How to Potty Train a Shiba Inu Puppy

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

The Shiba Inu is a small, agile, intelligent hunting dog, originating in Japan. They have a reputation for being stubborn to train. While it is true that they can be of an independent nature, making them appear stubborn, this natural independence coincides with natural fastidiousness that often accompanies hunting breeds. Tapping into this natural instinct while potty training your Shiba Inu may make potty training your dog more successful and less stressful. 

Consistency and a positive approach are key to training a Shiba Inu to do anything--including go potty! The trick will be getting your Shiba Inu to understand what bathroom habits you want him to pick up and to understand where you want him to relieve himself, and to reinforce desirable behaviors and location.

Defining Tasks

Shiba Inu puppies can begin house training or potty training as soon as possible, as early as  7 weeks of age, when they beginning to get control of their bladder. Shiba Inus can take up to 5 months of age to have full control of their bladder and other body functions, so be patient and do not expect more than your dog can deliver during potty training. Make sure to make bathroom opportunities frequent. Remember, Shiba Inus are small dogs that have correspondingly small bladders--be realistic about how often your dog will need the opportunity to relieve himself during training. Provide your dog ample opportunity to go potty in the correct area, avoid accidents with vigilance. Punishment for mistakes in potty behavior is generally not effective. Using positive reinforcement to put going potty on command, or associating going potty with a particular location like outside or in a designated corner of your yard, is the most effective way to train a Shiba Inu puppy or older dog to go potty.

Getting Started

Potty training your Shiba Inu means positive reinforcement, lots of treats, and lots of praise. Avoid negative reinforcement or punishment for potty training as it is usually counterproductive and confusing for a Shiba Inu. Shiba Inus are sensitive dogs and punishment is ineffective, often resulting in what appears to be stubborn behavior. Make sure you have a clearly established potty area and are consistent with your Shiba Inu. Establish a clear potty area,  either outside or with an indoor litter box or puppy pads. Be prepared to supervise your dog and watch for signs that he needs to have a potty break, such as sniffing around. Schedule meals for your dog so you can predict when he will need to eliminate. Have a deodorizer available so that when accidents happen you can counteract odors and prevent future occurrences of soiling the same area.

The Schedule and Monitor Method

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3 Votes
Step
1
Schedule feeding
Feed and water your dog at regular intervals throughout the day so you can predict when he will need to go potty, usually an hour, to two hours after being fed. Younger puppies may need to go every hour.
Step
2
Follow with potty breaks
Take your Shiba Inu for frequent bathroom breaks, especially after eating and drinking.
Step
3
Do not leave for long periods
If you are not available to take your dog for required potty breaks, hire a dog sitter. A stay at home neighbor may be able to assist if you need to be away from the house or at work for several hours. A young dog can not be expected to go 8 hours without the opportunity for a potty break.
Step
4
Avoid odors
If your Shiba Inu has an accident, clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner so that odor does not remain, as this will encourage your dog to use that area again as a bathroom.
Step
5
Increase time
Gradually increase the length of time you expect your dog to be able to “hold it” as he matures. Very young puppies need hourly breaks, puppies need breaks every 3 or 4 hours. A mature dog may be able to go up to 8 hours without a break. Remember that whenever you feed or water your dog he will need a break shortly afterwards to relieve himself, so maintain a workable schedule when you are available to let your dog out at appropriate times.
Recommend training method?

The Prevent Accidents Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Supervise
Supervise your Shiba Inu closely at all times, keep him in a room with you.
Step
2
Contain
If you can not supervise your dog, put him in a crate with a favorite blanket and toys. Shiba Inus like to “den up" so your dog will usually adapt to this easily. Your dog will not soil his bed so a crate prevents him from going potty while he is contained.
Step
3
Catch potty need
When your Shiba Inu shows signs of needing to go potty by circling, sniffing around, or squatting, say “no” firmly. Do not startle or punish your pup.
Step
4
Take to potty area
Take your Shiba Inu to his potty area, either outside, to a litter box, or puppy pads.
Step
5
Reinforce correct potty habits
Say, “go potty” and wait for your dog to go to the bathroom. Keep him in the contained area until he goes. When your dog goes in his potty area, give him treats and praise.
Recommend training method?

