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Do Shiba Inus Shed? A Guide to Taking Care of Your Shiba Inu Pup

Do Shiba Inus Shed? A Guide to Taking Care of Your Shiba Inu Pup

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With their unique looks, Shiba Inus will be the center of attention no matter where you go.

Despite being shy among new people, everyone loves these fox-like dogs! Because of their popularity, it is no wonder why first-time dog owners wonder if Shiba Inus shed.

These dogs are loved across the globe, and it seems like no one can resist them. However, looking at their long fur, you may ask yourself how much do Shiba Inus shed, and are they challenging to take care of?

Here’s what you need to know about the Shiba Inu shedding as well as their grooming.

Breed Overview

Shiba Inus is lying on the floor in the bedroom

Shiba Inus are purebred dogs with a long lifespan and a unique temperament originating from Japan. They are probably the oldest spitz dog breed from this Eastern country.

The breed was first mentioned around 6000 years B.C., making it one of the oldest breeds in the world! During the 20th century, people brought these Japanese Mountain Dogs to the USA, and from there, the breed spread all over the Western World.

The Japanese describe the breed’s personality with three words: kaani-i (boldness), soboku (alertness), and ryosei (good-natured).

These three traits combined are what make Shiba Inus – or Japanese Brushwood Dogs – so unique among other canines.

These are intelligent, active, and definitely stubborn dogs. They resemble ninjas of the canine world. Shiba Inus are always alert of the world around them, and are prepared for any trouble that may occur.

According to many Shiba Inu owners, this dog breed approaches the world with a somewhat superior attitude.

They have a calm dignity, and they move quickly and effortlessly. You won’t even notice them sneaking behind you!

Because of their high level of independence, most people consider this to be one of the most stubborn breeds out there.

This also makes them somewhat challenging to train. It’s necessary to socialize your Shiba Inu puppies as early as possible.

Understanding the true nature of these dogs is essential. Otherwise, you may end up frustrated when your Shiba Inu doesn’t do exactly what you expected him to do.

It can be challenging to teach your Shiba Inu to be friendly to other puppies and people. No matter how much you try, some dogs of this breed are simply loners and don’t feel like sharing their space with strangers.

This is especially noticeable if you happen to have a possessive Shiba Inu, which isn’t a rare occurrence.

These canines will be selfish with their belongings, such as territory, toys, or food. They might even be overly protective over their owners!

Despite all of this, Shiba Inus can be fantastic family pets because of their loyalty and devotion. If you socialize them in time, they can even be great with children!

Keep in mind that Shiba Inus need their alone time. If you missed socialization, they could be extremely unfriendly towards other dogs. Intact males can be overly aggressive towards one another – but when it comes to same sex aggression, there isn’t a huge difference in male vs. female Shiba Inu.

Don’t let your Shiba Inu run around without a leash. These dogs are bred to be hunters, and when something catches their attention, they’ll start chasing it – whether it is a chipmunk, a cat, or another pup.

This breed makes excellent guard dogs as they will be sure to alert you of any change in the environment. Nothing unusual can go unnoticed when you have a Shiba Inu.

It’s worth noting that these are extremely active dogs that need daily exercise. They are escape artists as well, so make sure your backyard is extra secure.

Still, if you train them properly, Shiba Inus make wonderful companions. You simply have to get used to their free spirit – however, one could argue that this is precisely the trait that makes them so loveable and unique.

The Shiba Inu’s Coat

Shiba Inu stands in the tiled kitchen, staring ahead

At first glance, you can notice that the Shiba Inu has a medium-length double coat that makes him look like a Teddy Bear. Their outer coat is straight and stiff while the thick undercoat is rather soft.

They come in orange-red, sesame, and urajiro (white to cream ventral color). However, you can find them in a few other ‘unrecognized’ colors, such as cream. They commonly have white markings on their forelegs, hind legs, and on the tip of their tail.

They are among the fluffiest dog breeds out there, and because of this, it’s easy to assume they are massive shedders. But… is this claim true??

Do Shiba Inus Shed a Lot?

Shiba Inus lying in flowers

Taking the type of their coat into consideration, Shiba Inus are moderate to heavy shedders. A double coat is usually a sign you’ll have a lot to do when it comes to grooming.

