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How to Stop My Shiba Inu from Biting Me

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 1, 2017
How to Stop My Shiba Inu from Biting Me

Animal file: Shiba Inu

If you have decided to adopt a Shiba Inu into your family, perhaps you have faced an uncomfortable problem: your Shiba Inu bites you. If you are not sure why this behavior takes place, or if you simply want to fix it as soon as possible, you have come to the right place.

In this AnimalWised article we will go over the possible causes that may push your dog to bite you and explain how to fix the problem. Read on to learn how to stop your Shiba Inu from biting you and don't forget to share your situation at the end of the post!

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What are Shiba Inu dogs like?

It is very important to know about the natural temperament of dogs before adopting one, but it is even more important to bear in mind that the personality and behavior of each particular dog will depend on the socialization and training it gets.

In general, the Shiba Inu is a somewhat independent and quiet dog, shy with strangers and attached to its closest family. It is really smart, but you will need to dedicate time to practice obedience and basic commands together to ensure that your companion listens to you, for your own safety, that of others, and the dog's own.

While Shiba Inu dogs are relatively small and slender, they are actually a robust and restless need that get very nervous without regular exercise - and they can be a bit naughty from time to time.

How to Stop My Shiba Inu from Biting Me - What are Shiba Inu dogs like?

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:

Your Shiba Inu is growing its adult teeth:

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.

Your Shiba Inu hasn't learnt how to bite yet:

It may be that your Shiba Inu is still young and doesn't know when or how to bite yet. 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 mock-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.

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

Your Shiba Inu is afraid:

In some cases, dogs that have not received a good socialization process may bite people out of fear. Even if you have an adult dog, it can still be socialized although the process takes more work and is more complex.

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 like a canine ethologist.

Your Shiba Inu is stressed:

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. If your dog is sick or in pain, it is also likelier to bite.

Check the signs that your dog is stressed, and if they match your Shiba Inu, solve the problem as much as possible. You will have to change your daily routine and go to a veterinarian for specific advice.

Your Shiba Inu has a "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, make sure you offer it toys and use positive reinforcement whenever your Shiba Inu uses them.

At the moment when it hurts you, turn away from your dog and change task. Never scold it excessively or hurt it: a firm 'no' will suffice. Gradually, your dog will realize that you do not like this attitude.

What can I do?

Those are the reasons why, but how to stop your Shiba Inu from biting you?

At AnimalWised we always recommend using positive reinforcement. Give your Shiba Inu treats and affection to reward the behaviors and attitudes that you approve of.

Even if you think that scolding may improve a dog's behavior, in fact it is much less effective than reinforcing and can generate stress for your pet if you exceed in your shouting and the way in which you do it. Some dogs, including the Shiba, are very sensitive to these attitudes.

The problem arises when the dog's attitude is really worrying. That is when you should go to a professional, specifically an ethologist so that he or she can help you solve your pet's behavioural problem. You may be wondering whether this is very expensive; there are ethologists and trainers within different rate ranges, so it's worth researching.

Besides, if you have made yourself responsible for a dog you must be ready to cover behavioral as well as medical expenses, as stress also has an impact on a dog's safety, health and happiness.

How to Stop My Shiba Inu from Biting Me - What can I do?

Tips to make your Shiba Inu happier

In addition to offering toys and going to a professional, there are other things you can do to make your Shiba Inu happier and improve your relationship. Take note!

  • Walk your dog two to three times a day.
  • If your dog is aggressive with others, do not walk it at peak hours and avoid stressful situations.
  • During the walk, do not tug on its lead or keep it excessively controlled. Allow it to sniff around, meet other pets, walk freely, etc. Here you can discover 5 things you do wrong when you walk your dog.
  • Exercise with your dog and practice sport together.
  • Practice obedience training with your dog for at least 15 minutes every day.
How to Stop My Shiba Inu from Biting Me - Tips to make your Shiba Inu happier

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

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2 comments
Sno
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 :)

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