9 Best Dog Toys for Shiba Inu Dogs + Answers to FAQs

Shiba Inus may not be the most popular dog in the US yet, but they are certainly the most popular in Japan, their country of origin. They are gaining popularity in the US each year as they win owners’ hearts across the country.

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These petite dogs are alert, attentive, and active creatures. Many people describe them as almost fox-like, and they certainly fit that description with their need for constant stimulation.

Shiba Inus aren’t incredibly destructive when they’re left alone, but they require a yard for daily exercise or at least daily walks. They can also suffer from separation anxiety, so you may want to crate-train or ensure that they have a special toy or two to help them through long days alone.

Finding the right toys for your Shiba Inu can be challenging because, although their tendencies may be similar overall, each dog is an individual. You’ll want to monitor your dog’s actions and personality in the first few months to get an idea of what toys your dog likes best.

We’re excited to help you find the best toys for your Shiba Inu by sharing our top nine picks. Our list features toys that will help to engage, calm, and exercise your spirited pup from day one through its senior years.

Different Types of Dog Toys for Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are independent dogs. They enjoy exercise but don’t need too much of it because of their small stature. They like to chew but aren’t power chewers, and they aren’t typically destructive in adulthood. Shiba Inus do best when crated while you’re away partly because they suffer from separation anxiety.

Different toys work best for different scenarios with your Shiba Inu. You’ll want some to help them exercise, some to keep them busy when you’re home but unable to play, and some that will help them relax in their crates while you’re away. Let’s take a closer look at the types of toys you might want to buy your Shiba Inu for all of these purposes.

Interactive or Puzzle Toys

Interactive toys or doggy puzzles are a great option to keep your active and attentive Shiba Inu busy when you can’t play. Puzzle toys help to channel your dog’s independent energy into a toy that he or she can enjoy alone.

Treat-Dispensing Toys

Shiba Inus respond very well to treat training and treat-dispensing toys. These toys tend to keep their paws and mouths busy and are a great addition to a crate while you’re away or a fun surprise to get your dog some exercise.

Fetch Toys and Balls

Shiba Inus need exercise. If you have a small yard where they can’t run around on their own to get some energy out, then fetch toys or balls are a great alternative. You can toss some toys in the house or bring them to the dog park instead.

Best Toys for Shiba Inus

KONG Scrunch Knots Dog Toy- Racoon

Features:

  • No stuffing for less mess
  • Internal knots to satisfy doggy instincts
  • Stretchy sides to create natural movements
  • Soft, cuddly outside
Why You Should Buy

KONG Scrunch Knots

KONG Scrunch Knots toys come in a variety of fun critter shapes that your dog will recognize. This toy squeaks, wiggles with every nibble, and satisfies your dog’s instincts to chew and chase without the mess of a stuffing-filled toy.

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About This Toy

Shiba Inus love toys that they can gently chew or pull apart, and the Scrunch Knot toys by KONG are an excellent example of such a toy. Although their lack of filling means these toys are less messy overall, your dog will still enjoy trying to uncover the squeaker in the toy’s head and chewing on the knotted rope inside.

Shiba Inus love chewing more than almost any other activity, but they typically reserve that chewing for toys and not furniture once they are old enough to understand. Finding toys like the Scrunch Knots Raccoon can help to ensure your dog’s chewing remains something they do with their possessions and not yours.

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound DogCasino Interactive Game

Features:

  • Several drawers and flaps to hide treats
  • You can change the difficulty level easily
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Easy to clean with just water
Why You Should Buy

The DogCasino Interactive Game by Nina Ottosson

The DogCasino Interactive Game by Nina Ottosson is an excellent option for your alert Shiba Inu because it allows them to constructively use their intelligence. You can easily change the game’s difficulty level using the bones on top, which means this toy will last a lot longer than many other options.

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About This Toy

Outward Hound has always been a leader in dog puzzles and interactive toys. The DogCasino is no exception. This toy allows your dog to harness its intellect toward finding treats and can help distract your Shiba Inu when necessary. It’s a great option to go into a crate with your pup or distract while you make dinner in another room.

Shiba Inus are independent dogs, so toys that allow them to express their independence by finding treats without your help are an excellent fit. The DogCasino is one of our favorite options for puzzle toys for Shiba Inus because you can adjust the difficulty as they grow up or get used to the toy. Adjusting the difficulty can make the toy feel new all over again every time.

Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball

Features:

  • Two sizes to fit your dog’s needs
  • Treats dispense as your dog rolls the ball around
  • Indents help humans and dogs to grip it easily
  • Holds small treats or dry dog food
Why You Should Buy

The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball

The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball is a treat-dispensing toy that isn’t as simple as it looks. This toy slowly dispenses treats as it rolls around, meaning it offers exercise for your Shiba Inu’s brain and body.

