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Common Shiba Inu Behaviors And Solutions (Complete Guide)

Adopting a Shiba Inu is certainly easier but petting him is not especially when the owner is not aware of its common traits as it can create difficulties for the owner.

Therefore, if you contemplate adopting a Shiba Inu, you surely would like to know what are the common Shiba Inu behaviors and the solutions to these behavioral issues. 

So, this article is going to break down all the sections of common Shiba Inu behavioral characteristics and the solutions. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Smile?

When Shiba Inus are relaxed or content, they appear to open mouth with their wider cheeks. And that makes them look like that they are smiling and twice as delighted and joyful. But, Shiba Inus are not that typical happy-go-lucky dogs, so they are seen with happy faces only when they are pleased.

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Shiba Inus are neither so affectionate nor happy-go-lucky dogs. So, only if they are pleased and relaxed, they are seen to open their mouth with their wider cheeks that seem like they are smiling happily. And their facial structure enhances their smiling appearance more. 

How Do I Know If My Shiba Inu Is Happy?

Here are some practical ways to know that your Shiba Inu is happy. 

Playful And Active 

If your Shiba Inu is happy, he will act very playful and active. For example, he’ll get excited while carrying his playthings.

Funny Noises 

When your Shiba Inu is happy, he will make funny noises or speak in dog language that you’ll not understand. 

Wag Tail

Your Shiba will welcome you at the door with a wagging tail and delighted temperament. It simply means he is happy. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Shake?

Shaking is just an unusual behavior of Shiba Inus. They shake themselves from their nose to tail tip thoroughly and unnecessarily. Usually, it’s not a serious issue for Shibas to shake. However, they also can shake if aggression, fear, panting, indication, and hiding trigger them.

Why Does My Shiba Inu Shake?

The possible reasons that can trigger shaking behavior in your Shiba Inu are explained below.

The Shiba Shake 

It might sound unusual but Shiba Inus actually do shake themselves from their nose to tail unnecessarily. It’s just one of their unusual behaviors known as the Shiba shake. 


If Shiba Inus are not properly socialized or is afraid of noise or certain situations, he will shiver when these incidents trigger them or when they are around other pet/people. 


When your Shiba Inu is suffering from any injury or pain or health condition, he will tremble as he is in pain. 

How Do You Calm A Shiba Inu Down? 

Calming down your Shiba Inu is challenging but not difficult, you can follow these ways to calm your Shiba Inu down. 

Relaxing Environment 

Provide him a relaxing and positive environment so that he can feel safe, loved, and relaxed. And it will help him to calm down.

Obedience Training 

Train your Shiva Inu with obedience training to call him down when he does unnecessary activities like being hyperactive or barking. 

Adequate Exercise 

Though Shiba Inus don’t require strenuous exercises, you must provide him with adequate exercise or walk so that his mind gets stimulated and he stays calm. 

Why Do Shibas Dig?

Shiba Inus got strong preying instincts as they were bred for small hunting games so they chase preys and dig into their hole to catch them. Or else, if Shiva Inus get any critter infestation, they will dig into your yard. And sometimes Shiba Inus dig because it has turned into their habit. 

Why Is My Shiba Inu Digging?

Some certain reasons trigger digging behavior in Shiba Inus, here large reasons are explained 

Strong Prey Instinct 

Shiba Inus were bred for small hunting games purposes too. Therefore, they have got strong prey instincts. So to catch their target prey, they chase them and dig into their tunnels. 


If your Shiba Inu is pregnant, she will dig to build a den for her future pups to protect them. 


When your Shiba Inu is bored or has got no interesting activity to do, he will dig in your yards, just to get rid of boredom. 

How Do I Get My Shiba Inu To Stop Digging? 

Some very effective methods that can help you to make your Shiba Inu stop digging have been unraveled for you. 

Burn Off Excess Energy 

Take your Shiba Inu for a regular walk or exercise to make him burn off his excess energy. This will make his body tired and he will not be interested in digging. 

Exciting Toys/Games

Buy your Shiba Inu exciting new toys/games to play with. It will reduce their boredom as well as will keep them entertained and occupied. 

Eliminate Critter Infestation 

If there is a presence of critters in your garden, call the pest control and eliminate critter infestation. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Cry?

