Many people still wonder whether it’s possible to have a dog if you live in an apartment. Some believe that only small dogs are suitable for this lifestyle. But is this really the case? And does it mean that a Shiba Inu is automatically suited to apartment living?

Can I Live in an Apartment with a Shiba Inu?

Yes, it is perfectly possible to live in an apartment with a Shiba Inu. In fact, the same can be said for most dog breeds; there are very few dogs who are incapable of adapting to apartment or city life. Contrary to popular belief, big dogs can also live in apartments. It is not necessarily the available space that influences a dog’s happiness, but the presence of their master and the time you have available to devote to your dog. A dog who languishes alone at the end of a garden all day, for example, would have lots of space but be very lonely and sad. Whereas a dog who lives in a smaller space like an apartment, but gets to go out every day for long walks with its owner, would be much happier and more fulfilled.

The Shiba Inu is a small breed dog. However, this Japanese dog breed is very active and energetic and, as such, needs to be taken out regularly, no matter where you live. Having a big house with a garden does not exempt you from taking your Shiba out for a long walk or run each day. Living in an apartment with a Shiba Inu will, however, require you to think carefully and make some adjustments to ensure life goes smoothly.

How Do I Adapt a Shiba Inu to Apartment Living?

First and foremost, you need to make sure your lifestyle matches that of the dog breed you plan to adopt. In the case of the Shiba Inu, do you have enough time to spend with it each day? Will you be able to walk your Shiba several times a day, including at least one long walk? Are you regularly away from home? Will you often need to leave your dog alone for more than six hours at a time? 

These may seem like fairly innocuous questions, but they are essential to consider if you wish to adopt a Shiba Inu, and even more so if you also live in an apartment. The Shiba Inu’s temperament is fairly independent, which means this breed handles loneliness better than some other breeds, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog. But that doesn't mean your furball wants to sit around all day waiting for you to come home. A bored Shiba is susceptible to developing problematic behaviours, such as property destruction or compulsive barking.


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If your dog barks all day while you’re gone, it will soon begin to disturb the neighbours, which could cause conflict. This kind of issue is often quite difficult to resolve and can very quickly degrade the quality of life in your home. If you don't work from home, try to come home for lunch to take your pooch out for a little walk to break up the day. If you don’t have time to leave the office, why not ask a friend or neighbour to pop in on your dog, or use a pet sitting service like Holidog. 

Purchase some toys and puzzles for your Shiba Inu to occupy them in your absence. This is an intelligent dog breed that needs mental stimulation as much as physical. Additionally, if you can manage to take your Shiba Inu out in the morning for a bit of exercise before you leave, they will be more inclined to take a nap while you’re gone. Once you get home, take your Shiba out for a long walk to stretch their paws and sniff exciting new smells. 

Finally, on weekends or days off, why not take your Shiba on a hike or walk on the beach, somewhere they can explore and run free. This dog breed also loves to participate in canine activities, such as agility, tracking, treibball, or flyball. And if you like to jog or cycle to get your exercise, you can definitely take your Shiba along with you; this athletic dog breed loves to run!

2 Simple Rules to Help You Live in an Apartment with a Shiba Inu

If you want to ensure that living in an apartment with a Shiba Inu is happy and comfortable for all parties involved, there are a couple of crucial lessons to teach your pup early on.

Teach Your Shiba Inu to Be Alone

This is essential for your dog to feel happy and comfortable in its surroundings. You want to avoid your pup getting overly attached to you, as this could have harmful consequences in the long run. Teaching your dog to be alone needs to start early, as soon as you welcome your puppy home. Begin with short absences of five minutes at a time: leaving the room, for example. Gradually increase the duration of your absences, until your Shiba can be left alone for up to two hours. Try not to congratulate your dog when you get home; your leaving and coming back should be a non-event. 

Potty Train Your Shiba Inu

If you live in an apartment, housebreaking your Shiba Inu will take a little longer than if you lived in a house. However, this is another important step in training your Shiba Inu. And anything is possible with a little patience. Take your pooch out after meals, naps, and when they wake up in the morning. Praise your Shiba if they go to the toilet outside and reward them with a healthy dog treat or a cuddle. There will, of course, always be accidents, but try not to get angry with your pooch if they poop in the house, especially if the accident happened while you were gone. Be patient and gentle and you’ll get there!

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