I really like Spitz type dogs, so I am owned by a Shiba Inu and a Siberian Husky. They are both great friends, but have somewhat different personalities.
Which is better – Shiba or Siberian?
You decide – a cookie is at stake!
1. Pretty Face
Shiba Inus look like foxes and Siberian Huskies look like wolves.
Both breeds of dog are extremely good looking, so it is a matter of taste as to which you like better.
Shibas are a small dog breed, with the males weighing about 18-25 pounds, and females weighing about 15-20 pounds. Sephy weighs about 32 pounds! He is a BIG Shiba!
Siberians are medium sized dogs with the males weighing about 45-60 pounds, and the females weighing about 35-50 pounds. Shania weighs about 43 pounds.
Many people get Shibas because of their small size which makes them more ideal for living in an apartment.
2. Brain Power
If you look at the breed descriptions for Shibas and Siberians, they are both listed as very intelligent and independent.
Siberian Shania is intelligent because she is very good at figuring out how to work her interactive food toys. She is always refining her technique, and very quickly, she identifies the most time efficient way to get the most food out per time.
Shiba Inu Sephy?
Usually he just waits around for Shania to work on all the toys. When she gets the food out, he will come around and pick up most of the stuff that she leaves behind. In this way, he gets to have the food with the least amount of effort.
Another important difference is that Shibas are usually more careful and deliberate. In contrast, Siberians are exuberant, with a more devil-may-care attitude.
Shiba’s size the situation up before proceeding, where Siberians just rush in and then try to figure out what the heck to do now!
Sephy is always very careful about approaching new things, he will sniff his food carefully before eating, and he tries to always “look before he leaps”. Shania and Lara are both more likely to leap first and worry later, if at all. 😀
Who is more intelligent?
I think they both are, but in very different ways. Shiba Sephy is more of a rogue and a scamp. In fact, he has used his brain power to great effect against his daycare custodians and his dog walker. Here is Shiba Inu Sephy’s resume.
Siberian Shania will usually work within the system. If you tell her to stop doing something, she will do so, and look for an alternate activity on her own.
My Siberian has A LOT more energy than my Shiba Inu.
Shania is frequently on the go. Even after a 2 hour hike in the hills, she is still going and going – just like the Energizer Bunny! This is even more amazing because she is a three legged dog.
She is always bugging my Shiba Inu to play with her, while he is usually pooped out and sunning his royal self.
If you live an active lifestyle, or want a good exercise coach – a Siberian Husky is a great walking and running partner.
If you prefer to hang out on the couch, then the Siberian will likely drive you crazy.
Shibas are easier to leash train and they require much less exercise. My Shiba gets a 1 hour walk in the morning, and a brief 20 minute walk in the evening and he is good the rest of the day.
If you are looking for a friendly and affectionate dog, then Siberians are the way to go.
Shania loves being with people and will often come over and hang out with us. Shiba Sephy likes to have his people around in case he needs anything, but he prefers to be off by himself.
Siberian Shania likes scratch, hug, and pet sessions. She will roll onto her back and sometimes let her tongue just hang out. It is very goofy looking.
Shiba Sephy enjoys the occasional scratch session, but if you do it too frequently, he will just get up and walk away …
He is that cool! 🙂
Shiba Inus are great guard dogs and are always on the alert. On the other hand, Siberians are happy to invite anyone and everyone into the house.
5. Vet Visits
Vet visits are never fun for any dog, but Shiba Sephy takes it to a whole new level.
He is fine in the waiting room, and he is fine hanging out in the examination room while Shania gets examined. However, woe be to you if you try to get near him or touch him in any way while at the vet’s office.
Shiba Sephy has to be anesthetized for any type of vet examination. One time he just sprained his toe while we were hiking, but he would not let anyone come near to examine him, or even just to look at it closely.
Siberian Shania does not really like to be poked and prodded either, but she is willing to endure a vet examination without muss or fuss. She takes her yearly shots like a champ, and gets to come home in short order. Poor Shiba Sephy has to be anesthetized, and stays over for at least half a day.
Shiba or Siberian?
Which do you think is better?
Shiba Sephy is a rogue, but a very sweet rogue. He shares all of his toys and resources with Shania, and often lets her use him as a fuzzy chew toy. He is usually careful while playing with her, and lets her win most of the time.