Shiba Inus cry if they are triggered with anxiety, fear, pain, loneliness, or excitement. Besides, certain situations like while visiting vets, having a nail clipping session, getting their tail trimmed, and while getting bathed, they cry. Because they don’t like excessive touches of strangers.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Crying?

Major reasons that ignite crying/screaming in Shiba Inus are explained below.

Separation Anxiety 

Shiba Inus are not prone to separation anxiety. But a newly brought puppy or if you leave your Shiba alone for a long time, he will cry. 


If your Shiva Inu is afraid of any person, animal, noise, or object, upon seeing/hearing them, fear will trigger him and he will cry. 


If your Shiba Inu is unhappy with his grooming sessions or visiting a vet, he will cry to express discomfort. As Shibas don’t enjoy touches of outsiders.  

How Do I Get My Shiba To Stop Crying?

You can’t stop your Shiba from crying, you only can prevent him from crying. So here some effective ways have been described to help you. 

Positive Reinforcement 

If your Shiba Inu is unpleasant/stressed at the vet’s clinic or grooming parlor, give him treats or praise him verbally as a form of positive reinforcement. 

Calm On Cues 

Train your Shiba with cue words like “calm down” when both of you are in a calm position. Practice regularly until he calms down on your cue word or command. 


If you feel that your Shiba is crying/screaming for no good reason, ignore him. So that he can understand that he will not get any attention. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Bite?

Shiba Inus bite when they have loads of pent-up energy, or they are simply bored and finding no interesting activity to do. Also, when in the puppy phase, Shiba Inu puppies bite on things to understand the shape and taste of an object; it’s any dog’s primary manner of interacting with the world.   

Why Does My Shiba Inu Bite So Much? 

The reasons why your Shiba Inu Bites you so much have been included in this section below. 

Pent-Up Energy 

If your Shiba Inu doesn’t get enough exercise to release its energy then he might use all the pent-up energy in biting things to lose energy. 

Growing Adult Teeth 

When your Shiba puppy is growing its adult teeth, he would chew on everything including you. Because chewing on stuff helps him to develop strong gum and teeth. 

Understanding The World 

At puppy phase, your Shiba puppy will bite on everything to understand the shape, size, and taste of things. It’s a dog method to understand the world. 

How To Stop My Shiba Inu From Biting Me?

Below some of the useful ways to stop your Shiba Inu from biting you have been suggested below. 

Chew Toys 

To divert your Shiva puppy’s mind from the pain and bothering of new teeth developing and biting you, get him some durable chew toys to chew on. 


Take your Shiba Inu for walks or provide him with enough exercise so that he loses his pent-up energies and stops biting. 

Verbal Reprimand And Redirect 

Tran your Shiba Inu with a verbal reprimand like “Stop” whenever he tries to bite you. Then redirect him to a suitable chewing toy. 

Why Do Shibas Sneeze?

Shiba Inus sneeze if pollen or dust mites are irritating them inside their nose. So they sneeze to get rid of that discomfort. Sometimes, seasonal allergies make Shiba Inus sneeze. However, if a healthy Shiba Inu sneezes, there’s nothing to worry about as it’s natural. 

3 Reasons Why Shibas Sneeze?

Three main reasons behind your Shiba Inu sneezing have been explained below. 


Grass or flower pollen, dust mites, or mold allergies cause sneezing in Shiba Inu. Seasonal inhalant allergies are another reason that causes sneezing seasonally. 

Play Sneeze 

Most of the healthy Shibas will sneeze while playing to express that they are enjoying and excited. It’s called “play sneeze” and it’s totally normal. 

Health Problems 

If your Shiba is suffering from a cold or more serious a nasal obstruction, he will sneeze continuously to try to get rid of such irritation. 

How To Tell If Your Shiba Is Sneezing Due To Allergies?

Signs or ways that indicate allergic sneezing in Shiba Inus have been explained here.

Licking Paws 

Along with sneezing, allergies will cause itchy paws too. So you will notice your Shiba chewing or licking his paws incessantly. 

Runny Nose

If sneezing is caused by seasonal allergies, your Shiba will sneeze with a runny nose. 

Swelled Face/Throat 

If an acute allergic reaction is a root cause that’s making your Shiba sneeze, you will notice his swollen face or throat. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Lick Their Paws?

