Last Updated on April 19, 2023
The cost of a purebred Shiba Inu is high because it’s the most popular dog in Japan and an extremely sought-after companion in the United States. In fact, this breed is pricier than Akita Inu and Samoyed. But how expensive is a Shiba Inu dog?
The average price of a Shiba Inu puppy from a high-quality breeder is around $1,400 to $2,200. This price range might still increase, especially if you get a show-quality Shiba Inu puppy or one with rare coat colors like Cream Shiba and Sesame Shiba Inus.
Other factors, such as the breeder’s location and popularity, gender, age, and certification, like AKC papers (American Kennel Club), also influence the pricing of the Shiba puppies.
How about if you want to adopt an adult or senior Shiba Inu dog? Adoption fees for Shiba Inus are usually around $300 to $550 from local rescue sites. Is it possible to get them for free when you rescue this dog breed?
In this guide, we’ll cover how much it costs to own a Shiba Inu dog, covering everything from where to buy or adopt this purebred dog, the initial Shiba puppy price to vaccination, food, grooming, medical expenses, and other pet supplies.
How Much Are Shiba Inu Puppies?
Social media has caused the Shiba Inu’s popularity to increase, with some members of this fox-like breed making waves as Instagram and YouTube stars.
However, this desirable status as a designer dog has, in turn, caused the cost of owning a Shiba Inu to skyrocket.
Before they became the subject of many memes, Shiba Inus were priced at no more than $1,000, but now you can expect a Shiba Inu puppy to cost in the price range of between $1,400 and $2,200.
On average, a limited registration Shiba Inu puppy will set you back between $1,400 and $2,200.
In contrast, a dog with full registration papers is going to cost between $2,200 and $3,500, or possibly even more if they have an exceptional bloodline.
And while they may look like a teddy-bear, caring for this gorgeous purebred dog is no game.
Alongside the initial purchase price, there are many other costs you’ll need to consider when it comes to owning your first Shiba Inu.
Meet Haru the Shiba Inu, a popular YouTube sensation, in this cute video:
Should you buy a Shiba Inu puppy or an older dog?
It is often cheaper to buy an older dog than a young Shiba Inu puppy. If you don’t mind not getting a puppy, then you can often find an adult or elderly Shiba Inu at a rescue center or shelter.
You may even be lucky enough to find a breeder with retired dogs for sale.
The good thing about buying an older Shiba Inu is that you will know precisely how their personality will be.
With Shiba Inus known for their stubborn, challenging streak, meeting an adult Shiba before introducing them to your home will enable you to see if they fit your personality and lifestyle.
However, adopting an older dog can also come with some challenges. If the dog has a troubled past, they may need more training, or they could even have health issues that can quickly rack up the medical expenses.
On the other hand, a well-trained older Shiba Inu may cost less in obedience classes and be more comfortable to welcome into your home than an untrained puppy and more rewarding as you walk away with the knowledge that you have given a dog in need of a loving family.
Are small Shiba Inu dogs more expensive than large ones?
Designer dogs are generally in the smaller variety, and these breeds often have higher initial purchase prices than many large breeds, but these costs are outweighed in the long run.
Small breed dogs can cost less in the long run compared to large breeds because their ongoing maintenance costs are lower.
You will not spend the same on grooming, feeding, and caring for a small breed as you would a large dog.
It’s also easier to travel with small breeds who are often accepted at hotels, airlines, and even in restaurants, so you don’t have to fork out for doggie daycare.
As a result of this cheaper cost, the fact that they are more easily adaptable to apartment living, the American Kennel Club says that it is evident that small breeds are much more popular than large dogs.
How Much Does a Shiba Inu Cost From a Breeder?
It costs a dog breeder a lot of money to produce Shiba Inu puppies that are of show-quality, are healthy, and well socialized. All of this work means that buying a puppy from an ethical breeder will always be expensive.
And while the AKC standards set welfare guidelines for their AKC-certified breeders, every breeder is different.
Some top breeders will go out of their way to ensure the puppies enjoy a decent amount of socialization, even investing in training and additional health checks.
However, more work on the breeder’s side results in a higher puppy price. This cost can be well worth it, though, when it comes to training and caring for your pet.
How to find a reputable Shiba Inu breeder and avoid puppy mills?
An ethical breeder will be endorsed and certified by the American Kennel Club and the Shiba Inu Club of America. Also, most reputable breeders tend to show their parent dogs at dog shows.
The National Shiba Club of America also offers new buyers a directory of reputable breeders to make the search easier.
When buying a Shiba Inu puppy from a breeder, you will notice that you can either get one with full or limited AKC registration.
Full AKC registration allows you to breed your dog, whereas limited AKC registration is for dogs that are not intended to be bred further.
Limited AKC registration is more affordable and thus suitable for most people just looking for a companion dog. You may also be able to find cheaper Shiba Inu puppies at non-registered breeders.
The cost of registering dogs is high, which affects the price but also, be wary of buying a Shiba Inu puppy from these places, as they could be backyard breeders or puppy mills.
Puppy stores and mills often take owners for a ride while keeping their dogs in crowded and dirty facilities.
On the other hand, backyard breeders are people with purebred Shiba Inus who breed their dogs, mainly for friends and families.
Although often well-intentioned, backyard breeders often don’t know any better and end up with puppies that are not the best in physical form.
These breeders don’t fully understand the proper breeding techniques. The puppies end up smaller or bigger than the breed standards, with odd coat colors and markings and disproportionate features.
However, the biggest concern when buying your puppy from anywhere other than an ethical breeder is that you could end up with a Shiba Inu with a myriad of health problems.
