Does Shiba Inu Shed? How to Manage a Shiba Inu Coat?

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog loved for its thick and soft double-coat. Like Akita or Shikoku, many owners are worried about the Shiba Inu shedding as well.

Yes, Shiba Inu does shed. Like all other dogs who have a double coat, they shed moderately during the year with heavy shedding seen a couple of times in a year when they blow their inner coat.

The reason these dogs have such a dense coat is that they originate from Japan where temperatures are low and even snow is common. To be able to survive such conditions, the Shiba Inu coat is thick and features two layers.

Why do Shiba Inu shed?

Shedding is mostly a natural phenomenon that is linked to the hair growth cycle something that occurs even with us human beings. Thus, old and damaged hairs will continuously be replaced by new strong hairs throughout Shibu’s life. 

Of course, the fact that they have a double coat does not make matters easier. All Round shedding happens in combination with seasonal shedding (blowing of the coat) that takes place twice a year at the first signs of season change. 

This is usually before winter and summer and happens to switch the coat adapting to the new climate. Winters require a thick coat to protect from cold, while summer requires a thinned down coat to keep cool.

One other reason for shedding could be due to stress. A stressful habitat or routine can be the cause of a high amount of hair shedding. 

To avoid stress shedding, every Shibu Inu dog must be given a suitable environment in addition to sufficient food and water. Love and affection also play a role in making sure your dog is happy and healthy.

When Shiba Inu sheds the most?

Like other double coat dogs, Shiba Inu sheds the most when the season changes typically during fall and spring.

This is the time of the year when they prepare themselves for the upcoming season by shedding old hairs to get new hairs more suitable for the upcoming climate.

Does Shiba Inu Shed

Factors that can affect Shiba Inu shedding and what you can do to control?

Shedding is natural but you might notice shedding that is accelerated and occurring in the form of clumps of hair. This might not be natural or seasonal.

The following factors can influence shedding and should be monitored if possible.


By brushing your dog regularly, you brush away all the loose hairs that would be scattered on your sofa and house like Christmas decorations!

Brush your pet 3 times a week. If you are not noticing any results, you may want to increase this number. 

Apart from reduced shedding, brushing also helps in increased blood pressure and creating a bond between you and your pooch.

Use a soft-bristled brush to groom your dog, you should ensure that you are not hurting the dog. Or he may start to dislike being brushed, which will make the task harder for you.

You can also visit professional dog groomers. They can groom your dog as they have vast experience of dealing with various dogs and can even suggest grooming methods and products to use.


When your dog gets dirty you will have to bathe him, if this is not too often it is fine. Keep in mind that constant non-essential baths can leach out essential oils from the hair coat. These oils keep the skin moist and prevent it from drying or itching. 

We would recommend Natural oatmeal based shampoo which would be suitable for dog’s sensitive skin.

A slightly dirty dog is fine and baths are only required when they begin to smell.


It might be a good idea to slightly trim the hairs before the season changes. It will not only reduce the hairs that will fall but would also ease the effort in brushing your pooch.


All animals including humans need a well-balanced diet, to feed their bodies and minds. So, give him a good brand of food, one that is balanced, and has added vitamins and minerals. 

You could ask your local vet to recommend a pet food brand to you. They should eat dry food twice a day. The amount fed should be determined by the breed of Shiba Inu, age, size, and weight.


Do you know a dehydrated dog will shed more?

We would recommend keeping an eye on the water bowl and see that he is well hydrated just like you would keep care of his diet.


As mentioned, an unhappy Shiba could show his distress in the form of uneven rapid shedding of clumps of hair. This is a sign that something is making him very unhappy. You should assess his surroundings to see the change that could be causing this stress.


Male and female Shiba could show different shedding patterns since hormones are different in both genders. Additionally, pregnancy could also cause rapid shedding in a female dog. Do not worry as it will return to normal after the birth of the puppies.

Shiba Inu coat  

shiba inu

Just one look at Shiba Inu and you can tell that his thick hair coat is double layered. Coming from a cold snowy climate, it is critical to have this double coat. It consists of two layers that serve different purposes.  

Top coat

Like most other dogs, the topcoat is a layer of straight hair (it can be called fur) whose main purpose is to protect against cold, sun, injury, and pests. This layer of medium-length hair is appealing and can bear a slightly different color as the undercoat.

Under coat

Lying beneath the topcoat is another thick dense coat of hair. This layer of hair is soft and luxurious to touch. Covering the entire body, this layer acts as insulation for protection in extremely cold climates. This coat is visible through the topcoat.

Having a top and undercoat helps the Shiba Inu regulate its body temperature. If the climate is too hot, the shedding will occur, cold weather will promote new growth of the undercoat.  

What are the coat colors of Shiba Inu?

Shiba comes with some beautiful coat coloring. Orange, red, cream are just some colors you can find this dog with. Black sesame that is black-tipped hairs on a beautiful rich red background is a rare color. Their tails, forelegs, and hind legs are usually marked in white as this is the undercoat. 

Red – Red Shiba Inu is the most common color of coat you will find. It is thought that this is the Shiba breed’s original color.

Black and tan – The black and tan coat is a tri-colored coat that features a black coat with tan points. This makes an undeniably attractive coat color that every owner would prefer over other coat colors.

Orange – Another color commonly seen on the coat is an orange-rust color that is indeed appealing to the eye. 

Urajiro – “Urajiro” is a local Japanese word used to describe the unique markings on the body of the Shiba Inu. These markings are white and are most noticeable on the face of the Shiba. 

Appearance of Shiba Inu

A purebred Shiba Inu is a very good-looking dog. They have a cute face, with a set of perky ears on the top. They are small to medium-sized dogs that appear compact and athletic. Their muscular bodies were essential since they were used as hunting dogs in the Japanese mountain areas.

Their body structure is strong and coupled with on-point senses of hearing, smell, and sight. Their limbs are sturdy and are accompanied by a long fluffy tail that curls inwards towards the body. 

The hair coat is thick, dense, and covers the entire body to protect them and give an attractive appearance. Coat colors are widespread and colors you can find them in are orange, red, tan, yellow, black, and sesame.  


The Shiba Inu is a smaller version of the Japanese Akita. They best serve as companion dogs throughout Japan and the USA where their nature is their greatest gift. Guarding is also in their blood and you will notice how alert he is.

These dogs are bold and confident. They are extremely loyal and loving towards their families. Some people describe them as slightly stubborn or “free-willed”.

Training them is not as easy as training other dog breeds. Some struggles will be experienced but this should not put you off from adopting a Shibu Inu. 

They have a high energy drive that requires a lot of outdoor activity. But walks are enough and he will settle into living in an apartment. Another reason for this is that they are quiet and only bark when they must. 

They are energetic dogs who love being around their owner. They tend to always be happy and show it with their feline-like agility. Large areas to run around are vital because this dog loves to show off his athletic skills.

Overall, the Shiba Inu presents himself as the perfect companion dog who is capable of being an alert guard dog. Shedding will be a normal chore unless he blows his inner coat. Even then, you can manage to groom your Shiba at home without much help from a dog grooming service.

So go ahead and adopt a Shiba Inu today!