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How many Shiba's is one too many?
  • Hey there,

    I'm curious to know how many Shiba's is one to many in a single household. This came about because a couple of days ago I came across someone on Instagram that has 6! Yes 6 Shiba's in one household. Then I started looking for those who had more than three and boy did I find a lot of them. So it peaked my curiosity. I currently have 3 female Shiba's which that within itself can be controversial. We added our second (Kaliopi) to our pack once Lexi was already 1 yr 8 months old. A few weeks ago we added our third (Savvy) which wasn't planned, she was actually a rescue. They all respect each other's space(testing each other every once in while). We have even noticed their dynamics changing a bit. We found it the hardest to add our second but this last one has been a breeze so far.

    How many Shiba's do you have?
    Do you believe there is a perfect number?
    What are your thoughts on those who have more than a handful?
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I believe that the responsibility of owning multiple Shibas or even other breeds of dogs varies greatly on how responsible, committed, and dedicated that the owner is. It also depends upon the personalities of the individual dogs as well - some dogs are much easier to train or might be more tolerant than others.

    That being said, I think that there are some very good dog owners that have learned to balance their dog household but there are far more that aren't even remotely close to being stellar dog owners. I believe that it all boils down to being honest with yourself about your abilities and accepting that as dog owners, we are all human and make mistakes. There are so many owners out there that think they are great owners but are just not. However, there are phenomenal forum members here that have multiple Shibas and do an AMAZING job with ensuring that they live a happy, fulfilled, symbiotic life with the others in their family.

    I relate this to parenting, in a way. I see mothers with 3 kids in tow and one on the way that should have stuck with the one, if any at all. Then there are moms that do an amazing job with their 5...

    What is most important is that you offer the dog/dogs that you have a complete, healthy, happy and fulfilled life - if you can't, then don't do it!

    As for myself, I only have one dog and two cats. I've been on the fence about getting another dog (Kai Ken) but I adore Kira so much that I kind of want her to be my "one and only".
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • You should see some of the rescue groups! I saw an astounding photo once of a rescue group with about 10 shibas in the photo, all well behaved too (though apparently not all were in the photo as not all can be together!). Of course eventually some would be going on to their new homes, so that was different, but...

    Anyway, I'm with Kira_Kira--it depends on the situation. I have four dogs, two AAs, a Kai Ken, and a Shiba. That's as many as we can handle. We used to have two Shibas, and that was one too many. Of course, I've been traumatized by the Shibas I had--one reactive, the other batshit crazy murderous (she was a puppy mill girl and had many health and temperament issues, and has now passed on). I've long said I would never have another Shiba after my older boy goes (and I hope we have many more years with him!). But now I'm thinking that for me, anything over one Shiba is too many. But I so enjoy the Shiba elders, that I now hope to be able to foster or adopt Shiba elders sometime in the future. They are so easy to live with, and I now know that even if they don't get along with the rowdy crew, we have a nice room for them to live in so they don't have to interact with the others (or just interact sporadically).

    As much as I love my Toby (and did love Bel, difficult as she was), I don't think I can handle another young Shiba, unless I got the perfect dog. I just find them harder to live with as pack dogs, and a Shiba/Akita confrontation would not be a good scene at all. So for me, one is enough!
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    I have 4 Shibas and a Japanese Akita Inu. BUT the two older Shibas are 100% seperated from the two younger Shibas and the Akita. So the pair and the trio are on a constant rotation of being inside, outside and when necessary (like at feeding time) in the runs we built. For us , 4 Shibas is enough. The pair (brother and sister, nearly 3) are both very dog reactive, which makes it difficult to keep all the dogs calm. When swapping them we have to make sure they cant even sniff eachother through closed doors- Takeo will go crazy if he hears the trio on the other side of the door. This frenzy escalates very quickly and he has then turned onto his sister. So, we have to crate him while we bring the others into the bathroom (two closed doors between them!) And then let the pair outside, lock door, let others in house, lock the laundry door etc. The hardest part of management is trying to keep it as stress free as possible. That being said, they can be walked together without a fuss, as long as the younger ones arent too rude. The two males will even walk shoulder to shoulder and interact a little bit. Thats a bonus for us.

    We didnt expect them to all get along, but they still have the right to live a relatively stress free life, so if we want to have a multi-dog household, we have to make sure each one has all their emotional wellbeing needs met too. :-)

    I think the number of dogs isnt always the issue (ofcourse one has to be financially stable to support all the dogs), but its also about being prepared to let them live seperately if need be, and not to put them in stressful situations just because we would like them to live together. Dogs dont have to like eachother.

    Time is another factor with ours. We tend to spend ALOT of time with the JA pup preparing for shows, going away with her to shows etc. We just make sure to spend quality time with all the Shibas individually too. They all get to be in the home with us, they all get to go out for walks, they all get playtime with us in the yard too.

    So far im still sane with the 5 dogs we have got. Ask me in two to three years when we have a couple more Akitas join the family! No more Shibas though, 4 is enough. Maybe when these 4 are off in rainbow bridge (which is never going to happen because my dogs are magical from Narnia and they will never die ;-) ), i might consider another Shiba- but i just cant see another Shiba being as amazing as my guys!
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • One! :))
  • melissafonmelissafon
    Posts: 117
    I think I know who you're talking about on Instagram! Is it @houseofshibas? I myself have four dogs, two of them being male shibas and the others being a norwegian elkhound and a shiba/husky mix. I don't think there's really a magic number, like a lot of the other forum members have said, it all depends on how dedicated you are to your dogs and understanding what needs to be done for their well being. For our household, luckily all four tend to get along most of the time together, but we do separate them from time to time usually with two in the yard and two in the house and rotating so they won't get too agitated by the other. Also, each weekend, I take one pup out and spend the whole day with them.

    This is how I typically walk them and I always get some looks from people haha:

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