Grooming Your Shiba Inu

Regular grooming removes shedding fur, encourages healthy skin and coat and discourages parasites. Also, a weekly 10-15 minutes gives you time to check your Shiba out to see that there’s no problems lurking in the deeps of the fur.

Things to check:

  • fur – is it shiny and clean?
  • skin – any parasites, sensitive areas, lumps or rashes?
  • ears – do they smell okay? Any buildup of wax?
  • eyes – are they bright and clear?
  • nose – is it usually moist?
  • teeth – clean?
  • mouth – no weird lumps or smells?

Introduce teeth brushing early. Clip the nails if necessary and get your Shiba used to the handling of his feet! Get your Shiba used to being examined even if you never want to set foot in a dog show – it makes it easier to examine and fix problems without having outraged screams reverberating from one eardrum to another.

The Shiba has a thick double coat that consists of an outer layer of guard hairs and an inner layer of undercoat.

Your best friends are a grooming rake and a slicker brush. I have also had a lot of success with the Furminator. However, the Furminator is only recommended for non-showing Shibas, as the teeth can shred the outer coat.

You can find most grooming supplies at your local pet supply store or online.

It must be noted that Shiba undercoat comes out most efficiently when adhered to formal dress, any sort of food, or dog-hating visitors.

Shibas generally hate anything resembling soapy water. Shassi would howl and carry on like she was slowly being dipped in a tub of acid. Tierce is quietly unhappy and squirmy.

Other than the bi-yearly mushroom cloud of fur, Shibas are amazingly clean and odor-free. At least yours was before she rolled in that rotting fish. And ate some of it. Hey, what’s that on your Persian carpet?

If you’re like me, one flea or tick gives you an attack of the screaming meemies because where there’s one, there are bound to be ten more.

There is no excuse for having a flea-infested pet. Vacuum cleaners and flea bombs have been in existence for many years and are improving. So are the many flea preventatives on the market. Consult your vet and use the Internet to find out more about preventing and killing fleas and other parasites.


  1. I have used the Furminator, but read it does shred the outer coat. Instead, I found a palm sized rubber tool – Zoom Groom by the Kong makers, that works really well and my two Shibas love it – I think it feels like a massage. I use it to loosen the undercoat and then brush them off afterwards. I have learned the “hard way” to only use it outside on a windy day – and the nesting birds love us!

    Now explain to me why my Shibas always blow their coats at different times! One month the carpet is grey from the B & T, he next it is white from the Red. Sheesh šŸ™‚

  2. I recently got my first Shiba, Biff, he is 12 weeks old and he is constantly shaking his head and scratching at his ears, What could be causing this? We already have an appt. set up with his new vet but the earliest they could get him in was next week. Is there anything I can be doing to help my little guy out until we go see the vet?

  3. has anyone ever heard of shaving a Shiba Inu? My husband wants to
    and I told him our shiba is not the type of dog to shave. Help before he gets out the shears

    • No, I wouldn’t shave any dog without the advice of the veterinarian or a reputable groomer. Shibas need their coat to protect them from the elements, including the sun. Is there a reason why your husband wants to shave the dog?

  4. I would say No dont shave a Shiba, the Fur coat is there to protect there body from the elements and Fur aminals are not to be shaved thats why they shed, Dogs that have hair can and should be be shaved .

    Tell your Husband to shave his whole body first (I mean Everywhere) and then w see if he like its, then I will still say no to the Dog.

  5. Was new in town n just bought my shiba to the groomers. I end back with a shaved shiba. It’s broke my heart n pissed. Would like to know if after his coat regrow, will it damage his coat ?

  6. We just adopted a Shiba mix from the Animal Shelter and he’s shedding EVERYWHERE. We’ve had him taken to the groomers and brush him everyday, but nothing helps. I can’t stand the fur, but I love my Diesel. Is there anything else we could do to lessen the shedding??

    • Hm… I’m not sure, really, since I haven’t really had that problem. DISCLAIMER: I work at a dog daycare and have had Shibas for nearly 20 years. I’m a dog obsessive whose Shiba has his own Facebook page. SO… I probably have an extremely high tolerance to hair that most sane people just don’t.

      What I can suggest is popping onto the TMS Facebook page and asking for help there. OR… seek out a group of Shiba people near you (rescues can be awesome resources) and see if they have any suggestions. Hope this helps!

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