Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inu

Canis lupus

Last updated: June 24, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit Rin Seiko/

Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.

Shiba Inu Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Shiba Inu Conservation Status

Shiba Inu Locations

Shiba Inu Locations

Shiba Inu Facts

Fun Fact
Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.

Shiba Inu Physical Characteristics

Skin Type

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color: yellow;

Shiba Inu as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Dog group
Male weight
– lbs
Female weight
– lbs

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Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.

They are a hunting dog that was bred for flushing out small animals and birds. Shiba Inus, or Shibas as they’re often called, as a small- to medium-sized breed. Their coat is often a mix of black, white, sesame, tan, and red.

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During World War II, Shiba Inus nearly became extinct due to a distemper epidemic coupled with a food shortage. There were three surviving bloodlines that were used to keep the breed alive; all Shiba Inus are descended from one of these bloodlines.

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Shiba Inus are affectionate, active, and vocal dogs. While they can be stubborn and hard-headed, they are also very loyal and caring and can make a good family dog.

Before proceeding, you can check out incredible facts about Shiba Inus.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Shiba Inu

Pros! Cons!
Good family dog: As long as they are properly trained and socialized, Shiba Inus can be a good hunting dog. Stubborn
Attractive: A Shiba Inu is an attractive-looking dog with a mix of sesame, black, white, red, and tan colors in their coat. Heavy shedders: Shiba Inus can shed a lot of hair during their shedding seasons. You’ll need to stay on top of brushing them regularly to prevent hair from getting left all over your home.
Playful: Shiba Inus are active dogs who enjoy playing with their family members. Vocal: Shiba Inus may bark more than other dog breeds.
Shiba Inu outside on grass


Shiba Inu Size and Weight

Shiba Inus are a small- to medium-sized breed. Males weigh around 23 pounds and are between 14.5 and 16.5 inches tall. Females are just a little smaller than their male counterparts. They weigh around 17 pounds and are between 13.5 and 15.5 inches tall. 3-month-old puppies weigh between 6.5 and 10.3 pounds. By 6 months, the puppies will have grown to weight between 12 and 18 pounds. Shiba Inus should be fully grown between the ages of 12 and 14 months.

Health and Entertainment for your Shiba Inu

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Male Female
Height 14.5 inches to 16.5 inches 13.5 inches to 15.5 inches
Weight 23 pounds 17 pounds

Shiba Inu Common Health Issues

Shiba Inus are prone to a few health issues. Being aware of these before bringing home your Shiba Inu can help you know what to look out for and allow you to provide them with the best possible care.

Hip dysplasia is one health concern with Shiba Inus. The hip of a dog with hip dysplasia isn’t aligned properly and the ball and socket in the joint rub against one another. This can be quite painful for dogs as it gets more worn down over time. You can check with your pediatrician for suggested remedies or preventative measures to keep your dog more comfortable.

Shiba Inus can also have eye problems, including glaucoma. Glaucoma can lead to blindness and can be very painful for dogs. Watery eyes, a bluing cornea, redness, or squinting can all be signs of glaucoma.

Patellar luxation is another condition to be aware of with this breed. In this condition, the dog’s kneecap slips out of place. In some cases, surgery may be required, but mild cases can normally be treated with medications.

To review, here are some common health issues a Shiba Inu may face:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Patellar luxation

Shiba Inu Temperament

Shiba Inus are known for their alertness. As a hunting dog, this trait allows them to be of great help when out in the field. Unlike many other dog breed, Shiba Inus also have a fastidious behavior. They keep themselves extremely clean and seem to pride themselves in their clean appearance. Because of their proud personality, Shibas are also easy to house train.

Additionally, Shibas can be very stubborn and independent. When outdoors, they are generally very active. However, as long as they get sufficient exercise, they can be a calm family dog.

How to Take Care of a Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are a unique breed. There are a few factors you’ll need to consider when caring for this dog breed. Thinking about their health concerns, temperament, nutritional needs, and more can help you provide them with the best possible care.

The Best Dog Food for Shiba Inus

When selecting for your Shiba Inu, it is essential to choose a high-quality dog food from a reputable manufacturer. You may also choose to offer a homemade diet to your adult or puppy Shiba Inu. Whichever route you choose, make sure you are meeting the nutritional needs of your dog; your veterinarian is a good source if you need help selecting a food for your specific dog.

Shiba Inu puppies are born with smaller stomachs. Because of this, it will be important to offer puppies smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. An eight-week old puppy should eat three times each day. Each meal should consist of about one-third cup of dry food that has been slightly moistened. After puppies have reached the age of four months, they can be fed two slightly larger meals each day.

