Male vs. Female Shiba Inu: Which Is Better?

Male and female Shiba Inu standing side by side

One of the hardest things to consider when getting a Shiba is whether you should get a male Shiba Inu or a female Shiba Inu. Which one is better? Is there a superior gender when it comes to Shibas?

Typically, male Shiba Inus are larger, livelier, and more eager to please their owners than female Shibas. They are also known for their chunkier body build and broader face. Meanwhile, female Shibas are calmer, smarter, and more aloof to strangers.

Continue reading this guide to learn about the distinctions between male and female Shiba Inus. Hopefully, this can help you determine which Shiba Inu gender is right for you.

Physical Differences

Male and female Shiba Inu resting on the grass

Male Shiba Inus

Adult male Shiba Inus are physically larger than their female counterparts. They can stand anywhere between 14.5 and 16.5 inches, weighing around 23 pounds. More often than not, male Shiba Inus grow faster than female Shibas. 

For example, at three months of age, male Shiba Inus weigh 7 to 10 pounds, whereas female Shibas weigh 6 to 8 pounds.

Some people think that male Shibas are fluffier than females. However, this is a wrong assumption. Both male and female Shiba Inus have short, double coats. Hence, no one is fluffier than the other.

The said misconception can be attributed to the chunkier body build of male Shiba Inus. Due to their bulkier physique, they appear to have a thicker and denser coat. This creates the illusion of them being fluffier than females. Both genders also share the same coat colors.

Female Shiba Inus

Female Shiba Inus are slightly smaller than their male counterparts. Specifically, they can reach a height of 13.5 to 15.5 inches, while their weight is about 17 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The standard height-to-length ratio of male and female Shiba Inus also slightly varies. While male Shiba Inus have a 10:11 height-to-length ratio, female Shiba Inus are a bit longer and may marginally exceed the said ratio.

An ideal female Shiba Inu, based on the AKC’s standard, must look feminine without weakness of structure. 

If you’ve seen the “doge” meme that went viral in 2013, you probably have a good sense of what a typical female Shiba Inu looks like. 

Unlike male Shiba Inus, which are more serious-looking, female Shibas have softer facial features.

Temperamental Differences

Male Shiba Inus

The Shiba Inu is one of the most affectionate and family-oriented dog breeds. However, between male and female Shibas, male Shiba Inus tend to be more showy and expressive of their affection than female Shiba Inus.

Although they are less energetic than the other dog breeds, male Shiba Inus are relatively more active and playful when compared with females. Properly socialized males are also more outgoing and more amiable.

Amid these positive temperaments, male Shibas have a higher tendency for destructive behavior. 

To prevent this, you can provide them with toys they can play with and train them to distinguish chewable from non-chewable objects.

Naturally, male Shiba Inus are known for their bold nature. When trained properly, male Shibas can be excellent guard dogs. However, ill-raised male Shiba Inus may have a tendency to bite and attack strangers.

In the video below, you’ll see Riley, a well-raised black-and-tan male Shiba Inu from France:

Shiba Inu Puppy Growing Up From 5 Weeks to 9 Months

Female Shiba Inus

Female Shiba Inus are notable for being more independent than their male counterparts. In fact, many Shiba Inu breeders would describe the personality of female Shiba Inus as “cat-like.”

In terms of energy level, female Shiba Inus are not as energetic as male Shibas. Because of this, they are relatively less playful and more adaptable to sedentary lifestyles.

Female Shiba Inus are also more cautious of strangers. Their wariness and alert nature make them excellent watchdogs for a household. Moreover, female Shiba Inus are considered smarter than male Shibas.

See how Haribo, a female Shiba Inu, develops into a lovely, well-behaved dog in the video below:

Shiba Inu from Puppy to Adult (8 weeks to 1 year)

Behavior and Training

Female Shiba Inu puppy during training

Male Shiba Inus

Male Shiba Inus are well-known for their eagerness to please their owners. Because of this, they are said to be more trainable than their female counterparts. 

Since they have more vitality than women, they are less likely to feel bored during training. In fact, their energy level is enough for them to train without getting easily distracted. This is why they are ideal for new Shiba Inu owners.

However, being male dogs, male Shiba Inus are more likely to mark their territory through their urine. Male Shiba Inus that aren’t castrated are more likely to do this.

Neutering can reduce this unwanted territorial behavior from your male Shiba Inu. If this undesirable habit persists even after neutering your male dog, you can also use belly bands on him.

Female Shiba Inus

Unlike male Shiba Inus, female Shibas are less eager to please their owners. They are known to be moodier and more dominant than their male counterparts. Because of this, training female Shiba Inus may be a bit harder.

However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be trained at all. In fact, they have an advantage over male Shibas in terms of training duration. For example, their intellect allows them to learn quicker than males.

