Shiba Inu vs Shih Tzu: Which One is Better for You?

Shiba Inus and Shih Tzus are two trendy breeds of dogs. They look distinctly different from one another, and they have temperament differences as well. If you’re trying to decide which type of dog might suit your lifestyle better, this article will compare these two breeds so that it’s easier for you to make your decision!

The Shih Tzu is a breed from China, while the Shiba Inu originates from Japan. The name translates to “small lion.” They both have similar features despite their origins being so different. Depending on what you want in an animal companion will determine which dog might be better suited for you.

History and Origin

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed of dog and the oldest in Japan. It was bred for hunting small game such as rabbits, pheasants, and wild boars on foot. The name “Shiba” means brushwood or shrubbery, and “Inu” means canine or dog in Japanese, so it translates to Brushwood Dog.

These dogs were originally called “Shiba Ken.” Still, that name eventually became attached to another type of hunting dog, which had reddish fur instead of the familiar red-brown color seen today in Shiba Inus.

The Shih Tzu is a breed of dog from Ch that’s believed to have been bred by crossing the Tibetan Lhasa Apso with Pekingese dogs. These tiny little creatures are often referred to as “the lion-dog” because they resemble miniature lions!

While there isn’t any clear and definitive information about where these breeds come from, we know that Shiba Inus were originally bred in Japan.

At the same time, Shih Tzus originated in China before arriving in their current home country. The name for this breed translates into “small lion.” They’re much smaller than most other breeds, but they still make excellent companions if you’re looking for a more diminutive companion animal.

Size, Weight and Lifespan

The Shiba Inu is smaller than the average dog breed. The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, are often a bit more small and diminutive in size.

A full-grown Shiba will stand anywhere from 18 to 23 inches at shoulder height, while an adult Shih Tzu can be as tall as 12-16 inches.

The Shiba Inu weighs anywhere from 13 to 19 pounds, while the Shih Tzu is usually between 12-14 pounds.

With a lifespan of 15 years or more, the Shiba Inu lives considerably longer than the average dog, with an expectancy of only around 12 years. This makes them much less expensive when it comes time for medical treatments and cares in their old age.

The Shih Tzu, on the other hand, typically has a life span closer to 11 or 12, which means they’ll need regular eye exams as well as dental cleanings throughout their lifetime.

Hair Care and Grooming

Shiba Inus have a double coat that needs to be brushed at least twice per week. Shih Tzus do not need as much brushing but should still get their hair groomed on occasion, and they both require regular grooming of the face, ears, eyes, and teeth.

The Shiba Inu’s “double” or thick undercoat may result in shedding, which can become excessive if not properly trimmed with scissors every few months.

The average Shih Tzu sheds less than their Shiba Inu counterpart and won’t need any trimming unless it becomes bothersome for you or your clothes during petting time.

The Shiba Inu has less shedding than the Shih Tzu. However, the Shih Tzu breed needs a lot of grooming to keep the coat looking its best and clean.


Though Shiba Inu and Shih Tzu are both small dogs, they still have different personality traits.

  • Shiba Inus tend to be alert, agile, and independent, while the Shih Tzus can become timid or shy if not properly socialized from a young age. They make great watchdogs because of their natural curiosity and courageousness but may require more training than other breeds because they’re typically more stubborn than obedient.
  • Shiba Inus will need less exercise since it is an active dog by nature that loves to run free in wide-open areas, whereas the Shih Tzu prefers living inside with its family, so long daily walks would suffice for this breed’s exercise needs.
  • Shih Tzus can be better for those who live in small homes or apartments since they tend to be more docile and don’t need as much exercise.
  • Shiba Inu are better for people with a yard and a lot of open space but could still make an excellent family pet if walked regularly.
  • Shiba Inus love being active outdoors, whereas the Shih Tzus like living indoors
  • Shiba Inu will require less exercise because it’s naturally athletic – Generally speaking, Shih Tzu can be easier to care for than Shuibas due to their smaller stature and decreased energy levels
  • Shi Tzus bark excessively might not do well with either breed; try quieter breeds instead, such as Yorkies or Maltese
  • Shih Tzu can be a better choice for someone who has little to no outdoor space or time
  • Shiba Inu is more suitable for people with all types of lifestyles, including those that live in an apartment without much outside access
  • Shiba Tzu will need to spend more time grooming than a Shiba Inu.
  • Shih Tzu is the perfect dog for someone who has allergies because they’re not as shed lots as other dogs and don’t have a doggie odor

The Shiba Inu would be better suited for people who want an outdoor pet or those with many active lifestyles. However, if you are looking for a quiet companion indoors, consider getting yourself a Shih Tzu.

Which one should you get?

So, which one should you get? It’s hard to say because there are pros and cons for both breeds! Both Shiba Inu and Shih Tzu dogs make good companions if they’re given the right attention and care.

Consider your living situation when choosing between a breed such as this: If you live in an apartment with no yard time available, then go with a Shiba Inu; but if you want a dog who will need lots of exercises outdoors every day, then opt for the lively Shih Tzu instead!

As you can see, Shiba Inus and Shih Tzus have a lot of differences, but they also share some similarities. If you’re interested in adopting one of these breeds as your own pet, there are many resources out there that can help make the decision much easier for you!

Both breeds can live up to 15 years old if cared for properly; this is very important to consider before deciding which breed fits best into your lifestyle!

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Why do I love Shiba Inus? Shiba Inu are bear-like dogs that are extremely adorable—with human-like mimics, amazing charisma and overflowing cuteness.