The Crate Training Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Crate
Prepare a crate for your Shiba Inu with blankets and toys. Shiba Inus like to “den” and adapt well to crates. Keep your Shiba Inu in the crate.
Step
2
Take for potty breaks
Every hour, take your Shiba Inu outside to his potty area. If he does not relieve himself, immediately take him back inside and put him in his crate.
Step
3
Reward potty
If he urinates or has a bowel movement in his potty area, reward him with treats.
Step
4
Provide play
Play with your Shiba Inu for several minutes either outside or back in the house before returning him to his crate after a successful potty break.
Step
5
Increase time between breaks
Increase the length of time your Shiba Inu remains in his crate between bathroom breaks. Increase the length of time he can remain out of his crate after successful potty breaks until your dog has established where he can go potty and is controlling his body functions for an adequate length of time.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Simba
Shiba Inu
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Simba
Shiba Inu
5 Months

Simba eats his poops anytime he pooped in the house but he did not eat those if he went to the backyard.

I feed him all goof food , I made for him. I feed him minerals supplement once a day like a week alreay but he still eats his poop. Could you please help. Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vivian, Poop eating can unfortunately be a strong habit. Since he is not eating it while outside, then I suggest improving his potty training routine, until he is consistently no longer pooping inside. When you take him to go potty outside, clean up his poop right away to prevent him from learning to eat those too. When he is inside attach him to himself with a leash so that he cannot sneak away to poop out of your sight. If you can supervise him 100% without attaching him to yourself, then you can simply supervise him, but if he is still sneaking away, then he needs to be attached to you while free. When you cannot watch him, then place him into a crate that is large enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down, but not large enough for him to poop in one end and stand in the other end away from it. Too large of a crate might make the problem worse. If you already have a larger crate, then you can use a divider to block off part of the back of the crate to make it smaller, rather than buying a new crate. Work on his "Leave It" command, so that you can tell him to "Leave It" if he does have an accident and is getting ready to eat it. To teach "Leave It" check out this Wag! article bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/leave-it I am not sure if the supplements that you are giving him are things like "Deter", "Forbid", or "Potty Mouth", but if you are not already trying those, you can add something to his food to make his poop taste bad, such as "Deter" or "Forbid". You can also try adding a few table spoons of pumpkin to his dog food, to make his poop taste bad. I would also recommend getting him checked out by your vet for parasites and worms. Eating poop is sometimes a sign of parasites. It can also be a sign of nutritional deficiencies, but if you are already sure that he is not lacking in a particular nutrient, you are making the poop taste bad by adding pumpkin or something similar, and he is parasite free, then you will simply need to attach him to you when he is free and crate him when you cannot watch him. If there is not an underlying health reason, you can break the habit, and you can help him to form other good habits, like chewing his own chew toys, then he will likely grow out of the habit when he can no longer practice it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
kino
Shiba Inu
8 Months
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Question
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kino
Shiba Inu
8 Months

How do I train Kino to pee on the pee tray? His pee tray is in his play pen, but he chooses to pee next to it instead.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Huishan, Use the "Crate Training" method from the article, "How to Litter Box Train a Chihuahua", that I have linked bellow until he is comfortable going potty on the tray. To use the "Crate Training" method simply substitute the litter box for the tray. Once is comfortable, then you can switch to whichever method you want to use for Potty Training or you can stick with that method. He also probably needs for you to add something more absorbent to the top of the pee tray until he gets used to going there. Plastic is not a normal surface for a dog to instinctively pee on. The holes in the plastic can also make the tray uncomfortable just to stand on, causing him to avoid even walking on it. To get him used to the tray you need to put something absorbent that reminds him of the outdoors on the top of the tray, in the middle area, for him to pee on at first. When he gets used to going potty on that, then you can gradually decrease the size of the absorbent area overtime. You can do this until you are able to remove it completely and he is only peeing on the tray. A small piece of grass sod or a pee pad covered with dirt or cat litter should work. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Rex
Shiba Inu
4 Months
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Question
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Rex
Shiba Inu
4 Months

