Behavioral problems

How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: September 14, 2022
How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me
Shiba Inu

Animal file: Shiba Inu

While this breed is generally a sweetheart which can bond well with many types of family, Shiba Inu biting is a relatively common problem. If you have recently adopted a Shiba Inu and have noticed some biting issues, you will want to know how to stop my Shiba Inu biting me. In order to explain how to train a Shiba Innu to stop biting, we need to look at the reasons for the biting behavior in the first place. By understanding the underlying cause, we will be in the best position to stop Shiba Inu biting. AnimalWised explains more about why Shiba Inu dogs bite and how to prevent it in the future.

You may also be interested in: How To Stop Food Aggression in Dogs
  1. Shiba Inu dog behavior
  2. Why does your Shiba Inu bite?
  3. How to stop my Shiba Inu biting me

Shiba Inu dog behavior

It is very important to know about the temperament of dogs before adopting one. Breed is not the only factor, but it is an important one in assessing both the dog's needs and how they will adapt to a certain family. For example, a sedentary family should not adopt a very active dog. It is important to state that this is only one factor and the level of socializing and training a dog receives will influence their behavior, regardless of breed.

In general, the Shiba Inu is a somewhat independent and quiet dog. They are shy with strangers and attached to their closest family. They are a very intelligent breed, you will need to dedicate time to practice obedience and basic commands to ensure your companion listens to you. This for your own safety, as well as the dog's own. If a Shiba Inu does not receive the right level of training and attention, it can result in serious behavioral issues.

While Shiba Inu dogs are relatively small and slender, they are actually a robust and restless breed. They can get very nervous without regular exercise. In saying this, even the most well-cared for Shiba Inu can be a bit naughty from time to time.

Why does your Shiba Inu bite?

There are many causes that can lead to a bite. Although the Shiba Inu looks like a sweet little soft toy, it actually has a scissor-like bite that can make us bleed. Some possible reasons why your Shiba Inu bites include the following:


Puppies have baby teeth which are shed when they are four to nine months old. During that process, 42 new adult teeth grow, which can cause the young Shiba Inu to feel discomfort and be in a bad mood.

During this teething period, the animal will feel a great need to bite something. You should provide your Shiba Inu puppy with soft toys and teethers appropriate for their juvenile stage, not bones or hard toys. Apply positive reinforcement and pet it when it sets its attention on the new teething toys, which will encourage it to use them.

Bite inhibition

It may be that your Shiba Inu is still young and doesn't yet know when or how to bite. Usually, puppies learn to control the strength of their bite with their littermates or parents, who teach them when to stop biting during games and play-fighting. This way, puppies learn to recognize when they start to cause pain.

In the absence of the Shiba Inu's mother, you will be responsible for teaching your Shiba Inu bite inhibition. Even if they have stayed with their mother for a sufficient period of time, they will still need to learn bite inhibition with their human guardians. However, it will most likely be more difficult if they have been removed form their mother too early due to a deficit in socialization.

How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me - Why does your Shiba Inu bite?


In some cases, dogs that have not experienced a good socialization process may bite people out of fear. Although the process takes more work and is more complex, it is often still possible to socialize an adult if they have been neglected when they were young.

Lack of socialization can lead your Shiba Inu not only to bite you, but also to try and attack other dogs, even when they are bigger. If your Shiba Inu has not been socialized properly and shows behavioral problems, start working on this problem as soon as possible with the help of a professional such as a canine ethologist.


First of all, review the five freedoms of animal welfare and ensure you're covering all your Shiba Inu's needs. Dogs can become stressed when they don't walk often enough, if they are afraid, if they are punished, or if they have pent-up energy, among many other reasons. A dog that is sick or in pain may also bite due to insecurity or physical frustration.

Check for any signs that your dog is stressed. If they match your Shiba Inu's behavior, you will need to find ways to prevent stress in the future. This requires going to a veterinarian to rule out a physical cause. If it is not due to illness or pain, you will need to asses the cause of their stress and remove it from their lives.

