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Do Shiba Inus Bark a Lot? Facts & FAQ

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Shiba Inu on a leash barking

Shiba Inus are commonly described as “barkless.” However, they absolutely do and can bark. They’re normally quiet dogs, though. They’re suitable for apartment living for this reason. Typically, they only bark when absolutely necessary. They aren’t the best alert dogs, as they’re much less likely to bark than other dogs out there.

When they do bark, the Shiba Inus bark is very sharp and clear. Their bark is extremely abrupt and sure to get your attention, especially because they tend not to bark all that often.

Like most dogs, certain stimuli will prompt a Shiba Inu to bark. For instance, a dog may be triggered when they see another dog out the window. Others may not mind other dogs at all. It all depends on their temperament and what they’re socialized with as a young puppy.

If you want a quiet dog, then a Shiba Inu might fit into that category. However, don’t expect them to be completely silent.

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Do Shiba Inus Bark When Left Alone?

If you have close neighbors or live in an apartment, you might be worried about a Shiba Inu barking when you aren’t at home. Luckily, Shiba Inus can be left alone throughout much of the day if you take care of their needs. They’re independent dogs that aren’t prone to separation anxiety. Therefore, they aren’t nearly as lonely when left at home.

However, they do need quite a bit of exercise. Without this exercise, they can become bored and destructive. This may lead to barking, though Shiba Inus are also prone to chewing on things and escaping. It’s best to exercise them before leaving and when returning.

Because they tend to chew, it’s sometimes best to crate-train these dogs. They may accidentally consume dangerous items if they aren’t kept in a crate. With that said, training can help a lot in this regard. If they’re taught not to bark or chew, then they’re much less likely to cause issues when you aren’t home.

How to Understand a Shiba Inu’s Bark and Vocalizations

Shiba Inus may bark and make vocalizations for all sorts of different reasons. Understanding them can help you meet your dog’s needs and understand why they’re barking in the first place (which can help you reduce their barking).

Here’s a list of vocalizations and what they mean. Of course, the situation will be the biggest determining factor:

  • Barking: Shiba Inus bark for the same reasons that other dogs do. Sometimes, Shiba Inus may perceive other dogs as threats. If someone unusual barks into their yard, they may see them as a threat and bark. Other times, they may be asking for attention or simply be excited.
  • Howling: Shiba Inus can also howl. In fact, they’re known for their distinctive howls. Some of them howl quite a bit. Often, they use these howls similarly to barks. They may howl when they feel happy and playful.
  • Growling: Just like other dogs, Shiba Inus growl when they feel threatened or defensive. Often, this is an indication that they need some extra space. Dogs growl before they bite as a warning. Dogs shouldn’t be punished for growling, as dogs may jump straight to biting if they’re taught that growling is bad.
  • Whining: Often, whining is used to get others’ attention. While we often associate whining with sadness or other emotions, it can also be due to excitement. Some dogs whine when they want to play, for instance. Others may whine when they feel stressed or uncomfortable.

It’s important to respond to your Shiba Inu’s body language and the situation when trying to figure out exactly why your dog is making a vocalization. You can observe your dog’s cues to figure out exactly why they’re barking or making any other vocalization.

Shiba Inu female dog in the room
Image Credit: Sergiy Palamarchuk, Shutterstock

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Do Shiba Inus Bark More Than Other Breeds?

Shiba Inus do not bark more than most other breeds. They’re relatively quiet, so they’re often a good choice for those looking for a quieter dog. They work well for apartments and those with close neighbors.

However, every Shiba Inu is unique and has their own personality. Therefore, some Shiba Inus may bark more than others. They’re usually pretty quiet, but “usually” is the key word here.

If you need a dog that doesn’t bark much, you’ll need to train them not to bark. There are many different ways you can manage a dog’s barking. Therefore, even if your particular Shiba Inu barks a lot, there is a lot you can do to lessen it.

How to Manage a Shiba Inu’s Barking

There are several ways you can manage a Shiba Inu’s barking.

Firstly, you should ensure your dog is properly exercised and mentally stimulated. Bored, energetic dogs are more likely to bark. A tired dog is often less alert and quieter. Be sure to meet these two needs if having a quiet dog is important to you.

If your Shiba Inu is barking a lot, it may be due to anxiety or other behavioral issues. In this case, fixing the underlying problem is important. Often, these issues can be remedied by training, though it may take a while. Working with a professional trainer is often the best option.

For dogs with moderate amounts of barking, you can teach them the quiet command. Simply put, reward your dog when they stop barking and say “Quiet.” You want them to associate the “quiet” command with not barking. In this way, you can teach them to be quiet on command (especially if treats are involved).

Avoid reinforcing barking if you want it to stop. If your dog barks for attention, don’t give them attention when they bark. This only teaches your dog to bark for attention or treats. It’s best to wait for a pause in their barking and reward them with treats and attention.

shiba inu sitting in the grass with his owner
Image Credit: MENG-KONGSAK, Shutterstock

Why Does My Shiba Inu Keep Barking?

If your dog is barking continuously, it’s likely due to an underlying problem. Dogs may bark excessively due to stress or anxiety. Sometimes, certain health conditions can cause excessive barking. Older dogs may develop mental issues later in life, leading to confusion and excessive barking.

Therefore, a dog that suddenly starts barking excessively may need a vet appointment to rule out any underlying issues.

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Shiba Inus are known for being quieter than most dog breeds. However, they absolutely do bark. They may be quieter, but that doesn’t make them mute. Furthermore, some are more prone to barking than others. There are quite a bit of individual differences between them.

Dogs that are incredibly loud may have an underlying condition. For instance, dogs may bark when they are anxious or stressed. Some health conditions also cause excessive barking. Therefore, you may need to see a vet if your dog seems to be barking more than average.


Featured Image Credit: dikkenss, Shutterstock

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