Wait, Why Are Shiba Inus So Aggressive? Do They Have a Temperament?

To tell you honestly, it was challenging at first. Hara, my male cream Shiba Inu, is my first dog companion. And I believe that this factor contributed to the degree of difficulty I had experienced when I first started taking care of him five years ago.

Shiba Inus are popular companion dogs in the US, making it into the top 50 list. I learned about this early on when I was reading everything I could about their bloodline.

Being a companion dog, it means that the Shiba Inu is the type of dog who likes to belong to a family and to have companions – both humans and animals.

Does It Mean It’s Hard To Take Care Of A Shiba Inu?

Even if they are known for their independence and aggressiveness, Shiba Inus are highly trainable to become friendly and interactive with people and other animals. It all boils down to their intelligence and how practical their training will be.

As for my experience, I was new to adopting a dog, and I won’t lie, but I had my fair share of challenges. However, I did my research, and I studied how I would best take care of my Shiba Inu. And I must say that all of that hard work paid off.

Shiba Inus are innately aggressive, but as with Hara, he grew up to become an independent dog who can control his aggressiveness by being active, playful, and interactive toward others.

Where Did Shiba Inus Originate?

Even if they are famous in the US, Shiba Inus are not native to the country. Instead, they come from Japan, the land of the rising sun.

In Japan, early Shiba Inus thrived in Chubu, a region filled with mountainous trails and hiking terrains. They were initially bred to become dogs who hunt and help their companions catch small game.

Six pure spitz breeds originated from Japan, and the Shiba Inu is one of them. The list includes Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Akita Inu, Shikoku Ken, and Hokkaido Ken.

It is said that the Shiba Inu had existed even before the 1900s when modern breeds were beginning to come out. It was only in the 1950s when the first Shiba Inu was introduced in the US.

With an average weight of 8 to 10.5 kilos and an average height of 13 to 17 inches, the Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six Japanese spitz breeds. Even if it’s generally on the smallish side, the Shiba Inu has a unique temperament and a strong, radiating personality.

Why are Shiba Inus So Aggressive 1

A Dog With A Distinct Temperament

Because of how the earlier Shiba Inus were bred and trained back in Japan, their bloodline became known to possess a temperament that is so unlike other dogs.

If you think that Shiba Inus are cuddly lap dogs, then you’re wrong. When you see their feisty look and regal stance, you will immediately realize that Shiba Inus are quite different.

The Japanese describe the Shiba Inu with three words. First is kaani-i, which means boldness and bravery. Second is ryosei, which means gentle and kind nature. Last is soboku, which means spiritedness and alertness.

Based on my own experience, there are two sides to a Shiba Inu: (1) the aggressive/interactive and (2) the independent/intelligent. These sides are always present, but some circumstances emphasize or let a single side dominate the other for a moment.

The aggressive/interactive side shows whenever Hara, my five-year-old Shiba Inu, sees a lot of other people and animals around. His aggressiveness can be triggered by other alpha male dogs as well as smaller animals (that he presumes are game). This can be attributed to his hunter instincts.

Also, when he’s in the mood to be active, he can be very aggressive in doing and getting what he wants. Shiba Inus are the kind of dog who doesn’t quickly back down. They are persistent and knows how to push your buttons.

Meanwhile, the independent/creative side shines whenever Hara is at home and in his territory. It still amazes me how he can tolerate being alone, and he kind of really enjoys it, too.

Also, his intelligence is impressive because he is swift to learn and understand. He’s also the kind of dog who is always clean and tidy. He doesn’t like it when there’s dirt in his food or water.

Generally, Shiba Inus are intelligent and independent because they forcefully act and decide based on their curiosity and instinct.

Are Shiba Inus Really That Aggressive?

Naturally, they are truly aggressive. It’s all because of how their ancestors were trained to become hunting dogs back in the years. That old trait was eventually passed on to the younger generations that are living among us right now.

However, that aggressiveness can be managed if a young Shiba Inu is trained well to control that side and, instead, be more interactive toward others and not be just purely aggressive (and somewhat scary).

If a Shiba Inu grows up and becomes an adult without proper training on socialization, he/she will come off as an aggressive dog who is always ready to chase and hunt.

However, if a Shiba Inu, like Hara, is trained well at an early age, his aggressiveness can be controlled and turned into being active, energetic, playful, and bold.

An Undeniable Intelligence

It is always very fascinating, especially when a dog is smart and easy to train. That’s where the strength of a Shiba Inu lies – in his/her intelligence.

I am very proud because even though Shiba Inus are known to be aggressive, my dog Hara is not the kind to bite or snarl at anyone or any animal. He can be dominating at times, but he knows how to interact well with others in harmony.

So, if you’re worried that your Shiba Inu will become a terror, don’t be! As long as you’re training your dog well, I am sure that your Shiba Inu will grow up to become an intelligent dog who is loyal, affectionate, reliable, and brave.

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