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Can Shiba Inus Be Left Alone? Limits, Safety & Considerations

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

shiba inu dog in the grass

The Shiba Inu is the oldest and smallest native breed of Japan, and they have been around since 300 BC. These fascinating dogs almost went extinct after World War II but managed to survive post-war hardships. They have gained popularity in the United States over the last 50 years and continue to do so. They are playful, active, and friendly, and form strong bonds with their humans.

If you’re considering getting a Shiba Inu, you may wonder if they can be left alone. Generally, the independent Shiba Inu can be left alone for up to 8 hours at a time. Read on to learn more about these fascinating dogs.

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How Long Can Shiba Inus Be Left Alone?

These dogs are independent and self-reliant. Given these traits, you can safely leave these dogs alone for up to 8 hours—that’s excellent news if you’re considering adding one to your family but are worried the dog won’t do well when you’re away. You also do not need to consider adding another dog for companionship because these dogs do better as the sole dog in the home.

However, some dogs of this breed do suffer from separation anxiety, but not all. This breed is easy to housetrain due to its intelligence, but if the Shiba Inu suffers from separation anxiety, he could be destructive, such as chewing, digging, urinating in the home, and excessive barking.

shiba inu
Image Credit: Akbudak Rimma, Shutterstock

How To Deal with Separation Anxiety in Shiba Inus

You’ll know if your Shiba Inu suffers from separation anxiety even before you leave the home. Clues to look for are whining if you grab your car keys or put on a coat. The Shiba Inu will pick up on your routine and may feel anxious because he knows you’re leaving.

If your Shiba Inu displays signs of separation anxiety, you can try a couple of things to help him cope and eventually stop the problem. First, try grabbing your car keys or anything else you usually grab before heading out the door. However, do not leave but rather sit down and watch TV or read. These steps can help reduce anxiety in your dog, but keep in mind this is an ongoing process—it’ll take a little time for your Shiba Inu to realize that just because you grabbed those items doesn’t always lead to you leaving.

Another route you can take is hiring a pet sitter to take care of your dog while you’re gone. You can opt for a doggie daycare, but it’s important to check out the place first to ensure it’s clean and that they have protocols in place should a fight break out.

A helpful tip is to exercise your Shiba Inu before your leave; that way, he’ll sleep a lot of the time you’re away.

Is Shiba Inu Good for the First-Time Dog Owner?

We can’t recommend these dogs for first-time dog owners due to their strong will and, at times, stubbornness. It takes an assertive dog owner with training experience as these dogs may not obey commands, especially when called, due to their strong hunting drive.

Regarding their hunting skills, they are exceptional hunters and can withstand the thick underbrush in the mountains of Japan, and their name comes from their hunting skills—“Shiba” means brushed wood, and “Inu” means dog in Japan.

If you’re set on getting a Shiba Inu and will be a first-time dog owner, you may want to hire a trainer or enroll your doggie in an obedience class to help you get accustomed to training. Don’t get us wrong—these dogs make excellent family companions when properly trained, and they are loyal, friendly, and outgoing. One thing to know is they can be aloof and weary of strangers, so ensure you are on your toes when strangers come to your home.

a woman hugging her pet shiba inu
Image Credit: Elena Shvetsova, Shutterstock

Tips for Keeping Your Shiba Inu Healthy and Safe

Always feed your Shiba Inu a healthy, high-quality dog food that is complete and balanced. These dogs are heavy shedders, sometimes shedding their coats for 6 months at a time. They require weekly brushings to keep shedding down and trim the nails every 1–2 months. If your Shiba Inu displays separation anxiety, follow the steps mentioned in this article to help diffuse the situation or enlist the help of a professional trainer.

You should strive to exercise your Shiba Inu for at least one hour a day, if not more. These dogs love long walks, runs, or even a hike. They will be happy to engage in a game of fetch, and they are smart enough to learn agility courses, which is fun for both you and your Shiba Inu.

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The Shiba Inu is a popular breed in its native Japan and has continually gained popularity in the United States. They can be left alone for up to 8 hours, but keep in mind that some suffer from separation anxiety. They are loyal dogs that form strong bonds with their owners and are playful, active, alert, and easy to housetrain.

Some can be stubborn, but due to their intelligence, they can be house-trained well and make excellent additions to any family. They may do better as the sole dog in the home, but with early socialization, they can live with other dogs, although they may display dominance.

Featured Image Credit: Spencer-Xu-Shutterstock

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