While most people think of purebred dogs as the be-all and end-all of the dog world, the truth is that hybrids are becoming incredibly popular. These so-called designer breeds bring with them the best of both worlds, giving dog owners the best characteristics of both dog parents.
One of the more popular breeds that has a number of different hybrid offshoots is the Shiba Inu. One of the oldest dog breeds in the world, these dogs are known for their loyalty and attentiveness. Breeding them with other types of dogs, though, can produce some wonderful pets – and possibly even the best dog breed for your household.
Introducing the Shiba Inu
The smallest breed that is native to Japan, the Shiba Inu is a unique dog that looks a great deal like a fox and typically weighs no more than twenty-three pounds. Popular companion animals throughout Asia, these dogs have also become quite popular in Europe and in the Americas over the last few decades.
Shiba Inus are probably best known for their loyalty. These animals aren’t just great companions— they are also fantastic watchdogs that are incredibly close to the humans who they claim as their own. Easy to house train, the hardest part of dealing with these dogs is that they tend to get overprotective around kids and small animals.
The Shiba Inu Mixes
As with any other hybrid, what you get from a Shiba Inu mix is going to have a lot to do with the parents. While the Shiba Inu itself is a fairly long-lived dog that tends to make a great watchdog, its various hybrid offspring can have wildly different personalities.
While we’ll discuss a number of different Shiba Inu mixes here and talk about their personalities, it’s important to remember that you can never predict exactly what you get from a hybrid. Recessive genes can make certain attributes stand out, after all, and the type of look or even personality in a given puppy could be quite different than what you might expect. Here’s a list of Shiba Inu mixed breeds.
The Husky Inu
Shiba Inu and Siberian Husky Mix
A truly gorgeous-looking dog, many have described the Husky Inu as a mix of a fox and a wolf in terms of looks. In terms of personality, though, you’ll get an incredibly challenging breed that takes a very firm hand to control and that always needs to be kept on a leash when out of the house.
Oddly, this dog’s personality is probably the hardest to predict of all the Shiba Inu hybrids. You might get a very Husky-like dog that tends to be friendly, while you might get one with more of an Inu influence that tends to be more of a guard dog. As such, you’ll need to watch your dog carefully to see how he or she develops.
American Eskimo and Shiba Inu Mix
One of the most unique Shiba Inu mixes that comes in three different sizes, the Imo Inu is one crossbreed that could weigh anywhere from ten to twenty-five pounds but that will always have a thick and fluffy coat. Naturally athletic, these dogs are long-lived animals that can either inherit the friendly nature of the American Eskimo breed or that might have the natural guard dog instincts of the Shiba Inu.
Pomeranian and Shiba Inu Mix
While the Pomeranian and Shiba Inu are both small dogs with fluffy coats, they don’t actually have that much in common. The Pomeranian is a little people-pleaser with a pleasant personality, while the Shiba is a working dog sentry that tends to be standoffish around strangers. The mix of the dogs could have the personality of either parent, but they do tend to be long-lived animals regardless of their demeanor.
Poodle and Shiba Inu Mix
Virtually every dog gets crossbred with poodles at some point, so the existence of the Pooshi shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. These dogs may not be the friendliest pets in the world around strangers, but where they stand out is in their gorgeous looks and their fantastic ability to be trained. Though it’s hard to think of these dogs as people-pleasers, they are wickedly smart and can quickly grasp even complex commands. Even better, these dogs are incredibly long-lived, with hybrids often making it to eighteen years.
Schnauzer and Shiba Inu Mix
The Schnu is an interesting mix that tends to be around the same size as a Shiba Inu but that often takes a bit of its appearance from the wiry-haired Schnauzer. The type of coat that the hybrid has will definitely influence how much it sheds, of course, but this dog actually walks a fairly tame middle ground in terms of personality. Far friendlier than the average Shiba Inu but much less energetic than the average Schnauzer, these even-tempered dogs can be great pets for those who need a dog who doesn’t mind keeping calm.
Cairn Terrier and Shiba Inu Mix
Cairn Terriers and Shiba Inu are two dogs that often feel like they’re on the opposite ends of a huge spectrum. While the Shiba Inu is often described as catlike and tends to be quite reserved, the Cairn Terrier is every bit a terrier and has all of the energy and doggie personality that tends to go with that label. The mix of the two dogs can likewise go to extremes, though the very best hybrids of these two will tend to temper both the boundless energy of the Cairn Terrier and the standoffish nature of the Shiba Inu. As always, there is a lot of variation here and puppies can take after either parent.
