Kishu Inu vs Shiba Inu: Which Breed Is Right For You?

Deciding which furry companion is the perfect addition to your family can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. When it comes to the Kishu Inu versus the Shiba Inu, both breeds offer their unique charms and qualities that make them beloved pets among dog enthusiasts.

However, understanding the differences between these two breeds is crucial in determining which one is right for you.

kishu inu

Breed Comparison Table

BREEDKishu 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 Weight40-60 pounds23-27 pounds
Female Height18-20 inches16-18 inches
Female Weight35-50 pounds20-24 pounds
TemperamentIndependent, loyal, protective, reservedIndependent, loyal, protective, reserved
Energy Level4/54/5
Exercise Needs5/53/5
Good For Novice Owners2/54/5
Amount Of Shedding5/54/5
Easy To Groom1/54/5
Prey Drive5/53/5
General Health4/53/5
Tolerates Being Alone2/55/5
Tolerates Cold Weather5/54/5
Affectionate With Family5/54/5
Dog Friendly3/53/5
Friendly Toward Strangers4/53/5
Tolerates Hot Weather2/53/5
Lifespan12 – 15 years12 to 16 years
Price$1,500 – $3,000$1,000 – 2,500

About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus, also known as Shibas, are a Japanese breed known for their fox-like appearance and spirited personalities. They typically weigh between 17 to 23 pounds (7.5 to 10.5 kilograms) and stand about 13.5 to 16.5 inches (34 to 42 centimeters) tall.

Shibas have a dense double coat that comes in various colors, including red, sesame, black and tan, or cream. They are independent and strong-willed, but deeply loyal to their families. While they can be a bit of a challenge to train, with patience and positive reinforcement techniques, it is possible to train them effectively.

Shibas have moderate energy levels and enjoy regular mental and physical exercise. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for their overall health.

About Kishu Inu

The Kishu Inu, also known as the Kishu Ken, is a Japanese breed with a strong and muscular build. They stand at 17-22 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 30-60 pounds. Kishu Inus have a thick double coat that provides excellent protection against cold weather conditions.

The coat comes in various colors such as white, red, or brindle. They shed moderately throughout the year and require regular grooming. Kishu Inus are known for their loyalty and independence, and make fantastic family pets when properly introduced. 

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Size and Weight

When comparing the size and weight of Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus, it’s important to note that both breeds are medium-sized dogs. However, there are slight differences in their dimensions.

Kishu Inus weigh between 30-60 pounds and stand at a height of 17-22 inches at the shoulder.

Shiba Inus are slightly smaller, weighing between 17-23 pounds with a height range of 13.5-16.5 inches at the shoulder.

Both breeds have a balanced body structure that exudes gracefulness and agility.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Coat Type

Both breeds have thick double coats, but there are variations in texture and length that set them apart. The Kishu Inu’s coat is dense and straight, providing excellent protection against harsh weather conditions.

It consists of a coarse outer layer that helps repel dirt and water, while the soft undercoat provides insulation. The coat keeps the Kishu warm during cold winters and cool in the summer heat. In contrast, Shiba Inus have a more luxurious feel to their fur.

The outer layer of their coat is straight and stiff, while the undercoat is thick and plush. This combination gives Shibas a distinct appearance. Another significant difference between the two breeds’ coats lies in their colors.

While both can be found in various shades, Shiba Inus tend to exhibit more diverse color patterns and shades compared to Kishu Inus. Both breeds require regular brushing to keep their coats healthy and free from matting or tangles. However, due to its denser texture, the Kishu’s coat may require slightly more attention when it comes to grooming maintenance.

During shedding seasons, both breeds will shed heavily as they get rid of old hair to make way for new growth. This shedding can be managed with frequent brushing sessions and by providing your furry friend with a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Are Either Breed Hypoallergenic?

When considering getting a dog, many people wonder if the Kishu Inu or Shiba Inu breeds are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, both breeds shed moderately year-round and cannot be classified as truly hypoallergenic. However, regular grooming can help reduce allergen exposure.

It’s important to note that allergies vary by individual, and spending time with both breeds and consulting with a medical professional is crucial before making a final decision.

