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How to Breed Shiba Inu (The Complete Fertility Guide)

Many people gravitate towards the Shiba for their foxlike looks and unwavering loyalty. They have been well-loved by so many people throughout the centuries, too. So the key for many people to enjoy this breed for many years to come is to preserve its quality. But this is only possible with meticulous and ethical breeding practices.
How to Breed Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inu has risen in popularity through the years and more and more people want to have one. Unfortunately, the demand for this breed has consequences. Many unethical breeders only produce Shiba puppies for the money, disregarding their health.

An ill-bred Shiba Inu does not look anything like the Shiba you have in mind. You can tell the stark difference from a mile away!

This does not preserve this ancient breed that many come to know and love. So if you plan to breed a Shiba, you need to gather everything you need to know about this breed.

If you do not know where to start, do not worry. This article is a compilation of everything you need to know to breed quality Shiba Inu puppies.

Are Shiba Inu Hard to Breed?

Breeding the Shiba Inu is a straightforward process, needing minimal human intervention. It is also not common for them to have birthing issues, unlike other breeds. Still, they are not completely out of the woods as they can still have breeding problems.

According to research, medium-sized dogs are prone to dystocia. This is a problem during labor when a dog cannot progress through labor. When their labor exceeds 12 to 24 hours, this can put both the mother and her pups in danger.

In Spitz dog breeds like the Shiba, dystocia is often due to fetal anasarca. This is when the puppies have edema throughout the body. Having a huge amount of fluid under their skin is quite deadly.

There are also other causes of dystocia that you should be aware of before breeding your Shiba. This knowledge will help you prepare for worst-case scenarios. Below is a list of the possible causes.

The Dog’s Pelvic Anatomy

Dog breeds that have a narrow pelvis will have trouble delivering puppies. But even damage to their pelvis, like a fracture, can also make birthing difficult. This issue is worse if the puppies they are giving birth to have large heads.

The Puppies’ Size

Puppies that are too large have trouble passing through the birth canal. They do not fit well, and so the mother has to put in too much effort for birthing. This is a common issue if they are giving birth to a singleton puppy.

The Dog’s Breed

Some dog breeds are prone to dystocia due to their conformation. This includes French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, to name a few. Thankfully, your Shiba Inu is not a part of them.

The Puppies’ Position in the Womb

Puppies whose positions are head or hind legs first will cause no issues. But puppies born bottom first or sideways will. Oftentimes, these puppies get stuck and this puts them and the mother in harm.

Uterine Inertia

Birthing relies on the uterus’ ability to contract, pushing the puppies out. But in uterine inertia, the uterus no longer contracts. This prevents the puppies from going through the vaginal canal.

Uterine inertia can happen at any point in the labor. This issue may be due to uterine exhaustion.

Developmental Defects

Shiba Inu puppies may not have a tricky conformation that makes birthing difficult but developmental defects can result in the growth of certain body parts. This can make it hard for the mothers to push out their pups.

Puppy Death In Utero

As you know, the position of the puppies and uterine contractions are crucial in birthing. But fetal death in utero can affect both of these.

When Can Shiba Inu Have Puppies?

Your Shiba Inu can only have puppies when they reach 18 months of age. Waiting this long will ensure their safety during the breeding and birthing process.

At this age, your Shiba Inu is already a full-grown dog. You may think that it is fine for them to give birth once they are 12 months of age. But this is only the age when they reach physical maturity.

The breeding process is taxing on your Shiba Inu’s physical and mental health. And they only reach their mental maturity once they are at least 18 months old.

To highlight the importance of their age, here are specific reasons that you should know.

Your Shiba Inu’s Heart Will Be Stronger

It is not uncommon for this breed to have some congenital birth defects; one of the common forms of those is heart issues. If you breed your Shiba too early, this issue may put them in harm’s way.

Heart issues can affect your buddy’s ability to mate and breed, especially when young. This can lead to problems that will need hospitalization.

This is why it is best to wait for your Shiba’s heart to become stronger. Their heart will do extra work during breeding. So you need to make sure that it is in tip-top condition.

Your Shiba Inu’s Joints Will Be Stronger

It is common for this breed to inherit issues with their joints. The most common one is hip dysplasia, but they may also have elbow dysplasia. Even if your Shiba did not inherit this, they may still develop this later in life.

Any joint injuries can predispose them to hip dysplasia in the future. If your Shiba is young, their bodies are still fragile and prone to injuries. This is why you should take extra care of your Shiba while they are still growing.

Breeding is such a physical task for your Shiba. They will have to carry the weight of the male during the breeding process. This added weight can hurt their joints or exacerbate issues it already has.

By waiting until they are 18 months of age, you are preparing them for this.

Your Shiba Inu’s Hips and Pelvis Will Be Fully-Developed

While your Shiba is full-grown at 12 months old, their hips and pelvis may not be ready to deliver puppies. These may still be too narrow, making birthing hard for your furry friend. But at 18 months of age, these will already become wide enough.

Your Shiba Inu Will Be Mentally Ready

Your Shiba Inu is still a puppy in their minds at 12 months of age. How can you expect a puppy to take care of other puppies?

