Fluffy Shiba Inu; Why Your Shiba Isn’t Fluffy & What You Can Do?

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If you own a Shiba Inu, you know that they are known for their thick, fluffy coats. But what if your Shiba isn’t as fluffy as you expected?

There could be several reasons for this, and it’s important to understand why your Shiba’s coat may not be as full and fluffy as you hoped.

Most Shiba Inus grow a lot more fur around the 2-to-3-year mark.

In this article, we will explore some potential reasons for a Shiba Inu’s lack of fluffiness, as well as what you can do to help your furry friend regain their full, fluffy coat.

Keep reading to learn more about why your Shiba Inu may not be as fluffy as you’d like and how you can help them regain their fluffy coat.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Not Fluffy?

  • Genetics
  • Still Growing
  • Environmental Impact
  • Short Haired
  • Health
  • Age

What’s more;


Genetics play an essential role in every trait your Shiba Inu possesses. If your Shiba possesses the recessive gene for short hair, that may be the reason.

Also, genetics affect the coat’s overall size, shape, and density. So, the issue with your Shiba Inu may be genetics and may not be a need for concern.

Nevertheless, the standard Shiba Inu genetic should always have long, fluffy hair. This doesn’t mean your Shiba Inu isn’t purebred.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Not Fluffy

However, you may experience challenges with dog shows, especially being allowed into the dog ring with a non-fluffy Shiba Inu.

One of the critical reasons for the increasing number of unfluffy Shiba Inus is a quack and backdoor breeders and puppy mills. Most of these have a recessive gene for short hair.

However, if you are a Shiba Inu from an actual champion-winning lineage, you’re sure to get a fluffy Shiba Inu with the breeds natural long hair

So, if your Shiba Inus isn’t fluffy, they’re still Shibas and are purebred. It’s only a genetic deviation which creates the uniqueness and should be cause for alarm.

Still Growing

Another reason why your canine friend isn’t fluffy might be that they’re still in the process of growing. Before Shibas are 2 years of age, they hardly have extreme fluffiness.

In addition, other Shibas take longer before developing fluffiness, even up to five years.

Most Shibas get the big kid coats at 2 to 3 years. So, you should give your canine friend enough time before being judgmental about their fluffiness.

That said, some Shiba Inus don’t get the big kid coats totally in their lifetime. They remain with a thin, sleek coat for the rest of their lifetime.

So, the older your Shiba Inu gets, the chubbier they’re likely to get. The chubbiness comes primarily during the winter season.

Notably, Shiba Inus chubby look isn’t always permanent. They lose the undercoat during the summer to prepare their bodies for the oncoming high temperatures.

Check out Shiba Inu summer vs winter coat.

Environmental Impact

The environment of the region you stay in is a big determinant and may make your canine friend remain lean throughout.

Shiba Inus fill out to prepare their bodies for harsh winter seasons. Therefore, if your region doesn’t experience these harsh winter seasons, they might mutate and stop growing fluffiness.

Therefore, Shiba Inu fluffiness and chubby look isn’t just for looks. It helps in temperature regulation.

Shiba Inus in warmer regions might be unfluffy since their body has no reason to fill out. That said, consider the environment as a factor when figuring out why your canine friend isn’t fluffy.

Short Haired

We have short-haired Shiba Inus, which have the recessive gene for short hair. This recessive gene prevents the Shiba Inu from fluffy like other Shiba Inus.

The presence of the recessive gene for short hair doesn’t mean your Shiba Inus isn’t purebred. They’re still purebred but may not be considered in dog show rings.

In addition, you might not be considered for AKC registration as they often view that as a severe fault. However, your Shiba remains sweet and loyal like other Shibas.

Being lean doesn’t affect their personality in any way. If your Shiba is the unfluffy type, they’ll still have natural Shiba Inu behavior and personality.


The health of your Shiba Inu is something you should always take seriously. If you suspect or observe abnormal behavior, inform your vet in time or take necessary precautions.

That said, your Shiba Inus health directly reflects through their coat appearance. So, a lousy coat appearance reflects deteriorating health.

On the other hand, a beautiful plushy coat appearance shows your canine friend is full of health and life.

That said, maintain the best health for your canine friend to prevent influencing their coat appearance due to poor health.

Shiba Inus that feed on high-quality food are easy to identify from a distance. This is due to the coat appearance.

You always want the best for your canine friend. So, high-quality food shouldn’t be an option for your canine friend.

If they feed on high-quality food with the necessary ingredients and nutritional value, that will reflect in the coat appearance and help fill out the coat where possible.


The age of your Shiba Inus also influences their fluffiness and the changes in filling out the coat.

In old age, most animals experience body changes, often affecting their physical appearance and activity.

That said, some Shiba Inus lose the fluffiness while approaching old age, while others don’t. If your Shiba starts becoming lean as old age approaches, that might be a normal body change.

However, they must develop fluffiness during the harsh winters unless you stay in a warmer region throughout.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Tail Not Fluffy?

Some Shiba Inu tail aren’t fluffy due to the presence of a recessive short hair gene in your Shiba.

This isn’t a reason for a medical concern, though. It’s a common and popular occurrence among most modern-day Shiba Inus.

The most common cause of the Shiba Inu not being fluffy is increasing backdoor breeders and puppy mills.

This is a trait that results from the breeding of two less recessive genes that shouldn’t be bred together.

Consequently, the result is a Shiba Inu with various undesirable traits like an unfluffy tail. That said, select a reputable breeder when getting your next Shiba Inu.

Ask the necessary questions about the Shiba Inu lineage and the traits of the parent breeds. That way, you show more seriousness and desire to own a high-quality pet.

The breed standard doesn’t allow for breeding Shiba Inus with an unfluffy tail. In fact, Shiba Inus should be more fluffier and filled out around the tail region.

Frequently Asked Questions

At What Age Do Shibas Get Fluffy?

Shiba Inus get fluffy around the age of 2 to 3 years of age. This is more likely their third or fourth winter season from birth.

So, your Shiba Inu will remain lean and sleek for the first one to two years. Other Shiba Inus start to get fluffy at 5 years of age since it depends on their genetic composition.

Why Does My Shiba Inu Look Different?

Your Shiba Inu looks different simply because they might still be lean and sleek yet develop a plushy undercoat, which causes fluffiness.

When your Shiba Inu hits growth spurts, they’ll start developing a plushy and fluffy look similar to other Shiba Inu.

The Final Words on Why Is My Shiba Inu Not Fluffy?

Not all Shiba Inus are fluffy; however, most Shiba Inus are supposed to be fluffy all-round the body.

That said, it doesn’t mean that your Shiba Inu isn’t purebred if they’re not fluffy. They are still Shibas and will have the natural Shiba Inu behavior and traits.

Also, some Shiba Inus have a lot of fluffiness than others which isn’t a cause for concern. It depends on the parent breed’s genetics.

Parents with a recessive short hair gene often give birth to lean and sleek offspring.

Although sleek and lean Shibas are still good enough Shibas, they have challenges being accepted in dog show rings or being registered under the AKC club.

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