Hokkaido Dog VS Shiba Inu

Not sure whether you should get a Hokkaido Dog or a Shiba Inu? Both are adorable pooches with unique personalities. But there are some interesting differences between the two, which may be defining factors when deciding between these pup breeds.

While both are generally healthy breeds, the Shiba Inu is predisposed to several more medical conditions than the Hokkaido Dog. As for a more suitable apartment dog, the Shiba Inu is a better choice, even though these pups have a stronger wanderlust potential than the Hokkaido Dog.

Letโ€™s take a look at the comparison of Hokkaido Dog and Shiba Inu to learn more about these pooches. Then, you can decide which one to get based on your needs and preferences.

22. Breed Group

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At first glance, these dogs may appear quite similar in terms of their coat quality and charm. But when we are talking about breed groups, they do not belong to the same category. The Hokkaido is a working dog, while the Shiba Inu is a companion dog.

This gives you an idea of what these dogs are more well-suited for. If you prefer a companion pooch, then the Shiba Inu is an obvious choice, while the hard-working Hokkaido Dog is well-suited to living on farms and perfect for folks who need some help around their homes.

21. Size

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Another striking difference between the Hokkaido Dog and Shiba Inu is their size. When it comes to the build, Hokkaido Dogs are much larger, with an average height of about 18 inches to as big as 22 inches. On the other hand, Shibas are smaller at 13 to 17 inches.

Considering the larger build of the Hokkaido Dog, this pooch is also heavier at around 45 to 65 lbs. Shiba Inus are a tad lighter at 17 to 23 lbs.

20. Lifespan

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When given proper care and health maintenance, both dogs should live a reasonably long time. But there are still some factors that impact their lifespans, such as their genetics and predisposed medical conditions (which we will talk about in a minute).

But since the Hokkaido Dog is larger and heavier, the average lifespan of this breed is 11 to 13 years. A Shiba Inu has a longer life expectancy that ranges between 12 and 16 years.

19. Adaptability

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We refer to adaptability as the dogโ€™s ability to adjust well to a new living environment or changes in lifestyle. Some dogs find it easier to adapt, while others tend to take longer and could use more getting used to being in their new space.

Shiba Inus are more capable of adjusting to lifestyle changes quickly. These are independent pups that do not have any issues with moving from one home to another. But Hokkaido Dogs take a little more time to adjust. Once settled in, they do well in their new environment.

18. Good For Novice Owners

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If you have never owned a dog in your life and are looking to get one, then you may find the Hokkaido Dog a better fit for you. These pups are easy-going creatures that can do well with both novice and experienced dog owners alike.

But that is not the case with Shiba Inus. These doggos are a bit on the stubborn side and will test your patience. This is why early training and socialization are a must for this dog breed.

17. Social Needs

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Are you someone who leaves home for work several hours a day? Or are you more of a work-from-home individual who spends a huge chunk of your days in the house? Then, you should consider a dogโ€™s social needs that should fit your lifestyle.

Shiba Inus require average social interaction. They like to be with their humans but can be okay when left alone. It is not the case with Hokkaido Dogs, though. They cannot tolerate being alone for several hours as they are highly social breeds.

16. Family-Friendliness

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Folks with kids who need a family pet should consider how well a dog gets along with their young ones. There are pups that quickly bond with families and are okay with children, while othersโ€ฆ Not so much. Both dog breeds are fine with families as they are naturally friendly and outgoing.

However, Hokkaido Dogs are better with children than Shiba Inus. The latter belongs to a high-energy dog breed, which is why such a breed may be overwhelming for younger kids.

15. Ease Of Grooming

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For busy people, a dogโ€™s grooming needs are a factor to consider before getting one. After all, it takes some commitment to make sure the pup is properly groomed, depending on the grooming requirements. This is one way to ensure not only the best appearance but also the canineโ€™s health.

Shiba Inus require minimal grooming. They only need a seasonal flea treatment, and there is no need for a professional groomer to cut their hair. On the other hand, Hokkaido Dogs need more grooming and would require a professional groomer for maintenance.

14. Trainability

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Every dog, regardless of the breed, requires obedience training. However, some canines are much easier to train than others because of their inherent stubborn personality. This is why it is good to consider a dogโ€™s trainability before getting one.

Hokkaido Dogs are easier to train because of their strong desire to please their owners. But Shiba Inus are more stubborn, and it will require both your persistence and patience during training sessions.

13. Energy Level

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Canines require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. When a dog is bored or depressed, this can lead to destructive behavior tendencies. So, it is best to look into the pupโ€™s exercise requirement and make sure you are able to give it the physical activity it needs.

Shiba Inus and Hokkaido Dogs need average exercise daily. It means taking them for a walk or jog for about 30 to 60 minutes a few times a week. But when it comes to energy level, Shiba Inus have more, which means they have a higher tendency to get bored easily.

12. Price

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The average price of buying a Hokkaido puppy is about $300 to $500. But the typical cost of maintaining these dogs tends to be higher since they are bigger and would need professional grooming on a regular basis.

On the other hand, Shiba Inu puppies are available for about $800 to $1,000. Since these dogs are smaller than Hokkaidos, the ongoing maintenance fees are smaller.

