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

Choosing the perfect canine companion can be a daunting task, but fear not! In this article, we will compare two popular breeds – the Labrador Retriever and the Shiba Inu – to help you determine which furry friend is best suited for your lifestyle.

Both breeds have their unique qualities and quirks, so let’s dive in and explore what makes each of them stand out.

yellow labrador

Breed Comparison Table

BREEDLabradorShiba Inu
Restricted Breed?NoNo
Coat TypeDouble coatDouble coat
Grooming NeedsRegular brushing, occasional hand strippingRegular brushing, occasional hand stripping
Male Height22-24 inches17-19 inches
Male Weight55-75 pounds23-27 pounds
Female Height21-23 inches16-18 inches
Female Weight50-70 pounds20-24 pounds
TemperamentFriendly, outgoing, playful, intelligentIndependent, loyal, protective, reserved
Energy Level3/54/5
Exercise Needs4/53/5
Good For Novice Owners2/54/5
Amount Of Shedding4/54/5
Easy To Groom3/54/5
Prey Drive4/53/5
General Health4/53/5
Tolerates Being Alone3/55/5
Tolerates Cold Weather5/54/5
Affectionate With Family3/54/5
Dog Friendly2/53/5
Friendly Toward Strangers2/53/5
Tolerates Hot Weather3/53/5
Lifespan9 to 13 years12 to 16 years
Price$1,000 – $3,000$1,000 – 2,500

About Shiba Inus

Shiba Inu dogs are a unique and charming breed that originated in Japan. They have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide with their sturdy build, fox-like features, and undeniable confidence.

Their double coat provides excellent protection against varying weather conditions, and they come in a variety of colors. While they are independent thinkers and require firm yet gentle training, they are incredibly loyal companions who form deep bonds with their families.

About Labrador

Labradors, also known as Labrador Retrievers or simply Labs, are a popular breed of dog worldwide. They originated from Newfoundland, Canada and are friendly, versatile, and loyal.

Labradors are medium to large-sized dogs with a strong and sturdy build, weighing between 55 to 80 pounds and standing at around 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a dense double coat that is water-resistant and keeps them warm in cold weather, typically seen in yellow, black, or chocolate.

Labradors are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them ideal family pets who get along well with people and other animals. They are highly intelligent and responsive during training, thriving on physical activity and regular exercise sessions.

While generally a robust breed, they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and obesity, so regular vet visits and a balanced diet are essential for their overall well-being. Labradors make fantastic companions for individuals or families who lead an active lifestyle.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Size and Weight

Labradors and Shiba Inus differ significantly in size and weight. Males Labs can stand between 22-24 inches and weigh 65-80 pounds. Female Labs are slightly smaller and weigh between 55-70 pounds.

In contrast, male Shiba Inus typically stand around 14-17 inches tall and weigh between 17-23 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller and weigh around 15-20 pounds. It’s important to consider the physical capabilities and size requirements of each breed when choosing a dog.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Coat Type

Labrador Retrievers have a short, dense, and weather-resistant double coat that sheds year-round. Shiba Inus have a thick double coat that blows out twice a year in epic fashion. Both breeds require regular grooming to keep their coats in top shape and prevent excessive shedding.

Are Either Breed Hypoallergenic?

Labradors have a short and dense double coat that sheds throughout the year, which can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. However, they produce less dander than breeds with longer coats. Shiba Inus have a thick double coat that provides excellent weather protection and sheds less than Labradors.

They also groom themselves fastidiously, keeping their coat relatively clean and free from allergens. Remember that allergies vary from person to person, and it’s best to consult with an allergist before bringing any dog home if you or someone in your household has severe allergies or asthma-related issues.

Neither breed is hypoallergenic, but the Shiba Inu might cause fewer allergic reactions due to its grooming habits and slightly lower shedding compared to Labradors.

Grooming Needs

Labradors and Shiba Inus have specific grooming requirements. Labradors are moderate shedders and need regular brushing, especially during shedding seasons. Shiba Inus have a thick double coat and require at least 2-3 brushings per week, as well as regular ear cleaning. Occasional baths are necessary for both breeds.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Colors

Labradors and Shiba Inus have a range of beautiful coat variations. Labradors come in yellow, chocolate, and black, while Shiba Inus are known for their striking red coats. Shiba Inus also come in sesame, black and tan, and cream.

Both breeds may have markings or patterns on their coats, such as white markings on Labradors and facial patterns like a white “mask” on Shiba Inus. 

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Diet

Labradors are known for their love of food and potential for overeating, so monitoring their portion sizes is crucial. As active dogs with high energy levels, Labradors require a balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

High-quality dry dog food formulated for medium to large breeds is an excellent choice for them. On the other hand, Shiba Inus have slightly different dietary requirements. Unlike Labs, Shibas tend to be more finicky eaters and may not have the same hearty appetite. However, they still require a well-balanced diet tailored to their needs.

It’s important not to overfeed them or give in to their picky eating habits as it can lead to obesity or nutrient deficiencies. Opting for high-quality dry or wet dog food specifically designed for small breeds usually meets these requirements.

Both breeds can benefit from occasional supplementation with fruits and vegetables such as carrots or blueberries as healthy treats. However, it’s essential to avoid feeding them harmful foods like chocolate or grapes that can be toxic to dogs.

