Upon inspection of just their exterior looks, many people would say that these dogs look alike but the truth is that these small canines are as different as day and night. While both dogs are cute, furry, and tiny, each one will have its own quirks and personality, so be sure to read on below to find out which of the two will be right for you. In this detailed article, we’ll give you an overview of these purebred breeds, break down their differences, and help you decide on which is a better choice for your home.
Corgi vs. Shiba Inu At a Glance
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two breeds to help you tell one from the other.
|Average Height (of an adult):|
13 to 17 inches
10 to 12 inches
|Average Weight (of an adult):|
17 to 23 pounds
Up to 30 pounds
12 to 16 years
12 to 14 years
30+ min per day
1+ hours per day
Easy to train, very intelligent
About the Shiba Inu
Hailing from Japan, the Shiba Inu is a small, compact dog that’s known for its independence and intelligence. An average dog will stand between 14.5 to 16.5 inches in height and will weigh around 23 pounds. As a purebred dog, it comes with a life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years and was originally bred for hunting large game.
Through the ages, these dogs have maintained their serious attitude and prey drive. Even so, the Shiba Inu’s personality contains many facets. Knowing about their health, how to care for them, and how to train them should be your main concern if you wish to take one home.
Because they are such strong and independent dogs, they will thrive best when handled by someone with plenty of experience. While these are loving and loyal dogs, they won’t always show it and will tend to be quite standoffish most of the time. On the bright side, these pups are calm, intelligent, and often quiet.
Unfortunately, these dogs aren’t the best fit in homes with other pets or small children. They don’t have much tolerance for roughhousing or being poked at and may take a nip at a child if they feel annoyed. This attitude, paired with possessiveness may not be the best choice for a house with kids.
Their high prey drive is also bad news for smaller pets and animals, and will often chase after them. But apart from these issues, the Shiba Inu can be a wonderful companion for single people since they can be loyal, affectionate, and highly attached to their human. Just make sure that this doesn’t lead to separation anxiety by giving them plenty of love, attention, and exercise.
Because the Shiba Inu comes with a double coat of gorgeous fur, you’ll need to give them weekly brushing to prevent matting and will need daily brushing during shedding seasons. Apart from this, caring for a Shiba Inu is pretty easy and standard. Be sure to brush their teeth as much as possible, check and wipe their ears clean every week, and clip their nails as needed.
Once their grooming needs are taken care of, you’ll also need to give them proper exercise. These dogs have low to moderate energy levels, so it may take some persuading to get them to play outside. When left to their own devices, weight gain can be a huge possibility, so make time to take them out on a 10 to 15-minute walk twice a day to keep them healthy.
It will also help to give your Shiba Inu some mental stimulation through games and toys. However, this breed isn’t known for being a people pleaser so they may not be willing to learn tricks. They will do best when showered with time, love, and attention, which will also help to discourage separation anxiety.
Because this breed is highly stubborn and independent, it’s not always the easiest dog to train. Training them will require plenty of repetition, persistence, and patience; these dogs like to take charge and will always try to be the boss. As such, it will take a strong and firm alpha leader to keep this dog happy and healthy.
You will also need to use positive reinforcement to train them properly. Remember that giving them harsh treatment may cause them to become even more stubborn and more aggressive. Talking to them calmly, giving them treats, and conducting short yet productive training sessions is the best way to reach them; however, this may take some time so be prepared.
While all kinds of training can help this dog, early socialization is one of the best things you can do for it as a young pup. Introducing it to other dogs and animals while it’s still young will help lessen their hunting instincts. This will also encourage it to become less domineering and possessive when it gets older.
Just like every other purebreed dog, the Shiba Inu has a few health issues that you need to be aware of. While not every dog will develop these conditions, there is a possibility that it could.
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Heart disease
As we already mentioned, the Shiba Inu can quickly gain weight, so you need to invest in nutrition and exercise to maintain their health. It’s also best to take them to the vet regularly for check-ups to prevent the development of ailments you may not notice at home.
About the Corgi
Another small dog, the Corgi is a breed that originated in Wales, where they were introduced for cattle herding and have since maintained this usefulness when they undertake a job. These little guys range in height between 10 to 12 inches and will weigh around 24 and 27 pounds. Corgis are gentle, friendly, and lovable family dogs that come with an average life expectancy that ranges from 11 to 13 years.
But just like the Shiba Inu, Corgi breeds will come with a lot of considerations when it comes to their personality, along with other factors such as their health, grooming, and training.
This playful, friendly, and loving pup is also alert and vigilant, making it a good watchdog. These dogs are also good with kids, but they may tend to herd them every now and then. Fortunately, they’re not like the Shiba Inu and will get along well with other pets and small animals, so feel free to introduce them to your existing pets.
Active and social, the small Corgi comes with a lot of energy and may even become hyper sometimes. They may also bark a lot so you’ll need to give them training early on to combat this; the interesting thing, however, is their ability to be calm yet rambunctious at the same time. Many owners are fascinated by how it can be calm one moment yet active the next, sometimes displaying one after the other.
Even so, this canine is intelligent and affectionate but at the same time, they can also come with a stubborn side and their background in herding will also make them act like the big boss as well. Just like the Shiba Inu, Corgis will need a strong and experienced leader to lead them towards good behavior.
Compared to the Shiba Inu, it doesn’t take a lot to care for the Corgi; they have a rough and dense coat that won’t shed much. However, they still need brushing using a pin brush once a week and you can bathe them as needed. It’s also best that you brush their teeth as often as you can — every day will be ideal because these small dogs are prone to dental conditions.
After that, you’ll also need to check their ears every week for signs of infection and mites, while their nails should be trimmed as needed. Because they have more energy, you’ll need to provide them with more exercise. This pet will have moderate energy levels so be sure to give them daily walks and extracurricular activities to exercise their long backs.
To keep them happy, you can give them mental stimulation such as fetch, games, and other ways to amuse them. Unfortunately, when a Corgi gets bored, it can become destructive and may start barking incessantly. While they won’t get separation anxiety compared to a Shiba Inu, they still need plenty of love and attention from their humans.
Fortunately, Corgis are easier to train but they may still try to take charge and they will become stubborn when given harsh treatment. When they feel mistreated or in danger, they may nip at you; instead, try positive reinforcement during fun and short training sessions. Much like with any other dog, early socialization is essential but isn’t as pressing as with a Shiba Inu.
Obedience, behavioral, and housebreaking training are also important and should be done right away. Even if you don’t plan on using them for competitions and events, it’s still vital that they learn training basics to ensure a well-balanced dog. Also, keep in mind how adaptable this breed is — they can quickly become comfortable inside new environments and can easily learn rules.
Unfortunately, Corgis have a good chance of developing a few health concerns, so it’s extremely important that you take them on an annual check-up with your vet to look for any symptoms. You may also want to look into their teeth as well as their diet to ensure that they aren’t gaining more weight than they should. Aside from these issues, these are the most common health concerns faced by the breed:
- Hip dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Lens Luxation
- Urinary stones
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
So Which Breed is Right for You?
While we discussed the most marked differences between the Corgi and Shiba Inu, there’s no denying that both dogs have great traits and wonderful personalities. However, in our humble opinion, we feel that Corgis are the ideal companion for active families. These dogs will do well with children, are affectionate and fun, and will be great guard dogs.
For single individuals or families with older children, the Shiba Inu can be a better choice and they won’t spend the whole day sitting on your lap. However, keep in mind that any pet can be trained and taught to do specific things around the home, and no breed is better than the other. No matter the pros and cons of a dog, the right one will ultimately come down to your needs and preferences.