Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu Comparison, Similarities & Differences

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Hokkaido dog Vs Shiba Inu is an interesting comparison between two amazing breeds with wonderful personalities.

Although both breeds originated from Japan, there are of different sizes and have different care and maintenance needs.

Both breeds were purposely bred for hunting small game; however, Hokkaido’s were also used in search missions.

While Shiba Inus have recently gained a lot of fame worldwide, Hokkaido’s remain a very rare breed of dog that’s hardly known outside Japan.

This Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido breed comparison article compares the two breeds based on different aspects such as personality, appearance, exercise, and maintenance needs. Stay tuned.

Hokkaido Dog Vs Shiba Inu Breed Chart

Shiba Inu Hokkaido
Size in height 13 to 17 inches 18 to 24 inches
Weight 15 to 25 pounds 45 to 65 pounds
Lifespan 11 to 15 years 12 to 15 years
Grouping Companion dog Working dog
Coat Type Double Coat Double Coat
Temperament Affectionate, Alert & Curious Affectionate, Alert & Docile
Shedding Heavy Shedding Moderate Shedding

The numbers above shouldn’t necessarily be accurate but provide an average estimation. The numbers might differ from one canine to another.

Shiba Inu Breed Overview

There’s no doubt that Shiba Inus are among the most popular breeds of Japanese origin currently. Shibas have gained massive fame with the emergence of the Shiba Inu coin.

Shibas aren’t only famous in Japan and other parts of the world like the United States. Many people are becoming more obsessed with the breed as the years go by.

Shiba Inus are unique in their ways. For example, this breed has some funny ways of communicating with their owner, which often involves the “Shiba Scream”.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog

The Shiba Inu scream is a vocalized shriek produced by Shibas when they’re overly excited or feel threatened.

In addition, Shiba Inus have an alert and active temperament. Although they’re categorized under small dogs, Shibas aren’t your typical small dog.

Further, Shibas aren’t the type of dog that spends the entire day cuddling on your lap. They’re independent and often want to spend some time by themselves.

Generally, Shiba Inus are free-spirited and love to think by themselves and do what they think is right. They even ignore their owner when not in the mood.

Shiba Inus are naturally independent. Therefore, expect your Shiba Inus to show stubborn streaks now and then. While they’re independent, Shibas are so affectionate and loyal.

In addition, Shiba Inus are extra vigilant with their immediate surrounding. This breed is always watchful and cautious of any strangers.

Although they don’t have the perfect body to offer protection, Shibas will alert you in case of any stranger or person they don’t know.

Hokkaido Breed Overview

Hokkaido is an ancient dog that originated from Japan as a hunting and work dog. It resulted from a medium-sized dog brought along with immigrants from the main Island of Honshu in the 1140s.

In the 1930s, the Hokkaido dog was mainly used to conduct retrieval missions and searches for survivors of an army expedition.

Hokkaido’s are also known as Ainu-ken, Seta, or Ainu dog. In Japan, Hokkaido’s are commonly known as Do-ken.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog

Hokkaido’s are good for apartment and indoor life, such as townhomes, as they’re a medium-sized breed.

However, they are pretty energetic and would be best suited for a home with a yard or a nearby part where they can walk and play to dispel energy.

Hokkaido became a rare dog species in Japan in 1937 and has been protected by the law ever since.

Hokkaido’s are hardly known outside of Japan since they’re very rare. About 12,000 Hokkaido dogs remain worldwide.

This breed is the oldest Japanese breed of dog. Today, Hokkaido’s are known for being great indoor companions, loyal, and friendly. In Japan, Hokkaido are still commonly known as the Ainu dog.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog Size

Shiba Inus have a shoulder height of average between 13 to 17 inches, whereas Hokkaido dogs have a shoulder height ranging averaging between 18 and 24 inches.

This shows that Hokkaido is slightly taller than Shiba Inus. They’re taller than Shiba Inus and weigh more than Shibas.

Regarding weight, Hokkaido’s weigh between 45 and 65 pounds while Shiba Inus average between 15 and 25 pounds.

Although these numbers do not necessarily represent all dogs in the two breeds, they represent an average population.

Besides, estimation averages can act as a tool to help you visualize the expectations to have with your canine friend during the growing stages.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog Lifespan

Shiba Inus and Hokkaido dogs have almost the same lifespan since they average between 11 and 15 years.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t rule out exceptional cases. There are instances where you may find a dog of either breed doing up to 20 years; however, these cases are pretty rare.

Providing high-quality food is the key to giving your canine friend a longer lifespan. Also, ensure frequent health checkups to identify body complications early enough.

A number of chronic conditions can be managed if they’re diagnosed early enough.

The quality of care is a crucial determinant of canine longevity; however, other factors include the dog’s breed.

Although they have a somewhat similar lifespan, Shiba Inus are likely to live longer than Hokkaido because they often have a lifespan between 13 and 17 years.

