Shiba Inu Screams: Unveiling the Unique of This Breed

Shiba Scream is a unique vocalization specific to the Shiba Inu breed of dogs. These high-pitched, piercing screams are often described as sounding like a cross between a scream and a howl, and they are known for being incredibly loud and startling.

While Shiba Inu Screams can be alarming for those unfamiliar, it is normal behavior for these dogs. It is often used to express excitement, frustration, or joy.

In this article, we’ll address common questions about Shiba Inu Screams, exploring its causes, how to manage them, and what it means for the relationship between dog owners and their beloved pets.

What is the Shiba Scream?

shiba inu yawning cute dog

Have you ever heard of a dog scream before? Well, a Shiba Inu screams not your average dog bark. This unique sound is a mix of barking, whining, and howling that a Shiba Inu makes to convey a message to their humans.

But why do they do it? The Shiba scream closely resembles the sound made by wolves. Shiba Inus are believed to have descended from gray wolves, the ancestors of modern-day domesticated dogs. And as a result, they still retain some of the traits of their wolf ancestors.

So, next time you hear your Shiba Inu screams, remember that they are communicating with you uniquely- a way passed down through generations of wolves and now lives on in the Shiba Inu breed.

What does a Shiba Scream sound like? 

Have you ever experienced a puppy crying or whining loudly? When you’re bathing them or coming home, and they’re starving? Well, the Shiba Inu screams are something like that, but on steroids!

It’s like a mix of a howl and a whine but way more ear-piercing. The sound can be continuous for a few seconds or fluctuate between a few pitches, almost like a screeching version of the famous Husky “talking.” Either way, it’s a noise that’ll catch you off guard. Not many folks expect to hear such an unexpected noise from a dog.

Does a Shiba scream a lot? 

No, Shiba Inus don’t scream a lot. While Shiba Inus are recognized for their distinctive screams, they’re typically quiet dogs.

Their screams are more about communication than random outbursts. They might vocalize when anxious, like during baths, or to alert of perceived threats. Excitement during play can also trigger a scream. However, in a calm environment, they remain silent.

So, while they have the capability, frequent screaming isn’t a common trait for most Shibas.

 Shiba Inus: Drama Queens or Basal Breed?

Shiba Inus: Drama Queens or Basal Breed?

1. Are Shiba Inus drama queens?

These pint-sized pups have indeed developed quite the reputation for being a little…overdramatic. Some might even say they’re the Meryl Streep of the dog world.

Why, you ask? They tend to overreact to things that other dogs might not even bat an eye at. For example, most dogs might not love bathing or clipping their nails, but they won’t scream their little heads off about it as a Shiba Inu might.

Now, it’s important to note that not all Shiba Inus are drama queens. It’s a generalization perpetuated by the Internet and those viral videos of Shiba Inu screaming their heads off. But life with a Shiba Inu is typically much quieter than those videos might lead you to believe.

2. Shiba Inu is a basal dog breed.

As a basal dog breed, they carry within their DNA a link to the ancient dogs of yore. Compared to other modern dog breeds whose genetic histories are a complete mystery, the Shiba Inu’s DNA is less mixed and more straightforward.

Their genetic makeup resembles other basal dog breeds, including the Akita, Finnish spitz, and Basenji. These dogs have been geographically isolated and protected from crossbreeding, allowing their close genetic relationship to the ancient dog breeds to persist.

It’s fascinating to think that when you own a Shiba Inu, you’re essentially living with a piece of history that has been around for centuries. And who knows, maybe their famous scream is another trait passed down through the ages!

Can Shiba Inu Screams and howl?

Yes, Shiba Inu can scream and howl. These expressive dogs have a distinctive scream that’s hard to overlook. Additionally, they often howl in response to specific sounds, such as alarms or music, seemingly wanting to be part of the tune.

Owning a Shiba Inu means embracing a range of vocalizations, so expect some unique auditory surprises!

Do Shiba Inus bark?

Yes, Shiba Inus do bark. Shiba Inus, while independent and sometimes likened to cats, are not barkless like the Basenji. They might not bark often, but when they do, it’s typically a sharp, distinct sound, different from their well-known scream.

This bark can be due to territorial instincts or external disturbances. Though not excessively vocal, their alert nature makes them good watchdogs. Originally bred for hunting, they’ll alert you to intruders but aren’t typically protective.

Why Do Shiba Scream?

What’s the deal with Shiba Inu screaming? If you’re a Shiba owner, you may have encountered this phenomenon. Shibas, although not generally vocal, can let out a blood-curdling scream that’ll bleed your ears. But why do they do it? Here are six possible reasons:

What's the deal with Shiba Inu screaming?

