Shiba Inu American Eskimo mixes are small to medium-sized dogs with dense fur, perky ears, and a range of coat colors.
Whether they are born from a purposeful 'designer dog' cross or result from an accidental mating, Shiba Eskimo crosses - or Shiba-Mos / Imo - Inus - are smart, active dogs with an alert and inquisitive personality.
Assuming that you are able to offer them lots of stimulation and exercise, a Shiba-Mo can offer lots of affection and a willing attitude to your family.
Personality of a Shiba Inu American Eskimo Dog Mix
American Eskimo dogs and Shiba Inus share many of the same basic personality traits.
But a cross between these two breeds can result in a range of temperament types.
Despite their name, the roots of the American Eskimo Dog can be in Germany, and they have no connection to indigenous arctic populations. They arose from a mix of Spitz breeds brought to America by German immigrants. It's likely that they can trace their ancestry to the Keeshond and the white Pomeranian before the start of World War One.
In contrast, Shiba Inus are known for their independence and aloofness. They are an ancient Japanese breed and originated as hunting dogs. Because they had to track and catch prey without needing direction from a handler, they developed a tendency towards independent thinking and high intelligence.
Unlike the American Eskimo, the Shiba Inu is often considered stubborn and difficult to train. Some Shiba Inus can be prone to aggression issues if not well socialized. Since both the Shiba Inu and the American Eskimo are Spitz breeds, the Shiba - Mo is likely to have a high prey drive.
Shiba - Mo's should always be leashed in public as Shiba Inus are also known to be escape artists - especially when excited or startled. The living areas of Shiba - Mo's should be safe and escape-proof. Shiba-Mo's be introduced to pocket pets and cats early in life to prevent aggression.
A Shiba Inu American Eskimo mix can have a personality that is like either their Shiba parent or their American Eskimo parent. In other words, they may be either aloof and stubborn or happy to follow direction and eager to please. Most dogs will have a mix of these traits.
All Shiba-Mos will be active and alert dogs who enjoy physical and mental challenges. You should be sure to offer your Shiba-Mo plenty of walks and should consider enrolling them in canine sports or obedience trials to help keep them occupied.
Left: American Eskimo Dog, Right: Shiba Inu
Physical Characteristics of a Shiba Inu American Eskimo Dog Mix
Crossing two breeds will always result in an unpredictable mix of features. But there are some physical characteristics shared by nearly every Shiba-Mo dog.
Most Shiba Inu American Eskimo crosses should result in offspring that have a thick coat of medium length fur. They may be white like their American Eskimo parent, but can also have color patterns that are similar to a Shiba Inu. Their ears will most likely be erect and they often have curled tails.
The adult size of a Shiba-Mo will depend on the size of their American Eskimo parent. American Eskimos come in three sizes - toy, miniature, and standard - with the smallest individuals weighing about ten pounds and the largest about 35 to 40 pounds.
Since Shiba Inus are usually less than 25 pounds, most mixes of these two breeds should weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. However, larger and smaller dogs are possible.
Health Issues of Shiba Inu American Eskimo Dog Mixes
It's a common misconception that mixed breed dogs have better health than purebred dogs, but a Shiba-Mo may avoid some of the inherited conditions that are common in either Shibas or Eskimos. Keep in mind that both breeds derive from common ancestors since they are spitz breeds and as such are generally healthy dogs.
Both American Eskimo dogs and Shiba Inus are at risk for PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and can develop luxating patella. A good breeder will check both parents for these problems and for hip dysplasia before breeding. Allergies are also an infrequent issue for both breeds.
The main health concern that Shiba-Mo owners should be aware of is obesity. American Eskimo dogs are more prone to this issue than Shiba Inus. But, any dog can become overweight if they are not given enough exercise, and Shiba-Mos should have plenty of exercise and a high-quality diet.
At myfirstshiba, we always recommend either a fresh homemade or raw diet instead of commercial kibble. The benefits of a fresh diet tremendously outweigh the time and effort it takes to prepare fresh meals for our beloved animals. Read more about the dangers of commercial kibble here.
Overall, you should expect a Shiba Eskimo cross to have a long and healthy life, and they are likely to live between 12 to 15 years on average.
The Issues With Designer Dogs
There is no doubt that mixed breed dogs are just as lovable as purebreds and make excellent companions. But purposefully crossing two purebred dogs to feed the demand for 'designer breeds' of dogs is controversial. Such crossings will always result in an unpredictable mix of characteristics and can lead to unscrupulous breeding practices.
It's an unfortunate fact that some prospective owners of designer breed puppies will have unrealistic expectations of their dog. If they aren't as cute or trainable as expected, these dogs may be rejected by their owners.
Many breed-specific rescues will not take crosses. And Shiba-Mos are likely to share the fate of other mixed breeds once relinquished to an overcrowded shelter.
Puppy mills and unscrupulous backyard breeders will often breed dogs that have genetic issues or temperamental problems. Females are often forced to produce litter after litter and suffer from health issues as a result. If you feel that you must have a Shiba-Mo, contact rescue organizations to see if one is available and only consider buying puppies from a reputable breeder.
Should I Get a Shiba Inu American Eskimo Mix?
There are a few things you should consider before adopting any dog. Providing a loving home for a canine companion goes beyond providing affection and food. You should consider whether you are able to meet the needs of this energetic and intelligent mix.
We here at myfirstshiba.com never advocate for the "purchasing" of any designer dog mixes. Most designer dog breeders are amateur backyard breeder - or even worse - puppy mills.
We do however, fiercely advocate to rescuing dogs in need. We write these articles on Shiba Inu mixes to help provide information about the key characteristics of these Shiba mixes to those that already have this breed or are thinking of rescuing one.
Obedience training will be key to any Shiba-Mo's well-being. But you may find that they enjoy learning new commands thanks to their ancestry. But be aware that they may inherit a stubborn streak from their Shiba Inu ancestors.
Spitz breeds are athletic dogs. Since Shiba Inu American Eskimo mixes need more exercise than average, you should take them on daily walks or go the dog park every day. Active families who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or jogging may be an ideal match for a Shiba Inu American Eskimo Mix.
Before deciding whether you can provide for the needs of a Shiba-Mo, or if you have adopted a dog that you suspect may be a Shiba Inu American Eskimo cross, be sure to do your research.
Learn as much as you can about each individual breed and their needs. Then decide whether you are able to care for a mix that is likely to be more active and intelligent than average.
If you have the commitment and patience to bring a Shiba Inu American Eskimo mix into your life, you will be rewarded with loving companionship for many years.