When Shibas lay back their ears to the sides and narrow down their eyes, they can be quite harmful and dangerous.
At the same time, they expose their teeth and growl at you, which makes you wonder if that’s their nature. So, why are Shiba Inus so aggressive?
Shiba Inus are aggressive due to their possessive nature. They can be aggressive to humans; however, training and socialization work wonders. Not only humans, but they’re also aggressive to other dogs. Despite this, you should never discipline Shiba Inus physically. Instead, control his attention or try petting.
In this Shiba Inu temperament guide, we’ll see why are Shiba Inus so aggressive, their aggression towards humans, and how to discipline and calm them when aggressive.
Table of Contents
Why Are Shiba Inus So Aggressive?
Although most dog breeds have protection aggression, Shiba Inus are more aggressive due to the following reasons;
- Territory Aggression
- Protection Aggression
- Fear of Aggression
- Prey Drive
- Redirected Aggression
Now, let’s see each in detail below.
1. Territory Aggression
Shiba Inus are territorial in nature. They don’t like strangers approaching their territory. In fact, this is one of the major reasons Shibas are aggressive to other dogs. They protect their territory or backyard with passion.
As a result, Shibas tend to become aggressive every time you intrude on their territory. They protect every place they consider part of their territory. Therefore, if you’re looking to own one, consider making the territory an out-of-bounds area, especially for children.
2. Protection Aggression
Shiba Inus show protection aggression because they want to protect their owner or family. As such, they protect what belongs to them from people or animals they don’t trust.
Therefore, put your Shiba’s belongings out of reach when you have strangers around. That’s one major trigger for Shiba’s aggression.
Female Shibas also show protection aggression by protecting their puppies. Like any other animal, female dogs protect their puppies until they grow up. So, if someone gets too close to your Shiba’s puppies, expect this kind of aggression.
3. Fear of Aggression
Fear of aggression results from several issues, such as a threat or lack of exercise. Fear of aggression is a natural reaction to a potential threat causing your Shiba Inu anxiety. When anxiety builds up inside your Shiba, aggression is the next thing you should expect.
When your Shiba Inu feels unsafe, for example, when a friend teases your Shiba, the dog reacts with aggression and can even bite them. This is due to natural fear that also makes other dog breeds violent.
4. Prey Drive
If you read well about the history of Shiba Inus, they were hunters in Japan during ancient times, something that researchers believe is the origin of the dog’s aggressive behavior. That’s where Shibas got their prey drive aggression.
This is a type of aggression that shows signs of predatory behaviors. It manifests in Shibas by running after other small animals. So, when the animal runs to hide, Shiba’s prey instincts kick in, prompting your Shiba to chase after.
5. Redirected Aggression
The last key reason why Shibas are so aggressive is redirecting aggression. It happens when your Shiba Inu develops anger due to something they can’t access. Oftentimes, Shiba Inus can redirect aggression toward children.
Also, your Shiba might redirect the aggression to you or anyone nearby. Not only people, but Shibas also redirect aggression to other objects such as couches and carpets and start destructive chewing.
Now that we know why Shiba Inus is so aggressive, let’s further see whether they can be aggressive to humans.
Are Shiba Inus Aggressive Towards Humans?
Due to their extra possessive nature, Shiba Inus can be aggressive to humans when they access their territory, toys, and food. Also, Shibas lacking training and socialization can often be aggressive to humans.
Shiba Inus turn aggressive towards humans due to several reasons. However, the primary reason is that they’re a primitive breed. This means the dog still has most of its original traits.
Therefore, they sometimes act primitive to humans regardless of whether you’re the owner, family member, or a visitor. But of course, when you trigger them, Shibas turn immediately and become aggressive. However, training and socialization with people helps make them less aggressive towards humans.
My advice to anyone who plans to own a Shiba Inu is that they should start socialization when their Shiba is still a puppy. Don’t wait until your Shiba Is an adult to begin training and socialization.
Lack of socialization and training gives the dog fear and anxiety, making your Shiba more aggressive to people. Although, if you train and socialize your Shiba Inu, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty towards humans reduce, and he becomes such a gem.
So, to make your furry friend less aggressive towards humans, initiate socialization and training early. That doesn’t mean you should stop training and socializing when he grows; keep doing it until your Shiba no longer shows defiance.
Apart from humans, how about being aggressive to other dogs?
Are Shiba Inus Aggressive with Other Dogs?
Yes. Shiba Inus are dog-aggressive. Especially, male Shibas are more aggressive to other males. Shiba Inus don’t easily get along well with other dominant dogs; they only get well along with other dogs that recognize them as the boss or pack leader.
The primary reason Shibas are aggressive with other dogs is their dominant nature. Shiba Inus is a dominant breed. Therefore, they expect other dogs to submit and consider them the pack leaders. So, Shibas become aggressive to other dogs that don’t submit.
