Shiba Inu Running Away – Can Shibas Be Off-Leash?

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When I first owned a Shiba Inu, I’d take him for walks every afternoon. From the walks, I learned that they’re escape artists the hard way.

My Shiba could jump over fences or run ahead, but I always found him in the nearby corner.

The behavior kept me wondering why Shiba Inu running away is so common.

shiba inu running away

Shiba Inu run away due to their high prey drive. Also, they run because they have their own mind and are independent. However, Shibas always come back home. Shiba’s can be a problem to restrain at home. Shiba Inus often run away when off-leash, but you can train him from a young age not to run away even when off-leash.

This article will discuss why Shiba Inu run away and some remedies to avoid this habit.

Shiba Inu Running Away – Why Is It a Problem?

Shibas have original instincts that make them independent dogs and keep them running away when they kick in.

Shiba Inu running away is common in the early years before the dog gets to the adolescent stage.

After your Shiba Inu attains the 1-year mark, meaning they are past the adolescent stage, the dog might begin to stop running away.

Moreover, obedience training plays a crucial role in helping Shibas stop running away. You should train your Shiba as early as possible if you want to impact his behavior positively.

The right time to begin obedience training on your Shiba is from 9 months.

So, from when your Shiba Inu is nine months old, you can begin obedience training to make him calm and stop him from running away. Your Shiba likes running away because the dog is independent and hardly follows guidelines.

The proper intervention to stop this harmful behavior is training and socializing your Shiba. This should be done from an early age.

Check our post on, when do Shiba Inus calm down?

Can Shiba Inus Run Away When Off-Leash?

Shiba Inus quickly run away when let off leash. However, training and socializing your Shiba Inu can stop him from running away when off-leash.

As we all know, Shibas have a head of their own and like doing what they want. As such, when your Shiba is off-leash, that’s a chance for him to run away.

You Shiba Inus is ready to go out off-leash only when he’ll reliably come back to you when you call, regardless of the distractions around.

You need to do basic obedience training to stop your Shiba Inu from running away when off-leash. Besides, you’ll have to be consistent with the training.

That said, ensure you train your Shiba on the basic commands, “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “come.”  

Now, when your Shiba can obey these commands without being hesitant, that’s the only time you’re sure your Shiba won’t run away when off-leash.

Otherwise, have him on a leash every time you take him out for a walk.

If your Shiba doesn’t have the basic training commands, expect him to run away when off-leash. Shibas have a lot of energy that accumulates over a short time. It makes your Shiba want to run away if you don’t take him for a walk and have him off-leash.

Why Do Shiba Inu Like Running Away?

Reasons why Shiba Inus like running away include:

  • High curiosity
  • Highly Intelligent
  • Attraction from females
  • When Bored

Let’s explore each reason above;

1.     They Have a High Curiosity

Your Shiba Inu can be a little troublesome if you take him for a walk without a leash. This breed has a high curiosity which prompts Shibas to do things they think are right.

The high curiosity results from Shibas high prey drive.

shiba inu running away

Shibas like chasing after small animals that come their way, like squirrels and rabbits. When your Shiba is chasing after a small animal, he hardly gives up.

So, your Shiba will likely ignore you and pursue the prey he’s after. As a result, high curiosity is one of the major reasons Shibas often run away.

2.     Shibas Are Highly Intelligent

One of the major traits of Shiba Inus is that they are intelligent.

Shibas are among the most intelligent breeds you’ll ever come across. They easily grasp what you’re training them given that the Shiba you’re training is in the mood.

Shibas have a mind of their own due to their high intelligence.

Therefore, your Shiba often thinks by himself and decides what to go after. Regardless of what you’re instructing, your Shiba can easily ignore you, and that’s normal.

3.     Attraction When There Is a Female Around

Shiba Inus are good with other Shibas of the opposite sex. As such, the presence of a female Shiba can make your male Shiba run away to meet them.

However, obedience training helps you stop this behavior.

You should train your Shiba to follow your instructions. They are fascinated when they see other Shibas around, mainly of the opposite sex.

4.     When They Are Bored or Triggered by Distractions

Shiba Inus fall victim to distractions easily. So, when they withdraw their attention from you, the next thing you’re about to witness is your Shiba running away.

Since Shibas have a short concentration period, other outside distractions quickly make them pursue other things.

If, for example, you’re training your Shiba and a smaller animal passes by, that becomes the source of distraction, making your Shiba Inu run away.

What Is Bad About Shiba Inu Running Away?  

