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Shiba Inus are one of the most popular Japanese dog breeds. While they come from Japan, it’s not uncommon to see them in the United States or across the world. Shiba Inus are also cute dogs that are known for being lovable and affectionate. 

How does that translate to training, though? Well, unfortunately, Shiba Inus are some of the hardest dog breeds to train. It’s not impossible but you need to follow the appropriate steps to train them properly. 

The good news is that we’re here to help. We’ll take you through how to train a Shiba Inu and answer any questions you might have about the breed.

Read on to learn more below.

Things to Consider Before You Begin Training a Shiba Inu

Before you jump right into training a Shiba Inu, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Shiba Inus have a lot of energy and need a lot of stimulation, so come prepared. Learn about some other factors to consider below.

Shiba Inu


Shiba Inus are some of the peppiest dogs you’ll ever find. This means you need to have the time and patience to spend long hours with them. You’ll need to take them on walks, provide them with enough space, and avoid getting frustrated when they get the zoomies.

Dog-Proof Your Space

Whether it’s an apartment, house, or backyard, it’s necessary to dog-proof any spaces that your dog will live in. For example, Shiba Inus are fast dogs and can get under fences or tear through your furniture. So, make sure you start by making your space a safe one.

Consider the Type of Training

When training a Shiba Inu it’s important to consider the type of training you need. If you plan on training your dog to be a house pet, that’s something most people can do on their own with a little time and focus.

That said, you’ll want to see a professional if you want to train a Shiba Inu as a therapy dog, service dog, or emotional support animal (ESA).

Shiba Inu sleeping

Now that you know what to expect, let’s get into the training.

5 Tips for Training a Shiba Inu

Training a Shiba Inu doesn’t have to be challenging, so we’ll take you through some of our top tips for training a Shiba Inu. Learn more about each tip below.

1. Start Potty Training Early

The best thing you can do is start early when it comes to training, specifically potty training [1]. You want to begin when they’re a puppy, preferably between six weeks and six months. 

During this time they won’t be set in their ways and their behavior is still easy to mold. You can use pads to start but we recommend getting them outside as soon as possible for the best results.

2. Socialize Your Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus doesn’t play well with others. So, make sure you incorporate socialization into your training. A great way to socialize your Shiba Inu is to pair them with other dogs as a puppy. You can also have them trained in groups with other dogs as well.

Shiba Inu running

3. Focus on Positive Reinforcement

The most important aspect of training any dog is to use positive reinforcement [2]. Yelling at your Shiba Inu won’t get you anywhere and may even make their behavior worse. So, reward them with treats and toys for good behavior but don’t take anything away if they make a mistake.

4. Call Out Bad Behavior

This may seem like the opposite of positive reinforcement but Shiba Inus will continue to be a menace if you don’t call out bad behavior. If you notice them eating something they shouldn’t, digging, or chewing on your furniture, a firm NO will go a long way.

5. Remain Consistent

The most important part of training is consistency, especially once your Shiba Inu learns the basics. 

For example, don’t give them a treat as they walk away after sitting down properly. This might make them believe that they get a treat for sitting, standing, and then walking away. So, remain consistent with your commands, positive reinforcement, and general approach for the best outcome. 

Final Thoughts

Who said training a Shiba Inu has to be hard? As long as you follow our tips and come prepared, you’ll never have to struggle again when you’re training your Shiba Inu. That said, if you’re not up for training your dog we always recommend working with a professional. 

Having your dog trained by a professional will help you get the results you’re looking for. Plus, you may get faster results and some bonus socialization.