Shiba Inus are seasonal shedders. In other words, they have two shedding seasons when they lose a lot of hair.

This typically happens during the fall and the spring. This is the time when a dog’s coat changes as your pooch needs more or less insulation.

This seasonal shedding is known as ‘blowing coat.’

However, Shiba Inus will experience a high amount of shedding throughout the year.

Depending on the climate, your Shiba Inu might shed more or less as the seasons change. Also, if he spends a lot of time indoors, his coat won’t change too much, which might mean less dog hair for you to clean up.

As the weather becomes cold in the fall, a Shiba Inus’ coat becomes thicker to keep the body warm. When the spring arrives, the thick, winter coat is no longer necessary, so now, all that extra hair needs to go.

But now, you may wonder, ‘Why does my Shiba Inu shed so much right before winter?’ This is because a dog needs to blow his undercoat to prepare his skin for the new, thicker fur.

However, not all Shiba Inus will go through this excessive shedding during the fall.

Overall, Shiba Inus will shed – a lot. You should be prepared to find dog hair everywhere – on your clothes, your furniture, the floor, and especially on the dog bed!

If you plan on getting yourself a Shiba, then expect some heavy vacuuming.

Reducing the Shedding Amount

Shiba Inu lies and rests on the floor

When you get a Shiba Inu, you need to prepare that you’ll have to deal with dog hair throughout most of your day. While this may be challenging, it is something to be expected with a dog breed with such a coat type.

There isn’t a way to entirely stop your Shiba Inu from shedding.

However, you can regulate just how much they shed and whether the loose hairs will affect the look of your upholstery and formal outfit.

Here are a few methods you can use to reduce the amount of shedding to a certain amount.

Regular Brushing

The main activity that helps reduce shedding is regular brushing and grooming. Your pup’s top coat will need a lot of care, as it’s relatively long and fluffy.

The Shiba Inu is an extremely clean breed. In fact, this is a rare canine species in the sense that these dogs do all they can to keep themselves clean, which is an activity usually attributed to cats. Sometimes, though, you’ll need to give them a helping hand.

Luckily, his coat won’t tangle as often as some other breeds’ coats, such as a Golden Retriever or a Poodle’s. Still, this doesn’t mean that regular grooming is something that you should overlook.

Brushing is a great way to remove any loose fur that is stuck on the outer coat. It can also help redistribute skin oils into the coat, ensuring everything stays in place.

To brush a Shiba Inu dog, you should use a high-quality slicker brush and brush your pooch all over his body. Go in the direction of hair growth. In case you run across any tangles, brush in the opposite direction.

If this isn’t enough, you can try some good de-shedding tools, such as the Furminator. Supposing your local pet store doesn’t have any – you can always purchase one online from sites such as Amazon.

Luckily, a Shiba’s coat isn’t prone to knots, mats, and tangles; therefore, you won’t have to reach for any detangling tools often.

Once the coat feels nicely brushed out, take a steel comb and run through your pooch’s fur once again to ensure there are no more tangles or knots.

While you don’t have to give them daily brushing, it would be smart to groom them at least once every three to five days.

It would be best if you were extra careful while brushing a Shiba Inu’s tail. As it’s very fluffy, you may accidentally catch the skin with your brush. To ensure this doesn’t happen, protect the tip of the tail with your fingers.

Another good tactic is to do ‘line combing.’ This means you need to take a small area of your dog’s coat and start brushing from there. Remove any loose hair from the undercoat until the comb can slide through everything without any issues.

Using your hand, push the brushed area of the coat to the side and start working on the next section. Repeat everything until you’ve brushed your entire dog.

It would be smart to take your Shiba Inu to a professional groomer at least twice a year. While we’re sure you can do an excellent job of combing on your own, no one can match an expert!

Bathing

Another thing that reduces excessive dog shedding is bathing.

Shiba Inus do not require a lot of bathing.

It would be best if you didn’t bathe them too often since this can interrupt natural oils that keep your pup’s skin moisturized. In fact, your Shiba Inu should get a bath every three to four months – except on the occasion he gets extremely dirty.