Adult Shibas typically eat about 1 or 1.5 cups of kibble each day. Since some Shiba Inus face problems with obesity, take care to feed them the appropriate amount of food based on their age, weight, and activity level. You will also want to avoid giving too many treats since these can also contribute to obesity in some Shiba Inus.

To keep them healthy from the inside out, the A-Z Animals choice of best dog food for Shiba Inus is Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food, Adult, Natural.

The levels of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine in this formula add extra protection from joint problems like patellar luxation and hip dysplasia. There’s also adequate taurine for the eyes and vision, which, combined with probiotics, also help keep Shiba Inus’ heart in tip-top shape.

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Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food with Grains, Chicken & Oatmeal, 30-Pound Bag

  • This adult dry dog food’s ingredient is chicken; high quality protein with wholesome grains like oatmeal
  • Our crunchy kibble has no meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Expertly selected ingredients and added nutrients support immune health, energy levels, joint and bone health, and healthy skin and coat
  • Made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients
  • Spend a lifetime with Wellness natural dog food; we offer recipes for puppy, adult, and senior dogs as well as grain free dog treats, meal toppers, and wet food options too

Shiba Inu Maintenance and Grooming

While a Shibas do a good job keeping themselves clean and their coat doesn’t get matted, they still will require a good amount of attention. This breed sheds quite a bit, so regular brushing will help prevent hair from being left all over the house. You can also use a strong blow-dryer (on a cooler setting) to help remove some of their loose hair.

Shibas nails should also be trimmed to keep them short and allow them to walk comfortably. Many Shiba Inus do not tolerate this very well, so you will want to start this process early with your puppy to get them used to it. If your dog resists too much, you could have a professional groomer trim their nails for you.

Shiba Inu Training

Shiba Inus can be a challenge to train. They can be very stubborn or headstrong, so they don’t always take well to training. It is best to begin training your puppy as soon as you bring them home while they are still young and not too set in their ways. Looking for obedience training classes led by a professional is also a good idea.

Even if your Shiba Inu is well-trained, you should always keep them on a leash when you go for a walk. Shibas are not reliable dogs when they are not leashed and may become aggressive towards other dogs.

Shiba Inu Exercise

Shibas are active dogs and will need daily exercise. They enjoy going for walks with their owners or running around in a fenced backyard. While they are not as destructive as some other breeds when they are left alone, they may develop separation anxiety if their owner is gone for too long. Finding time to spend with your dog and exercising together will benefit them.

Shiba Inu Puppies

Shiba Inu puppies can be headstrong, so be ready to be consistent and dedicated to helping your puppy adjust to their new environment and learn routines. You will want to make sure that you give your new puppy plenty of time to play outside. Shibas are hunting dogs and have high activity needs.

You will also want to begin training your Shiba Inu puppy very early on. Since Shibas can be more difficult to train than some other dog breeds, starting early on will make your job that much easier. You may also want to look into obedience classes with a professional trainer who is experienced with training these stubborn pups.

It is also important to remember that puppies have a smaller stomach than adult Shibas do. For this reason, they will need to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. For more information see our section above on Food and Diet.

Shiba Inu puppies


Shiba Inus And Children

Shiba Inus can be a good family dog. However, it will be essential to make sure the dog is properly trained and receives socialization from an early age. Before bringing a Shiba Inu into a home with children, it will be important that parents and older children are aware of the dog’s needs. Making sure the dog gets sufficient exercise and activity will be important.

It will also be essential to teach children how to appropriately interact with a dog. This can prevent accidental injuries to the dog or your children. Children of all ages, but especially younger children, should always be supervised around Shiba Inus and other breeds to prevent accidents.

Dogs similar to Shiba Inu

Akitas, Finnish Spitzes, and American Eskimo Dogs are three breeds that share some similarities with Shiba Inus.

  • Akita: Akitas and Shiba Inus are both Japanese breeds. There are some similarities and differences that the breeds share. Both breeds are very intelligent, stubborn, and affectionate. They also have similar coloring and an overall similar body shape. However, Akitas are a larger dog. They are typically between 24 and 48 inches tall while Shibas are only around 13 to 17 inches tall. Akitas are also heavier, typically weighing between 70 and 130 pounds. Shiba Inus normally weigh 23 pounds or less.
  • Finnish Spitz: Finnish Spitzes look similar to a Shiba Inu. Both have a reddish-gold coat, though Shiba Inus can also have some cream, tan, or black colors in their coat. Both breeds are also affectionate and intelligent. Finnish Spitzes do better with other pets in the home than Shiba Inus does. Finnish Spitzes are also larger than Shiba Inus. They typically weigh around 33 pounds while Shiba Inus weigh closer to 20 pounds.
  • American Eskimo Dog: The American Eskimo Dog also has some things in common with the Shiba Inu. Both dogs are affectionate and have a low potential to bite. They can also make good watchdogs since they will bark to alert you to the presence of others. The coat of an American Eskimo dog is quite different from that of a Shiba Inu. American Eskimo dogs have a fluffy, white coat. Shibas have a denser coat that is a mix of colors including tan, red, cream, black, and sesame.

