Shiba Inu Intelligence: How Smart Are They? (Explained)

Shiba Inu Intelligence: How Smart Are They

Intelligence wise, the Shiba Inu is considered to be a somewhat smart breed; Wowing potential owners with their unique traits and patterns. Despite their maverick habits, a Shiba Inu who has been raised adequately can hold the potential of adroitness.

If preparing to purchase a Shiba Inu, prepare for an interesting challenge. Owning such a dog is not for the faint of heart, therefore prepare to become enticed into their worldly mien and loving demeanor.

How Do Shiba Inus Rank in Intelligence?

In Stanley Coren’s Dog Intelligence Rankings from his book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs,’ which evaluates breeds on instinctive, adaptive, and working/obedience intelligence, the Shiba Inu was ranked 93rd among 138 breeds.

The Intelligence of Shiba Inus

The intelligence of a Shiba Inu is highly considered to be “moderate or average”. The reason being is they are somewhat smart dogs; Demonstrating the ability to listen, comprehend and act on given demands. However, simultaneously they’re an independent natured breed who prefers to think and act for themselves.

Such characteristics cause stubbornness, inability or unwillingness to learn new skills which ultimately ranks the Shiba Inu lower on the dog IQ scale.

If you compare a Shiba Inu to the ability of comprehension, they’ll pass with flying colors. If anything, they may pass over and beyond such marks, as they can often comprehend a “demand, duty, action, or task” sufficiently yet decide to ignore you instead… But why? Because they’re Shiba Inus of course!

Much like cats, Shiba Inus share the same “ignorance is bliss” attitude (said with love) unless they’re required to respond.

Despite this possibility of ignorance, this doesn’t take the fact away from their ability to understand humans effectively.

Overall, the Shiba Inu is indeed a “somewhat” smart dog – however, lack willpower or dependency on humans which we consider to be unworthy of intelligence when comparing to other animals such as a German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever.

Why Shiba Inus Rank Low in Dog Intelligence?

A Shiba Inu ranks low in dog intelligence for two main reasons:

  1. He listens…
  2. But he doesn’t listen.

So what does that mean? It means the Shiba Inu is a dog that comprehends information superbly, and very much comes from an analytical breed. He can understand commands, training requirements, or instinctual uncertainty. However, unfortunately, his personality and lack of interest to respond can get in the way of performance.

For humans, we rank dog intelligence based upon many factors, but one, in particular, is a dog’s ability to comprehend and respond accordingly to human interaction. If a dog can understand what you’re telling them yet chooses to pay no attention, he’s considered to have a lower IQ.

All in all, the reason why a Shiba Inu ranks low in dog intelligence is that he understands what you’re trying to tell him, however, he prefers to think for himself and makes the conscious decision to ignore you instead.

How lovely, right?!

Why are Shiba Inus Known as Less Intelligent?

The main reason why Shiba Inus are known as less intelligent dogs in comparison to other breeds is for their overall behavior.

Shiba Inus are forward thinkers – often doing what they want to do, whenever they want to.

This breed enjoys the company of his family, however, prefers to have the final say. And if it were up to the Shiba Inu, he’d vouch to have his way the majority of the time. Often finding it difficult to receive orders from others, especially without notice.

Shiba Inus are known to be less intelligent for this reason, as other breeds such as the Labrador have a much easier approach when left to entwine with humans. This is why other breeds such as the Lab (Labrador) have no difficulties in being considered as working dogs as opposed to Shiba Inus.

Can Shiba Inu Intelligence Be Improved?

Improving the intelligence of a Shiba Inu can be done, however, it does not come easy. If you understand a thing or two about the breed, you’ll know the easiest way to change bad habits is through repetition and consistency.

Stubbornness remains natural for a Shiba Inu, which admittedly plays a role in their lack of intelligence. Despite their stubbornness, if you can combat it early enough you have a higher chance to improve their IQ.

