Black Shiba Inus – A Complete Guide to the Black Shiba Inu

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The iconic Shiba Inu is one of the world’s favorite Japanese pets. Want to know the truth about black Shiba Inus? In this article, we’re going to learn everything about this fascinating canine to help you fully understand the breed. Make sure you read to the end to decide if they are a good fit for you and your family!

What are black Shiba Inus?

In fact, all-black Shiba Inu dogs do not exist. When people talk about black Shiba Inus, they mean the black and tan or the black sesame version.

The two variations of black Shiba Inus we’re going to discuss in this article are both recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club only accepts black and tan dogs.


Unlike the red Shiba Inu, which has a sly and foxy appearance, the black Shiba Inu has a more cuddly and teddy bear look. On the other hand, the only difference between the two varieties of black Shiba Inus we mentioned above is their coat color. Let’s dig deeper!

The black and tan Shiba Inu 

black shiba inu

The black and tan Shiba Inu actually has a tricolor coat with a dull, rusty black base, tan points, and white urajiro (literally meaning white underside areas).

They should have very high contrast coat color and distinct, well-defined black and tan markings. The tan points should only occur above their eyes, on the sides of their muzzles, and on the outer sides of their forelegs and hind legs.

A black and tan Shiba Inu puppy usually has a darker appearance and more contrast than an adult dog. It is also interesting to note that as the puppy matures, the urajiro and the contrast of the coat colors tend to lighten.

The black sesame Shiba Inu 

To give you an idea, the black sesame Shiba Inu has an equal mixture of red, black, and white. These dogs’ base coats are still red but have a black overtone (no more than 50%).


Don’t worry! We won’t get into a long and detailed history lesson! However, it’s always better to have an idea of their background to help us understand them correctly, so bear with us as we only briefly explore their history.

Of the six Japanese spitz dogs, the Shiba Inu is the smallest and possibly the oldest. They originated in Japan some 2,300 years ago for hunting small animals and ground birds. 

Despite facing extinction during World War II, the breed’s numbers have dramatically rebounded. The Shiba Inu is perhaps the most popular breed in Japan right now! 

The first documented Shiba dog in the United States was imported by a military family in 1954. These pups are categorized as the “non-sporting group” by the American Kennel Club.


black shiba inus

Black Shiba Inus are considered medium-sized dogs. They typically stand 13.5 to 16.5 inches (34 to 42 cm) tall at the shoulders and weigh 17 to 23 pounds (7.5 to 10.5 kg). Their size makes them one of the better breeds for families with children who want smaller pets.

Lifespan and health

The black Shiba Inu is generally healthy and has an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Perhaps the most prevalent ailment they suffer from is allergies. Some also suffer from patellar luxation, a dislocation of the kneecap.


Black Shiba Inus are known as ninja warriors due to their quickness and alertness, making them excellent escape artists. You will definitely need an escape-proof yard at home if you get one of these adorable canines.

Energetic, bold, and independent, they often delight people with their creative mischief. They are curious dogs with a robust sense of humor. However, Shibas can be headstrong and disobey your commands if not trained.

These pups are affectionate but can be aloof with strangers and may challenge unfamiliar dogs. They tend to possess their food and stuff, and some bark a lot! 

Although Shibas make excellent watchdogs, these pups are not very good protectors. It is important to note that these claims are traditional and widely accepted generalizations about the breed, and the behavior of some individual Shibas may differ.


A bored Shiba without adequate exercise and mental stimulation can develop many problematic behaviors. So active and fun black Shiba Inus need a daily exercise routine, whether it’s games, long walks, or running in a fenced area. 

Unfortunately, this breed is pretty hard to recall and may escape if they have a chance. Make sure you always keep your dog on a leash or in an enclosed space when you take them outside. 

black shiba inu

Training a black Shiba Inu may require more persistence and patience than training other dog breeds. These canines are very stubborn and only engage in training sessions when they want to.

You should train them from a young age by using positive reinforcement methods to prevent the development of bad habits. We all know that one of the most challenging parts of being a pet parent is, obviously, training! So enrolling your dog in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start.

For socialization, try to expose your black Shiba Inu to friendly people, pets, and environments to boost their confidence and increase their comfort level.

Shedding and grooming

Grooming a black Shiba Inu is relatively straightforward. Shibas have a double coat with a stiff and straight outer layer and a soft and plush undercoat. They shed profusely twice a year, and brushing during these periods will reduce the amount of hair around your house. 

Also, don’t forget to bathe your dog when they get dirty, check their ears weekly to see whether they need cleaning, trim their nails about once a month, and try to brush their teeth daily. That’s all!

Feeding and diet

black shiba inu

To keep your black Shiba Inu in the best condition, you should feed them a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet (no fluff) and watch their food portions closely because obesity exacerbates many health conditions.

Suitable climate for black Shiba Inus

Black Shiba Inus prefer colder weather, but fortunately, they can still deal with warmer temperatures.

Are black Shiba Inus good family dogs?

Well-trained and socialized black Shiba Inus are good family dogs. These cute pups are super loyal, devoted to their family, and can do well with respectful children.

Are black Shiba Inus rare?

Since not many breeders know how to create this coat color, black Shiba Inus are quite rare.

How much is a black Shiba Inu?

black shiba inus

If you’re looking for a dog from a reputable breeder, expect to pay around $1,400 to $3,500 to get a black Shiba Inu puppy, though this can vary widely depending on bloodline and other factors. For example, you will have to pay more if the puppy is from a champion line.

Black Shiba Inu names

With such a unique look and personality, Shiba’s parents may have a hard time picking an ideal name to fit their dogs. The good news is that we’ve gathered a list of the top Shiba Inu names for you to consider:

  • Aki (brightness)
  • Choco (chocolate)
  • Kenzo (the wise one)
  • Maru (round)
  • Pochi (spot)
  • Sakura (cherry blossoms)
  • Sora (sky)
  • Taro (the elder son)
  • Yuki (good fortune)
  • Dai (great, large)
  • Riko (child of truth)
  • Mochi (a sweet rice cake)

Top picks for the Shiba Inu 

We Like: 
The Farmer’s Dog – Made of human-grade meat and veggies and customized to your dog’s individual needs. Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer’s Dog.

We LikeZuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe Training Dog Treats – One of the best-selling dog treats.

We Like: 
KONG Classic – Great toy for energetic Shiba Inus.

For a list of all the supplies you need for your new dog, check out this Minimal Puppy Checklist to get all the right things to ensure a successful adoption process.

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