How Much Exercise Does a Shiba Inu Need

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 09/06/21 •  9 min read
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Are you the new pet parent of a Shiba Inu? Are you wondering how much exercise your Shiba Inu needs? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!

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We’ve put together information about the Shiba Inu dog breed, how much exercise they need, and some fun activities you can enjoy together. Let’s get started!

What is a Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is a dog breed that comes from Japan. They were originally bred to flush games and birds, as well as hunt wild boar. Today, the dogs are now companion animals, which are popular in both Japan and the US. The dogs are a beautiful red color, with cream accents. They somewhat resemble a fox.

Shiba Inu Personality

The Shiba Inu is famous for his confident, strong-willed personality. These dogs are always on the alert and friendly. But they can be quite stubborn and have a mind of their own. Shiba Inus are very loyal and devoted to their family but are wary of strangers.

These dogs are very smart and have been described as cat-like in their independence. Unlike some other dogs, such as a Golden Lab who comes when called, the Shiba Inu will come when he’s good and ready. This is a dog that will do well with obedience training and socialization from a young age.

These dogs also tend to guard their toys, food, and territory. In fact, they can be quite aggressive. They also don’t get along with other dogs. And they are prone to chase small animals that trigger the dog’s prey drive.

Shiba Inu Characteristics

While we’re more familiar with the red and white Shiba Inus, they can come in other colors, too. Their coats can be red and white, black & tan, cream, sesame, or white.

You’ll need to be prepared for a lot of exercise, as these dogs are very active. They love walks, jogging, and more. Giving him plenty of exercise will help release all that energy, so you’ll have a more well-balanced dog.

Shiba Inus don’t like being on a leash or collar. So, you’ll need to take some time to get your dog to accept the leash and collar/harness before you start walking outside together. This is imperative.

Again, we must stress the fact that these dogs do benefit from obedience training classes. The classes teach the dog how to behave but are also a great way for the dog to receive the mental stimulation he needs.

Shiba Inu Care

Shiba Inus have a thick double coat; the outer layers are straight and stiff, while the undercoat is soft and thick. These dogs shed throughout the year but especially twice a year when the seasons change.

When it comes to grooming, the Shiba Inu is easy to care for. You’ll need to brush your fur baby about once a week to remove debris and loose hair. Expect to brush more often during the two major shedding seasons. Your fur baby will only need a bath once in a while or when he’s really dirty.

How Much Exercise Does a Shiba Inu Need?

OK, now we’re ready to answer that question! Your Shiba Inu is a very active dog, so he will need at least one hour of exercise a day. However, more exercise is better for these dogs. The goal is to help your fur baby release a lot of the energy he has stored away. If he’s not exercised on a regular basis, your dog will come up with ways to release his energy. You may not like his methods too well.

Shiba Inus, and other dogs, may become destructive when they don’t receive enough exercise. This means you could come home to a huge mess of torn, shredded pillows, furniture, and more. These dogs also become bored very easily, which can also lead them to become destructive, or even aggressive.

This is why at least one hour of exercise a day is needed to keep your Shiba Inu happy and well-balanced.

Fun Activities for You and Your Shiba Inu

Here are fun activities and ways to provide exercise for your Shiba Inu!

1). Walking

This is a great way to exercise every day. Because your dog needs plenty of exercise, you could consider two walks (one in the morning and evening) about an hour long each. This will help your dog wear off the energy he may have stored up while you were at work all day.

Daily walks also provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation. He’ll be able to sniff everything around—from the bunny that was on the lawn in the early morning to dogs that have passed by on their walks. The smells, sights, and activities outside will be very interesting to your dog. Plus, it’s a great way to build and deepen the bond between you.

One note, because Shiba Inus have such a high prey drive, never walk your dog off the leash. Keep him on the leash at all times.

You may want to consider using a harness rather than a collar. Your dog won’t like the harness at first; however, with a harness, you’ll have more control over your dog. This is because the harness fits around the dog’s upper body. In case of a problem, you can grab the handle that’s on top of the harness and pull your dog away. This is much easier than relying on a collar. Plus, a collar can choke your dog, especially if he’s trying to pull hard.

Here’s a harness you may want to consider:

Juxzh Truelove Soft Front Dog Harness: this harness comes in a wide range of sizes and colors. It’s made of durable material, which is lightweight and breathable. The nylon webbing also includes reflective material, so your fur baby will be visible in the early morning or late evening. The harness also features a mesh lining, with a soft sponge padding across the chest and belly areas.

2). Fetch

Most dogs love a game of fetch; however, there are some who don’t understand how the game works. So, you may need to teach your canine companion how to play this classic dog game. Just be patient, use treats, and your dog will soon know how the game works!

Here are some toys that are great for playing fetch:

Kong Classic Dog Toy: this comes from Kong, a manufacturer famous for their durable rubber dog toys. The Kong Classic is made from red rubber, which is durable and bounces well. It’s great for playing fetch, and you can use it to give your dog treats, too. Just hide a piece of your fur baby’s favorite treat inside the Kong and watch your dog have fun!

Chuckit! Fetch Ball: here’s a ball you and your dog will have fun with! The ball is made of rubber and foam, so it floats in water. This can be fun for playing fetch on a hot summer day near a lake or pool. Dogs can easily pick up and carry this ball due to its grooved design. The colors are bright, making it easy to find the ball outdoors!

3). Flirt Pole

This is another fun way to exercise your dog and have fun together! A flirt pole looks a lot like a cat tickler. It’s a stick with a rope tied to it, with a toy on the end of the rope.

You can move the flirt pole in all kinds of directions and watch your dog try to follow! He’ll get plenty of exercise, and you’ll both have a lot of fun with this toy!

Here’s a flirt pole your dog may enjoy:

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole V2: this is V2 of the flirt pole from this company, which means it’s new and improved. The toy comes with a durable polyester webbing lure that’s already attached to the rope and pole. Great exercise and mental stimulation for your fur baby!

4). Take the Stairs

Not many pet parents realize their dogs can exercise on stairs. But it’s a great way to burn energy, build muscle, and release pent-up energy.

For this game, just choose a toy your dog loves and then throw it to the top of the stairs. Give your fur baby the “go” command and watch him run up the stairs! When he comes down, though, make sure your Shiba Inu doesn’t go too fast. You don’t want him to get hurt.

Stairs are a great workout because they exercise large muscle groups. This works going up or going down, so your dog has an effective workout. Plus, he has fun in the process!

5). Build a Digging Pit

Shiba Inus love to dig, so you may want to consider creating a digging pit for your fur baby. If you have a yard, dig a hole that will fit a small baby’s splash pool. Set the pool in the hole, and then fill it with clean sand. Hide some treats, toys, and other goodies in the sand, then let your dog have fun digging.

You’ll be amazed at how much energy your Shiba Inu releases through this digging fun!

If you’re stuck indoors, then you might consider this mat for your Shiba Inu:

AWOOF Snuffle Mat Pet Dog Feeding Mat: this might be a great activity on those days you just can’t get outside for a walk or for your Shiba Inu to play in the yard. The snuffle mat resembles a large flower with four layers of petals, where you can easily hide doggie treats and toys. This is a great game for dogs who need the mental stimulation, such as a Shiba Inu. The cloth is non-toxic and easy to wash. And the product comes with a 100% quality warranty—you’ll get a refund or a replacement if there are quality issues with the mat.

There you have it! We hope these ideas will help keep your fur baby in shape! And we hope you both have fun together as you try these activities!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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