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Mame Shiba Inu: Everything You Need To Know

Adorable, friendly, attentive, alert, and loyal are all traits you can expect when dealing with the lively and spirited Mame Shiba Inu.

This pooch isn’t just cute and bold, but it also comes from one of the most beloved and well-known dog breeds in the world. The Shiba Inu even became a global meme that forever lives on the internet ( shout out to Doge!).

Although Shiba Inu dogs come in a standard size, today we’re focusing on a different-sized version called the Mame Shiba Inu.

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

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

Mame Shiba Inu History

Although the AKC (American Kennel Club) officially recognized the Shiba Inu breed in 1992, it was already known in the United States since the 1950s thanks to a military family who imported it in 1954.

That said, the history of Shiba Inu is far more ancient. This breed is native to Japan and dates back to 300 B.C.

The name ‘Shiba Inu’ literally translates into ‘brushwood dog’. This is probably inspired by the brush in the mountains as a tribute to the breed’s history as a hunter in the harsh mountains of Japan.

The Shiba Inu canine is one of the nine monument breeds of Japan. Despite almost going extinct by the end of World War II, Japan managed to conserve the fascinating pooch that managed to overcome wartime deprivations. 

Currently, the Shiba Inu is the country’s most popular companion dog.

Where Did the Mame Shiba Inu Come From?

Mame Shiba Inus are created using one of two breeding techniques: reproducing the dwarfism gene or reproducing runts.

The first method involves two Shiba Inus who possess the dwarfism genetic mutation.

Typically, this results in a smaller version of the Shiba Inu with all other traits intact. Structural deformities are the main health risk in that case.

As for breeding runts, breeders choose the smallest and weakest pups in the Shiba Inu litter. While all the traits remain intact except for the tinier stature, there’s a high risk of health problems due to congenital abnormalities. 

Mame Shiba Inu Interesting Facts

  • Mame Shiba Inu and Miniature Shiba Inu aren’t the same.
  • The Shiba Inu is the 136th breed to be recognized by the AKC.
  • The dog of the infamous internet meme ‘Doge’ belongs to the Shiba Inu breed.
  • The Shiba Inu is the oldest and smallest dog among all canine breeds in Japan.

Mame Shiba Inu Size 

Shiba Inu is a small breed, to begin with. Its standard size goes as follows:

  • 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.

Compared to these measurements, the Mame Shiba Inu is visibly smaller, around 35 to 50 percent to be more precise.

An adult Mame Shiba Inu weighs between 10 and 15 pounds and stands at about 10 to 12 inches.

According to the KCJ (The Kennel Club of Japan), a Mame Shiba Inu that’s shorter than less than 10 inches (25 cm) can still be recognized given that both their mind and body are healthy and they aren’t the result of crossbreeding.

Mame Shiba Inu vs Miniature Shiba Inu

Mame Shiba Inu refers to the small version of purebred Shiba Inus whereas Miniature Shiba Inu describes the small hybrid dogs resulting from crossing a Shiba Inu with a different toy breed.

Mame Shiba Inu Appearance

Mame Shiba Inus are just a downsized version of the normal Shiba Inu. Their bodies are compact and muscular with short legs, triangular eyes, and pointed ears. 

They possess thick double coats with a soft undercoat and a stiff outer coat.

Like their standard-size counterparts, Mame Shiba Inu dogs come in four colors: red, red sesame, black and tan, and cream. They also display the unique urajiro pattern (white markings on the face and underside). 

Mame Shiba Inu Personality

The temperament of the Mame Shiba Inu is a copy of the standard Shiba Inu. It’s bold, alert, keen, playful, and overall pleasant to be around.

It’s also lively, confident, good-natured, and independent. Not to mention, its affectionate and loyal nature makes them a good family dog.

Additionally, its strong protective tendencies allow it to serve as a reliable little guard dog.

Is a Mame Shiba Inu Good With Kids?

Similar to normal Shiba Inus, the Mame version can get along well with children as long as you provide proper socialization and training from early on.

Its gentle, friendly, and playful traits are easy to draw on with kids who treat it kindly and respectfully.

Still, you should always keep an eye on kids when playing with a Mame Shiba Inu. The dog’s small size puts it at risk of injuries or accidents if children get too rough.

Is a Mame Shiba Inu Good With Other Pets?

Once again, a Mame Shiba Inu is more likely to get along with other dogs and pets if you provide early socialization and training. 

This is necessary because it can get aggressive toward other animals and even chase them around.

Does the Mame Shiba Inu Bark a Lot?

Like their bigger counterparts, Mame Shiba Inus are loud barkers. So, you may want to consider a quieter pooch if you live in an apartment or a place with noise restrictions.