In addition, female Shiba Inus are slightly more food-motivated than males. Therefore, positive reinforcement is the most effective training method for them. This method uses treats and rewards to strengthen the dog’s desirable behaviors.

Whether or not a female Shiba Inu has been spayed, urine marking is not a common issue for them. Aside from that, they are easier to train for housebreaking as they are tidier than male Shiba Inus. 

Health Differences

Male Shiba Inus

Generally, Shiba Inus have a lifespan of 13 to 16 years. Male Shiba Inus, with a proper diet, clean living environment, and active lifestyle, could live longer than this. 

In fact, neutering can also extend the lifespan of a male Shiba Inu by up to 18 percent.

Through neutering, the likelihood of reproductive diseases and infections in male Shibas, such as prostate and testicular cancers, can be reduced. Yet, there are some things to consider before neutering your male Shiba.

For instance, male Shiba Inus that are castrated while they are still at their growing age are more predisposed to hip dysplasia and osteosarcoma. Not to mention, these diseases are more common in male dogs than in females.

Female Shiba Inus

There is no significant difference between the lifespan of male and female Shiba Inus. Both sexes are considered healthy as there are relatively fewer health issues that can affect them.

Also, just like in male Shibas, spayed female Shiba Inus can live longer than unspayed ones. This is because spaying can reduce the chance of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, as well as pyometra in female Shiba Inus.

However, there are some risks to spaying your female Shiba Inu. Although rare, spayed female Shibas are more prone to urinary incontinence than intact ones, especially when they get older.

Lastly, female Shiba Inus are more prone to obesity than male Shibas due to their less energetic nature. Unfortunately, spaying may increase the likelihood of female Shiba Inus becoming obese.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Shiba Inu beside a cat

Male Shiba Inus

Regardless of sex, Shiba Inus are inherently not so amiable to other dogs and pets. However, between male and female Shibas, male Shiba Inus are better at getting along with other pets due to their outgoing personalities.

Still, you cannot trust them off-leash as they have a tendency to chase small animals like rodents and kittens. Cats, birds, and other pets could be safe around male Shiba Inus if they are properly socialized during puppyhood.

Lastly, having two male Shiba Inus is not recommended as they have a tendency to become hostile toward one another. If you want two Shiba Inus, it is preferable to have a male and a female because they get along better.

Female Shiba Inus

Because of their more cautious nature, female Shiba Inus are more aloof toward other pets. Particularly, they don’t go well with other female Shiba Inus. In fact, female Shiba Inus have higher territorial tendencies than males.

If you have two female Shiba Inus, it’s likely that they will compete for supremacy because they are both dominant. Other than this, docile and less rowdy pets could live alongside female Shiba Inus.

Early socialization and obedience training are also crucial to curb undesirable behaviors. If you have an adult Shiba Inu and a new pet in your home, make sure to guide them as they get along with each other.

With Children

Male Shiba Inus

One of the dog breeds that are inherently reserved with kids is the Shiba Inu. They value their personal spaces and wouldn’t want others to invade them.

However, some Shiba owners claim that male Shiba Inus can also be good around children. Specifically, a well-raised and properly socialized male Shiba Inu can be a good companion dog for older kids.

Male Shiba Inus can also play with older children as they are more playful than females. Despite this, some pet parents are still reluctant to let their kids play with male Shibas, even after several years of training them.

Female Shiba Inus

Female Shiba Inus are not safe for rowdy and mischievous kids if they are not socialized and trained to behave properly during their puppyhood. This is because female Shiba Inus are less outgoing and less playful.

Also, female Shibas are more impatient than males. A female Shiba Inu may attack rowdy kids who deliberately bother her. Hence, if you have kids in your home, you must teach them appropriate behavior around female Shiba Inus.

Toddlers can be safer for female Shiba Inus because they are not as rowdy as older kids. Still, strong adult supervision must be observed, especially if it will be your female Shiba’s first time interacting with children.

This reminds me of a time when one of my clients reached out to me and wanted to ask for help in rehoming their eight-month-old female Shiba Inu, who can’t get along well with their very playful three and five-year-old daughters.

Though their Shiba Inu has not shown any violent tendencies, it mostly displays signs of discomfort, so they decided to get a breed that is better fitted to play with their kids.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Shiba Inus 

Male and female Shiba Inu out in the woods

Male Shiba Inus

Generally, male Shiba Inus are more affectionate and outgoing than female Shiba Inus. This means they enjoy spending time and playing with their owners, which is a great advantage. 

Note that Shiba Inus are not as lively as other dog breeds. Yet, between male and female Shiba Inus, males are more energetic than females. That said, male Shiba Inus are more suitable for pet parents with active lifestyles.

With early socialization and proper training, male Shiba Inus can be more amiable to strangers. Training them would also be easier due to their innate desire to please their guardians.

