Shiba Inus, especially Shiba Inu adults are typically not the most playful of dog breeds.

 Perhaps it’s due to the fact that Shibas are not the type of dog breed that is easily amused.

 Nonetheless, Shiba Inu adults and puppies benefit from the mental stimulation and energy draining features of quality dog toys.

This article is all about outdoor dog toys - the features, types, and best of the best choices for your Shibas.

Outdoor Dog Toys Vs. Indoor Dog Toys

Outdoor dog toys are rough and tumble type toys that can withstand all the elements of mother nature - sun, rain, dirt, and snow - that indoor dog toys cannot.

Outdoor dog toys need to be durable enough to handle the intense heat of the sun and should not be made out of plastic that easily cracks.

Additionally, outdoor dog toys should be easily washable and not deteriorate or mold in wet conditions.

Indoor dog toys, on the other hand are typically “plushie” type dog toys filled or unfilled with stuffing and squeakers. 

These are the most common and popular dog toys on the market but are definitely not suitable for the outdoors. These types of dog toys are not easy to clean once they get drenched with water or covered with mud.

shiba inu running on the beach

Types of Outdoor Dog Toys

In the world of outdoor dog toys, there are a few basic categories to choose from. They include:

  • Balls / frisbees - for fetchers
  • Water toys - for pools, the beach, lakes, etc
  • Tug toys - for dogs that enjoy tug-o-war
  • Puzzle / game - for dogs that enjoy mentally stimulating dog games
  • Tethered toys
  • High tech toys - remote control cars
Ball / Throw Toys

The classic game of fetch has always been a staple ‘go-to’ game for dog owners.

Most dog breeds love a good game of fetch, especially retriever type dogs like Labradors, and yes, Retrievers.

With Shiba Inus - it’s hit or miss. Most Shiba Inu puppies love a good game of fetch, but some Shiba Inu adults will not share the same enthusiasm.

However, it’d be a good idea to encourage your Shiba Inu adult to take part in fetch games whenever possible as these types of games provide good exercise.

Ball toys for the outdoors should be water resistant as well as resistant to the effects of the sun’s heat.

Tennis balls are not a good option because they can get moldy when wet and the fibers can pose a danger to your dog’s teeth.

Frisbees are also a great outdoor toy that can provide your Shiba Inu exercise as well as agility practice. The issue with frisbees is that throwing and catching a frisbee takes practice and skill from both the dog and the owner.​​​​

Not all dogs have the necessary skill or drive to make good frisbee catching candidates.

For best success, begin frisbee catching training with your Shiba Inu at a very young age. It’d be likely impossible to motivate your adult Shiba Inu to go after a flying disk unless said disk is transporting something rather yummy.

Water Toys

Water toys for dogs that include balls, frisbees, and other toys that can be used in pools, or at the lake or beach.

These toys are of course, waterproof and depending on the type of toy, should be able to float - though some water toys are designed for dogs that like to dive retrieve toys.

If you happen to have or know of a Shiba Inu that enjoys the water - lucky you! 

Tug Toys

Tug type toys are typically made with rope like material and are great options for multiple dogs that enjoy playing tug-o-war together.

There are some voices in the dog world that believe tug-o-war types of games encourage aggression in dogs - and that you must never let your dog ‘win’ a match with you.

These views are just a bit too alarmist. Unless, you have an especially territorial and / or aggressive dog - let your dog’s enjoy a game of tug, it’s not the end of the world.

For outdoor play, it’s important to choose a tug toy that is made out of durable fabric that will dry out easily.

Puzzle / Game Toys

Puzzle type toys are perfect tools to stimulate your Shiba Inu’s mind. Just like humans, aging dogs are prone to cognitive decline that can lead to cognitive dysfunction disorder.

Cognitive dysfunction disorder (C.D.D) is a disorder that especially affects older dogs and has symptoms that are similar to dementia and alzheimer’s disease.

Puzzle and game toys will help to slow down this decline as well as give your dog a bit of physical exercise.