Waiting a bit longer will ensure that your Shiba has already enough exposure to the world. They are already socialized and are through with their energetic puppy phase.

If you breed your Shiba Inu too young, they may not be ready to take on the responsibilities of a mother. They will want to play, as they think this is a more fun thing to do. You would not want the litter to grow up getting rejected by their mom.

It is best to wait until your Shiba’s motherly instincts are stronger than their will to have fun.

When Can a Male Shiba Inu Breed?

Your male Shiba Inu can begin to breed at around 6 months of age as they are already fertile then. But like with a female Shiba, you may want to wait a bit longer than that.

The amount of their sperm will be much less at the start of their fertility. The quality of their sperm may not be the best while they are still young too. So even if can you breed your male Shiba Inu early, the success rate may be lower.

With this, it is better to start breeding them once they are 12 to 15 months of age. Their body is much stronger at this age than if you breed them less than a year old.

Remember that their heart and joints are still not the best while they are young puppies. The process of breeding is straining to your Shiba Inu’s body. If they are also not prepared physically, you may not see success.

What Is the Best Age to Breed a Shiba Inu?

The best age to breed a Shiba Inu is once they are around two years of age. This is especially crucial to follow for a female Shiba. But while a male Shiba may breed much younger, this may not be the best decision for them.

At a year old, your Shiba Inu is already considered full-grown. But they have up until two years of age to fill out and develop some more. While this process is slow and unnoticeable, this plays a crucial part in breeding.

For a female Shiba, the main concerns are their hips, pelvis, and mental age.

They still need around two years for their hips and pelvis to be ready for birth. Otherwise, these will be too narrow to push puppies out of the vaginal canal.

Other than that, even at a year old, a female Shiba may still think like a puppy. Taking care of a litter may not be her top priority, so there is a chance that she may reject them.

While you can step in to be the puppies’ mother figure, this is not the same. A huge and crucial part of their early development involves their mother. They learn social skills, how to be a dog, how to care for and nurture others, and more, from their mom.

Without a doubt, the connection and relationship that dogs have with each other are like no other. As a human, you cannot understand this and you cannot give this to the puppies.

While mental maturity may not be as important for males, it is still best to breed them a little later. The viability and vitality of their sperm are not the best early on in their sexual fertility. They may be able to breed, but the results may disappoint you.

At What Age Should You Stop Breeding a Shiba Inu?

You should already stop breeding your female Shiba Inu once they are 8 years of age. A stricter standard that many responsible breeders follow is stopping at the age of 5. While for a male Shiba Inu, the average age that they stop breeding is around 10 years of age.

For you to know why it is crucial to follow these, below is a detailed explanation for each gender.

Female Shiba Inu

As you can see, a female Shiba Inu’s breeding years are significantly shorter than a male’s. This is because as she ages, she loses her fertility due to the lesser amount of ovum she produces. And an older female Shiba Inu is also more prone to experiencing stillbirth.

That is why most breeders retire their female Shiba in their early senior years, which is around 5 years of age. They may also stop breeding their Shiba when she has already had more than 4 litters.

If a Shiba produced litter through almost all her heat cycle, it is even more crucial to retire her early. Her body may already be too exhausted from giving many births. This can make her pregnancy more difficult and even more dangerous.

And of course, your female Shiba Inu’s health also matters. If she already suffers from a medical condition, then it is not best for her to keep on giving birth. This will put both her and the puppies at risk.

Male Shiba Inu

A healthy male Shiba Inu can keep on breeding until he is 10 years of age. Their sperm count and quality are not viable for impregnating a female at this age anymore.

But even if your Shiba is younger than this, he may still encounter breeding issues. A decrease in sperm amount and quality can occur at any age, for whatever reason.

It can be due to an infection or injury that affects his reproductive system. Or, they may have mobility issues even at a young age. This will make it hard and even impossible for him to perform during mating.

So if their partners are not getting pregnant after mating, then your Shiba is already not fit to be a stud.

These are not the only factors to consider in retiring a male Shiba Inu. Sometimes, they may turn aggressive after mating. This is already a good enough reason to stop breeding them and have them neutered.

At What Age Do Female Shiba Inu Go Into Heat?

A female Shiba Inu goes into heat once they are around 5 to 6 months of age. Although rare, some may even have their first heat at about 7 to 8 months of age. So at this age range, you should watch out for any signs of their first heat already.

The best way to know that your Shiba is already in heat is if they have a bloody discharge and a swollen vulva. But even if you do not see a striking visual cue, you can tell by their change in temperament.

When in heat, your female Shiba Inu goes through hormonal changes. This can be too overwhelming for them that they become aggressive or even depressed. They may also be more nervous and start to urinate more frequently.

This can be a scary time for you because the symptoms are worrying. Some of these symptoms are also a sign of many health issues. But if they are around 5 to 8 months old, then you can attribute this to their first heat cycle.

How Long Are Shiba Inu in Heat?

Your Shiba Inu’s heat will last around 2 to 4 weeks, with the average being 3 weeks. But keep in mind that your furry friend’s body is more complex than yours. Her heat cycle may take longer to adjust to the chances of getting pregnant.

