Is The Mini Shiba Inu A Good Idea Or A Breeding Disaster?

mini mame shiba inu

The Shiba Inu is often considered to be one of the most beautiful dogs in the world.

The thick, bright coat and foxy face are highly appealing. The idea of Mini Shiba Inu increases that appeal for some dog lovers.

There are some that wish the Inu was more apartment friendly and “cuter”. These miniature versions would solve that issue.

However, there are questions over the practices and truth behind some of these miniature Inu litters.

In this brief guide we will look at some of the most important mini Shiba Inu information to help you better understand this issue.

Mame Shiba Inu or teacup Shiba Inu?

The first thing to consider here is the name, and what this means for the type of dog that you will actually get.

mame shiba inu dogImage Source

It can get confusing when looking at all the different ads online. There are those that talk about having miniature Shibas, teacup Inus or a Mame Shiba Inu for sale.

This doesn’t always mean that they are the same dog. The name Mame Shiba (pronounced ma-may not maim) is the Japanese variant.

It basically means bean-sized Shiba. The idea here is that Japanese dog owners grew to love smaller breeds, and breeders therefore decided to shrink their beloved Shiba.

This is typically achieved by breeding smaller dogs to ensure smaller litter.

This is controversial with many Shiba lovers because it promotes the runt of the litter as something that it is not. The runt could be the one with health issues and other weaknesses.

Most breeders wouldn’t consider breeding with them at all. The resulting size is actually much smaller than some would imagine.

A mini Shiba Inu full grown can be 35 – 50% smaller than the standard Shiba Inu sizes. Males therefore weigh around 10 to 14 pounds and reach just 11″ in height.

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Then there are the teacup Shibas masquerading as a miniature Shiba Inu

There are lots of breeders that sell teacup versions of dogs that are smaller and more manageable for dog owners and apartment owner.

The problem here is that they are rarely a pure bred animal. If this isn’t a very small runt, then there is the strong risk that a Shiba was bred with something else to make the puppies smaller.

There are some honest breeders that advertise hybrids as what they are, but others will pretend that they are simply a miniature version of the pure dog.

For example, there are many people that will love the tiny Pom Shi. This is a cross between the Shiba Inu and Pomeranian. There is a chance that some breeders may use this genetic mix to try and fool buyers.

This is where a kit like the Embark Breed Identification Dog DNA Test can help.

This is a DNA kit that could help you get to the bottom of the mystery. This is ideal if you buy or adopt a puppy that doesn’t seem like a pure Inu, or that is especially small.

The results will highlight the breed heritage, signalling smaller breeds that might be in the mix, as well as any genetic health risks. This breed heritage test could also help to explain any behavioral issues with these dogs.

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What should owners expect from the mini Shiba Inu temperament?

If it is a pure Shiba, just a smaller one the personality and temperament issues should be the same.

They can be playful, loving little dogs with the right socialization and training. But, there are also risks of biting and prey drive behavior if they are not trained well.

This means just as strong a training regimen as you would use with a standard Shiba Inu.

Online guides like Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer and Secrets to Dog Training can help.

They will offer key information on housebreaking, leash training, biting and other issues.

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The potential health and care issues

The problem with these miniature Shiba dogs is that there may be some underlying health issues due to being a runt, or through poor breeding standards.

It is important to check the puppies over with a vet early on. If you find that your teacup Shiba is actually a hybrid, you will also need to look more about the health risks of that second parent.

The general care needs should be similar, although they will need smaller portion of that top dry dog food, a little less exercise and can tolerate apartment living.

The coat should also be the same, with the thick coat and risk of shedding. This means you may still need to invest in a furminator and deal with plenty of vacuuming.

Those that struggle in any of these areas may benefit from Kingdom of Pet’s online book called The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.

Finding one of these mini Shiba puppies

Most Shiba lovers would not recommend getting one of these dogs at all. There are enough issues with breeding Shibas and caring for them without messing around with their health, size and mixing in genes from companion dogs.

If you feel that this is still the dog for you, there are two choice here – adoption or mini Shiba Inu breeders.

Make sure to find an honest breeder that admits that the mini Shiba is a runt. Also meet the parents to be sure of the linage.

Of course the other issue here with finding mini Shiba Inu puppies for sale is the mini Shiba Inu price.

There are many that will charge far too much for these designer dogs because of the demand and the value that comes with the word teacup.

Is this mini Inu a good choice?

There is clearly more to consider here than just the Mame Shiba Inu size.

They may be adorable miniature versions of their larger cousins, but there are ethical implications involved.

In the end, the mini Shiba Inu is not recommended, but still understandably appealing.

If you do go for this questionable Inu, check the parentage and health certification before buying. This will prove they are a true Shiba Inu and help with any future health issues.

Whatever the outcome, love them, care for them, train them well and appreciate their quirks.

Featured Image Credit: mameshiba_sakuraan


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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