Shiba Inus lick paws either because of their natural dog instincts or they are simply bored. Otherwise, the worst possible reasons are anxiety, allergies, dry skin, hormonal imbalance, or the existence of ticks/fleas that triggers excessive paw licking in Shiba Inus.  

3 Reasons Why Shibas Lick Their Paws?

Three main reasons are described here to let you know why Shibas lick their paws.


When your Shiba is highly bored, it increases the degree of their stress hormone. So to reduce stress and redirect their mind, Shiba Inus lick their paws.

Dry Paws 

If your Shiba Inus paws have become rough and dry, it will irritate him. Therefore, he will lick his paws to soothe the irritation. 


If your Shiba Inu has injured his paws or any insect has wounded him, he will lick his paws incessantly to get relief from the pain. 

How Can I Get My Shiba Inu To Stop Licking His Paws?

Here some solutions are suggested for you to make your Shiba Inu stop licking his paws.

Mental Stimulation 

Interesting games/toys can channel your Shiba Inus lethargy into something exciting and constructive so that he can release his energy and get mentally stimulated. 

Eliminate Stressing Object 

If your Shiba is licking paws to calm him down from stress/anxiety, eliminate those stress-triggering objects from his life. 

Take Him To A Vet 

If the excessive licking is a result of wounds or injury, take your Shiba to a vet to get him necessary treatments. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Howl?

Shiba Inus are the closest to wolves so they have inherited howling by birth, so the howls. Apart from this reason, Shiba Inus will howl if they are feeling lonely and want a companion, feeling unwell, scared of something, or they are simply bored and want to grab attention. 

Why Is My Shiba Inu Howling?

The most probable reasons are clarified below. 

Loneliness/Separation Anxiety

Although Shibas are not apt to loneliness, however, if your Shiba is a newly adopted Shiba puppy he can howl to express loneliness/separation anxiety. 


Howling is a way of crying too. So if your Shiba is unwell, in pain, or injured, he will howl to vocalize his discomfort. 


If your Shiba Inu is having an uneventful time, he will howl to get attention. 

How Do You Train A Shiba Inu Not To Howl?

Some training ways to train your Shiba not to howl have been narrated for you below.

The “Quiet” Command 

Train your Shiba with a quiet command. Whenever he will start howling, you can make a hand gesture and say quiet to make him stop howling on your command.

Divert His Mind 

If your Shiba is howling out of boredom, divert his mind with engaging activities like a game of tug war or finding treats games. 

Make Him Feel Safe 

If your Shiba puppy is howling because of loneliness or he is scared, make him feel loved and safe by keeping his crate to you. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Growl?

Shiba Inus growls to express dominance over his masters and other animals. Also, growling is a manifestation of Shiba Inus aggression. If Shibas are not liking any behavior of strangers like trying to touch them or pet them, they will growl to make them run away out of fear. 

Why Does My Shiba Inu Growl? 

Common reasons that can provoke your Shiba Inu to growl are deciphered below. 

Expressing Dominance 

Shibas are strong-willed dogs so if your Shiba Inu is wishing to dominate you or other members or any other pet in your home, he will growl. 

Manifesting Aggression 

If any outsider approaches your Shiba to pet him or touch him, he will growl to make him run away. 


When your Shiba Inu is frightened of something, he will growl every time he sees that object or person.  

How Do You Train A Shiba Not To Be Aggressive? 

Instead of training your Shiba not to be aggressive, you can adopt these effective methods to calm down his aggression. 

Neuter/Spay Your Shiba Inu 

If your Shiba hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, he can growl to show dominance, therefore, neuter or spay your Shiba Inu to calm down his aggression. 

 Exercise/Regular Walk 

Regular walk, exercise, or playtime will let your Shiba Inu release his stored-up energies which will make his body tired and mind stimulated. So he will not growl. 

Be Consistent 

As a Shiba Inu owner, you must be consistent with your lessons to teach him not to be aggressive and make him learn when he should growl and when not. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Snort?

Shiba Inus snort or do reverse sneezing when they are trying to discard an obstacle from their airways. Another reason why Shiba Inus can snort is obesity. If any Shiba is overweight, it can face difficulties while breathing and that can make him snort. 

