While relatively small in stature compared to larger breeds, the Shiba Inu truly has a one-of-a-kind, big personality. Although often described as being aloof, a Shiba Inu forms a close bond with his family and is known for his outstanding loyalty.
Shiba Inus are a fairly active breed with daily exercise requirements but also are able to relax and be calm when indoors. This very intelligent breed needs plenty of mentally stimulating activities to ward off boredom and is a delight to watch when busy playing and problem-solving.
Are Shiba Inus good apartment dogs? They can be excellent apartment dogs provided that they are well trained and thoroughly socialized. They are naturally clean, simple to housebreak, and relatively quiet. They are dignified and independent by nature, content to be peaceful companions.
Those who live in an apartment are somewhat limited in their choice of dog breeds. Neighbors on the other side of the wall must be taken into consideration when making a decision. In these situations, a Shiba Inu might be a good fit for you and your family.
We all have things to do that might require leaving your friend alone for a bit in the apartment. We’ll break down the best path for your Shiba to deal with alone time.
Daily Exercise Is Important
We say it a lot here: Regular exercise solves a lot of problems before they start! Your Shiba Inu’s overall health and well-being depend on adequate daily exercise. Shiba Inus are naturally active and can frequently become destructive if not given enough exercise each day.
Shiba Inus can adapt quite well to living in smaller areas like apartments as long as they are given the chance to burn off some of their energy every day. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.
Brisk walking is a terrific form of exercise for Shiba Inus because it provides a workout for both their body and mind. Mental stimulation is important for this breed, and a walk employs all five senses and effectively stimulates their mind.
Either a couple of short walks or one longer walk will do, but try to vary the route frequently to avoid falling into a monotonous rut.
If your Shiba Inu is consistently friendly with other dogs, a dog park is a great place to exercise your four-legged friend. An invigorating game of fetch or Frisbee will provide plenty of exercise, or he might prefer to initiate his own games with other dogs. Tag and chase seem to be favorites among Shiba Inus.
Bringing your dog along for your morning jog or bike ride can also exhaust his energy reserves. While perhaps not feasible every day, most Shiba Inu adore going for a hike. The different environment and challenging terrain excite their senses in a way few other activities can.
Invest in a Flirt Pole (this one has over 1,200 reviews on Amazon), or make your own with some PVC pipe, rope, and a toy for a fun way to exercise your dog indoors when the weather is bad. This toy provides an exceptional workout in a relatively short period of time.
Be Sure To Shiba-Proof Your Apartment
While there is no way to accurately predict what your Shiba Inu might get into when left home alone, there are some preventative measures that you can and should take before leaving home without your dog.
Unless your Shiba Inu is crate trained, you need to get yourself in the habit of being tidy. Or at least hiding your shoes! This breed is rather notorious for chewing when left to their own devices. Make sure all shoes, slippers, and all other clothing items are put away behind a closed door.
Electronics and their cords should be completely out of reach. If you have outlets that are within reach of your dog, it might be wise to unplug any cords before leaving home as a precaution.
All food items should be stored away securely. Do not be fooled into thinking that a baby gate will keep a Shiba Inu out of the kitchen. It may slow him down for an instant, but he can and will easily scale the gate should the mood strike him.
Keep doors to rooms that are off-limits closed tightly, including the room where the trash can is kept. Remember that many houseplants and cleaning products are poisonous to dogs and should be kept safely out of reach.
Spray furniture legs, couch cushions, and anything else that you would like to protect with a “no chew” spray. Leave a variety of bones and chew toys for your dog to safely enjoy instead.
All children toys and any decorations like candles should also be safely stowed away. Don’t forget to securely close and lock all windows before you leave.
Don’t get the impression that the bottom half of your home will be bare forever. As your Shiba Inu matures and as training progresses, most dogs become more trustworthy with time. One thing that you should never let your guard down for is this breed’s desire to roam free. Always be on the lookout for escape attempts.
How Long Can You Leave a Shiba Inu Home Alone
In today’s busy world, many people are often gone from home for large portions of the day. Owning a dog can add to an already overloaded schedule, but thousands of families make it work simply because it is worth it to come home to a dog’s loving, joyful greeting at the end of a long day.
Adult Shiba Inus who have been gradually accustomed to being left alone will often be okay for 6 – 8 hours alone, although less time is better. Shiba Inus not only like to keep themselves clean but their surrounding area as well and will not soil their living quarters if they can help it.
Please never withhold water from your dog so that you can leave him alone for a longer time.
Puppies, like children, need frequent bathroom breaks. The amount of time that they can wait between breaks varies with age. A good rule to go by for puppies between 2 – 6 months old is one hour for every month of age. So, a 3-month-old puppy can typically wait 3 hours between bathroom breaks.
Shiba Inus may never willingly admit it, but they do depend on people for not only their physical needs but their emotional needs as well. As an owner, you are the leader of your dog’s “pack” and he depends on you being there for stability and leadership. Try not to leave this loyal breed alone any longer than is necessary.
10 Reasons Why a Shiba Inu Makes a Good Apartment Dog
- Shiba Inus are a fairly small breed, only averaging about 20 pounds when fully grown.
- Shiba Inus tend to keep themselves very clean and will methodically lick themselves like a cat.
- Shiba Inus are usually quite easy to housebreak.
- Shiba Inus are independent by nature and skilled at thinking for and entertaining themselves.
- Shiba Inus tend to be calm and dignified when inside if well exercised.
- Shiba Inus like their own personal space and won’t crowd you.
- Shiba Inus seem to value quiet solitude and don’t mind some alone time.
- Shiba Inus are good watchdogs, always alert to their surroundings.
- Shiba Inus are not annoying, nuisance barkers.
- Shiba Inus will be polite to neighbors in the building if properly socialized.
TIP: If you are still not unsure about making a Shiba Inu a part of your life, reach out to a Shiba Inu owner and arrange to meet this breed in person. Spend some time becoming familiar with his overall personality and quirks.
How much exercise does my Shiba Inu need?
Most adult Shiba Inus can get by with one long walk 30 – 45 minutes long or a few energetic play sessions per day. Exercise needs can vary from dog to dog, and younger Shibas will naturally have more energy to burn, so the amount of exercise needed should be tailored to meet your dog’s specific needs.
Do Shiba Inus need a lot of attention?
The answer here depends on the individual dog. Some Shibas are very aloof and are content with only minimal interaction. Other dogs seem to crave some affection now and then. All Shibas, however, do need attention to their basic needs such as food, water, exercise, socialization, and grooming.