The duration may vary, but every female Shiba will show the same signs to signal to you that their heat ended. You can tell this by checking her vulva as it should go back to its normal size. There should also be no traces of bleeding or discharge already.

Keep in mind that your Shiba is only fertile for a short period during the heat cycle. This may begin around 9 to 10 days after your Shiba goes into heat. This will only last 5 days but she can still get pregnant until the end of her heat.

How Long Is a Shiba Inu First Heat?

Your Shiba’s first heat will still last for about 2 to 4 weeks. But this may only be on the lower end of the range. You can expect their first heat to last more than a week, but it will not be any longer than 4 weeks.

How Many Times a Year Do Shiba Inu Go Into Heat?

The average interval for a Shiba Inu’s heat cycle is after every 6 months. But this can vary from one dog to another, so it can be shorter or longer for your Shiba Inu.

A young Shiba may not have an established interval yet during their first few heat cycles. This is because they are still adjusting through the phases and they are not used to it yet. This will make it hard for you to keep track of their cycle.

But at around 18 to 24 months old, your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle will be more predictable. You can then track their cycle as this will be crucial if you want to breed them.

How Can I Tell if My Shiba Inu Is in Heat?

Two signs of heat that dog owners often look for are a swollen vulva and a discharge that may be bloody. But these are not the only signs of heat that a dog exhibits. Some of them may worry first-time dog owners, as changes in behavior are also possible.

A Shiba Inu in heat undergoes rapid hormonal changes. This can lead your Shiba Inu to become aggressive overnight. They may begin growling at you and instigate fights with other dogs in your home.

They will pick fights with male dogs because the latter may try to mount them. But there is only a small window in your Shiba’s heat cycle where they are receptive to males. Unless she is in that stage, they will fight off any male dog that goes near her.

Your Shiba Inu may also fight other females in your home. This is because they see the other as competition in being the male dog’s mating partner. Fights between female dogs can be fatal, so keep them away while one is in heat.

Other than these, your Shiba Inu may also become more interested in interacting with you. They may follow you around and get cuddlier than usual. Or, they may become the complete opposite and they do not want anything to do with you.

You may also notice that your female Shiba is now more interested in roaming around. They want to get out of the house to search for a potential mating partner.

There are other signs of heat that our Shiba Inu may exhibit, such as the following:

  • Frequent urination
  • Bigger teats and darker nipples
  • Rubbing their butt on the floor
  • Morning sickness
  • Licking their genital area more

The last on the list may be more obvious to this breed. Shiba Inu like to keep themselves clean. And when they notice discharge, they will want to clean it by licking their genital region.

At What Age Do Shiba Inu Stop Going Into Heat?

Once your Shiba Inu has her first heat, she will go through the heat cycle for the rest of her life. Unlike humans, canines do not go through menopause. So the only way to stop your Shiba from going into heat is to spay her.

Having your furry friend go into heat twice a year can be too much to handle. They go into mood swings a lot, causing chaos in your household. But this is not the biggest issue that they face when they keep on going into heat.

Dogs who continuously go into heat are more at risk of developing pyometra. This is an infection that affects your Shiba’s uterus, and it can be life-threatening.

Pyometra occurs when your Shiba’s womb fills with pus. If you do not seek medical intervention, this can lead to other serious issues. This includes toxemia, kidney failure, and even death.

So what does your Shiba’s heat cycle have to do with this? The frequent hormonal changes that they experience during heat contribute to this. So before this even becomes an issue for your furry friend, it is better to spay her.

How Long Does a Female Shiba Inu Bleed?

Your Shiba Inu’s bleeding may last for about 1 to 3 weeks, but this may vary for each dog. The bleeding occurs during the proestrus and estrus phases of the cycle. And combined, these phases last this long, on average.

When Is the Best Time to Breed a Shiba Inu?

The best time to breed your Shiba Inu is once they are physically and mentally mature, at 18 months of age and older. This goes for any gender and not only females as many may think.

Both genders will need time to adjust to changes in their body, especially their hormones. They also need to strengthen their hearts and joints to prepare for the act of mating. And females, also have to mature mentally so they can take on the responsibility of being a mother.

Waiting this long will also benefit you and the litter. If a Shiba Inu is too young to breed, they are more prone to breeding issues.

A female Shiba Inu may not be ready to birth her puppies because their hips and pelvis are narrow. The puppies may also be unhealthy and they will need more medical care.

A male Shiba Inu may not be able to perform during breeding. This can be because his heart is not strong enough to keep up with the process. Or he may not be able to impregnate a female due to his low sperm count and quality.

So while you can breed your Shiba while they are less than a year old, it is not the best option. You may put your furry friend’s life at risk, or you may only get disappointed with the outcome.

How Do I Get My Shiba Inu to Mate?

Canines know what to do to mate because they will act on instinct. So during the act of mating, they will need minimal human intervention. With this, a bulk of your work will go into the pre-breeding preparation.

Mating your Shiba Inu is not as simple as putting them in a room with another dog. There are many things for you to consider for their safety and well-being. But this is also to ensure that the puppies they produce are healthy and of quality.

