Golden Retriever vs Shiba Inu: Which Is Better For You?

Choosing the right dog breed can be an exciting but overwhelming decision. Two popular choices that often come up in discussions are Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus. Each breed has its own unique qualities and characteristics that make them special companions. To determine which is better for you, let’s delve into the details.

standing golden retriever

Breed Comparison Table

BREEDGolden RetrieverShiba Inu
Restricted Breed?NoNo
Coat TypeDouble coatDouble coat
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing, occasional hand strippingRegular brushing, occasional hand stripping
Male Height21-24 inches17-19 inches
Male Weight55-75 pounds23-27 pounds
Female Height20-23 inches16-18 inches
Female Weight50-70 pounds20-24 pounds
TemperamentFriendly, outgoing, playful, intelligentIndependent, loyal, protective, reserved
Energy Level5/54/5
Exercise Needs5/53/5
Good For Novice Owners2/54/5
Amount Of Shedding5/54/5
Easy To Groom5/54/5
Prey Drive4/53/5
General Health4/53/5
Tolerates Being Alone2/55/5
Tolerates Cold Weather4/54/5
Affectionate With Family5/54/5
Dog Friendly2/53/5
Friendly Toward Strangers4/53/5
Tolerates Hot Weather3/53/5
Lifespan10 to 14 years12 to 16 years
Price$1,000 – $3,000$1,000 – 2,500

About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus, also known as the “little foxes” of the dog world, are a charming and lively breed that originated in Japan. They are recognized for their unique appearance and delightful personalities. With their small, sturdy bodies and fluffy tails curled over their backs, they exude an air of confidence and poise.

Their history is fascinating, having been initially bred for hunting small game in the mountainous regions of Japan due to their agile bodies and excellent scent detection skills. Despite their petite size, they possess remarkable strength and endurance that allowed them to chase down prey with incredible speed.

Shiba Inus have a plush double coat that comes in various colors such as red, sesame (a mix of red and black hairs), black and tan, or cream, providing not only visual appeal but also protection against harsh weather conditions. In terms of temperament, they have a unique combination of independence and loyalty, known for being independent thinkers who like to do things on their own terms.

Proper socialization plays a crucial role in shaping their behavior, helping minimize the potential development of aggressive or fearful tendencies that may arise from their innate territorial instincts. It’s worth noting that while Shiba Inus can be loving towards their families, they tend to be reserved around strangers, a trait that makes them fiercely protective when necessary.

About Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a breed known for its friendly and outgoing nature. They were originally bred in Scotland in the mid-19th century to retrieve waterfowl during hunting expeditions. With their impressive intelligence and gentle temperament, it’s no wonder that they have become one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.

Golden Retrievers are classified as large dogs, with adult males standing between 23 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and females being slightly smaller at around 21.5 to 22.5 inches. Males usually weigh between 65 to 75 pounds, while females weigh between 55 to 65 pounds. One distinctive feature that sets Golden Retrievers apart is their beautiful coat, which comes in various shades of gold.

While neither Golden Retrievers nor Shiba Inus are considered hypoallergenic breeds, some individuals with allergies may find them more tolerable due to their low dander levels. Golden Retrievers require regular brushing sessions at least once or twice a week to keep their coats healthy and tangle-free.

They have an incredibly warm and friendly temperament that makes them excellent family pets. 

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Size and Weight

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus differ in size and weight. Male Golden Retrievers weigh 65-75 pounds and stand 23-24 inches tall, while male Shiba Inus weigh 20-25 pounds and stand 14.5 inches tall. These differences should be considered when choosing a furry companion.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Coat Type

Golden Retrievers have a dense, water-repellent double coat that is soft and feathery, while Shiba Inus have a straight, dense outer coat that lies close to their body. Golden Retrievers require more grooming due to their shedding and longer coats, while Shiba Inus have lower grooming demands and are known for their self-grooming abilities.

Are Either Breed Hypoallergenic?

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic due to their shedding tendencies, but regular grooming and cleaning can help minimize symptoms for mild allergy sufferers. It’s important to consider these tendencies before deciding to bring either breed into a household with allergy sufferers.

