What Does a Shiba Inu Cost?

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I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of cute Shiba Inu pups online or in person. You may have fallen in love with the breed and now you want to know what to expect for a Shiba Inu price. In this article, we’ll cover everything from the price of the dog to things like supplies and vet costs over the life of your new buddy.

Why Should You Get a Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu dogs have a very big personality. They want to be the boss, and they never back down from a challenge. They tend to have their own mind and will be an independent dog. Many owners claim that their Shiba Inu is basically a cat in a dog’s body.

They are a healthy breed and will live a long life with you. They house train easily and are extremely loyal to their families. They are very clean dogs and will be very happy to be a house dog so long as they get some exercise.

History and Characteristics of the Shiba Inu Breed

Shiba Inu as a breed are small to medium dogs with a double coat. The average male is around 23 pounds and females average out to 18 pounds. All Shiba dogs have a curly tail a short coat. They come in several colors including red, sesame, orange, yellow, and black and tan. You may see a white or cream coat, but this is considered undesirable since the dog is required to have a white underside to meet breed standards.

The Shiba Inu breed originates in Japan. This small dog was bred to flush game and hunt small animals. The name in Japanese even means “brushwood dog”. Whether this refers to their use in hunting or from their color is up for debate. The breed is considered a primitive breed, originating around 300 B.C.

The breed nearly went extinct thanks to a combination of native Japanese dog breeds being crossed with Western dog breeds after the Meiji Restoration as well as a distemper epidemic in post-World War 2 Japan. The current breed was developed from three strains of Shiba that came from around the country. The breed was first brought to the United States in 1954. The first recorded litter of Shiba Inu puppies was born in 1979.

How Much Do Shiba Inu Puppies Cost?

Shiba Inu puppies have a pretty big price range. This depends on the age of the puppy as well as if it is a purebred dog with paperwork. Breeders who do things like health screenings for their puppies will also charge more.

On average, Shiba Inu puppies range from $650 to $1800 with purebred puppies with papers costing up to $3000. If this sounds steep to you, we suggest looking into a rescued dog or an older dog. Breed-specific rescues can charge anywhere between $50 and $500 depending on the rescue.

On average, expect to pay around $1000 for a Shiba Inu puppy if you want one from a good breeder. While you can find cheaper puppies, they may have health problems since the breeder may not be taking good care of their dogs or breeding dogs with health problems.

Shiba Inu Price Range

The price range for a puppy from a breeder is $650 and $1800 with purebred pups with papers being up to $3000.

What you will pay depends on your location, the demand for specific colors, as well as things like any care or training the breeder has already gotten for your puppy before you buy it.

Puppies that are older will be much cheaper than a younger puppy. Puppies that are show quality will also be more expensive than a dog that has been judged to only be pet quality. This depends on how well the puppy fits the breed standards.

You may also see dogs marketed as Mame Shiba Inu puppies. These dogs are smaller than the breed standard and aren’t currently recognized by any breed standard for Shiba Inu. They will cost more, and may not be from reputable breeders.

Puppy Vs. Rescue

While you can buy a puppy, we would love for you to consider adopting a Shiba Inu. While Shiba Inu dogs are great, they aren’t for everyone, and much like many other popular breeds, many dogs are now looking for good homes after their first families gave them up.

While buying from a reputable breeder will let you know much about your dog like their health and likely temperament, you can rescue a Shiba and end up with a great dog. Adopting will save a dog’s life. You will also save money.

Many breed-specific rescues will make sure their dogs have all their health checks before you get them and will frequently have the dog either fully trained or well on their way before you adopt them You will also save money since rescues charge less to adopt a dog than a good breeder will.

Dogs from shelters or from rescues are also tested to see what their temperament is like and whether they get along with other dogs, animals, and children. If you really want to save money, you can watch your local shelter for a Shiba since they will likely charge less.

Adopting will also support keeping the dog population down since you won’t be encouraging anyone to breed more dogs. Sadly, there are many more dogs around than there are good homes for those dogs, so many dogs are put down every year. Getting your dog from a local shelter will save a dog’s life. Even if you go with a no-kill shelter, you still open up a space for another dog in need.

Shiba Inu Adoption Price

How much it costs to adopt a Shiba Inu will depend on your shelter or rescue as well as the age of the dog. Older dogs are always cheaper than puppies since most people want puppies.

For some shelters, adoption fees for a dog can be as low as $50. This is to cover things like vet care, vaccinations, and many dogs have a microchip inserted. Some breed-specific rescues can go from $200 for a senior dog to over $600 for a puppy.

Shiba Inu Rescues

There are Shiba Inu rescue groups that operate throughout the United States. Most belong to the National Shiba Rescue organization. This group and its affiliates help to teach people about Shibas to avoid having them abandoned. They also help to rescue Shibas and help to place them in good homes. It also provides support to those who have rescued Shibas.

