The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed of dog from Japan. Once used for hunting, Shiba Inus are good natured and muscular and are prized for their loyalty and their laidback attitude.
Many Shiba Inu owners like this breed of dog due to their cat-like characteristics. Despite the similarities between the two animals, whether or not a Shiba Inu will get along with a cat depends on the individual animals. If they are both trained to socialize with each other at an early age, the chances of them getting along are better.
With the correct training, your Shiba Inu may get along with your cat. Be sure to have patience when training your dog and cat, as well as a lot of treats!
Shiba Inu and Cats
Shiba Inus are cute dogs that make wonderful companions, but over the years have developed characteristics that cats are known for. They can be sweet one minute and completely aloof the next minute. Every Shiba Inu is different, and some may get along with cats very well, it all depends on your dog’s personality.
Depending on lifestyle, what sort of personality you’re looking for in a dog, and what your cat is like, a Shiba may be the right breed for you.
Are There Similarities Between Shiba Inus And Cats?
Cats are known for their independence and aloofness. You are not allowed to touch them or snuggle them unless it is on their terms. The Shibu Inu breed is a lot like this. They can take or leave your attention and can be just as stubborn as a cat.
Not all Shibu Inus have these characteristics, but most do. Some want all of the human interaction they can get, but on their terms. This breed has a lot of qualities that resemble a cat, but it is not always the case.
Raising Shiba Inu Puppies with Cats
No matter what kind of breed your puppy is, it will take work to train your puppy how to be around any small animal. Dogs naturally want to play, and sometimes it is too aggressive. When picking out your Shiba Inu puppy, observe the puppy litter carefully and be sure to ask questions.
Do you notice any puppies playing rough together? If so, they may not be the best choice to bring around other small animals.
Do you see a puppy off in the corner minding his or her own business? This could mean they wouldn’t mind being around small animals and could be very much involved in their own world.
Be sure to ask the breeder if they have been around smaller animals. If it is possible, arrange a meeting with your cat and the dog. Remember that socialization needs to happen.
Shiba Inu’s Predator-Prey Instincts
All dogs come with a natural predatory drive, each breed has a certain level of predator instincts. Not all dogs were meant to be small snuggly creatures; some are hunting dogs. Shiba Inus are initially from Japan and were bred to hunt little game.
They were bred to hunt small rabbits, birds, and boars. This can not only make it hard to have your dog around smaller animals that you already own, but it can be hard to train around their natural instincts.
One thing that should be noted is that predatory behavior does not mean your dog is aggressive. If you tell a trainer that your dog is aggressive, they will generally think it is about food and or being around other humans.
If your Shiba Inu has a strong predatory response, the first step you can take is to train your dog how to sit and stay. Another useful command is ‘drop it’ in case your dog or puppy does indeed get the cat or other smaller animal.
Socializing Your Shiba Inu
This is a crucial part of training your new family member. No dog is good at socializing without the chance to be around other dogs or small animals. You’ll want to be sure to introduce your Shiba to your cat slowly at first. Make sure they are used to being around each other.
Shibas are known to be possessive when it comes to food and toys. If the cat is around while you are playing, it is good for your dog to see the cat will not share toys. If the cat does want to play, it is good to train the dogs not to be food or toy aggressive with smaller animals.
How to Make Them Like Cats
All dogs are different and have different temperaments. The very first step if you do not yet have a Shiba is to pick a puppy that has a good personality, one that isn’t too rough with others. The next step is to set up your house with safe spaces for each animal.
You will want one space that is meant for the cat. This space will be somewhere the cat can go to take a break from the dog. You will want to introduce your dog and cat to each other slowly. A few minutes at a time until both feel comfortable enough to engage longer together without supervision.
There is no way of knowing if your Shiba will ever truly like your cat, but you can make sure they can share a room together at the very least.
