How much a dog costs, on average, is heavily associated with its breed. Depending on the rarity, popularity, and challenges involved with breeding, the price can vary quite dramatically. But what about the Shiba Inu? What can you expect to pay for one of these smaller Japanese spitz dogs? I spent some time researching to get a better understanding of the financials involved.
So, how much do Shiba Inus cost? A Shiba Inu puppy costs between $1000-$1,500, on average, from a reputable breeder. However, the price will vary based on factors such as lineage, coat color, age, and demand. As such, it has been known for Shiba Inus to cost upwards of $3000.
And just like owning any breed of dog; there are other upfront costs you need to consider (such as their bed, initial examinations, etc.) and then ongoing costs such as food to take into account too.
In fact, the AKC (American Kernel Club) estimates that the cost to own a dog over their lifetime is in the vicinity of $15,000.
In other words, between $500-$1,000 per year.
Something you will definitely need to consider, and plan ahead for.
When it comes to choosing a breed; there is a lot more to consider than just the costs.
Size, temperament, and the amount of care you need to provide are perhaps the most notable.
For a dog like the Shiba Inu, it takes a particular type of owner to get the best out of this breed.
Besides, this particular breed does possess somewhat of a stubborn and confident streak.
Being fair but firm, committed to training and socialization, and being entirely consistent in approach is in many ways a must.
In doing so, owners experience a good-natured, affectionate, and loyal dog; which is perhaps why they are so popular and in demand.
Let us now take a closer look into the expected costs of purchasing and owning the Shiba Inu breed.
We’ll be looking at why they are on the expensive side, the factors that impact their price, and those other costs you should consider with ownership.
So, if you are considering taking this dog home and want to set your expectations from the beginning, be sure to keep reading.
It may just be the best, most important thing you ever did!
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Shiba Inu Puppy?
Your average Shiba Inu puppy will cost around $1,500, although there are still many breeders that offer the puppies at a lower price. It’s rather common to find a breeder offering puppies for $1,000 or $1,300.
Likewise, there are also several breeders selling their puppies at more than $2,000.
In certain cases, a Shiba Inu puppy can cost up to $3,000!
Of course, there are often some superficial differences between these highly expensive puppies and your run-of-the-mill Shiba.
Nevertheless, the price you can expect to pay will vary depending on may factors, such as the breeder you go to and the history of your Shiba.
We will be looking at these factors in further detail in a following section.
But first, why do Shibas cost so much?
Why Are Shibas Inus So Expensive?
Shiba Inus are expensive due to a combination of supply/demand and the rarity of the breed. Plus, costs of breeding are taken into account too.
Nevertheless, many people are surprised to learn that the average Shiba Inu costs so much.
This is especially true for anyone who has looked at this breed in the past. For instance, there have been times where Shiba Inus were not a very expensive breed to buy.
In the last decade, however, the breed has skyrocketed in popularity, allowing breeders to increase the prices of their puppies.
When you get a dog from a reputable breeder, they will also take increased care of their pups, including medical care and early vaccinations.
While professional breeders aim to earn a profit, they understand that there are a lot of costs that go into good breeding practices – and we need to pay to cover these.
Then there are certain certifications or memberships that may be required, or even a necessary cost, for breeders to be able to confirm their lineage, or even market their pups.
For instance, take the AKC (the Kernel Club and organization we referenced earlier). They have a marketplace for this particular breed, and others.
There is a lot involved for breeders to be able to list their puppies on such sites, and be recognized by such organizations. There are costs involved too, and these are simply passed back onto the customer.
However, this is a good thing. It means that dogs are certified.
It also means if you buy through one of the breeders you can do so with confidence, knowing you are actually getting a true Shiba Inu, bred properly, humanely and ethically.
And then, the other factor to consider is the actual cost to raise a new litter of puppies.
All the food, housing, and medical bills of the puppies and of the parental dogs.
So, Shiba Inus are generally expensive for several reasons.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that you do your research and due diligence into any breeder.
You ultimately want to know why they charge higher fees, and if they are right to do so.
What Factors Impact The Cost Of A Shiba Inu?
Breeders are generally transparent about why they are selling their dogs significantly above or below “market value.”
Depending on the kind of dog you want to own, you may want to explore some of these things.
Some breeders keep meticulous records of the family history of the dogs they breed.
If you have a Shiba coming from a long lineage of show Shibas with exceptional history, the puppies will cost more.
A strong pedigree can make for a very expensive dog of any breed.
On the other hand, if you don’t care much about this information, you can likely find a puppy at a lower price.
Just be aware that you may not be able to enter your puppy in future dog shows with proper documentation.
If you plan on breeding your Shiba, you will also need to consider if this is the kind of breeding you want to take part in. Y
our puppies would have “more value” if they came from a long line of documented Shibas. There would be even more perks if these dogs were “show winners.”
This simply refers to whether your dog is solely Shiba Inu, or if any other breeds of dogs have been used anywhere in the breeding lineage.
Purebred dogs are typically more expensive; they require closer control of breeding, and purebred dogs come out a lot more closely to the breed standard.
Breeding purebreds is costly – it involved being more meticulous and record keeping of how pure the ancestry is.
If you want to enter competitions, you’ll need to ensure that your dog is purebred.
If you don’t necessarily care that your puppy is purebred, you can find a crossbreed and it will be a bit cheaper.