Poorly bred Shiba Inus are more likely to suffer from health conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, allergies, and hip dysplasia.
Reputable breeders will do health checks on their parent dogs to minimize this risk and won’t breed dogs with any health problems in their lineage.
A good breeder should be happy to show you these health screenings free of charge.
Here are some breeders to start your search looking for Shiba Inu puppies for sale:
- Kayobi Shibas (Winthrop, Minnesota)
- Bali Hai Kennels (Ridge, New York)
What Does It Cost to Rescue a Shiba Inu Dog?
If you are not after a Shiba Inu puppy, you can often find older dogs at shelters or rescue centers. Adopting one of these dogs will cost much less than buying a Shiba Inu puppy.
Typically it costs between $300 and $550 to adopt a Shiba Inu, with the expenses also including all the necessary vaccinations.
The National Shiba Club of America has a list of Shiba Inu rescue centers on their website.
Simultaneously, the Shiba Inu Rescue Resources of America can also help find a dog for adoption while also raising money for these various organizations.
Here are some Shiba Inu specific rescues to get you started on the process of adopting a dog of your own:
- Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue
- Colorado Shiba Inu Rescue
Factors that Impact the Cost of a Shiba Inu Dog
There are a variety of factors that will determine how much Shiba Inu puppies cost. The main factor is if the dog has been bred to be a home or companion animal or is of show dog quality.
Show Shiba Inus typically come with full AKC registration and are of an excellent lineage.
While puppies bred as companions should still be of good health and appearance, they will not typically have come from winning show dog parents. However, they are more affordable as they have cheaper limited AKC registration.
On occasion, show-quality pups may even come from the same litter as puppies intended for the home, and breeders will be able to choose which is which, based on their appearance, and will price them accordingly.
Other factors that can influence the Shiba Inu price include sex, age, and color. The breed standards for Shiba Inus dictate four colors for these dogs, including red, black and tan, red sesame, and cream.
However, the cream variety is not eligible for the show. Reputable breeders do not typically breed these white or cream dogs as a result.
However, they sometimes occur naturally, and cream Shiba Inus are then sold at a lower price.
Be wary of anyone selling rare cream Shiba Inus for a higher cost as this could indicate a puppy mill looking to exploit innocent buyers.
Female Shiba Inu puppies can also be more expensive than male puppies, while the small litter size of these dogs will also affect the pricing based on supply and demand.
Typically Shiba Inus will have between two and five puppies, with three being the average. As older dogs are not as in demand, they will also be cheaper to buy or adopt than puppies.
Shiba Inu Long-Term Ownership Costs
Owning a Shiba Inu is a lifelong commitment. Alongside the purchase price, there are other factors you want to take into consideration.
The first one will be where you are based. While it is always cheaper to buy a dog in your state, sometimes that is not possible. So you will want to factor in flights and transportation costs as well.
Sometimes a Shiba Inu breeder will take care of this for you, but it is also recommended to meet the breeder, parent dogs, and new puppy first before making a final decision on if the dog is suitable for your home.
You may also need to pay quarantine costs if you take the dog into another country, or specific states, such as Hawaii and Alaska.
Food is also a cost that you need to remember when owning a Shiba Inu. A Shiba Inu needs about one and a half cups of food every day with a daily calorie intake of between 660 and 775 calories.
A 30-pound (14 kg) bag of dog food will give you around 120 cups. This means you will be spending around $55 on a bag of food every 80 days.
With male Shiba Inus being heavier than females, they can eat more and be more expensive to feed. You also need to groom this consistent shedder regularly to maintain a healthy coat.
With the right grooming tools, you could do this yourself, while taking your dog to a groomer will cost between $40 and $75 a session.
Although a generally healthy breed with a lifespan of between 13 and 16 years, other monthly costs include regular vet checkups as well as annual eye examinations, with these dogs being particularly susceptible to eye disease.
These vet visits will cost you between $50 and $400 an appointment. You will also want to spay or neuter your dog, which can cost between $250 and $500.
Other common health problems include hip dysplasia and patellar luxation with surgery to assist with the pain costing between $1,500 and $3,000, alongside a monthly medication that will set you back $20 to $50.
Shiba Inus are also very allergy-prone, with a test for allergies costing around $200 to $300 and specialist vet fees in the region of $600 to $1,100.
However, these costs can be minimized through pet insurance with an elementary package starting from $10 a month.
Another cost to take into consideration before buying a Shiba Inu is the training. While these dogs are easy to housetrain, they will need obedience classes.
Their stubborn, strong-willed nature requires intensive training from a young age. Group obedience classes will set you back $30 to $80, while private lessons generally start at $45 per hour.
As an intelligent dog breed, Shiba Inus make good therapy and tracking dogs; however, if you plan to use this breed for service work, then training could set you back thousands of dollars.
Then, of course, don’t forget all the essential supplies, such as a leash, toys, water and food bowls, collar, bed, and brush. All in all, you are looking at around $1,600 a year to care for and look after a Shiba Inu.
Why Should You Get a Shiba Inu Dog?
With adorable looks and a heart-warming smile, Shiba Inus are pretty irresistible.
But with a mind of their own and an independent cat-like personality that is challenging to train, these bold companions are not the best choice for first-time dog owners.
If you have the experience, time, and patience for a Shiba Inu, this breed is worth every cent! Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.
Further reading: Price for other Dog Breeds
Cess is the Head of Content Writing at K9 Web and a passionate dog care expert with over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry. With a background in animal science, dog training, and behavior consulting, her hands-on experience and extensive knowledge make her a trusted source for dog owners.
When not writing or leading the K9 Web content team, Cess can be found volunteering at local shelters and participating in dog-related events.