There are 4 main parts to breeding your Shiba Inu:

  • Preparation
  • Mating
  • Pregnancy

And in each of these, you have duties to perform.

Breeding dogs can be a complicated process. So below, you will find what you need to do to mate your Shiba Inu.


Step 1: Understand the Responsibilities

Breeding is not for everyone as it takes a committed dog owner to do this responsibly. Not only will you care for your Shiba Inu throughout the process. But you will also have to take care of a litter for the first 8 weeks of their lives.

So the first step in breeding is to ask yourself if you can commit to this. Otherwise, it is for your Shiba and the puppies’ sake that you do not proceed with this.

Step 2: See if Your Shiba Fits the Breed Standard

A conscientious breeder should only breed dogs to improve them. If you lack expertise in doing this, then you should at least maintain the breed standard. It is never right to produce puppies that lower the quality of the breed.

With this, take the time to compare your Shiba to the breed standard. You should not only look into their physical traits. Their personality and temperament are also a big consideration.

If they do not hold up to the breed standard, it is unwise to breed your Shiba Inu.

Step 3: Learn About Your Shiba’s Heat Cycle

A crucial mistake some people do is to breed their dogs in their first cycle. This is not advisable and this may cause complications down the road. You should wait until your Shiba’s second or third heat cycle instead.

Not only is this safer, but it will also help you keep track of their heat cycle. Your Shiba’s heat is still unpredictable the first time around. But if you wait a bit longer, you will see their pattern.

This is crucial, as your Shiba only has a small window of fertility in their heat cycle. Thus, tracking their heat will help in ensuring the success of the breeding process.

Step 4: Look for a Compatible Mate

Take time to get to know the stud, and do not get blinded by their looks. You should also consider their temperament and personality.

If your Shiba Inu has a strong trait that you do not want, then the stud should balance this out. At the same time, the stud should also emphasize your Shiba’s good qualities.

Another important factor to look for is their health. You should be aware of the common hereditary conditions Shiba Inu has.

Make sure to find a healthy stud. This will prevent the puppies from getting affected by hereditary diseases that the Shiba suffers from.

Step 5: Do a Health Check on Both Dogs

Producing healthy puppies are only possible if the parents are also healthy. Make sure both dogs do not have infectious diseases that may harm the puppies.

You should also prepare your Shiba Inu months before the breeding takes place. This means that you have to take them on regular vet trips to ensure their health.

Your Shiba Inu should not be overweight and they must be fit before you breed them. Other than that, make sure to check for their mental health as well. This will prepare them to be great mothers.


This is where tracking your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle proves to be useful. The common practice is to breed dogs at around the 10th to 14th day of a female’s heat. By following this, your female Shiba Inu is receptive to the male’s advances.

Step 1: Take the Female to the Male Dog

Females are less reserved when taken to new surroundings than a male. Bringing the male to the female may cause issues too. By doing it the other way around, the female will be in defense mode and will not accept the male.

But by following this, the female will be more willing to accept her mate. You can tell this if you see her hanging her tail to the side and showing their rear to the male.

Once they have calmed down, the male will begin to mount the female and they can take it from there. But you have to stay with them for a bit to see if they need help.

Step 2: Lend a Hand When Needed

Things may not go smoothly if one of them is breeding for the first time.

If the male does not know what to do, you can guide him to the female and help him with mounting. The female may also struggle with the weight of the male mounting on her. You can put a leash on her and then hold her by her ribs until penetration occurs.

Step 3: Take a Step Back

Once they get the hang of it, move away and give them some privacy. But do not leave the room yet. Supervise them so that you can act right away if anything goes wrong.

After ejaculation takes place, the two will remain tied, tail to tail for around 10 to 30 minutes. They may try to move around, but try to keep them in their position. Otherwise, both dogs can get injured.

You should also not separate them by force. Be patient and let them separate on their own.


To confirm if your Shiba is pregnant, take them to the vet 28 days after mating. Some dogs may show signs of pregnancy, even if they are not. So the best way to know if the mating was a success is to get an ultrasound or an x-ray.

If your Shiba Inu is pregnant, you have two things to focus on. One is providing them with proper nutrition. The other is to get them used to their whelping box.

Nutrition for Your Pregnant Shiba

Your Shiba Inu’s food intake should increase as they gain weight. But this is only in the last five weeks of their pregnancy. Once they begin yelping, they will eat about 35 to 50 percent more than their usual intake.

To give the proper nutrition for Shiba, you should consult your vet about the best diet for them.

Your Shiba’s Whelping Box

If you do not want your Shiba to whelp in your closet, you should give them a space to do so. Get them used to it so that they are more likely to use it once they whelp.

There are many ways to make their whelping box inviting. Make sure to place it somewhere other dogs cannot go. They will want it to be in a quiet, dry, and warm environment.

Make sure the box has enough space and low sides so that you can easily reach inside. It may be best to line the box with newspapers at first. This will be easier for you to change after delivery when it becomes dirty.

After that, you can line the box with more comfortable items. It can be a mat, carpeting, or something else that provides the pups better footing.