11. Availability

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It is not very common to find Hokkaido Dogs. In fact, you do not normally see these doggies on the street, but you may be able to find them in dog shows.

Shiba Inus, however, are more common. In fact, these are very popular breeds, which is why there is a chance of overbreeding. In-breeding also occurs due to the high demands for these pups. Unfortunately, in-breeding is often linked with high risks of health issues in these dogs.

10. Coat Colors

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The most obvious difference between these two dogs is their coat color and pattern. The Hokkaido Dog often comes in black, brindle, white, or black and tan coat color.

As for the Shiba Inus, these canines are often in shades of red, tan, and cream. You can also find some Shiba Inus in solid black coats, but they are not very common.

9. Shedding Level

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Both dogs have thick and dense coats. This is why they are both shedders. However, the Shiba Inu sheds more than the Hokkaido Dog. So, if you decide to get a Shiba Inu, expect to do a lot of vacuuming to get the fur out of your furniture.

As for the Hokkaido Dog, this breed is a moderate shedder. Just regular brushing should suffice in minimizing the amount of fur this pup sheds.

8. Bathing Frequency

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Shiba Inus require an average bathing frequency of every 4 to 6 weeks. These pups need bathing to reduce some skin issues, such as fleas and unusual scratches since these are easier to see when the hair is flat and wet.

Hokkaido Dogs, however, rarely need bathing. Every 8 weeks should suffice as they have short hair. Just be sure to groom them regularly and occasionally check for irregularities on their skin.

7. Sensitivity

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When you want a dog with a higher sensitivity level, the Hokkaido Dog is a good choice. This breed is unable to tolerate a noisy household and can get emotionally affected even with soft punishment. But their sensitivity makes them receptive to your emotions.

Shiba Inus, on the other hand, are not exactly very sensitive dogs. These canines can be okay with loud music or noise in the house and will not be bothered by frequent changes to their daily routine.

6. Affection Level

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If you prefer a cuddle bug pooch for a pet, then a Shiba Inu is a perfect companion. This is the kind of breed that will not mind some snuggles, hugs, and kisses. But they tend to be independent sometimes and will not mind having some alone time.

Hokkaido Dogs are also affectionate pups but mostly toward their owners. They are also gentle and soft, and when you have these dogs for a pet, you can be sure to have a loyal four-legged pal who will love you forever!

5. Barking

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Barking can be an issue if you cannot tolerate noise – or you live in an apartment where houses are very close together. This is why if you prefer a dog that rarely barks, then the Shiba Inu is a fine choice. It is a quiet breed that only barks when there is a very good reason.

Hokkaido Dogs are occasional barkers. They may bark when they are bored, anxious, or afraid. Some may also bark as a way of seeking attention or when greeting people.

4. Mouthiness

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Mouthiness refers to a dogโ€™s tendency to play-bite or nip at people. In the department of mouthing, Shiba dogs rule because they do tend to play-bite without the intention of hurting you. But they can be taught to nip less with proper training.

Hokkaido Dogs may also develop this habit of herding or play-biting people as a puppy, but it is not a sign of aggression. They do not chew or nip as much as Shiba Inus, however.

3. Impulse To Wander

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Because of their independent personality, Shiba Inus have a wanderlust potential and may be fond of wandering and exploring. This is why they need to be walked on a leash to prevent them from escaping and running around other peopleโ€™s yards.

Although Hokkaido Dogs are also curious canines, they do not always have the tendency to escape. They love to stay at home where they can feel safe and secure.

2. Apartment Friendly

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As Shiba Inus are smaller and quieter than the Hokkaido Dog, they are apartment-friendly pups. They also need a walk or two per day, which makes them easy to keep in a modest space. Plus, these dogs donโ€™t bark as much, so you wonโ€™t have to worry about the neighbors complaining.

Hokkaido Dogs, being that they are in the working dog breed group, are more active pups that thrive in a place with a larger space. They can be content indoors as long as they have plenty of space to roam around.

1. Health Issues

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Hokkaido Dogs are generally healthy dogs. However, there are various medical conditions that are typical among this dog breed, such as blocked tear ducts, heart murmurs, cryptorchidism, and hypodontia.

Shiba Inus are also healthy pups, yet there are some health concerns that may arise at one point or another throughout their lifespans, such as cancer, glaucoma, patellar luxation, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia, to name a few. These health issues made Shiba Inus more vulnerable than Hokkaido Dogs.



What Are Some Faults Of A Hokkaido Dog? The Hokkaido Dog has some not-so-common faults, including an undershot or an overshot bite, and poorly defined secondary sex characteristics. As such, the Hokkaido Dog may have trouble chewing food with a jaw misalignment, and it may be difficult for one to accurately identify the dogโ€™s age.

How Much Does A Hokkaido Dog Cost? The Hokkaido Dog typically costs about $500, but it depends on the breeder since some may sell a Hokkaido pup for about $1,000 at most.

Why Are Shiba Inus So Popular In Japan? The Shiba Inu dog breed accounts for about 80% of Japanese dog breeds in this part of the world. After the war, several breeding programs propelled the population of these dogs to fight a possible extinction, and this breed has been regarded as a national treasure in Japan since.

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Pete Decker