Picking a Shiba Inu: Boy or Girl?


One of the important decisions you’ll be making when choosing among Shiba Inu puppies for sale, is whether to get a boy or girl. Shibas are a very special breed and the differences between males and females can be a big one as far as temperament goes. The differences can’t be compared to another breed because the Shiba Inu is very unique in its character. It is important that you pick a puppy based on temperament and how you are expecting them to behave. Too often people pick a dog based on looks or get a girl because they want to dress it up in cute clothes only to find that their dog is not game for what they have in mind. Sadly, these puppies often end up in the pound or in shelters. So please pay attention to what Shiba Inu breeders tell you about the temperament and personality of their puppies. Each puppy is different and when adding this new addition to your family, I think you’d agree that personality trumps appearance.

Boy Shiba Inus generally have a temperament that is closer to what most people envision when buying a puppy, although this is not always true. A male generally has more of a desire to be cuddled and needs to be near you, continually gaining your love and approval.  They are almost always up for playtime, but when playtime is over they are also content to just sit with you.  They make great pets for kids that want a dog they can play with and become best buddies with.  The only concern most people seem to have with getting a male Shiba is the issue of “marking”.  Rest assured that if you get your puppy neutered early he will never lift his leg.  Shibas are known for their cleanliness and will not “go” in the house.  If you do not get your puppy neutered then he will begin to lift his leg, especially if there is a female around and especially if that female is in heat.  However, they can also be trained to not lift their leg in the house, but it will take work since it is a deeply rooted instinct.  So, if you get your puppy neutered you will never have to worry about him lifting his leg.  If you don’t get him neutered you will simply have to remain vigilant until he has been trained to only lift his leg outside.  Overall, boy Shiba Inus make amazingly wonderful pets for what most people are looking for because they want your love and attention and will quickly become your best buddy.

Girl Shiba Inus are very unique in the dog world.  They are often compared to cats, and with good reason.  If you are wanting a puppy that will always want to be with you, you are generally better off with a boy, however the traits can often get reversed in this breed too so there is no sure bet that a girl will not have the same strong needs as a boy. Girls don’t mind spending time with you, but when they’re done, they usually want a break and are happy to just be within eye-shot of you in their favorite spot.  They are very independent and like to have a place of their own. This can also be the case with a male depending on tendencies. The female Shiba Inu is loving, but they don’t need to be loved all the time.  Since many females of this breed are not seeking your approval as continuously as a boy would, they may seem more obstinate.  The breed is very intelligent and they may know what you want from them, but often what they want wins out over what you want. It is very typical for a female Shiba Inu to come when you call it and then turn around and trot right back off as if to say, “I came, you can’t get mad at me, now I’m going to do what I want.”  They also can posses a disposition to be somewhat moody. Sometimes they will demand attention and then mere minutes later they will be in their crate not wanting to come out for anything. A Shiba Inu female will not give blind obedience quite as easily as a male might, they are often just that independent.

Both sexes are very smart and not too clingy. They both like to play games that make them think, such as how to get a squeaker out of toy. Playing fetch is not as appealing to a female Shiba Inu, there has to be a point to the game. I have yet to train a female shiba to continuously fetch a ball or a stick, whereas I have more easily trained a male Shiba Inu to return the ball or stick until we are both very tired.

If you want an intelligent dog that is almost cat like (or even human like in some cases) a female of this breed might be a more suitable. If you want a dog that you can hold and carry and have as a lap dog, then a female would be a less likely first choice although some female Shibas are happy to take on the more interactive male role.

These are just general guidelines. Each puppy has their own personality and sometimes a boy will have more the temperament of a girl and vice versa. The important thing is to talk to the breeder you’re working with to make sure you get a puppy that fits in with your lifestyle and expectations. The worst thing you can do is get a puppy based strictly on looks. Just like you wouldn’t choose your friends that way (or at least I hope not) you shouldn’t choose a dog that way. A Shiba Inu puppy can be a cherished part of your family for the next 15 – 20 years, make sure you’re upfront about what you’re wanting in a puppy’s temperament with the Shiba Inu breeders you’re working with, and choose the puppy that will make the nicest fit for your family environment.

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