Playful temperament

Your Shiba Inu may bite as a way of expressing its playful and mischievous personality, something innate to this beautiful Japanese breed. If this is your case with your Shiba Inu, make sure you offer toys and use positive reinforcement when playing.

At the moment when they bite you, turn away from your dog and change stop interaction. Never scold them excessively. Since they don't think they are doing anything wrong, they will not understand and it can be counterproductive. Give them a firm ‘NO’ and then walk away.

How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me -

How to stop my Shiba Inu biting me

Now that you know the main reasons why your Shiba Inu is biting you, you will need to know how to stop it. At AnimalWised, we always recommend using positive reinforcement. Give your Shiba Inu treats and affection to reward the behaviors and attitudes of which you approve.

Even if you think that scolding may improve a dog's behavior, it is much less effective than providing reinforcement or redirecting behaviors. Scolding can generate stress for your pet. Some dogs, including the Shiba, are particularly sensitive to these attitudes.

We will also need to assess our care of the dog. We need to determine whether we are meeting their basic needs, as well as the specific needs of our Shiba Inu. For example, if the dog is biting because they have been poorly socialized, we will need to socialize them properly. If they are not being stimulated enough, we can start training, take them for more exercise or simply interact with them more.

The problem arises when the dog's attitude is worrying. For example, if your dog bites you can breaks the skin. In these cases, the dog can pose a danger to you or others. If they are sufficiently aggressive, the dog will need to be taken away. To prevent this from happening, you will need to speak to a canine ethologist. They will be able to assess your Shiba Inu's specific needs and provide practical ways to prevent biting in the future.

We will need to generally improve the Shiba Inu's happiness and well-being, but it is important to note that this dog is not ideal for first-time or inexperienced dog guardians. They have a lot of energy and require a certain level of interaction or else they are prone to behavioral issues such as biting. They may also have low tolerance for certain interactions, meaning they may not be the best for a family with children.

However, if you can meet your dog's needs in terms of socialization, training, exercise and care, there is no reason your Shiba Inu can't be a wonderful companion. Learn more about this dog with our breed file on Shiba Inus.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
So my shibu is 21/2 years old it has been a great pup up until this year he has bitten me and my dad multiple times as the most recent bite was yesterday he kept sniffing another dogs pee and I didn’t want him to lick it up so I said no and come and sit he did that then I said good boy and went to pet him and he bite me very bad he he didn’t even growl or anything just went at me I have been walking him a lot and doing obedience training with him and I had gotten him fixed two weeks ago I don’t know what to do please help this dog never showed aggression towards me or anyone until this year one last thing when he gets a lot of exercise the one time I went to pet him and he growled at me so i really don’t know what to do
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jim,

Have you looked at the options in the article? Has he been neutered? It is possible something has happened, but if you are not sure you need to find it out. This may require an expert ethologist.
thks! just in case i have shibe or if i get shibe for christmas. :)
I have a 3 yr old shiba who has a 7yr old toy poodle as his big brother. They were raised together since they were puppies. For the most part the two can co exist. They pretty much do everything together. Our shiba is friendly and socialized with people and other dogs. He gets lots of exercise walking and running in the yard. My problems is when the poodle starts barking at something like the door or whatever the shiba gets excited and tries to bite him. It seems like yappy bark of a 5lb dog gets him excited and I lose him to crazy behavior. I am afraid one day he will hurt my poodle. How do I correct this. Stopping the poodle from barking would be great but not an option. I know the shiba bullies the little one and the poodle is smart enough to always stay in safe zone from him. I intervene when i see it and the Shiba knows his brother is not a chew toy but still is a butt head at times. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
Felecia Gilbert
My Sheba bites mostly when I'm relaxing and reading in my bed. I've substituted toys and played fetch to redirect her but she wants to redirect me from relaxing. What can I do?
Amy McCready (AnimalWised editor)
Hi Felecia, have you made sure to properly exercise and play with her before it's time to wind down and relax? If your dog is restless and has a lot of energy to use up, she will try and play with you. The more you tire her out, the more you will both be able to relax with one another :)
1 of 3
How to Stop My Shiba Inu Biting Me