Are Shiba Inus Good With Other Dogs? (How to Make it Work)

Are Shiba Inus Good With Other Dogs?

If planning to bring a Shiba Inu to a home with resident dogs, the one question that will linger on top of your mind is, are Shiba Inus good with other dogs?

Shiba Inus typically get along with other Shibas. However, these dogs are infamously aggressive towards other breeds.

But does that mean Shiba Inus won’t coexist with other dog breeds at all?

Not quite. With proper training and early socialization, Shiba Inus can learn to live peacefully with other dog breeds too.

This article will attempt to shed more light on the potential compatibility between Shiba Inus and other dogs.

More About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are a small-to-medium dog breed and the smallest of the six original Spitz dog breeds native to Japan. These dogs were originally developed for hunting.

The Shiba Inu is a tenacious hunter who’ll stop at nothing to nail his game. The dogs were initially used in hunting the vast mountainous landscapes of Japan.

Shiba Inus are commonly mistaken for other common Japanese dog breeds, including the Hokkaido or Akita Inu. However, the Shiba is a distinct dog breed with his own physical characteristics and temperament.

Quick Facts

Official Name:Shiba Inu
Nicknames:Japanese Shiba Inu, Shiba Ken, Shobe, Shober, Shibe, Japanese Small Size Dog, and Japanese Brushwood Dog
Place Developed:Japan
Period Developed:In the 19th century
Breed Classification:Working Dog
Breed Size:Small-to-Medium
Height at the Withers:14 to 17 inches (35 to 43 centimeters) for dogs and 13 to 16 inches (33 to 41 centimeters) for bitches
Weight:22 pounds (10 kilograms) for dogs and 18 pounds (8 kilograms) for bitches
Coat Characteristics:Double
Coat Color:Red, Black & Tan, Sesame, Red Sesame, Black Sesame, and Cream
Temperament:Intelligent, Alert, Independent, and Aggressive
Common Health Problems:Hip dysplasia, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Entropion, Luxating patella, and Allergies
Average Lifespan:13 to 15 Years
Year Recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC):1992

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Where Did Shiba Inus Come From?

The modern breed of Shiba Inu was developed during the 19th century. However, the dog’s history goes way back. According to historical records, dogs similar to the Shiba Inu had been in existence long before the Jōmon period of Japanese history.

The modern Shiba Inu was bred for hunting small game, such as rabbits and birds. Although the breed was excellent at running down prey, it was mainly used for flushing purposes.

Shiba Inus were also grouped into three distinct working categories based on the specific areas in Japan where the dogs came from. Shiba Inus from Shinsu were used primarily for hunting bears, Shibas from the Noto region mainly hunted deer, while those from the Kishu area were used for hunting boar.

But despite boasting a relatively long history, the Shiba Inu nearly went extinct during the Second World War. The threat was mainly due to diminishing food supplies and a post-war canine distemper epidemic. Fortunately, heightened preservation efforts caused the breed’s population to bounce back.

Physical Characteristics

Shiba Inus are classified as a working dog breed. The dogs are small-to-medium in size. Males measure 14 to 17 inches at the withers and weigh 22 pounds while bitches measure 13 to 16 inches and weigh 18 pounds.

Shiba Inus sport a double coat that comes in a variety of color options. Common ones include red, black & tan, sesame, black sesame, red sesame, and cream.

In terms of overall physical appearance, the Shiba sports a fairly compact body and well-developed muscles.

Other signature traits of Shiba Inus include guard hairs and a relatively long tail that stands open in a brush.

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Can Shiba Inus Live With Other Dogs?

To determine whether Shiba Inus will get along with other dogs or not, it would help to analyze the dog’s character and personality. As you shall find, various character traits make it easy for Shibas to live with other dogs while certain attributes predispose these dogs to aggression.

Let’s start by looking at some of the reasons why your Shiba might live harmoniously with other dogs;

1. Shiba Inus Are Small and Unintimidating

One reason why dog breeds like German Shepherds and Great Danes find it difficult to get along with other breeds is their gigantic size and intimidating appearance.

