Can Shiba Inus Be Therapy Dogs? Here’s What We Think

We probably all know Shiba Inus for their cuddly size, cute faces, and friendly attitude. But have you ever wondered whether or not a Shiba Inu can be used as a therapy dog?

Possibly. But we need to know first what exactly is a therapy dog. From there, I’ll tell you whether or not a Shiba Inu is qualified to be a therapy dog. Trust me! I have 3 of those babies at home and have done a ton of research on them. So let’s get to it.

What Exactly is a Therapy Dog?

Before anything else, let’s discuss what exactly a therapy dog is and what qualifies a dog. In a nutshell, a therapy dog is a dog that does volunteer work. Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like! A therapy dog is pretty much the assistant of a volunteer worker. If I, the owner of a therapy dog, wants to go to a school or a hospital to do some volunteer work, I’d bring my dog along to help me.

So how exactly will my therapy dog help me out? Well, it will pretty much make people happy. It can make children happy, seniors happy, and patients smiling.

Is a Therapy Dog Like a Service Dog?

A lot of people ask me whether a service dog is the same as a therapy dog. Well, the answer to that is no. Therapy dogs are different from service dogs. Service dogs undergo specialized training to aid those who have specific disabilities.

Service dogs are often used to help guide blind people or people who can’t walk properly. They usually stay with their owners to take care of them. They also have some special privileges, such as access to planes and restaurants. Those are a few of the benefits that therapy dogs don’t get.

Does a Therapy Dog Need a Certification

We all know that service dogs need certifications. It is through these certifications that they can enjoy certain privileges with their owners. But what about those therapy dogs? Do they also get some certificates?

Yes, they do! They even go through training to be therapy dogs. One of the most prominent organizations that provide certifications to therapy dogs is the American Kennel Club, where they offer the AKC Therapy Dog titles. Of course, other states also have their organizations that provide certificates. You can also contact them.

Can Shiba Inus Be Therapy Dogs 2

What’s a Shiba Inu Like?

Now that you know what a therapy dog is, let’s check out the Shiba Inu personality. By understanding the nature of a Shiba Inu, you’ll see whether they’re suited to be therapy dogs.

First of all, Shiba Inus are energetic. They love to play, they love to move, and they love to run. They continuously need activities wherein they move a lot and exercise.

Aside from being energetic, they are brilliant. I can even tell you that they’re too smart. In some cases, my Shiba Inus can even outsmart me at times. Yes, they are manipulative.

Shiba Inus are also really alert and not trusting. That’s why they make excellent watchdogs. These doggies will growl at the sight of strangers. They usually can’t stand anything from the outside that enters their territory.

Can a Shibu Inu Become a Therapy Dog?

Now that you have all the information you need, you can decide whether a Shiba Inu makes a good therapy dog. I feel that the Shiba Inu is not that suited to become a therapy dog. Shiba Inus are incredibly independent and will not want to do things that they don’t want to do.

If you try to force a Shiba Inu to do something, believe me when I say that they’ll bite you back. So if they need to give affection to anyone, they’ll probably get mad. Don’t get me wrong– it’s not like they’re not an affectionate kind of dog. But they will only be tender when they want to be– not when their owners tell them to be.

Their high energy also makes them tiring to be around if you happen to be patients or seniors. Those who need therapy dogs need the cuddly and snuggly types.

That said, is it still possible for Shiba Inus to become therapy dogs? It is possible if they are a little bit more sociable. This is a trait that needs to be encouraged at a young age, though. But their general temperament doesn’t make them a fit to be a therapy dog.


So do you want to have a therapy dog that you can bring around during volunteer work? Well, then I probably wouldn’t suggest getting a Shiba Inu unless you’ve trained it. But I’d still love to have a Shiba Inu if I have an active lifestyle or if I want a dog that can take care of itself.

After all, they are lovely dogs, but they’re not the type to take a strenuous job.

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