Ultimately, consulting with your veterinarian and following their recommendations regarding portion sizes and specific dietary needs is crucial in providing your Labrador or Shiba Inu with a well-balanced diet that promotes optimal health and longevity.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Health Problems

Both Labradors and Shiba Inus have specific health concerns. Labradors are prone to genetic disorders affecting their joints and eyes, and are at a higher risk of obesity. While Shiba Inus are considered a healthy breed, they can develop allergies and dental problems.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Temperament

Labrador Retrievers and Shiba Inus have distinct temperaments. Labradors are sociable and eager to please, making them great family dogs and therapy dogs. Shiba Inus are independent and reserved with strangers, but loyal to their families.

Which Breed Is More Playful?

Labradors and Shiba Inus both have unique playfulness. Labradors are exuberant and energetic, while Shiba Inus are independent and mischievous. Playfulness can vary from individual to individual within each breed. Choose a breed based on your lifestyle and preferences.

Remember that proper socialization, training, and stimulation are crucial for a happy dog.

Are Labrador Good Family Dogs?

Labradors are excellent family dogs due to their gentle and friendly nature. They love human companionship and have a natural affinity for children. They are patient and tolerant towards them, and thrive on social interaction.

Their high energy levels make them perfect playmates for active kids. They are highly adaptable to various family sizes and lifestyles and can adjust well to apartment living if given enough exercise and mental stimulation.

However, they may not be the best choice if you have very young children due to their exuberant nature.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Trainability

Labradors are intelligent, eager to please, and quick learners, excelling in obedience training. Meanwhile, Shiba Inus are independent thinkers who may require positive reinforcement techniques and patience to train.

Are Labrador or Shiba Inus Harder to Train?

Labrador Retrievers and Shiba Inus have different personalities that affect their trainability. Labs are intelligent and eager to please, making them easier to train with food rewards and positive reinforcement.

Shibas are independent and stubborn, requiring consistent and patient positive reinforcement methods tailored to their specific needs.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Life Expectancy

Labrador Retrievers and Shiba Inus have different life expectancies. Labradors live up to 12 years, while Shiba Inus average between 12 to 15 years. Both breeds can vary in terms of their health. Labradors are prone to health issues such as obesity, hip and elbow dysplasia, and certain types of cancer.

Shiba Inus generally have fewer health problems, but they are still susceptible to allergies, progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patella, or hip dysplasia. Proper care and regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help increase their chances of reaching their full life expectancy.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Prey Drive

Labrador retrievers and Shiba Inus have different prey drives due to their breeding history. Labradors were bred specifically for hunting and retrieving game, while Shibas were bred to track and hunt small game in mountainous regions.

While both breeds have a prey drive, it is generally stronger in Labradors and more selective in Shibas. It is important to consider prey drive when choosing a breed, especially if you have small pets at home.

Are Labradors or Shibas Better With Other Pets?

Labradors are generally friendly and accepting of other pets, while Shiba Inus may display territorial behavior. Proper introductions and supervision are necessary for both breeds. Early socialization and considering the individual personalities of your pets is important.

Are Labradors or Shibas Better With Kids?

Labradors are friendly, gentle, patient, and eager to please, making them excellent companions for all ages. Shibas are more reserved, independent, and may require early socialization to be comfortable around children.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Intelligence

Labradors and Shiba Inus have unique strengths. Labradors are trainable and eager to please, excel in obedience training, follow complex instructions, and can be great service dogs. Shiba Inus have independent problem-solving abilities but need patience during training. Both breeds have impressive intelligence.

Labrador Vs Shiba Inu: Popularity

Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States due to their friendly nature, loyalty, and versatility. Their popularity has only grown over the years, and they can be found everywhere from family homes to service dog organizations and search-and-rescue teams.

While Shiba Inus have been gaining popularity, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners due to their strong-willed nature and potential stubbornness during training.

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

Labradors and Shiba Inus vary in price depending on factors such as lineage, breeder reputation, location, and availability. Labradors are more commonly bred and therefore have a wider range of prices.

On average, a purebred Labrador from a reputable breeder can cost between $1,000 – $3,000. However, high-demand variations like English Labradors or those with champion bloodlines can fetch $3000 or more.

Shiba Inus are typically pricier due to their scarcity and growing popularity and can cost around $1,000 – 2,500 or higher for show-quality dogs.

It’s important to remember that owning a dog involves ongoing expenses such as food, grooming supplies, veterinary care, training classes, and regular check-ups. Adopting from shelters or rescue organizations is also a worthy option to consider.

Conclusion: Should You Get a Labrador or Shiba Inu?

When deciding between a Labrador and a Shiba Inu, consider factors such as lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Labs are friendly and outgoing, making them great for active individuals or families with energetic children.

On the other hand, Shiba Inus are more independent and require less exercise. Size, coat type, grooming needs, health problems, trainability, compatibility with other pets and children, intelligence level, prey drive, life expectancy, popularity, and cost are all important factors to consider.

Remember that each dog has their own unique personality traits and owning a dog comes with responsibilities like proper care, training, socialization, regular vet check-ups, and engaging in stimulating activities together.

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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