Make sure to have the following items near the whelping box to prepare for delivery:

  • Scissors: To cut the puppies’ umbilical cords
  • Heating Pad: To keep the puppies warm
  • Clean Towels: To clean the puppies
  • Paper Towels: To clean the whelping box
  • Iodine: To clean the puppies’ abdomen after cutting the umbilical cord
  • Dental Floss: To tie the puppies’ umbilical cords

How Long Does It Take for a Shiba Inu to Get Pregnant?

Your Shiba Inu’s eggs get fertilized at around 48 to 73 hours after successful mating. But there is no definite sign that tells you that they are pregnant during this period. You can only know this for sure once you take them to the vet after 3 to 4 weeks for an ultrasound or x-ray.

During this period, your Shiba Inu may already show signs of pregnancy. One of these is morning sickness, and so their appetite will decrease.

It is important to note that even your vet’s scans may not be reliable this early. So the best way to confirm if your Shiba is pregnant is to do some scans a month after mating.

How Soon Can You Tell if a Shiba Inu Is Pregnant?

You may be able to tell if your Shiba is pregnant around 3 to 4 weeks after their mating day. Take them to the vet so that they can do some scans on your Shiba Inu.

How Long Is a Shiba Inu Pregnant for?

Your Shiba Inu’s pregnancy will last about 63 days. But you should already get ready for whelping on the 50th day of their pregnancy. They may already be ready to give birth during this period.

Or, your Shiba’s pregnancy may take longer than this. But their pregnancy should not last more than 72 days.

It is crucial for you to get ready during the last days of your Shiba’s pregnancy. Let your vet know how far along they are so that you can seek their help when your Shiba needs it.

Premature labor on the 50th day may result in natural birth. But in some instances, a c-section may be the best option for your Shiba Inu.

If they last longer than 70 days, then your Shiba Inu will need a c-section. This manual birthing is necessary to save the pups. But it is also important in preventing serious damage to your Shiba’s body.

So make sure to keep an eye on your Shiba during the latter periods of their pregnancy. Keep in touch with your vet, and call them whenever you deem it necessary.

How Long Does It Take for a Shiba Inu to Give Birth?

Your Shiba Inu will give birth for about 3 to 12 hours, from the beginning of the contractions to labor. It may take your Shiba Inu 30 to 60 minutes between births. But they may take a 2-hour break between puppies as well.

Keep in mind that this process should not last longer than 24 hours. If your Shiba is still in labor after 12 hours, get ready to seek veterinary care right away.

How Many Times Can You Breed a Shiba Inu?

The best practice is to only let your female Shiba Inu have around 4 to 6 litters in her lifetime. This is the most ethical way as well as this ensures the well-being of your Shiba Inu and her puppies.

By following this strict guideline, you can spay your Shiba while she is young and healthy. Spaying them will help in preventing several health issues in the future. So if you keep on delaying this, they may already develop those issues.

So even if your Shiba Inu can breed twice a year, this does not mean that you should allow it. Even breeding them once a year may already be too much for their bodies to handle. This also does not give them enough time to recover physically and mentally.

With this, the best frequency for you to breed your Shiba Inu is once every two years. But of course, only if they have a clean bill of health. Otherwise, it is best to stop breeding them at all.

With male Shiba Inu, they can breed at any time, given that they are healthy. But keep in mind that once they are older, the quality and amount of their sperm decreases. So they will not be able to impregnate a female dog as well as they used to.

How Often Should You Breed a Shiba Inu?

It is possible to breed a male Shiba Inu as often as you like, as long as they are healthy. But a female Shiba Inu does not have this liberty. The most ethical practice is to only breed them once every two years.

This will help ensure their mental and physical recovery. As a result, they can produce healthy puppies and care for them as they should. Frequently grooming your female Shiba will take a great toll on them, more than you can imagine.

How Many Puppies Do Shiba Inu Give Birth to?

The litter size of a Shiba Inu can range from 1 to 8 puppies. But the average range is around 2 to 5 puppies in one birthing session. A Shiba who is bigger and stronger may yield puppies on the higher end of the range.

How Many Puppies Do Shiba Inu Have in Their First Litter?

It is hard to tell how many puppies your Shiba Inu will have on their first litter. But they will usually have a smaller litter, at around 2 to 3 puppies. But surely, they will not produce 4 puppies or more on their first try.

Is It Normal for a Shiba Inu to Have One Puppy?

Giving birth to only one puppy is rare, no matter the breed of the dog. Canines are polytocous, which means that they give birth to more than two pups each time. So what is normal for a Shiba Inu is to give birth to no less than two puppies.

You may think that giving birth to a singleton puppy is better because they only have to push out one pup. But this is not true, dogs have trouble birthing only one puppy. A singleton puppy will also have issues in the future as they grow up without a litter.

To help you understand the gravity of this, here are the issues associated with a singleton puppy.

They Are Hard to Give Birth to

Singleton pups grow larger in your Shiba Inu’s womb. This is because all the nutrition goes to them and they have all the space in the womb to get bigger. As a result, your Shiba Inu will find it harder to give birth to it.

