Are Shiba Inus Good Apartment Dogs?


The Shiba Inu is a dog breed originating in Japan that was bred for hunting. They are known for their independent nature and their brave and loyal personality.

But, are Shiba Inus good apartment dogs?

Shiba Inus can be excellent apartment dogs. It’s a fairly quiet breed, extremely clean and easy to housebreak. But for them to adapt well to apartment life, it’s necessary to provide them with good training and adequate socialization.

But it is essential to first know its temperament and needs thoroughly to know if it is a breed that adapts not only to apartment life but to our lifestyle.

What You Should Know About Living With a Shiba Inu

living with a Shiba Inu in an apartment

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Family Dog?

Shiba Inus can be great family pets, but they need to be properly trained and socialized. Although they are not the most loving dogs, they create strong bonds with their family. They are loyal and protective of their family and suspicious of strangers.

Shiba Inus can get along very well with children, especially older children.

But it’s necessary to teach children how to treat and relate to them kindly and with respect. Some Shiba Inus will stand up and walk away if they feel that a child is bothering him, but others may react aggressively.

When they grow up together, Shiba Inus tend to create strong bonds with children and will protect them whenever necessary.

Can Shibas Be Left Alone?

Shiba Inus are independent dogs that don’t require constant attention. They are happy doing their things and can handle being alone well.

They are dogs with a lot of energy so they need to have a lot of exercise before and after being alone for a long period.

They also need to be mentally stimulated to prevent them from becoming bored and manifesting destructive behaviors.

Leaving them chew and puzzle toys while home alone will help keep them entertained and busy while they are alone.

Are Shiba Inus Easy to Train?

The Shiba Inu is one of the most difficult dog breeds to train. They are intelligent, independent dogs with a very stubborn personality.

Shiba Inus are dominant dogs so it’s essential to provide them with rules as early as possible and constantly enforce them.

The secret to training a Shiba is to be consistent and firm.

However, they are very clean dogs which makes them easy to housetrain. As long as they have the option, they will avoid going to the bathroom in the space where they live.

How Much Exercise Does a Shiba Need?

Shiba Inus are high-energy dogs that need a daily exercise routine of at least an hour to stay healthy.

They are also smart dogs that are easily bored and frustrated if they don’t have enough mental stimulation.

Being able to give them a couple of daily walks between 45 minutes to an hour helps them not only to burn and release their physical energy but also to keep their minds active.

Providing them with some playtime also helps provide them with extra time for physical and mental activity that they will always appreciate.

Are Shiba Inus High-Maintenance?

The Shiba Inus are dogs characterized by being very clean, so their grooming needs are generally minimal. It’s common for them to clean themselves just like cats do.

But a Shiba is capable of shed a lot, mainly during spring and fall, although they have a coat that does not need trimming and is easy to care for.

Shibas hate being wet and bathing, so they need to get used to as puppies. Fortunately they have an undercoat that is waterproof and quite resilient to dirt so it is not necessary to bathe them very often.

In general, it’s recommended to brush them once a week to remove the extra hair and distribute their skin oils.

In addition to this, they must have basic care. Their nails should be cut regularly and their teeth brushed frequently to prevent bad breath and common mouth diseases.

Do Shiba Inus Bark a Lot?

Although they have a loud bark, the Shiba Inus are a fairly quiet dog breed. Being good guard dogs, a Shiba Inu only barks when necessary.

They often bark to alert their owner that something out of the ordinary is happening, although they also bark out of sheer joy.

But they are very vocal animals. Something that characterizes this breed is what is known as the “Shiba Inu Scream”. This is a loud, high-pitched scream that the Shiba emits when he is surprised or something is going on that he dislikes.

Are Shiba Inus Aggressive?

Shiba Inus are good-natured dogs but can be aggressive. 

They are territorial and possessive dogs with their belongings. They often do not allow someone to approach or touch their food or toys, and they can behave aggressively when they defend what they consider theirs.

Some Shiba Inus are dominant and can show aggression towards other dogs, but early socialization helps ensure that they grow to be a well-rounded dog.

A Shiba Inu responsibly raised and properly trained and socialized should not be aggressive.

Do Shiba Inus Need a Lot of Attention?

Shibas don’t need the excessive attention and cuddling that other dog breeds require. They are independent, dignified, and reserved dogs closer to a cat’s behaviors than most dogs.

But this does not mean that they are not affective. Most of them are playful and affectionate, although when he wants to spend time alone, he will let you know and his decision must be respected.

Are Shiba Inus Good Indoor Dogs?

Being independent and quite active dogs, it’s common to think that they are not good indoor dogs. It’s easier to imagine them outside spending their time their way, whether it’s playing or running in the yard.

But they are actually great indoor dogs. Although independent, they like to be relatively close to their family and are usually calm and relaxed indoors.

So that they do not show behavioral problems and destroy your entire apartment, they need their daily activity and exercise requirements to be covered.

Can a Shiba Inu Be a Guard Dog?

Although it’s a small breed for what is normally considered a good guard dog, Shiba Inus can be good guard dogs. They are strong dogs but in a small package.

They are dogs that are constantly alert and will notify their owner when unusual things happen, which makes them also good watchdogs.