The best time to bathe your best friend is during heavy shedding as this will help you keep dead hairs off your furniture.

As Shiba Inus have fairly long hair, you shouldn’t keep them wet longer than necessary. Dry them with a blow dryer using a low setting, or use a clean towel. This will also help remove even more loose hairs.

Once you’re done bathing him, give him a good brushing session. You’ll notice that it’s much easier to brush a clean coat than one filled with grease and dust.

It’s essential always to use a dog shampoo while bathing your pooch. Human shampoos and detergents aren’t made for sensitive dogs’ skin, and they can do more harm than good.

A Balanced Diet

It goes without saying that you need to feed your dog with quality dog food. This is the best thing you can do to ensure his fur is shiny and healthy.

A balanced diet will improve your pup’s overall health, and it will save you plenty on dog bills. While it may seem like you’re wasting too much money on expensive food, this will certainly pay off in the long run.

Shiba Inu dog in the house

Photo from:@komushiba21

Some dogs can develop allergies to certain types of food. If they have issues with a specific meal, they might experience excessive hair loss, especially around the eyes, on the muzzle, and ears. If your dog starts shedding after you’ve changed his diet, chances are the new food is causing him problems.

Suppose you know your dog is sensitive to particular meals. In that case, you may have to experiment a bit with several different foods. Don’t let this discourage you. Once you find the perfect type of food for your four-legged friend, it’ll be worth it.

It might not be a bad idea to supplement your dog’s food with olive oil, Salmon oil, or flaxseeds. If you worry about the amount, the rule of thumb is to add one teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight.

All of these oils contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are hugely beneficial for your dog’s skin, fur, bones, heart, and kidneys. Not to mention they are great for dealing with inflamed skin and dandruff.

If you don’t feel like supplements are a good thing, then try increasing the amount of fish you give to your dog. You can try giving him tuna or salmon as many dogs love these.

Some human foods can also be good for dogs, especially if you use them to replace regular dog treats. This includes brussels sprouts, hummus, or just regular paprika.

Water is another thing many dog owners don’t think a lot about. However, dehydration can cause dry skin, and dry skin is more prone to flaking and creating dandruff. Not to mention that a dehydrated coat won’t look as good – and it will fall off in higher amounts.

The Shiba Inu feeding chart can be a very helpful tool in deciding what kind of food is a good option for your dog and how much food should your dog eat, but, still, don’t forget to consult with a local vet before you change your dog’s diet. If you choose wrong, new dog food can do more harm than good.

Regular Vet Visits

It is also essential to take your dog to the vet if you notice any sudden changes in the amount of shedding – especially if you see any bald patches. This is different from dog shedding – in fact, it is called hair loss.

Hair loss is the first sign of many health issues, such as thyroid diseases. It’s also a sign of severe allergies.

Parasites can also cause itching, which will make your dog scratch a lot. This will hurt his skin and his hair might fall off. If you don’t know how to deal with fleas or ticks, then a local veterinarian might be of help.

Your pooch might also be shedding due to stress. Think about any sudden changes in his environment. Did you bring a new pet to the household, or maybe moved to a new house? Did something happen that frightened him?

Hair loss is a noticeable sign of stress. Try comforting your dog and, if possible, getting rid of anything that’s stressing him out. Talk to the vet as they might prescribe you some calming dog medicine that might help your pup feel better.

Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

Shiba inu dog lying on grey sofa at home

Dog allergies are one of the most common types of allergies in humans. Many people feel like dog hair makes their breathing worse, and it can even cause a feeling of suffocation.

Since you know how much do Shiba Inus shed, you probably wonder if they are bad for allergy sufferers.

Sadly, Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic dogs.

But, before this stresses you out, be aware of this: No dog is entirely hypoallergenic. This is because what causes an allergic reaction isn’t a dog’s hair, but dander.

Dander is tiny specks of dead skin that is shed from a dog’s skin, similar to our dandruff. It usually sticks to a dog’s hair, then flies onto your furniture or clothes.

Dander is a strong allergen that can trigger some people’s immune systems, causing mild to severe reactions.