This can lead to dystocia, which is already a high incidence in Spitz breeds like Shiba Inu. With this, the puppy may have to get delivered via c-section.

Their large size does not speak for their full-grown bodies, though. A singleton puppy will not grow larger than other puppies from a litter.

They Cause Labor Problems

Sometimes, your Shiba Inu may not even go into labor if they are only carrying one puppy. A singleton may not be enough for the mother’s body to produce hormones to begin contractions. So a singleton may also put your Shiba Inu at risk for uterine inertia.

It is still possible for natural delivery to occur, but a c-section may be necessary. But even after successful delivery, that may still have other issues to worry about.

The Mother Will Have Issues With Them

If contractions did not occur due to a lack of hormones, your Shiba Inu’s maternal instincts may not kick in. This is an even bigger issue if this is her first time giving birth. This may also happen if she had to go through a c-section to deliver the puppy.

With this, your Shiba Inu may not recognize the puppy as hers. Oftentimes, this leads to her rejecting the poor singleton. This is a tough situation for the pup as it needs its mother, especially during the first few weeks of its life.

The singleton pup needs to feed on colostrum. This is the first milk that their mother produces during pregnancy. Colostrum is crucial for their survival as it provides nutrition and immunoglobulins.

Unfortunately, the new mother only produces colostrum for a limited time. If your Shiba’s maternal instincts do not kick in, then the puppy may be in danger.

They Cannot Keep Warm

A newborn puppy will stay close to its litter to keep warm. But in the case of a singleton, they have no other puppy to snuggle up to. This is a problem because puppies find it hard to regulate their body temperature.

While the singleton has their mother, the mom still has to get up to eat and do other things. She is not with her puppy all the time, and you cannot expect this to happen. Other than that, the mother may also reject the singleton, making the issue worse.

In this case, the singleton will need an artificial source of warmth. A heating pad may be useful. But breeders say that a stuffed toy with a heating pack mimics having a sibling.

They Find It Hard to Deal With Frustration

In a litter, a puppy always has competition. They have to battle for their mother’s nipples, their mother’s attention, and more.

But since they are alone, your Shiba Inu’s attention will only be on the singleton. If the puppy wants to drink milk, they have all the nipples on its own. If they want snuggles, then your Shiba can give it to her pup without issues.

As good as this may sound, this can be an issue for the singleton later in life. They had not learned how to deal with frustration at a young age. So once they are adults, they do not know how to channel it appropriately.

They Lack Social Skills

A puppy relies on their littermates for socialization. They play fight, teach each other bite inhibition, and more. But since they are all alone, they have no one to learn this from.

Your puppy will not learn the basic language of dogs. So they may not get along with other dogs in the future.

Other than that, socialization is crucial for them to learn how to act in certain situations. So the singleton may become aggressive as they grow up too.

How Old Can a Shiba Inu Leave Its Mother?

A Shiba Inu puppy should not get separated from their mother until they are at least 8 weeks of age. Some breeders may keep a puppy past this age because they are still far too fragile. Waiting longer than this to bring home a pup may be a better choice even.

At 8 weeks old, the puppy would have been fully weaned. They can now eat well on their own and they do not need a supplemental formula. Other than that, they are also now mobile and have awareness of their surroundings.

Staying with their littermates that long gave them enough basic socialization. They have learned basic social dog language, bite inhibition, and other crucial skills. The puppy has also had enough exposure to various sounds, sights, and smells, so they are now less fearful.

But an 8-week-old puppy may still go through a fear period. Their awareness of the world can cause them anxiety. So if they get this, they may not be able to cope well without their littermates and mother.

With this, you may want to take them home at around 9 to 10 weeks of age. They are more mature then, and much better equipped to be in their new home. Even a week or two can make this big of a difference.

How Much Does It Cost to Breed Shiba Inu?

The average cost of breeding a Shiba Inu is around $3580. A low-end cost for this would be around $1609, while this can be as expensive as $8245 for higher-end costs.

But keep in mind that this is only an estimate, so your actual cost may vary. Your expenses will also depend on where you live, your vet’s rate, the services you need, and more.

What Is the Breed Standard for a Shiba Inu?

A Shiba Inu’s appearance will slightly differ depending on their gender. Males have a more masculine look to them but without a touch of roughness. Females look feminine, but without compromising their strong structure.

But no matter their gender, this breed should have a compact body. They also have well-developed muscles underneath a thick and short fur coat.

Since the Shiba Inu were hunting dogs, they are agile and alert. Their perceptiveness makes them wonderful watchdogs.

The Shiba Inu is Japan’s most iconic dog. They have captured hearts around the world with their foxlike looks and goofy charm.

Maintaining their breed standard is crucial, as they have been around for centuries. So if you plan to breed or buy a Shiba, or if you are curious, below is a list of what you should look for.


A male Shiba should have a height of 14.5 to 16.5 in (368.3 to 419.1 mm) at the withers. While a female Shiba should be around 13.5 to 15.5 in (342.9 to 393.7 mm). There is a preference for their size to be in the middle of the range, this goes for both genders.

The average weight for a male Shiba should be 23 lbs (10.4 kg). While a female Shiba’s average weight should be around 17 lbs (7.7 kg).

