10 Dog Breeds Similar to the Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu

Understandably, once you’ve owned a Shiba Inu dog, you’re biased because of its high intelligence, loyalty, and affection. Its appearance is similar to a fox. They’re wonderful companions and often have entertaining personalities. These characters are medium-sized with curly tails, ears that stand erect, and an athletic yet graceful appearance. Their lovely coats shed prolifically twice per year.

They require daily exercise and weekly grooming. The stubborn dog breed is hard to train because of its independent nature, but the benefit is they do okay when left alone for a long time. The Japanese dog is an ancient breed dating back to 7000 BC. It’s been around since antiquity. If you’re looking for a dog breed similar to the Shiba Inu, here are 10 that come close.


10. Schipperke

Shiba Planet suggests the Schipperke if you’re looking for a dog similar to the Shiba Inu. The breed is smaller than the Shiba Inu and shares other traits. They’re double-coated but only come in a back coat. They’re gorgeous canines, desired for their beauty and flamboyant personalities. Additionally, Schipperke’s fiercely stubborn and strong-willed. It’s best to begin their training from the time they’re small puppies.

You can train them to become obedient, but it takes firmness and consistency. Schipperkes are also highly intelligent dogs who love to get into mischief. The inquisitive breed can become a master escape artist because of his curiosity. They’re athletic and high jumpers that can scale a fence with the strength to break chairs. They’re also good at slipping their collars to get away and explore. They’re also sweet and loyal dogs that make great entertainers and companions. The Schipperke may be the right solution if you’re looking for a friendly and affectionate dog. They’re also courageous and defend their human families when a threat is present. These black beauties need daily exercise, affection, and weekly brushing.

Japanese Spitz

9. Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is similar to the Shiba Inu, and its temperament is friendly and affectionate. They’re great for families with kids and love to receive attention from their human families. The coat is double, which gives it a fluffy and luxurious appearance, and the breed only produces white-colored offspring. This Spitz variation, unlike the Shiba Inu, is not a shedder and needs minimal grooming. It’s among the smaller dogs in the Spitz family, but they make wonderful home protectors as they’re courageous. Japanese Spitz will defend their homes and families if the need arises.

Their intelligence is high, and they love to play. They’re not as stubborn or strong-willed as the Shiba Inu, which makes them easy to train. This dog loves to please its owner but is not as independent and thrives best when it gets plenty of attention from its human family. If you’re looking for a beautiful dog for a companion dog, the Japanese Spitz may be a good option. People who are first-time pet owners should have no problem properly raising the puppies into well-mannered adults.


8. Samoyed

The Samoyed is affectionately called “Sammie.” It’s a medium-sized dog with a beautifully thick, white coat. The breed originates from Siberia, where the temperatures can drop far below zero. They’re bred to herd reindeer, but they’re also exceptional hunters. It looks like a luxurious dog because of its striking appearance, but the Samoyed is a working dog that is happiest when it has something to do. It can hold up against freezing temperatures and pull massive loads. Historically, Sammies were used to pull sleds during the era of the Alaskan gold rush. By nature, they’re pack dogs but do well as house pets.

Personalities are good-natured and friendly when properly trained as puppies. If you’re considering adoption, prepare to spend a lot of time with this dog. It’s an athletic breed that requires daily walks and exercise. The coat sheds prolifically and needs daily grooming to keep the shed in check within the household. The affectionate pet craves the attention of its owners and doesn’t like to be left alone for extended periods. They’re above average in smarts but not stubborn like the Shiba Inu. The puppies are easy to train, and they like pleasing their masters.

Akita Inu

7. Akita Inu

Zoo Awesome describes the Akita Inu as a dog breed similar to the Shiba Inu in its appearance. The dog also resembles a fox with pointed ears, a red-colored coat, and a black nose. It’s every bit as stubborn and needs to start obedience and house training for early puppyhood.

The Akita Inu is a hunting dog, but unlike the Shiba, it’s twice the size and used to stalk large game animals. The Akita is a bear hunter’s dream. They have friendly personalities and openly show love and affection to their human families. It’s not the best choice for novice dog owners as Akita Inus requires a firm and consistent hand to train them properly. Once you do, they’re wonderful companions and make great family dogs.

Finnish Spitz

6. Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz is a barker but not a biter. Puppies are yappy and need training to control their urge to wake up the neighbors with their intense and loud barking. They’re hyper-vigilant when they sense danger. They’re fast to let their human know if trouble is suspected. Finnish Spitzes are suspicious of strangers and reserved when they’re around. The breed is good at alerting everyone to potential threats, but there is seldom any follow-through. It’s slightly taller than the Shiba Inu, but they’re smaller and lighter overall. The reddish coat and curling tail make them an attractive pup. They’re bold and courageous with an appearance and personality like the Shiba Inu. It’s easy to confuse the two breeds because of how much they look alike, but the Finnish Spitz is the smaller of the two dog breeds.