The most popular type of puzzle toys are the types that make your dog hunt for the treat inside the toy. There are varying degrees of difficulty for these puzzle toys, so start with the easier ones at first.

adult shiba inu playing a puzzle game

The best types of puzzle toys for the outdoors are the large over-sized ball types that your Shiba can push, roll, and chase all around looking for the hidden treat.

It might not be a good idea to use the more intricate dog puzzle games with many pieces outdoors as the smaller pieces can easily get lost. Stick with simple, single component puzzle games for use outdoors. 

Tether Type Toys / Flirt Pole

Tether type dog toys are one of our favorite types of dog toys. This type of toy engages your dog’s brain and body with very minimal effort on your part.

Tether type dog toys typically consist of a ball or toy that is attached via a rope to bendable pole that is anchored in the ground.

Your dog can play tug-o-war with the toy as well as play catch with the toy when the toy gets flung in the air.

The only caveat with this type of toy is that not all dogs will enjoy playing with this type of toy for extended periods of time.

This type of toy is best for especially high energy dogs that is fine with playing by themselves for a good amount of time.

The Flirt pole type dog toy is a similar to a tether toy except that instead of being anchored to the ground, you instead, must handle the flirt pole and engage with your dog.

Most dogs like this better since dogs are social animals and prefer play with another playmate, either dog or human. Flirt poles are great for dog owners that can physically keep up with their active pooches. 

HIgh Tech Outdoor Dog Toys

There’s always a dog owner that enjoys having fun with toys just as must as their dogs do.

For these types of owners, toys such as remote control cars will allow them to have just as much fun as their dogs. 

These types of toys are great for dogs with high prey drives, like Shiba Inus that love to chase after small things.

However, you must be sure that you get a remote-controlled toy that can maneuver over various surfaces and be fast enough to allow chase.

Tips For Choosing Outdoor Dog Toys For Your Shiba

If your Shiba Inu is still a puppy, you’ll have an easier time choosing dog toys because puppies love ALL toys.

For Shiba Inu puppies choose toys that are engaging and stimulating like puzzle toys as well as toys that can help alleviate their teething pains.

Also it’d be a good idea to start introducing toys that require more skill and practice such as frisbees to the young pup. Start with smaller, easier to catch frisbees and make the catch sessions short and fun.

Throw from a very short distance that will almost guarantee a catch and praise profusely when the pup successfully catches a frisbee.

If your Shiba Inu is an adult, you should opt for toys that you know your Shiba will enjoy. In most instances, adult Shiba Inus love any toys that have food involved so puzzle toys would be a great option.

If your adult Shiba Inu never really enjoyed playing fetch or getting in the water as puppies - they definitely won’t start now.

But that’s not a reason not to find a way to engage your Shiba Inu in activities that will benefit their brains as well as body. In many cases, simply joining in and being apart of your adult Shiba Inu’s activities will help your Shiba Inu enjoy and engage.

Our Favorite Outdoor Dog Toys For Shiba Inus -

Jolly Pets Teaser Ball 10-Inch

The Jolly Pets Teaser ball is basically a ball in another ball toy.

Why would Jolly Pets put a ball in another ball?

Well, the addition of the extra ball in the middle causes the toy to wobble, spin, and roll making for a fun and challenging game of catch.

All of Jolly Pets toys are manufactured in the USA which is a definite plus for us.

These teaser balls are quite sturdy, but not 100% chew proof - which shouldn’t be an issue as this toy is not designated to be a chew toy.

If your Shiba Inu is a chewer, just be sure to take the ball away after play time or when not supervised.

Check the availability and latest price o​f the Jolly Pets Teaser Ball 10-Inch

KONG Jumbler Football Toy

The Kong Jumbler Football toy is a fun and engaging fetch type toy that most dogs - including Shiba Inus - find irresistible.

The toys is a shaped as a football with additional grooves to allow your dog to get a good handle on the groove when fetching.