If you are interested in adopting a rescue dog it can be the best decision you have ever made. Rescue dogs are not all problem dogs as many people think. Instead they are often just the product of a poor decision. There are many advantages to choosing a rescue dog over a puppy. A rescue Shiba may be your perfect choice if you don’t have the time to spend housetraining a puppy. Puppies take much more energy and work than an adult dog does.

If you get a Shiba from a rescue organization you are giving a new life to your pet. The first step after you get a rescue dog is a trip to the vet. Your vet will be able to give your new dog a thorough examination and ensure that it is healthy. Most adult Shibas will do best if they don’t have other pets to deal with at home. You’ll want to start training you dog immediately so that there is an understanding that you are the leader and must be obeyed. Shibas tend to have a mind of their own sometimes. Adult Shibas may be harder to train than puppies because they are set in their ways. If this is the case for you consider getting a dog trainer to assist you. Make sure the trainer has had experience in training Shibas because they may be more stubborn than some other breeds.

Whenever you bring a new dog home never let it alone with children. You need to assess the behavior of the dog. Even if the dog seems good-natured this can change in an instant if the dog feels threatened in any way. Shibas make natural guard dogs and will take care of their families. You may want to consider crate training your Shiba. This is helpful when guests come over since the Shiba may respond negatively towards people he doesn’t know.

There are many great Shiba Inu dogs waiting for new homes. If you are interested in adopting one you can find the local chapter of the National Shiba Rescue organization. They can assist you in finding the perfect Shiba for you and your family.

Avoid Puppy Mills and Pet Stores

After reading how much it is to buy from a breeder or shelter, you may be thinking that you can just visit a pet store to buy your new Shiba Inu. However, you should never buy a puppy from a pet store. Unless you know their dogs are borrowed from a local shelter, that pet store likely gets their puppies from a puppy mill.

Puppy mills are basically dog breeders on a massive scale for profit. The dogs at a puppy mill are bred as often as possible without any care for the health of the parents or of the puppies. Not only are the adult dogs kept in cruel conditions, but the puppies are frequently ill or prone to serious health conditions.

Puppy mills only care about profit. They don’t breed for good health or conformation to breed standards. They breed to sell puppies for as large of a profit as they can manage. I wouldn’t advise looking up the horrible conditions these dogs live in, since it will break the heart of any animal lover or just a decent person.

Even if your pet store claims not to get puppies from a puppy mill, they may be lying or getting dogs from a backyard breeder. These breeders may not put much care into breeding their dogs either and you can still end up with a sickly puppy or dog that will face health issues in the future thanks to poor breeding. Always buy from a reputable breeder. Better yet, adopt your Shiba Inu and save a dog.

Choose Reputable Shiba Breeders

After reading about puppy mills and backyard breeders, you may be wondering how to find a reputable breeder. There are some simple signs to tell if your breeder is a good one.

The first and best way to find a reputable breeder is to find them through an official breed club in your area. People who love the breed will only recommend breeders who care about their dogs and the health and future of the Shiba Inu breed. The AKC can link you to local breed organizations that will help you locate a breeder.

Here is how to spot a good breeder:

  • Cares about the breed
  • Doesn’t breed for profit
  • Breeds only one or two breeds
  • Breeds mainly to improve their own line, meaning they intend to keep a puppy
  • Checks the health of the parent dogs before they breed
  • Are knowledgeable about the breed’s health issues and watches for them in their breeding dogs
  • Breeds to improve the breed and selects which dogs to breed based on this
  • Doesn’t breed a lot of puppies
  • Participates in dog-related activities with their dogs like showing or agility
  • Belongs to a dog club like the breed club
  • Asks lots of questions to be sure you are a good home for their puppy
  • Might or will require pet dogs to be spayed or neutered
  • Will be available to answer questions
  • Requires you to give them the chance to take back the dog if you can’t keep it for any reason

Be very wary of any breeder who doesn’t do all of this. Breeding dogs well is an expensive hobby and most breeders make little if any profit off of their puppies. A good breeder cares deeply about their dogs as well as the breed and will do everything they can to improve the breed as well as keep the puppies they produce healthy and happy for the length of their lives.

How To Identify A Well Bred Shiba Inu

Another thing to look at is how well-bred your Shiba is. A male Shiba will be between 16 and 17 inches at the shoulder and will weigh around 23 pounds. Females will be around 14 inches tall and will weigh around 17 pounds. A puppy will likely look very different than what it will as an adult. Many puppies will have floppy ears or their coats may be darker than they will as an adult.

A well-bred Shiba Inu will have a personality that isn’t too aggressive or timid. The official description of the Shiba Inu personality is a spirited, good-natured, and alert dog. This means they will be energetic and have strong opinions. This is an intelligent dog and they require special training to make them willing to obey. They are very independent and strong-willed, so you need to train and socialize early and consistently or your dog will be a handful.

