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Black Shiba Inu: Everything You Need To Know

Affectionate, loyal, attentive, and alert are just a few traits that we can use to describe the bold and lively Shiba Inu.

This pooch isn’t just adorable and courageous, but it’s also one of the most beloved dog breeds in the country and the world. The cute face and fun character of the Shiba Inu even made the dog into a global meme that forever lives on the internet as ‘Doge’.

Although Shiba Inu pups have coats in multiple different colors, today we’re focusing more on members of the breed rocking black fur.

In this article, we’re sharing a comprehensive guide on the black Shiba Inu to help you learn more about this canine breed and figure out if it’s a good match for your needs.

Keep reading as we discuss everything related to this cheerful pup from its looks, personality, and size to its common health issues, care requirements, and price.

Black Shiba Inu History

The AKC (American Kennel Club) officially recognized the Shiba Inu breed in 1992. But it arrived in the United States in the 1950s when a military family brought it into the country.

That said, the Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed that has existed since around 300 B.C. with its name translating into ‘brushwood dog’.

In the past, The Shiba Inu was used for its superb hunting skills to catch large prey. This breed is one of the nine monument breeds of Japan.

The Shiba Inu breed almost went extinct by the end of World War II, but Japan managed to conserve its unique canine and it’s currently the country’s most popular companion dog.

The color combination of the black and tan Shiba Inu is the result of selectively breeding three Shiba Inu strains at the beginning of the 1900s.

Black Shiba Inu Interesting Facts

  • The Shiba Inu is the 136th breed to be recognized by the AKC.
  • Shiba Inu is the oldest and smallest among all canine breeds in Japan.
  • The dog of the infamous internet meme ‘Doge’ belongs to the Shiba Inu breed.
  • A black Shiba Inu dog actually has a tricolor coat.

Black Shiba Inu Size 

So, how big does a black Shiba Inu get?

The Shiba Inu breed is a small dog. It continues to grow taller and heavier until they’re twelve to eighteen months old.

The weight of an adult male Shiba Inu dog falls between 20 and 23 pounds. They stand at an average height of 14.5 to 16.5 inches.

The weight of adult female Shiba Inu dogs ranges between 15 and 17 pounds. They stand at an average height of 13.5 to 15.5 inches.

Black Shiba Inu Appearance

The black Shiba Inu, like all other colors, is a strongly built small-sized dog.

Although people commonly refer to it as black, the coat of a black Shiba Inu is made up of three colors and not just solid black.

The black Shiba Inu is officially known as the black and tan Shiba Inu. It has a rusty black saddle-like pattern, distinct white urajiro markings, and tan spotting.

Even though most of its coats appear black, the base coat of a black and tan Shiba Inu is a red color. The black is an overtone, which explains why a single hair on a black and tan Shiba Inu shows three separate color sections (light cream at the base, tan red at the middle, and rusty black at the tip).

The attractive aspect of the black and tan Shiba Inu is the great contrast between its colors, which makes the pattern on its coat appear very clear.

The standard for black and tan Shiba Inus is to have buff/tan markings only on the inside of ears, cheeks, eye spots, tail, and legs.

They have the same white urajiro (Japanese for white underside) as the other Shiba Inu colors, but what makes them unique is that their urajiro looks like a white bow tie against the contrasting black hairs.

Besides black and tan, Shiba Inu comes in three shades: red, cream, and red sesame.

Black Shiba Inu Personality

The black Shiba Inu is brave, keen, alert, and bold with an overall pleasant temperament. It’s confident, independent, spirited, and good-natured.

The Shiba Inu is also affectionate and fiercely loyal to its family. It has remarkable protective tendencies, making it both a terrific companion and guard dog.

Is a Black Shiba Inu Good With Kids?

As long as you provide proper socialization and training from early on, a black Shiba Inu will be a great dog for families with kids.

The black Shiba Inu can get along well with children. Its gentle, playful, and friendly side will show to kids who treat it kindly.

Always keep an eye on kids when playing with a Shiba Inu and teach them how to interact with the dog to prevent injuries or accidents.

Is a Black Shiba Inu Good With Other Pets?

A black Shiba Inu can get along with other dogs and pets, but there’s no guarantee for it as the Japanese pooch can get aggressive toward them and even chase them as prey.

Early socialization and training are usually a huge help. Keeping the dog on a leash may also work to manage the Shiba Inu around other animals.

Does the Black Shiba Inu Bark a Lot?

Shiba Inus have a strong tendency to bark as part of their watchdog nature. They’re alert canines who are keen on guarding their territory and possessions.

If you live in an apartment or a place with noise restrictions, you may want to consider a quieter pooch.

The same goes if you reside in a city where there are lots of “suspicious strangers” or a location with plenty of wildlife. These scenarios can bring out the loud side of your Shiba Inu.

Additionally, sometimes Shiba Inus let out a weird bark if you ‘upset’ them or they’re feeling a bit stubborn. They do it just to shock you and throw you off your game, and it’ll work every time unless you’re expecting it.

