Shiba Inus, a small breed of dog native to Japan, have a unique feature that sets them apart from many other dog breeds – they have a double coat that changes in thickness and length depending on the season.
The thick, insulating coat that Shiba Inus develop in the winter helps them stay warm in these cold temperatures, while the shorter, thinner coat in the summer helps them stay cool in the hot weather.
This change in the coat is known as seasonal shedding, and it is a natural process that helps Shiba Inus maintain a comfortable body temperature and protect themselves from the elements.
Seasonal shedding is not unique to Shiba Inus – many other dog breeds and animals also experience changes in their coat in response to the changing seasons.
In the case of Shiba Inus, the climate in Japan, where they are native, varies significantly between summer and winter. In the summer, temperatures can reach upwards of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, while in the winter, temperatures can drop as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The ability of Shiba Inus to change their coat in response to the seasons is an important adaptation that allows them to thrive in a variety of climates.
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Why Shiba Inu Have a Summer Vs. Winter Coat
Shiba Inus have a double coat to help them maneuver the swing between hot, humid summers and fridged icy winters.
Shiba Inu summer coat is limited and has no fluffiness. This is meant to allow air circulation during the summer when it’s scorching hot.
However, during the winter, Shiba Inus have a plushy coat that develops all around their body. The fluffy coat is a temperature regulator as it traps air to prevent your canine friend from extreme cold.
So, the outer coat is a jacket to the skin. This brings about the idea of why you shouldn’t shave your Shiba Inus coat unless for treatment.
Therefore, they blow their coat in what most Shiba Inu owners find messy. During this time, your Shiba Inus loses a lot of fur, thus causing tumbleweeds of hair around your home.
Shiba Inus blow their coat during the first 3 weeks of spring and fall. Their body has different needs during winter and summer, thus changing coat fur.
During the summer, there is a lot of humidity. So, Shibas lose fur to stay cool and comfortable. This helps to cool the body during hot temperatures.
Therefore, they shed the thicker winter coat and regrow a lighter coat, improving body temperature regulation.
On the other hand, during winter, when it’s colder, Shiba Inus grow a thicker undercoat to retain body heat and keep your canine friend warm.
Therefore, they must blow the light summer coat to prepare for the oncoming season by regrowing a thicker winter coat.
The difference between summer and winter coats matters a lot in how fluffy a Shiba Inus is. The summer coat is lighter and thinner, making the dog look slimmer and streamlined.
During the winter season, Shiba Inus have a thicker winter coat which puffs them up to give the teddy bear appearance.
To prepare your Shiba Inus for the shedding season, check below;
What To Do During Your Shiba Inus Shedding Period
The best practice during this period is constantly brushing your Shiba Inus coat. You can do it once a week during the regular shedding and once or twice daily during the coat-blowing season.
Brushing your Shiba Inus coat helps manage to shed and prevents tumbleweeds of fur across your home.
Also, failure to brush your Shibas coat may cause matting. You don’t want this to happen; therefore, ensure to brush your canine friend every day during the coat-blowing season.
Another must-have tool is the vacuum cleaner, especially one primarily made for animal fur like the Dyson V8 animal.
If you have a Shiba Inus, you already know that you may as well end up with a lot of fur worth another dog.
So, ensure your canine friend is used to brushing as early as possible. You should start brushing your Shibas fur during their second year. Remember, shedding is a lifelong affair.
You should never shave your Shiba Inus due to the shedding mess. Shaving spoils your Shibas topcoat permanently, and I’m sure this isn’t what you want for your canine friend.
At What Age Do Shibas Get Fluffy?
Shiba Inus start to get fluffy between 6 months and 2 years of age. However, some can take long and get fluffy at 4 years.
So, there’s no specific time when your canine friend should start to get fluffy. If your fur friend isn’t fluffy at the age of one, there’s nothing to worry about.
Generally, Shiba Inus are usually lean looking in the first year and start to get fluffy from the second year.
They can continue to fill out season after season until they’re around four years old. Also, some Shibas are just sleek in nature.
Not all Shiba Inus have to get fluffy; it depends on the genes. So, if yours doesn’t have a fluffy gene, you may have them sleek for the entire lifetime.
Another factor that affects how fluffier Shiba Inus become is the temperature. Shiba Inus from colder areas tend to be fluffier.
Since colder areas experience long winter seasons, Shiba Inu bodies get used to the winter season and fill out all the time.
Do Shiba Inus Change Coat Colour?
Shiba Inus change coat color with time before achieving the final coat. Most Shiba Inu puppies have white marks around their face, which fades as they age.
Also, most Shiba Inu puppies will have a sesame coat during the first few months or even years. This results in the common mislabeling of most Shiba Inus as sesame.
So, your Shiba Inu puppy might not be as red as you expect for the first year. They have a sand-like coat with a mix of white and dark hair.
After the first 5 or 6 months, your Shiba Inu puppy loses the blackish hair, which falls out with red fur starting to emerge. The change might continue for up to 1 -3 years.
Notably, sesame Shiba Inus are usually dirty red when growing up and change after maturing. The urajiro markings start to grow after 2 years on average.
Generally, expect coat color changes with your Shiba Inu puppy around the 6th to 9th month. From there, expect further coat color change within the next three years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Color Will My Shiba Inu Puppy Be When She Grows Up?
It’s hard to determine the final color of your Shiba Inus when they’re still a puppy. However, you can be sure it’s somewhere close to either of the parents.
Shiba Inus, with a dominant gene, often produce a black or brown coat. On the other hand, a Shiba Inu with a recessive gene gives a red or black coat.
Do Shiba Inus Have a Winter Coat?
Shiba Inus have a full double coat that protects them from extreme cold during winter.
They shed off their winter coat during the start of spring or summer. Usually, it is known as the blowing of the coat. Shibas shed a lot during this time.
Do Shibas Have Double Coats?
Yes. Shiba Inus have double coats, which should not be shaved for stylistic purposes.
You can only shave your Shibas coat to prepare them for a medical procedure like surgery.
Do Shiba Inus Have Soft Fur?
Shiba Inus have soft fur, the inner fur that traps air for temperature regulation. The soft inner fur is plush and thick.
The other coat is the outer coat which is usually stiff and straight.
The Wrap-Up on Shiba Inu Summer Vs. Winter Coat
Shiba Inu has summer and winter coats with different purposes. The winter coat is usually blown off during summer to avoid overheating.
During the winter, Shiba Inus grow a plushy coat with a lot of fur. The increase of fur prepares their body to handle the oncoming cold season.
So, prepare to carry out grooming practices regularly. Shiba Inus and all other double-coat dogs shed throughout the year.
However, the blowing of the coat happens twice a year. So, normally you should brush your Shiba Inus coat twice or thrice a week. However, daily brushing is needed during the coat blowing season.