Do Shiba Inus Make Good Apartment Dogs? Qualities that Make Them Good Apartment Dogs

Shiba Inus are a small Japanese dog breed known for their loyalty and relatively quiet nature. Although originally bred to hunt games, Shiba Inus have now become popular companion dogs for most families. This is owing to their cat-like calmness and clean nature.

As a Shiba Inu owner living in an apartment, I have met people wondering whether this dog breed would make an excellent apartment companion. Known for their hunting instincts, it is only natural to wonder whether they can live in areas with people and other pets.

The short answer to this is Yes, Shiba Inus are good apartment dogs. However, there is a lot that you need to know about Shiba Inus before you bring them into your apartment. Well, read this article to find out!

They Need Daily Exercise

Daily exercise is paramount for Shiba Inus since it ensures their overall health and well-being. Created to be naturally active dogs, regular exercise helps Shiba Inus burn off energy reserves to prevent them from becoming destructive. If they don’t exercise, they can easily exhibit negative behavior.

But overall, they make exceptional apartment companions when exposed to adequate daily exercise, socialization, and training. As a Shiba Inu owner, I accomplish this by taking my canine friend for short and long walks. This not only helps with the body workout but also ensures mental stimulation.

I also allow my Shiba Inu to accompany when I am taking a bike ride or when I go for morning jogs. I use running as a high-intensity workout when I don’t have enough time to exercise with him throughout the day. Another way to burn a Shiba Inu’s energy level is by taking them to a dog park to socialize and play with other dogs.

Training and Socializing

Every apartment dog needs training and socialization, and the Shiba Inu is no exception. Shiba Inus can be difficult and frustrating to train. Luckily, with the right training and socialization, they are pretty easy to housebreak.

  • Socialization
    This ancient Japanese breed tends to be quite reserved and cautious. Thus, they need to be well socialized to help them get used to people in your apartment. Socialization also helps to fix the issue of them getting aggressive when around other pets.
  • Obedience Training
    I have also learned that Shiba Inus require obedience training while still young. This helps to establish a hierarchy where they know you as the master. I also create rules and ensure that they are followed consistently.
  • Potty Training
    An exciting quality about Shiba Inus is that they are naturally clean and tend to groom themselves regularly. This, therefore, means that they are unlikely to soil their living areas. For this reason, potty training can be easy.

Leaving a Shiba Inu Home Alone

While it would be careful not to leave your Shiba Inu alone, most dog-owners have a busy schedule and are forced to leave them alone. This dog breed tends to depend on people for their physical and emotional needs. Hence, it is advisable not to leave them alone for an extended time.

Generally, adult Shiba Inus can be okay if left for 6 to 8 hours alone. On the other hand, puppies need to be gone for a short time since they require frequent and short bath breaks. For my three-month-old puppy, I had someone to take care of them because it needed 3 hours of bath breaks.

Do Shiba Inus Make Good Apartment Dogs 2

Consider Shiba Inu Proofing your Apartment

Dog-proofing your apartment is extremely crucial, especially if you are considering leaving your Shiba Inu home alone. If they are not adequately trained, Shiba Inus can get mischievous and destructive. Here are some steps that I recommend for dog-proofing;

  • Couch cushions and furniture legs should be protected with no chew spray.
  • Food items and trash cans should be securely stored away, and the kitchen entrance locked if possible.
  • All electronics should be kept out of reach of your four-legged friend.
  • All clothing items, including shoes, should be entirely out of reach as this dog loves to chew on them.

What Qualities Make Shiba Inus Good Apartment Dogs?

Having said all that, here are various reasons why Shiba Inus makes good apartment dogs;

  • Small Breed
    Shiba Inus tend to be relatively small and weigh about 15 to 20 pounds when completely grown. They also measure about 15 to 17 inches in height, making them the most miniature hunting dogs in Japan. Hence, they fit well in small apartments.
  • Low Maintenance
    This breed has a cat-like quality of licking themselves to keep clean at all times. This has helped to keep my apartment tidy at all times.
  • Great Watchdogs
    Shiba Inu is very alert, territorial, and domineering. They can also be entirely reserved around strangers, and this makes them excellent watchdogs.
  • Calm Indoors, Lively Outdoors
    If properly exercised, Shiba Inus tend to remain calm and dignified when indoors. Socialization also helps them to maintain a polite attitude to neighbors in the apartment. Better yet, they can get quite lively when outside.
  • Don’t Bark a Lot
    Unlike other dog breeds, Shiba Inus are generally quiet, and you won’t have to worry about them causing disturbance to neighbors. They are only barkers when they are trying to express their emotions.


Ultimately, Shiba Inus makes good apartment dogs when taken through the right training, exercise, and socialization. If you intend to get a Shiba Inu for your apartment, you need to put a lot of effort into raising and taking care of them.

As a Shiba Inu owner, I would also recommend that you consider various factors before you bring one into your apartment. Make sure that you find your neighbors and lifestyle to help you determine whether a Shiba Inu would make a great apartment companion.

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