The Shiba Inus are not the most affectionate dogs out there, but they are a very loyal, brave and devoted breed to their family and will defend it whenever necessary.

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Apartment Dog?

Shiba Inu Apartment

A Shiba Inu can be a great apartment dog. They are loyal dogs that create strong ties with their family while being very clean and quiet dogs. 

But although they are calm dogs indoors, they are a breed that needs a lot of physical activity and can become aggressive so it’s essential that their daily activity requirements are adequately covered.

Tips for Raising a Shiba Inu in an Apartment

Raising a Shiba Inu in an apartment

Shiba Inus Should Always Be on a Leash When Out

They keep a strong prey drive from their past as hunting dogs. They like to chase small animals and if any entertainment or scent catches their attention, they will ignore your calls and run away without being stopped.

A Shiba should never be left unattended when outside. They are known for being escape artists. They are agile and have great jumping, climbing and digging skills so it’s common for them to escape from fenced areas.

You can’t trust a Shiba Inu without a leash, either. They must be always on leash when they are outside. At the slightest opportunity a Shiba Inu will run away and disappear.

They don’t love being restrained so it’s essential to leash train a Shiba Inu as soon as possible so that he gets used to being on a leash.

It may take a while for them to adjust to using a leash, but they usually adjust in a couple of weeks.

Prevent Destructive Chewing

The Shiba Inu is a very active breed, not only physically but also mentally.

They are intelligent dogs and they need to have their minds occupied otherwise they get bored easily and usually show it by chewing whatever they find.

Daily exercise helps keep them physically and mentally active. When going for a walk a dog is constantly stimulated by the smells and sights of his surroundings. A consistent daily walk-out routine helps prevent destructive behaviors in a Shiba Inu.

Destructive behaviors often occur primarily when dogs are left alone for a long time. A long walk before they are left alone helps keep them calmer and more relaxed at home and they will not be tempted to chew on furniture or your belongings.

Dog toys are a great help in keeping a Shiba Inu’s mind busy and directing his chewing habits. Chewing toys keep them entertained for long periods, and puzzle toys help keep their minds busy.

Don’t Neglect Training and Socializing

In order for Shiba Inus to adapt well to apartment life, they must have consistent obedience training and adequate socialization throughout their lives.

Training a Shiba Inu

Due to their independent nature and stubborn personality, the Shiba Inus are considered one of the most difficult dog breeds to train. But as difficult as it is, training a Shiba Inu is a must.

You need to start training them as soon as possible. Puppy obedience classes are a good place to start as well as providing stimulation and helping with socialization.

But training a Shiba Inu requires patience, consistency, and an assertive and calm firmness.

Without consistent rules and structure, a Shiba Inu will assume the role of the pack leader and can manifest dominant and even aggressive behaviors.

Obedience training allows the owner to be seen by the dog as the leader of the pack. 

The Shiba Inus are social animals that respond well to hierarchical and dominant structures. Stating clearly the social structure of the relationship is the first step to have a successful training.

Proper training helps a Shiba Inu:

  • Less likely to run away from home.
  • Better relate to other dogs and people.
  • Don’t develop possessive and aggressive behaviors.
  • Don’t develop destructive behaviors.
  • Be easier to manipulate on visits to the vet and for grooming.

Socializing a Shiba Inu

To have a well-adjusted, well-rounded, friendly and social Shiba Inu it is essential to socialize him from an early age.

A Shiba who is not properly socialized can grow up as a fearful dog and can display aggressive behaviors.

Socialization enables dogs to develop social skills that allow them to handle various situations with confidence and proper behavior.

The benefits of socializing a dog are:

  • Prevent him from becoming a fearful dog and not being able to face new situations and experiences.
  • Help strengthen the dog’s self-confidence and prevent it from suffering from anxiety.
  • Strengthens the physical and emotional health of a dog. A social dog will spend more time playing, exercising, and interacting with other dogs and people.

Ideally, start socializing a dog while they are puppies. Between two and four months of age is considered to be a critical period for a puppy’s development, and that’s when socialization is extremely important.

Socialization allows a dog to discover the world around him. They have to get to know the greatest possible variety of new sounds, scents, sights, people, animals and other dogs, as well as being exposed to various situations and experiences in a positive way.

Some options to socialize a Shiba Inu with other dogs are:

  • Dog Daycare. In a daycare a Shiba Inu has the opportunity to socialize with people and other dogs throughout the day.
  • Dog Parks. If you can find a safe dog park with responsible owners, it can be a good place for your dog to run, play, and socialize off-leash.

Final Thoughts

A Shiba Inu can be an excellent apartment dog. It is a fairly clean small dog breed, easy to housebreak and that hardly barks.

But it’s a dog that has high energy levels and needs to have enough exercise daily. It’s also essential that they are properly socialized and consistently trained in order to properly adapt to apartment life.

It is always necessary to thoroughly know the characteristics and particular needs of a Shiba Inu before adopting one. 

Beyond being a dog that adapts well to small apartment life, we must make sure that he adapts to our lifestyle and we can offer him everything he needs to have a happy and healthy life.

Having a Shiba Inu is a long-term commitment and requires time, effort, and money. But any Shiba Inu owner will tell you it’s worth it.


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