Famous Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are a wonderful dog breed. There are a few Shiba Inus who are famous, either through their Instagram followers or because they are owned by a celebrity.

  • Fawkes is a Shiba Inu that was adopted by Ariana Grande in 2014.
  • Maru Taro is an Instagram sensation. This Shiba Inus has over 2 million followers.
  • Daifuku is another famous Shiba Inu on Instagram. He is known for his fun poses with different props and accessories.

Looking for the perfect name for your new pup? Check out some of these popular Shiba Inu names:

  • Chance
  • Dexter
  • Hunter
  • Theo
  • Alex
  • Ruby
  • Lady
  • Gigi
  • Dixie
  • Chloe

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Shiba Inu FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does Shiba Inu cost to own?

Shiba Inus have been gaining popularity recently, so the cost of owning one has increased. Prices may vary, but if you adopt a Shiba Inu from a breeder, you will likely need to pay between $1,200 ad $2,500. In some cases, breeders may even ask $3,000 or more for Shiba Inu pups that have a higher pedigree. Adopting a Shiba Inu from a shelter or rescue organization will usually cost between $350 and $550.

In addition to the fee for adopting the dog, you will also need to be prepared to spend money while caring for your dog. Shiba Inus will need medical care, training, food, a dog bed, a leash, a collar, a crate, toys, and other supplies. The yearly average for caring for a dog according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association is $1,641. Of course, your costs could be higher or lower based on a variety of factors.

Is Shiba Inu good with kids?

Yes, Shiba Inus can be good with kids. They are a very loyal dog and enjoy children. Training your dog from a young age and socializing them is important.

How long does Shiba Inu live?

Shiba Inus typically live between 12 and 15 years.

How big is a Shiba Inu?

Male Shibas are a little larger than the females. Males weigh around 23 pounds and are between 14.5 and 16.5 inches tall. Females weigh about 17 pounds and are between 13.5 and 15.5 inches tall.

What does Shiba Inu mean?

Shiba Inus are a Japanese dog bread. Shiba means brushwood and Inu means dog.

How do you pronounce Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is a Japanese word. It is pronounced SHEE-bah EE-noo.

Are Shiba Inus good pets?

Shiba Inus can make a great pet. They are very loyal and active. Since they were hunting dogs, they make a great companion for long walks and hikes. Shiba Inus can be stubborn, so starting training from an early age will be important.

Are Shiba Inus aggressive?

Shiba Inus can be aggressive towards other dogs. This is particularly true of an unaltered male towards another unaltered male. Since they are hunting dogs by instinct, they may also try to chase smaller animals that they see as prey. For these reasons, Shiba Inus should always be kept on a leash when they are taken out for a walk.

Most times, Shiba Inus are not aggressive towards people. However, they may become possessive of their toys at times. Be aware of this and try not to make sudden moves that may make your dog think you’re trying to take his or her toys.

Are Shiba Inus herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Shiba Inus are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Shiba Inus belong to?

Shiba Inus belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum do Shiba Inus belong to?

Shiba Inus belong to the phylum Chordata.

What class do Shiba Inus belong to?

Shiba Inus belong to the class Mammalia.

What family do Shiba Inus belong to?

Shiba Inus belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Shiba Inus belong to?

Shiba Inus belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Shiba Inus have?

Shiba Inus are covered in Hair.

What is the scientific name for the Shiba Inu?

The scientific name for the Shiba Inu is Canis lupus.

What is an interesting fact about Shiba Inus?

Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.

What’s the difference between Shiba Inus and Welsh Corgis?

Welsh Corgis weigh more than Shiba Inus, though Shiba Inus are taller. The Shiba Inu is a native dog breed to Japan, while the Corgi was bred in Wales.

What’s the difference between Shiba Inus and Hokkaido dogs?

Shiba Inus are much smaller than Hokkaido dogs. Additionally, Hokkaido dogs are an older dog breed compared to Shiba Inus, though they both originated in Japan.

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