They become aggressive when the other dog approaches their territory as well. As we said earlier, Shibas are possessive and don’t like strangers in their place, whether people or other dogs. So, they turn aggressive to protect their territory or habitat. Also, they use aggression to protect their toys and other possessions.
Worse of all, if the other dog is smaller than your Shiba, they’ll likely run after them and can quickly start a fight. Have your Shiba on a leash if you’re going to a public area with other dogs. Having him off-leash can cause you chaos.
In a nutshell, Shibas think they’re the only big dogs and have a big ego. So, they hardly respect other dogs. Although, training and socializing your Shiba Inu in a yard with other dogs work wonders.
You can begin training and socializing your Shiba with other dogs from a young age. That way, you can help your Shiba get along well with other dogs in the future.
How Do You Discipline Aggressive Shiba Inu?
First, never punish your Shiba Inu or dog physically. Physical punishment never works with dogs. Instead, it creates a barrier between you and your Shiba. As such, you should seek better tips to discipline your Shiba Inu.
Here are some tips for disciplining your Shiba Inu responsibly;
- Don’t Shout at Your Shiba
- Be Understanding and Patient
- Check Your Shibas Health Frequently
- Use Praise Words and Rewards for Good Behavior
- Never Punish Your Shiba Inu
- Disallow Rough Bad Behavior
- Catch The Act
Follow a brief explanation of each below;
1. Don’t Shout at Your Shiba
Shouting at your Shiba isn’t right at all. All dogs know the difference between a normal voice and shouting or yelling. Therefore, they don’t exactly get what you say when you shout and start to fear you.
Instead of shouting, guide your dog using specific command words such as “NO” or an action like a clap to alert your Shiba that you didn’t like it. Other terms include the basic commands “SIT,” “EAT,” “COME,” amongst others.
2. Be Understanding and Patient
The one thing you need to master when disciplining your Shiba Inu is to remain calm and understanding. Remember, training your Shiba successfully doesn’t happen overnight. As such, be patient and compassionate.
It might be challenging to train your Shiba due to the breeds’ independence; however, master the art of remaining calm and understanding. Also, your Shiba learns to revert your calmness.
3. Check Your Shibas Health Frequently
Your Shiba’s health is crucial and contributes to good discipline. For example, it might be why he’s having a hard time controlling his pee or pee in the right place.
Therefore, take your Shiba to a vet every once in a while. The vet can detect health problems and advise you appropriately during this time. That makes life easier for you and your Shiba Inu.
4. Use Praise Words and Rewards for Good Behavior
Praises and rewards work wonders. Use either verbal praise or food treats since both are rewards. However, food rewards work best when training your dog against a bad trait.
Use treats sparingly. Only use treats and praises when your Shiba does the right thing. That way, your Shiba can tell what’s good and bad. So, ensure your Shiba learns that the only way to earn treats and praises is by doing the right thing.
5. Never Punish Your Shiba Inu
Never punish your Shiba Inu. Punishing your Shiba physically doesn’t work when disciplining your Shiba. Instead, this could cause pain to your Shiba and make him fear you more. As such, punishing your Shiba creates a barrier between you and him.
As such, always treat your Shiba like your family; I’m pretty sure you’d never do anything to hurt a member of your family. There’s no reason to hurt your Shiba when disciplining him as well. Besides, your Shiba won’t piece together and understand the reason for the punishment.
6. Disallow Rough Bad Behavior
Shiba Inus like playing rough and dominating the play. When you observe your Shiba Inus misbehave, caution against that. Besides, don’t allow your Shiba to continue doing something bad; immediately you realize, call it out.
For example, when you see your Shiba Inu chew your shoes, warn against that. Your Shiba learns that it’s not okay. If you don’t caution and let the behavior continue, your Shiba might never stop it even when he grows up.
7. Catch The Act
Caution your dog just as he’s about to misbehave. For example, if you see your Shiba relieve himself in the wrong place, call it out immediately. However, this doesn’t guarantee you to punish him; you can use verbal caution.
After you call out the bad behavior, guide your Shiba on where to relieve himself. Lead your Shiba Inu to the right place where he should relieve himself without being harsh or punishing him.
Now that you know how to discipline your Shiba, how about we explore how to train him not to be aggressive?
How Do You Train a Shiba Inu Not to Be Aggressive?
Shiba Inu poses a challenge to new owners since it’s one of the most aggressive breeds. You need to observe basic aggressive training tips to control bad behavior.