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About This Toy

The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball comes in small and medium sizes, which means you can buy one for your Shiba Inu puppy, and then purchase the larger option when the puppy grows into a dog. The ball is fun and interactive because it only gives up treats as it rolls. Even shaking the ball doesn’t guarantee your dog will get out every treat.

This toy encourages exercise for your dog as it chases the ball around your house, but it also helps to encourage your Shiba Inu to use his or her brain to figure out the best way to get treats out of the ball. With only one opening for dispensing the treats, the ball doesn’t give up the goods easily.

Trixie Pet Products Mover Toy, Mini Level 3

Features:

  • Multiple treat pockets and drawers
  • Three levels of difficulty
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • Non-slip gripping on the feet to keep the game in place
Why You Should Buy

The Trixie Mini Mover

The Trixie Mini Mover game is an excellent option for Shiba Inus because it gives them the challenge to focus their energy, and it’s a great size for their petite frames. This toy is three games in one for tons of fun throughout the years.

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About This Toy

The Trixie Mini Mover Toy is an exciting interactive puzzle toy for your furry best friend. It features sticky rubber grips on its feet to keep it in place as your dog pushes the latches and cones around to find treats.

This toy is an excellent option for Shiba Inu dogs because it allows them to focus their energy and build their intellect when you’re busy or when you’re away. It can fit nicely in a crate, but it also makes a great option to place in a common space when you need your dog to focus on something other than you.

Outward Hound Hide a Bee Dog Toy

Features:

  • Three bees that hide inside the hive and come out for playtime
  • Soft, plushy feel to comfort dogs with anxiety
  • Squeakers in the bees
  • Bright and bold coloring
Why You Should Buy

The Outward Hound Hide a Bee Dog Toy

The Outward Hound Hide a Bee Dog Toy is an excellent option for owners who want to stimulate their brains without using food or treats as a reward. The bees in this toy fit snugly into the hive until your Shiba Inu figures out how to remove them, and for removing the bees, their reward is a fun, squeaky, interactive toy to play with and chew.

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About This Toy

Outward Hound made our list for the second time with their Hide a Bee Dog Toy. This toy is similar to the first Outward Hound toy on our list in that it’s an interactive puzzle-style toy that can help to keep your dog’s brain stimulated. The big difference, however, is that this toy rewards with other toys instead of treats.

The Hide a Bee toy is fun for Shiba Inu dogs because it’s a cuddly toy for their crate at first, but then it can be a fun way to use their brains if they are bored. It’s also exciting because the bees squeak and give your Shiba Inu a reason to keep chewing, which is already their favorite activity.

JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Ball

Features:

  • Durable, non-toxic rubber shell
  • Holes all around for better gripping or treat insertion
  • Tough enough for power chewers or constant chewing
  • Great ball for fetch or tug
Why You Should Buy

The Hol-ee Roller Ball by JW Pet

The Hol-ee Roller Ball by JW Pet is an excellent multi-use toy that can withstand your Shiba Inus constant chewing better than most. This toy has holes all around that make it an ideal option for tug, an easy fetch toy for any size doggy mouth, and a fun option to toss a larger treat into for interactive play.

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About This Toy

The JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Ball is a durable rubber ball that has a netted look to it. Its netted appearance works well to allow you and your dog to both easily pick it up or play tug to keep your dog active inside the house or out in the yard.

The holes in the ball allow you to stick larger treats inside if you’d like your dog to have some interactive playtime but can’t participate in that playtime at the moment. It’s a great option for a crate toy because your dog can chew on it all day without breaking it down, and with a treat inside to distract him, your Shiba Inu may not even notice you’re gone.

KONG JumpN’ Jack Dog Toy-Medium

Features:

  • Available in small, medium, or large sizes
  • The fun shape makes it a great fetch or chew toy
  • Denta-Ridges help to clean your dog’s teeth as she chews
  • You can hide treats in its ridges
Why You Should Buy

The KONG JumpN’ Jack Dog Toy

The KONG JumpN’ Jack Dog Toy is an excellent multi-use toy that can help stimulate your Shiba Inu’s brain and promote exercise at the same time. This toy not only dispenses treats for your dog, but it also helps clean your pup’s teeth once the goodies are gone, which means it can potentially reduce your dog’s dental bill next time you head to the vet.

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About This Toy

The KONG JumpN’ Jack Dog Toy has a lot to offer dogs and their owners. First of all, KONG is an excellent brand that prides itself on creating toys withstand power chewing without issue. That alone is an excellent reason to consider this toy, but beyond the durable rubber frame, this toy can function in a wide variety of ways to keep your dog busy.

