How Much are Shiba Inus in Japan? One Word: Expensive

In case you don’t know, Shiba Inu is a dog breed from Japan in which the features look similar to a fox, has a small and stuffy body, and built to be a loyal guard dog. If you are looking to have one, we will be tackling its not-so-cheap price and other costs.

Qualities of a Shiba Inu

For a dog breed to be expensive, you might be expecting a very exceptional animal. However, the price is not determined by Shiba Inu’s number of good qualities. The reason may be on how great the qualities of a Shiba Inu are and how exclusive it is.

A pure Shiba Inu is known to originate in Japan. The breed was regarded highly since they are used as hunting dogs for the samurais, and as time goes by, their hunter instincts are being cultivated into a guardian nature. The Shiba Inu is good at tracking people and is so loyal – a trait all pet owners are looking for.

Price of a Shuba Inu

If you want to buy dogs, always buy them as puppies. You want that dog to be raised as part of your family, just like how I did. If you ever decide to buy Shiba Inu puppies, you have three choices: buy in their native country Japan, import the puppies from overseas, or buy from your local animal store.

Here are the prices of the Shiba Inu puppies from different places:

  • Shiba Inu puppy in Japan = 250,000 to 450,000 JPY = 2,300 to 4,200 USD
  • Shiba Inu puppy in the US, UK = upwards of 400,000 JPY = upwards of 3,700 USD

To guide you in your decisions, here are the main pros and cons of the buying options

Buying in Japan

  • Pros
    Guaranteed top quality since bought directly from the native land
    Can include proper training on how to raise and handle
  • Cons
    Need to secure papers when transporting outside Japan
    Prepare for the puppy’s climate adjustments

Buying in Local Animal Stores

  • Pros
    Convenient since no need for complicated transportation
  • Cons
    Base price is high
    Quality depends on the seller’s accreditation by authorized animal groups

Importing Puppies

  • Pros
    Personalized delivery
  • Cons
    Very expensive due to the many documents secured by the seller
    Higher chance of being duped or scammed
    It takes time to reach on delivery address
    Minimal options for legit sellers

As you can see, buying locally is the preferred option, even if the price is high. If you want to go to Japan and buy a Shiba Inu since you find it more affordable, bear in mind that it is not the only expense when you travel. So, in a way, the two buying options can be looked at as equal in weight.

Importation might be very impractical if you are not a businessman. The costs can get so high, plus the risks also increase in number. When you don’t want to buy puppies instead, the best option is to adopt. Probably the costs are lesser since the Shiba Inu is entering its adulthood, but the training cannot be quickly executed.

How Much are Shiba Inus in Japan 2

Other Costs

When you buy a Shiba Inu, especially a puppy, there are many other things to consider in your decision, and one of the most important is the projected amount of the additional costs. Even though you might get drawn with the dog’s great features, you might be overwhelmed with the cost of raising it if you are not prepared.

Here are some of the additional costs you need to look out for if you decide to buy a Shiba Inu.

  • Feeding Costs
    The diet of the Shiba Inu is not that demanding compared to other dogs with the same qualities. As a guard dog, it consumes less food compared to the likes of Pit-bulls and German Shepherds. For me, the feeding costs can vary since the Shiba Inu can be a picky eater, but you might be spending more on trial-and-error methods.
  • Training Costs
    Although Shiba Inu dogs are said to be so loyal and already great hunters by nature, they can be as rebellious as they can get. Shiba Inu can be unreasonable sometimes and even hard to encourage despite having those adorable appearances.

    If you want to make a Shiba Inu a dog that mingles with you for a minimal effort, then I recommend that you have your dog undergo a proper education from trusted training centers. The costs can vary a lot at this point.
  • Veterinary Costs
    The ancestors of the modern Shiba Inus have survived the mountainous areas of Japan, its cold climate, and even the harsh environment of their hunting grounds. Overall, they are a healthy breed, and so, they are expected to be resistant to health issues.

    There are common vet bills like for anti-rabies shots and medicinal needs. As the dog becomes an adult, if ever you might be considering having it unable to bear puppies, then the medical procedures like spaying or neutering can also be an additional cost. Overall, the health maintenance of a Shiba Inu is not that very concerning.


Purchasing a Shiba Inu puppy is very expensive. However, the other essential costs in raising it can be affordable, and then you will gain a very loyal guard dog. That alone makes the initial price justifiable, and you can even invest in dog breeding if you so desired.

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