As all dogs produce dander, there isn’t a dog without this allergen. The common misconception that dogs that don’t shed are hypoallergenic was born from misinformation that a dog’s hair will cause allergic reactions.

That being said, Shiba Inus shed a lot. This means their dander will easily fly everywhere, including in your nose and eyes. If you’re someone who struggles with allergies, the Shiba Inu might not be the best breed for you.

In fact, none Shiba Inu mixed breeds, such as a Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix, a crossbreed with a Husky, or even a Poodle mix, cannot be considered hypoallergenic.

How To Be Sure You Have Dog Allergies

Sneezing woman next to the dog

Even if you’ve never suffered from dog allergies, you may feel that a specific dog is causing you trouble breathing.

Dog allergies include some of the following symptoms:

• Sneezing

• Coughing

• Watery eyes

• Runny nose

• Sore throat

• Rashes

If they all happen when your Shiba Inu is nearby, then chances are you’re experiencing allergic reactions to your dog’s dander.

However, not all people have issues with a dog’s dander. There are many allergens in a dog’s urine and saliva. Check out what exactly you’re allergic to as this can help you determine the next step.

Allergies won’t go away with time or exposure. In fact, they only get worse. If you experience allergy symptoms, but want to get a Shiba Inu, then it might be smart to talk to your doctor first.

A doctor might point you in the right direction or even give you adequate therapy. There are many antihistamines, and chances are some of them might help you.

Before you get a dog, make sure your health condition won’t make it challenging to take care of your new pet.

Managing Allergy Symptoms

Beautiful young woman is smiling and using a vacuum cleaner while cleaning floor at home

Just because you have a mild dog allergy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a Shiba Inu. Luckily, there are some precautionary measures you should take, so you can prevent your allergies from worsening.

First off, do all of the methods mentioned above to reduce shedding. Dander spreads around with loose hair, and the more your dog sheds, the likely you are to experience breathing issues.

Considering that the Shiba Inu is the breed known for excessive shedding, managing your pet’s hair loss is crucial in this situation.

Take one area of your house and make it off-limits to your dog. This way, you’ll have a room that will always be clean and safe.

Don’t sleep with your Shiba Inu. While this isn’t an easy decision to make, it isn’t a good idea to share a bed with your pooch if you have dog allergies as this will allow high amounts of dander to enter your breathing system.

Buy a good air purifier in case your HVAC system isn’t doing a great job. This will keep the air in your house fresh, and it will take plenty of dander and dog hair away.

Vacuum your floors daily. Sure, this isn’t a fun chore to do, but it’s essential for getting rid of any loose hair. It’s imperative to clean your carpets regularly as this is where most dog hair collects.

In fact, it might be a good idea to get rid of carpets altogether. Some homeowners might not be too fond of this idea, and it absolutely isn’t necessary, but it might help.

Keep your clean clothes somewhere your dog can’t reach them. Store them when you’re not wearing them to keep them away from any hairs and pet dander. Make the closet part of your ‘No Pets Allowed’ zone.

When you pet your dog, wash your hands after you’re done playing with him. Make sure you rinse them well before touching your face.

This can be tricky at first, but if you make handwashing a habit, you’ll notice a reduction in your allergy symptoms.

If nothing else helps, take your allergy medication and hope for the best. Sure, some people hate taking medicine, but it’s better to take an antihistamine from time to time rather than to have to get rid of your family member.

Final Thoughts

All future dog owners want to know how difficult it will be grooming their dog.

If you have ever questioned, ‘Do Shiba Inus shed?’ you won’t be happy to learn that, sadly, these dogs are moderate to heavy shedders.

Luckily, it isn’t tricky to take care of a Shiba Inu. The worst chore you’ll have is regular vacuuming and cleaning your furniture and clothes with a good lint remover. Their long fur won’t tangle easily, and you don’t need to brush it daily.

However, this amount of shedding can pose an issue for people with dog allergies.

If you’re an allergy sufferer, it might be smart to talk to your doctor before getting a Shiba Inu as your pet.

And, don’t worry – just because you have dog allergies doesn’t mean you can’t have this intelligent and cute breed as your pet. You simply might have to take some extra steps.

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