Shiba Inu

What is the Average lifespan of Shiba Inu?

If you choose to bring Shiba home, the most critical question is what average lifespan of Shiba Inu is? It is crucial to know the average life expectancy of a dog before adopting one. Well, the lifespan of Shiba Inu dog can be improved by taking good care of your him, ensuring a healthy lifestyle, and so on.

Shiba Inu dog, one of the most popular breed of Japan, was historically originated in A.D.7. They were originally bred as hunting dog. They were used in small game for hunting of small animals like birds and wild boars. Shibas became famous in the twentieth century and came in demand of people. Breeding program for breeding dogs to make them participate in these small game is still prevalent in our society. During the World War II it is known that this dog breed was nearly driven extinct due to war.

The lifespan of a Shiba Inu is closely related to Akita Inu, Hokkaido Ken, and Kai Ken. The Shiba Inu is a different breed with a distinct bloodline, temperament, and smaller size than other Japanese dog breeds. American Kennel Club officially recognized Shiba Inu in 1990s .

The three primary breeds of the Shiba Inu are called the Sanin Shiba, Mino Shiba and Shinshu Shiba . They’re named after their place of origin: Nagano Prefecture, the northeast mainland, and Gifu Prefecture respectively. Shibas are referred as one of the oldest dog breed that ever exists. His curled tail is one of its distinct feature. The Shiba Inu is the smallest of these breeds, which are pretty similar in appearance. “They are considered to be one of the oldest domesticated breeds of dogs,” according to a DNA researcher. Shiba Inu, with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, makes a perfect family dog.

They can often involve in the activity of licking their paws and legs, as cats do. They usually do their best to keep their coats clean. American Kennel Club recognized Shiba Inu breed in 1993.

This Japanese dog breed has a spirited boldness and is fiercely proud with a good spirit and a feeling of artlessness. They can move quickly with nimble, elastic steps. The Shiba is kind of fast and feels the need to keep himself clean.

The double coat structure provides good insulation to this dog keeping it warm in cold climates but is also easy care since brushes can be used on its flat surfaces without picking up any mats or tangles. Shiba Inu breed had two coat layers. The inner layer provides insulation where as the outer coat are thin layer which protects Shiba Inu in different weathers. This breed requires early socialization to grow into a well behaved dog. A good natured Shiba makes a excellent companion dog.

What is average lifespan of Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu breed is one of the native Japanese breeds is a medium-sized dog with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. The small size of Shiba with a strong gene pool makes it possible for them to live a longer life. A longer lifespan indicates that your Shiba is a healthy dog. Longer lifespans of Shiba make them favourable for families as they are outstanding companion dogs.

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The lifespan of a Shiba Inus dog breed can be improved if you provide them with a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you provide enough training to your Shiba on a regular basis. Training your Shiba will contribute a lot to increasing its lifespan. Training your Shiba will automatically help in improving its health and will further enhance its life span.

Common Health Issues affecting lifespan of Shiba Inu

The Health of Shiba Inus is an important factor to determine its life expectancy. Even though Shibas are considered as healthy dogs, their potential to get genetic disorders is very high. For early detection of health problems your Shiba might be facing, take them to a veterinarian from a. very young age.

Some of major health issues affecting lifespan of a Shiba Inu are:


Only negative thing about Shiba Inu is its eyes. Shiba Inu’s eyes are highly vulnerable and are prone to diseases. Glaucoma is an eye disease which is very common in Shiba Inus as well as other breed of dogs. It tends to slowly destroy optic nerves of Shiba hence making it partially or completely blind. In Glaucoma disease fluid builds up in the eyes creating an obstacle. The pressure of fluid accumulated in the eye further results in destroying optic nerves hence making Shibas blind.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Shiba Inu

It is another eye disorder which makes seeing things in the dark difficult for Shibas. It may also result in making your Shiba completely blind. In this disorder rod cells of eyes dies themselves resulting in complete blindness. Chances of your dog getting Progressive Retinal Atrophy can be reduced by doing proper tests of dog’s genetic material before the breeding process.

Hypothyroidism in Shiba Inu

This disorder slows down the metabolism rate of you Shiba. This happens because in Hypothyroidism, thyroid gland of your Shiba is affected, due to which thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones for the dog. Low metabolism rate can lead to fatigue and affect lifespan of Shiba.

Hip Dysplasia in Shiba Inu

In this balls and socket of hind legs wont fit properly. Hip Dysplasia makes walking difficult for the dog. Shibas must be exercised regularly to ensure its fitness. One must consult an experienced Veterinarian at the earliest. In order to make sure Hip Dysplasia of your Shiba do not get severe one must visit a vet at the earliest.

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Patella Luxation in Shiba Inu

In this disorder, knee ligaments become weak hence making it difficult for dogs to move. This disorder makes movement of dogs difficult. Symptoms may include mild to moderate pain. While this disorder is very much common in most of the dogs, it can be completely assured that it is not life threatening. 

