Black and tan are one of the four colors of the Japanese Shiba Inu. The other colors are red, sesame, and white (also known as cream). Red is the most popular coat color by far, while white is sometimes considered a “faulty” color because the dog’s urajiro (white undercoat) can’t be seen. Black-and-tan Shiba Inus have beautiful, distinct black-and-white markings that have won this color many loving fans.
Origins of the Black and Tan Shiba Inu
In the early 20th century, several events in Japan – including war, disease, and the introduction of Western dogs – have caused the numbers of purebred Japanese dogs to decrease to near extinction. After World War II, breeding programs were put into motion, and three Japanese dog breeds – San’in, Mino, and Shinshu – were bred together. This gave rise to the present-day Shiba Inu, including the beautiful black-and-tan coat color.
The Shiba Inu is one of six dog breeds from Japan, known as the most ancient of native Japanese breeds. The Shiba Inu is a member of the spitz family.
The word “Shiba” is translated from Japanese to mean “brushwood”.
The breed originally came from the mountainous areas of Japan and was specifically developed to hunt birds and rabbits.
Shiba Inus are small and compact dogs, weighing in at an average of 16 to 20 lbs. These medium-sized canines have a distinctive short, thick coat that ranges from red to pure white. But can also be white or black and tan.
The Shiba Inu is alert and fearless in temperament. He is also a very agile and fast dog thanks to his strong legs and neck. They are also known as one of the most independent canine breeds due to their independent thinking skills and dominant behavior.
Shiba Inus do best when they receive daily exercise along with mental stimulation, training and playtime with their owner or family members.
They are also considered to be good watchdogs that love to keep an eye on their territory. These dogs can be reserved towards strangers or new animals. They are very good guard dogs, as they will bark at any disturbances. Shiba Inus are also known to be one of the few breeds that actually use their bark as a warning rather than just for communication as other breeds do.
As with most dog breeds, this particular breed does come with some drawbacks and tendencies that should be considered beforehand.
Black and Tan Shiba Inu Coat Standards
Black and tan Shiba Inus have distinct and vibrant colors. Their coats normally feature very high-contrast coloring, as well as distinct black-and-tan markings. All Shiba Inus have a double coat, with a straight and stiff outer layer and a soft, plush undercoat. Black-and-tan Shiba Inus has a tricolor coat, a matte black base, tan ends, and a white urajiro. The full black-and-tan color spectrum covers white/cream, tan to buff-red, and dull black. In fact, any single dark hair of a black-and-tan Shiba Inu normally exhibits all three colors.
The black hairs usually have a bronze cast, while the undercoat is either buff or light gray. The tan-colored markings should only occur inside black areas and normally include eye spots, cheeks, legs, tail, and the ears’ insides. For a more detailed description of Shiba Inu coloring and standards, click here. A black-and-tan Shiba Inu’s urajiro should look almost the same as other Shiba Inus, except that with this coat color, it looks a white bow-tie.
Black Sesame Shiba Inu
A solid black Shiba Inu does not exist. Both the AKC and the FCI only recognize the black and tan coat and a variation of the sesame coloration called black sesame Shiba. Both varieties have two or more tones and a whitish marking which the Japanese refer to as Urajiro.
The black and tan coats are black on top and tan underneath and usually have white markings on the legs, feet, chest, muzzle, throat or eyebrows.
The sesame coat is a lighter brownish color with a speckled pattern in the coat coloring. The coloration can range from light to dark with the darkest being most desirable. Some sesames will have a gray tinge to the coat coloring. The sesame is similar to chestnuts in horse breeds and some other dog breeds.
What is a Black Sesame Shiba Inu?
The term “Black Sesame Shiba Inu” refers to a dog that has the most desirable coloration of the sesame breed. The dog should be all black with a black nose, black eye rims and a faint speckled coloration on the body. Urajiro or white markings are preferred but not required.
The black sesame Shiba Inu is distinct for their coat that has more black than white hairs. The coat tends to be one color, though some internal markings may exist. The sesamely speckled black hairs on a black and tan Shiba Inu are referred to as “bloom”. Bloom is usually present on the rump and legs but could also be visible elsewhere on the body.
Black-sesame Shibas may have a lot or very little bloom. Their coat is usually more lush and lustrous than that of a black-tan Shiba Inu.
Why do people say their Shiba Inu is Black?
This is not an official name for the black sesame Shiba. It refers to the coloration pattern that results from a recessive gene known as agouti. The Black Sesame Shiba Inu has a normal black coat, but a double dose of this gene causing each hair to be solid black.
The coloration may be confused with other dog breeds and is most often used to describe a black and tan coat that is more than one natural color, or a “black sesame” coat.
Who developed the Black Sesame Shiba Inu?
If you have a black sesame dog, you likely got him from Japan because this pattern originated there. The AKC prefers this description to “black”, but does not define it in their breed standard.
The Japan Kennel Club (JKC) accepted the black sesame Shiba Inu in 1993 and recognized it as a new variety. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the color, but does recognize black and tan Shiba Inu.
