If you’re thinking about adopting a Shiba Inus (or, plural, Shiba Inu) but already have other dogs in your home, one of your biggest questions is likely whether Shiba Inus are good with other dogs. The answer to that question isn’t simple. Shiba Inus are extremely assertive, dominant, bossy dogs and don’t typically get along with other canines (especially ones smaller than them). However, that doesn’t mean they can’t co-exist peacefully with other dogs; it just requires some work to get them there.
If you’re considering bringing a Shiba Inus into a home with other pups, here’s what to know.
The Shiba Inus
The Shiba Inus is a confident, lively pup that originally came from Japan. The breed came to the United States via American servicemen after WWII. These dogs were developed to be hunters, and they retain those hunting skills to this day. They’re also incredibly friendly (to humans), independent, intelligent, and have quite a stubborn streak. Inviting a Shiba Inus into your home results in having an entertaining, loyal companion!
Shiba Inus and Other Dogs
You’ve likely heard that Shiba Inus are incredibly aggressive to other dogs, and this is true. The Shiba Inus is a hunter, and aggression is sometimes how hunting dogs flush out prey. And because of those hunter genes, the Shiba Inus also has a high prey drive; this means if smaller animals are around, the Shiba Inus will go after them.
And when it comes to dogs the same size as the Shiba Inus or bigger, the Shiba Inus will be dominant, territorial, and assertive—essentially, these pups are bossy! This dominant assertiveness emerges most when male Shiba Inus meet other male dogs.
Add in the fact that Shiba Inus are possessive and not fond of sharing, whether that be food, toys, or people, and it doesn’t make for a temperament that gets along well with other canines. So, if you already have several dogs or pets at home and are considering adopting a Shiba Inus, it’s probably best to go with another breed. (Although, if all the other dogs in the house agree that the Shiba Inu is the boss, you could have an easier time getting them to get along.)
However, not all hope is lost! With a lot of work, you can teach a Shiba Inus to get along with other dogs.
How to Increase the Likelihood of a Shiba Inus Getting Along With Other Dogs
The first thing to know about trying to get a Shiba Inus to get along with other dogs is that it may not work. Unfortunately, it’s just Shiba Inus’ nature to not be great with other canines, and sometimes no amount of socialization and training will change that. However, you can increase the likelihood of your Shiba Inus getting along with your other dogs. How so?
Getting a Shiba Inus to get along with other pups means early socialization is critical. Your puppy should be socialized starting the moment you get it with the other dogs in your home and dogs in general (such as a neighbor or friend’s dog). You can try a dog park, but many Shiba Inus don’t enjoy them because these pups are very particular about how they want to be approached by other canines. If another dog comes up to a Shiba Inus abruptly, invades their personal space, or is incredibly hyper, the Shiba Inus will not be a fan of that dog. So, be very careful if you try a dog park; if your dog doesn’t enjoy it, don’t return! And remember that not even the most well-socialized Shiba Inus will be good with every dog it meets.
You should also start on proper obedience training with your Shiba Inus the moment you bring it home. However, you should be aware that training one of these canines is challenging, even for extremely experienced dog owners. Shiba Inus simply have assertive personalities, and they aren’t the type of dogs to care about pleasing their owners. If they don’t want to do something, they won’t do it. When training one of these pups, remember that positive reinforcement is key! And if you’re having difficulty training your Shiba Inus, then it’s highly recommended you find a professional trainer capable of training this breed. A well-behaved dog that’s been properly trained will do better around other dogs than one that has not!
Unfortunately, the Shiba Inus isn’t a dog that does well with other dogs. The breed is too assertive and dominant, so it can be quite aggressive with other canines (particularly smaller ones!). You can attempt to make the Shiba Inus a bit dog-friendlier with extensive early socialization and proper training, but it’s still not a guarantee that the dog will get along with others. If you’re looking to adopt one of these pups, your best bet is not to have other dogs (or pets) in the home.