Grooming Needs

Both Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus require regular maintenance, but they have different grooming needs. Golden Retrievers have a dense, water-repellent coat that needs frequent brushing to prevent matting. Their double coat sheds heavily seasonally and will benefit from daily brushing during these times to control the loose hair.

In addition to regular brushing, Golden Retrievers should have their ears checked for cleanliness and nails trimmed regularly. Shiba Inus have a thick and plush double coat that sheds moderately year-round.

They also have a self-cleaning ability and tend to groom themselves like cats. Nonetheless, regular brushing is still necessary to maintain a healthy coat and minimize shedding. Shiba Inus also need their nails trimmed regularly and their ears checked for any signs of infection.

Both breeds can benefit from occasional baths, but excessive bathing can strip away natural oils from their skin. Proper grooming not only keeps your dog looking good but also plays an essential role in maintaining overall health.

Regular brushing helps distribute natural oils throughout the coat, keeps the skin clean, prevents tangles or mats from forming, and allows you to check for any skin issues or parasites.

While both breeds require regular grooming sessions, Golden Retrievers might demand slightly more attention due to their longer hair length and heavier seasonal shedding.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Colors

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have unique coat colors. Golden Retrievers have lustrous coats that range from cream to reddish gold while Shiba Inus can come in red, black and tan, sesame, or cream. Both breeds can have white markings.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Diet

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have specific nutritional needs to maintain their health. Golden Retrievers have a hearty appetite and require high-quality dog food formulated for active dogs, while Shiba Inus may need smaller portion sizes due to their smaller size and lower activity levels.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian for any specific dietary restrictions or considerations, and moderation is key when it comes to treats and snacks. Each dog has unique dietary needs based on their age, activity level, metabolism, and health conditions, so it’s crucial to regularly monitor their weight and consult with a veterinarian to provide a well-balanced diet.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Health Problems

While Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, cancer, and hypothyroidism, Shiba Inus can experience patellar luxation, allergies, and skin sensitivities. Regardless of breed, regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, tailored exercise, and preventive care are crucial for promoting good health in pets.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Temperament

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have distinct temperaments. Golden Retrievers are friendly and outgoing, while Shiba Inus have a more independent streak. Both require consistent training for proper socialization and obedience development.

Ultimately, the decision between these two breeds comes down to your lifestyle, preferences, and commitment to training.

Which Breed Is More Playful?

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have their unique charm when it comes to playfulness. Golden Retrievers are exuberant and joyful, making them great companions for games like fetch and running around in open spaces. Shiba Inus possess a playful streak of their own with their mischievous playfulness that can catch you off guard.

While both breeds are playful, the intensity and style of play can differ significantly between them, and it’s essential to understand their individual needs to keep them happy and satisfied.

Are Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs?

Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and loving nature, making them great companions for people of all ages, especially children. They are patient, tolerate roughhousing, and thrive on human interaction. They adapt well to various family dynamics and excel at forming strong bonds with their human pack members.

While Shiba Inus can still make great pets, they may not be as naturally inclined towards being ideal family dogs compared to Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Trainability

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have unique characteristics when it comes to trainability. Golden Retrievers are highly trainable due to their eager-to-please attitude and respond well to positive reinforcement. Shiba Inus can be more challenging to train due to their independent nature but can still be trained successfully with consistency and positive reinforcement.

Are Golden Retriever or Shiba Inus Harder to Train?

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have unique quirks that influence training. Golden Retrievers are eager to please and easily trained with positive reinforcement. Shiba Inus may be stubborn and require patience and creativity during training.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Life Expectancy

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have different life expectancies. Golden Retrievers live around 10 to 12 years, while Shiba Inus live between 12 to 16 years. Both breeds may experience health issues, but proper care can prolong their lives.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Prey Drive

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus have different temperaments, but both have strong prey drives. Prey drive refers to a dog’s instinctive behavior to pursue and potentially capture prey. Golden Retrievers were originally bred as retrievers, and thus have a moderate prey drive.

While they may not be as driven to chase smaller animals like squirrels or rabbits as some other breeds, their natural instinct is still present. It’s important to note that Golden Retrievers can be easily distracted by scents and movements in the environment, so keeping them on a leash during walks or in a securely fenced yard is crucial.