1. Happiness or Excitement

The Shiba Inu screams aren’t always an indicator of negative emotion! Sometimes, your Shiba Inu will emit a high-pitched, joyous scream when something excites them.

After feeling blue about their separation, they may welcome you back with a cheerful scream as they wiggle with glee. And when you grab their leash or toss their beloved ball, you might hear that iconic Shiba scream piercing the air as they jump around excitedly for the upcoming fun.

2. Attention Seeking

If you plan to adopt a Shiba Inu, you should know they’re prone to separation anxiety. These furballs don’t like being left alone, and they’ll let you know it with their signature scream.

As you’re getting ready to head out, your Shiba may follow you, screaming and whining to get your attention. They’re hoping that you’ll stay with them and keep them company.

3. Fear or Anxiety

Shiba Inus can be quite a drama queen regarding fear! Vet visits are terrifying for them, and it’s not unusual to hear your Shiba Inu cry and scream when it’s time for vaccinations or other procedures at the vet clinic. It’s their way of expressing fear and anxiety, which can overwhelm the dog and the owner.

4. Lack of Socialization 

If you have a Shiba Inu that suddenly cries without apparent reason, it could be due to a lack of socialization. This means your furry friend was not introduced to other pets or people when they were young.

As a result, your Shiba Inu may feel insecure when meeting new faces or animals. They may scream to get your attention and help when they feel threatened or uncomfortable. So, it’s crucial to socialize your Shiba Inu early to avoid this behavior.

5. Displeasure

Prepare yourself for a lot of screaming if you force your Shiba Inus to do something they don’t want to. These independent-minded dogs won’t be bossed around, so if you insist on bathing her or putting her in a crate against her will, they are likely to scream their head off in protest. It’s their way of expressing their upset, so it’s best to avoid putting their in situations that they find uncomfortable or unpleasant. 

6. Basal Breed Traits

Did you know that Shiba Inus are part of the basal dog breeds? These dogs are closely related to ancient wolves or dogs, which means that they could be one of the first dog breeds ever!

Now, when your Shiba Inu screams, it’s because of their ancestry. Their scream is a way to establish their territory and to alert others of impending danger, just like their wild predecessors. It’s like their primal instinct telling them to scream their hearts out. So, when your Shiba is letting out those screams, it’s not just a random noise. It’s an inherited form of communication that dates back to ancient times. 

Shiba Inu Screams in Specific Situations

Shiba Inu Screams in Specific Situations

1. During grooming sessions 

Grooming sessions can be a real ordeal for Shiba Inus, who are not used to being handled. When faced with being groomed by a stranger, a Shiba may let out a scream that will have everyone in the dog grooming salon turning their heads. It’s not that they’re being disobedient – far from it. They’re just asserting their independence in the only way they know how.

And when it comes to bath time, things can get even more dramatic. Shiba Inu are not known for their love of water, so don’t be surprised if you hear a Shiba Inu screams at bath time. No matter where they’re being bathed – at home or in a grooming salon – the shrieks of displeasure can be heard far and wide. So if you’re planning on washing your Shiba anytime soon, be prepared for some serious noise. 

2. During vet visits

When a Shiba Inu is brought to the vet clinic, the situation can quickly escalate into a Shiba Inu Screams vet episode.

  • One reason for this is that Shiba Inu can get anxious and scared of unfamiliar surroundings.
  • But that’s not all. Sometimes, the vet procedures can be painful, so a Shiba Inu Screams at the vet to express the discomfort.
  • Plus, Shiba Inus are not cuddly, so they’re not too fond of being handled, especially by a stranger like a vet. A dog Screaming at vet Shiba Inu is just the norm.
  • However, not all Shiba Inus hate the vet clinic. Some might scream out of excitement upon seeing their favorite vet. So don’t be surprised if you hear a Shiba Inu Screams at the vet, and it turns out to be a happy scream instead of a fearful one.

3. In the car

While some canines love sticking their heads out the window to feel the wind on their fur, some Shiba Inus get anxious and motion sick. This is when you hear a Shiba Inu screams car rides!

