If you’ve recently welcomed a little Shiba pup into your household, then you might have noticed that they love to lick everything!
Though there is much debate over the true cause of why Shiba Inus like to lick so much, most people agree that it simply comes down to their natural instincts.
As a pack animal, it’s a dog’s natural instinct to want to lick both themselves and the members of their pack – and that includes you.
It’s your Shiba Inu’s natural instinct to want to help cleanse themselves in order to stay free of dirt through licking, and many dog experts also believe that dogs lick in order to aid in the healing process of cuts and scars.
As dogs grow with their pack, licking is a way that they are able to communicate with other members.
As an example, if the pack leader gets licked, it is more often than not a display of respect and submission, or it could just simply mean that they’re hungry and want to join in on the next meal.
On the flip side, however, licking can also sometimes be a show of dominance, and this is most commonly paired with domineering behaviors such as growling and sitting on top of the pack member that they are licking.
Besides that, though, there are a variety of other reasons why your little Shiba might be licking.
Many studies have shown that licking releases endorphins (otherwise known as the feel-good hormone), so your Shiba might find it to be stress-relieving and soothing, especially if they are prone to nervousness.
Another reason why your Shiba might be licking you is to show their affection.
As a baby, your Shina Inu would have been licked by their mother as a way to display love and affection, so it only makes sense that your furry friend would be displaying this learned behavior as a form of affection to you and other members of your family.
It could also be a sign that they are trying to groom you, which ties in closely with showing their love and affection.
However, if you are finding that your Shiba Inu is excessively licking, then this could be a sign of an anxiety disorder such as separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can be common in puppies who have recently been separated from their mothers, as well as in dogs that have a strong attachment to their owners.
This stress can manifest in a variety of ways, and one of the most common can sometimes be excessive licking.
If you feel that this might be the case, then we recommend that you book a visit with your veterinarian, who will be able to help your Shiba Inu.
Why is my Shiba shaking?
If your dog is shaking, then it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Like most breeds of dogs, Shibas are highly energetic, food-motivated dogs that love to run around and play, so there’s usually no cause for concern if you notice that your Shiba is shaking, scratching, or even rolling around.
When your Shiba Inu gets excited, they will often shake due to the excess energy.
This can be common when it’s time to go for a walk, while you are preparing their food, or if you’ve just recently got in from a day spent working at the office.
Another time that your Shiba might shake is if they’ve spotted an animal outside that they want to go out and chase!
However, shaking can also sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue. Shiba Inu’s are a breed that’s prone to separation anxiety and boredom, your Shiba might be shaking due to distress from being apart from you.
Similarly, if your Shiba doesn’t like the sound of loud fireworks, or hates the sound of thunder during a rainstorm, then it’s not uncommon for fearful shaking to occur.
As a side note, if your Shiba’s anxiety is quite severe, then we recommend taking them to your veterinarian who will be able to assess the situation and prescribe your Shiba with some anti-anxiety medication.
On the other hand, if your dog doesn’t seem to be displaying any signs of anxiety, then another reason why your Shiba might be shaking could simply be down to the fact that they are cold.
Just like how we do, dogs also shiver when they are cold and, as Shiba Inu’s don’t have super fluffy coats, they can be prone to shivering when the cold weather hits during the winter months.
To help combat this issue, we recommend investing in a warm coat that your Shiba can wear during walks, as well as lots of fluffy blankets in their bed.
Why does my Shiba Inu stare at me?
More often than not, your Shiba Inu is staring at you because they’re trying to communicate with you.
Shibas are very intelligent dogs, so when they look at their owners, there’s a strong chance that they are simply trying to read them – especially as there have been many studies to suggest that dogs are able to understand visual cues displayed by their owner’s facial expressions. Pretty cool, right?
Another reason why your Shiba is staring at you may be because he’s simply trying to let you know that he’s hungry or wants something.
If your Shiba wants a snack or some cuddles, the staring will likely be accompanied by whining or whimpering, the licking of your hand, and a wagging tail.
By learning to understand your Shiba’s body language, not only will you be strengthening the bond that you share, but you’ll also be able to understand what it is that he needs.
For example, sometimes, a Shiba might look into their owner’s eyes as a way to show their love, and other times they might simply be trying to let their owners know that they need to go to the bathroom!
Pay close attention to other behaviors that your Shiba is displaying every time he stares at you (such as whimpering or a wagging tail), and this will help you to better understand what it is that he’s trying to communicate to you.