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Meet The Stylish Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix

Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix standing tall in a forest

The Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix is one of the hundreds of designer breeds developed recently. It may not be the most popular or most unique crossbreed, but it is undoubtedly spectacular.

HEIGHT: 19 to 22 inchesWEIGHT: 40 to 60 pounds
LIFE SPAN: 9 to 15 yearsBREED SIZE: medium 
INTELLIGENCE: highEXERCISE NEEDS: high
ENERGY LEVEL: highBARKING LEVEL: when necessary
DROOL TENDENCY: medium COAT LENGTH: medium to long double coat
Cute beige and black spotted Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix laying on a road
COLORS: black and tan, red with white marking, cream, white, sable, blue, black, and red
TEMPARMENT: loyal, loving, protective, active, stubborn, independent
GOOD WITH: families with older children, active individuals, experienced dog owners
HEALTH FACTORS: hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, bloat, eye disorders, patellar luxation
OTHER TRAITS: needs space to move around, heavy shedder, territorial, not for novice owners, high prey drive

What else would you get when you combine the confident charm of the German Shepherd and the super smarts of the Japanese Shiba Inu? Are you looking for a companion that is loyal, regal and faithful? The Shina Inu German Shepherd mix might be the one for you.

Background | The Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix is so new to the designer breed scene, they don’t even have an official name yet

majestic looking Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix looking out to the water

Fans of this crossbreed can’t decide whether to call this mix Shiba Shepherd or Shepherd Inu. That’s how recent it is to the scene. Indeed, many designer breeds are no older than a decade, so there is limited information about their origin. Undoubtedly, breeders created the Shiba Inu German shepherd to combine the best qualities and traits of two of the world’s most loved dogs.

The first German shepherd originated in Germany during the late 1800s as a working and herding dog. Its breeder later focused on training it for military and police forces. To this day, German shepherds are highly-regarded K-9 officers, serving as messengers, supply carriers, guards, and search and rescue dogs.

The Shiba Inu comes from Japan and has been around since 300 BC, making it one of the oldest dog breeds. Their owners used them to flush out birds and hunt game, including wild boar. It wasn’t until 1954 that the first Shiba Inu arrived in the United States and 1979 when the first litter was born.

Appearance | They look like both of their parents

close up of a grey/black Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix

The German shepherd and the Shiba Inu somewhat have similar features. The looks of their offspring will be a beautiful blend of these. The face will not be as defined and wolfish as the German shepherd, but it will not be quite as sharp and foxlike as the Shiba. They are sure to have erect and pointy triangle-shaped ears, long snouts, and dark almond-shaped eyes. Their double coat will be medium-length or long, coarse and thick. 

The Shiba Inu German shepherd mix will almost always inherit the lean but muscular and well-proportioned physique of the German shepherd. But it will be significantly smaller. The size will depend on which parent has more dominant genes. An adult Shiba Inu German shepherd mix measures around 19 to 22 inches tall from the shoulders and weighs between 40 to 60 pounds. Their coat colors may include black and tan, cream, red, white, sable, blue, black, and red.

Temperament | The Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix is loving but not clingy

Curious looking brown and beige Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix laying on a bed

These hybrids are loyal and faithful companions that will do anything to protect their families. While Shiba Inu German shepherd mix dogs genuinely care for their humans, they’re not the kind to beg for cuddles. Thanks to their Shiba Inu genes, they are fiercely independent. Because they are not overly affectionate, they get along fine without much human attention. But this doesn’t mean you can leave them alone all the time. Though they don’t act like it, these dogs get deeply attached to their owners. Most of them will be upset, even depressed, if separated from their families for more than six hours. Boredom and loneliness often lead to destructive behavior.

The Shiba Inu German shepherd mix tends to be territorial. They are typically not friendly with strangers and may chase small animals because of their strong prey drive. They must undergo training and socialization at an early age. They are playful and spirited but will need supervision when dealing with young children. Still, they make devoted and enjoyable furry pets, especially for experienced dog owners.

Care | They shed. A lot.

Wet Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix coming out of the water

Both Shiba Inu and German shepherds shed frequently, so it’s not surprising that their mixed offspring are also heavy shedders. Brush your Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix at least thrice a week with a bristle brush to get rid of dead hair, promote proper blood flow, prevent matting and maintain their glossy coat. These dogs shed more than usual during spring and fall and require daily brushing. You can also take them to a groomer for hair trimming. 

Bathe them occasionally, ideally once every two months or if they get filthy. Be sure to brush their teeth regularly, clip their nails every three to four weeks, and clean their ears with a damp cloth.

Exercise | You need a good exercise regimen is essential for the Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix.

The Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix dogs are highly energetic. They require between 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity, such as running, walking and playing with their owners. They enjoy and excel in canine sports, such as tug-of-war, weigh-pulling, fetching, obstacle race, and agility training. Often inactivity leads to boredom, which eventually results in destructive behaviors. You can split their daily exercise into two equal sessions to ensure they don’t have idle time.

Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix dogs are intelligent and love mental stimulation. Give them dogs puzzles and specialized toys for training their memory. Dog parks are great venues to meet other dogs and spend excess energy. They also do well in a fenced-in yard or garden with sufficient room to run around.

Nutrition | Make sure its high-quality food over high quantity

Cute looking Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix waiting for food with an empty bowl

Like other breeds, the dietary requirements for a Shiba Inu German shepherd mix vary based on their age, size, health, and activity level. Regular adults will need two to three cups of high-quality dog food, split into two or three meals a day. Their diet should contain at least 20% protein, preferably from a lean meat source. Supplement this with probiotics and fish oils to help keep their skin, coat, and joints healthy. You can give them homemade food but ask for advice from your vet first. Remember that the Shepherd Inu is prone to obesity and dehydration. Limit their carb intake, regulate the giving of treats, and always provide them with clean water.

Training | Teaching the Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix can be something of a ‘mixed’ bag

Happy Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix on the grass

On the one hand, you have the alert, eager-to-please disposition of the German shepherd. But on the other hand, you’re dealing with the strong-willed, my-way-is-better attitude of the Shiba Inu. If your Shiba Inu German shepherd mix takes after its German shepherd parent, it will be a breeze to train. It is likely to be docile and pick up on commands quickly. If it is more of a Shiba, it will do as it pleases. This trait makes obedience training particularly challenging. For this reason, these dogs are not ideal for novice owners.

It is crucial to train these dogs while they’re still young. Use positive reinforcement to motivate them to learn. Be assertive and firm but never physical or hostile as this can encourage aggression in the dogs.

Health | They are a hardy breed but predisposed to certain genetic diseases

On their German shepherd side, the Shiba Inu German shepherd mix is prone to arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy, which affects the spinal cord, causing limb weakness and paralysis. These dogs may also suffer from gastric dilatation-volvulus or bloat, a fatal disease that typically strikes large dogs.

They are more fortunate with their Shiba Inu genes, as they are less vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. However, they can be susceptible to allergies and eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Like other small dogs, they are also predisposed to patellar luxation, wherein the kneecap moves out of its usual location.

Written by Joe Kahlo