Shibas are cute creatures and definitely have the looks of a playful dog. But are Shiba Inus that playful in reality? They do after all have a strong reputation for being aloof and preferring to do their own thing. So when it comes down to it will a Shiba Inu be playful with you?
Fortunately for all Shiba Inu fans, Shiba Inus are quite playful. In fact, playing with your Shiba Inu will strengthen your bond of friendship and give them lots of healthy exercise. Play helps to build your dog’s skills and health. There is however a caveat. While Shiba Inus are playful they are also very independent dogs. They may only be in the mood to play on their time but trust they will want to play when that time comes.
Play is an essential function of all animals on earth. We can see that almost any creature plays in some way or another. It is definitely not unique to only humans but seems to be a shared trait of all semi-intelligent organic life.
For dogs, play is exceptionally important as dogs are one of the more playful of this world’s living creatures. This is doubly so if they are puppies and as their owners, you don’t just take on the responsibility of feeding and sheltering them but also being their number one playmate.
Shiba Inus need exercise and mental stimulation. Without enough of these things, all kinds of behavioral problems can easily develop. By playing with your Shiba you can provide them exercise in a fun way, while also giving them much needed mental stimulation to keep their minds and personalities sharp and healthy.
Read on and this article will give you all the reasons that Shibas can be playful, why sometimes they may not feel like playing, and last but not least a list of fun games and activities that you can do with your Shiba Inu.
Reasons That Shiba Inus Can Be Very Playful
There are multiple reasons that Shibas can be playful. They are highly energetic dogs that need good outlets for that energy. In addition to this, they are very intelligent dogs, and when you have a very intelligent dog like a Shiba Inu they need something mentally stimulating to provide them an outlet for their canine intellect.
With Shibas having so much energy they need an outlet for. If they don’t have a healthy outlet for all that pent up energy then that energy will end up going somewhere. Likely into destructive activities like chewing your shoes or worse. With all this energy play becomes not just something that Shibas like to do but some they need to do in order for you and your Shiba to maintain their sanity.
Playing a rousing game of fetch or chase can burn that energy right off leaving your Shiba a happier and calmer companion.
Another common trait that most Shiba Inus share is their high intelligence. Shibas could definitely be considered to be one of the more intelligent breed of dogs. But with those puppy smarts comes the need for mental stimulation. This is somewhat connected to them having high body energy but with them learning something or having to use that intelligence for something productive it will be channeled into negative activities.
The best way to give your Shiba something to mentally chew on so to speak is to play puzzle games with them. There are a wide variety of toys that will involve a treat and some kind of puzzle that your dog needs to figure out to unlock the treat. Shibas just love these kinds of toys and can occupy them in positive activities for hours.
Reasons That Shibas May Not Feel Like Being Playful
Sometimes your Shiba may not feel like playing. It’s important to note that these are only temporary passing moments and nothing permanent unless your Shiba is sick.
Shibas are very independently minded dogs which can lead them to display towards their owners a certain aloofness. They are very strong-willed and tend to like to do things on their own timeline. So while a Shiba dog will want to play they may just not feel like playing at right that moment.
The best thing for you as an owner to do during that time is to just give your Shiba the space that they need and play with them at a later time when they’re more in the mood. Forcing them to play when they don’t want to will not be play but from their eyes will be seen as you simply being mean to them.
Why You Need to Play With Your Shiba Inu
Hopefully, you’re the kind of Shiba owner who doesn’t really need a bunch of reasons to play with your Shiba Inu. You want to play with them simply for the fun of interacting with your beloved canine companion. But besides the sheer fun of playing with your dog. There are a wide variety of health reasons and behavioral reasons that good playtime is essential for dogs and especially a high wired energy dog like a Shiba Inu.
Without enough exercise, your Shiba may literally go crazy and you will definitely be the one to suffer for it. Shibas have to burn off that energy and if you don’t give them some positive ways to get exercise and burn off that energy then they quite literally might make your life hell.
