Can Shiba Inus be Cuddly? How to get More Cuddles (With Pictures and Video)


Can Shiba Inus Be Cuddly?

Shiba Inus are amazing dogs. They’re furry, playful, and spirited with big personalities that anyone could love. They also closely resemble foxes in the way they look, how much cooler could they get? But despite how we would want to cuddle with a Shiba Inu, do they like cuddles and just how cuddly will they be?

Shiba Inus can cuddle, but not all of them are particularly fond of it and will be restless. As far as breeding and genetics go, Shiba Inus were originally bred in Japan to be independent dogs originally used to hunt birds in a self-sufficient manner. How they are socialized as puppies can play a large part in their cuddliness, but based on their genetics, they are not anywhere near as cuddly many other breeds.

All dogs, no matter the breed type, can be cuddly in some way or another, though this may not always be in the way and amount that we would prefer.

Depending on how you raise them as puppies, usually, the first four months of life play a huge part in what that dog’s personality will eventually become. In this, we must also not forget that dogs do change over their lives, so continued positive socialization is a must to maintain a stellar and hopefully cuddly personality.

A significant adverse event could change a dog like Shiba Inu’s personality for the worse. Still, on the other side, lots of little positive moments can also create very positive changes over time.

Here we will give you the complete rundown on the reasons why we could expect a Shiba Inu to be cuddly as well as the reasons why they are generally not as cuddly as certain other breeds like golden retrievers as an example.

Additionally, we will show you what steps you can take with a new Shiba Inu puppy or even an older dog for that matter to hopefully lead them to be their cuddliest and loving self.

It is important to remember we must always be patient with our dogs; doing anything in haste or an aggressive manner will only hurt our bond with them. While a dog’s behavior can change over time with lots of love, we also must commit to loving our Shiba Inus as much as we can despite whatever personality quirks they might have that we don’t like.

How Is It That Shiba Inus and All Other Dogs Have It in Them to Be Cuddly?

All dogs are genetically related to wolves and ultimately are descended from them. This is true for Shiba Inus as well. Science has shown that Shiba Inus are what is called a primal breed. They are incredibly similar to what the first dogs were like as they first started to depart from wolves genetically.

Shiba Inus may in fact be the most closely related to wolves of almost all dog breeds.

Now that we understand the genetic legacy of Shiba Inus and all other dogs. We can examine their base within their earliest ancestor, the wolf.

Wolves believe it or not are relatively cuddly. At least to those that they consider part of their pack. If your not part of their pack, then stay back and don’t hug them as they will probably find it an attack and respond with a hug from their sharp teeth.

But with the pack, they are cuddly. They lick and snuggle, both while awake and when then fall down for a nap. When some members of the pack leave for a time and come back, the other wolves greet enthusiastically with loves and lots of happy wagging of tails.

So all Shiba Inus also have this level of affection and cuddliness within them though it might seem to be sometimes hiding.

If you love them and are kind to your Shiba Inu, even the most aloof will show affection to you by licking you and greeting you with enthusiasm when you return from a voyage. Also, if you just went to the corner for some milk. This you can expect from your Shiba Inu, now whether they will snuggle up with you in bed, is another matter. Simply put, some will, and some won’t.

Now let me explain the reasons why Shiba Inus can sometimes be known to have a quite reserved and independent disposition.

Why Are Some Shiba Inus Cuddly And Others Are Not?

All dogs are different based upon both their genetics and upbringing. This is true as well for Shiba Inus. But still, there is often a genetic baseline that will determine the personalities of a breed in general. It’s important to note that this will only be on average and will never reflect the personalities of all dogs within that respective breed.

So while genetics can play a huge part in a Shiba Inus personality, so too can how they were socialized. This is especially true when they were puppies but also how they are continuing to socialize as adults. Socializing is where we, the owners, can make a difference in how our dogs behave. There isn’t a whole lot we can do about the genetic side of the equation unless we are experienced dog breeders.

The Genetic Baseline Personality of the Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus, in general, are very aloof and independent dogs. They are rather small, rarely getting over 25 pounds in size, and often be quite a bit smaller than that. They have thick beautiful fur made for colder climates in Japan. Usually, they have a lot of energy and can tend to be skittish. Any good owner will have to encourage calmness and confidence in their beloved Shiba Inus.

