Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Comparison

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Shiba Inu vs. Golden Retriever discussion will probably go on forever. Both are wonderful breeds with amazing personalities, physical attributes, and good human companions.

Shiba Inus have regal, dignified smaller dogs with prominent personalities. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager to please their owners.

Although both breeds take a playful approach to life, Shiba Inus are somewhat reserved compared to the Golden Retriever.

This guide talks about these two loyal and affectionate breeds. Keep reading to learn more about the distinguishing features between Shibas and Golden Retrievers.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Comparison Chart

Shiba Inu Golden Retriever
Size in height 13 to 17 inches 21 to 24 inches
Weight 17 to 25 pounds 50 to 80 pounds
Lifespan 13 to 16 years 10 to 14 years
Breed Group Companion Dogs Sporting Dogs
Coat Type Double Coat Double Coat
Temperament Confident, Alert & Intelligent Alert, Loyal, Keen & Outgoing

Let’s explore the history of both breeds and how they came to be;

Shiba Inu Breed Overview

There’s no doubt that Shiba Inus are among the most popular breeds of Japanese origin currently. This breed has gained more fame with the emergence of the Shiba Inu coin.

Shibas aren’t only famous in Japan but in 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 its owner, which often involves the “Shiba Scream.”

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.

Golden Retriever Breed Overview

Golden Retrievers have significantly gained popularity in the United States over the last decade. For hundreds of years, it has been assumed that Retrievers are descendants of Russian circus dogs.

However, it turns out this isn’t the case. Golden Retrievers are descendants of a crossbreed between an unregistered Yellow Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel (a now-extinct breed from Scotland).

The breeding produced a litter of four bitches from whom all Golden Retrievers today have descended.

Shiba Inu Vs Golden Retriever

The story of Golden Retrievers’ origin traces back to 1865 when Marjoribanks came across a cobbler with a golden-colored and wavy-colored retriever as he walked with his son in Brighton, England.

Golden Retrievers have become famous for their golden color. The color comes wide, from the palest yellow to a deep golden red.

There are four standards and official Golden Retriever dog colors: cream, dark golden, lightly golden, and golden.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes only three colors, though. They’re lightly golden, dark golden, and golden.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Size Comparison

Golden Retrievers are a little bit bigger compared to Shiba Inus.

Shiba Inus have an average shoulder height of between 13 to 17 inches, whereas Golden Retrievers average between 21 and 25 inches of shoulder height.

Therefore, Golden Retrievers are slightly bigger than Shibas, not only in height but weight as well.

While Shiba Inus are categorized in the small size category, Golden Retrievers are in the medium to large category.

Shibas have a compact body which contributes to their small size covered by lots of thick double-coat fur.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Weight Comparison

Golden Retrievers are slightly pumped up in weight compared to Shiba Inus.

Shiba Inus weigh between 17 to 27 pounds, whereas Golden Retrievers weigh an average of 50 to 80 pounds.

Golden Retrievers have stoic body that can be lanky or broad depending on the specific breed genetics.

Retrievers are bigger than Shiba Inus in both size and weight. Both breeds are double-coated and thus require lots of grooming, especially coat brushing.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Appearance Comparison

  • Eyes
  • Coat
  • Ears
  • Musculature

Let’s explore each below;


Both breeds have brown eyes. Shiba Inus’ eyes have an almond, round, and triangular shape, which is also rectangular depending on your Shibas genetics and bloodline.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have dark round eyes. However, not all have dark-colored eyes since some often have light brown eyes.

Thankfully, purebreds of both Shiba Inu and Golden Retriever hardly get heterochromia. This is a case where a dog has eyes with different colors, one blue and the other darker.


Both breeds have a double coat; however, Shiba Inus have a much denser coat with more thickness than a Golden Retriever.

Shiba Inu Vs Golden Retriever

Since Shiba Inus were mountain dogs, the double coat was crucial for survival, especially during the harsh winter seasons.

The Shiba Inu thick double coat gives the breed the ultimate teddy bear look. That said, expect Shiba Inus to blow their coats twice a year.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have a golden coat in most cases; however, their other coat colors are different.

Other Golden Retriever coat colors that are common range from brown to cream. The underline coat standard remains to be the golden tinge hairs, though.

The Golden Retriever double coat features longer hairs on its top coat. Beneath the topcoat is a fuzzy undercoat with a soft texture.

Golden Retrievers have strong hairs when they’re still puppies. An adult coat replaces the strong hairs by the time the dog gets to start teething and weaning.


Shiba Inus have completely different ears from those of a Golden Retriever.

Shibas have erect ears which slightly tilt forward. In addition, Shiba Inu ears are small and have some fur from the inside, which is usually white.

The fur inside Shiba Inu’s ears makes it easy to tell when dirt accumulates because they suddenly turn grayish or brownish.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have floppy ears, giving the breed a cute and charming appearance. Retrievers have had floppy ears since their puppyhood.

The floppy shape is an indication that this breed requires regular grooming. Dirt can quickly accumulate in floppy ears, thus the need to frequently clean and groom them.


Golden Retrievers have a stronger build compared to Shiba Inus. Retrievers have a very active lifestyle that puts their powerful muscles to use.

Golden Retriever muscles give the breed a stocky look from the front, which bellies the breed’s height.