You can fill the ridges of this ball with treats if you’d like, use it for a fun and wild game of fetch, or allow your dog to chew on it during downtime. Basic chewing on this toy can help to clean your dog’s teeth because of KONG’s patented Denta-Ridges that run around the entirety of the toy.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Hedgehog Treat Dispenser Toy

Features:

  • Spiky exterior for a stimulating chewing surface
  • Treat dispensing neck
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • Perfect size for small to medium dogs
Why You Should Buy

PetSafe Busy Buddy Hedgehog

Not only is the PetSafe Busy Buddy Hedgehog adorable, but it’s also highly stimulating and interactive to keep your pup busy all day long. This toy is perfect for dogs who love to chew like Shiba Inus often do, and it fits nicely inside a crate for use while you’re away.

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About This Toy

The PetSafe Busy Buddy Hedgehog, Treat Dispenser toy, features a perfect space to place the PetSafe rawhide treat rings that it comes with to keep your Shiba Inu entertained. These puppies love to chew, so having a toy that can stimulate their gums with the spiky back and keep them interested while they try to eat the whole ring-shaped treat is wonderful.

This toy fits well in a crate and is easy to wash so that you don’t have to worry about bacteria growing on it after multiple uses. It’s also a great option for dogs who love to chew because it’s made from durable rubber and nylon material that can withstand long chewing sessions with ease.

Overall Best Dog Toy for Shiba Inu Puppies

KONG Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy

Features:

  • Denta-Ridges to gently clean puppy teeth
  • Soft rubber specifically for puppies to soothe sore gums
  • You can add treats to the ridges for added stimulation
  • Comes in blue and pink, but colors ship at random
Why You Should Buy

KONG Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy

Your Shiba Inu puppy probably loves chewing, and this toy can help promote chewing positively. You can fill the ridges with treats or allow them to clean your puppy’s teeth while the soft rubber soothes his or her gums.

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About This Toy

KONG has an excellent reputation for adult dogs’ toys, but their puppy toys don’t get quite as much attention, and that’s a shame. KONG’s Puppy Teething Stick is a perfect solution to your Shiba Inu puppy’s enthusiasm for chewing. It can help to soothe your dog’s gums and clean its teeth in an interactive way that trains your pup to chew on toys and not furniture or shoes.

We love the fact that you can toss treats into the ridges to keep your puppy busy while you work around the house or while you’re out. It’s a great size to fit inside the crate with your pup and can even help you crate train your puppy.

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Shiba Inus

Shiba Inu dogs need the entertainment to stimulate their brains, at least a little bit of exercise daily to stay in shape and lots of outlets for their chewing. Looking for toys that can help to satisfy at least two of those needs is a great option.

Try looking for toys that have the following features:

  • Durability to withstand long chewing sessions
  • Squeakers to keep your dog entertained
  • Treat or toy dispensers to engage your dog’s brain
  • Multiple uses like fetch and treat dispensing or chewing and interactivity

Overall Best Toys for Adult Shiba Inus

Tips for Playing With/Entertaining Your Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus need daily exercise, but a short walk or an hour running around in the backyard is plenty for these little creatures. These dogs are super attentive and want to be with their people, so they will love every second of the time you spend playing with them. Here are a few optional ways to play with your Shiba Inu:

  1. Shiba Inus love variety, so playing a hide-and-seek style game with their favorite ball might be better than your typical fetch game. You can even develop a rewards system as they get hotter or colder in their search for the ball by yelling “hot” and then tossing a treat their way when they get closer.
  2. Spray your hose for your dog. Some Shiba Inus are wary around bathtubs or lakes, but most love the hose. You can spray it in all directions and let your dog chase it for some exercise.
  3. Hide treats or favorite toys around your home and ask your dog to find them. Have the dog sit in the middle of the floor waiting while you hide the items, and then say “okay” to signal the dog to start hunting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use children’s toys for my dog instead of buying dog-specific toys?

You won’t want to provide your dog with toys that aren’t explicitly manufactured for dogs because they could have pieces and parts that could injure your puppy. Investing in a good-quality dog toy is always the best option to keep your dog safe.

Can I use toys to train my Shiba Inu?

Absolutely! Shiba Inus are easy to train because they are so attentive, so using toys is a great option. It also helps to use toys and avoid treats so that your dog stays in healthy shape, especially if you don’t exercise your Shiba every day.

How often should I clean my Shiba Inu’s toys?

Shiba Inus are ultra-possessive over their toys and food, so it’s vital to clean toys only when your dog is distracted by other things. You don’t have to do a lot of cleaning their stuffed toys, though, since Shiba Inus are notoriously clean dogs and won’t likely allow their favorite toys to get too dirty.

Conclusion

Shiba Inus are a unique, intelligent, and adorable breed. These dogs love interacting with their toys and their humans, and they also like the comfort of familiar toys and chewing. Choosing the right toy for your dog will come down to understanding your specific Shiba Inu’s wants and needs, but also providing toys that can stimulate their senses.

Chelsea Kuhel

Chelsea is the owner of a very huggable Boxer/Pitbull mix named Miles. When time allows she also cares for her 4 other animals, I mean children.

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