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

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
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.
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The Prevent Accidents Method

ribbon-method-3
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

ribbon-method-2
Least Recommended
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?
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Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 01/25/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
mochi
Shiba Inu
8 Weeks
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mochi
Shiba Inu
8 Weeks

just got out shiba puppy and we are trying to get him to potty outside in balcony. he has only peed once outside, and pooped and peed inside multiple times(we pick him up and put him on grassy patch as he goes). we take him out after eating and he just plays and runs around for a while. as soon as he goes inside he pottys (different spots). we are trying to crate train but he screams and hates it in there so we just keep a close eye on him. should we just be more patient since he’s so young or any tips on making him understand?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
943 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tara, Check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Its normal for almost all puppies to protest the crate pretty loudly the first two weeks of crate training, especially the first three days. Practicing the Surprise method from the article I have linked above can help pup adjust to the crate. I would persist with the crate. Another option is to use the Tethering method from the article I have linked below - modifying that method to take pup to the grass pad on the balcony instead of outside, but otherwise the steps should be the same. Because you will need to leave the home and go to sleep at night, pup will still need to be in the crate some too though, so I would still work on crate training - check out the crate training method from the same article I have linked for the Tethering method below. Crate Training and Tethering methods https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Pup is very young. It will be some time before pup will be fully potty trained to the point where they understand to hold it, and alert when they need to go outside. In order to get to that point accidents have to be prevented inside, so pup will transfer and generalize their natural desire to keep a confined space clean, to the larger space of your entire home inside. That habit only becomes generalized when pup is keeping the home clean, so the main goal at this age is to prevent accidents through managing pup's schedule and freedom, so pup ends up going potty outside. The crate is by far the easiest way to accomplish this in most cases because it utilizes pup's natural desire to keep a confined space - something you want encouraged for your entire home. The crying with crate training is hard to listen to and navigate. Crate training can actually prevent separation anxiety in adult dogs later when done correctly though, since you are getting pup used to being alone at an early age so they develop the self-soothing and self-entertaining skills needed as an adult (giving a chew toy in the crate helps teach that self-entertaining, which the surprise method outlines). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Roscoe
Shiba Inu
1 Year
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Roscoe
Shiba Inu
1 Year

How can I get my Shiba to stop pooping in the house and poop when he goes outside instead of messing around?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
943 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
sakura
Shiba Inu
8 Months
0 found helpful
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sakura
Shiba Inu
8 Months

it's a new dog and I don't no how to train my new dog.

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

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Medusa
Shiba Inu
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Medusa
Shiba Inu
7 Months

How Can I get my dog to pee on the pee pad when she needs to go. I just started training her. I try to put her on the pad and keep her there until she pees

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

Hello! I am going to give you some training information on how to work with your dog to use a potty pad. 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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Question
Frankie
Shiba Inu
9 Weeks
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Question
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Frankie
Shiba Inu
9 Weeks

haven’t trained a dog before

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
943 Dog owners recommended

Hello Peter, Check out the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy that can be downloaded at the link below. It's a good overview of raising pup in their first year. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Check out this article on potty training as well. It has a few more details on the potty training process that you may find helpful. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside I also highly recommend finding a good puppy class. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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