It's the BATTLE OF THE SEXES - Shiba Inu style!
Many new or potential Shiba Inu owners often wonder which sex would be a better "fit" for their household.
The male vs. female Shiba Inu question can be complex in nature but can be broken down by understanding “commonly accepted” knowledge and observations.
Aside from gender, there are so many other variables that can affect the personality of a Shiba Inu.
Factors that affect a Shiba Inus temperament include lineage, upbringing, health and simple serendipity.
However, just like as we can with the human species - we can agree with some generally accepted information about the differences between male and female Shiba Inus.
Keep in mind that the term “generally accepted” is a very broad and generalized term.
For example, in humans, one can generally say that females are more nurturing and males are more competitive.
This fact “overall” is generally accepted.
However, this generalization does not by any means apply to all females and males.
So keep this in mind when reading about others opinions about the differences in Shiba Inu males and females.
In general, the female Shiba Inu is more aloof - especially with strangers - than males.
This trait ties in with the fact that female Shiba Inus are also generally more cautious than male Shiba Inus
Properly raised male Shiba Inus are friendlier and more interested in meeting new people than females.
However on the other hand, ill-raised male Shiba Inus can suffer from serious aggression and dominance issues.
Also keep in mind the possible difference between intact and neutered Shiba Inu males.
Intact males are more likely to to have dominance issues versus neutered males.
The same logic goes for females.
Spayed females will likely have less aggression issues than non-spayed females.
Just like human males, testosterone may play a role in the fact that male Shiba Inus are more active and lively than females.
In general, adult Shiba Inus are not them most active and playful dog breed.
So if you lead an active lifestyle and want a dog who enjoys activity a male Shiba Inu would be better for you.
Now this extra activity levels in males also translates to more possible destruction in your household.
Male Shiba Inus, especially puppies, can be a bit less gentle and less discerning with the objects that they put in their mouth.
To counteract this issue, always provide your Shiba Inu puppies with ample toys and begin teaching them what is okay and not okay to chew on at an early age.
On the other hand, if you want a calmer, lower activity dog that might enjoy simply sitting beach side with you watching the waves tumble in, a female Shiba Inu would be a better choice.
Here’s another trait where human and canine generalities resemble each other.
In general, female Shiba Inus are a bit cleaner and easier to keep clean than males.
More female Shiba Inus than males will go out of their way to avoid wet puddles or muddy surfaces.
On the other hand, more male Shiba Inus might find interest in those puddles as possible areas dive in or at least explore.
Unaltered male Shiba Inus are also prone to marking - anywhere and everywhere if not properly trained.
Whereas unaltered female Shiba Inus will get their menstrual periods that occur a few times a year.
Both male and female Shiba Inus can have issues with aggression - especially if unaltered.
According to experienced Shiba Inu breeders, intact females can be, well, very b****y to other females.
In fact, it is said that primitive female dogs will instinctively try to “weed out” or kill other female competition in their dog pack.
Intact males can also have serious aggression / territory issues if they have not been properly socialized during their formative years.
The easiest way to avoid future aggression issues with Shiba Inus is to socialize them during the "critical" puppy hood time frame of 6 to 14 weeks.
Ease of Rearing / Training
Most seasoned Shiba Inu owners recommend male Shiba Inus for first-time Shiba Inu owners.
Male Shibas tend to be more outgoing, affectionate / playful, and easier to handle
Male Shiba Inus are typically more eager to please than females, so training may be a bit easier with male puppies.
However, female Shiba Inus are quite the intellectuals and can be trained to do amazing things with the right attitude and methods.
Female Shibas also tend to be a bit more food-driven - which makes training easier as well.
Marking / Housebreaking
Peeing and or marking habits is an area that truly separates the boys from the girls.
Male Shiba Inus, especially unaltered will likely make marking a part of his daily urine break schedule.
Depending on where he prefers to mark, the resulting urine can affect both your olfactory senses and your surroundings.
Translation: You will likely smell more pee with male Shiba Inus versus Female Shiba Inus.
In terms of housebreaking, both female and male Shiba Inu puppies housebreak readily.
However, the edge goes to females as they tend to be a bit more conscientious about where they chose to ‘go’ - whereas the males feel the more, the merrier.
Physical Male and Female Shiba Inu Differences
Male are generally larger in both height and weight.
This means more food to feed and a heavier dog to carry (when needed).
Male Shiba Inu dogs should have broader faces while females have a ‘softer’ appearance - in both their face and body composition.
Females also have a higher chance of becoming overweight - especially as they get into their senior years.
The official AKC Shiba Inu standard states: "males are masculine without coarseness, females are feminine without weakness of structure."
So who wins the epic Shiba Inu battle of the sexes?
You, of course.
Having the opportunity to experience Shiba Inus with different personalities and traits is wonderful.
You can make your informed choice based on your individual preferences and let nature and nurture take care of the rest.
With both sexes, you can have the best of both Shiba worlds to love, snuggle, and spoil endlessly!
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