The earlier you train a Shiba Inu, the easier it’ll be for you. Thus, to improve a Shiba Inus intelligence you should aim to target their behavior before it even starts. Do this by:

  1. Starting Early! Puppy age or from 18 weeks onwards
  2. Train your Shiba Inu basic commands
  3. Be firm regarding good and bad behavior
  4. Acknowledge your dog and build communication
  5. Gain your dog’s trust
  6. Ensure your dog respects you

Once you’ve mastered such factors, you’ll have a much easier time improving their intelligence and in fact, will notice a stronger connection between both yourself and your Shiba.

Finding the Right Motivator

In conjunction with forming the ideal Shiba Inu and developing their potential to the absolute highest – they require the right motivator that will stick with them throughout.

Shiba Inus are highly stubborn and can create friction between owners.

The right motivator for a Shiba Inu is someone who can:

1. Remain Calm, Even When Irritated

Regardless of the amount of irritation your Shiba Inu may be causing you, the right motivator must be someone who can remain in a firm yet positive frame of mind throughout.

2. Provide Consistent Learning

Shiba Inus need someone willing to guide them through their behavior, both good and bad. They require consistent learning to remind them of specific training and will correct them if required.

3. Practice Patience

To be patient is something a Shiba Inu will require daily. Their ideal motivator is a human who is willing to stick with them, even if they’re becoming unmanageable. A patient motivator is often found to be the best motivator!

4. Bring Energy and Change!

You’ll know a Shiba Inu is interested in someone if they’re eager and willing to both hear what the person talking has to say and act on what they’re saying. The right motivator brings energy, positivity, and fun into their lessons, allowing the Shiba Inu to both comprehend and work at the same time.

All in all, Shiba Inus wants someone who has the time, patience, and accessibility to spend time nurturing their behavior so they can become the best dog they can be for his family.

Shiba’s Adaptive Intelligence

Judging a Shiba Inus adaptivity intelligence should be based upon owners or long-time breeder’s experience with such breed. Adaptive intelligence is based upon a dog’s judgment, reaction, and problem-solving mechanisms.

In general, Shiba Inus have an exceptionally high adaptive intelligence. More often than not, owners have mentioned their Shiba’s demonstrating “manipulative” techniques to get their way.

Shiba Inus enjoy using mind manipulation, testing humans to see if we give in (which we often do). Such examples may be:

  • Your Shiba Inu failing to relocate his position despite being told many times; Waiting for the very last second you decide to stand up.
  • Staring at you until you place a sufficient amount of treats in your hand.

Whether such behavior is intentional or not, you can only imagine what owning a Shiba Inu is like!

How Smart Can You Expect Your Shiba Inu to Be?

If you’re deciding to purchase Shiba Inu for yourself, rest assured you can expect your Shiba Inu to only be as smart as you choose to be with him. And what I mean is dog intelligence not only relies on genetics and breed but upbringing too.

As an owner, if you’re willing to invest your own time in nurturing and developing your Shiba Inu into a smart dog – expect your Shiba to be just that.

But if you’re more of a “don’t have time, I’ll take it as it comes” type of person, you may be happy to know that Shiba Inus hold potential in growing to be somewhat smart.

To assist in growing an effective, sufficient, and nurturing opportunity for intelligence within your Shiba Inu, be sure to provide a caring and firm upbringing for your dog.

Shiba Inus Intelligence in Comparison with Akitas

When comparing a Shiba Inus intelligence to an Akita, there is a slight difference.

The Akitas are considered slightly smarter than the Shiba Inu, as they produce a highly instinctive intelligence – which the Shiba lacks.

Akitas are commonly used as guard-dogs or watch-dogs, whereas the Shiba Inu is considered more of a “toy” dog or regular household pet.

Although Shiba Inus share similar traits of strong-will, stubbornness, and deficiency, Akitas are slightly more intelligent due to such instinctive nature.

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