Phew, this website is a labor of love and largely a one-woman show so unless indicated, all articles written by J.Tsukamoto
Having one Shiba Inu can be a handful.
What about two…. Or even more?
If you’ve been thinking about adding an additional Shiba Inu to your family, read on to learn both the pros and cons of multiple dog households.
Assess Your Living Space
One of the main considerations when deciding on bringing home a new pet is if you have enough space or not?
Also, if you live in a condo or townhouse, you need to check the rules regarding how many pets you can have and if there are any size limitations.
Living in an apartment with two Shiba Inus is definitely doable so long as the apartment is spacious enough for the two Shibas as well as humans.
In fact, for most cases, Shiba Inus that live in apartment settings should have another Shiba mate to keep him or her company when their owners are not home. (It’s common that apartment dwellers tend to have smaller households leaving less human family members available for doggy sitting)
One of the downsides of apartment living with Shibas is the lack of yard space for potty business - especially in busy residences.
Do You Have The Time / Finances For Another Shiba?
Before considering another Shiba, it’s important to assess your situation to ensure that taking on the care of another dog will not affect the quality of life for your current Shiba in a negative way.
You and your family members must have enough time and finances to care for both Shibas properly.
That means you’ll be able to afford any unforeseen health issues and emergencies that could arise in the future. If this could be an issue then pet health insurance should be considered.
Also think about vaccines, food, vet appointments, pet sitting, training, etc.
Pros and Cons of Two of More Shiba Inus:
Pro # 1 - Canine and Human Companionship
Since dogs are pack animals, having another companion of the same species is a benefit in terms of companionship - provided both Shibas get along.
However not all dogs will automatically like / bond with other dogs.
Like humans, dogs have various personalities that need to be matched with complementing personalities for best harmony in the family.
Ideally, the Shibas should be a few years apart in age as well as opposite-sexed.
Same sexed pairs could work, especially male and male - provided both dogs are sterilized as well as socialized and trained properly at an early age.
Additionally, having more than one dog allows you, the human, to receive more companionship. When one dog is under the weather, it’s comforting to know that another dog has your back and can help you cheer you up.
And when the time comes when one of your dog leaves your side, you’ll still have another furr ball to console you as you both mourn the loss.
Pro # 2 - Cuddle Bug or Running Mate
With two or more Shiba Inus you’ll get to engage and enjoy Shibas with different personalities, interests, and talents.
While one Shiba may be aloof and snooty, the other may be a total love bug and high action doge!
Pro # 3 - Keep Each Shiba on Their “Toes”
Having two Shiba Inus enables both Shibas to get more exercise in - either via play sessions or competing for resources.
Feeding time is likely to be easier with multiple Shibas since food will likely be more appetizing with potential “competition" around.
Pro # 4 - Shiba "Sensei"
Dogs look to other dogs for guidance and learning just as they do with us.
If your current Shiba is well socialized and trained, your new Shiba Inu will learn from him / her.
Caveat - Just be aware that it’s just as easy for the new Shiba to learn bad habits from your current Shiba Inu as well. Take the time to correct bad behaviors as soon as possible.
Pro # 5 - Additonal "Security System"
The more Shibas you have, the more “borks” you’ll have.
That’s great to alarm your family of potential threats.
Most burglars try to avoid houses with canines, especially households with multiple doges.
Pro # 6 - Cheaper By The Dozen??
Having two or more Shiba Inus does not automatically translate to double of triple the cost of their care.
Aside from vet visits and food, Shiba Inus can share various supplies such as toys, grooming products, etc.
Plus it’s usually financially beneficial to buy dog food in bulk resulting in some savings there as well.
However, be aware that while your "per" Shiba cost may go down a bit, your total annual cost will still be considerably higher having additional Shibas to feed and care for.
Con # 1 - Spending More: Time & Money
Adding another furr child to the mix will undoubtedly cost more in both money and time.
Can you afford both?
While some dogs are easy to train, others may need additional attention and training sessions.
Managing more than one dog financially is "usually" feasible for most families. However expensive medical emergencies can sometimes lead to heartbreak for families that do not have enough funds to cover unexpected vet bills.