Grooming Needs

The Shiba Inu has a thick double coat that needs regular brushing and occasional baths, while the Kishu Inu has a shorter and less dense coat that requires less maintenance. Both breeds benefit from having a slicker brush and wide-toothed comb for shedding seasons, and should be bathed every 2-3 months.

It’s important to keep up with nail trimming and teeth brushing for good overall health.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Colors

Both Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus have beautiful coat options. Kishu Inus have a predominantly white coat with red or brindle markings, while Shiba Inus offer more color diversity ranging from vibrant reds to light creams, including a black and tan combination. 

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Diet

Both breeds have similar dietary needs, but portion control is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Feeding them around 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, split into two meals, is a good guideline.

Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, or fish, and complex carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes are recommended. If your dog has allergies or food intolerances, consult with your veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations.

Regular exercise and veterinary check-ups are also crucial for their long-term health and happiness.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Health Problems

Both Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus are generally healthy breeds, but like any dog breed, they can be prone to certain health conditions such as allergies, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and patellar luxation. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care are important for ensuring the well-being of your furry companion.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Temperament

Kishu Inus are loyal, dignified, and protective of their families. They may be reserved with strangers but are gentle with their loved ones. Shiba Inus have a more independent temperament and can sometimes come across as aloof or stubborn.

They may not always obey commands readily and might require patient training. While both breeds exhibit traits of loyalty and protectiveness, the Kishu Inu tends to be more approachable with strangers while the Shiba Inu is known for its independent spirit.

Ultimately, your preference for a dog’s temperament should align with your own personality and lifestyle. It’s crucial to spend time with both breeds before making a decision to truly understand which one’s temperament better suits your desires in a canine companion.

Which Breed Is More Playful?

Both Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus have unique playfulness. Shibas tend to be independent and mischievous while Kishus have high energy levels and enjoy vigorous play. Ultimately, both breeds exhibit a strong desire for activity. Remember to spend time with representatives of both breeds before making your decision.

Are Kishu Inu Good Family Dogs?

When choosing a dog breed for your family, it’s important to consider temperament and compatibility with children. Are Kishu Inus good family dogs? Yes! Known for loyalty and affection, Kishu Inus make wonderful additions to any family. They are protective of their human pack members and great with children.

Early socialization and training are crucial to ensure positive behavior around kids. Kishu Inus enjoy being part of family activities and thrive on human companionship. Each dog has unique personality traits, so it’s essential to get to know your Kishu Inu to ensure harmonious integration into your family dynamic.

With proper training, socialization, and love, a Kishu Inu will bring joy and happiness to your family.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Trainability

Both Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus have distinct characteristics that impact their ability to learn and follow commands. Kishu Inus are independent and may be stubborn during training, while Shiba Inus are known for their strong-willed personalities.

Early socialization and consistent training from puppyhood through adulthood are key for both breeds.

Are Kishu Inu or Shiba Inus Harder to Train?

Training Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus has unique challenges. Shiba Inus can be more stubborn and independent, while Kishu Inus are slightly more cooperative.

Positive reinforcement and early socialization benefit both breeds, but training sessions should be short and engaging. Individual personality traits and experiences can impact a dog’s trainability.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Life Expectancy

When choosing a furry companion, it’s crucial to consider their lifespan. Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus are both relatively healthy breeds with decent life expectancies.

Kishu Inus are generally robust dogs with sturdy genetics, contributing to their longer lifespan of 12-16 years, while Shiba Inus typically live between 12-15 years. However, like any breed, there can be variations due to individual genetics, diet, exercise, and veterinary care.

Proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are vital for ensuring your Kishu Inu or Shiba Inu lives a long and healthy life. Regular exercise is also essential for promoting longevity, as well as staying vigilant for potential health conditions that can affect any bree

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Prey Drive

When comparing the Kishu Inu and Shiba Inu breeds, it is important to consider their prey drive. Both breeds have a natural inclination towards chasing smaller animals, but with proper training and socialization, this behavior can be managed effectively.

