Why You Should Avoid Shaving Your Shiba Inu (Explained)


large pile of dog hair with a shiba inu nearby

Properly brushingOpens in a new tab. and maintaining a shiba inu’s coat can be a chore, especially if they don’t want to cooperate. While the though has crossed my mind I never plan on shaving Faith, my shiba inu, unless it’s for a medical reason, but I always wondered why I never saw a shaved shiba inu.

Shiba Inus are a double-coated dogs. They’re over coat protects them from dirt, water, and the elements but doesn’t shed or grow back. When a Shiba Inu is shedding that’s their undercoat “blowing”, which helps them regulate body heat. Shaving a shiba inu permanently removes and ruing their overcoat.

After some research it turns out there’s a massive reason you don’t see shaved Shiba Inus, and that’s how their dual-coats work.

What Shaving A Shiba Inu Does To Them

Shiba Inus have two coats, an “overcoat” and “undercoat”, and both do two completely different things for them.

They’re over coat helps both protect them and keep them clean. It helps keep dirt, mud, water, snow, and so on off of them.

A shiba’s undercoat on the other hand insulates them from the elements, helping them maintain and regulate their own body heat.

While a shiba inu seems to be shedding “everything” seemingly constantly, they aren’t. The fur coming off a shiba inu when you pet or brush them is almost exclusively their undercoat.

A shiba’s undercoat is constantly growing and replacing old loose hairs, but their overcoat is different.

Because their overcoat is like a suit of fuzzy armor they are built to last, quite literally. While of a shiba’s overcoat will come off while brushing or playing, what they’ve got is basically all they are getting.

The guard hairs, overcoat, doesn’t grow back like their undercoat. Which is why most vets and groomers recommend you avoid shaving, trimming, or cutting your shiba inu’s fur whenever possible, it’s genuinely harmful to them.

While there are exceptions to nearly every rule, this one nearly doesn’t.

Unless there’s a medical reason / emergency you should not under any circumstances shave a shiba inu.

The Medical Exception

Your pet’s health and safely trumps everything, and the same goes for their fur.

If your shiba inu has surgery or a bad enough skin condition your vet will recommend shaving your pet so they can treat the medical issue they’re dealing with.

And while they will recommend it, it’s best to let me hand the actual shaving. Your vet will keep the damage to a minimum.

A common example of this is spaying and neutering.

Most vets and clinics will shave the fur around the “area” so they can not only keep things clean and safe but it helps them see what they’re actually doing.

While that’s a fairly thin part of their coats, it’s primarily overcoat. Each pet’s coat will respond differently:

  • Some may grow back fine
  • Some will grow back thin or patchy
  • Others may not grow any of that hair back

How To Properly Maintain Their Coats

Baring a medical reason, a shiba inu should never be shaved. Which is important to know but doesn’t help if you are struggling to keep up with and manage your pet’s shedding.

Most people look into shaving a pet to reduce the need to brush them or vacuum the house. Helping keep cleaning to a minimum.

While it’s not a great solution, it’s workable for pets with a single coat. It’s not an option for double-coated pets.

At the end of the day, if you are struggling to maintain or manage a shiba’s coat you have 2 main options.
1) Make a schedule to follow
2) Go to a professional

A personalized schedule that fits you and your life is the best option.

A short and sweet bi-weekly brush will do wonders for you house and your pet during most of the year.

It’s best to bump that up to weekly during the spring or fall months, when shiba’s blow their undercoat out to prepare for the upcoming summer or winter months.

Setting up a grooming scheduleOpens in a new tab., and actually following it, can also help you bond with your pet. Especially if they aren’t use to it, it’s best you do it to familiarize them with being handled this way.

Shiba’s are a basal, ancient, dog breed. Meaning they don’t commonly like being handled. So if you are struggling to get your shiba to let you brush them, you have some work to do.

A professional is also an option, although they won’t always work out.

A professional dog groomer will help you clean, brush, and maintain your pet’s coat. But things don’t always work out as planned.

Because shiba inu’s don’t commonly like being handled they can be a nightmare for pet groomers to tackle. Many of which may turn you away or refer you elsewhere if you ask. Not every place will, but it does happen and you should know about it.

Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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