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Is a Shiba Inu a Good Apartment Dog? Reasons & Things to Consider

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

female shiba inu standing on the floor inside the apartment

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Apartment Dog? Reasons & Things to Consider

The Shiba Inu is a laidback dog breed that happens to be a perfect fit for apartment environments. While these dogs are active and do require daily walks outdoors, they are typically calm and relaxed while spending time inside with their family members. They happen to get along well with children and adults alike, making them a great pet option for families of all types.

That said, there are a few things to consider when thinking about introducing a Shiba Inu to your apartment lifestyle, as training and socialization, among other things, must be prioritized to ensure happiness and success for everyone involved. We put together a list of reasons that a Shiba Inu can make a great apartment pet, along with a list of considerations for deciding whether you’re ready for a Shiba Inu as a fellow apartment dweller.

The 5 Reasons Why a Shiba Inu Can Make an Excellent Apartment Dog

Keep in mind that all dogs are different and have their own unique personalities and temperaments. Therefore, some Shiba Inus are better suited to apartment living than others. Here is a list of reasons that a Shiba Inu might be a good fit for your apartment lifestyle.

1. Their Energy Levels Are Balanced

Instead of being overly rambunctious or lazy, Shiba Inus tend to have balanced energy levels that help keep them calm while spending time indoors. Shiba Inus don’t tend to have excessive energy, which often translates to bad behavior. They are happy to hang out and go with the flow, as long as they have an opportunity to go out for a daily walk and regular bathroom breaks. They love having adventures on the weekends where they can get extra exercise and fun. However, they don’t mind lounging around while the family watches a movie on a stormy Saturday either.

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

2. They Aren’t Too Smelly

Shiba Inus have protective water-resistant coats, which help keep moisture from seeping into their fur where it can fester and cause that dreaded “doggy smell” that can quickly permeate throughout an apartment. Therefore, these dogs don’t get too odorous, which can help keep a musty scent from overwhelming living spaces. Giving this breed a monthly bath can go a long way in making sure bad smells never become a concern.

3. They Tend to Keep to Themselves

Seeing as how outdoor apartment spaces are often shared with other residents, it is important to have a dog that won’t cause trouble with other people and animals. Shiba Inus tend to be a bit aloof and prefer to keep to themselves in public settings. When they are walking past a strange person or dog, they are not likely to pay any mind to them. This means a stress-free experience for owners when navigating through and interacting in common areas.

4. They’re Typically Quiet Dogs

A great thing about Shiba Inus is that they are usually extremely quiet dogs. This is especially true when they’ve been properly obedience trained and socialized. The average Shiba Inu does not bark unless they feel that it’s necessary, like something suspicious is going on outside. Therefore, they can be trained as effective watchdogs to help keep their apartments safe when no humans are home.

This isn’t to say that these are completely silent dogs, however. They will share their excitement with yaps, howls, and “screams” from time to time. Also, some Shiba Inus develop separation anxiety and may bark frequently when left at home alone, which can be bothersome to apartment neighbors. The anxiety should be addressed as soon as possible, and a dog sitter should be employed in the meantime.

person's hand with pointer finger raised in front of shiba inu dog
Image By: Anna Shvets, Pexels

5. They Are Easy to Housetrain

The Shiba Inu is a smart dog breed that takes well to training, and that includes learning to hold their potty until they can get outside to relieve themselves. Housetraining can be completed within a few weeks when started early. Therefore, owners don’t have to worry as much about apartment accidents as their Shiba Inus grow into adulthood. It’s also possible to teach this breed how to use potty pads inside or on an enclosed porch, if necessary.

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The 3 Things to Consider Before Introducing a Shiba Inu to Your Apartment Life

There are a few things that potential owners should be aware of before deciding to bring a Shiba Inu into their apartment home. Work and commitment are necessary to ensure success when it comes to everyone enjoying a happy and healthy life together. Here’s what you should know.

1. They Must Be Well-Socialized

Shiba Inus tend to become aggressive and territorial if they are not well-socialized from the time that they are puppies. This can put an owner at risk when it comes to interacting with other people and dogs in common areas of an apartment community. Making sure your Shiba Inu has multiple opportunities to interact with other dogs and people regularly from the moment that you first bring them home can help minimize the chance that they will become aggressive and/or territorial as adults.

2. Your Apartment Should Be Shiba Proofed

Shiba Inus are smart and curious, so they can accidentally get into trouble if their living spaces are not doggy proofed. Make sure all the shoes are put away, clothes are put in the hampers, and books and food scraps are not left on the tables. Remote controls and power cords should be kept out of reach so they don’t become chew toys. Close doors to rooms that are not dog proofed when nobody is home to supervise.

shiba inu puppy lying on the floor
Image By: Molica_an, Shutterstock

3. Make Mind Stimulation a Priority

When living in an apartment, a Shiba Inu does not have much space to move around and explore. They can get bored if they spend a great deal of time at home alone, which is the case for many dogs due to the high demands in life for most humans. With boredom can come anxiety, and with anxiety can come excessive barking and destructive behavior. Making mind stimulation a priority for your Shiba Inu can help ensure that they don’t become bored, anxious, or destructive. Invest in a few puzzle toys, and take the time to play games like hide-and-seek together whenever you get home for the day.


Shiba Inus can make great apartment pets, but they are not all created equal, so it all comes down to the specific dog in question. It’s important to meet the dog in person if possible, so you can see how they react to strangers and other dogs in public settings and how they behave in small spaces. Make sure you’re ready for daily walks and games and have plenty of time for training and socialization before making a final decision.

Featured Image Credit: Sergiy Palamarchuk, Shutterstock

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