Fortunately, the Shiba Inu is a small-to-medium-sized dog. Besides, the breed’s pleasant physical features are unlikely to intimidate other breeds.

2. Shiba Inus Are Intelligent

Shiba Inus may have been developed for hunting. However, the Shiba is relatively smaller than most hunting dog breeds.

Due to his small size, Shiba Inus had to be smart enough to know which prey to chase after and which ones to stay away from. That intelligence has remained with the Shiba to date, although it’s now applied in a different scenario.

As a smart breed, a Shiba Inu will know instinctively when to flex his muscles and when to back away from a potentially dangerous confrontation.

The Shiba’s intelligence also makes the breed incredibly easy to train. The dog will be able to master commands quickly as well as remember familiar sights and sounds from the distant past.

3. Shiba Inus Are Playful and Agile

While looking for a Shiba Inu to adopt, it’s not unusual to find yourself wondering, are Shiba Inus playful with other dogs?

The answer is a resounding yes.

The Shiba Inu is an agile, energy-filled dog with powerful play instincts. The dog is ever active and thrives in environments with high physical and mental stimulation.

Playful dogs are generally good to have around in families with kids and other pets. Given their hyperactive tendencies, your Shiba Inu will enjoy keeping your other pets stimulated even in your absence. And that’s another strong argument in favor of raising a Shiba alongside other dog breeds.

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4. Shiba Inus Are Alert

Heightened situational awareness influences how easy it is for different dog breeds to get along. This is another quality that Shibas possess.

Shiba Inus are sensitive to the emotions of their human owners and pets around them. The dog can easily pick up negative vibes in his surroundings, an attribute that might help avert unnecessary confrontations.

5. Shiba Inus Are Devoted and Eager To Please

As hunting dogs, Shiba Inus had to be unquestionably devoted to their owners. Whether he was out there hunting game or staying behind guarding property, the Shiba carried out his duties in a manner that was satisfactory to his human parents.

Your Shiba will gladly follow your teachings provided that you’ve adequately trained him to avoid unprovoked attacks.

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Reasons Why Shiba Inus May Not Get Along With Other Dogs

1. Shiba Inus Are Aggressive

One frequently asked question by pet parents looking to adopt a Shiba Inu is, are Shiba Inus aggressive to other dogs?

It’s common knowledge that Shiba Inus are highly aggressive dogs, their small size notwithstanding. This is probably the biggest reason many Shibas won’t get along with other dogs.

Aggression is a common trait in most hunting dogs. It’s how these dogs scare their game into submission.

Shibas demonstrate their aggression by making a sound known as ‘Shiba scream.’ Shiba scream is basically a loud, high-pitched scream that Shibas make when they’re angry or sad. Your Shiba may also give out this sound when happy or excited, for instance when you return home after a long absence.

Interestingly, Shiba Inus aren’t born aggressive. Aggression results from the breed’s energetic nature and predatory instinct.

So, are Shiba Inus aggressive with other dogs?

Again, Shiba Inus are aggressive to other dogs, a feature that makes it exceedingly difficult for these dogs to coexist with other breeds in the same space. And even when they’re not aggressive, Shiba Inus will still prefer to play rough. The dog will gladly bully other pets if he can get away with it.

Are Shiba Inus good with small dogs?

Due to their aggressive nature, Shiba Inus are unideal for small dogs. Their overly boisterous tendencies could easily cause injuries to smaller dogs.

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2. Shiba Inus Are Independent And Strong-Willed

Independence and strength of will may be considered positive attributes in humans. But the opposite is true for dogs. A strong-willed dog is more likely to rebel than follow his owner’s commands.

Shiba Inus, in particular, do not love being bossed around. Your Shiba may only follow certain commands if he’s assured of a treat. That only proves how difficult it might be for these dogs to get along with other breeds.