While this is not the only reason for these behaviors but often times negative behaviors like chewing and destroying your stuff along with biting can actually be laid at the feet of not giving your dog enough exercise.
With Shibas, we can pretty much consider most forms of play to also be a form of exercise they are in a way somewhat interchangeable.
They also may whine a lot giving off their infamous Shiba Inu scream, which some might more accurately categorized as a very shrill shriek. That will definitely get your attention and probably not int eh best way. So providing your Shiba with lots of exercise and fun stimulating games can totally cut down on the annoyingness of your Shiba Inu whining and screaming at you.
Game Ideas for Playing With Your Shiba Inu
So now that you obviously see the importance of playing with your Shiba Inu now let’s get down to business with the fun part of providing you with a bunch of fun ideas and games that you can use when playing with your Shiba dog.
Get Out the Water Hose
One great and very easy way to play with your Shiba Inu if you have a yard is with a simple everyday water hose. This in fact for some dogs may be one of their favorite games you play.
Just take your water hose and spray it into the air. Don’t spray it directly at your Shiba that might hurt them depending upon the water pressure or they may just like it. Then again not all Shibas are the same so some may like it but you need to be careful and gauge your dog’s response, also you might not want a soaking wet dog running around so if they get wet be sure to dry them off so they don’t get cold or make a mess.
Many dogs will jump and try to catch the stream of water in their mouths. You can then change the direction of the spray to make it more challenging for your canine companion. All this jumping around will be loads of fun for your dog and you might be highly entertained seeing your dog’s funny antics and happiness at some simple water.
As children, water games could be some of the most fun times around and it is no different when it comes to dogs like Shiba Inus.
Have Fun At the Dog Park
With pet ownership becoming much more serious in recent years most cities and towns will have a dog park where you can take your dog to run around and play with other dogs.
While you always need to be aware of your Shibas unique personality, most dogs love the dog park. Not only will they get lots of exercise but they will also get to play with fellow members of their canine tribe which can increase their social skills which will help you with your Shiba in all kinds of situations.
It’s best to start with socialization of this kind when your dog is still young as its when many of their habits and personality traits are first being formed.
Get a Kong Toy
Kongs are a tough chew toy that has a hollow center that can be filled with whatever special treats your dog might like. You can even just put in your dog’s ordinary kibble.
Kongs can be great for giving your Shiba positive playful activities. Since your Shiba will have to work at the kong a bit to get to the yummy treats you placed inside then this will give their brain a workout as its as if they have to solve a puzzle.
This can also build up their confidence as they work at it and then are rewarded which can give a Shiba the work reward that they crave that often doesn’t get fully experienced in normal humdrum domestic dog life.
You can also use kongs to entertain your Shiba when you might be away for some time so that they hopefully spend the time your away chewing on the kong instead of your shoes or perhaps drapes.
Kongs can definately make a wonderfully useful addition to your Shibas toy box.
The Classic Game of Chase
Playing chase with your dog is an old human-canine classic that truly never gets old. Shiba Inus, in particular, can be very fond of this game. For some of them, it may even be their favorite game to play.
While initiating the game may be somewhat difficult both to do and to explain. Often with dogs, it will be they who initiate the noble game of chase. If you see your dog bouncing towards you and then quickly darting a way it could a good sign that they are inviting you to chase and play with them.
Sometimes the game may involve an object of some sort. I know that with my dog Katy, when she wanted to play she would grab a towel off the kitchen counter. We then knew that she was feeling not paid attention to and wanted us to chase.
We would then go into a mocking game of chase, staying just behind but without catching her so as to prolong the fun. We called it the merry game of chase.
So depending upon your Shiba inus personality and your relationship starting the game of chase will probably be different based upon circumstances but if the opportunity arises you should go ahead and drop what you’re doing if you can and indulge in one of times most classic games. Your dog will be happier for it and I sincerely believe that you will too.