On the other hand, Shiba Inus are smaller and have a leaner body stature. Although they still have a good build as an athletic breed, they can’t compare with Retrievers.

Shiba Inus lean body used to help them a lot during hunting. They could act swiftly when hunting down small game in ancient Japan.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Grooming Comparison

  • Coat Brushing
  • Baths
  • Ear Cleaning
  • Nail Clipping

What’s more;

Coat Brushing

Since both breeds have a double coat, brushing their coat is necessary.

Shiba Inu has a dense, thick coat that should be brushed when dry. So, if you’re brushing them after a bath, wait until the coat is completely dry before you start brushing.

Therefore, you need a slicker brush or a bristle brush to use from tip to tail first. Next, use a pin brush to detangle longer hairs if your canine has them.

Lastly, brush the undercoat using a de-shedding tool.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have long, feathery hair, especially in the topcoat. This type of hair needs more maintenance.

Therefore, you’ll need a curved rake for detangling long hairs, primarily in the topcoat. In addition, the rake should reach the undercoat without hurting your dog.

You Should brush your Golden Retriever at least thrice a week. Both breeds benefit greatly from a wide-tooth comb for the face, ears, and upper throat section.


These two breeds require regular baths.

However, since Shiba Inus tend to be self-cleaning and hardly gets a dreaded doggie smell, you can reduce the number of baths.

One bath every three months should be fine with your canine friend. After the bath, dry their coat before you begin brushing.

Overbathing can harm your dog’s skin as it washes away essential body oils. So, don’t over-bathe your dog.

Now that Golden Retrievers have very oily skin, you may want to consider baths more frequently. This should be once every 5 to 8 weeks.

Since Golden Retrievers have sensitive skin, always use premium shampoo when bathing your Golden Retriever.

Ear Cleaning

Ear cleaning is essential for any dog breed. It prevents infections and kills bacteria building up inside the ear.

You should clean your adult Shiba Inu or Golden Retriever’s ears at least twice or thrice a month.

For Golden Retrievers always pay attention to their floppy ears, which can hamper bacterial growth by trapping moisture.

Make it a habit to sniff your canine’s ears from time to time. However, any infection produces a bad odor which you’ll even smell before sniffing your canine’s ears.

After cleaning their ears, ensure to dry them completely. Also, don’t trim the hair inside your Shiba Inus ear.

Nail Clipping

Clipping your canine’s nails may be one of the most stressful exercises you’ll engage in, no matter the type of breed you own.

For Shiba Inus, you can quickly note where the quick begins and avoid hurting them when clipping their nails.

Also, sand their nails to make them smooth and prevent your canine from scratching you. Sanding is vital for the jagged edges of the nails.

Golden Retriever’s nails grow pretty fast, thus requiring nail clipping services. Since they’re active dogs, their nails often wear out by themselves as the dog gets to walk and run around.

When grooming your Shiba Inu nails, one secret is to treat tricks. One thing I have found to work for Shiba Inu is peanut butter. Provide them with some little by little as you cut their nails to prevent aggression and crying screams.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Trainability Comparison

It is generally believed that Shiba Inus are a little harder to train than Golden Retrievers. I tend to agree with this belief.

Shiba Inus have a singular mind and are strong-willed to do what they want. Therefore, this makes them hard to train as they’re hard to command.

Although they grasp commands quite fast, getting them to always adhere to your commands is always tricky.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers are people pleasers and thus are easier to train than Shibas. They also have a high level of intelligence.

Golden Retrievers like to please their caretakers. Therefore, they’re easy to train as they willingly want to follow commands and accomplish tasks.

Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever Lifespan Comparison

Shiba Inus have an average lifespan ranging from 13 to 17 years, whereas Golden Retrievers have a lifespan ranging from 10 to 14 years.

Therefore, Shiba Inus have a slightly higher lifespan than the Golden Retriever. Nevertheless, the health of a dog determines its lifespan.

So, you can maximize the period you’re going to have your canine friend by providing high-quality food.

Also, scheduling frequent vet visits helps your dog to stay healthy and thus maximize its lifespan.

Since both breeds are prone to some allergies and body complications such as cancer, chylothorax, and epilepsy, frequent vet visits should be mandatory.

 Can Shiba Inu and Golden Retriever Get Along?

Shiba Inus and Golden Retrievers can get along well with one another; however, training and socialization will be needed.

You must train the dogs on obedience and socialize them together before letting them be. Since Golden Retrievers are fun dogs and hardly cause problems, Shibas will quickly take them into their territory.

Nevertheless, this can depend on specific dogs. Whereas some dogs might be unwelcome to others, others are very welcoming and react sweetly to their new friend.

Therefore, the crucial thing is to assess what type of a dog you have and then prepare for a proper introduction

The Wrap-Up: Shiba Inu Vs. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers and fun and sweet to be around. They get along with anyone, including other pets and dogs.

In addition, they have friendly personality that easily adapts to new environments. Shiba Inus are the direct opposite.

Shiba Inus are quiet, shy, and reserved. Therefore, they’re very uncomfortable around strangers and other pets too.

If you’re bringing up a Shiba Inu, you need to socialize him from an early age; otherwise, your dog can grow to have destructive behaviors which aren’t pleasing.

Additionally, Shiba Inus have a bossy attitude and like to be dominating or the pack leader. You must establish yourself as the Alpha from the word go and remain firm with training.

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