Why is My Shiba Inu Whining? [Language Decoded]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Is your dog unleashing their inner opera singer with their whines? Why is my Shiba Inu whining, you may ask?

Well, in this blog post, we shall explore the various reasons behind their whining, whether it’s a plea for attention, discomfort, or even a touch of separation anxiety, and unravel their mysterious language.

Ready to decode and learn some practical tips to restore quiet in your home? Let’s jump right in.

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Why Does My Shiba Keep Whining? 10 Reasons It Keeps Happening

Why is My Shiba Inu Whining

As a fur parent, it can be tough to hear your beloved Shiba Inu whine.

It’s a struggle when you don’t know what your pet wants from you. 

Is your pet hungry? Feeling anxious?

The key to understanding is knowing the different reasons why your canine companion is whining.

Here are the most common ones:

1. Hunger

When their tummy rumbles, your dog may use whining as a way to communicate their need for food ASAP. 

If the cause of whining is hunger, the vocalization may be accompanied by an increased interest in food.

So, if your furry pal is pawing at their food bowl or trying to get into the food storage areas, then they are asking to be fed.

2. Thirst

Whining could be their way of letting you know it’s time to refill the water bowl and quench their thirst. 

Other signs of thirst may include licking their lips, increased panting, or seeking out water sources. 

3. Need to go outside

A whining Shiba Inu might be signaling their urgent need for a potty break, so pay attention to their cues. 

If your pet is in desperate need of the outdoors so they can go pee, they may exhibit increased restlessness. 

Pacing near the door, sniffing around the house, or ringing the bell to go outside are all signs of needing to go outside.

4. Loneliness

Shibas are very social creatures, and whining can indicate their longing for attention. 

If your dog is feeling neglected, it may show behaviors like seeking physical contact and following you closely.

The whining is telling you that they’re feeling sad for being left alone. 

5. Boredom

A lack of mental and physical stimulation can lead to whining, as your Shiba tries to convey their need for something to take up their time. 

Check for signs of restlessness.

If your pet is particularly antsy, it may also start exhibiting destructive behavior like chewing on your furniture or gnawing on your shoe.

A good old interactive toy can be a good companion when it’s indoors.

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6. Anxiety

Whining can also indicate that your furry pal is feeling anxious or stressed. Perhaps, something is bothering them.

If your pet is feeling anxious, the whining could be accompanied by trembling, panting, or pacing.

7. Pain or discomfort

Your pet could also be whining because of pain or discomfort.

If this is the case, you might need to find any underlying health issues. 

Watch for changes in their posture, reluctance to move, excessive licking or biting of a specific body part, or changes in appetite or activity level. 

These are clues that your pet is experiencing some pain that’s prompting them to cry for your attention.

8. Attention-seeking

Sometimes, whining serves as attention-seeking behavior, with your Shiba craving your focus and interaction. 

They may whine while making eye contact, pawing at you, or engaging in other attention-seeking actions like pawing at you or nudging you with their head.

9. Fear or insecurity

Fear is a common reason why dogs whine.

If your Shiba is feeling afraid because of certain situations or environments, they might try to seek assurance from you by whining.

Look for other signs of feeling scared or insecure like cowering, tail tucked, or pinned back ears.

Check also for the trigger of your pet’s fear like an approaching bigger dog or lightning.

10. Frustration

When faced with a challenging task or an unmet desire, your Shiba may whine to express their frustration.

This could be accompanied by pawing at objects, barking, or engaging in repetitive actions.

Expect your pet to try to catch your attention and then try to bring you to the source of that frustration. 

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What is a Shiba Scream?

A Shiba scream refers to a unique vocalization made by Shiba Inus.

They produce this intense high-pitched, piercing sound that might stir up images of an exorcism taking place.

Shiba screams are often associated with extreme excitement, frustration, or even pain, and they can occur in various situations. 

What Does a Shiba Inu Scream Sound Like?

The scream of a Shiba Inu is quite distinct.

It’s hard to capture the exact sound through words but it resembles a combination of a yelp, a howl, and an eerily human-sounding shriek.

Some fur parents even say that it resembles a human-like cry!

How Do I Get My Shiba Inu to Stop Whining and Howling?

The key to making your pet stop whining and howling is to address the reason for the vocalization. 

Address basic needs (food, water, potty breaks)

The easiest way to make your pet stop whining is to take care of their essential needs.

Check if they are met by giving them food or fresh water. 

Take them on a potty break to see if they just need to pee or poop. 

Provide regular exercise

Use up your dog’s excess energy by taking them out on a walk or a quick run outside.

You can also play fetch or let them spend some time with an interactive toy to release their pent-up energy.

Ensure a comfortable environment

If your pet is feeling a little overwhelmed, bring them to their designated relaxing space. 

Create a cozy and safe place for your Shiba Inu with a comfortable bed.

You should always choose a place with an appropriate temperature and minimal noise to help them feel secure. 

Offer mental stimulation

All dogs need some kind of mental stimulation.

You can keep your Shiba Inu’s mind engaged with puzzle toys or interactive games.

