How to Potty Train Your Shiba Inu: 15 Vet Approved Steps & Tips

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Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and heartwarming experience, but potty training can sometimes feel like a daunting task, even for highly intelligent dogs such as the Shiba Inu. Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through 15 easy steps to successfully potty train your adorable Shiba Inu. These intelligent and independent dogs have their unique personality, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you’ll have your furry friend going potty outside in no time!


Shiba Inu Personality and Temperament

Before we embark on the potty training journey, let’s take a moment to understand the Shiba Inu’s personality and temperament. Shiba Inus are a Japanese breed known for their fox-like appearance, spirited nature, and independent streak. While they are incredibly loyal and affectionate with their family, they can be aloof and reserved around strangers. Their intelligent and strong-willed nature can make them a bit challenging to train. But with the right approach and lots of positive reinforcement, you can win their hearts and successfully potty train your Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inu Trainability

Shiba Inus are highly intelligent dogs, but they are also known for their stubbornness. This combination of intelligence and independence can sometimes pose a challenge during potty training. However, it’s essential to remember that Shiba Inus respond best to positive reinforcement and consistent training. With patience, love, and understanding, you can harness their intelligence and teach them proper potty habits. As with any dog, the key to successful training lies in finding what motivates your Shiba Inu and tailoring your approach accordingly!

mini shiba inu dog with leash walking outdoormini shiba inu dog with leash walking outdoor
Image By: tackune, Shutterstock

How Soon Can You Start Potty Training Your Shiba Inu?

Potty training should start as soon as you bring your Shiba Inu puppy home, typically around 8 weeks of age. At this stage, they are beginning to gain control over their bladder and bowel movements. Starting early will set the foundation for good potty habits and create a smoother training process. Keep in mind that young puppies have limited bladder control, so be patient and expect some accidents along the way. Now, let’s get into the steps for potty training your Shiba Inu.

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The 15 Steps to Potty Training Your Shiba Inu

1. Create a Schedule

Consistency is the key to successful potty training. Establish a daily routine for your Shiba Inu that includes fixed feeding times, play sessions, and designated potty breaks. A regular schedule will help your pup anticipate when it’s time to go outside to relieve themselves, reducing the chances of accidents indoors. As you adhere to the schedule, your Shiba Inu will learn to associate specific times with potty time.

shiba inu puppy dog with collar tracker lying on the beachshiba inu puppy dog with collar tracker lying on the beach
Image Credit: Julija Kumpinovica, Shutterstock

2. Designate a Potty Area

Choose a specific spot in your yard as your Shiba Inu’s designated potty area. The familiar scent will help them understand that this is where they are supposed to go. Take them to this spot every time they need to relieve themselves, whether it’s during scheduled potty breaks or when you notice their cues. Repetition and consistency are key to reinforcing the desired behavior.

3. Use a Leash

During potty breaks, keep your Shiba Inu on a leash to keep them focused on the task at hand. Shiba Inus can be easily distracted, so having them on a leash ensures they stay on track and do their business without getting sidetracked by other things in the environment. By using a leash, you’ll be able to guide them to the designated potty area and establish a routine.

4. Look Out for Potty Cues

Learn to recognize the signs that your Shiba Inu needs to go potty. These cues may include sniffing around, circling, or whining. When you notice these behaviors, act promptly and take them outside immediately. Praise them when they go to the right spot to reinforce the association between the cues and the desired behavior.

Sesame Shiba Inu puppy running on grassSesame Shiba Inu puppy running on grass
Image Credit: e-Kis, Shutterstock

5. Take Them Out Frequently

During the initial stages of potty training, take your Shiba Inu outside every 1–2 hours, as well as after meals, playtime, and naps. Young puppies have small bladders and need more frequent bathroom breaks. As they get older, you can gradually extend the time between potty breaks, but always be attentive to their cues and adjust the schedule accordingly.

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6. Give Praises and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is crucial during potty training. When your Shiba Inu successfully goes potty outside, shower them with praise, affection, and treats. Create a positive association between going outside and receiving rewards, which will motivate them to continue the desired behavior. Remember, rewards don’t have to be extravagant; a simple pat on the head or a small treat can go a long way in reinforcing good habits.

7. Stay With Them While They Do Their Business

While your Shiba Inu is outside, stay with them during potty breaks. This allows you to monitor their behavior and ensure they stay focused on the task at hand. Additionally, being present during potty time allows you to praise and reward them immediately after they’ve done their business, making the association more effective.

Shiba Inu peeing on the grassShiba Inu peeing on the grass
Image Credit: yorkie-corgi, Shutterstock

8. Use a Command Such as “Go Potty”

Choose a specific phrase, like “go potty” or “do your business,” and use it consistently during potty breaks. As you repeat the command each time your Shiba Inu goes potty, they will start to associate the phrase with the action. Over time, using the phrase will become a cue for them to go potty when you take them outside.

9. Supervise Them While Indoors

While potty training is ongoing, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your Shiba Inu while they are indoors, especially during the early stages. Supervision allows you to catch any signs that they need to go potty and take them outside immediately. If you can’t watch them directly, consider using a crate or confining them to a small, puppy-proofed area to prevent accidents.

10. Avoid Using Puppy Pee Pads

While there will be certain situations where it is unavoidable, ideally don’t provide puppy pads indoors for your Shiba Inu to pee on. This can confuse them about where they are supposed to do their business and slow down the potty training process.

Dog grass pee pads for potty training a puppy at home or apartmentDog grass pee pads for potty training a puppy at home or apartment
Image Credit: VidaHawaii, Shutterstock

11. Recognize Mistakes

Accidents are a normal part of the potty training process, so don’t be discouraged if your Shiba Inu has an accident indoors. Instead of scolding or punishing them, remain calm, and clean up the mess with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any lingering odor. Avoid using harsh discipline, as it may lead to fear and anxiety, hindering the training progress.

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12. Adjust Schedule as Needed

If accidents become more frequent, it may be an indication that you need to adjust the potty schedule. Pay attention to your Shiba Inu’s behavior and make changes accordingly. For instance, if they consistently have accidents shortly after eating, consider adding an extra potty break after meals.

13. Be Patient

Potty training takes time and patience, especially with Shiba Inus that can be a bit stubborn. Expect some setbacks along the way and be patient with your furry companion. Keep in mind that each dog learns at their own pace, and consistency in your approach is vital for their progress.

Female throwing a ball and training her shiba inu dogFemale throwing a ball and training her shiba inu dog
Image Credit: Beatriz Vera, Shutterstock

14. Stay Positive

During the training process, it’s essential to remain positive and use positive reinforcement techniques. Praise your Shiba Inu for their efforts, even if they make mistakes. Positive reinforcement encourages good behavior and fosters a trusting and loving bond between you and your pup.

15. Celebrate Progress!

As your Shiba Inu starts to grasp the concept of potty training and consistently goes outside, celebrate their progress! Recognize their efforts with verbal praise, treats, and perhaps a little playtime. Positive reinforcement for their achievements will motivate them to continue their good behavior.


Final Thoughts

Potty training a Shiba Inu may have its challenges, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can successfully teach your furry companion to go potty outside. Understanding their unique personality, using a regular schedule, and establishing a designated potty area are crucial steps in the training process. Along the way, be attentive to their cues, praise their successes, and remember to stay positive even when accidents happen.

As you celebrate each milestone, your Shiba Inu will become a well-mannered and house-trained family member, strengthening the bond between you and your beloved four-legged friend. Happy potty training!

Featured Image Credit: TOM KAROLA, Shutterstock

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