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Are Shiba Inu Good With Kids? Pros, Cons & Introduction Tips

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by Dogster Team


Are Shiba Inu Good With Kids? Pros, Cons & Introduction Tips

Buying a breed that will be compatible with children is so important when you have a growing family. While almost any dog can get along well with kids if they are raised together, some are characteristically more fit for the job than others.

The Shiba Inu breed might naturally attract you due to their interesting appearance and size. However, are they good family dogs? Shiba Inu can make extremely wonderful family and children companions in the right homes. Here, we discuss the overall needs of this breed and how they tend to mesh with children.


Shiba Inu as Family Pets

Shiba Inu can make ideal family companions in many homes. They can quickly grow with families who plan on having more children. However, the requirements for keeping this dog go beyond the topic of kids.

You have to ask yourself these questions:
  • Do you have the time to spend with a Shiba?
  • Will small children take precedence over necessary socialization and care of the dog?
  • Do you plan on acclimating the pup into family activities?
  • Are you home enough to meet their needs?
  • Is your residence a suitable size for a growing family and active breed?
  • Are you able to create firm boundaries between the children and the pet?
  • If you run into trouble, do you have the means to provide adequate training at home or professionally?
  • Can you afford vet care alongside childcare expenses?

Getting any dog breed is a big commitment. A Shiba is no exception. You should always ensure that you are mentally, financially, and physically ready for the breed you select.

A Shiba is a high-energy breed that requires daily walks and lots of time to play and exercise. These dogs work best in homes with plenty of land or a large fenced-in yard where they can burn off steam, especially if you can’t interact with them every time they get a surge of energy.

Everyone in the household must understand the care required for a Shiba Inu, including the children. So, let’s explore what makes them fabulous and not-so-fabulous to have in the home.

shiba inu dog introduced to children
Image Credit: MENG KONGSAK, Shutterstock


The 5 Things That Make Shiba Inu Great With Kids

If you’re wondering what exactly the perks would be to having a Shiba in a growing home, here are a few!

1. Size

The Shiba Inu is an ideal size for children. They aren’t small enough to be trampled by rowdy kids, and they aren’t large enough to knock down toddlers easily. This good in-between can create a functional home space without a lot of chaos and crying!

2. Temperament

Shiba Inu can have fantastic temperaments with proper breeding and rearing as puppies. Granted, they can be hyper and require extra work, but they are also quite trainable. So, proper training and handling of them as puppies will create a well-rounded dog familiar with acceptable behaviors around kids.

shiba inu dog with young boy sitting in the grass
Image Credit: MENG KONGSAK, Shutterstock

3. Energy Levels

They often enjoy running around with the kids, as they share similar energy. These dogs can keep up with the best of them. They will match your child’s activity level with no problem. You will likely find them in the backyard, chasing each other around or playing fetch.

4. Ethical Breeding

Ethical breeding is so important when you’re choosing any puppy. If poor breeding practices take place, it can affect all areas of your dog’s life, including temperament, health, and behavioral tendencies.

Even though purchasing from a breeder might be far more expensive than getting a Shiba Inu from someone who had an unexpected litter of puppies, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. There are too many unpredictable factors otherwise.

shiba inu dog running
Image Credit: Trybex, Shutterstock

5. Early Socialization

Early socialization is crucial when acclimating any dog into your life. A puppy will have time to grow with you, so they will get to know the smells, personalities, and functions of the home and all those who dwell within it.

Getting your dog used to people outside of the home is important too. Puppies should be exposed to as many new faces, creatures, and situations as possible.

divider-pawThe 4 Reasons Some Shiba Inu Are Not Good for Kids

There are certain reasons that the breed’s characteristics might not be so great for children. Here, we touch on a few. However, remember that with proper socialization and reputable breeding, you can have a well-rounded Shiba in your home that is an amazing pet.

1. Unaltered Shibas

It is common for a Shiba Inu to show potential aggressive tendencies among unaltered dogs. It is especially common for females to show same-sex aggression toward other female dogs in the home.

Early spaying and neutering and proper exercise outlets can curb some of these tendencies. However, sometimes, this characteristic cannot be trained out of them.

2. Poor Breeding

Poor breeding can lead to a whirlwind of health problems for any breed. The same goes for the Shiba. It could intensify certain behaviors like hyperactivity or separation anxiety. It can also lead to health issues, which can change behavior and tolerance to surroundings.

shiba inu lying on grey carpet
Image By: M Stocker, Shutterstock

3. Resource Aggression

Resource aggression can be prevalent among many breeds. This is not so much a breed problem, though, but rather a socialization problem. Guarding resources can happen when they are possessive of food and toys. It is a “mine, mine, mine” mentality.

Shibas might have a higher inclination toward this behavior than some other breeds, so it’s crucial to get a handle on it early. If they view your children as litter mates, they might not respect them enough to refrain from nipping or growling when the child gets close to their possessions.

4. Hyper Tendencies

Some Shiba Inu can be downright hyper. This is just a variable that depends on the dog. They are a naturally high-energy breed, and some will take it to the max. If a Shiba Inu is particularly hyper, this can be troublesome with children because it can lead to aggressive play and other hard-to-handle tendencies.

Make sure you can keep up with their daily exercise needs and spend time training them. These dogs require quite a bit of mental and physical stimulation, so it is a commitment on your part.

Young Black And Tan Shiba Inu Dog Outdoor
Image By: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock


Acclimating Kids and Shibas

When you’re acclimating your new dog to children, it’s best if both parties learn to respect one another. Always guide kids on how to respect and handle any animal in order to develop a successful and safe relationship.

Have Mutual Respect

Teach your child to respect boundaries. Sometimes, it is entirely appropriate to pick up a puppy and carry them around. Other times, though, it isn’t. You need to teach your child to understand an animal’s body language and how to respond accordingly.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes your dog won’t be in the mood for handling or roughhousing. Children need to learn to give a dog space when they’re feeling this way. Similarly, your dog should always learn how to react around small kids.

Supervise All Interactions

Animals are animals. They don’t have the same way of communicating that humans do. So, when a dog is around any small child for any length of time, supervision is key. You need to be there as the mediator and ensure that both the dog and the child are appropriately responding to each other.

Get a Handle on Any Display of Resource Guarding

Your kids need to understand that they should never put their hands close to a dog’s mouth when they have food or a toy. This is just a safety precaution, though the dog shouldn’t bite the child in these circumstances either.

So, it is important to train both a child and the dog to eliminate these behaviors to avoid a problem.

shiba inu sitting in the grass with his owner
Image By: MENG-KONGSAK, Shutterstock



A Shiba can get along quite well with kids, making them an excellent family addition. However, like with many other breeds, more factors than one must come into play to get this verdict. Always buy from a reputable breeder, socialize the puppy early, train them appropriately, and ensure that you have the time for a new dog, along with your other responsibilities.

Shibas can have peculiar behavioral quirks. So, learn as much as you can about the breed before committing.

Featured Image Credit: Elena Shvetsova, Shutterstock

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