They were initially bred by the Japanese to hunt birds. And as you can imagine hunting birds requires a dog that can think independently and function on their own without their owner’s input. This creates many of the things that Shiba lovers enjoy about the breed, namely their strong will and quirky independent nature.

But this also means that they won’t tend just to follow their owners around and hang on their every word like a much more obedient breed like a golden retriever would. In some ways, you could say that Shiba Inus can often behave a bit like cats. Wanting love and affection but on their terms within their time table.

As seen in this video, even a well trained Shiba when cuddled for too long gets agitated if isn’t their idea

Selective hearing can be a common trait of many pet Shibas as they will sometimes only listen to their owner when they already agree with their owner and might ignore them when they don’t.

But at the same time, they will have their strong, unique personality, and can be extremely intelligent and clever.

How To Make Your Shiba Inu More Cuddly?

The key to getting your Shiba Inu to be more cuddly rests upon two critical things. One its all in how you socialize them and two its best to start young ideally when they are younger than four months old. But have no fear this will help with an older dog as well, but it will take longer, and you will have to be patient.

Another essential thing to understand is the three main reasons that a Shiba Inu won’t feel like being cuddly.

  1. They are independent dogs, and they may simply have something that they are more interested in at the time. This doesn’t mean they will never cuddle with you; it’s just that now is not the best time for them. In situations like this, it’s best to respect and build your bond with your dog. Let them have their space for a time to do their own thing.
  2. Shibas can be very hyper and energetic dogs. Sometimes they may just be filled with so much energy and excitement that the idea of laying placidly down with you on the couch is the thing furthest from their mind. In this case, a good solution is to give them some vigorous exercise either through a nice long walk or a fun game such as fetch or chase. This will make them more tired, and then as they calm down, they will probably become much more amenable to cuddles.
  3. They are skittish and anxious. Anxiety and skittishness are some potentially negative personality traits that you may find in your lovely Shiba Inu. To fully fix this problem will require more long term training and socialization but, in the meantime, approach them calmly both in your body language and in your internal feelings. Dogs are masters of body language and can pick up on many subtle cues of how your feeling that you may not even know that you are projecting. If you approach while feeling anxious, then that will simply heighten the anxiety in your dog.

So now that your aware of three of the main reason’s that your Shiba Inu may just not be that into cuddling, here are some of the critical things you can do about it in both the short and long term.

Excercise your Shiba Inu

Hyper shibas are not cuddly shibas. So one thing that you can do to help bring those energy levels down in a positive way is to take your dog for a nice long walk. Alternatively their are also many fun games that you can play with your shiba inu like tag or fetch. You could also try to start a jogging or hiking hobby with your pup all of these things will help tire out your shiba inu making them more amiable to cuddles as well as forge a closer bond between you and your dog.

The same Shiba Inu shown earlier is seen now begging for affection, most likely well exercised and ready for some lazy cuddle time.

Socialize Your Shiba Inu

Socialization is an essential part of being a good dog owner. This is especially true for a breed like the Shiba Inu that has a reputation for sometimes exhibiting anti-social behavior.

The key to socializing your dog is simply taking them out on new exciting experiences. Take it slowly, though, and let your dog’s responses be your guide. If they seem happy and are doing fine, then you can expand their comfort zone further afield. But if they display any fear or anxiety, then you might need to take it down a notch. Be patient with them and take baby steps if necessary.

Also, while doing this, it’s important that you don’t have any significant anxiety or fear. Shibas are masters of body language, and they will pick up on it and go off your cue. If you are scared, then your Shiba is going to be scared as well. So whatever activities you decide for socialization for your dog, try to stay calm and take it more slowly if you or your dog experiencing any significant fear or anxiety.

With more and more positive social experiences under their belt, your Shiba will get calmer and less anxious, which, of course, will make them a lot more friendly towards you, cuddling them.

Remember, though, that ultimately it’s up to the dog how cuddly they want to be. Just do your best to build your bond, exercise, and play, along with socialization. After that, you will need to accept your Shiba’s personality and mannerism, as long as they are healthy and safe.

Remember always love your Shibas and do right by them.

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