Introduce Your Shiba Inu to a Cat
The first step is to know both of your animals and their unique personalities. If you see a dog may not get along with an animal, you need to proceed with serious caution. Make sure your cat has a dog-free zone, where they can hide and hang out if anything goes wrong. This will not only keep that cat comfortable, but it may give them away to live in the same house yet in their own territories.
When you are first introducing them, you do not want them to be alone together. You will want to be watching your Shibas interactions for any sign of aggression. Not only do you need to watch them together. But you will also want to make sure your Shiba is disciplined adequately if they do show aggression.
When introducing them together, a few minutes at a time will be very good in a shared area. You will not want to have them in each other’s territories. This will set boundaries for each animal, and they will learn to respect it.
You will want to repeat these meetings daily until they are comfortable being loose a few minutes with no supervision. Be sure that when the cat is also good, you are feeding them treats too. After a few weeks of this, you will be able to let them wander and intermingle as much as they want.
Help A Cat Get Along With a Shiba Inu
Like dogs, all cats are different. Each has its own unique personality, and you must take this into consideration. If you set a safe space up for each of your animals, they will have their own territory. Not all cats will like dogs, and the important thing is to not force your cat to like your dog.
This will be easier to do when both animals are relatively young, and a sure way to make sure they tolerate each other is by having treats. You can feed your cat treats when they are being kind to your Shiba.
Shiba Inus and Other Small Animals
Some people have more than just cats. What happens when your Shiba is around other small animals like guinea pigs? Well, these tiny creatures can put your Shiba into predator mode, they were used for hunting as a sport in Japan. It’s essential to keep that in mind.
You will want to introduce them in small doses and watch them interact like you would with your cat and dog. Give your Shiba treats when necessary, and if needed, discipline them to let them know what they did was wrong.
Spaying or Neutering Usually Reduces Aggressive Urges
In most dogs, getting them spayed or neutered can be a good idea because it gets rid of their sex hormones. However, keep in mind that dogs dominate, and it’s not necessarily sex that drives them, it’s showing you who the boss is.
Shibas are known to be dominant, and you want to train them to be sure they know exactly who is in charge. Neutering and spaying a Shiba can help, but training sessions are required as well.
Body Language to Pay Attention To
No dog can talk like us, but they do have cues that humans can pay attention to. Shiba Inus are very expressive, and they have other ways of telling you what they want with their body language.
There are six basic moods your Shiba can display throughout its day. These are: playful, relaxed, fearful, anxious, aggressive, and aroused.
They may not be displayed in that order. Also, keep in mind you may see one more than another due to the individual personality of your Shiba.
If your Shiba is relaxed, he or she may have a hanging tail, and that smile Shibas are known for.
A playful Shiba will bow and make a puppy play move, and this will signal that they want to play with you! Tongue out, jumping, and a wagging tail are all excellent signs of a happy, playful puppy.
An aroused Shiba may bark or cry a lot. It is crucial to find ways to calm your dog down without panicking. Sometimes a barking Shiba can be a little intimidating since they have no words to describe how they are feeling. Another thing to look for is teeth. If they look like they’re snarling, it’s telling something or someone to back off.
Anxiety is also common in some dogs. You will be able to tell if something is upsetting them if their ears are flat and they are cowering away from something. If it is an object, they’re scared of, try removing it.
Feed Them in Separate Places
At first, you will want your Shiba and cat to learn to not be food aggressive with each other. Feed them in separate rooms but along the same door. They will be able to feel and hear each other, but it will assure that no incidents will happen.
After they learn to not steal each other’s food, they will be ready to have food completely separate. You will be able to leave food in their bowls throughout the day without having to worry if they’re eating each other’s food.
Shibas and cats need different nutrients, so you do not want them to eat each other’s food. Training them to not be food aggressive, while also not eating each other’s food is essential when owning both animals.
Shibas are the cats of the dogs, and they do require some training. If you want a dog who is highly independent with a unique personality, Shiba Inus are the right choice for you. If you own a cat already, make sure they meet your new dog first and be sure to take the personality of each animal into account. Cats and dogs can tolerate each other and may come to like each other over time and a lot of patience.