On a one to five scale of shedding, with five being the highest, Shiba Inus are rated 3 to 4 out of 5. This means that Shiba Inus do shed. They shed daily and seasonally. Trust me, I know, because I live with one for five years now.
Shiba Inus are the type of spitz breed that are double-coated. Overall, they have short fur except for their tails. The undercoat is soft and thick, and the outer coat is straight and stiff. These coats of Shiba Inus are being shed in different manners and times, but the most important thing is to understand and learn their shedding process so that it will be easier to manage it when it happens.
My male cream Shiba Inu named Hara has been living with us for five years now. I can say that we are both experts now when it comes to managing how Hara sheds. But apart from the shedding, we had no other cleaning or grooming problems with Hara.
He’s a companion dog that’s very much like a cat when it comes to cleanliness. He does not drool, and he is not the type of dog who likes any mess. He makes sure that his luscious cream fur and his entire body are always neat and clean. This is probably one of my most favorite things about Shiba Inus.
What Kind Of Dog Breed is Shiba Inu Anyway?
If you think what kind of breed are Shiba Inus, they are one of the six original spitz breeds that originated from Japan. The spitz breed is a kind of domestic dog that has the following traits: (1) pointed ears and muzzles, (2) thick fur, and (3) curled or drooping tail.
The six authentic Japanese spitz breeds are Shiba Inu, Akita Inu, Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Shikoku Ken, and Hokkaido Ken. It is very usual to sort of mix up these breeds when you look at each of them, but when you see them all together in a bunch, you’ll see the differences in size, shape, and features.
The Shiba Inu bloodline has existed even before the 19th century when the modern dog breeds have begun to emerge. Back in the old times, the Shiba Inu was largely prolific in the mountainous region of Chubu in Japan. Initially, they were bred as hunting dogs. This is the reason why they move and run smoothly on hiking terrains and mountainous trails. Moreover, since they were reared as hunters, they helped in catching or flushing out small game such as rabbits and birds.
My five-year-old Hara is a loyal dog and best friend who has tremendous energy, especially when he’s in the mood to get active and play. Even at an early age, I could already sense back then that Hara would grow up into a healthy and active companion dog. Now, I can say that I wasn’t wrong, after all.
The Larger Than Life Personality
My dog Hara stands at 16.5 inches tall and weighs around 10 kilograms. These vital statistics pass the average male height of 14 to 17 inches and the average male weight of 10.5 kilograms. For the females, the average height is 13 to 16 inches, while the average weight is 8 kilograms.
With these body frame features, we all would say that Shiba Inus are on the small to medium size. Ironically and interestingly, Shiba Inus have the personality of a large dog. I have read once on a blog about Shiba Inus that they are the type of dogs who think they are the best among the rest. They are simply that confident in their skin! I find it amusing, something that I would always be proud of about Hara.
The Japanese have three words to describe Shiba Inus: (1) soboku meaning alertness with open and refined spirit, (2) ryosei meaning excellent and gentle nature, and (3) kaani-i meaning boldness and bravery with mental strength and composure. Just looking at these three beautiful words would make every Shiba Inu owner proud and happy.
How Much Do Shiba Inus Shed?
So, how much and when do they shed? As I have mentioned earlier, there are two types of shedding that Shiba Inus undergo. These are the (1) daily shedding and the (2) blowing of coat.
The daily shedding is the regular day to day losing of worn and older hair so that new hair will be born. This one is a consistent and continuous cycle throughout the Shiba Inu’s life. The amount of this type of shedding is minimal and highly manageable.
Now, the blowing of the coat is the primary shedding process. I call it “major” because it is a lot more than the day to day shedding. What happens is the thick and soft undercoat of your Shiba Inu will gradually shed from three to eight weeks. This usually occurs twice a year: (1) when the warmer weather approaches and (2) when the colder season draws near. Between these two, the first one is usually heavier.
How Can You Manage Their Shedding?
The daily shedding can be easily managed by simply vacuuming the surfaces and surroundings regularly. Based on my experience, I do this every other day. Hara doesn’t shed too much daily, but every two days, I can already see his hair on my sheets and floors.
In terms of the blowing of coat, I will share with you two tips in managing this shedding period. First, during this season, you should practice the habit of brushing your dog daily. This procedure will help in making the shedding process a lot easier and faster.
Second, you have to vacuum daily during this period. Or even twice a day. The hairs that are shed usually have dead skin cells and could be allergens for some people. It’s a good thing that we don’t have any allergies, but if you do, you have to vacuum on an extra level during this time so your allergies won’t get triggered.
By taking note of these steps, you will learn how to enjoy the exclusive company of your Shiba Inu. Shedding is a natural process that is genuinely manageable, especially when you understand how it happens and what should be done about it.
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While taking Shiba Inus on a walk, you will turn many heads and get many compliments.