Let’s explore some tips that can help your Shiba not to be aggressive;
- Take Your Shiba for A Walk Often
- Neuter Or Spray Your Shiba
- Teach Your Shiba to Follow Basic Commands
- Use Treats
- Take Him to The Vet
Let’s see each in detail;
1. Take Your Shiba for A Walk Often
Shiba Inu can be aggressive due to a lack of exercise. Therefore, don’t enclose your Shiba for long without taking him for a walk. You should take your Shiba for a walk at least once a day.
It gives your Shiba enough scope to dispel energy accumulated when he’s at rest. Taking your Shiba for a walk makes him friendly and increases the bond between you and your furry friend. An often walk makes your Shiba less aggressive.
2. Neuter Or Spray Your Shiba
Shiba Inus often become aggressive when they go for long without a spray. As a result, spray your Shiba Inu to control his aggression. It helps to keep your Shiba healthy.
In addition, you can neuter your Shiba to make him less aggressive. Neutering makes Shibas more friendly and reduces aggression as it limits the aggression hormones.
As per vet guidelines, you should spray your Shiba Inus once every 1 to 3 months. However, this can depend on your region. In some areas where it’s scorching hot, you can spray your Shiba more often.
3. Teach Your Shiba to Follow Basic Commands
When training your Shiba Inu not to be aggressive, basic commands are everything. Therefore, begin by teaching your Shiba these basic commands. They include “SIT,” ”STAND,” ”COME,” among others.
Use these words every day. Consistency plays a crucial part when training your Shiba Inu. So, be consistent and use these commands every day. That way, you boost the chances to control your Shiba Inu.
4. Use Treats
Treats should never miss in your schedule when you’re a dog lover. They help you get your dog’s attention and control him. So, have some treats at home you can use now and then when you decide to do some training with your Shiba Inu.
When your Shiba does the right thing, use a treat and guide him to repeat the same. Treats increase the bond between you and your Shiba and reduce aggression. If you ask your Shiba to calm down with the promise of a treat, he’ll do it immediately.
5. Take Him to The Vet
Like humans, dogs also need a visit to the vet. So, ensure to often take your Shiba Inu to the vet for a check-up. If your Shiba becomes aggressive suddenly, a visit to the vet can be of great help.
Maybe there’s a health issue disturbing your Shiba and making him aggressive. The vet helps you identify any health challenges and provides you with effective remedies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Shibas So Mean?
Shiba Inus are mean due to their dominance and possessive nature. Shiba Inus like other dogs to submit and regard them as the bosses around.
Therefore, this makes the breed mean as it hardly associates with other dog breeds safely, especially of the same sex.
Are Shiba Inus Difficult to Train?
Shiba Inu is difficult to train because they’re independent and like to act on their instincts. Therefore, Shiba’s often ignore your instructions when they don’t feel like following what you say.
They think of themselves and like to reach their goals using personal instincts. That makes Shiba training counter-intuitive.
Are Shiba Inus a Primitive Breed?
Shiba Inus are a primitive breed and still have their ancient traits. They’re primitive in that they like dominating other animals and have high rates of aggression toward both humans and other dogs.
Shiba Inus didn’t develop the primitive trait; it’s a trait they have ever since they came into existence.
Are Female Shiba Inus Aggressive?
Female Shiba Inus are less aggressive than the male ones. Females are more territorial rather than aggressive. However, females become more aggressive when they have young puppies.
Also, female Shiba can be a little more aggressive towards other females.
Why Does My Shiba Growl at Other Dogs?
Shiba Inus will growl at other dogs that want to dominate them. Your Shiba growls as he craves for submission from the other dogs.
Shiba often growls at other dogs when on leash because of fear.
How Do I Get My Shib Inus to Stop Biting?
Shiba Inus can become attention-seekers and do this by biting. To stop this behavior, spend some minutes daily petting your Shiba and discourage him from biting. Whenever he attempts to take a bite, tell him “NO.”
Repeat this every time your Shiba attempts to make that bite or stroke him gently. Also, ensure your Shiba has enough food daily.
Final Thoughts on The Question, Why Are Shiba Inus So Aggressive?
Shiba Inus are an aggressive dog breed; They are aggressive to humans and other dogs. The aggression of Shiba Inus traces back to ancient times. Besides, their aggression becomes worse if there’s a new dog around.
Nevertheless, you can control Shiba’s aggression using training and socialization. Introduce your Shiba Inu to both at an early age. Don’t wait until your Shiba is an adult to initiate training and socialization as most people do. Instead, start when your Shiba is a puppy.
Besides, if Shiba’s aggression increases, don’t force him into socialization. Always know that Shiba’s have a mind of their own and like thinking independently. If your Shiba doesn’t want to interact and play with other dogs, don’t force him into doing it.
At this point, you should have enough answers to answer the query, why are Shiba Inus so aggressive!
I’d like to hear your experience with Shiba Inus’s aggression in the comments section.