Are Shiba Inus Mean? Or Are They As Friendly As You?

In my experience, when Hara was just a puppy, he was very cautious and reserved whenever I invite some guests at home. However, we trained him well in terms of socialization. We made sure to expose him to crowds and outdoors consistently so that he could see and interact with other people and animals. Now that he’s five years old, it’s very unusual for me to see him snarling at someone or some animal unless he’s triggered or he’s just not in the mood to get along.

If You’re Looking For A Super Friendly Dog…

Then Shiba Inus are not precisely what you’re looking for. Hara, my five-year-old male cream Shiba Inu, is the kind of dog that is independent, aggressive, protective, and generally comfortable with his owners and companions. He’s not like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or the Labrador Retriever, which are among the top 10 friendly dog breeds in the entire world.

But I am not saying that Shiba Inus are mean dogs. They are very far from it. They are just independent dogs who have their own will and curiosity about the world. Moreover, since they were originally bred as hunting dogs, Shiba Inus are naturally aggressive, strong, and protective of their territory and family. They are also born runners, so if you’re planning on walking your dog to the park, make sure to bring a leash.

The Sophistication of Shiba Inus

In my view, Shiba Inus are not mean. They are sophisticated. When Hara was just a few weeks living at my home, I made sure to learn every important thing about him and his bloodline.

Shiba Inus are not the type of companion dog whom you can cuddle and play with all the time. They are sophisticated in the way that they have their own decisions, and they actively follow their instinct and curiosity. You can call them and pet them now and then, but half of the time, they are off doing their own thing.

Their sophistication is also strongly depicted in the three-word description of the Japanese for them. These words are (1) ryosei, which means good nature, (2) kaani-i, which means spirited boldness, and (3) soboku, which means alertness. When I first read about these three Japanese words, I was astonished by how Shiba Inus are truly special. These words have made my heart closer to Hara because he is a clear depiction of being kind, bold, and active.

If you’re planning to adopt a Shiba Inu sooner or later, here are some of their traits that I’d like to share with you:

  • They are very clean. I never had a problem cleaning or grooming Hara, my Shiba Inu. They’re a lot like cats when it comes to cleanliness, and I like this quality very much because I am very clean when it comes to my home.
  • They are independent. This might be a challenging trait at first, especially if you don’t train your Shiba Inu in terms of socialization at a young age. However, if he/she learned how to interact well with other people and animals from the beginning, your Shiba Inu will grow to be an independent dog who tolerates being alone yet interacts well with others when needed.
  • They are smart and affectionate with family. We found that Hara could quickly grasp and understand instructions and gestures, and even as a puppy, he quickly learned that Hara was his name. Moreover, when he realized that we are the ones taking care of him, he reverted by being caring and warm towards us.
  • They are fearless. Hara could sometimes be aggressive to other alpha male dogs when provoked. Also, he would sometimes chase some animals when his hunter-instinct and curiosity are triggered. They are seldom afraid of something and would boldly walk or run towards where they want to go. Since they have this strong personality, the owners of Shiba Inus should also have a commanding attitude so that they could manage their dogs well.
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Wait, Where Did They Come From?

If you’re wondering where Shiba Inus came from, this unique breed came from to Japan. Shiba Inus is one of the six original spitz breeds native to Japan, which includes the Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Hokkaido Ken, Shiba Inu, Shikoku Ken, and Akita Inu.

Shiba Inus were initially bred to become hunting dogs. In the region of Chubu in Japan, where they first thrived and lived back before the 19th century, they helped their owners in hunting for small game like birds and rabbits.

The Shiba Inu breed was first introduced in the US in the 1950s, and since then, it slowly became popular and eventually became one of the top 50 companion dog breeds in the country.

Are Shiba Inus Mean or Not?

Shiba Inus are not entirely mean. They are more aggressive and energetic dogs who follow their will half of the time. They are independent and can handle being left alone but not the entire time. They would also love the companionship of their owners and fellow pets.

They are intelligent and would decide and take action based on their curiosity. Sometimes, they can be cunning and will push their owners so that they can get what they want. They are also born hunters, which makes them very active in chasing off someone or some animals when they are provoked or triggered.

But with proper training starting at a young age, a Shiba Inu can grow to become a sophisticated, friendly, and loving dog who is trained to live and interact well with people and other animals. 

The Dog of Boldness

If you’re going to ask me what is the single trait of Shiba Inus that I love the most, my answer to that will be their boldness. Hara is a fearless dog, and even if he’s on the smallish side, he is radiating with this enormous and vibrant personality that is just so alive. Our lives became more of an adventure when we decided to adopt Hara, a dog of boldness.

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While taking Shiba Inus on a walk, you will turn many heads and get many compliments.