Take note of the height-to-length ratio of both dogs. The ratio for a male Shiba should be 10 to 11, while a female Shiba is a bit longer. Both should have a moderate bone structure.

Any Shiba Inu who is not within their height range will get disqualified.


A well-bred Shiba Inu should be good-natured, and it should show in their expression. They should maintain a confident and strong gaze.


This breed’s eyes are triangular in shape to some degree. The eyes should be deep set and stands upwards toward the outer base of the ear.

A Shiba’s iris should be dark brown, with black rims.


Like their eyes, a Shiba Inu’s ears should be triangular in shape too. The ears would be small and firmly pricked. But it should be proportional to their head and body size.

Their ears are well-set apart and tilt forward. The slant must be from the back of their ear and follows the arch of the neck.


A Shiba’s skull should be moderate and proportional to its body size. They have a broad and flat forehead along with a modest furrow. Their stop should also be moderate.


This breed has a full, round, and firm muzzle. They must have a stronger lower jaw that projects from their full cheeks.

The bridge of their muzzle should be straight, tapering a bit from stop to the tip of their nose.

Take note of the proportion of their muzzle. It should be 40 percent of their total head length. This should be from the occiput to the tip of their nose.

A Shiba’s lips should be tight and black in color. Their nose should also be black. There is a preference for intact whiskers in this breed.


The Shiba Inu has a scissor-like bite. They should have a complete set of well-aligned teeth. Each tooth should be considerable and strong.

A Shiba who is missing 5 or more teeth is a hefty fault that warrants a penalization. An undershot or an overshot bite also counts as a disqualification.


This breed has a neck of moderate length. It should be thick and sturdy.


The topline of a Shiba Inu should be straight. It should also be at a level to the base of its tail.


A Shiba Inu’s body is dry and has well-developed muscles. It should not appear to be sluggish or coarse.

Their forechest should also be well-developed. A Shiba’s ribs should be moderately sprung. Their abdomen is firm and well tucked.

Their back must also be firm, with strong loins.


The tail of a Shiba Inu should carry over its back and is either curled or sickle. The preference is a loose and single curl or sickle tail that points toward the neck, parallel to the back. The tail length should almost reach the hock joint when extended.

A double-curled tail or a sickle tail that points upwards is acceptable.


A Shiba Inu’s upper arm and shoulder blade should be moderate in angle. They should also be roughly equal in length. Their elbows are close to their body and must turn neither in nor out.

The forelegs and feet must be fairly spaced and straight, and also parallel. Their pasters have a slight incline. Removing a Shiba’s dewclaws is optional.

The Shiba’s feet are cat-like. Their toes are well-arched and should fit closely together. Their paw pads must also be thick.


The hindquarters should also have moderate angulation. This must be in balance with the forequarters.

Their rear legs are strong, naturally assuming a wide stance. Their hock joint must also be strong and turns neither in nor out.

The upper thighs of a Shiba are long, while the second things are short. There should be no dewclaws on their hindquarters.

Like the forequarters, their hind feet are also cat-like, well-arched, and tight together.


The Shiba Inu has a thick, double coat. The topcoat must be straight and stiff. While the undercoat is soft, dense, and thick. The guard hairs on this breed are around 1.5 to 2 (38.1 to 50.8 mm) in length at their withers.

The fur on their face, legs, and ears is short. But the hair on their tail is a bit longer and looks like a brush.

Trimming the coat of a Shiba Inu warrants a grave penalization. Thus, you should not trim your Shiba. A woolly or long coat is also considered a serious fault.


The Shiba Inu only has a few officially-recognized colors and markings. Each color should be intense and clear. No matter their color, the undercoat of a Shiba should either be buff, gray, or cream.

For all colors, white spots on the top of the eyes are okay. But this is not needed.


This is a cream to white color. This must be present on the following area of any coat colors:

  • Sides of the muzzle
  • Cheeks
  • Inside the ears
  • Underjaw
  • Inside the legs
  • Abdomen
  • Around the vent
  • Under the tail

This color is most common on the chest, forechest, and throat. There is a preference for clear red, but a tiny amount of black tipping is fine. But this should only be on the back and the tail.

Clear orange-red color with urajiro leads to the foxlike appearance of a Shiba Inu.

Blacks and Sesames

Usually as a triangular coloration on both sides of a Shiba’s forechest.

Black With Tan Points and Urajiro

The black hairs should have a warm hue and be brownish. The black on a Shiba should not have a blue cast.

Their undercoat is either gray or buff. And the distinction between tan and black areas should be clear and defined.

Tan colorations should be present in the following locations:

  • Two oval spots over their eyes
  • Sides of the muzzles
  • Outside the forelegs
  • Outside the hind legs
  • Inside the ears
  • Under the tail
Sesame with Urajiro

They should have black-tipped hairs and a dominant, rich red coat. The tipping should be light, even on their body and head. There should be no concentration of black in any location of their body.

The sesame color may be a widow’s peak on their forehead. But this should leave the bride and the sides of their muzzle red. Their eye spots and lower legs should are also red in color.


