The Shiba Inu-Beagle Mix, sometimes referred to as "Shi-Beagle" is quite an interesting dog breed combo.
Serious, and sometimes aloof - the Shiba Inu has quite a different personality from the more amiable and gentle personality of the Beagle.
Left: Beagle, Right: Shiba Inu
In terms of physical appearance, both dogs are again quite different. The Shiba Inu has a well-developed canine body that marries the perfect balance between strength, agility, and endurance. Shiba Inus have alert, pointy ears that give them the popular ancestral wolf / fox look.
Beagle's on the other hand, have large, floppy ears that most hound dogs have. Big, puppy-dog eyes add to the Beagle's popularity and allure. A Beagle's body - while also fit - is slightly more asymmetrical due to their shorter legs.
The Shiba is considered the oldest Japanese native dog breed, and is also the smallest of its Japanese cousins, the Akita and the Hokkaido.
The Beagle is one of the most enduringly popular dog breeds of all time, having been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. These companionable hounds remain the 5th most popular dog in the United States.
Active Hunters Who Share Some Characteristics
Both the Shiba Inu and the Beagle are - or in the case of Shiba Inu - used to be hunting dogs. Therefore, a Shiba Inu Beagle mix will have a high prey drive and should be monitored carefully when off leash.
Shi-Beagles are active dogs, and require daily exercise, but will certainly reward their owners with loyalty and steadfast companionship.
Shi-Beagles have a natural tendency to make good watch dogs. With early and consistent socialization, Shi-Beagles can also make excellent family dogs.
Shiba Inu dogs are typically calm and not overly excitable while Beagles are somewhat more "rough and ready".
Without proper attention and affection, Shi-Beagles may become destructive out of boredom. To prevent this, ensure that your Shi-Beagle has proper exercise, play, and mental stimulation.
Physical Characteristics of Shiba Inu and Beagle Breeds
Beagles average 18 to 35 lbs., while Shiba Inus weigh in at 18 to 22 lbs. -- and both breeds are relatively compact, with well-defined muscles.
They are approximately the same height, between 13 and 17 inches high at the withers.
A Shiba Inu Beagle Mix will weigh roughly 20 to 24 pounds. Beagles are known to easily gain weight, so the diet of a Shi - Beagle should be carefully monitored.
Shibas are double-coated, with a thick, soft under layer of fur and a stiff, straight outer coat; the beagle bridges the gap with a hard but smooth, medium-length coat.
The Beagle is typically tri-colored, and the Shiba red or tan white white markings, so a mix of these two breeds could result in a number of aesthetically pleasing color combinations, including: white and tan; white and tan with black markings; black and tan; "sesame" (red with black-tipped hairs); tri-colored tan, white and black; or white or cream.
Life Expectancy and Potential Health Issues
The two breeds share a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, and are considered relatively healthy dogs. You can expect your Shiba-Beagle mix to live approximately a 12 -14 years.
If not given proper exercise, Beagles can become obese, as they are indiscriminate in their appetites. Shiba Inus are more active dogs that have less issues with obesity. Keeping your Shiba Inu Beagle mix at a healthy weight will help to keep your dog healthy and active for a long time.
Some Shiba Inu dogs tend to dislike extended play and exercise as this serious breed may find playing pointless. A Shiba Inu Beagle mix should be given a good amount of daily exercise to prevent obesity as well as boredom.
Beagles can be prone to epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and ear infections -- no surprise, as their long and floppy ears can inhibit air flow to the inner ear.
Shiba Inus are relatively healthy dogs with few serious health issues - the most serious being hip and eye issues.
Both of these dog breeds can be prone to eye problems -- glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal atrophy, among other conditions -- so you should be on the lookout for these issues in your Shiba Inu Beagle mix.
The Controversy Over Designer Dogs
While it's certainly tempting to choose your two favorite dog breeds and look for that "perfect mix" - there are unfortunately some serious issues with "designer dogs."
For one thing, because of the blend of characteristics unique to each breed, it's impossible to know exactly which traits your dog will eventually exhibit.
Without knowledge of the particular dogs' lineage and health history, there is every chance that, instead of an ideal specimen, the hybrid will end up with congenital diseases or other physical health issues from both sides of its family.
Moreover, these designer dogs are often associated with puppy mills, which are problematic to begin with.
These high-production dog breeding facilities are often overcrowded, have poor sanitation, and do not provide adequate care for either the puppies or the adult dogs from which they are bred.
Mothers are forced to deliver litter after litter of puppies without rest and recovery time, and may then be killed when they can no longer produce offspring. The conditions in which dogs are kept can be downright dangerous, as well -- and it's all in the name of profit.
Some breeders espouse the notion of "heterosis," or "hybrid vigor," which essentially means that by cross-breeding, the less desirable traits of an animal (or plant) can be eliminated. Preferred traits such as longevity, disease resistance and intelligence are increased.
However, the large majority of canine studies do not provide examples of hybrid vigor in designer dogs.
To ensure that you are taking home a healthy, happy dog, no matter what breed or mix you choose, deal only with pedigree breeders who are reputable.
Should I Get A Shiba Inu-Beagle Mix?
Choosing a canine companion isn't a simple decision, and you should conduct thorough research before undertaking any animal adoption, whether from a reputable breeder or a rescue association. Your lifestyle, habits and home environment should trump your desire for a particular breed.
While we do not advocate the purchasing of designer dog breeds, we feel that it's important to provide readers with the facts necessary for them to make an informed decision. We at My First Shiba highly do advocate for rescuing and adopting Shiba and Shiba Inu mixes in need.
Naturally, if you have adopted a dog that you know or suspect is a mix of Shiba and beagle, you will want to learn as much as possible about each of these breeds, so you can better understand your dog.