Siberian Shania is sweet and always ready to give licks. She loves people, loves getting affection, and is always up for play, a hike, a walk, or whatever activity you have planned for the day.
She is independent and enjoys spending time hunting for insects and squirrels in our backyard. She has never destroyed anything when left on her own, because she usually finds positive activities to keep herself occupied.
Shiba Sephy, on the other hand, is usually up to no good 😀
Doge Lover says says
I really wanted to know which dog was harder to train, but in my opinion it still seems very hard to choose which dog I would want, but there both great dogs, and have very similar personalities.
I don’t know which to choose
Shiba husky says
I have a shiba husky mix. Would love another. Acts like a husky in a shiba package. I also have a shiba. But shiba husky for the win. Note I’ve grew up with shibas and have only had shibas.
Sounds adorable. Send us some links to pictures when you can. Would love to have a look. 🙂
Alison Ava says
I loved this article. I couldn’t chose between a Siberian husky or a shiva inu, but finally, I chose a Siberian Husky.
DOGGO LOVER says
I LOVE THEM ALL…but shiba inu my favorite
Hi! I just owned a siberian husky and I want to share a picture of her but I don’t know how. She’s with my parents since I’m working as a call center agent, I get to see her once or twice in a week, I would like to know if it will affect our relationship.
Ron & Bedalia says
We have a Brother & Sister Shiba Inu’s, Kenu (M) and Keba (F). Our eldest daughter has a Male Siberian. We might have chosen a Siberian but at the time in 2010, I was working for the government and we traveled and the Shiba’s traveled with us…..they worked out great. They both love our grandchildren (9) and the feelings are mutual. Have a Great Day. Ron/Bedalia
Alex Gonzalez says
I loved this post! I came upon it while looking up relationships between shibas and huskies because we have a 3 year old Shiba named Bella and my mom wants to get a husky. It’s so funny reading this because my shiba is the complete opposite. We keep her outside because she actually prefers that instead of being inside. (we let her sleep inside over night in the winter though) we have a huge backyard and its all hers for her to run around in!! I usually just have to go out and play with her a bit and run around and that exercise is good enough to tire her out! It is really hard to take her on walks because she’s really impatient and wants to run off so the backyard is a great alternative to that. She’s extremely good at the vet, she loves going. Even the vets tell me that it’s odd because shibas usually cry and throw a fit at the vet but i was lucky enough to get one that matches my personality. I’m super chill and loooove watching movies and Bella is happy just laying on the couch with me while i rub her belly, and once i stop because i think she’s asleep, she looks up at me to let me know she isn’t and i continue the belly rubs. Love that you said you are owned by a Shiba Inu and a Siberian Husky because my shiba own me too! I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world!
Alex Gonzalez says
by the way, love your pups! So adorable, Sephy looks exactly like my Bella, red collar and everything!
Hi, thank you for this great web site! I have a question regarding my shiba in dog. He is 2.5 years old now and his behawior sort of changed within the last six months or so. He became more independent and would not come back to me when called after him. I can yell the size of my lungs and he will not return. Of course he wll watch me from a distance and never disappear for long but still he can be off in the neighborhood for a day or two. A few times he escaped from our garden. Each time the garden was perfectly check and secured but each time my shiba finds a way to run away. I started suspecting that he may either climb up the fancing net (it has small spaces on which he can put his paws and climb up). Or maybe he jumps over the fance. It is 5 feet high but who knows. Also, which is another problem, my shiba would not poop in the garden. I have to take him each time for a walk so that he does his business. Is it normal? I read someplace that shibas hate to pollute their space. Anyway, is there any possibility of training shiba at this age to return to me when called? I would be very grateful for your advice. Best regards!
Haha, yeah, my Shiba shares this quirk. In fact, Sephy doesn’t really like peeing in the backyard either. I take him out every day, for an hour or more in the mornings, and a short walk in the evening so that he will unload his liquid stuff. It is not healthy for him to hold it in all night, and he is also more restless when he doesn’t go in the evenings.
As for recall training, this article from the ASPCA has a good list of techniques.
However, Shibas are stubborn and independent, so they are not exactly known for having a good recall. More on Shibas and recall training from the Shiba Inu Forum-
I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs, so they work for all of their food. Consistent daily walks, together with structured play sessions, a fixed schedule, and training, helps to fulfill Sephy’s need for exploration and activity, which reduces the likelihood of backyard escapes.
More on dog escapes.