So before considering bringing home another Shiba, assess your finances to make sure you can cover medical emergencies.
And if you can't, you either need to purchase pet insurance or wait for a better time to bring home another Shiba.
In addition to spending more financially, you’ll also need to spend more time training, walking, pottying and cleaning up after a second dog.
If you feel you’re already pooped caring for one Shiba, it’s probably best not to add additional chores to your plate, unless you have other family members willing to help out with care.
Con # 2 - Aggression
Not all Shiba relationships are peachy keen.
Shiba Inus sometimes have aggression issues and may not get along with a new dog - especially in the beginning.
With time, socialization and training, most grumpy Shibas eventually learn to tolerate and maybe even enjoy the other's company.
However, some Shibas with serious aggression issues may not be good candidates for a multiple dog household.
Make sure your Shiba has the right temperament to tolerate a new furr member before bringing another dog home.
In general, opposite sex pairs work the best. Male and male Shibas second best, with female and female Shibas the toughest.
Con # 3 - Harder To Form Deeper Connections
Having multiple Shibas tug at you for attention, food, and love can be exhausting at times. Instead of having to take one dog out for a leisurely hike, you have to plan on taking two, three, or more.
With one Shiba to love and spoil, it’s common to get emotionally attached pretty quickly - and that connection is very special.
With multiple Shibas it’s a bit tougher - though not impossible - to form such deep connections.
Some dog owners may actually prefer “not” to get so emotionally connected with their dog because then, they won’t feel so lost when it’s time for their dog to say goodbye.
So while this may be con to some dog owners looking for an extra special bond, having multiple dogs can be a pro for those dog owners that would have a hard time losing their special family member.
Con # 4 - Harder To Travel
Unless you have family members or friends that don’t mind taking on the responsibility of caring for multiple dogs, boarding multiple dogs can get super pricey.
Additionally, it’d be much harder to leave older Shibas that need special care.
Dogs are social animals that prefer order and routine so if you’re the type to do a lot of jet-setting, it’d be better to hold off on a multi-dog household for now.
Con # 5 - Less "You" Time
Having multiple dogs to care for on a daily basis translates to less time for you to just do “you”.
You can’t really say yes to spur of the moment plans so easily like you could before you had dogs.
For example, I live on Oahu and when I was younger I’d jump on opportunities to “island hop” for a weekend.
Now, with five Shiba Inus, that’s of course much harder to say yes to.
Instead, I try to design my free time around activities that can include my furry family such as gardening outside, beach days on dog friendly beaches, and various excursions where dogs are permitted.
Weighing The Pros and The Cons
After carefully considering both the pros and cons, you should be able to get to a point where you understand what’s best for your family - both furry, and less furry.
In general, if finances and time allow it, I’d always choose two Shiba Inus over one.
Having another canine companion is so beneficial for your Shiba - especially during times when you’re not around.
Having two dogs that get along is just a lot more love and a lot more fun.
It’s a bit more work and money but with two Shibas the pros really outweighs the cons.
Susanne Ozasa of Jogoso Shiba Inus stresses that it's never a good idea to get two puppies "at the same time".
Instead of having enough time to form a bond with you the human, the puppies will instead bond with each other.
There's even a term for this - littermate syndrome.
Now any more than two Shibas is where the pros and cons need equal consideration.
Having three or more Shibas requires more space, more budget, and a lot more time.
It’s never ever a good idea to take on more dogs than you can properly care for and give ample attention to. It’s just not fair to the animals that depend on us for everything.
Additionally, it’s not fair to your other human family members to live in an environment where you can’t keep up with daily upkeep, cleaning, and training.
Both dogs and humans thrive in clean environments where each species can enjoy one another
Taking care of Shiba Inus or any dog for that matter takes time, commitment, and a lotta love - and money.
If your finances and living arrangements allow it - having another Shiba Inu can bring companionship, love, and fun to the whole family.
Just make sure that you are willing to put in the work and time it will take to make the new connection positive for the whole family.
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