How Much Is a Shiba Inu? Price Guide

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed with roots tracing back to 300BC Japan.

Do not let their curly tails and cute faces deceive you. This alert breed was originally bred for hunting game and boar.

As toy-like as they may look, caring for a Shiba is not a game.

Many Shiba enthusiasts will even say that this dog will train you instead of the other way around!

Whilst they are challenging dogs they are well worth every cent that goes into their care.

In our article we will outline the costs of buying and caring for a Shiba Inu…

How Much Does A Shiba Inu Cost?

Shiba Inu Puppy Price

Shiba Inu Puppy Close Up

A Shiba Inu puppy will usually cost anywhere between $1,850 and $5,000.

Why the high prices?

It costs breeders a lot of money to produce healthy, socialized, show-quality puppies. When it comes to reputable breeding, Shiba Inu breeders rely on every penny to ensure that each of their pups are screened for health issues and given the best quality care.

Also many Shiba breeders register their litters with the AKC – this is not cheap.

Additional costs may include vet bills, food and transportation, as well as any other work that goes into getting the puppies ready for their forever homes. Plus respectable breeders offer additional support throughout the puppy’s life.

A helpful breeder often acts as a secondary pet parent for you to call if you ever need help.

In short, breeders do not charge high prices for the profit. They do it so they can keep doing their job while ensuring a healthy bloodline for years to come.

Shiba Inu Dog Price

Shiba Inu Walking

Buying a puppy is not the only option if you want a Shiba Inu in your life.

Depending on where you live there may be a Shiba Inu shelter in your state. Adopting an adult dog instead of a puppy can be rewarding, and some dogs will be easier to introduce into your home than young untrained puppies.

The adoption fees will differ between shelters but expect to pay around $150-$400 for an adult Shiba Inu.

Prices will vary based on the type of care the dogs are given. You may find that some rescued Shiba Inus are cared for at centers, while others rely on foster homes.

Also older dogs are often cheaper than younger dogs, but they are no less valuable!

While it may come as a surprise for some, many Shiba Inu breeders are happy to refer interested pet parents to shelters they know and trust. Not everyone is ready for a puppy and good breeder will prioritize a pup going to a good home over making profits for themselves.

The national breed club website offers great resources and tips for prospective owners when it comes to adopting.

Just remember that adopting an adult dog comes with its own challenges.

Sometimes these dogs come from troubled pasts so make make sure you do your research thoroughly.

Shiba Inu Service Dog Price

The Shiba Inu is known as a versatile and intelligence breed that can be used for all sorts of jobs including: therapy to tracking.

Training a dog to become service ready can costs thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of A Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus

What goes into the pricing of a Shiba Inu?

Age, color and lineage can all impact the price of one of these dogs.

Let’s take a look in more detail…


Buying an 8-12 week old puppy from a reputable breeder will be the costliest option.

There is a good reason for this: your money goes on good care and certain registrations required by many reputable breeders.

If you are adopting an adult dog the price will be much lower. Certain breeders have retired dogs up for adoption and there are also shelters looking to rehome adult and elderly Shiba Inus.

One of the big advantages of getting an adult is the personality you see in front of you is exactly what you get.

Coat Color

Based on breed standards these dogs come in red, red sesame and black and tan.

However some Shiba Inus can be completely white (also known as cream).

As cream is not a recognized color, reputable breeders do not specifically breed for this color.

So they can be harder to find and as a result can be more expensive as unscrupulous puppy farms look to exploit buyers.

However cream puppies sometimes occur naturally in the litters of reputable breeders and these will be much more reasonably price.


You should expect no price difference between male and females.

However as males are heavier they can eat a bit more than females and therefore will be slightly more expensive to feed.

A Shiba Inu

Lineage and Bloodlines

Most Shiba Inu breeders registered with the AKC tend to have dogs that come from show-winning bloodlines – this will increase the price of the puppy.

As these puppies has been breed to fit the standards of their breed they will be more expensive than simply pet quality puppies.

However some show quality pups in the same litter can end up as pet quality pups and will be priced differently. This could occur for a variety of reasons, such as one pup growing taller or shorter than its breed standards allows.

A reputable breeder will want the pups they raise to live in caring forever homes.

Research is important and it is ultimately up to you to decide which breeder has the right puppy for you.


Location is a big consideration when it comes to the cost of buying your puppy.