A Shiba Inu is nimble and moves lightly on its feet. When they walk, their legs angle in as the topline remains straight and firm. The forward reach and the extension of their rear are also moderate yet efficient.


The Shiba Inu is a bold and fiery dog with a good nature. They are self-sufficient dogs, with great love and devotion for whoever earns their respect. But they are wary of strangers, wanting to keep a distance from them.

Sometimes a Shiba can be aggressive toward other dogs. But they should always respect and follow their handler.

A Shiba who shows aggression to their handler warrants a penalization. One that is also too shy will get penalized.

Should I Desex My Shiba Inu?

Desexing your female Shiba Inu is the only way to stop their heat cycles, so this is the best thing you can do for them. It may give you peace of mind to not deal with the challenges of a dog in heat. But what you should think of is how this benefits her in many ways.

Spaying your Shiba Inu will help with her health, behavior, and more. But this is also not without risks.

The following is a list of the benefits and risks of spaying your Shiba Inu. It will be up to you if the pros outweigh the cons.

The Benefits of Spaying Your Shiba Inu

It Lessens Her Aggression

An intact Shiba Inu is more prone to aggression than a fixed one. This is especially when she is in heat as she will pick a fight with other dogs in your home.

When she picks a fight with a male dog, it is because she is rejecting the male’s advances for mating. But when she is not in heat, she usually gets along with male dogs.

Unfortunately, they do not get along with other female dogs whether they are in heat or not. In heat, they will fight for the male dog so they can be the mating partner. When not in heat, both dogs want to be the alpha and neither will back down.

But spaying your Shiba Inu will help in curbing their aggression. This will save you from some troublesome and worrying behaviors.

It Lessens Her Health Risks

Spaying your Shiba Inu will reduce her risk of getting several serious health issues. This includes uterine infections, pyometra, breast tumors, and certain cancers.

It Extends Her life

Since their risks for health issues are less, you may spend more time with your furry friend. On average, a spayed Shiba will live about one and a half years longer than an intact one.

It Prevents Unwanted Pregnancies

Spaying involves removing your Shiba Inu’s ovaries and uterus. Without these, it is not possible for her to get pregnant again.

This will prevent her from getting pregnant accidentally. Raising a litter of pups is time-consuming, expensive, and involves a lot of care. So if you did not plan to have one, then it will take a toll on you.

It Reduces Her Urine Marking

Although this is common in male dogs, your female Shiba may also do this. They are territorial dogs who will use their urine to keep others away from their property. Spaying them may reduce this, although this is something you may not get rid of.

It Lessens Her Need to Roam

Sometimes, a female dog will escape home when they are in heat to look for a mating partner. This is a big issue as they may get hurt, get lost, or get into an accident. But spaying your Shiba will decrease her need to do this.

The Risks of Spaying Your Shiba Inu

She May Develop Urinary Incontinence

This condition occurs when her bladder muscles weaken, and so it will leak. Urinary incontinence due to spaying a dog is quite rare, but it still happens.

The risk for this is greater if you spay your Shiba before they reach full development. So if you want to avoid this, you should neuter your Shiba after they are 6 months of age.

She May Be Immature

Many find that a spayed Shiba Inu is less mature than intact ones. So you should consult your vet about this, to figure out what is best for your furry friend. Sometimes, a Shiba is much better if they are intact.

Spaying Also Comes With Health Risks

Your furry friend is never a hundred percent safe from health issues. A spayed Shiba may be more prone to cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, and osteosarcoma.

What Age Should a Shiba Inu Be Spayed?

While there is no exact answer to this, most vets recommend spaying dogs at around 4 to 9 months of age. There are various factors to consider if you plan to spay your Shiba Inu.

The timing is crucial for your Shiba Inu. It can either be positive for them, or it can be negative and lead to several issues. There is no blanket answer for this as this will depend on each dog.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Shiba Inu Spayed?

Spaying your Shiba Inu may cost around $50 to $400. The price will vary as it depends on the dog’s breed, age, and location. It may also depend on the clinic you go to as some will charge higher or lower than this.

Should Shiba Inu Be Neutered?

All things considered, neutering your Shiba Inu is the best choice you can make for them. It makes them healthier, reducing their risk for serious health issues such as prostate cancer. This will help in extending your Shiba’s life so they get to spend more time with you!

Neutering also has a positive effect on their behavior, making them better-behaved dogs. It can curb your Shiba Inu’s aggressive tendencies, and they can be quite feisty. It will also reduce urine marking and roaming behaviors.

What Age Should I Get My Shiba Inu Neutered?

Like a female Shiba, there is no exact answer to this as it will depend on a variety of factors. But again, the common suggestion is to have your Shiba neutered at around 4 to 9 months of age.

Experts recommend neutering a male Shiba before he reaches puberty. It is often thought that this gives them lasting health benefits. This will also prevent them from developing unwanted behaviors and aggression.

How Much Does It Cost to Neuter a Shiba Inu?

You can expect to pay around $50 to $400 to neuter your Shiba Inu. The price will depend on your Shiba’s age and where you live. Some clinics will charge you a significantly lower price for this, so make sure to do your research first.