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12 Best Companion Dogs For Shiba Inus

Knowing which breeds will naturally get along well with your Shiba isn’t exactly straight forward.

Whether you’re looking to get a second dog to keep your Shiba company, or you’re just curious about this, you’ll learn everything you need to know below!

This article not only explains how to choose an appropriate companion, but also lists 12 of the most compatible dogs we know of that get along well with Shibas.

companion dogs for shiba inus

How To Know Which Breed Will Work With Your Shiba Inu

To ensure a harmonious relationship between a Shiba Inu and a new companion dog, understanding the Shiba Inu’s traits and daily needs is crucial.

➡️ Here are some essential characteristics and needs of a Shiba Inu:

  • Independence: Shiba Inus are known for their independent spirit. They enjoy their alone time and can often be seen cleaning themselves much like a cat.
  • Intelligence: Shiba Inus are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation. They learn quickly and can easily get bored without proper mental engagement.
  • Energy Level: They have a high energy level and require regular exercise to burn off their energy.
  • Size: Shiba Inus are medium-sized dogs, usually weighing between 17 to 23 pounds.
  • Temperament: Despite their independence, Shiba Inus are generally friendly and loyal to their families. They can be a bit reserved and aloof with strangers.
  • Prey Drive: Shiba Inus have a fairly high prey drive due to their history as hunting dogs in Japan. This can influence how they interact with smaller animals and dogs.

➡️ Why this is important:

Matching the independence trait ensures that the other dog respects the Shiba’s need for personal space. It can prevent conflicts arising from one dog feeling overwhelmed by the other.

Getting a breed that matches the Shiba Inu’s intelligence would be a smart move. Intelligent breeds can keep each other mentally stimulated and entertained. They will also understand each other’s communication signals better.

As Shiba Inus have a high energy level, getting a similarly active breed is essential. Dogs that share energy levels can keep each other entertained and can exercise together, preventing one from becoming restless if the other is less active.

Size can influence compatibility, too. Dogs of a similar size often play more safely together because they are less likely to accidentally injure each other during rough play. Full Shiba Inu Size Guide

Choosing a breed that aligns with the Shiba Inu’s temperament can lead to a smoother relationship. If both breeds are comfortable with a certain level of aloofness and reserve, they are less likely to misinterpret each other’s signals.

Finally, consider the Shiba Inu’s prey drive. Opting for a breed that doesn’t spark this instinct will ensure a more peaceful coexistence.

Remember, these are guidelines, and there can always be individual variations. Your Shiba Inu may not fit perfectly into these breed traits, which is why observing your Shiba’s behavior is vital when choosing a second dog.

Top 12 Companion Dogs for Shiba Inus

shiba inu with beagle

Let’s run through the top 12 breeds most likely to get along with Shibas. How have we come to this list? This comes from talking to Shiba owners for several years, as well as seeing these breeds interact with each other at the dog park! Let’s get into it.

1. Akita Inu

Akita Inu, often simply referred to as “Akitas,” is a breed that shares common ancestry with the Shiba Inu. Both of these breeds are indigenous to Japan, and their similarities extend beyond their origins. Like Shiba Inus, Akitas are independent, intelligent, and strong-willed. They also share the Shiba’s alert and watchful nature, making them great companions for each other. Moreover, the Akita’s protective nature and patience can be a good balance for the Shiba’s energetic and playful temperament.

2. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies, like Shiba Inus, are known for their beautiful coats and bright, intelligent eyes. Both breeds share a high energy level, love for playtime, and a certain degree of stubbornness. Shiba Inus and Huskies both are also known for their vocal tendencies, from the Shiba scream to the Husky’s howls and ‘talking’. They often get along well because they have the same high-energy vibe and share a common understanding of independent thinking.

3. Basenji

Often called “barkless dogs,” Basenjis share the Shiba’s cat-like behaviors, including their grooming habits, curiosity, and independence. Both breeds are intelligent and require mental stimulation to avoid getting bored. Because of their similar energy levels, Shiba Inus and Basenjis can keep each other busy with their play antics.

4. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dogs, despite their name, are not from Alaska but have German origins. They are known for their agility and intelligence, traits that resonate with Shiba Inus. Both breeds are also quite independent and can be reserved with strangers. The Eskie’s friendly nature with those it knows can help soften the Shiba’s sometimes aloof demeanor.

5. Corgi

Whether it’s the Pembroke Welsh or Cardigan Welsh, Corgis share some key traits with Shiba Inus. They’re intelligent, energetic, and sometimes a bit stubborn. Their shared zest for life can create a fun and playful atmosphere, keeping both dogs happy and entertained. Also, Corgis’ friendly disposition can complement the Shiba’s reserved nature well.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs, or “Shelties,” are an intelligent and energetic breed. They’re quick learners, like the Shiba, and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Shelties are also independent, a trait that the Shiba appreciates. This combination of intellect and energy is likely to result in a lively and harmonious pairing.

7. Beagle

Beagles, known for their friendly temperament, get along with most breeds – and the Shiba Inu is no exception. While Beagles are generally more outgoing and sociable than Shiba Inus, their easy-going nature can help in developing a positive relationship. Both breeds also have high energy levels, ensuring they’ll enjoy each other’s company during playtime.

8. Border Collie

Border Collies are smart, energetic, and agile – characteristics that are also prominent in Shiba Inus. This breed’s high energy and intelligent mind will match well with the Shiba’s need for activity and mental stimulation. Their shared intelligence can lead to a deep understanding and respect between the two breeds.

9. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and intelligence, similar to the Shiba Inu. Both breeds require plenty of exercise, which means they can keep up with each other easily. Australian Shepherds also have a reserved side, similar to the Shiba Inu’s aloofness, which could contribute to a good understanding between the two.

10. Finnish Spitz

Last but not least, the Finnish Spitz makes a great companion for the Shiba Inu. Both breeds share a similar spitz-type appearance and have an alert and lively nature. Like the Shiba, the Finnish Spitz is independent and can be aloof with strangers but affectionate with their family. Their similar temperaments could lead to a strong bond.

11. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and tolerant attitude. They get along well with everyone, from children to seniors, and other animals, including Shiba Inus. Despite having a different temperament from the independent Shiba Inus, their friendly nature makes it easy for them to build a harmonious relationship with this breed. Golden Retrievers also share the high-energy level of Shiba Inus and love to play, which could be a great bonding experience for them both.

12. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, like Golden Retrievers, are famously friendly. They are social butterflies and get along well with both humans and other dogs, including Shiba Inus. Labs are highly active and love playing and working off their energy, which would be a good match for an energetic Shiba Inu. Labradors are known for their patience and gentle nature, which can help in handling the Shiba’s more stubborn moments.

Do Shiba Inus Get Along with Small Breeds?

Now, you might wonder if Shiba Inus get along with smaller breeds.

The simple answer is yes, but it depends…

Generally, the Shiba Inu can coexist peacefully with smaller dogs, especially if they have been socialized well.

All owners should prioritize socializing their Shiba extensively anyway, so as long as this has been done, a shiba will be able to get along with a small dog without issues.

However, we must point out something important here. Due to the Shiba’s spirited nature and their background as a small-game hunting breed, they may have a high prey drive. This means they may sometimes see smaller animals, including small dog breeds, as prey. Therefore, always supervise their interactions with smaller breeds, especially at the beginning.

➡️ The key to a successful relationship between a Shiba Inu and a smaller breed is early and consistent socialization.

This means exposing your Shiba to a variety of dogs, people, and situations while they’re still a puppy. It’s also important to reinforce positive interactions through training and rewards.

Tips to Find the Right Second Dog

Finally, remember that while breed characteristics can give you an idea of compatibility, individual personality is just as important.

A great way to assess compatibility is to take your Shiba to dog parks or arrange play dates with different breeds. This will give you a firsthand look at which breeds your Shiba naturally gets along with.

Last thoughts

In conclusion, adding a second dog to a home with a Shiba Inu is a big decision. Take your time, do your research, and trust your instincts. After all, you know your Shiba Inu better than anyone else!

Back to more Shiba Inu articles


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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