There are many dangers of Shiba Inu running away from the owner or handler. They include;

  • Your Shiba can get lost
  • Shiba can cause danger when they meet other dogs
  • Get entangled in the forest

Almost all Shiba owners can attest that this dog is sometimes stubborn. These dogs like running away when off-leash. But you can’t always have a leash; that’s a bit stressful to your Shiba.

Therefore, you might want to take him out for a walk off-leash once in a while.

When out without a leash, if your Shiba is the type that runs uncontrollably, you can easily lose him. If your Shiba runs after small animals deep into the forest, he might lose track back to you. So, you finally lose him, which is against your wishes.

Besides, if your Shiba Inu runs ahead and meets other dog breeds, he can easily trigger a fight. Since Shiba Inu are aggressive, they easily fight with other dogs. A row can erupt, causing danger to your Shiba or other dogs.

Perhaps, your Shiba can bite people due to his aggressiveness.

Another bad thing about Shiba Inu running away is getting stuck inside the forest.

If your Shiba runs after small animals, thickets can trap his collar. With his collar stuck, you Shiba has no way out; thus, you can lose him.

Can You Train a Shiba Inu Not to Run Away?

Yes. You can train your Shiba Inu not to run away and to always stay in close proximity. Obedience training and socialization and key to training your Shiba not to run away.

Every Shiba Inu owner knows very well they are escape artists. For that reason, you may not prefer to handle your Shiba Inu off-leash.

Moreover, you can invest your time and effort to teach your Shiba good behavior from an early age. If he grows up without the Shiba Inu running away mentality, you don’t need the leash every other time.

If you want to train your Shiba Inu not to run away, you need trained dogs that are calm and don’t run away easily. You can find such dogs in a dog psychologist center.

In addition, since Shiba Inu has an innate drive to hunt down small animals, you might want to train him always to come back when you whistle or call his name.

Also, consider taking your Shiba to an area with a fence all around off-leash at a young age. When your Shiba Inu is still a puppy, he’ll quickly learn the basics such as sit, fetch, come, stay, etc.

If possible, initiate training and socialization at a young age. However, if you have an older Shiba Inu trained, you can take him to help with training classes.

Focus on classes that teach obedience and discipline; these two reduce your Shiba Inu running away behavior.

Besides, train or emphasize complicated commands. They impact the dog’s behavior positively.

The complex orders include drop, heel, and wait.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Shiba Inus Outside or Inside Dogs?

Shiba Inus are suitable for both inside and outside environments. However, the outside environment is best for Shiba Inus because they have high energy, which keeps them active.

However, Shiba Inus are also suitable for apartment living or internal environments. What’s important is that you have to take your Shiba for a walk every day.

How Do You Discipline a Shiba Inu?

The one crucial thing about disciplining Shiba Inus is that they react based on how you respond to their actions. Always respond with calmness every time.

For example, if your Shiba keeps jumping on you as you eat and you want to discourage that, don’t offer him food yet. Use the basic command “stop” more often and don’t playback with him.

That makes your Shiba learn that jumping on you as you eat isn’t a good practice.

Why Are Shiba Inus So Difficult?

Shiba Inus are difficult because they think for themselves and like coming up with shortcuts to reaching their goals. This makes Shiba training counterintuitive.

Shibas are creative and complex. Besides, they often follow their instincts which kick in anytime. Instincts make Shibas a difficult breed hard to control unless you know the breed’s obedience training basics.

How Do You Get a Shiba Inu to Trust You?

You can easily use dog obedience training or dog sports to build a strong bond with your Shiba. Getting a Shiba Inu to trust you isn’t as difficult as people think.

Also, take your Shiba for walks often to build trust with them. Lastly, never punish your Shiba Inu physically.

Therefore, if your Shiba misbehaves, remain calm and use other means of punishment and not physical means.

How Do You Deal with Stubborn Shiba Inu That Likes Running Away?

The key to stopping running away in Shibas is obedience training. Also, remember to stay calm when your Shiba acts stubborn.

However, if your Shiba is continuously stubborn, practice time-out. Restrain him in a room for a given period before you allow him to roam freely again.

Conclusion Regarding Shiba Inus Running Away

Like any other dog breed, Shiba Inus have their pros and cons. Shiba Inu running away is one con that almost every Shiba owner struggles with.

Shiba Inu run away due to their innate instincts to hunt or act independently.

For that reason, if you observe your Shiba Inu ignoring your instructions, don’t punish him. Instead, stay calm and invest in obedience training.

Training and socialization are the only ways to prevent this uncouth behavior. Don’t be pissed off when your Shiba Inu run away. It’s the nature of the dog.

Perhaps, you can opt for other remedies, such as having the leash on when you’re going to an open field.

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