Reporting for Duty: Can Shiba Inus Be Service Dogs?

Ah, our beloved Shiba Inus. Notorious for their hyperactive and stubborn nature, these feisty fur babies can be a nightmare to train at times. Still, that leaves us wondering: can a Shiba Inu be a good service dog?

To cut a long story short, the answer is yes. While Shiba Inus can be as effective and efficient as the popular service dog breeds such as retrievers, there are a couple of things to look out for when considering a Shiba Inu for a service dog—interested in having a Shiba Inu service dog? Please keep reading to find out more about them.

The Shiba Inu Service Dog Potential

No one can deny that Shiba Inus has innate characteristics that give them the potential to be a service dog. A significant trait of Shiba Inus that highlight their service dog potential is their sense of independence. Unlike other breeds that can’t seem to live without having their owner by their side at all times, Shiba Inus enjoy some alone time and can look after themselves well.

This is especially useful as a service dog because owners will be unable to give them hands-on care all the time, be it due to a disability or an illness. The next time you feel worried about your Shiba Inu, remember that they are free-spirited creatures, and you can count on them to look after themselves.

What Kind of Training Should a Shiba Inu Service Dog Have?

Due to the naturally bold personality, their breed is known for, training a Shiba Inu to be a service dog will require a bit more effort than usual. Several owners have come to agree that it is best to start training Shiba Inus as pups to get the most desired results.

When I got my first Shiba Inu roughly three and a half years back, I always asked fellow Shiba Inu owners how they successfully tamed their freedom-loving friend. It turns out that Shiba Inus demands more focus on particular types of training, such as socializing and obedience training, to manage their aggressive and territorial traits. I’m a hundred percent certain that it’s the same way with Shiba Inus that are being trained to become service dogs.

What Can a Shiba Inu Service Dog Offer?

A Shiba Inu can fit into any specialized service type available for service dogs. This breed can be a fantastic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) service dog or a disability assist dog (DAD). Their headstrong personalities aside, Shiba Inus are fiercely loyal creatures, making them capable of being amazing companions and helpers at the same time. 

I recall recently reading an interview online about a girl suffering from PTSD who decided to take on a Shiba Inu breed for a service dog. As a first time Shiba Inu owner, she did experience struggle with setting her Shiba Inu straight in various situations.

Still, with time and dedication, she was able to overcome Shiba Inu’s feisty nature. Better yet, she regained a sense of purpose and control over her life while caring for her service dog. As payback, her Shiba Inu helps her manage her trauma as well as her panic attacks. What a heartwarming tale it was!

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What Does it Take to Be a Shiba Inu Service Dog Owner?

Service dog Shiba Inus are entirely possible and even more so when they are under the care of an excellent trainer and owner. As we have previously mentioned, taking the reins over the Shiba Inu breed is not for everyone. Based on my personal experience, here are a few things you will need to become a successful Shiba Inu service dog owner.

  • A Brimming Amount of Self-Confidence and Dedication
    As a breed known for its pride and independence, it is no surprise that a Shiba Inu will only answer to an owner who is entirely in control of what he or she is doing. To do that, you will have to be consistent in training your Shiba Inu, rewarding them for every good behavior, and reprimanding them when they do so otherwise.

    Once your Shiba Inu becomes aware of the do’s and the don’ts (and believe me, they’re smart enough to point them out), they will slowly and surely transform into loving, loyal companions can give you both joy and protection.
  • High Awareness with One’s Surroundings
    Nurturing your relationship with your Shiba Inu alone is not enough to successfully rein them in; you also have to be aware of your surroundings and train your dog to respond to any situation that may happen accordingly. Shiba Inus are known for being highly territorial, and they will most definitely react to the presence of other dogs nearby.

The Great Thing About Shiba Inu Service Dogs

If you’ve read this far, I must assume that you are truly set on getting a Shiba Inu for your service dog. As a treat, here are some advantages you’ll get to enjoy when you take in an adorable Shiba Inu into your home.

  • Awesome Personality
    Though a dog, many people have described the Shiba Inu’s personality as cat-like, which can be a box full of surprises. Imagine a playful fluffball that can instantly turn into a moody kitty in a snap. No wonder why Shiba Inus have been the subject of internet memes. You’ll never find a dull moment with them!
  • Low Maintenance
    I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it: Shiba Inus love independence. Since they can take good care of themselves well, particularly in the self-hygiene department, it’s one task off your regular to-do list when you have one of these guys.
  • Loyal companion
    Shiba Inus may seem like they don’t sometimes care due to their limited displays of affection, believe it or not, and be one of the most loyal breeds ever to grace this planet. When developed well, their territorial nature can turn into protective instincts that can help you steer clear from danger.


Indeed, Shiba Inus can be successful service dogs with the right training and the right owner. Though known to be quite rough around the edges to work with, they can turn into lovable lifelong partners that can help you during emergencies—thinking of getting a service dog? Consider a Shiba Inu breed if you’re up for the challenge!

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