  • But, don’t fret, there are ways to avoid this unpleasant experience. First on the list, invest in a dog car seat! It’s a lifesaver because it provides support, comfort, and protection from sudden stops. Plus, it might reduce the chances of your Shiba Inu screaming in the car.
  • Another suggestion to prevent a Shiba Inu in-car scream fest is to bring a toy or blanket with the familiar scent of your home. This can make your Shiba Inu feel more relaxed and comfortable in your car.
  • Also, it’s best to make pit stops during long rides, especially if your dog is prone to motion sickness. Keeping the temperature cool in the car can help too. If the Shiba Inu screams car ride is still a problem, giving motion sickness medication might do the trick.
  • It’s also a good idea to train your Shiba Inu to get used to car rides by taking him for short drives while he’s still young. And remember to use positive reinforcement like treats or belly rubs to make him feel good about car rides.

By taking some of these precautions, you’ll have a more relaxing drive, and your Shiba Inu will be calm and content, without any screams or howls along the way.

Managing Shiba Inu Screams: Tips and Tricks

1. Train your Dog to stop barking, howling, or screaming

Shiba Inus are naturally vocal, but unchecked screaming can be disruptive. To mitigate this:

  • Early Socialization: Familiarize your Shiba with potential stressors like vet visits, grooming, or new encounters early on to reduce anxiety-induced screams.
  • Regular Exercise: Ensure daily playtime and activity. A well-exercised Shiba is less likely to vocalize from boredom or pent-up energy.
  • Scratchboard Training: Introduce a scratchboard for nail trimming, easing their discomfort and anxiety around the process.

With consistent effort, your Shiba can be calmer and less vocally reactive.

2. Preventing Shiba’s whine from getting out of control

Shiba Inus can be challenging. Unchecked whining can escalate, making them more defiant. If they sense dominance, they might disregard your commands, leading to behavioral issues.

  • It’s crucial to address this early. Establish your leadership so your Shiba doesn’t assume control. Stay patient and consistent. If she starts to whine, remain calm and maintain the same boundaries.
  • Distract her from negative behaviors with toys or treats, focusing her on positive actions. Early training and socialization are key, helping her adapt to various scenarios and reducing anxiety.

With consistent effort and love, your Shiba Inu can transition from a whiny pup to a content and well-mannered companion.

Is a Shiba Inu the right breed for you?

So, you’re thinking about adopting a Shiba Inu. Great choice! These dogs make excellent companions, but be warned – they can be a bit of a handful.

  • Shibas are known for being independent, aloof, and somewhat stubborn, which means they require a patient and firm owner.
  • But with the proper training and socialization, owning a Shiba can be incredibly rewarding. You’ll have a loyal and loving companion who will always be beside you. Just remember that proper socialization is critical to having a well-behaved Shiba. Early exposure to people, animals, and new experiences will help your Shiba to feel more comfortable and less likely to scream or howl excessively.

Is a Shiba Inu right for you? If you’re willing to put in the time and effort required to train and socialize your pup correctly, then the answer is a resounding yes! But if you’re not up for the challenge, a different breed would better fit you.

List of dogs that are similar to Shiba Inu

Frequently Ask Question

1. Is Shiba always noisy?

Contrary to popular belief, these fluffy pups are primarily silent. They only let out a bark or two when they feel something to be alarmed about, like an unexpected visitor.

When they’re feeling giddy or agitated, that’s when they can get pretty vocal. And when they’re in pain or feeling anxious, they’re likely to make some noise too.

But overall, Shibas are one of the more reserved dog breeds.

2. What dog breeds scream instead of bark?

Shiba Inus are notorious for their screaming tendencies, but they’re not alone in this vocalization style.

Small dog breeds like Maltichons and Shih Tzus can also sound like they’re screaming when they get excited or anxious.

And if you thought huskies only howled, think again! Siberian Huskies can also produce a sound that resembles a Shiba scream.

So, if you want a furry companion that can scream, not bark, these breeds might be the perfect match for you!

3. Do Shiba Inus howl?

Yes, they do! But it’s not just some random noise. It’s a way of communicating with other Shiba Inus. They howl to let their furry friends know that they own a particular spot, and they won’t back down. It’s their way of saying, “Stay away from my territory.”

So, if your Shiba Inu starts howling, don’t worry. It’s normal. But, if they howl excessively, it could indicate they are anxious or stressed. So, watch them and give them some love and attention.


In conclusion, the Shiba Inu Screams may be a unique and sometimes startling vocalization, but it is integral to the Shiba Inu breed’s communication and behavior. While it may take some time for owners to become accustomed to this sound and understand its various meanings, it is ultimately a sign of a healthy and expressive dog. By working with their Shiba Inus and providing proper training and socialization, owners can manage the frequency and intensity of the Shiba Scream while still allowing their pets to express themselves. Overall, the Shiba Scream is just one of the many fascinating quirks that make the Shiba Inu breed so beloved by dog enthusiasts worldwide.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top