German Shepherd vs Shiba Inu: Which Breed Is Right For You?

Trying to decide between a German Shepherd and a Shiba Inu for your next furry companion? Both breeds have their own unique characteristics and qualities that make them special.

german shepherd laying in grass

Let’s dive in and explore the factors that can help you determine which breed is the right fit for you. When it comes to size, German Shepherds are known to be larger dogs compared to Shiba Inus.

Breed Comparison Table

BREEDGerman ShepherdShiba Inu
Restricted Breed?YesNo
Coat TypeDouble coatDouble coat
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing, occasional hand strippingRegular brushing, occasional hand stripping
Male Height22-26 inches17-19 inches
Male Weight65-90 pounds23-27 pounds
Female Height20-24 inches16-18 inches
Female Weight50-75 pounds20-24 pounds
TemperamentIntelligent, trainable, protective, loyalIndependent, loyal, protective, reserved
Energy Level5/54/5
Exercise Needs5/53/5
Good For Novice Owners3/54/5
Amount Of Shedding4/54/5
Easy To Groom2/54/5
Prey Drive3/53/5
General Health4/53/5
Tolerates Being Alone1/55/5
Tolerates Cold Weather5/54/5
Affectionate With Family5/54/5
Dog Friendly5/53/5
Friendly Toward Strangers3/53/5
Tolerates Hot Weather3/53/5
Lifespan12 to 15 years12 to 16 years
Price$800 – $2,500$1,000 – 2,500

About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are a small to medium-sized breed originating from Japan. They were bred for hunting small game, such as birds and rabbits. Despite their size, Shiba Inus are known for their fearlessness and independence.

They have a compact build and a well-balanced, muscular body. With a double coat of soft undercoat and straight outer coat, Shiba Inus come in various colors. They have expressive, almond-shaped, dark brown eyes and erect ears.

Shiba Inus are loyal and affectionate towards their families but can be reserved or aloof around strangers. They are adaptable regarding living arrangements and can thrive in apartments as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.

It’s important to note that Shiba Inus have a strong prey drive and may not get along well with smaller animals unless properly socialized.

About German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. Originating in Germany in the late 19th century, it was initially developed for herding sheep but quickly found its way into various fields such as police work, search and rescue missions, and even as guide dogs.

German Shepherds have a strong build, are typically between 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds. They have a double coat that provides excellent protection against various weather conditions and require regular grooming sessions to keep their coats healthy and free from mats or tangles.

German Shepherds come in a variety of colors and require a high-quality, balanced diet that is rich in protein to support their muscular build and active lifestyle. They are renowned for their loyalty, courage, and protective nature and make an ideal choice for those seeking a dog that is both impressive in stature and gentle in spirit.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Size and Weight

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus have significant differences in size and weight. Male German Shepherds stand at 24-26 inches tall and can weigh 65-90 pounds, while female German Shepherds stand at 22-24 inches and weigh 50-70 pounds.

On the other hand, Shiba Inus stand at 13.5-16.5 inches tall and weigh 17-23 pounds. Keep in mind that these are general averages, and individual dogs may vary in size.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Coat Type

German Shepherds have a dense, double coat consisting of a straight or slightly wavy outer layer and a soft, plush undercoat. Shiba Inus also have a double coat, but their outer coat is more profuse, coarse to the touch, and stands straight up.

Both breeds have a dense undercoat, but German Shepherds tend to shed more than Shiba Inus due to their longer hair length and higher volume of fur overall. Regular grooming and brushing are essential for both breeds to maintain healthy skin and prevent matting or tangling.

Are Either Breed Hypoallergenic?

When choosing a furry companion, allergies can be a major concern. You want to ensure that your new four-legged friend won’t cause you constant sneezing fits or itchy eyes.

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic breeds. Both breeds have a double coat, with German Shepherds shedding moderately throughout the year and heavily during shedding seasons. Shiba Inus are known for their meticulous grooming habits but still shed seasonally.

It’s important to note that while neither breed is hypoallergenic, individual sensitivities vary greatly among allergy sufferers.

Grooming Needs

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus have unique grooming needs. German Shepherds require regular brushing to maintain their thick double coat, while Shiba Inus have a plush double coat that requires regular brushing to remove loose fur and prevent matting.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Colors

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus both have unique coat variations. German Shepherds come in striking colors such as black and tan, sable, solid white, solid black, blue, or silver. Shiba Inus have a more limited color palette, with the most common color being red, sesame, or black and tan.

Shibas are known for their urajiro markings, which add charm to their appearance. Both breeds have an undeniable allure when it comes to their coats.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Diet

When it comes to feeding German Shepherds and Shiba Inus, it’s important to consider their individual dietary needs. German Shepherds require a diet that is rich in protein and nutrients due to their large size and active nature, while Shiba Inus generally need fewer calories and a well-balanced, portion-controlled diet to maintain their weight within a healthy range.