Miniature Pinscher and Shiba Inu Mix
If there’s one word that’s going to describe this particular Shiba Inu mix breed, it has to be ‘small’. These are little dogs, but they do tend to be quite muscular and powerful. With reddish fur and a tendency to the flatter hair of the Minpin parent, these dogs never quite realize that they are smaller than full-size dogs and usually have the kind of attitude that you would expect from a bigger animal. With that said, the end result of this hybrid does tend to be a dog that has a great personality and that typically tends to be a little friendlier than the average Shiba Inu.
Dachshund and Shiba Inu Mix
The Dachshund is one of those dogs that are not only loved by dog owners around the world, but that tends to lend itself to hybrid breeding. The size of the Shibadach mixed breed that you adopt will have a great deal to do with the size of a dachshund that was its parent, of course, but in terms of personality, it’s almost always going to lean a little more towards the dachshund side of things. This means that while the dog might be a little on the territorial side like the average Shiba Inu, it will almost always be more social than its Shiba Inu parent. Unfortunately, you’ll definitely need to look out for back issues with this breed as it ages, as it also inherits the typical back problems that plague dachshunds.
Boston Terrier and Shiba Inu Mix
The Boston Terrier is one of the most popular dogs in the United States, with a great personality and a playful manner. The Shiba Inu is a little rarer, with a guarded nature and an independent spirit. When you put the two together, you get a very unpredictable mix that could end up with a personality that favors one side over the other or that manages to tread a middle ground between the two. Regardless of the parent that this dog favors, though, you will have to deal with the breathing issues  that have sadly become a leading cause of distress and even death among Boston Terriers. If you can deal with the health issues, though, you may find this mixed breed to make a fantastic companion that could very well be the best of both worlds.
Cocker Spaniel and Shiba Inu Mix
Great name aside, this mix of two clever dogs tends to produce very unique dogs. It’s always very hard to say which parent that this dog is going to take after, which means that you could end up with a hybrid that tends to be very reserved or one that tends to be incredibly social. These dogs do tend to be healthy in either case, and the trainable nature of both breeds makes keeping them in line a breeze. If you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll find this particular hybrid to be incredibly loyal and to be an excellent companion.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Shiba Inu Mix
Another breed that comes from two similarly-sized parents, it’s very easy to look at this kind of dog and feel like you’re looking at a Corgi that’s trying to disguise itself as a Shiba Inu. As with most of these hybrids, you’re going to get a dog that could vary greatly in terms of temperament here, but most of the best hybrids do tend to be a balance between both of their parents. As such, this particular hybrid can often end up like a dog that’s very good at keeping track of people and that tends to be far friendlier than its Shiba Inu parent.
German Shepherd and Shiba Inu Mix
A relatively new hybrid, this dog is a mix of one of the top dog breeds in the United States and a dog that’s only recently beginning to gain traction in North America. This new hybrid really stands out because of its size, though— while most Shiba hybrids weigh less than twenty-five pounds, this one will reliably weigh at least forty. This means that you’re going to be looking at a big dog with great guarding instincts, a possible aggressive streak, and the kind of intelligence that can be daunting for a new dog owner. If you’re experienced with training dogs and want a breed that could very well be considered one of the ultimate watchdogs, though, this particular hybrid might be just the one for which you have been looking.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Shiba Inus really that difficult?
This really depends on the situation. If you are a long-time dog owner who doesn’t have other pets and who doesn’t have small children in the house, you’re not going to have much of a problem with the Shiba Inu. These dogs are incredibly independent and have a strong territorial streak, though, so you’ll never really be able to let these dogs off-leash. The intelligence of these dogs makes them easy to train but also stubborn – a combination that can be very daunting for new dog owners.
2. Are Shibas aggressive?
Shibas can definitely be aggressive. If you think about it, these are dogs who were bred less to be companions than they were bred to be sentries. This means that it’s not just in their nature to keep watch – it’s in their nature to make sure that nothing gets to the people who they are supposed to protect. In the modern age, this means that the dogs will tend to go after anything that reads as a threat or that tends to violate their sense of space. It’s not an issue with adult humans, of course, but small kids and small animals could be in danger from these dogs.
3. Why are Shiba Inus so aggressive?
Shiba Inus are so aggressive because they come from a long line of dogs who were bred specifically to protect people. If you go back a few hundred years, the aggressive nature of the Shiba Inu would be a feature rather than a bug, and you could count on one of these dogs to warn you if someone or something was coming to do you harm. Times have changed, though, and the features that were once so prized in these dogs have definitely become traits that have been trained out to keep both the dog and others safe.
4. Do Shiba Inus like to cuddle?
No, Shiba Inus do not generally like to cuddle. Though there are probably exceptions here or there, these are dogs that generally like their own space. The thing to note, though, is that the space that these dogs like to occupy the most is also generally around their favorite people. While these dogs may not like to cuddle, that doesn’t mean that they won’t like to spend some time sitting on the couch near you.