An Australian Shepherd dog is one of the most beloved dog breeds in America. This loyal, fluffy and incredibly intelligent dog breed is often mixed with other dog breeds to create hybrid puppies, with a range of desirable physical characteristics and attributes.
One of these mixes is the Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu, a fluffy, furry friend that will quickly become your closest companion, as they are full of life, energy and lots of love!
The Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix is a very unique and beautiful dog. This breed is the combination of an Australian Shepherd and a Shiba Inu, and is often referred to as the Aussie Shiba for short!
Both of these breeds are incredibly popular and can be found in many homes as the family pet, but is this dog breed right for you?
With our guide, you can find out exactly what an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix looks like, examine the history of both breeds that make up this cross, and understand the traits, characteristics and personalities these dogs can have!
So, let’s find out if this mixed breed is the right one for you!
What is an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix?
The Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix is a crossbreed, or a hybrid dog breed of two purebred dogs; the Australian Shepherd and the Shiba Inu.
As this is a cross breed, the characteristics and traits of the breed can be varied, and there is not much to say about the history of this breed, as it is relatively new.
The Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu or Aussie Shiba, is a lovely breed of dog, at a medium size, and with a fox-like appearance.
It can typically have the merle-styled coat of an Australian Shepherd, and pointed ears and nose much like a Shiba Inu, but most dogs do vary.
So, what can you expect your Aussie Shiba to be like? Let’s take a look at what the two breeds that make up the Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu are really like.
History of the Breeds
Since dogs were domesticated, humans have been breeding them for specific purposes. Whether it is to create working dogs, sporting dogs, show dogs, or just for companionship, most dog breeds were bred for a reason.
As such, many dog breeds are separated into categories.
For instance, the Australian Shepherd is a working dog, and is typically used for herding sheep and livestock, hence the name shepherd! On the other hand, Shiba Inus are hunting dogs, bred to hunt large game and wild boar initially.
So, let’s examine the history of both of these breeds to understand more about the Aussie Shiba as a crossbreed.
Australian Shepherd History
We can begin with the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd did not actually originate in Australia, and was first introduced to the western areas of the United States during the Gold Rush in order to herd and protect sheep and livestock.
It is thought that most Australian Shepherds were bred from Border Collies due to their physical similarities, and ability to herd sheep.
As such, Australian Shepherds have many similar personality traits, being very loyal, hard working and energetic dogs that will fiercely protect their herd and family.
Therefore, the Australian Shepherd would have been used as a working dog to protect agricultural areas, farms and livestock in rural parts of America. They are highly intelligent creatures, easy to train and command, with a natural respect for their owners.
As the Industrial Revolution hit, the need for sheepdogs was no longer so high, and this breed has since become the perfect family pet.
However, they are still highly sought after due to their intelligence, and are currently used for police dogs, bomb detection dogs, therapy dogs and other working dog roles.
Shiba Inu History
The Shiba Inu is known as a basal breed, which actually predates many of the modern breeds that we know today. Originally, Shiba Inus would have been bred and used to hunt and fetch small game, such as birds, boars and rabbits, before retrieving them for their owners.
The Shiba Inu initially lived in the mountainous areas of the Chubu region in Japan, and is still a highly popular breed in the country today. Shiba Inus typically have a solid undercoat, with dense hairs that are red or brown in color.
All Shiba Inu dogs have descended from only 3 surviving original Shiba bloodlines in Japan, and have been imported, exported and bred all around the world.
Although they are mostly beloved for their cute, fox-like look, this breed is still considered a hunting dog, as they are exceptional hunters, bred to catch game in some of the toughest mountainous regions in Japan.
As a result, these are very hardy, robust dogs with lots of hunting instincts still active.
What is an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix like?
As you can see, both of the dog breeds that make up an Aussie Shiba are very different, and have their own unique purposes, traits and looks. As a result, the Aussie Shiba can be very quirky and unique.
The Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu is often fiercely loyal, intelligent and devoted to its pack, much like an Australian Shepherd, but can also be sassy, catty, and slightly aggressive, much like the Shiba Inu.
They may look more like an Australian Shepherd than a Shiba Inu, but it does depend on the dog itself, its ancestors and parentage.
Most Aussie Shibas will have the mottled looking fur of an Australian Shepherd, be medium sized, but with the small face, pointed ears and nose of the Shiba Inu. They may also grow to around 15-25 inches high, with a weight ranging from 20-40 lbs.
In order to understand what an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix might be like in terms of personality and temperament, we can find out what both breeds are like, and how this may pass onto or affect the Aussie Shiba.