Black Shiba Inu Lifespan 

Shiba Inu is a generally healthy and robust dog breed no matter the color of its coat. These pups have an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years, which falls on the longer expectancy end of the spectrum.

Black Shiba Inu Common Health Issues

Generally speaking, black Shiba Inu dogs are a healthy and sturdy breed. As we mentioned above, they tend to stick around for more years than many other dog breeds in the world.

That said, the black Shiba Inu is still at risk of a few health issues that you need to be aware of as a responsible owner.

Hip Dysplasia

Common in both small and large dog breeds, hip dysplasia is a degenerative growth abnormality.

This condition affects the joints of the hip. It occurs when the ball of the bone fits loosely into the socket.

As a result, the attaching ligaments get weaker and the bones are subjected to extra strain. With time, the hip joints become more vulnerable to stiffness and breakage.

In addition to limiting your dog’s range of motion, hip dysplasia can develop into arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that still misses a definitive cure. That said, early diagnosis and intervention can help prevent or delay chronic arthritis.

Patellar Luxation

This is an orthopedic condition that typically affects small dog breeds such as Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and of course, the Shiba Inu.

In patellar luxation, the knee cap becomes dislocated or misaligned.

The knee cap (also called the patellar) is a small bone residing in front of the point where the thigh bone (Femur) and shin bone (tibia) meet.

In this condition, the luxating knee cap shifts outside of the femoral groove (aka its normal position) and causes excessive stress on the other bones of the knee joint as they move/slip in and out.

The most obvious symptom of patellar luxation is when the dog starts carrying the affected limb(s) up.

This is usually detected in puppies, but sometimes the symptom doesn’t show until the pooch is older.


This condition is often hereditary and passes down along the line of purebred Shiba Inus. It’s a neurological disease that can cause your pup to have seizures.

Idiopathic epilepsy is an condition where seizures happen for no particular reason. The seizures manifest as bizarre behaviors such as frantic running, hiding, or staggering.

If your Shiba Inu suffers from seizures, don’t panic at how frightening the seizures may seem as the disease is typically very manageable.

Schedule an urgent visit to your vet to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

PRA is a genetic disease in which the retina of the dog’s eye(s) degenerates as it grows older.

Unfortunately, there’s still no effective treatment for PRA and it leads to loss of sight within 1 to 2 years.


Food allergies, inhalant allergies, and contact allergies can all affect your Shiba Inu pup.

The most common way you can recognize a case of allergies in a Shiba Inu is by inspecting its skin for rashes.

The site, type, and severity of these skin rashes vary according to the cause of the allergy. As such, the treatment strategy will also vary depending on the trigger of the condition.

Black Shiba Inu Care

Now that you’re familiar with the appearance and personality of the black Shiba Inu, it’s time to learn about its basic care requirements.


Adult Shiba Inu dogs need around 1 to 1.5 cups of food a day. Divide the amount over two meals, one in the morning and another in the early evening.


Shiba Inu dogs shed a lot, so they’re not the best option if you’re allergic. They shed heavily twice per year and shed moderately throughout the rest of the time.

That said, grooming a Shiba Inu is relatively easy. Brush its coat once a week and about three or four times a week when it’s shedding heavily.

Give your pooch a bath every few months and clean its teeth every two to three days. Wipe its ears and eyes at least once a week and trim its nails once or twice per month.


Socialization, obedience, crate, leash, and housebreaking training are all necessary for a well-behaved Shiba Inu.

It can be quite stubborn, so you need to be extra patient while training it. Positive reinforcement techniques are a must.


Generally, Shina Inu dogs are energetic but not very active. They need plenty of room to run around, but will also be satisfied with walks daily or every other day.

Black Shiba Inu Price

The general price range of a black Shiba Inu puppy sourced from a trusted breeder ranges between $1,500 and $3,500. This means that the average cost of a Shiba Inu is $2,250, which is pretty hefty even for a purebred dog.

The price depends on a bunch of factors including the lineage of the pup’s parents, the age of the dog, as well as the location and reputation of the breeder. Not to mention, the Shiba Inu breed is relatively rare, so owning one won’t come cheap.

Additionally, there’s been a surge in demand for this unique pooch thanks to its association with the ‘Doge’ meme since 2014 (although the featured Shiba Inu wasn’t black), boosting the status of the breed worldwide.

This meme even got linked to a type of cryptocurrency known as ‘Dogecoin’ with the face of the dog on it, which raised the breed’s profile even more.

Other than buying a black Shiba Inu, you can try adopting one. This alternative may take a long time or not even happen as Shiba Inus are quite valuable.

It’s hard to imagine people abandoning their own after all the effort and money it takes to obtain this dog in the first place. But who knows, you may come across one if you do thorough research.

Don’t forget to factor in extra expenses when budgeting for a Shiba Inu. Costs of things like food, treats, grooming sessions, toys, and medical check-ups can add up over the years.