Our dog Rex is only crated A night and when we are not home.. he can be he still does urinate in the crate, and he does not like the crate.. I am working on it to make it more homey to him any tips on how to correct that?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karalynne, First, you need to figure out why he is peeing in the crate. There are four common reasons why a dog pees in a crate: 1. The crate is too big or has absorbent material in it, like a plushy bed or towel. The crate should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down. If it's big enough that he can pee in one end and stand in the other end, then he will not be motivated by his natural desire to keep a confined space clean and will not hold his bladder in it. 2. Your puppy has learned not to hold his bladder in the crate through being forced to pee in a crate multiple times before --this usually happens when he is being crated for too long or you purchase a puppy from a pet store, shelter, or breeder that keeps the puppies in cages without potty breaks. 3. You are not letting him outside often enough -- A four month old puppy cannot hold his bladder for longer than 4-5 hours during the day --no matter what. They are physically incapable of it yet. 4. The dog has true separation anxiety --which is unusual for a 4-5 month old puppy unless something traumatic happened to him in a crate. Next, you need to thoroughly clean the crate with a spray or cleaner that contains ENZYMES. Only enzymes will break down pee and poop at a molecular level and fully remove the smell. Even bleach will not get rid of the smell completely because dogs' noses are so sensitive. If the area smells like pee or poop, it will confuse Rex and he will likely continue peeing in there. If the crate cannot be cleaned, then you will need a new crate -- preferably a different kind than he has now. For example, if he has a plastic one now, get a wire one instead. Next, once you know why he is peeing in the crate, then you need to address that issue. If his crate is too big, then either purchase a small enough crate OR if your crate came with a metal divider- which most wire crates do, then install that to block off the back of the crate and make it the correct size. You can then move the divider as he grows. If you have a wire crate, then you can also purchase metal dividers online by themselves. If there is any soft material that would absorb pee in the crate, then take it out. This includes pets, towels and newspaper. If he needs a bed in the crate, check out Primopads.com. They do not look fancy but their beds do provide firm support to make the crate more comfortable while being safe and encouraging potty training at the same time. They are great beds for puppies. You can do a soft bed later when he is not chewing household objects or having accidents any more. If he has been forced to pee in the crate so often that he has lost his natural desire to hold his pee in there, then you will need to use a different form of potty training. I suggest using the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked below whenever anyone is home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you are gone, then set up an exercise pen in an area of the house that he will never be allowed to go to as an adult, like a basement bathroom, safe heated garage, or unused guest bedroom with hard floors. Put him in the exercise pen with a food-stuffed chew toy and a chew-proof bed like a primo pad on one end, and put a disposable grass potty pad on the other end. Do NOT use pee pads for this. He needs to learn to ONLY go potty on grass inside the house and it needs to be in a room that is completely separate, behind a door that can be closed, so that after he is potty trained he cannot go back into that room to try to pee anymore - and will only pee outside. The grass needs to be real grass. Check out the link below of a real grass potty pad. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=psdc_3024225011_t3_B005G7S6UI Next, if you are not taking him potty often enough, then you need to change this or he will never be successful with crate training and it will end up causing him to loose his natural desire to hold his bladder in the crate. A puppy can only physically hold his bladder for the number of months he is in age plus one, and no longer than eight hours as an adult. At night, if the dog stays asleep, then he can hold it for longer because his bladder sort of shuts down while sleeping. You need to remove all food and water two hours before bed though. If you are gone all day, longer than he can hold it for, then you need to hire someone to come by the house to let him go potty midday or at least set up an exercise pen in an unused room with hard floors with a disposable grass pad in it and leave him in there when you are not at home. A crate will be easier for potty training in the long run though if you still have that option. The exercise pen should only be used as a last resort if he has lost his desire to hold his pee in a crate or you cannot get someone to come by to let him out if you are gone for longer than he can hold his bladder for. Finally, if his issue is true separation anxiety, then that is more complex than what I can get into here. You may need to hire a professional trainer to help you. Many puppies dislike the crate at first, but they do not have true separation anxiety. True separation anxiety usually involves at least a couple of other symptoms too, such as: Drooling, panting, self-destructive tendencies like licking, biting themselves, or trying to escape to the point of hurting themselves, unrelenting barking and whining that does not stop, shaking, peeing and pooping in the crate even though the dog is completely potty trained, or throwing up. A less intense dislike for the crate and boredom in the crate is common. To address that, follow the methods from the article that I have linked below - especially the "surprise" method, and make sure that you give him dog-food-stuffed chew toys like Kongs when you put him in the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lily
Shiba Inu
5 Months
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Question
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Lily
Shiba Inu
5 Months