Chylothorax in Shiba Inu

This is a rare disorder found in dogs. In this fluid is gathered inside chest of Shiba. Most common symptoms are fatigue, lack of appetite, difficulty in breathing, coughing, weakness, and wheezing.

Providing Low fat diet to your Shiba can help in easing its situation. Take your Shiba to his Veterinarian to make sure his treatment goes well without any complications.

Lifespan Of Shiba Inu
Lifespan of Shiba Inu

How can lifespan of a Shiba Inu be affected?

Dog’s life expectancy is dependent on many factors. The lifespan of Shiba Inu can be affected by various external and internal factors. Dogs, too, have a complex body design, and hence difficult to determine all factors that can affect lifespan of Shiba Inu. Some of these factors are listed below:

The most common factors affecting the lifespan of Shiba Inu are:

Living environment

A comfortable and healthy living environment ensures the level of safety for your dog and makes it feel more beneficial and improves its health conditions. Shiba Inu dog are often referred as number one companion dog in Japan by breeders. Shibas are best companion if a person is living alone without their family members. Owners of shiba inu dog should make sure theirs Shiba’s living environment is suitable as per its needs.

For example, the temperature of your house should be consistent. Extreme cold or heat might affect your dog’s health. Taking care of living environment can help in improving lifespan of a Shiba Inu dog. To ensure your Shiba Inu dog has a long lifespan owners should focus on providing healthy living conditions to their dogs.


Owners should make sure they are providing healthy meals to their Shibas. Meals should be rich in protein and other nutrients. High quality dog food ensures that your dog will be healthy and strong. Researchers suggest that healthy food prepared at home is much more beneficial than industry-made food. People should make sure all nutrients should be provided in equal proportions to their dog. People can add human foods in Shiba Inu’s diet too. Healthy diet can improve lifespan of dogs. These food can be papaya, guava, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes. Diet can directly affect how long Shiba Inus live.

Lifespan Of Shiba Inu
Lifespan of Shiba Inu

Activity level 

Make sure your Shiba is involved in daily activity. Training and daily activity should be started from early puppyhood. Daily activity and training help in keeping your Shiba puppies fit and healthy. Strong and powerful dogs like Shiba Inus should be given every chance to use their energy. If Shibas are not allowed to use their power, they might involve in activities such as digging the ground or may hurt themselves while doing other destructive behaviour. Like the most dog breeds Shiba Inu should be trained for 1-2 hours daily. If they are not trained for adequate amount of time they may show aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and their owners.

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Family history

The family history of Shibas plays a very significant role in determining the lifespan of Shiba Inu. Unhealthy parents are prone to pass genes to puppies that may cause your Shiba’s diseases in the future. Breeders must go through medical reports of parents before breeding of dogs is done. Reputable breeder can easily track genetic disease Shiba Inu parent might have. Genetic disease plays an crucial role in determining the lifespan of this ancient breed.

Lifespan-Of Shiba-Inu
Lifespan of Shiba Inu

How to improve the Shiba Inu life span?

Visit Dog Veterinarian regularly

In order to ensure long and healthy life of your Shiba, regular veterinary visits is a must. It is suggested that you should take your Shiba at least once a year. Regular veterinary visits can help in detecting diseases at an early stage and reduce their spreading this Japanese breed. Taking veterinarian’s advice can help in finding any disease he might have and hence help in improving lifespan of Shiba.

Spaying or Neutering

This involves removing ovaries of female Shiba Inu and testicles of male Shiba Inu. This will result in avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Avoiding unwanted pregnancies can help in reducing chances of cancer and improve lifespan of Shiba Inu.

Training Programs

Training your dog regularly will ensure its fitness. Training programs can help in keeping your Shiba active. This can also reduce bulking up Shiba’s energy and hence can be used effectively. Training on regular basis can help in improving lifespan of Shiba Inus.

Daily exercise helps in maintaining body weight of Shiba puppies which can help in improving its average life expectancy. Owners should provide basic dog training such as obedience training, behavioural training and agility training. Training plays an important key element in the case of Shiba Inu to prolong their life expectancy.


By providing healthy diet and regular exercise, one can expect lifespan of Shiba Inus no less than 12 to 15 years. No one can determine exact lifespan of dogs and Shiba is no other exception. Dogs don’t come with an expiration date so, owners should ensure that they provide a healthy living environment and a balanced diet to improve lifespan of Shiba Inus.

In need of a new best friend? The National Shiba Club of America’s rescue network is here to help you find the perfect companion for your family. The National Shiba Club of America (subsidiary of American Kennel Club for Shiba Inu) is dedicated to spreading the news that this adorable, intelligent dog from Japan can be a great choice for your family.

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Martha Jacobson

Associate veterinarian with 7+ years of experience. Specialist in companion animal emergency and critical care. Seeking to leverage my skills to contribute to high quality animal medical care because of my commitment to animal welfare and support, I aim to reduce animal suffering, strengthen the bond between people and their pets, and make the world a better place.

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