pros and cons of shiba inus infographic

The Shiba Inu dog breed has become increasingly popular over the past few years. 

Yet, because the breed is relatively new to the U.S., not a lot of people are familiar with the Shiba Inu.

But there are many that are definitely interested in this beautiful dog that can't stop turning heads.

However Shiba Inus are not for everybody. 

It would be irresponsible to get a Shiba Inu puppy solely on it's looks and popularity. 

A Shiba Inu is definitely not a great choice for a "first" dog as they can be strong-willed and stubborn.

Read on to learn about a few of the major pros and cons of the Shiba Inu breed.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 1 - Their Natural Beauty

beautiful shiba inu dog

By far, Shiba Inus are one of the most beautiful specimens of the canine world.

They have a proportionate and well-defined body that expresses agility and strength.

They have a gorgeous, foxy face that are highlighted with beautiful eyes and wide, chubby cheeks.

The entire world is so enamored by the cuteness of Shiba Inus that you can find them in Internet memes, merchandise, and anime.

Shiba Inus, especially Shiba Inu puppies captivates anyone that lays their eyes on them.

Interestingly, it seems that Shiba Inus seem to be aware of this fact and shows it by acting “regally” around both humans and other animals.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 2 - Their Loyalty

famous akita statue Hachiko

Although Shiba Inus may not be the most affectionate dogs, they bond closely to their family unit and are very loyal to the members of their “pack.”

Shiba Inus are definitely not dogs that love “everybody.” They reserve all of their love and loyalty for those that they trust and are bonded with.

There are quite a few stories that highlight a Shiba Inus loyalty such as the story about the Mari. Mari was a Shiba Inu living in Japan who searched for rescuers to help her owner trapped in their house that collapsed due to an earthquake.

And almost all dog lovers know about the story of Hachiko - the dog who waited at the train station everyday for nine years for his deceased owner.

Although Hachiko was an Akita Inu - both Shiba Inus and Akita Inus are ancient dogs that originated from Japan. They both have very similar mannerisms and characteristics.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 3 - Their Health

healthy shiba inu

Shiba Inus are generally very healthy dogs with a good life span.

Shiba Inus are an ancient breed of dog that has a well-built body suited to survive and thrive in the wild.

Luckily, Shiba Inus have not been tinkered with much in breeding programs to alter this ideal natural state.

Shiba Inus have a lifespan of 12-15 years. They don’t suffer from many serious health issues other than eye issues, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation.

Older Shiba Inus tend to gain weight easily, so it’s vitally important to maintain a healthy weight for your Shiba Inu by providing daily exercise and a healthy diet.

Spoiled Shibas are often not as healthy as they should be.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 4 - Their Intelligence

adorable shiba inu on bed

Shiba Inus are highly intelligent dogs with remarkably keen perception. They are “thinking” dogs and very sensitive to their environment and surroundings.

But don’t think intelligence equals obedience. Shiba Inus usually have a mind of their own and do not particularly enjoy doing “tricks” just for the heck of it.

Training a Shiba Inu is possible, but it may take a bit more effort and patience on your part.

Shiba Inus are sensitive dogs and don’t take well to any sort of aversive training methods.

It’s best to train a Shiba with positive training methods, preferably with tasty treats involved.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 5 - Their Fastidious Nature

shiba inu taking a bath

Another cat-like trait Shiba Inus possess is their fastidiously clean nature.

Shiba Inus are naturally inclined to be “neat” dogs that don’t enjoy getting dirty. When taking Shiba Inus on walks, they always try their best to avoid wet puddles, especially muddy ones.

Shiba Inu puppies are very easy to housebreak - they almost housebreak themselves in no time at all.

Shiba Inus also enjoy grooming themselves just as cats do.

And although Shiba Inus do shed a lot - they are low-odor dogs that don’t need to be bathed as much as other dogs.

They also produce less dander than most dogs making them possible choices for those that are sensitive to pet hair. It’s important to remember though, that no dogs are truly hypoallergenic.

Shiba Inu Pro's - # 6 - Attention Getters

beautiful red shiba inu

Now depending on “your” individual personality - this trait can be either a pro or a con.

For the most part though, we find that Shiba Inu owners like getting the attention - lot’s of it - their Shiba Inus will bring them.

Multitudes of people will come up to you and tell you your dog ‘looks like a fox’ - as if it never occurred to them that you probably already know that.

Younger generations will call your Shiba “Doge” or say, “HI Doggo!”

Lastly, throngs of people will just want to tell you how cute your Shiba Inu is or ask you more about your dog as Shiba Inus are relatively new to the United States.

Shiba Inu Con's # 1 - Affection Level / Aloofness

sleepy shiba inu

Shiba Inus are not the most affectionate of dogs.

One of the most common adjective to describe Shiba Inu is aloof. This is the most dominant “cat-like” trait.

Shiba Inus don’t like excessive coddling, cuddling, or smothering.

They will likely be happy to see you when you first get home, but then become quickly disenchanted with your presence.

Shiba Inus are not the dog for you if you have low esteem issues. Your presence to them is more of a convenience and they will not worship the ground you walk on like some other dogs will happily do.

This doesn’t mean that your Shiba Inu doesn’t love you. They truly do love you, but in their own unique way.

There are always Shiba Inus that fall outside of the typical Shiba Inu personality. Some Shiba Inus can be extremely affectionate and spoony.

Shiba Inu Con's # 2 - Shiba Inu Stubborness

stubborn shiba inu refusing to cooperate

Shiba Inus are not the easiest of dogs to please.

They can be quite stubborn and refuse to do anything that they don’t feel like doing at the moment. This trait can make walking, or pottying your Shiba quite an ordeal.

Calling your Shiba Inu to “come” to you when he or she is not in the mood is truly an act of ultimate patience.

Training a Shiba Inu will be a bit harder than training other dogs like Labradors and Poodles.

The best training methods always includes lots of patience and a Shiba Inu in a good mood.

Shiba Inu Con's # 3 - Kings and Queens of Drama

shiba inu bearing it's teeth

The Shiba “Scream” is very real.

And very loud.

Shiba Inus have a very succinct way to let you know when something displeases them.

Sometimes just an accidental tug to their fur will make the scream “murder!” The worst kinds of Shiba screamers are the ones that don’t take to nail clipping or bathing sessions.

This type of Shiba Inu screaming takes shrill to the very next level and beyond.

To avoid this, it’s very important to expose your Shiba Inu to these type of activities when they are still young pups.

Shiba Inu Con's # 4 - "Flight" (Run Away) Risk


Hundreds of years ago, Shiba Inus were trained to be small game hunters.

And they were quite good at it.

Today, many Shiba Inus still have the hunting instinct within their psyche just waiting for the right squirrel or mouse to unleash it’s fury.

This instinct can make Shiba Inus unreliable off and sometimes even on the leash. Once they set their site of prey they may ignore everything (calls, scoldings, cars) until they catch their victims.

Because of this, early leash training / heeling training is highly advised.

Shiba Inu Con's # 5 - Furry Fur Balls

shiba inu shedding

Shiba Inus are the owners of luxuriously beautiful coats. And along with these coats come a lot of maintenance in the form of brushing (especially during coat blowing time) and vacuuming.

Shiba Inus typically shed their undercoats twice a year. During this time, their fur will be everywhere. On your clothes, around the house, and sometimes in your food.

Fortunately, shedding during the rest of the year is quite manageable. Also, if you have any crocheting skills, you can save the undercoat and turn it into yarn.


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