Puppy Tips

What to Know before Getting a Shiba Inu Puppy


The Shiba Inu breed originated in ancient Japan. Shiba Inu’s are small, but well-built dogs that were once primarily used for hunting. 60 years ago, the Shiba Inu dog arrived in America for the first time. Since then, Shiba Inu puppies have gained popularity in the United States among city-dwellers and suburban residents alike.

The Shiba Inu gained this popularity because of its small but sturdy frame and confident personality. This article will explain everything you need to know about this breed before you buy a Shiba Inu puppy of your own!

Health and Life Expectancy of Your Shiba Inu Puppy

Before getting a Shiba Inu puppy, one of the most important things to understand is the breed’s common health issues and average life expectancy.

Your Shiba Inu puppy will likely enjoy a long and happy life. The average life expectancy for a Shiba Inu puppy is 12 to 15 years. Taking your Shiba Inu puppy for regular walks and hikes will ensure this breed’s longevity. Shiba Inu’s will be about 25 to 30 pounds when fully grown, with the females weighing in a bit lighter than the males.

Shiba Inu’s have very few major health problems. A lot of Shiba Inu puppies will be susceptible to minor health issues, specifically allergies and eye cataracts. As far as major health issues, this breed has relatively few. Patellar luxation is one of the more serious health problems that are common in Shia Inu’s. A vert can determine your dog’s likelihood to develop certain health issues will specialized tests.

Overall, Shiba Inu puppies are healthy dogs with relatively few common health issues to worry about!

Exercise for Your Shiba Inu Puppy

As mentioned earlier, Shiba Inu’s are very active dogs. Their ancient roots as adaptable hunting dogs still show up in some behaviors today. One way you can see their history is by watching how agile and fast they are.

Your Shiba Inu puppy will have lots of energy, so 2 to 3 daily walks, a long hike, or throwing around a ball for a while in the yard is necessary. Lots of people may think because this breed is a small size, that they do not need a lot of exercise – but this is untrue. These dogs need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Another great way to keep your Shiba Inu puppy stimulated at home is to purchase a brain teaser puzzle for them. Many dog toy manufacturers make puzzle toys where you can hide treats or other goodies inside. The mental stimulation of trying to release the treat from the toy is great mental exercise for your Shiba Inu puppy.

Grooming Your Shiba Inu Puppy

Shiba Inu’s have a “double coat”. This means they have an extra layer of fur, called an undercoat, that sits under the top layer of fur. This helps keep them warm (so, these dogs are great in colder climates and will love to play in the snow!)

When the warm weather comes around, they will shed their undercoat. You will need to regularly brush and groom your Shiba Inu puppy. You may also invest in an undercoat “rake” to facilitate the removal of their shedding fur, especially in the hot months. If you have invested in grooming tools and a good vacuum, you should be well prepared for your Shiba Inu’s shedding.

Training Your Shiba Inu Puppy

Shiba Inu’s are extremely intelligent dogs. In addition to being intelligent, they are known to be independent and a tad stubborn. Due to their intelligence, these dogs can learn new commands with ease.

However, Shiba Inu’s have an independent streak, which means you must motivate them to listen to you. You should establish yourself as the pack leader early on. By being firm and confident when leading your dog, they will learn that you are in control. Some say eye contact with this breed is extremely important for teaching them to listen to you. Teaching them a command, like “Look!” and rewarding them when they look up at you, is a great start.

You should start training your Shiba Inu puppy as soon as possible. You can start with commands and leash training. Shiba Inu puppies are usually motivated by rewards, especially treats, so be sure to keep those on hand.

Discipline for this breed is especially important. If your Shiba Inu begins to display unacceptable behavior, like nipping you or chewing on shoes, they must be taught it is not okay. Shiba Inu’s are hunting dogs, with a prey drive, so it’s recommended you do not let these dogs off-leash while walking in a public area.

Training a Shiba Inu puppy will be like training other dogs, but it might take a little more patience. These dogs are extremely smart, yet also confident individuals who are known to be headstrong. Once you have your Shiba Inu’s independence under control, you will be able to train them with ease. If you struggle with training your puppy, seek a professional trainer. They will be able to teach you how to implement certain training techniques correctly.

Socializing Your Shiba Inu Puppy

Socializing your puppy early on will allow them to be friendly towards other dogs later in life, which is important, especially if you live in an area with lots of dogs or plan to enroll your dog in boarding or doggy daycare.

Shiba Inu dogs are known to be a little less social than the average dog, perhaps because of their independent nature. However, do not give in to their nature. They can learn to be social. From the moment you get your Shiba Inu puppy, you should slowly introduce the puppy to other dogs.

Start small though, you do not want to throw your Shiba Inu into a doggy daycare or dog park situation right away. Take your Shiba Inu puppy out to pet stores. Some pet stores offer puppy playtime which is helpful for socialization. If you have family and friends with dogs of their own, do a small puppy meet-up. Allow your Shiba Inu to meet other dogs one-on-one, before putting your puppy in a group situation.

If your puppy shows aggression or other concerning behaviors toward other dogs, it’s best to proceed with caution and consult a professional trainer on how to socialize your puppy. They have a loud bark, but they are not a breed that is typically physically aggressive with other dogs!

In Conclusion

Shiba Inu’s are a great dog breed with lots to love. They are independent, energic, confident, and have a great Shiba “smile” on their face all the time!

You want your Shiba Inu puppy to live the best life possible. Some important points to remember when getting a Shiba Inu puppy of your own:

  • They shed – be prepared for it!

  • They’re independent and smart. Be prepared to be patient with training.

  • These dogs have generally great health and few common health issues.

  • Regular exercise is extremely important.

  • Mental stimulation is vital for these dogs. Be sure to keep them occupied.

By following the tips and tricks you learned in this article, you should have no problem raising a happy and healthy Shiba Inu puppy. You will enjoy their joyful company for years to come!


  • What You Should Know BEFORE Getting a Shiba Inu – Super Shiba

  • Shiba Inu Dog Breed Information (akc.org)

  • Shiba Inu Training Guide: How to Discipline Correctly (Updated 2021) (norcalshiba.com)

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