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How Much Does a Shiba Inu Bark? Vocalizations, Health & Anxiety

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

red-colored sibu ina dog barks opening its mouth forward

How Much Does a Shiba Inu Bark? Vocalizations, Health & Anxiety

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog breed that’s slowly gaining popularity around the world. And it’s clear why that is, given they are typically loyal to a fault. In fact, this could also be the explanation as to why they’ve been designated as a national treasure in Japan.

Sadly though, these dogs are not as affectionate as traditional dogs. Whenever they walk into a room, they’ll try to maintain a certain social distance, for reasons best known to them. They are relatively quiet and prefer using other avenues to express their desires. Thus, making them the best companions for city dwellers who prefer apartment living.

Then again, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never hear them bark. You certainly will, but not quite as often as other dog breeds.


What Would Compel a Shiba Inu to Resort to Barking?

First off, barking is not an abnormal behavior in the canine community. Since they can’t talk the same way humans do, they’ll bark to communicate their feelings or needs. In other words, you shouldn’t be alarmed when you hear your Shiba Inu bark whenever other dogs are around, or if they are trying to express their emotions. They will likely bark any time they are anxious, sad, or bored—not excessively, though.

Excessive barking might be normal for other breeds, but not in the case of the Shiba Inu. If your Shiba is barking uncontrollably, something must be really wrong. They are either trying to protect their territories from intruders or grappling with pain of some kind.

Shiba Inu plays on the dog playground in the park
Image Credit: Don Huan, Shutterstock

How Do You Stop a Shiba Inu from Barking?

Start by understanding the triggers. What’s that thing that’s making your Shiba Inu bark uncontrollably? They are obviously barking to get your attention, so ignoring them won’t make the problem go away.

Behavioral modification is also an option and this can be achieved by some simple obedience training techniques. Through positive reinforcement, you can easily teach your Shiba Inu how to behave in certain situations. Because randomly barking at other dogs even if they aren’t invading their personal spaces is not an acceptable behavior in a public setting.

You’ll have to be patient and consistent with training, or your Shiba won’t grasp the concepts as fast as you’d like them to. Also, refrain from visibly getting upset or shouting at them whenever they fail to understand your commands. Shiba Inus are highly intelligent, hence able to see the disappointment written all over your face.

What Are Other Shiba Inu Vocalizations?

This breed has a very distinctive howl. Almost like a wolf’s howl, but a watered-down version. But that shouldn’t be surprising because the Shiba breed is one of the few dogs that are closely related to the gray wolf genetically.  They’ll howl any time they wish to announce their presence, make contact with other members of the pack, or grab the attention of the people around them.

If they are in a combative mood, they’ll growl—an indication that they don’t want to be disturbed, even if you’re only interested in petting them.

Whining is the other common vocalization, as they often use them whenever they feel sad, bored, or attention-deprived. Some of them whine when they feel uncomfortable in their current situation, or when they are stressed. You should be able to understand their wants and needs by reading their body language. Fortunately for us, dog cues are not as complex or difficult to comprehend compared to ours.

There’s also the “Shiba Scream”—a loud, high-pitched scream. The scream is a distinguishing trait in this breed, as they produce them any time they are unhappy about something, or feel provoked. This sound can also be precipitated by pain, medical disorders, excitement, acute infections, seizures, or anxiety.

shiba inu dog wearing leash looking at the side
Image Credit: MitchyPQ, Shutterstock

Do Shiba Inus Bark When They Are Unwell?

If the disease is the kind that’s often accompanied by discomfort or pain, they may bark more than usual. It’s the only way that they know how to communicate their discomfort. You have to take those barks seriously, even if there are no physical signs of any illness. Immediately take the dog to an experienced vet for a thorough examination. They’ll point out what the issue is, before making an accurate prognosis.

Is the Shiba Inu Prone to Separation Anxiety?

The Shiba Inu is one of the few dog breeds that can be left alone in the house, for several hours, without feeling lonely. In fact, they’ll be appreciative if you give them some “me time” seeing as they are independent and enjoy their own space.

That being said, you still have to make sure that they have more than enough food and water, as well as toys that will deliver some form of mental stimulation. Because they tend to be destructive whenever they are bored.



The Shiba Inu is not your typical kind of dog. They don’t bark quite as often as other breeds or make unnecessary noises without cause. This breed is also not as affectionate as most dogs but uses the same vocalizations to communicate their feelings and emotions. The “Shiba scream” is a distinguishable trait, though!

Featured Image Credit: dikkenss, Shutterstock

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