The Australian Shepherd is a well known dog breed due to its high intelligence. These types of dogs love having tasks or training to complete, as they thrive on pleasing their owners, having a routine, and expelling lots of energy.
As a result, they tend to be very loyal, happy, energetic and lively dogs to have around. They also have a very strong natural work ethic, and will respond well to a high level of training, which is why they are used as police dogs and therapy dogs.
However, having a high level of intelligence also means that they need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them happy, and to keep their brains engaged and stimulated.
For instance, an Australian Shepherd will be happiest when it has lots of exercise, toys to play with, attention, and a close bond with its owner.
Without a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, Aussie Shepherds can be prone to destructive behavior, or misbehavior as they will act out when bored or neglected.
When it comes to personality, you can see why so many people love Australian Shepherds. These dogs are so loyal, loving and devoted to their owners.
They will love to be close to their owners, and please you in every way that they can. In addition, they were bred to herd and protect the flock, and so they will be very protective of their family and the ones they love.
Some Australian shepherds have been known to get aggressive without proper training and handling, and this can sometimes be genetic, so make sure that you look for early signs of aggression, or check the dog’s parents for signs of aggression before trying to purchase an Aussie Shepherd or a mix.
Looks wise, Australian Shepherds look very similar to Border Collies or sheepdogs, and are about the same height and size as them. They are medium sized dogs, with fluffy coats, long bodies, and floppy ears.
They will typically have mottled fur or merle colored fur, with black, white and some brown areas around the face and belly.
However, the fur can vary from dog to dog.
The Australian Shepherd has a muscular build like a Border Collie, and will grow to about 18-23 inches in height. They may also weigh around 40-60 lbs when fully grown, and tend to be very sturdy, athletic dogs.
Shiba Inus are a little different from Australian Shepherds. Shiba Inus are very charismatic, charming, funny and unique little creatures.
They tend to have a good-natured temperament, but are very strong willed and confident. As a result, they can be very bold, adventurous, and will most likely want to do their own thing despite what you tell them to do!
They are also very bright animals, but will have an independent mind, and very little desire to do what you ask of them, and will probably just please themselves. That being said, they are very fearless, brave and can be highly spirited.
Despite their ability to break the rules, Shiba Inus can be very affectionate towards their owners, whilst also energetic, bold and excitable. They will be very fun dogs to have around, and can be highly entertaining creatures.
Just keep in mind that these dogs have a mind of their own and can be very disobedient, strong willed, and will try to take charge of you and become the alpha.
They can also therefore become very aggressive towards people, other dogs and especially cats.
They need to be socialized from a very young age to avoid aggression later in life, and you have to keep on top of exercise routines, or they may become bored, depressed and destructive.
Shiba Inus are instantly recognizable dogs. They look just like foxes, with sharply pointed noses and pointed, triangular shaped ears.
They are also medium sized, but more on the smaller side, and can have short hair in brown, reddish and orange tones.
Shiba Inus are considered medium sized dogs, but they are slightly smaller than Australian Shepherds.
They typically stand around 14-17 inches tall and weigh from 17-23 lbs. In body shape, they can be slender, with short but heavily shedding fur, and curled up tails.
What exercise and training does an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix need?
As the Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu is made up of Australian Shepherd, it will probably need about 2 hours of exercise a day.
In addition, you will have to give your Aussie Shiba lots of attention, exercise and mental stimulation if you want it to be happy, and exhibit good behavior.
It is for these reasons that an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu will need an experienced and assertive owner, as the Shiba in the crossbreed will try to dominate and overrule you. Shibas by nature are very strong willed, smart and wily.
On the other hand, Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and love to please, so it is vital that you give this breed proper training, guidance and attention.
Grooming & Shedding
The grooming and shedding of your Aussie Shiba depends on the physical look of the dog, as if it resembles an Aussie more, then it may have thicker fur, whereas Shibas have coarse fur.
Either way, they will need routine brushing and maintenance, and they will probably shed a lot!
Health Issues and Lifespan
Both the Australian Shepherd and the Shiba Inu have a lifespan of about 12-15 years, and so you can expect this from the hybrid. If you keep this type of dog in good health, there is no reason why this breed cannot reach this age, or live to about 13 or 14.
However, most dog breeds can be predisposed to health issues, or genetic health problems such as hip dysplasia, and the Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu is no different.
They can also suffer from allergies, or eye problems such as glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy.
Is the Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu Mix for you?
If you think that you can be very stern, stand your ground, and provide lots of exercise, attention and training for an Australian Shepherd Shiba Inu mix, then this dog breed may be for you.
With a confident owner, your Aussie Shiba will be very charismatic, loyal, protective, loving and smart, acting as the perfect companion for the years to come.