2 Reasons Why Does Shiba Inu Snort?

The major two reasons that make Shiba Inus snort has been defined for you. 


Excess weight or obesity can make your Shiba have a difficult time while breathing or can make him feel as if something is hindering his airflow, therefore, he will snort.

Removal Of Obstruction 

When your Shiba Inu will get a feeling that something(debris/fluid) is obstructing his upper airway, he will snort or do reverse sneezing to clearing their airway by removing the obstruction. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Spin?

Shiba Inus spin to express excitement. When Shiba Inus are really excited over something or happy, they tend to hop on their back legs and spin giddily, it’s just Shiba Inu’s method of displaying excitement. Also, Shiba Inus enjoy tapping on their paws promptly. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Run In Circle?

There are a few certain reasons that make Shiba Inus run in a circle, the reasons are given below. 

Lack Of Exercise 

If you keep your Shiba Inu in a crate or a confined place most of the time, it can make him run in a circle after his tail as a way of releasing energy. 


When your Shiba is triggered with anxiety due to lack of mental stimulation, he will run in a circle to get relief from high-stress levels. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Whine?

A healthy and happy Shiba Inu whines to grab attention or if he wants something like treats, food, or a walk. However, if Shiba Inus are stressed, scared of any particular thing or situation, or they are suffering from external or internal pain, they will whine excessively. 

Why Does My Shiba Inu Whine?

There are both good and bad reasons behind your Shiba Inu’s whining, the major reasons are listed here. 

Wants Attention 

When your Shiba Inu want to get your attention, he will whine until you pay attention to him. 

Needs Something 

If your Shiba is expecting food, treats, playtime, or a walk from you, he will whine to express that he needs that thing. 


Your Shiba will whine to say that he is under stress or he is scared of a particular situation or object. 


Any kind of physical distress will make your Shiba whine excessively as he wants to express his suffering. 

How Do I Get My Shiba Inu Stop Whining All The Time?

Some useful ways to get your Shiba Inu to stop whining have been added in this section for you to follow. 

Ignore Him 

If you realize your Shiba is whining unnecessarily, ignore him. Ignoring will make him realize that his whining will not get him anything so he will stop whining after a while. 

Take Him To A Vet 

If physical distress or pain is the reason behind whining, take him to a vet immediately to treat his injury or physical condition. 

Make Him Feel Safe 

Try to make your Shiba feel safe and eliminate all triggering stuff that makes him stressed or scared. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Dance?

Shiba Inu’s dancing is a clear manifestation of their excitement and joy. Shibas like to tap paws when they are filled up with overflowing joy. And this emotion makes them hop on their hind legs and dance around. Being over joyous is the main reason behind shiba inus dancing.

When Shiba Inus are too excited over something that gives them sheer pleasure and joy, they start to dance around. Overflowing joy and energetic mood just make these fluffy adorable dogs hop in their hind legs and tap their paws. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Eat Poop?

Shiba Inus eat poop simply because they like the taste and it’s the most usual reason. Otherwise, if Shibas are going through any digestive enzyme deficiency, they will eat dung. Sometimes, anxiety and lackness of mental stimulation also can make Shiba Inus eat poop. 

Eating poop is one of the repulsive habits of Shiba Inus. Shibas will be seen eating poop just because they might be enjoying the taste. Or if the Shibas are lacking digestive enzymes, they will eat poop. Stress or lack of physical/mental stimulation also can make Shibas eat poop. 

Why Do Shiba Inus Eat Grass?

Shiba Inus eat grass just because they love to eat it. It’s a weird yet fun fact about them that for some reason, Shibas like the taste of grass so they eat it. Another reason is if Shiba Inus have an upset stomach, they will be seen eating grass to heal their stomach.

Shiba Inus eat grass may because of three reasons. Biologists say that, if a Shiba is chomping on grass either he is liking the taste of grass, he is hungry and lacking of nutrition, or he has an upset stomach, therefore, he is eating grass.

As a Shiba Inu owner, you must know all the common Shiba Inu behaviors and solutions, so that you don’t face any difficulty in petting them. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Shiba Inus Bark a Lot?

Do Shiba Inus Like Water?

Do Shiba Inus Sleep A Lot?

Do Shiba Inus Smell Bad?

How Do Shiba Inus Play?

How Fast and Far Can Shiba Inus Run?