can also try off-leash activities but make sure to do it in safe and enclosed areas, with no holes or opportunities for your Shiba to run off. 

Since Shiba Inus are inquisitive dogs, this means they love problem-solving games. They are often fond of interactive toys such as treat-dispensing toys that mentally stimulate them. You can also try hiding treats around the garden for a simple but fun hunting activity. 


The Shiba Inu is a small but active dog. Their nutrition plan should be appropriate for them to maintain a healthy weight. 

This dog breed is food motivated. So make sure they take a healthy and appropriate diet and choose good quality food in ideal-sized portions. Measure their food to avoid overfeeding. The Shiba Inu will thrive if they have a balanced diet and good-quality dog food. 

Is the Shiba Inu for First-Time Dog Owners?

Shiba Inus are not usually recommended if you are a first-time dog parent. Their primitive and stubborn traits might be too much, especially if you haven’t done enough research on this breed. 

However, it doesn’t mean that it is a complete no-go. First-time fur parents who have thoroughly researched Shibas and their personality and are determined to train and socialize them will find this breed an excellent life companion. 

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