In addition, because of their highly protective nature, male Shiba Inus can be excellent guard dogs. Amid these advantages, there are also some downsides to owning a male Shiba Inu.

For instance, their larger body size indicates that they have greater dietary needs and a higher risk of developing bone and joint diseases. Also, they are more likely to do urine markings and show aggression toward other pets.

Particularly, they are more hostile to other male Shiba Inus. In fact, they can establish better relationships with female Shibas. 

In terms of cleanliness, male Shiba Inus are slightly messier than females, and they don’t mind playing in the mud.

Check out the table below to see the overall pros and cons of owning a male Shiba Inu:

More affectionate and outgoingMore food requirements
Suitable for people with an active lifestyleMore prone to orthopedic diseases
More friendly to strangersMore prone to urine marking
Easier to trainAggressive tendencies
Ideal for first-time Shiba ownersHostility to other male Shiba Inus 
Excellent guard dogsSlightly messier than females 

Female Shiba Inus

Because of their less energetic nature, female Shiba Inus have calmer and more independent temperaments. They can also easily adapt to a sedentary lifestyle, making them ideal for less active or busy pet parents.

Compared to male Shibas, female Shiba Inus are more intelligent. This characteristic enables them to pick up new abilities more quickly than males do.

Female Shiba Inus are also smaller; hence, they require less food. In addition, female Shibas are not fond of playing in dirty or muddy places. This makes them suited for neat freaks as they are relatively cleaner than males.

With these benefits, it’s easy to think that a female Shiba is the right pooch for you. 

However, bear in mind that they are less affectionate, outgoing, and not very eager to please their owners. Hence, training one might be more challenging.

Furthermore, they are more reserved to strangers and to other pets, particularly with other female Shiba Inus. In fact, they are more likely to assert their territory by fighting rather than by leaving urine marks.

Although they have fewer food requirements, this doesn’t exempt them from developing obesity. Due to their less energetic and playful nature, they are more predisposed to obesity than males.

The benefits and drawbacks of owning a female Shiba Inu are summarized in the table below:

Calmer temperamentLess affectionate and outgoing
Can easily adapt to a sedentary lifestyleMore reserved with strangers
More intelligentLess eager to please their owners
More independentMore predisposed to obesity
Eats less foodTerritorial tendencies
Cleaner than malesHostile toward other female dogs

Should You Get a Male or Female Shiba Inu? 

Whether you should get a male or female Shiba Inu primarily depends on your personal preferences, current situation, and lifestyle.

You should get a male Shiba Inu if you prefer a chunkier, more active, and more outgoing pooch. Male Shibas can also be a good option if you’re looking for an excellent guard dog, as they are relatively bolder than female Shiba Inus.

However, if you have a sedentary lifestyle and you want a calmer, cleaner, and less active dog, then female Shiba Inus are perfect for you! They can also be good watchdogs for the family, as female Shibas are wary of strangers.

To further assist you in determining which sex of the Shiba Inu suits your preference and lifestyle, watch the video clip below:

Male vs. Female Shiba Inu: Which One Is Better?

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Shiba Inu exploring a snow covered area

Are Male or Female Shiba Inus Calmer?

Female Shiba Inus are considered calmer than their male counterparts. This can be ascribed to their less active personality. In fact, it’s rare to find a female Shiba Inu that is as energetic as male Shibas.

However, this doesn’t imply that they always deal with situations calmly. As discussed earlier, they can be impatient with those who deliberately bother them or invade their personal space.

Are Male or Female Shiba Inus More Affectionate?

Both sexes are actually affectionate to their owners. However, male Shiba Inus tend to be more showy about their affection than female Shibas. They enjoy being around their owners and love playing with them.

Female Shiba Inus are more independent and less expressive of their affection. They have a cat-like personality and will only allow brief petting from their owners.

Are Male or Female Shiba Inus Easier to Train?

Many breeders claim that male Shiba Inus are easier to train than female Shibas. This is because male Shiba Inus are more sociable and eager to please their owners. These qualities of male Shibas can greatly facilitate dog training.

Despite this, female Shiba Inus still have their edge in training. As compared to male Shibas, female Shibas are relatively smarter. Hence, they can pick up new skills more quickly than male Shiba Inus.

Final Thoughts

When choosing which sex of the Shiba Inu is suitable for you, it is critical to consider the physical and behavioral differences between male and female Shibas.

Male Shiba Inus are bolder, more active, outgoing, and showy in their affection. Hence, active pet parents could enjoy their company. Their eagerness to please their owners also makes them more trainable than female Shibas.

Meanwhile, female Shiba Inus are relatively calmer, smarter, less playful, and warier of strangers than male Shibas. They are also more adaptable to sedentary lifestyles and don’t like having their personal space invaded.

With everything you’ve learned in this guide, which of the two do you want as a companion dog? Share with us your thoughts about the male and the female Shiba Inu!

Leave a Comment

You may also like