Of course, with mixed breeds, it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting.
Sometimes you end up with a dog that looks exactly like their father or mother. Other times, they are a strange mix that looks completely different and can behave and act differently to the breed standard.
Normally, dogs that are not as purebred are cheaper for this reason.
It is not all about the dog, though. The breeder you buy from also needs to establish a reputation.
If you are looking to buy a Shiba from a renowned breeder with a long history of breeding generations of Shibas – expect your puppy to be a bit more expensive.
On the contrary, people breeding merely for a hobby (or selling off puppies from an accident) are less expensive.
Just beware that you might want to check to make sure that they have all of their shots and medical exams before.
Often, if you are buying a very inexpensive puppy, you are buying the puppy and nothing else.
While you won’t need pedigree papers if you don’t want to put them in shows, you probably want to make sure that they went to the vet and are in tip-top shape before you bring them home.
Its also important to understand and medical history in the dogs they are bred from, along with whether the breeders followed legitimate practices and have a knowledge of understanding of the processes involved.
The final factor to consider is that there may even be price differences between puppies of the same litter!
Some colors are deemed more expensive than others.
In the case of the Shiba, a cream coloration is pretty typical, so it tends to be cheaper.
On the other hand, the red coloration may be more expensive. This coloration is rarer, and so people are generally willing to pay more for them.
And then you have a lower supply.
The laws of demand and supply generally are in play here.
Other Upfront Costs Of Shiba Inu Ownership
There are other things you will need to purchase to bring your new dog home – the cost just not just stop at the puppy.
While a breeder may supply you with some things, you will need to have a few things prepared.
The following are some typical one-time expenses that you will likely need to make at the time you get your Shiba Inu:
|Initial Puppy Food||$100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$20|
|Leash and a Collar||$20-$40|
|Grooming Supplies||$25-$50||Brushes, Shampoos|
|Appropriately Sized Cage||$50-$100||You may need to invest in a new cage or crate as your Shiba grows.|
|Beds and Blankets||$50-$100|
|Initial Veterinary Exam||$50|
How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Shiba Inu?
Remember that the bills don’t stop flowing the second you bring that puppy home.
In fact, be aware that you will likely spend much more on the dog than the upfront costs over the course of their lifetime.
Your average Shiba Inu lives for between 12-15 years. So, you need to plan accordingly.
And, owning any pet comes with both consistent and unexpected bills. Irregardless of breed, dogs tend to be a little more expensive than cats or guinea pigs too.
A good general estimation, is to expect to pay around $500-$1000 per year of Shiba Inu ownership.
So, in addition to the puppy and upfront costs, you’ll need to think about:
Food is easily one of the biggest expenses to consider. While a Shiba Inu will not eat as much as a Great Dane, they still need a significant amount of pet food.
You may be able to find some very cheap options at your local department or grocery store – but it’s important that you really read those ingredients.
Foods that are full of sugars and fillers can cause more problems in the long run. While they’ll provide sufficient food to allow your dog to survive, you want your Shiba to thrive.
You don’t need to buy the most expensive food at the pet shop – but it can save some expenses and health scares in the long run if you make sure to get quality food.
Talk to a representative at a local pet store or your veterinary office for some recommendations on foods that fit your dog and your budget.
You can expect to pay about $50 a month on food and treats.
If you don’t want your puppy tearing your living room apart, you are going to want to keep them entertained with toys.
They don’t need a lot, and the toys aren’t so expensive, but you will be replacing them throughout their lives.
Investing in a heavy-duty rubber toy is a great idea.
Just like humans, though, animals have preferences in toys too.
It may be that your little Shiba ends up loving toys that can rip to threads. Even if they aren’t totally ruined, toys will often need to be replaced somewhere down the line.
Along with things that aren’t necessarily expensive but need to be replaced – you need to consider revisiting some of those upfront costs down the line.
Cages, collars, and leashes will all need replacing at some point.
You will also need to take your Shiba to the vet every once in a while.
While minor visits aren’t too expensive, surprise accidents and surgeries can run up a bill very easily.
This is why it comes so recommended to take out decent insurance.
Vets aren’t the only ones who can keep your Shiba healthy. While Shibas don’t need excessive grooming, they are not entirely without maintenance.
They will need their fur brushed, occasional baths, and their nails cut. While you can do this yourself with the right equipment, many people choose to take their pets to professional groomers.
Grooming can cost anywhere from $40-$150 per visit!
Owning any dog can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to understand the financial situation of Shiba ownership before you do decide to bring one home.
Ultimately, you want to make sure you can provide your new companion with the best life possible.
Remember, if you aren’t concerned about entering your dogs in shows or being a topline breeder, adoption is another consideration.
Adoption fees are much lower than the costs of purchasing a puppy from a breeder.
You may even be able to get a Shiba for around $500 – if you’re lucky!
A breed this in demand is not going to be found very often at rescues and shelters. And if they are, it is likely they will be snapped up quickly too.
Nevertheless, it’s always worth checking and even opening the dialogue and communication. That way, if a Shiba Inu was to come in – you could put yourself in a prime position to take them home.
All in all, if you are looking to buy a purebred Shiba Inu, from a reputable breeder, that lives to their maximum life expectancy of 15 years of age – you are looking at a total, all-in cost, of around $20,000.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.