Ideally you will find a dog in your state as this will save on travel expenses.

If you are buying from out of state some breeders will offer to fly or drive your puppy for an additional fee. However some breeders and shelters won’t offer to ship your pup and will ask you to visit them in person to pick them up.

It is recommended that you visit your puppy in person and travel back with them so you make sure the pup is the right fit for you.

Just remember if you are travelling out of state to factor in this expense into the purchase price.

Breeder Practices

The Shiba Inu is an AKC-certified breed which means breeders are held to AKC standards.

While many AKC-certified breeders follow the same welfare standards, each breeder is different.

Some breeders may go the extra mile and socialize the puppies themselves. This extra step results in a higher price as more work is put into caring for those pups before they leave home.

On the other hand non-registered breeders may have lower prices as they do not have to deal with the fees and additional costs behind adhering to AKC breeding programs. While a lower price can be a plus they may also have lower welfare standards.

At the end of the day you should focus on looking for a reputable breeder that cares about the health of their puppies.

Long Term Ownership Costs

Shiba Inu Puppy

The journey to owning a Shiba Inu does not end at buying or adopting.

Just like any other dog, Shibas are a lifelong commitment. Here are some long-term costs to consider:


Although these pups are easy to housetrain, it is a different story when it comes to the rest of their training.

They are more independent and catlike in nature.

You will need to take them for additional help in the form of obedience classes.

Obedience classes differ in price based on the services they offer. Group classes can be offered anywhere from $30 to $80. Private classes are pricier at a minimum of $45 per hour.


Because of their double coats shed.

As they shed you will need to regularly groom them to remove dead hair and keep their coat healthy. You can choose to do this at home, or at a groomer. Each grooming session will cost between $40-$75.

Health Care and Veterinary Bills

With any pet you will need yearly vet checkups, which can cost between $50-$400 per appointment.

In addition to this whilst the Shiba Inu is a relatively healthy breed, they can be susceptible to patellar luxation and certain allergies.

  • Surgery to fix patellar luxation ranges around $1,500-$3,000. Since they are a small dog the pain medication will be around $20-$50 per month.
  • The cost of treating allergies varies and typically costs $200 for a skin test and $200-$300 for a blood test. Exam fees will vary based on the vet or specialist and treatment packages often cost anywhere around $600 to $1,100.

Of course a lot of these costs can be avoided if you have good pet insurance.


Pet insurance looks different for everyone. Because each Shiba Inu is different, it is important to find pet insurance that will cover your dog’s needs and help your wallet out.

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Breed Specific Conditions

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Food and Treats

Being small dogs they do not eat a lot.

A 30-pound bag of good-quality dog food can cost around $60. If each bag contains 120 cups, and your Shiba Inu eats 1.5 cups a day, that bag of food should last you for 80 days. The amount of money you spend on treats is up to you and the way you train your dog, so spend wisely.


Toys, beds, crates and other miscellaneous items have their own varying costs.

Since you already spend a lot on the necessities, think carefully about what you spend the rest of your money on. While that dog bed may look comfy, consider if your Shiba Inu will even step foot on it or will just sleep on your bed!

How To Find A Reputable Shiba Inu Breeder

Shiba Inu Sat On A Bench

As Shiba Inus have grown in popularity lots of puppy farms have started selling this puppy.

So it can be hard find out who is reputable and who is not.

Luckily there are a few ways to find a reputable breeder.

A great place to start is by looking at the breed’s national club website. The National Shiba Club of America (NSCA) has a directory of reputable breeders registered with both the AKC and NSCA.

Once you have decided on a breeder you like online you should meet them in real life.

When you meet them in person make sure the breeders you talk to are patient and knowledgeable, instead of hasty and clueless. Are they hesitant to show you the pup’s parents, or proof of a health screening? Reputable breeders should be happy to show such things free of charge.

To a good breeder there is no such thing as a stupid question.

They will also want to ask you questions as they want to make sure their pups go to safe homes.

All in all do your research and trust your gut.


Now that you know how much a Shiba can cost to buy, you can decide if this is the right dog for you.

Although they are expensive to buy there is no feeling like a Shiba Inu’s love.

The Shiba Inu is a bold and charming companion but this should not be your first dog. While small this breed is independent and challenging to train.

If you are experienced and willing to be flexible, this may be the dog for you.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

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