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Are Shiba Inus Really That Difficult to Train? (Answered)

Dogs are undoubtedly a great addition to people’s life. But before making the decision to get a dog, it is essential to get educated about their breed as their physical features, behavior, characteristics heavily depends on that.

In this article we aim to help you understand Shiba Inus a little better, focusing mainly focusing on training them.

Are Shiba Inus really that difficult to train?

Shiba Inus are known as one of the most difficult breeds of dogs to train. Their strong and stubborn personality with their reluctances to partake in activities they don’t understand makes it hard to train them. A certain method, consistency and lots of patience is required to train them.

Despite being the hardest breed to train, Shiba Inus are widely popular due to their foxlike appearance and also their small yet agile bodies.

Many people make the mistake of getting them because of their unique look without considering the effort and time required to train them.

They are strong-willed and also stubborn to a fault. They refuse to respond to activities which doesn’t make sense to them. And if they are forced or feel threatened, they tend to fight back.

They also have a singular state of mind and can easily become obsessed with things when they put their focus on it. And backing down is out of the question when it comes to achieving their goals.

Shiba Inus can even refuse to eat, go on walks or do other activities that bring them joy if their pride if hurt.

Why are Shibas so hard to train?

Before you begin the process of training your Shiba, it is best to learn more about their personality, to help understand them better and also decide the best course of action to take when trying to train them.


One of the main reasons why Shibas are so hard to train is because of their stubbornness. They don’t easily respond to calls or commands unless they feel like it or they are in the mood.

They are known to focus on things with a singular state of mind, and sometimes can become obsessed with them. This sometimes leads them to be destructive if they feel like they can’t have it.


Shibas are usually moody and will ignore you for long periods of time unless you can provide them with a good enough incentive to come to you and show affection.


When people say Shibas are independent, it isn’t necessarily a good trait. Yes, they have a mind of their own and can entertain themselves for long periods of time.

Sometimes, this results in them doing things which are not allowed without caring about what you might think as long as they can get their way.


Usually when dogs have caused any trouble and are punished, they try to avoid repeating those mistakes.

Shibas on the other hand will try to avoid getting punished altogether but when that doesn’t work, they will stop eating, going on walks and other activities if they feel like you have wounded their pride.

How to discipline a Shiba Inu?

When trying to discipline your Shiba Inu, you should start by getting their attention, try to seek the things they enjoy to use as rewards and also how to stop a bad habit without using force.

A few things to help you to discipline and install good habits in your Shiba Inu:

Consistency and patience:

Dogs, in general will respond well when they begin to recognize a trend in your behavior.

Similarly, while training a Shiba Inu you must capture their attention since they only do things they understand, like or feel like has a reward at the end.

So, whatever method you choose, be sure to stay consistent because if they feel confused due to your changing actions, they are less likely to be disciplined.

When you start teaching them a new habit, they might not respond as you are hoping or will make mistakes along the way. At times like that try to stay calm and just power through.

Do not shout or use forces:

They can recognize the difference between your voice. When you use a loud voice, it gets harder for them to grasp what they did wrong as they can become agitated.

This can even cause them to fear and stay away from you. Also, force or aggression doesn’t help when training Shiba Inus. They will start mirroring your behavior thinking it is normal to get aggressive and begin fighting back.

Stop bad habits from the start:

When you notice your Shiba doing something he shouldn’t be doing like making a mess, develop a word or sign to get their attention stop them.

You can even give them treats when they stop. This will help them distinguish the good from the bad.

Are Shiba Inus hard to potty train?

It is not hard to potty train a shiba inu. Shiba Inus like to stay clean. They have a cat-like quality, you will often notice them licking their paws when it gets dirty.

When they understand potty training helps them stay clean, it isn’t hard to get them potty train. They eagerly learn where and when to go potty.

How to potty train a Shiba Inu?

Even though it is easier to potty train Shiba Inus, consistency and patience are the key. You need a routine that your Shiba Inu can become accustomed to.

  • You can start by scheduling when you feed them. So, if your Shiba Inu eats and drink at 8 am, he might need to go potty after approximately two hours.
  • Don’t leave them for too long. This will help avoid accidents and also help your Shiba understand when they need potty breaks during the day and not to hold it in for long.
  • Be particular about where they can go potty and make it easy for them to go there.
  • If they have an accident in the wrong place, clean it up quickly and get rid of the odor. This will help them understand that they need to go to a specific place to potty.

This tips may seem simple, but carefully implementing them will help potty train your Shiba Inu and help prevent accidents at home and also outside.

Why do Shibas refuse to walk?

Shibas will sometimes refuse to walk. This is a form of communication they use. Sometimes to let their owners know that they are unhappy about something. Or it can be simply because they are not accustomed to taking walks outside yet.

How to train a Shiba Inu to walk on a leash?

If you are thinking of taking your Shiba Inus on walks, you need to know how to get them used to a leash.  Some tips can make the process easier.

  • You need to start by slowly familiarizing the collar or leash to your puppy. Show it to them frequently, this will help pique their interest.
  • Reward them every time they allow you to drape the collar on them and keep it only for as long as they are comfortable.
  • Try to help them differentiate when to walk and when to stop by the tautness of the lease. This will allow them to understand they can walk only when the leash is loose. Do not let them drag you but at the same time try not to tag on the collar either.

Once they understand the rules of walking with a leash, they will be unable to contain their excitement when it is time for walks!

How to train a Shiba Inu not to bite?

Biting should be discouraged from a young age, because it will only get worse and more aggressive with time. Some ways to help expel this habit are listed below.

  • Shiba Inus sometimes simply bite because they have too much pent-up energy. Try helping them use that energy by taking them on long walks or by playing with them.
  • Shiba Inus often bite to get your attention. Try to give them attention before they restore to biting. Simply lying with them on the carpet or playing with them may help them stop biting for your attention.
  • Whenever you catch them trying to bite, let them know in a calm yet firm manner that it is unpleasant for you. You can simply say ‘No.’ or use a hand gesture.

Why are Shiba Inus so stubborn?

Shiba Inus are a stubborn breed of dogs because they are exceptionally smart and have a mind of their own. This makes them require extra socialization. So, when they feel like something makes no sense to them or if there is not reward at the end, they will refuse to do it.

Are Shiba Inus good for beginners?

People without much experience with dogs are usually not good matches for Shiba Inus. Because training any dog comes with hurdles of its own but Shiba Inus are particularly tough to train due to their primitive traits and even professionals face difficulties training them.

However, it is not impossible for first-time owners to do well with Shiba Inus as long as they know what they are signing up for and become accustomed to the issues that will arise along the way.

Training Shiba Inus will come with its own set of hurdles and difficulties. But if you feel you are ready for the journey, don’t let doubts stop you. Because with time and patience you will find loyal companionship with your Shiba Inu.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Shiba Inus Good with Other Dogs?

Are Shiba Inus Mean?

Are Shiba Inus Related To Foxes, Akitas, Wolves, Huskies, etc.?

Are Shibas Affectionate?

Are Shibas Allowed at Groomers?

Can Shiba Inus be Left Alone? For How Long?