A well-bred Shiba Inu will also have minimal health issues that the breeder has already screened them for. The next section will go into detail, but ask your breeder about these health conditions and make sure they have checked both the parents and your potential puppy for them.

Remember to keep the breed standard in mind when you are looking at a puppy from a breeder. Be sure to check the parents as well to be sure they meet the breed standards.

Common Shiba Inu Health Issues

Shiba Inu dogs tend to be healthy, but the breed can be prone to some health conditions. Shiba Inu dogs can be prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. This is when the bones don’t meet the joint properly. It tends to have a good outcome if caught and treated early. It tends to be very treatable since so many dogs are prone to it.

Patellar Luxation is another thing to watch for. This is caused by a weak ligament that results in a kneecap that shifts in and out of place. The severity is variable, it may not affect your dog much or require surgery to correct. It can cause pain, abnormal gait, or even immobility. There are plenty of treatments since this is also a common condition among many dog breeds.

Chylothorax is an accumulation of fluid in the chest. It can cause a lack of appetite, weakness, coughing or wheezing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. It can be a sign of other health conditions, so be sure to ask your vet to check for them before you treat the symptoms. Treatment generally includes removing the fluid as well as a diet change. In severe cases, your dog may need surgery to correct the problem.

Eye disorders are common among the Shiba Inu breed. They can have glaucoma, which causes fluid to build in the eye that can damage the optic nerve. This can be treated with drops or surgery. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a genetic condition that slowly destroys the dog’s ability to see in the dark before affecting them even during the day. Nothing can be done for this one but prepare for eventual blindness. Older Shiba dogs are also prone to cataracts, which is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This is very easy to treat in general.

Other health issues common to Shiba Inu dogs include things like seizures, allergies, and cancer. All of these can be watched for by your vet and treated. Unspayed females are also vulnerable to pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus during the heat cycle that can be life-threatening. If you won’t be breeding your dog, always get her spayed to prevent pyometra.

Veterinary costs for a Shiba Inu Puppy

Much like other puppies, you will pay more in the first year for veterinary care than you will for the rest of your dog’s life. You will spend between $400 and $800 for all the vaccinations, checkups, and other tests your puppy needs. It is recommended that your puppy sees the vet 3 times in the first year, so you have the office fee as well as any tests you need to cover.

You may also pay for spaying or neutering, which is between $50 and $300, with spaying being a bit more costly on average. Other costs will be for things like flea and tick prevention as well as heartworm prevention. This is around $15 a month. You may also need other vaccines or treatments depending on your area and the dog’s lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time in the woods in an area with ticks, you will need tick treatments and Lyme disease vaccination. That tends to be $60 to $80 depending on your area and your vet.

Adult Shiba Inu Veterniary Costs

An adult Shiba Inu will likely only need to see a vet once a year for most of their life so long as they don’t have any health conditions. One vet visit a year will likely be around $130 to $270. This includes an exam as well as testing to be sure your dog is healthy.

Heartworm and flea prevention for Shiba Inu dogs tend to cost around $70 a year and $150 a year respectively. You may need booster shots for vaccines, which average around $15 to $45 per shot. If you e need a fecal exam, that is around $50.

Older dogs or dogs with health conditions will cost more. Some conditions like allergies and cataracts can cost into the thousands of dollars. If your dog may be prone to these, look into pet health insurance to help reduce your out of pocket costs. Allergies are very common in Shiba Inu dogs, so have up to $2000 a year set aside to treat this, not including special food.

Shiba Inu Training Costs

Shiba Inu dogs are stubborn and generally require specialized professional training. Training for your puppy in the first year will be around $1200 for around 7 sessions with a trainer as well as group training. Clickers and other supplies for training like treats will add another $200 or so for the first year.

Shiba Inu Grooming Costs

Many Shiba Inu dogs hate being groomed and will complain about things like having their nails trimmed. They tend to put up with weekly brushing as well as regular brushing during the 2 times of the year they will shed their coat. They are relatively easy to groom yourself with just a brush and clippers, but if your dog hates it you may want a professional to deal with your offended dog rather than deal with the infamous Shiba scream yourself. This will cost around $150 a year since they are a clean breed.

Additional Costs


Things you may want to do if your dog doesn’t already have it is to microchip your dog. This costs around $40.


You will also need a license which averages out to $15 but could be more or less depending on your area.

Dog Walker

You can also choose to get a dog walker to keep your pup busy and give them plenty of exercise. This is around @20 a walk.


As you can see, the costs of ownership do add up. You are looking at a range of $10,000 to $30,000 over the life of your dog. If you can afford this, definitely get a Shiba Inu. They are wonderful dogs with big personalities. So long as you do your research, you will have plenty of years with your new buddy.