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Are Shiba Inus Mean? (All You Need to Know!)

When thinking about getting a dog, you might find yourself getting drawn to Shiba Inus as they are of a convenient size, carry a foxy look, and are quite simple to groom.

However, as a potential owner, you might find yourself asking certain questions regarding its personality. It is necessary for you to explore this certain breed in-depth and understand its nature fully before deciding to get one. 

Are Shiba Inus Mean?

Shiba Inus can come across as mean due to being quite aggressive in nature. This is because they have a history of being hunters and are prey-driven dogs. Their destructive tendencies do not allow them to work well with others unless their owner puts in a serious effort to hone their social skills.

Shiba Inus are quite difficult to train and raise due to their independent and ninja warrior personality. 

They are required to be kept on leashes at all times because of their high hunting drive. They have quick reflexes, which make them pounce on anything that moves.

When unsupervised, they tend to cause havoc, and if they are unhappy about something, they emit a loud shrieking noise. 

Due to all these qualities, which many people aren’t well equipped to handle, Shiba Inus are sometimes considered to be mean. 

Why are Shiba Inus so mean?

Due to the way Shibas were bred and trained back in the days, their bloodline became known to possess a temperament that is different from other dogs. 

Strong-willed and stubborn:

Shiba Inus will not surrender to a challenge, and you will find them fighting back if they perceive something as a threat. Many owners find themselves having to deal with dog-to-dog as well as people-aggression when it comes to their Shibas. 

Sly cleverness:

Shiba Inus are very clever and will often push your buttons and outsmart you. They are quite manipulative and will use your weaknesses to their advantage if they can sense any.

They will do whatever they want, and if they can’t get away with it, they will figure out a different way to do so. 

Destructive Tendencies:

Shiba Inus are very energetic and can cause havoc if left unsupervised. You require secured fences, or else their agile climbing and digging skills may have them slipping away.

They can also cause a wreck in your house and dismantle or tear down anything they find in their way. 


Shibas tend to be quite sensitive and if they are unhappy about something, they emit this blood-curdling scream that is also known as the Shiba scream. When in an unhappy state, they might also snap or bite someone that goes near them. 

Why are Shiba Inus so weird?

Due to them being strong-willed and clever, it has helped them survive in the wild but at the same time make it quite difficult to train them.  


Shiba Inus have a reputation for being stubborn. They will not follow you around or do something against its nature.

If you tell them to do something, there is a high chance that they will resist until they want to do it themselves. This quality makes it quite difficult to train them properly. 

Preying Tendencies:

Shiba Inus tend to chase its tails as it moves. And it is not limited to that; you will also find them chasing other things that move. They are very aggressive to other dogs and animals, and this will be a huge problem for you if you already own a pet. 


You will find them guarding their stuff which includes toys, food, and their territory.

If you give them proper socialization skills, you might be able to reduce this quality. However, it is always wise to put their favorite toys away from kids to avoid any quarrel. 

Not fond of human contact:

It is extremely important to note that they do not appreciate human contact like many other dogs.

They do not like to be handled, and thus maintenance acts such as bathing, brushing, or vet examination will be extremely difficult to do. 

Are Shiba Inus really that difficult?

Shiba Inus used to be hunting dogs and that is the reason they are quite aggressive in nature. Their hunting trait has been passed on for generations which can cause them to come off as difficult to handle.

However, if a Shiba Inu is trained properly from a very young age then their hunting tendencies can be minimized, and thus they can be a lot easier to handle. 

You do have to keep in mind though that they can be difficult to train in the first place, and you will have to put a lot of effort into it. You can also indulge in programs that might be able to help you further.

They require an owner who is firm and confident and who can put in the time and willingness to understand as well as manage their quirks and needs. A well-trained and socialized Shiba can be a great companion dog.

How do you discipline a Shiba Inu? 

It is notoriously difficult to train Shiba Inus and you have to be understanding when they make inevitable mistakes.

When training, you’re building a solid foundation with your dog so it’s important for you to maintain the following steps and create an environment where they can put their trust in you. 

Praise and Rewards:

When your dog is doing something right make sure to utter words of affirmations or reward them with treats.

These simple acts will be appreciated and encourage the dog to do it even more in the future. However, be careful to not give it too many treats and make them learn that they have to earn it and be patient about receiving one. 

Learn positive obedience training:

Do not hit your dog for doing something wrong as it is extremely harsh and cruel. It is ineffective and will only cause fear and pain in them. Instead, use positive reinforcements to discipline your dog when they do something wrong.  

Use your voice to stop unwanted behavior:

When you catch your dog doing something wrong you can use a trigger sound such as ‘Ah, Ah!’ to alert the dog that they are doing something wrong. 

Potty Training:

If you catch your dog in the act away from its designated spot, use a form of an alert such as a clap and take it to its usual spot. This immediate form of discipline is extremely effective over time. 

To prevent them from biting:

You can do this by spraying a bitter substance on top of all the substances in your dog’s reach and this will avoid them from licking or biting anything. Be sure to keep important documents out of reach!

Take help:

If you’re facing any kind of problems to be understanding or patient when house training, take help from a professional dog trainer. They are well equipped and can guide you to understand your dog’s needs better. 

Do Shiba Inus love their owners?

Shiba Inus are known for being companion dogs for good reasons. They love their owners and are very loyal to them. They might not be very touchy or cuddly, but they are very protective of their owners. As a result, they can be quite territorial and intimidating to outsiders. 

Are Shiba Inus good with strangers?

They tend to not be friendly with strangers. In fact, they are quite alert and reserved around strangers and some can also get aggressive.

This comes from their instinct to protect their owners. However, with proper training and socializing skills, this quality can be minimized, and their exposure to strangers can be more positive. 

Are Shiba Inus good with small dogs? 

No, shiba inus are not good with small dogs. They tend to get very dominant and especially with dogs of the same sex. With larger dogs, they might be playful sometimes.

But when it comes to small dogs, Shibas tends to get aggressive in attempts to prove that they are the boss. 

Are Shiba Inus good with cats? 

Shiba inus are not good with cats. Shibas will not back down from a confrontation, and that makes it very difficult to have cats around them. They are driven by their high spirit, and you will often find them chasing cats around. 

Are Shiba Inus good with kids? 

Shiba inus are not good with kids as they are aggressive in nature. Since they are naturally aggressive, it is recommended to have a leash on them around children.

They are also very territorial when it comes to their toys and can bear their teeth in response to anyone taking them.

Therefore, it is very important to only have kids around that are taught how to approach a dog. It is also very important for kids to not touch their tails or ears. 

Are Shiba Inus good with rabbits?

They are not the best dogs to have around small creatures like rabbits. Since they have a history of hunting and having a strong prey drive. Thus, they will not hesitate to chase little creatures like rabbits. 

Are male or female Shiba Inu better? 

For first-time owners, it is recommended to adopt a male Shiba as they are more affectionate and easier to handle. They are also much more eager to please compared to female Shibas so training is a lot simpler as well. 

If you decide to adopt a Shiba it is required for you to be extremely patient and understanding. With proper training, care, and socialization skills your Shiba will grow up to be an intelligent dog with a wonderful and bold personality.

If you discipline your dog in the right way and show proper dominance and firmness over it, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy relationship with it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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?

Can Shiba Inus Be Service or Therapy Dogs?

Can Shiba Inus Live in Hot or Cold Weather?