Boston Terriers and Shiba Inus are both very popular breeds of companion dogs. While they are both relatively small, the similarities pretty much end there: the two breeds could hardly be more different.

Shiba Inus are the smallest variety of dog that is indigenous to Japan. Originally bred as hunters of small game, using the Shiba Inu on the hunt has become nearly unheard of and modern day Shiba Inus are more likely to be found on the couch than hunting hares in the forest!

Boston Terriers, on the other hand, are a much more recent breed. Despite their name, they actually aren’t terriers at all, but are considered part of the “non-sporting” group by the American Kennel Club.

Boston Terriers were originally bred in the United States in the late 1800’s, and are genetically a mix of a variety of English breeds, including the English Terrier and the English Bulldog.

While they were initially bred to hunt small vermin, Boston Terriers were gradually bred down in size and are now kept mostly as pets. In fact, Boston Terriers were so popular as pets for the upper class that they even became known as the “gentleman’s dog.”

Because the two breeds are so different, it’s interesting to surmise about what a Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mix would look and behave like and whether or not to the two breeds should be mixed together at all.

pure bred boston terrier dog
AKC Shiba Inu dog

Left: Boston Terrier, Right: Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier Mix - Personality and Temperament

Personality wise, Shiba Inus and Boston Terriers are quite the opposites.

Boston Terriers are known for their jovial, gregarious, and merry personalities. They get along splendidly with pretty much everyone and are very affectionate with both their human families and people they meet on the street.

While they can occasionally be overprotective of their owners (which, if not carefully managed, can result in aggression) Boston Terriers are generally very sociable and trainable dogs.

Shiba Inus are very different type of dog. While they are loving and loyal with their owners, they have a tendency to be a little bit diffident with strangers and will reserve their affection for their human family. They are extremely intelligent but not always easily trained, due to their sometimes stubborn natures.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mixes will be more outgoing than the purebred Shiba Inu, but not as gregarious as the Boston Terrier. They will undoubtedly be very loving and affectionate with their human families and will respond well to consistent training thanks to their innate cleverness.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier Mix - Physical Characteristics

Boston Terriers look a little bit like tall, lanky, pugs.

While they have short muzzles, they are not jowly and are trim, fast, little dogs. They come in three colors: brindle, seal, and black and white. When fully grown, Boston Terriers can vary greatly in size, with some of them weighing 6 pounds and others weighing 20! 

Bostons are not particularly tall dogs and will grow to be roughly 9-15 inches tall at the withers (shoulders).

Shiba Inus are a stockier breed than the Boston Terrier.

With their luxurious coats, pricked ears, and fluffy tails, they are foxlike and elegant and prized for their beauty. They are a little bigger than the Boston Terrier, and can grow to be anywhere from 14-18 inches tall and weigh between 18-22 pounds.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mixes will be unusual looking dogs. The Boston Terrier’s short, square face will be elongated by the Shiba Inu’s more delicate facial features. They will have upright, triangular ears and dark, wide set apart eyes.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mixes will vary in color depending on the individual dogs involved, but are most commonly a brown or brindle color, often with splotches of white.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mixes will weigh anywhere from 12-25 pounds and grow to be between 10-16 inches tall. They will lose some of the Shiba’s plush fur, as Boston Terriers have very sleek, short, hair, and will have short to medium length coats.

Shiba Inu Boston Terrier Mix - Health / Health Issues

Unfortunately, Shiba inus and Boston Terriers share a lot of the same predispositions to genetic health issues. The biggest problem in both breeds are ocular, and both Boston Terriers and Shiba Inus can suffer from a variety of eye disorders including glaucoma, cataracts, and corneal ulcers.

Both breeds are also susceptible to knee and joint problems, including hip dysplasia and patella luxation (when the knee cap slides in and out of the joint.)

The Shiba Inu and the Boston Terrier both enjoy relatively long life spans and can live to be upwards of 15 years old.

While it’s true that breeding a Shiba Inu with a Boston Terrier may alleviate some of the issues that Boston Terriers have on account of their short muzzles (particularly breathing problems and a propensity to suffer from heat stroke), Shiba Inu Boston Terrier mixes may inherit some or all of the genetic illnesses found in both breeds, which could lead to serious health issues later in life.

Conclusion

Because they are so different, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want to purposefully breed a Shiba Inu and a Boston Terrier together.

Shiba Inus are particular dogs that won’t be well suited for all dog owners- they are independent, catlike, and can be somewhat standoffish with people they don’t know.

Contrarily, Boston Terriers are very “dog like”- extremely friendly and outgoing and nearly indiscriminately affectionate (unless they feel that their owner is being threatened or are poorly socialized.)

Because the two breeds individually will appeal to very different types of dog owners, it seems a shame to dilute the independence of the Shiba with the gregarious nature of the Boston Terrier. And the same can be said for introducing the catlike behavior of the Shiba into the very “doggy” Boston Terrier- what’s the point?

If the breeds are accidentally mixed together, the puppies deserve nothing less than the best lives possible.

However, it’s a better idea to appreciate the two breeds separately for what they are. If you’re looking for a very friendly small dog to add to your life, the Boston Terrier may be just the ticket!

On the other hand, if you are seeking a more independent and unusual breed, the Shiba Inu may be a better choice.

In terms of looks and personality, precious little can be gained by mixing the two breeds together. You’re better off choosing one or the other!

​However, we here at My First Shiba Inu always advocate for adoption and rescue. Many times, designer breeds are found in shelters due to temperament issues. Many "designer" breed dogs are bred by puppy mills and / or backyard breeders. 

​For this reason, we do not ever recommend anyone "purchasing" any type of designer breed dog without knowing the integrity of the breeder.

​We do however always advocate for the rescuing of any dog in need.