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How to Train a Shiba Inu: 12 Shiba Training Tips for Success

Last updated on December 16th, 2023 at 01:59 pm

Read to the end to learn how to train a Shiba Inu and discover 12 handy tips to set you up for successful training!

Are Shiba Inus hard to train?

Shiba Inus are one of the most hard-to-train dogs. However, they are not impossible to train. You can teach your Shiba basic commands as long as you spend time and follow the proper training method. First-time owners may view their stubbornness as a training challenge, but these clever dogs also respond well to specific tactics. 

Why is it so hard to train a Shiba Inu?

Three reasons make training a Shiba Inu pretty hard:

    1. Shiba Inus have a stubborn personality and get bored quickly.
    2. They are fast and can dig under fences. 
    3. Some dogs can show dominance.

How to train a Shiba Inu: 12 tips set you up for success

1. Start training your Shiba Inu as early as possible

The ideal time to start training your Shiba is around eight weeks old. If your dog is already older than that, start right away! Remember that training an adult will require a little more patience and work.

2. Take your dog for a walk before each training session

Give your Shiba Inu plenty of exercise before any training session, such as taking them for a walk. This will help burn off any excess energy, so they won’t be too energetic to pay attention. However, avoid playing with them too much before training because this may cause them to become overexcited.

3. Ensure all the latches on gates and fences are secure

Did you know Shibas are notorious escape artists? One of the most notable characteristics of this breed is fast running. In addition, Shiba Inus can dig under or leap over many yard fences thanks to their strength and quickness. With an escaped Shiba, it’s nearly impossible to chase after them. Therefore, if you have a Shiba Inu, you’ll need a fenced-in area with an enclosed roof. 

4. Use positive reinforcement techniques

how to train a shiba inu

Shiba Inus respond well to positive reinforcement because it gives them the freedom to choose what to do. You will focus on rewarding your dog for good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. By doing this, you’re strengthening the association between good behavior and good things.

While punishment only makes your Shiba less trusting of you and makes them more likely to fight back, positive reinforcement techniques will help you build trust and love with your companion.

5. Find the best reward to give your dog

Since Shiba Inus don’t crave attention and praise from their owners like many other dog breeds, they are food-motivated and will respond enthusiastically to tasty treats as rewards.

You can buy training treats at your local pet store or online retailers. These specially formulated training treats are low in calories but great in flavor. Ensure your dog genuinely enjoys these treats and that they are only used for training to make your dog associate a tasty flavor with good behavior during training sessions.

6. Say the command clearly but use a calm tone of voice

Never yell at a Shiba or speak to them in a rude way when giving verbal commands. They won’t respond to this well at all! Always use a calm voice and say the word distinctly and clearly. When around this breed, you need to stay calm. If training isn’t going well, don’t let irritation creep into your voice.

7. Say the command before your dog acts to help them understand

If you say the command when your Shiba is naturally about to perform the action, they are more likely to understand the verbal cue word. Your dog will begin to link the term you are saying with the activity they are performing if you say it as it is happening.

8. Reward your dog with a treat as soon as they act

shiba breed

Giving your Shiba a treat as soon as they obey the command will develop positive associations faster. Your dog will quickly understand that being well-behaved earns them tasty treats!

9. Keep training sessions short and frequent

Aim for 10–15 minutes for each training session since they are significantly more effective than longer ones. You can train once a day, or if you want more, try 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.

Keep your practice sessions consistent and concentrate on teaching your dog one command at a time. Only introduce a new one after your dog has mastered the present command completely.

10. Make it fun

Training should be fun and memorable, both for you and your Shiba! Make sure your training is always positive, and keep things interesting by incorporating short play sessions into your practice between reps. Never correct your dog during a training session by using punishment.

11. Stop any poor behavior immediately when you notice them 

Immediately stop your Shiba Inu from doing something they shouldn’t by firmly saying “no” or redirecting their attention. If your dog ignores the vocal command, direct them toward things they enjoy, such as getting them to chase a ball or come to you for petting.

12. Consistency is key

shiba breed

Dogs need consistency to learn new habits, so being consistent in your training is extremely important. For example, you can use the same command word or even intonation when you ask your dog to do something.

Readers also ask

How long does it take to train a Shiba Inu?

The time varies! It usually takes six weeks to teach your dog the basics. However, the canines who receive long daily sessions may finish their training in less than four weeks, while those who receive short, biweekly sessions would demand at least nine weeks to complete their training.

Can you train a Shiba Inu off-leash?

Shibas should never be allowed to walk off leash because they will always find bunnies and squirrels on walks to be more interesting than you. In many situations, even the most well-trained Shiba Inus do not respond when called. The moment they take off, they become impossible to catch. 

Can you train a Shiba Inu not to run away?

Leave some toys out to keep the yard entertaining when you are outside. If your Shiba spends time with these items, they will be less likely to run away.

Can you crate train a Shiba Inu?

Crate training is one of the best ways to ensure your Shiba Inu’s safety indoors because it offers them security and comfort while enforcing good behavior. You should start crate training your Shiba when they are puppies, but you can also do it if your dog is an adult. The sooner, the better!

Create a comfortable environment in the crate with blankets, chew toys, and other favorite items. But the first and foremost item your dog needs is a crate that’s right for their size and breed.


The secret to success on how to train a Shiba Inu is simply using positive training techniques and being patient. If you’re struggling or just want a quicker way to get results (an obedient and well-behaved Shiba), don’t hesitate to contact a professional dog trainer or join a training class. Professionals have years of knowledge that they can use to solve any problem you and your dog may face. Make sure to take your time to do a little research when choosing a trainer or a class.

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

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