There are people who think that since the black sesame Shiba Inu is very hard to find, this type of dog must be expensive and unique. There is of course a price difference if you want a black sesame Shiba Inu, but it shouldnt be that more expensive then the regular colors.
Black Shiba Inus are prone to some health conditions that their counterparts are not. Breeders of Shiba Inus think that the black coloring is a recessive trait, so breeders will not knowingly breed a black Shiba inu. When you have recessive genes, it reduces the health of the offspring and can cause health problems like copper toxicosis or Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
Coat Color Genetics
The dog’s coat color is determined by a gene that is either dominant or recessive. The dominant gene, can produce a black coat or brown coat on a dog. The recessive gene, can produce a red coat or black coat on a dog. A dog that has the dominant gene for fur color will pass down its dominant gene to its offspring and produces only one color of fur. However, a dog that has the recessive gene for fur color will pass down both of its genes to its offspring. Therefore, if both of a dog’s parents have the recessive skin color, the offspring will have black fur. If one parent has the dominant gene and the other has the recessive gene, then the offspring will have a brown coat.
Black and Tan Shiba Inu Puppies
Black-and-tan Shiba Inu puppies often look darker and show more contrast than adults, especially in the face. As puppies mature, their urajiro will lighten, and the contrast of their coat colors will increase.
What to Remember When Choosing a Shiba Inu Puppy
When picking a Shiba Inu puppy, we caution our readers to stay away from pet shops, backyard breeders, and puppy mills.
The puppies you might get at place like this might be a mixed breed instead of a pure-bred Shiba Inu. If its a mix there is no guarantee that it will have the black and tan color and markings when it grows up.
This might give your dog problems down the line and you as a owner expensive veterinary bills.
Backyard and unofficial breeders are more then often more interested in money than the puppies wellbeing. The best way to stop this type of breeding is not to buy your puppy from one of these places, it might feel tempting to save one of them but putting them our of business is the best way to stop them.
Instead you can take a look at our breeder directory or contact your local Shiba Inu Club/Organisation.
If you are looking to show your Shiba the colors of the coat must conform to the shades that AKC and other official organisations recognize.
A Shiba Inu Is Not Only Its Color!
Although the red-coated Shiba Inu is by far the most popular (due to its similarity to a fox), a Shiba Inu is a Shiba Inu – regardless of color. When adopting a Shiba Inu, consider how much you care about its appearance, compared to other crucial qualities such as temperament or character. In contrast to the sly, foxy look of the red-coated Shiba Inu, black-and-tan Shiba Inus look a little like a cuddly and cute teddy bear. Interestingly, many people who are unfamiliar with this breed might mistake it for a Husky, due to their similar markings.
Shiba Inu Color and Temperament
The color of the coat on a Shiba Inu has absolutely no correlation with its temperament. Shibas are great addition to a family and will make a fantastic companion.
Shibas are known to be polite and affectionate towards people they know, and a bit reserved when it comes to strangers, but if something is out of the ordinary it will tell you! They might be a quiet breed but they still make good watch dogs.
Starting early with socialization is important as with all puppies.
The Cutest Round Eyebrows
Black and tan Shiba Inus are known for their adorable round “eyebrows”. These eyebrows – tan markings, in fact – are the cuteness cherry on top of an already adorable dog.
The Shiba Inu Curly Tail
Although Shiba Inu colors do not indicate their temperament or personality, their characteristic tail does!
The tail is curly and usually carried high, over their back.
A Shibas tail is often referred to as its “Crown of confidence” when it’s curled up on its back.How your Shiba is carrying its tail will tell you much more about its current mood and temperament.
A Shiba Inu carrying his tail high and fluffed up wants you to know he is happy, confident, and ready to take on the world.
If the tail is down something might not feel alright and your dog might feel uneasy.
A sign that will show you if a Shiba Inu is unhappy and doesn’t like the situation is if has its tail down and between its legs.
Myths and Superstitions Surrounding Black Dogs
Just like with black cats, there are many myths, stigmas, and superstitions surrounding black dogs. Many cultures have superstitions about black dogs, which sadly have hurt their popularity – and therefore their chances of adoption – all over the world. According to this article, black cats and dogs get adopted less often and are euthanized more often than non-black animals. Besides superstitions, various other factors are responsible for black animals being less liked than their lighter-colored counterparts. Such factors include aesthetic preferences, concerns about overheating, and difficulty seeing expressions on darker animals’ faces, which could make forming an emotional bond harder.
Fortunately, thanks to the black and tan Shiba Inu’s beautiful coat markings – and the recent rise in Shiba Inu’s popularity in general – they don’t have as much trouble as other black dogs. Still, you might want to keep the above information in mind when deciding on adopting a Shiba Inu. As animal lovers, we need to remember that black cats and dogs deserve just as much love as their non-black peers. We should not allow silly superstitions, unfounded myths, and general ignorance harm animals, merely for their coat’s coloring.