While Kishus tend to have a more moderate level of interest in chasing small animals, Shibas often exhibit a higher intensity when it comes to pursuing potential prey. Understanding this aspect of their behavior will assist you in creating appropriate management strategies based on your specific living environment and pet dynamics.

Are Kishu Inu or Shibas Better With Other Pets?

Both breeds have a strong prey drive due to their hunting backgrounds, so introducing them to other small pets like cats or rabbits may require extra caution and supervision. Shibas are known for their independent nature and can sometimes display territorial behavior towards other animals.

They have a tendency to assert their dominance and may not easily tolerate sharing their space with other pets. However, this doesn’t mean that all Shibas are incompatible with other animals.

Early socialization and proper training can make a significant difference in how they interact with other pets. Kishu Inus have a reputation for being more accepting of other animals, including household pets. With proper introductions and early socialization, Kishus can coexist peacefully with cats or even smaller dog breeds.

Their natural inclination towards loyalty and adaptability helps them adjust well within a multi-pet household. It’s worth noting that individual personalities play a crucial role in determining which breed is better suited for living harmoniously with other pets.

Gradual introductions and positive reinforcement training techniques can be used to ensure compatibility between either breed and existing household pets. 

Are Kishu Inu or Shibas Better With Kids?

While Kishus are known for their gentle and loyal nature, Shibas can display a more assertive behavior that requires careful supervision during interactions with children. With proper training and socialization, both breeds can make excellent companions for kids.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Intelligence

Both the Kishu Inu and the Shiba Inu are highly intelligent and quick-witted breeds with a natural instinct for problem-solving. However, they differ slightly in their approaches to intelligence.

Kishus are highly observant and possess a strong sense of awareness, making them quick to analyze situations and adapt to new ones.

They excel in various activities with proper training. Shibas, on the other hand, are also intelligent but tend to be more self-reliant thinkers, finding creative ways to accomplish tasks that suit their preferences.

They can be challenging during training due to their independent nature. Mental stimulation and regular exercise are essential for both breeds to keep their minds sharp.

Ultimately, intelligence shouldn’t be the sole factor when deciding between these two remarkable breeds.

Kishu Inu Vs Shiba Inu: Popularity

Both the Kishu Inu and Shiba Inu are popular dog breeds, but the Shiba Inu is more well-known due to its charming appearance and frequent social media appearances. The Kishu Inu, on the other hand, possesses an understated elegance that appeals to those who appreciate a more low-key breed.

Ultimately, choosing between the two should depend on personal preferences and lifestyle rather than popularity.

Kishu Inu Vs. Shiba Inu: How Much Do They Cost?

When considering adding a new furry friend to your home, cost is an important factor to consider. Kishu Inus and Shiba Inus are both fantastic breeds, but they come with different price tags. Let’s start with Kishu Inus.

The cost of purchasing a Kishu Inu puppy from a reputable breeder can range from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, bloodline quality, and geographic location. If you’re interested in adopting a Kishu Inu from a rescue or shelter, the cost may range from $200 to $500.

Adoption fees are typically lower but may still cover medical expenses and spaying/neutering. Now let’s delve into the world of Shiba Inus’ prices. Like Kishu Inus, purchasing a Shiba Inu puppy from a reputable breeder can be quite an investment.

Prices for Shiba Inus usually range between $1,000 to 2,500 depending on factors such as lineage and location. It’s essential to note that prices at the higher end of this range might be for show-quality puppies with impressive pedigrees suitable for breeding or dog shows.

If adoption is more your style, you’ll find that adoption fees for Shiba Inus typically fall within the range of $200 to $600.

Conclusion: Should You Get a Kishu Inu or Shiba Inu?

Before choosing between a Kishu Inu and a Shiba Inu, consider your lifestyle and preferences. Kishu Inus are sturdy and independent, thriving in active households, while Shiba Inus are smaller and bursting with personality, excelling in mental challenges.

Both breeds require daily exercise and grooming, but are not hypoallergenic. Ultimately, the choice depends on your activity level, living environment, training commitment, and desired size of your future furry companion.

Other Dog Breed Comparisons

Large Breeds

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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