Like the Shiba Inu, they are also very devoted to the family. Highly outgoing but reserved and suspicious of strangers, which makes them great to have around the house. They will bark at the top of their lungs to alert you if there is danger. They are very affectionate and loyal, like Shiba Inus. The original Finnish Spitz is from Finland. They’re intelligent and can learn a lot of commands if you train them the right way. This little Spitz loves to compete in races and obstacle courses. They also make great family and companion pets.

German Spitz

5. German Spitz

The German Spitz is another dog breed similar to the Shiba Inu. It’s the smallest Spize resembling a tiny Fox with a coat that is red and white and luxuriously fluffy. If you’re considering adopting this breed, prepare to start training immediately. It’s an energetic dog who loves to be involved with the family and play indoors and outdoors. They’re yappers and need training from early puppyhood. German Spitz has tons of energy and needs daily exercise and play. Like many other Spitzes, the outgoing pup is suspicious of strangers and will bark for a long time if he senses danger. He may not stop until he’s sure that you’re aware of his concern. Personalities are friendly and affectionate. They make exceptional companions and family dogs when trained properly. German Spitz is affectionate and loyal to their human family.

Shikoku Inu

4. Shikoku Inu

My First Shiba suggests the Shikoku Ino if you’re looking for a more aggressive hunting dog that resembles the Shiba Inu. It’s an ancient breed in Shikoku, Japan, bred as a hunter. To understand the Shikoku Inu, imagine a Shiba with exceptional hunting instincts and a slightly more aggressive personality. They’re stubborn and difficult for a novice to train. Puppies need lots of socialization to become accustomed to people who are not family members.

They’re not as large as the Akita, bigger than the Shiba Inu, although they strongly resemble both breeds. Training the breed requires consistency and a firm hand. It’s protective of its home and family and will bark if they sense that danger is near. They get along with humans but sometimes have issues with other family pets because of their possessiveness. Prepare to spend a lot of time with this smart and energetic dog. A daily walk, games, and ongoing training will yield a happy and obedient dog who makes an exceptional companion. If you give them love, you’ll get it back, but if you do the opposite, they reciprocate.

Korean Jindo

3. Korean Jindo

Another dog breed similar to the Shiba Inu is the Korean Jindo. The face is similar, but its body is larger, thinner, and longer. The Jindo originates in South Korea. They come in various oat colors from fawn, brindle, gray, and white to black and tan. It’s a clean dog breed that grooms themselves frequently as they enjoy a clean and neat coat. Prepare to groom the dog at least once a week to keep them happy. They’re exceptional hunters with strong instincts but just as capable of becoming loyal house pets.

They’re smart and affectionate to their human families but don’t like other dogs in the home. This alert and brave dog is courageous and has little fear. The energy level of the Korean Jindo makes it a great jogging partner. Take yours for a daily walk to keep him healthy and happy. They make great guard dogs because of their vigilance and loyalty to the family. They’re protective over their family members and wary of strangers.

American Eskimo Dog

2. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is a great alternative to the Shiba Inu because they’re among the most attractive dogs with a thick double coat that is strikingly white. In addition, they’re friendly dogs that love to spend time with their human families. They’re generally good with children and make good companions for people of all ages. This patient’s dog is tolerant but never leaves him alone with the children, as any dog can bite if startled or hurt.

Start training this intelligent dog when he is a small puppy; they can be headstrong. Prepare to groom the dog almost daily to help prevent prolific shedding on your carpets and furniture. They love human attention and give it back in return. The breed is loyal to masters and other family members and will bark when they sense a threat is near. They’re energetic dogs that require daily walks to remain healthy and happy.

Hokkaido Inu

1. Hokkaido Inu

The Hokkaido Inu oriinates in Hokkaido, Japan. It’s another ancient dog breed that has continued to evolve. It’s a breed that makes the best trail dogs. They love to accompany their pet parents on walking trails and mountain experiences. You get the best results when you train them when they’re small puppies. Most members of the breed are surefooted and make great mountain dogs. They’re good at navigating through elevated terrain and have a good sense of direction.

They’re protective dogs with a brave streak that makes them a force to be reckoned with. Hokkaido Inus need environments with lots of space to run and play. It has a strong tolerance to freezing-cold temperatures. Their ultra-thick coats don’t usually do as well in hot or humid climates. The athletic dog is yet another stubborn breed that should never be left alone with small children. It’s best to raise them in a larger home with a good-sized, fenced yard. They’re exceptionally protective of their families. If you thought finding a Shiba Inu was hard, this breed is even rarer.

Final thoughts

Shiba Inus are fairly rare dogs in the Western world. If you’re having trouble finding a reputable breeder to buy your next household pet, other options may have the same personality type or appearance. Consider your skill and experience raising dogs for the more stubborn dogs. Most of these breeds are similar to the Shib so you may mistake one for the other.

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