On the other hand, most Hokkaido will have a lifespan of between 11 to 14 years of age. This is the average lifespan considering the high quality of care provided.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog Temperament

Every breed has its temperament, which should not be generalized based on other experiences. Besides, many factors influence canine behavior.

In Need of a Perfect Family Dog?

Thankfully, both Hokkaido and Shiba Inu make a good companion and house dogs; however, I’d argue that Hokkaido’s are perfect family dogs more than Shibas due to their friendliness.

Both breeds have outgoing personalities. The high prey drive in both breeds can be challenging if your family isn’t active. They have a high prey drive which needs a careful and firm handler.

In addition, both breeds are affectionate to family members. Hokkaido will even have a favorite family member they protect full-time and are fiercely loyal to.

Also, when it comes to behavior around kids, there’s no significant difference between breeds.

Although they don’t top the list of kid-friendly dogs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these breeds will not tolerate kids around them.

Although both breeds are good with kids, they need more time to familiarize themselves, socialize, and get used to them.

Guarding Behavior

Since both breeds are loyal to their owners, they have resource behavior. Hokkaido’s are more guards than Shiba Inus, though.

While Shiba Inus have some guarding behavior, with proper training and socialization, they learn to coexist well with family members.

Hokkaido’s are better with other dogs than Shiba Inus. Generally, both breeds aren’t that good with other dogs unless they’re well-socialized and have undergone obedience training.

When it comes to strangers, Hokkaido’s are weary of strangers but are quick to learn what position that stranger holds. In addition, they warm up to strangers quickly based on your reaction.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog Adaptability

  • Adaptability to Apartment Living
  • Adaptability To Hot Weather
  • Adaptability To Cold Weather

What’s more;

Adaptability to Apartment Living

While not all dogs are suitable for apartment living, some dog breeds do perfectly.

Some of the key reasons that prevent dogs from being good apartment dogs are associated with size, noise, shedding level, energy level, and smell.

Both Hokkaido’s and Shiba Inus are considered good apartment living. They are silent and hardly bark unless there’s a reason to do so.

However, they’re both double-coated. That means you expect moderate shedding throughout the year and heavy shedding twice a year.

You’ll need to prepare for the shedding seasons with a shedding brush and vacuum cleaner.

Adaptability To Hot Weather

Depending on your region’s climate, you may want to consider a dog that adapts well to the respective climate.

Hot weather may not be the best for double-coated dogs. While Shiba Inus can adapt slightly to hot weather, Hokkaido’s aren’t the best with hot weather as they have a lot of fur.

Shiba Inus have better chances of adapting to hot weather than Hokkaido. Therefore, when the warm weather comes, schedule the exercise early morning or in the evening.

Avoid pavements. Remember, it’s too hot for paws if you can feel the warmth on the pavement or ground with your hand.

Adaptability To Cold Weather

Cold weathers and temperatures are the best for these two breeds. They support cold temperatures falling even below 200 F.

Thankfully, the double coat works best to help maintain average body temperature. Extreme winters aren’t a big issue for Shiba Inus and Hokkaido dogs.

Since they both tolerate cold weather, you don’t have to worry about cold-associated problems like hypothermia and frostbite.

Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog Trainability

Obedience training plays a crucial role in your dog’s life. While some canines are easier to train, others are somewhat challenging.

These two breeds are intelligent and thus quickly grasp commands. Therefore, you need to train them.

Hokkaido’s are easier to train than Shiba Inus. Hokkaido’s like to please their owners and are fiercely loyal.

However, these two breeds aren’t easy to train for first-time owners. They’re usually stubborn, independent, and strong-willed.

However, experienced owners don’t have a hard time training Hokkaido and Shiba Inus. However, Hokkaido is better at grasping and obeying commands.

If you select any of these two breeds, you should always have these three dog training pillars: patience, persistence, and consistency.

If you don’t have enough time for training, you may hire the services of a professional trainer. Remember, your canine friend should be trained in your presence as it increases the chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Hokkaido Dogs Good Pets?

Hokkaido dogs are good pets and wonderful for family life. Hokkaido is a great family dog and a fun outdoor companion full of energy.

Therefore, obedience training is essential. Training and exercise should come simultaneously, especially positive reinforcement training.

Do Hokkaido’s Get Along Well with Shiba Inus?

Hokkaido dogs get along well with Shiba Inus; however, both dogs should be adequately trained and socialized before letting them be.

Since they’re both hyper, they like to play together and dispel energy.

The Final Words: Shiba Inu Vs Hokkaido Dog

These breeds are similar in appearance; however, Hokkaido’s are slightly bigger than Shiba Inus and have thicker fur.

In addition, they are good family dogs; Hokkaido’s are suitable for protection and companionship, while Shiba Inus are suitable for friendship.

Since both have a double coat, be prepared to deal with the shedding seasons, especially coat blowing, which happens twice a year.

These breeds are weary of strangers but are quick to warm up to them. Don’t forget about the breeds’ high prey drive.

Always have them on a leash when walking due to their high prey drive. Otherwise, your canine friend will likely bolt into thick bushes running after small animals.

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