Hokkaido Dog vs Shiba Inu: Which Breed Is Right For You?

Thinking about getting a new furry friend? Choosing the right breed for you and your lifestyle is crucial. We’ll dive into the comparison between two delightful Japanese breeds: the Hokkaido Dog and the Shiba Inu. Both breeds have their unique characteristics and charm, but which one is right for you?

hokkaido inu

Breed Comparison Table

BREEDHokkaido InuShiba Inu
Restricted Breed?NoNo
Coat TypeDouble coatDouble coat
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing, occasional strippingRegular brushing, occasional hand stripping
Male Height20-22 inches17-19 inches
Male Weight40-50 pounds23-27 pounds
Female Height18-20 inches16-18 inches
Female Weight35-45 pounds20-24 pounds
TemperamentIndependent, loyal, protective, reservedIndependent, loyal, protective, reserved
Energy Level5/54/5
Exercise Needs5/53/5
Good For Novice Owners3/54/5
Amount Of Shedding5/54/5
Easy To Groom2/54/5
Prey Drive3/53/5
General Health2/53/5
Tolerates Being Alone1/55/5
Tolerates Cold Weather3/54/5
Affectionate With Family5/54/5
Dog Friendly5/53/5
Friendly Toward Strangers5/53/5
Tolerates Hot Weather3/53/5
Lifespan10 to 12 years12 to 16 years
Price$1,500 – $3,000$1,000 – 2,500

About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are a Japanese breed known for their fox-like appearance, upright ears, alert expressions, and curly tails. They are small to medium-sized dogs with a compact and muscular build, weighing between 17 to 23 pounds and standing about 13 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder.

Their dense double coat helps protect them from various weather conditions and is low maintenance overall. Shiba Inus have an independent nature but require patient training from a young age and regular mental stimulation and physical activity to keep them happy and engaged.

About Hokkaido Dog

The Hokkaido Dog, also known as Ainu-ken or Hokkaido Inu, is a medium-sized breed that originated in Japan. Bred by the indigenous Ainu people for hunting, these dogs have a muscular build and thick double coat that protects them from harsh weather.

They come in various shades and are loyal and protective of their families but may be reserved around strangers. Proper training and regular exercise are essential for their well-being.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Size and Weight

Despite this, Hokkaido Dogs have a more robust build than Shiba Inus. On average, Hokkaidos stand about 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 45 to 65 pounds (20 to 29 kilograms).

Shiba Inus, on the other hand, usually measure around 13.5 to 16.5 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh between 17 to 23 pounds (8 to 10 kilograms). Despite their smaller stature, Shiba Inus possess an elegant grace that adds to their overall appeal.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Coat Type

Both Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus have double coats that provide excellent insulation against weather. The Hokkaido Dog’s coat has a dense, harsh outer layer and a soft, thick undercoat, while the Shiba Inu’s outer coat is straight and stiff and the undercoat is plush and soft.

These breeds have different grooming needs, but they both shed seasonally and are relatively clean dogs.

Are Either Breed Hypoallergenic?

When choosing between the Hokkaido Dog and the Shiba Inu for those with allergies, it’s important to note that neither breed is truly hypoallergenic. However, some people may find one breed more tolerable than the other due to differences in their coat type and shedding patterns.

Both breeds require regular grooming and cleaning to minimize allergic reactions.

Grooming Needs

When it comes to grooming, the Hokkaido Dog and Shiba Inu have different requirements. The Hokkaido Dog has a thick double coat that helps protect them from the harsh winters in Japan. This means they shed quite a bit, especially during shedding season.

Regular brushing is necessary to keep their coat in good condition and prevent matting. Occasional bathing should also be done to keep them clean and fresh-smelling.

Shiba Inus are fastidious self-groomers with a dense double coat that sheds less compared to the Hokkaido Dog. They shed heavily twice a year, so daily brushing is needed to prevent loose fur from accumulating on furniture.

Both breeds can benefit from using a slicker brush or undercoat rake to get rid of any tangles or loose hair effectively. Additionally, regular nail trims are necessary for both breeds to avoid discomfort or injuries if the nails become too long.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Colors

Both Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus have a variety of stunning coat colors. Hokkaido Dogs come in red, white, and brindle. Red can range from light cream to a vibrant red. White is elegant and pure, while brindle is unique with stripes and spots on a reddish or white background.