Besides normal barks, sometimes Shiba Inus let out a weird bark if you ‘upset’ them or they’re in a stubborn mood. They do it to shock you or throw you off, and it’s very effective unless you’re expecting it!

Mame Shiba Inu Lifespan 

Mame Shiba Inu dogs can live as long as their standard-size counterparts. A healthy Mame pup can stick around for an average of 13 to 16 years.

Mame Shiba Inu Common Health Issues

Normal Shiba Inu dogs are a healthy and sturdy breed. But making them smaller comes with a set of potential health problems.

As a responsible owner, you need to be aware of these possible issues so you can provide better care for your furry buddy.


This ophthalmic condition is common among Shiba Inus due to their genetic makeup.

Glaucoma is the buildup of fluid inside the eyes when there’s too much pressure placed on them. The smaller the Shiba Inu, the higher the risk.


Suffering from this condition, your dog’s eye(s) will be covered with a milky, cloudy layer that keeps it from seeing clearly.

The good news is that cataracts aren’t painful and are easy to treat via surgery. After the vet removes the cloudy film, your pup will have its normal eyesight back.

Sometimes, the dog won’t even need surgery, and the vet only prescribes eye drops.

The important thing is to have your Black Shiba Inu checked right away if you notice its eye(s) changing colors. If cataracts are left untreated, they can cause glaucoma and end with going blind.

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.

Patellar Luxation

This is an orthopedic condition that typically affects small dog breeds such as Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and Shiba Inu. The Mame Shiba Inu is at higher risk because it’s even smaller.

Also known as the patellar, the knee cap is a small bone located in front of the point where the Femur (thigh bone) meets the Tibia (shin bone).

Patellar luxation is a condition involving the dislocation or misalignment of the knee cap.

When the affected knee cap shifts outside of the femoral groove (its normal position), it results in additional stress on the rest of the bones in 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 condition is usually diagnosed when the dog is still a puppy, but sometimes it doesn’t show until it grows older.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a degenerative growth abnormality that commonly affects both small and large dog breeds.

Hip dysplasia occurs in the hip joint when the ball of the bone doesn’t fit properly into the socket.

This causes the attaching ligaments to weaken and the bones to operate under excessive strain.

Over time, the hip joints become more prone to stiffness and breakage. Not only does this limit your pup’s range of motion, but it can also develop into arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition without a definitive cure yet.  Early diagnosis and intervention can help prevent or delay chronic arthritis.


Food allergies, inhalant allergies, and contact allergies can all affect your Mame Shiba Inu pooch. The risk is higher in warmer weather.

The most common way you can tell that your dog has allergies is by inspecting its skin for rashes. Other symptoms include excessive sneezing and runny/swollen eyes/

The site and severity of the symptoms vary according to the trigger of the allergy. Similarly, the treatment strategy will depend on the cause of the allergic reaction.


This condition is often hereditary, which means it passes down along the line of purebred Shiba Inus.

Seizures or epilepsy is a neurological disease that can cause your pup to demonstrate bizarre behaviors such as frantic running, hiding in fear, falling to the side and paddling, jerking, stiffening, staggering, chomping, or tongue chewing.

If your Shiba Inu suffers from seizures, don’t panic at how alarming the seizures may seem. Simply stay away from your dog’s mouth and gently move it away from items that could hurt it.

This condition is typically very manageable, but be sure to schedule an urgent visit to your vet to determine the appropriate course of treatment and avoid brain damage.

Mame Shiba Inu Care Tips

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


Adult Mame Shiba Inu dogs need around a cup of food daily. Divide the amount over two portions, one in the morning and another in the early evening.


Like their standard counterparts, Mame Shiba Inu dogs shed a lot. They shed heavily twice per year (during summer and winter) and shed moderately throughout the rest of the months.

That said, grooming a Mame Shiba Inu is easier than a standard Shiba Inu.

Brush its thick double coat once a week and twice a week when it’s shedding heavily. A bath every few months is enough to avoid dry skin.

Clean your puppy’s teeth every two to three days. Wipe its ears and eyes once a week and trim its nails once per month.


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

Like its standard version, mini Shiba Inus can be quite stubborn, so training them can be frustrating. However, their size makes them easier to manage but you still need to be extra patient while training.

Only use positive reinforcement techniques. Be firm and consistent but never harsh.


While Mame Shina Inu dogs are energetic, they aren’t very active and don’t require too much exercise.

Give them plenty of room to run around and they’ll be satisfied. You can also take them on a short walk a few times a week.

Mame Shiba Inu Price

The general price range of a Mame Shiba Inu ranges between $1,200 and $3,000. The exact cost varies depending on the ancestry, health, and age of the dog.

Additionally, pups from reputable breeders tend to be more expensive. Be careful when choosing a breeder as some may try to sell you a hybrid toy Shiba or a severely starved standard-sized Shiba Inu.