Shiba Inu Puppy Care – Setting Up a Designated Puppy Pen

Before bringing your Shiba Inu puppy home, it is important that your Shiba Inu puppy has its own puppy home ready.

This puppy pen is important for several reasons - the most important being safety. Puppies will try and bite and swallow anything they find interesting around the floors of your home.

Containing your puppy in a pen especially when unsupervised is the perfect way to ensure your puppy’s safety.

A puppy pen is also essential for potty training and to keep the rest of your house free from unexpected “surprises.”

Read on to learn how to effortlessly set up a puppy pen area that your new Shiba Inu pup will love calling “home”. 

2 two month old shiba inu puppy

Recommended Puppy Pen Set Up - Things To Consider

Before actually setting up the puppy pen, you need to decide the best location to place it.

Ideally the pen will be located in a central area where the puppy will not feel isolated and can easily see and hear its new human family.

The living room area is a good place to consider so long that the pen doesn’t obstruct heavily trafficked walkways.

The puppy pen area should be clean, free of clutter and have good air circulation - but safe from strong wind draft. The temperature should also be stable and comfortable for the puppy.

Shiba Inus are double coated dogs and don’t like to be in areas that are too warm or have too much direct sunlight.

Like all mammals, they don’t like to be “too” cold either. 

Puppy Pen Supply List

  • Puppy Play Pen (Wire is preferred)
  • Potty Pads / Potty System
  • Puppy Toys
  • Feeding / Water Bowls
  • Baby Wipes
  • Paper Towels, Rags, Newspaper
  • Cleaners
  • Monitoring System

Types of Puppy Pens

24” tall 8-panel wire pen - 

Wired puppy pens are our favorite choices for puppy pens. A 24” wire puppy pen with 8 panels is the perfect size for one puppy as it is for multiple pups.

Wired puppy pens can be configured in almost an endless number of ways.

You can make it small or expand it to be up to 8 x 8 large.

You can also configure this type of pen to have two “contained” areas which is extremely helpful when you need to clean your puppy’s potty pad.

Additionally, paneled wire pens can be used as gates to cordon off areas of your living space.

We like the 24” height option as it tall enough to last through a large part of a Shiba Inu’s puppy hood.

However, it’s not too tall where it would be difficult to bend over the pen to place food or clean the pen.

For individuals with mobility issues wired pens can also be easily opened for easier access.

In this scenario, having the pen sectioned in two parts would be ideal. The large main section would be the puppy’s main living space and a smaller “holding” section would be used to contain the puppy when you need to get access to the main pen for cleaning, etc. Check out the following image to see an example of this handy set up.

Plastic Puppy Pens -

Plastic puppy pens are not as versatile as wired panel pens but they still do the job of giving your Shiba Inu puppy a safely enclosed living area.

Plastic puppy pens come in various sizes and heights. Like with the wired pens, we recommend the 24” tall pens.

Most plastic puppy pens can also be expanded with the purchase of additional panels. Some plastic pens also have "roofs" that can be purchased separately.

Plastic puppy pens are a bit lighter in weight than metal pens which can be a pro for owners with limited strength.

However, keep in mind that lighter pens may be easier for rambunctious Shiba Inu Puppies to push around.

Portable Soft Fabric Puppy Pens -

Fabric portable puppy pens are usually much smaller in size than other types of pens. The main feature of this type of pen is its portability which would be useful if you routinely need to transport your puppies to different places.

Fabric pens are not recommended for your puppy’s main living area due to its size limitations, durability, and ease of cleaning. 

Potty Pads / Potty System

Like all young pups, Shiba Inu puppies pee and poo quite a lot especially if they are under three months old.

Potty training your Shiba Inu puppy should be done as soon as your bring your puppy home.

While Shiba Inu are easier to potty train than other breeds of dog due to their preference for cleanliness - it still will take a significant amount of time and effort on your part to ensure “potty” success.

Simple potty pads are all you need to start with. Some puppy owners prefer to immediately began training their pups to potty on other systems including artificial grass potty systems, “real” sold potty systems, or potty trays that have a raised ridge to keep your pup’s paws drier and the potty pads intact.

Choose the system you think would work best for your situation. The most crucial factor to ensure potty training success is your effort and your consistency.

In the initial first weeks of your potty training your puppy, you should make a concerted effort to achieve “100% management."

100% management means that you, and your family are actively managing your puppy’s schedule and location. This means that the puppy is never alone to roam around the house without supervision - especially during the times when your puppy is likely to go potty.

I know, 100% management sounds like it will take a lot of time and a lot of effort.

It will.

But this early effort and time sacrifice that you make early on will pay off exponentially in the future.

Shiba Inu Puppy Toys

Your new Shiba Inu puppy will likely be sad to be away from its litter mates and mother. Stuffed animals, especially ones that resemble other puppies will help with the transition.

Puppies explore their surroundings via sight, sound, and their mouth.