Shiba Inus have a wider range of colors including red, sesame, black and tan, cream, and occasionally variations like white. Ultimately, choosing a breed based on their captivating colors is subjective.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Diet

Both Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus require a balanced diet of high-quality dog food formulated for their size and activity level. This should consist of protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Each dog has unique dietary requirements based on factors such as age, activity level, health conditions, and metabolism rate. Always consult with your veterinarian to ensure optimal nutrition.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Health Problems

Both Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus are generally healthy breeds, but there are some potential health concerns that owners should be aware of. Hokkaido Dogs may experience hip dysplasia or patellar luxation, while Shiba Inus may develop allergies or certain eye problems.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Temperament

Both the Hokkaido Dog and Shiba Inu have distinct personalities. Hokkaido Dogs are loyal and reserved, but affectionate and protective once bonded. They are intelligent and independent but can be challenging to train. On the other hand, Shiba Inus are confident and bold with a big personality.

They can be mischievous and are known for being independent thinkers. While Hokkaido Dogs tend to be more loyal, Shibas can display a more aloof demeanor towards strangers.

Early socialization is crucial for shaping the temperament of both breeds, and it’s essential to match your lifestyle with each breed’s traits.

Which Breed Is More Playful?

Both the Hokkaido Dog and the Shiba Inu have their own unique play styles. The Hokkaido Dog is energetic and excels at interactive games while the Shiba Inu is more independent but enjoys mentally stimulating activities.

Both breeds require regular mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom or destructive behavior.

Are Hokkaido Dogs Good Family Dogs?

When it comes to Hokkaido Dogs as family pets, they are loyal, protective, and active. They get along well with children, but may prefer their own space at times. Proper training and supervision are necessary.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Trainability

Both the Hokkaido Dog and the Shiba Inu have unique traits when it comes to trainability. Hokkaido Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but can be stubborn at times. Shiba Inus are independent and strong-willed, but require consistent training and gentle guidance.

Are Hokkaido Dog or Shiba Inus Harder to Train?

Training Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus can have different challenges due to their unique characteristics. While Hokkaido Dogs are adaptable and eager to please, Shiba Inus are strong-willed and independent. With patience, consistency, and reward-based methods, both breeds can become well-behaved companions.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Life Expectancy

Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus both have relatively long lifespans due to their robust nature, genetic predisposition towards good health, and proper care by owners. Hokkaido Dogs typically live 12-15 years, while Shiba Inus can live 12-16 years with proper care and a healthy lifestyle.

It’s important to note that individual dogs may experience variations in lifespan due to various factors such as genetics or environmental influences.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Prey Drive

Hokkaido dogs and Shiba Inus have different levels of prey drive due to their breeding history. While both breeds may chase smaller animals, proper training and precautions can manage this behavior.

Are Hokkaido Dogs or Shibas Better With Other Pets?

When it comes to the compatibility of Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus with other pets, it depends on their personality and socialization. Both breeds have a strong prey drive, which means they may chase smaller animals.

However, with proper training and early socialization, they can learn to coexist peacefully with other pets. Hokkaido Dogs have a strong hunting instinct due to their origins as hunting dogs in Japan. On the other hand, Shiba Inus also have a high prey drive but are known for their independent nature.

Are Hokkaido Dogs or Shibas Better With Kids?

Hokkaido Dogs are gentle and affectionate, while Shiba Inus are more independent. Both can form strong bonds with children if introduced early and trained properly. It’s important to supervise children with any dog breed and teach them how to interact respectfully.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Intelligence

Both the Hokkaido Dog and Shiba Inu are highly intelligent breeds, but they have different intellectual capabilities that may influence your preference. Hokkaidos excel in obedience training due to their quick learning abilities and adaptability.

In contrast, Shiba Inus are known for their independent nature and resourcefulness, which may make obedience training more challenging.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu: Popularity

Shibas have become famous worldwide due to their fox-like appearance, playful nature, and portrayal in popular media. Meanwhile, Hokkaidos are gaining recognition for their distinct coat colors and muscular build, making them unique and rare.

Regardless of the reason behind their popularity, the choice between these two breeds ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Hokkaido Dog Vs. Shiba Inu: How Much Do They Cost?

Purebred dogs like Hokkaido Dogs and Shiba Inus can come with a higher price tag compared to mixed breeds or rescue dogs. The cost of these breeds can vary depending on several factors such as location, lineage, and reputation of the breeder.

For Hokkaido Dogs, the price can range between $1,500 – $3,000, while Shiba Inus tend to be slightly more affordable at $1,000 – 2,500.

Keep in mind that these initial costs are just one aspect of owning a dog, and there are additional expenses like regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, grooming supplies, quality food, toys, and exercise equipment.

Conclusion: Should You Get a Hokkaido Dog or Shiba Inu?

Choosing between a Hokkaido Dog and a Shiba Inu depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Both breeds have unique characteristics that make them wonderful companions. If you prefer a smaller-sized dog with an independent nature, the Shiba Inu might be the right choice for you.

They are known for their spirited personality and loyalty to their family. If you prefer a larger-sized dog that is loyal, protective, and has a strong work ethic, then the Hokkaido Dog could be your ideal match. These dogs excel in outdoor activities such as hiking or jogging.

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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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