It’s crucial to monitor their weight regularly and consult with a veterinarian to ensure you’re providing them with the appropriate amount of food.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Health Problems

It is important for potential owners to be aware of the common health problems that German Shepherds and Shiba Inus may face, including genetic conditions like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia in German Shepherds and Patellar Luxation and allergies in Shiba Inus.

Shibas are also prone to cataracts and glaucoma, while German Shepherds may suffer from degenerative myelopathy. The risk of passing on hereditary diseases can be reduced through responsible breeding practices and regular check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help mitigate many of these issues.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Temperament

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus have unique temperaments. German Shepherds are loyal, protective, confident and intelligent dogs that form strong bonds with their families. Shiba Inus, on the other hand, have a spirited and independent temperament with a strong sense of self-confidence.

Both breeds require early socialization and consistent training to grow into well-behaved adult dogs.

Which Breed Is More Playful?

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus have unique playfulness. Shepherds have boundless energy for physical activities, while Shibas are more independent and mischievous.

Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

German Shepherds make great family dogs due to their loyalty, protectiveness, and gentle nature with children. Proper socialization and training is important, as they require plenty of exercise and can exhibit territorial behaviors.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Trainability

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus have unique trainability characteristics. German Shepherds are intelligent and eager to please, excelling in various training activities. Shiba Inus require patient and consistent training methods that focus on positive reinforcement.

Are German Shepherds or Shiba Inus Harder to Train?

German Shepherds are generally easier to train than Shiba Inus due to their intelligence and willingness to please their owners. It’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques for both breeds and to understand their individual personalities for successful training.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Life Expectancy

German Shepherds have a lifespan of 9-13 years, and Shiba Inus live slightly longer, with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. However, individual dogs may vary. Genetics and level of care are crucial factors in determining a dog’s lifespan.

Owners can help ensure their dogs’ longevity by choosing a reputable breeder, providing regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Prey Drive

German Shepherds have a higher prey drive compared to Shiba Inus due to their history as a herding breed, making them excellent working dogs for tasks like search and rescue or police work. While Shibas also have a prey drive, it is not as intense as that of German Shepherds and they tend to have a more reserved approach towards smaller animals.

Both breeds require proper training and socialization to manage their prey drive, especially if you have smaller pets at home or live in an area with abundant wildlife.

Are German Shepherds or Shibas Better With Other Pets?

When deciding if German Shepherds and Shiba Inus can coexist with other pets, consider their unique traits and behaviors. German Shepherds are known for their protective instincts and prey drive, but early socialization and training can help them peacefully coexist with other animals.

Shibas are independent and have a high prey drive, making them less tolerant of smaller animals. Slow introductions and proper supervision are crucial for both breeds.

Are German Shepherds or Shibas Better With Kids?

When choosing a dog for your family, it’s important to consider how well the breed interacts with children. German Shepherds and Shiba Inus can both be great additions, but there are important differences. German Shepherds are loyal, protective, and gentle with children, while Shiba Inus tend to be more independent and reserved.

With proper socialization and supervision, both breeds can make suitable companions for kids.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Intelligence

German Shepherds are highly trainable and excel in various fields like search and rescue, police work, and service. Shiba Inus are resourceful problem solvers who make decisions based on their surroundings. While both breeds are intelligent, German Shepherds have a more malleable temperament when it comes to training.

German Shepherd Vs Shiba Inu: Popularity

German Shepherds and Shiba Inus are both popular dog breeds, but they have distinct characteristics that appeal to different types of people. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility and are often used for search and rescue, therapy work, and competitive sports.

Shiba Inus, on the other hand, are compact dogs with foxy looks and spirited personalities that are popular among urban dwellers due to their adaptability to apartment living and independent nature. When choosing a breed, it is essential to evaluate your lifestyle and preferences carefully.

German Shepherd Vs. Shiba Inu: How Much Do They Cost?

Cost is an important factor when purchasing a furry companion. German Shepherds are generally more expensive than Shiba Inus. A purebred German Shepherd can range from $800 – $2,500 or more. Prices may increase for show-quality lineage or unique coat colors.

Purebred Shiba Inu puppies are typically $1,000 – 2,500. Opt for a reputable breeder for the well-being of your dog. Other costs include regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, grooming supplies, toys, and training sessions.

Conclusion: Should You Get a German Shepherd or Shiba Inu?

When choosing between a German Shepherd and a Shiba Inu, consider factors such as lifestyle, preferences, and needs. German Shepherds are loyal, intelligent, and versatile working dogs, while Shiba Inus are charming and independent with a big personality.

Both breeds require regular exercise and proper care, so choose based on personal preferences.

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Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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