Her doesn’t know how to let us know that she needs taken out to go potty. We have to take her out on a leash when she needs to go because we don’t have a fenced in area. We don’t know how to train her how to let us know when she needs taken out. I was thinking about setting up a bell, would that work?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bailey, A bell is a great way to train a dog to alert when they need to go outside. Also know that alerting when pup needs to go potty tends to come naturally several months AFTER pup is potty trained to hold it in between scheduled potty trips that you have initiated. The first goal is just for pup to no longer have accidents inside due to your diligence about confinement, supervision, and frequent potty trips outside. Once pup is only going potty outside and has developed a desire to keep your home clean - then that desire helps motivate pup to alert when they need to go. Most dogs will choose an alert on their own at that point, like barking, running to the door, nudging, ect...but if you don't like what they choose or want a more proactive approach, you can teach pup to ring a bell, just know that pup will probably need you to stick to the schedule and remind them to ring the bell on the way out for another month or two before they start ringing it on their own - expecting too much of pup in this area, and not sticking to your potty schedule because of that can cause potty training regressions. Bell ringing article: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
champ
Shiba Inu
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
champ
Shiba Inu
9 Weeks

so no matter what we do, champ does not poop on the pee/poop pad. I feel like it is because he is use to pooping and peeing outside. but we would like him to learn to use the pad as well. got any advice?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! If you’ve decided that pee pads are right for you and your dog, here are some training tips to get you started: Choose Your Spot Pick a space in your house where you want your dog to go. Obviously, you’ll want this spot to be a low-traffic area. Make sure this spot is easily accessible to your dog, and make sure the floor surface is linoleum or tile, as opposed to carpet. If your dog “misses,” it will be easier to clean up. If the only spot you can put the pee pad is a carpet, you might consider getting a small tarp to put underneath the puppy pee pad to guard against spillage. Choose a spot that is outside of your “smell zone.” An important tip to remember is to make sure not to let your dog decide the spot he likes. Not only might he pick an area you won’t like, but he’ll learn that he is in charge – not you – which can cause a host of problems down the line. Monitor Your Dog When you are potty training your dog, full-time monitoring is an absolute necessity. It’s impossible to correct bad behaviors if you don’t see them happen. Dogs have very short memories. It is important to catch your dog in the act. If your dog goes on the floor, and you try to correct him hours after the fact, he will be confused and upset, not knowing what he did wrong. This can hinder training and your relationship with your dog. Puppies, in particular, must be watched constantly. They have less control over their bowels and will go when they have to go. If you miss these moments, you lose precious training opportunities. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to be with your dog 24 hours a day, but try to spend more time at home during the weeks you are potty training – it will pay off in the long run. Learn Your Dog’s Schedule Dogs, for the most part, are predictable. They will go to the bathroom at predictable times. You should be able to learn when your dog has to go based on timing as much as on his signals. Take some time to study your dog’s bathroom habits. You’ll learn the amount of time after he eats or drinks that he has to go, and you’ll get in rhythm with his daily bathroom schedule. This will help you reduce accidents and speed up the potty training process. Studying your dog’s habits can also help you identify his bathroom “triggers” – like having to go after a certain amount of playtime. Once you learn your dog’s schedule, use it to your advantage in potty training. Bring him to the pee pad a few minutes before he normally goes, and encourage him. This will help him get used to going in the right spot, and help you establish repetition in your training. Choose a Command Word Dogs have keen senses – they respond to sight, smell, and sound. When you begin pee pad training, choose a command word and use it every time you take your dog to the pad. Just about any word will work. The tone of your voice is more important than the actual word. Try phrases like “go on” or “go potty” in a slightly elevated, encouraging tone. Make sure to repeat this same command, in the same tone, every time you take your dog to the pee pad. Avoid Punishment When your dog has an accident, it’s just that – an accident. When you punish your dog during potty training, he will become confused and scared. He doesn’t know what he’s done wrong, and can’t understand why the person he loves most is mad at him. Most importantly, it will not help his potty training. Positive Reinforcement Both human and dog behavior is largely based on incentives. Dogs’ incentives are very simple – they want to eat when they are hungry, play when they are excited, and sleep when they are tired. But the most important thing your dog wants in life is to please you. Use this to your advantage. Whenever your dog goes on his potty training pad, shower him with lots of praise. If he sees that he gets praise for doing his business on the pad, he will be incentivized to keep going on the pad – and he’ll be excited to do it! Potty training – whether it’s a pee pad or going outside – will take time, but if you do it right, can take less time. Many dogs are potty trained in less than two weeks. Just remember that you and your dog are partners. Do everything you can to help him learn the proper etiquette, and you will enjoy a long, quality relationship together. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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