3. Shiba Inus Are Assertive and Fearless

Shiba Inus may be small and unintimidating. But these dogs are generally non-submissive. Shibas are known to stand their ground and not surrender, even if the other dog is visibly larger.

While boldness is an important quality in watchdogs (a role that your Shiba may step into from time to time), blind courage will only cause more conflicts.

4. Shiba Inus Have a Strong Predatory Drive

Shiba Inus are incredibly alert and attentive, which is an excellent thing. However, these dogs also have a strong predatory drive. Sometimes, all it takes for a Shiba’s predatory instincts to kick in is the sight of another dog walking gracefully around the house or yard.

Your Shiba may attempt to chase after the other dog, an action that could easily be interpreted by the other animal as an act of aggression. Unless the Shiba backs off, bloody confrontations might ensue.

5. Shiba Inus Are Possessive and Territorial

Let’s face it, all dogs are naturally territorial. Once they lay claim to an object or territory, it will take a great deal of persuasion to have them cede it.

But when it comes to Shiba Inus, possessiveness and territoriality are almost like their second nature. These dogs will guard their stuff with all they’ve got. That includes toys, food, playing patch, and even their owners. Paired with another possessive dog breed, conflicts will definitely be the order of the day.

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What Dogs Do Shiba Inus Get Along With

Having gone over the various Shiba Inu qualities that affect these dogs’ ease of coexisting with other breeds, the one question that’s probably on your mind right now is, ‘what dog gets along with Shiba Inu?

For starters, Shiba Inus will prefer to share their living space with fellow Shibas as opposed to other dog breeds.

Secondly, Shiba Inus will not get along with other alpha dogs. It doesn’t matter whether these are fellow Shibas or dogs from other breeds. In other words, Shiba Inus will coexist with dogs that consider them as leaders of the pack.

That begs the question, are Shiba Inus good with pitbulls? And what of Chihuahuas, do Chihuahuas get along with Shiba Inus?

Both pitbulls and Chihuahuas make a terrible Shiba Inu companion. That’s because these breeds are equally aggressive and highly territorial.

What is a good companion dog for a Shiba Inu then?

Shibas will generally get along with dogs that are intelligent, energetic, friendly, gentle, and eager to please. Notable mentions include Golden Retrievers, Corgis, Beagles, Alaskan Malamutes, and Akitas.

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How Do You Introduce Two Shibas?

You’ve decided to bring a Shiba Inu home. But it so happens that you already have another Shiba or even a resident dog from a different breed. So, how do you introduce a Shiba Inu to a new dog?

Well, the conventional wisdom is to take things slow. Keep the dogs on a leash for the first few days of making each other’s acquaintance.

Begin by bringing the dogs out in the same space but restricting physical contact. Watch out for any signs of aggression, especially on the resident dog.

Also, remember to reward the dogs if they can share the same space without becoming aggressive. After a fairly long duration, you can consider bringing the dogs out without their leash on so they can interact freely.

How To Train Shiba Inu To Get Along With Other Dogs?

Although the Shiba Inu is highly aggressive, early training and socialization can help the dog get along with other breeds. The convention is to begin training and socializing your Shiba as soon as he’s weaned.

Now, there are several ways you can socialize your Shiba Inu. You could consider group dog walking, dog daycare, enclosed dog parks, etc.

When it comes to training, there are equally numerous commands you can teach your Shiba Inu to help him get along with other dogs. It all depends on the specific instructions you want the dog to follow. For instance, commands like “STOP” and “SIT” can be useful in restraining your Shiba and preventing him from going on the offensive.

In addition to training, you may also consider spaying or neutering your Shiba Inu. Just ensure this process is carried out by a licensed vet.

Conclusion: So, Do Shiba Inus Like Other Dogs?

As we’ve already mentioned throughout this post, Shiba Inus are reasonably aggressive and will generally like dogs that consider them as the leader.

But with early training and socialization, you can succeed in making your Shiba live harmoniously with other dogs in the same household.

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