I work from home office. This is not due to the current pandemic, I have always worked from home.

In mid-February my wife and I got a dog, a female Shiba Inu puppy. As of now she is almost five months old and has a lot of energy.

We play with her often, we walk her for 20 minutes once or twice a day on a nearby park (right across the street, and we are taking all precautions against COVID-19 spread). On some days she will stay quiet and sleep for up to 14h, as a puppy should.

But on some days, despite the walking and whatnot, she wants to play non-stop. So either my wife or I get constantly interrupted by our puppy, who just won't leave us alone. She has toys to play with, but it's attention she wants, and she will cry, destroy things and find new ways to freak us out until either one of us drops what we are doing and interact with her.

Is there some kind of training we can do to let our dog know that we are always there for her, but that we need time for ourselves (to work, eat, go to the restroom etc.)?

2 Answers 2


Shiba Inus are traditionally "strong willed" and I am sure she is adjusting to a routine like any puppy would. For a short term fix, have you tried any sort of toy "puzzle"? A classic go-to is using a kong filled with a treat, even something like peanut butter which is a good distraction. You can find other treat puzzles on sites like Chewy.com.

Otherwise, I would consider some crate training. This can help set some boundaries and give her a sense of security. Would help limit some of your distractions as well.


It sounds like she might be well on her way to manipulate you into giving her attention whenever she wants. Small children are good at this manipulation, too, especially when their parents underestimate their intelligence. Ignoring her advances would be the best way to discourage her, but her destroying things should not be ignored.

Starting crate training, as mentioned in Caroline Hunt's answer, is an excellent way to teach her that she cannot have your attention whenever she wants. If you don't want to use a crate, you can send her to her dog bed or a dedicated pillow or blanket and keep her from leaving this place by putting her on a leash for a few minutes.

Apart from that, as a puppy she has lots of energy and 20 minutes walk may not be enough for her anymore. On days when she is especially active, you could try:

  • Incorporating games like fetching or carrying a toy into your regular walks, to burn more energy.
  • Doing obedience training (heel, sit, stay) during your walks to challenge her mentally as well.
  • Playing more demanding games with her. Have a look at some ideas in this post. Please keep in mind that as long as she is still growing, activities that are physically too demanding can lead to malformations of bones and joints.

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