The Shiba Inu is a beautiful dog that many of us will happily coo over if we see one in a dog park.
Their beautiful coat, foxy face and neat build mean that they are a pretty dog with plenty of character. It is impossible not to want to stroke them. That thick coat is part of the charm, but it also leads to concerns about Shiba Inu shedding. All dog fur is shed at some point, and there seems to be a lot here to lose.
Do Shiba Inus shed a lot and if so, what can we do to manage the issue?
In this guide to Shiba shedding we will look at some of the important questions asked by prospective owners. The first section will look at the coat of the Shiba Inu. The second will look more closely at the reasons why Shiba shed a lot of fur, such as seasonal issues. The final section will look at Shiba Inu grooming with important tips on looking after that beautiful coat.
By the end, hopefully you will have a better idea of what to expect with this breed and whether it is something you can handle.
Table of Contents
Understanding the qualities of the Shiba Inu coat will help you to understand why Shiba Inu shed so much
Shibi Inu fur is a glorious thing. There are few dogs like them in terms of fluffiness of coat, color and overall beauty. They are the sort of dog you just want to cuddle into, that is until you realise just how much hair and fluff they have transferred to you and the sofa.
This fluffy coat is important to the Shiba Inu. This dog was originally bred in Japan as a mountain dog. It therefore needed this thick coat to deal with harsh temperatures. The thick layers and deep undercoat keep it wonderfully insulated during those cold months in the high altitude and snow.
In the warmer summer months, they need something much lighter so they don’t get overheated. This is why they shed. This genetic trait continues with pups bred today and is seen in both male and female dogs.
Image Source: Pixabay
Why do Shiba Inus shed so much? The answer is down to the Shiba Inu shedding season
This answer may come as a surprise to owners complaining about constant, excessive shedding in their pets. It all come down to the type of shedding we are talking about and definitions of the term excessive.
For most people, this isn’t an issue of Shiba Inu long hair falling out all the time and making a constant mess. This is a short haired Shiba Inu making a big mess a couple of times a year and still leaving hair on the couch on a daily basis. These dogs will leave hair behind all year round as their top coat fall out. The less you control and maintain this, the more excessive it will seem.
For many, the only real moments of excessive shedding come when their Shiba dog blows out their coat. This is the term for the mass moult of undercoat, where more fur comes loose than should be possible for a dog of that size. This when you truly find Shiba Inu shedding a lot. You could probably use the fluff to stuff a life-sized plush toy there is so much of it. This part of the coat tends to come out as it prepares for the next season.
There are usually a few weeks in spring and autumn where it all comes loose and then isn’t seen again. It is possible to find a Shiba Inu shedding in summer, it all depends on lifestyle. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors tend to follow more natural seasonal patterns.
This blow out becomes obvious as lighter patches of fur appear among the redder hairs. There are two options at this point. Either admit defeat and deal with this natural shedding for the three weeks or take action.
Controlling shedding comes down to how you end up grooming Shiba Inu
Starting with that top coat and daily hair loss, it is best to brush the coat once a week. This will remove loose hair and distribute important oils to keep the coat looking healthy and shiny. With the undercoat, it is important to work at it daily during those blow outs. You will need to to keep on top of it. The good news is that you can turn this into a fun, practical experience and make it worth your while.
A grooming session like this is a great opportunity to get a closer look at your Shiba and give it a health check. Check the fur for signs of ill-health and damage. Check the skin for fleas and ticks or any sign of rashes, lumps or infections.
Grooming is also a good time to check the eyes, ears and teeth of dogs for signs of illness or damage. Check for a build-up of ear wax, any discharge from the eyes or bad breath. If you do discover something, apply any necessary treatment that you have for your pet or schedule an appointment with the vet.
This may not sound like a lot of fun for your dog, but they will love the attention and physical contact if handled correctly. They know that you are helping them shed their coat for their own benefits and that they will feel good afterwards. A few treats for good behaviour won’t be turned down either. IT is a good idea to start this regime early with your pup so they are used to being handled in sensitive areas. The sooner you start, the less you have to bribe them to cooperate.
A good grooming regime for this shedding problem requires some good Shiba Inu grooming tools
Some Shiba Inu owners talk about the hours spent picking away at the fur as it appears. This may seem like the gentle, kind option, but it its time consuming and ineffective.
You are better off investing in some Shiba-friendly tools and getting rid of large quantities in one go. A deshedding rake is a must for attracting all the loose fur and getting deep into the coat. Find one with soft, rounded edges to avoid causing damage to their skin. Some dog owners will instantly look toward the Furminator as an effective tool for undercoats. However, this device can be a bit rough and isn’t recommended on show dogs.[easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”B0040QW35A” locale=”US” tag=”howtotrainy03-20″]
Another top shiba inu grooming tip for experienced Shiba groomers is to use these rakes and brushes outside to stop the fur contaminating the house. When it comes to dealing with the top coat, a simple brush or grooming mitt should be fine.
It may also help to try some Shiba Inu bathing to wash out the fur and give it some TLC. Just be aware that not all Shiba’s are keen on water, especially the soapy kind. A quick rinse and blow dry is great for a clean, fluffy coat.
There are some Shiba Inu owners that are so overwhelmed by the problem of shedding and the responsibility of grooming that they ask about shaving a Shiba Inu. There are a number of responses here.
First, shaving Shiba dogs is a bad idea because they need those thick coats and you could do some serious damage. Second, why would you want to remove such a beautiful feature? Third, if you are really having trouble doing it alone, go and see a professional groomer. They will understand Shiba Inu grooming requirements perfectly and do a wonderful job.
Do shiba inu shed?
Yes, but it is more manageable than you may expect and Shiba Inu coat care can be a joy rather than a burden.
So what have we learned?
First of all, the answer about the Shiba dog shedding season may surprise you. Not only it is remarkable that this genetic trait still exists in these family pets, there are many that struggle with Shiba hair for more than 6 weeks out of the year.
It all comes down to understanding the difference between the day-to-day loss of the top coat and the blow out of the fluffy undercoat. From here it becomes easier to deal with each issue in turn. The top coat can be dealt with via regular brushing and maintenance and the right tools will sort out a blow out in no time. If you are still concerned about tackling it, an experienced groomer will come to the rescue.
These Shiba Inu grooming tips and other information are designed to help you get on top of the problem early and understand why Shibas shed so much.
Hopefully this guide on has shown you that there are pros and cons to this breed in terms of their shedding and grooming. Those that embrace the breed’s characteristics and have the patience to groom and brush can enjoy a beautiful coat and quality time with their pet. Those that don’t will struggle to deal with the issue. Shiba Inu shedding can’t be eliminated, but that doesn’t mean that it has to remain a problem.
Featured Image: Pixabay