Young puppies will also be in the process of teething so ensure you have a wide variety of safe chew toys in your puppy pen. 

The most important consideration when choosing toys for your Shiba Inu puppy is safety. 

Young pups have very sharp teeth and can will swallow anything. Try to find toys that are durable and don't have many small parts that easily tear off. 

Also, choose puppy toys that are manufactured by companies, preferrably in the US, that use safe, non-toxic materials. 

Additionally, even the your puppy is still young, look for toys that are engaging and interactive to stimulate their developing minds. 

Feeding and Water Bowls

Choose bowls that are made out of safe materials and are sized so that your puppy can comfortably eat / drink from. Bowls with non - skid bottoms are good.

Never use paper or foam bowls as they present a serious choke hazard to your puppy.

Water dispensers that attach to the wire crate walls can be used as well. Make sure you puppy fully learns how to use it before you take away it’s water bowl.

Other Handy Supplies To Have On Hand

Baby Wipes -

Baby wipes are very handy to have on hand to clean your puppy after pottying. It’s best to choose unscented wipes made with organic natural materials. Young puppies are especially sensitive to strong smells so stay away from products that have added perfumes.

Paper Towels / Rags / Newspaper -

With a Shiba Inu puppy on hand, you will be doing a lot of cleaning - especially wiping. Make your already hectic puppy rearing job easier by having an ample supply of rags and / or paper towels.

It’s a good idea to keep one soft cloth available to wipe your puppy with and one rag to wipe the floors with.

For any potty accidents, it’s better to use paper towels for sanitary reasons.

Meal times for puppy can be quite messy so having a few newspapers under the feeding bowls will make it easier to clean up later.

Cleaners -

Only use gentle cleaners that are free from chemicals, perfumes and any other potential toxins.

In many cases, warm water and dish washing soap is sufficient enough to clean your puppy’s play area.

Be sure to stay away from cleaning wipes that contain bleach or “Lysol” as these products are chock full of strong inhalants and are not safe for your small puppy.

If your puppy has an accident on a carpeted surface, enzymatic cleaners should be used to thoroughly remove the scent of urine / poop on the carpet. Puppies will instinctively be drawn to any lingering potty scents which will likely induce another accident.

Camera Monitoring System -

While this may seem overkill to some pet parents, having an effective monitoring system can aid in potty training and separation anxiety - while giving you peace of mind.

There is only a small window of opportunity during the critical phase of puppy hood to ensure that your puppy is well-adjusted and free from anxiety disorders.

Because of this fact, many puppy owners are taking proactive steps to utilize all the tools necessary to ensure this success.

Learn more about using a camera monitoring system for your Shiba Inu puppy here.

Puppy Pen Area Tips


  • If you’re going to be away from your puppy for a while, play some soft relaxing music or leave the television on so that your puppy doesn’t feel alone.
  • Help your puppy associate the pen with happiness, relaxation and comfort - be in a good mood when placing the puppy in the pen; give your puppy enough playtime / mental stimulation so that puppy will be tired once back in the pen;
  • Never place you puppy in the pen after scolding. Otherwise, our puppy will associate the pen in a negative way - instead designate another area for times when you need to “time” your puppy out
  • In the beginning, don’t leave your puppy alone in the pen for extended periods of time - increase time gradually
  • Feed your puppy, give occasional treats in the puppy pen
  • Make sure your puppy does not try to chew on the playpen wire - discourage / gently scold if your pup does show interest in chewing.
  • Make sure that the playpen is anchored so that your puppy cannot move it. You can either try anchoring it with the clips provided or use something heavy on the outside of the crate to block excessive movement.
  • Discourage / gently scold your puppy if he / she attempt to climb over the playpen.
  • Always have stuffed animal type toys and chew toys in the pen for your puppy to play with - rotate often to ensure your puppy stays engaged and occupied.
  • Place a small stool or “kids” sized chair near the pen so you can sit comfortably while puppy sitting.

To Crate Or Not To Crate


Crates can easily be used in conjunction with puppy pen set ups. It’s up to you to decide if you want to include crate training in your puppy’s upbringing.

Crate training, when done properly is a great way to teach your Shiba Inu how to be calm, comfortable, and relaxed - especially at times when nobody is at home.

Crate training your puppy also makes potty training easier as dogs instinctually do not want to soil their sleeping areas.

However crate training is not absolutely necessary and it’s up to you to decide if you want to include it in your Shiba Inu puppy training program.

Crate training may be particularly helpful for owners who must leave their puppies unattended for various periods of time.


Conclusion


Hopefully, the information gleaned from this article will help you and your puppy get off to great start. 

For the best chance of success, be sure to study and learn from your puppy's behavior and be willing to adapt protocol if necessary.

Just remember your Shiba Inu puppy's new playpen is her new home within a home. Do all you can to make it safe, comfy, and clean. Your thoughtful nurturing of your new family member will easily help your new Shiba Inu pup feel secure and loved.