The highlight of this toy comes in the form of the small tennis ball that is placed inside the football for enhanced interactivity - the same idea as the Jolly Ball.

Dog’s love shaking and fetching this football due to the unpredictable motion caused by the tennis ball.

There’s also a squeaker in the football for more interactivity and mental stimulation.

The Kong Jumbler football is fairly durable but won’t hold up to aggressive chewing, so don’t leave unattended with strong chewers.

Check the availability and latest price of the KONG Jumbler Football Toy here.

JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin' Bowlin Pin Dog Toy

The JW iSqueak Bowlin Pin Toy is a great dog toy for outdoors because it is durable enough to withstand heat, rain, and mud.

What’s great about this toy is it's simple yet engaging design - and its surprising toughness.

The toy comes in three sizes with the medium being best suited for a Shiba Inu.

However, the large sized can also suit bigger Shiba Inus. The large sized toy is also the most chew resistant.

The groove in the bowling pin allows your Shiba to get a good grip on the toy when fetching. The toy also has a squeaker and infused with the scent of vanilla to entice your dog even more.

Overall, a simple and durable dog toy that is well suited for the outdoors.

Check the availability and latest price of the JW Pet iSqueak Bouncin' Bowlin Pin Dog Toy here. 

Chuckit Fetch Wheel Toy for Dogs

The Chuckit Fetch Wheel dog toy is quite a unique dog toy that is a combo of both a frisbee and a ball.

It can be thrown like a frisbee as well as rolled like a ball.

What makes this toy especially fun for dogs that like to to fetch is the rolling, bouncing motion it produces when thrown on the ground.

The Chuckit Fetch Wheel toy is durable and can stand up to the sun, water, and moderate chewing / tugging action.

Overall, a very fun outdoor dog toy.

Check the availability and latest price of the Chuckit Fetch Wheel Toy for Dogs here.

Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Toys Squeak Toy

This Outward Hound Tail Teaser toy is one of the most affordable yet functional flirt pole we could find.

Flirt poles are great for dogs like Shibas because the toy mimics the movement of small prey. 

The one caveat with flirt poles is that you need to be actively engaged in flirt pole play. And the more active, the better.

If you have the physical ability to run around with your Shiba, this Tail Teaser toy might actually entice your older Shiba Inu into a bit more fun and physical activity.

Check the availability and latest price of th​e Outward Hound Tail Teaser Dog Toys Squeak Toy here.

KONG Rubber Ball Extreme

The Kong Rubber Ball Extreme is a large an uber tough ball that is suitable for dogs that chew.

This Kong ball manufactured in the USA, also serves as an interactive treat dispenser.

The hole in the middle of this Kong can be stuffed with tempting dog treats that are especially helpful to tempt less playful Shiba inus. 

This mega-sized Kong ball also features pretty impressive bouncing action.

Check the availability and latest price of the KONG Rubber Ball Extreme here. 

JW Pet Company Small Megalast Ball

The JW Pet Company Megalast Ball is a great ball for the water due to its floating capability.

It also has multiple grooves that makes it easy for dogs with smaller mouths to get a good hold on the ball both in the water and on the land.

This is one pretty tough megalastomer ball resistant to moderate chewing due to it being constructed with thermo plastic rubber.

We like that this ball is manufactured in the USA and that it even is vanilla scented to encourage engagement.

Check the availability and latest price of the JW Pet Company Small Megalast Ball here.


Chuckit!, “launched” in 1998, has always had a great selection of balls from basic fetch balls to use with their popular Chuckit! Launcher to whistling and glow-in-the dark balls.

They even have furry indoor balls as well as fun and interactive erratic motion balls.

Chuckit! Products, manufactured by Petmate have always been a big hit with both dogs and dog owners due their innovative designs and product quality.

The Chuckit! Line of toys has always focused on interactive and ergonomic products 

Check the some of our favorite Chuckit! balls here:

Chuckit! The Whistler Ball

Chuckit! Max Glow Ball

Chuckit! Erratic Ball

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