These activities prevent boredom and provide mental enrichment.

Establish a routine

Our pets thrive on structure.

This means they feel more relaxed when they have an established daily routine.

To do this, feed and play with your pet at a fixed time.

Assign a time for exercise and rest and do your best to stick to it. 

Use positive reinforcement training

When your pet starts whining, try to redirect their attention. 

You can also opt to ignore the crying if you see that there’s no serious reason for it. 

Reward your Shiba Inu with treats, praise, and affection when they stop whining.

Positive reinforcement will help get rid of the whiny behavior.

Teach the “Quiet” command

Train your Shiba Inu to understand and respond to the “Quiet” command.

If your pet responds positively, meaning they remain calm and silent after being given the command, reward them.

Consistency and patience are key in teaching this command.

Address separation anxiety if present

If your Shiba Inu experiences separation anxiety, gradually acclimate them to being alone.

Of course, it is best if you don’t leave your pet by themselves for too long. 

However, if it can’t be helped, at least try to make the experience less stressful.

You can do this by giving them comfort items like their favorite toy or a soft pillow.

Seek professional help if necessary

If you’ve tried all the tips above and the whining persists, consider calling in a professional. 

Consult a dog trainer or behaviorist who can provide better directions. 

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Common Situations When a Shiba Inu Screams

Understanding the triggers for your Shiba Inu’s screams can help you find ways to make them more comfortable and minimize their anxiety. 

Shiba screams during grooming sessions

Some Shiba Inus may become anxious or uncomfortable during grooming.

Imagine how you’d feel if a stranger held you down and made loud, buzzing sounds. 

So, expect some form of screaming from your Shiba whenever you take them to the groomers.

Don’t worry, this need not be a constant thing. 

With gradual desensitization and gentle handling techniques, the groomers will be able to calm your pet down and hopefully turn the session into a positive experience for your Shiba.

Shiba Inu screaming during vet visits

Trips to the vet can be stressful for some pets.

It is the place where they get their shots, so they might associate the place with pain.

This is why choosing a vet who is experienced with handling anxious dogs is important.

You want a doctor who can create a calm and reassuring environment during these visits.

Screaming Shiba Inu in the car

Car rides can trigger anxiety or motion sickness in Shiba Inus, resulting in screams or whines.

I recommend that you introduce your Shiba to car rides gradually. 

Start by taking short trips as you train them to overcome this anxiety.

You can also try providing a comfortable and secure crate or harness, and consider using calming techniques to alleviate their distress.

On the other hand, car rides could also mean a trip to somewhere that your pet loves.

For example, they could associate car rides with a trip to the dog park. 

The whines could be their expression of happiness and excitement.

In this case, you can opt for a quick “Quiet” command to calm down your furry pal.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Dog mouth quivers after licking

What Are the Signs of Anxiety in Shiba Inu?

What Are the Signs of Anxiety in Shiba Inu

Anxiety can show up in different ways for Shiba Inus but there are common indicators to look out for.

Excessive whining or crying is one. They will do this if they are feeling extra nervous.

The vocalization may be accompanied by shaking or trembling, especially in situations that make them fearful.

Another sign is pacing. Your furry pal is feeling antsy if you notice that they can’t seem to settle down or relax. 

Panting excessively or drooling more than usual could also be a physical manifestation of their anxiety.

Additionally, their pupils may become dilated when feeling anxious.

How Do You Calm an Anxious Shiba Inu?

The answer to calming down an anxious Shiba is similar to making them stop whining.

Address the cause of the anxiety and the whining should stop.

What’s important here is to take them away from the stress trigger and bring them to a calming place.

You can try using calming aids like music or pheromone diffusers that give off comforting scents.

Physical touch and gentle massages can also work wonders on a nervous Shiba. 

Bring out your pet’s puzzle toy or toss them a chew treat to redirect their attention. When they start calming down, reward them. 

Remember that each Shiba Inu may respond differently so try to stay patient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do Shiba Inus make weird noises?

Shiba Inus make weird noises as a part of their expressive nature. These noises include high-pitched screams, yodels, and other unique sounds. They make these noises to express their emotions like hunger, anxiety, frustration, and even loneliness.

Are Shiba Inus vocal dogs?

Yes, Shiba Inus are known to be quite vocal dogs. They use a lot of different noises to communicate their needs and feelings. 

What age do Shiba Inus calm down?

Shiba Inus tend to calm down around 2 to 3 years of age. As they mature, they often become more settled and less prone to exhibiting excessive energy or hyperactive behavior.

Why does my Shiba Inu keep whining at night?

If your Shiba Inu keeps whining at night, it could be due to discomfort, anxiety, or a need for attention. They could be hungry or thirsty. Your dog might also need to pee or poop before settling down for the night. Or they might not feel comfortable in their sleeping space.

In Conclusion: Why is My Shiba Inu Whining

You know what? If you make an effort to understand why your Shiba Inu is whining, you’re gonna foster a really strong bond and ensure their well-being.

Remember, a happy Shiba Inu is a contented companion, and together, you’ll build a ton of happy memories together.

Check out these other dog behavior articles too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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