On the other hand, Shiba Inus have a strong prey drive due to their history as hunting dogs in Japan. They were used for hunting small game such as birds and rabbits, and this innate instinct often translates into an intense desire to chase anything that moves quickly.

Understanding the prey drive of each breed is essential for responsible ownership. Training and socialization play vital roles in managing this natural instinct. Teaching commands like “leave it” or “drop it” can help redirect their attention away from potential targets.

Mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzle games can also satisfy their innate desire to hunt. Individual variations within each breed are common when it comes to prey drive. Some Golden Retrievers might exhibit a higher level of interest in chasing smaller animals compared to others of the same breed, while some Shiba Inus may have a more manageable prey drive due to early training and socialization efforts.

Ultimately, if you live in an area with abundant wildlife or have smaller pets like cats or rabbits at home, it’s important to be cautious with both Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus. Proper training, socialization, and supervision will help ensure a harmonious coexistence between your furry friend and potential prey.

Are Golden Retrievers or Shibas Better With Other Pets?

When deciding between Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus as pets, their unique temperaments and compatibility with other animals should be considered. Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and social nature, often getting along well with other pets. However, individual personality traits can still cause conflicts.

Shiba Inus have a strong independent streak and may be less inclined to socialize with unfamiliar animals. Proper socialization and introductions are key for both breeds to coexist peacefully with other pets.

Are Golden Retrievers or Shibas Better With Kids?

When choosing a furry friend for your family, consider how well the breed will interact with your children. Golden Retrievers are friendly and gentle playmates for children of all ages. They exhibit patience and tolerance in their interactions and engage in various activities without getting overly excited or rough.

Shiba Inus have a more independent and spirited personality but can still make great companions with proper socialization and training. Teaching children to respect a Shiba Inu’s boundaries is crucial.

Proper introductions between dogs and children should always be supervised initially. Foster a loving and respectful relationship between your children and their furry sibling for a lifetime of joy and harmony.

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Intelligence

Golden Retrievers excel in obedience training, agility, tracking, search and rescue, and other activities. They’re highly trainable, quick learners, and comprehend complex tasks easily.

In contrast, Shiba Inus have independent and resourceful intelligence, rooted in their history of hunting. They’re clever problem solvers with a keen sense of observation, and can quickly assess situations. They’re motivated differently, with Golden Retrievers thriving on positive reinforcement and human approval, while Shiba Inus possess a strong sense of self-reliance and require additional motivation.

Knowing the unique characteristics of each breed’s intelligence will help you choose the best fit for your training goals and personal preferences. 

Golden Retriever Vs Shiba Inu: Popularity

Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus are popular dog breeds with their own unique fan bases. Golden Retrievers are beloved for their friendly nature and adorable appearance, making them great as therapy and service companions, as well as for dog sports.

Meanwhile, Shiba Inus have gained a following thanks to their foxy appearance and spirited personality, as well as their mischievous antics showcased in viral videos and online forums.

Golden Retriever Vs. Shiba Inu: How Much Do They Cost?

When considering bringing a new pet into your life, it’s important to factor in the cost of ownership. Golden Retrievers and Shiba Inus are two popular breeds that require financial commitment. Golden Retrievers are known to be relatively more expensive, with prices ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 for a puppy from a reputable breeder.

On the other hand, Shiba Inus tend to be slightly less expensive, with the average price for a puppy falling within the range of $1,000 – 2,500. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of purchasing your new companion is not the only financial aspect to consider.

Routine veterinary care, food, grooming supplies, toys, bedding, and training expenses are all necessary components of responsible pet ownership that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Conclusion: Should You Get a Golden Retriever or Shiba Inu?

Choosing between a Golden Retriever and a Shiba Inu depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Golden Retrievers are friendly, outgoing and great with kids and other pets, making them excellent family pets.

Shiba Inus, on the other hand, are independent and spirited, with a touch of stubbornness, making them an ideal fit for those who prefer an assertive dog. Both breeds have different exercise needs, so keep that in mind. It’s also worth noting that Golden Retrievers tend to have higher healthcare costs due to their susceptibility to certain health issues.

Ultimately, both breeds offer unique qualities and can bring immense joy into your life.

Other Dog Breed Comparisons

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Medium Breeds

Small Breeds

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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