Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 03/01/23 •  11 min read

The Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix, otherwise known as the Shiba Chi, is a small-sized mixed-breed dog combining the Mexican Chihuahua and the Japanese Shiba Inu.

The Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is a feisty, affectionate, loyal, independent breed best suited for active families and active single individuals. Read on to learn more about the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix as we go through the histories, temperaments, suitability and popularity of each parent breed.

Shiba Inu Chihuahua Mix
Photo: Instagram

Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix – At a Glance

Weight:8 – 12 pounds
Height:9 – 12 inches
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Tan, chocolate, white, red, black
Temperament:Affectionate, energetic, independent, loyal, stubborn
Most Suitable For:Active families, active single individuals, not suitable for the elderly or apartment dwellers

What Does a Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Look Like?

Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix
Photo: Instagram

As with many designer breeds, the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix will inherit different parts of it’s physical appearance from each parent breed. It’s likely that your Shiba-Chi will be a similar physical size to the Chihuahua, with a similar body shape. It will likely have short, triangular ears, like the Shiba Inu and thicker legs and paw pads.

It will also likely have a bushier tail than the Chihuahua and may inherit the double coat of the Shiba Inu, but will likely inherit the single coat of the Chihuahua. It will likely inherit the face shape and eye shape of the Chihuahua.

Unfortunately, accurate predictions about the Shiba Inu Chihuahua mix’s physical appearance are difficult to make, as it all depends on which parent breed is the dominant gene when the breeding takes place.

The History of the Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix

Unfortunately, there’s little available history regarding the creation of the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix. Our working theory is that the breed was created sometime during the 1990s and early 2000s, as were many mixed-breed dogs.

Fortunately, we have plenty of information on the histories of each parent breed, the Mexican Chihuahua of ancient ancestry, and the Japanese hot-shot, Shiba Inu – famous for internet memes and movies like “Hachiko.”

The History of the Shiba Inu

The History of the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu originated in Japan some 2300 years ago! Identified as a basal breed, the Shiba Inu predates modern dog breeding and is one of the original ancestors of Spitz-type dogs. The Shiba Inu was used as a hunting dog to flush rabbits and other small game for Japanese hunters of the day. Thus, their name translates to “brushwood dog.”

For centuries, the Shiba was largely only known to the Japanese and it wasn’t until the 1860s that they were crossbred with other dogs as a way to preserve the breed, as they were slowly losing popularity. By 1926, almost no pure Shiba Inus remained in Japan.

In 1936, the Shiba Inu became one of Japan’s national cultural monuments and just twenty years later, an armed services family would bring one home to the United States, marking the first introduction of the breed into the American canine landscape.

In 1979, the first litter of Shiba Inu puppies would be born in the United States. The American Kennel Club would recognize the Shiba Inu in 1992.

How Popular Are Shiba Inus in the United States?

Despite their relatively short time in the United States – and an even shorter time as a recognized breed by the AKC – the Shiba Inu scores fairly high on the popularity ladder!

In 2021, the Shiba Inu ranked as the 42nd most-popular dog in the United States.

Who Are Shiba Inus a Good Dog For?

Shiba Inus are relatively high-energy dogs, needing daily exercise and – because of their hunting background – fare far better with a house & yard to frolic in. Shiba Inus are generally gentle, non-aggressive dogs that fit well within a family unit.

Unfortunately, their activity requirements and size generally make them unfit for the elderly or apartment-dwellers.

How Did Shiba Inus Come About?

The Shiba Inu is one of the world’s oldest medium-sized dogs, as a basal breed it’s more than 2300 years old. Originally used as a hunting dog in feudal Japan, the Shiba Inu arrived in the United States in 1954, having been brought over by an American service family.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu has long been a popular crossbreed parent, having entered the United States at the end of the Korean War. Although, crossbreeding did not occur in earnest until the 1990s and early 2000s, when crossbreeding became popular.

Several of the most popular Shiba Inu crosses developed during this time include:

The History of the Chihuahua

The History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua has an ancestral history stretching back to the 9th century, when an Aztec tribe known as the Toltec Peoples kept a small, mute dog known as the Techichi. The Techichi is thought to be a direct ancestor of the Chihuahua.

The Chihuahua itself wasn’t popularized in North America until the late 19th century, as they were first noted in the mid-19th century in the Mexican state of the same name. They were imported by the British at the end of the Second World War and crossed with the Jack Russell Terrier to re-popularize the JRT.

The Chihuahua was first introduced to the United States at the end of the 19th century, when American tourists purchased them from Mexican traders living in border towns. They brought back the beloved, vocal Chihuahua to the United States, where it quickly gained popularity.

The Chihuahua was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

How Popular Are Chihuahuas in the United States?

Since their recognition in 1904, the Chihuahua has long since been popular in the United States, given their size and affectionate nature, they’re popular among the elderly and families.

In 2021, the Chihuahua ranked as the 37th most-popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

Who Are Chihuahuas a Good Dog For?

Chihuahuas are routinely touted as a great companion pet for the elderly relative. And while their size does lend them well to this role, they can be yappy, which isn’t conducive to apartment living.

They’re quite well-suited to a growing family unit, or those with a house and yard. They can act as an accidental guard dog because of their protective nature.

How Did Chihuahuas Come About?

While the precise history of the Chihuahua is hard to come by, it does have an ancient heritage stretching back to the 9th century and the Toltec Peoples, an ancient Aztec tribe, who kept a small, barkless breed called the Techichi. Ancient hieroglyphs from the period indicate that the Toltecs revered this small dog and that it bears striking physical resemblance to the modern-day Chihuahua.

The modern-day Chihuahua was first noted in the mid-19th century in the Mexican state of the same name and was first introduced to the United States nearer the end of the 19th century.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Chihuahua?

Before the modern era of crossbreeding began in the United States in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Chihuahua was one of the breeds used to breed with the Jack Russell Terrier in the United Kingdom following the Second World War. The JRT was crossed with a number of other breeds to reinvigorate the breed’s popularity.

In the modern era of crossbreeding in the United States, the Chihuahua has become a popular cross for those seeking a toy mixed breed dog. Several popular crosses developed during the 1990s and early 2000s include:

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

One of the most important aspects of preparing to own a dog is to understand what type of dog you’ll be acquiring before you do so. This means conducting thorough research on the temperamental tendencies of your prospective breed.

If you’ve been searching for an active family companion, then make sure you get a dog that’s going to be as active as you are! Or, if you’ve been searching for a more laid-back companion, consider a Pug, or other less-active pet.

Likewise if you’ve been searching for a companion that doesn’t require much maintenance, as you have a busy family and lead busy lives, you’ll want to research the temperament of your prospective breed to ensure that they match that requirement.

Matching your dog’s temperament to your family unit will ensure that your new pup fits in a seamlessly as possible to your family and mitigate the need for excessive training.

What is the Temperament of the Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix?

The Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is a very affectionate and loyal pup, well-suited for big families where they can demonstrate their love for everyone in the family! They’re fairly active as well, but won’t quite have the energy to climb up mountains – but still require a moderate amount of exercise.

Despite their affectionate nature, they may exhibit an independent streak that can prove challenging to crack, combined with the potential for stubborn behavior, training can sometimes be a challenge with the Shiba Inu Chihuahua mix.

Is The Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Friendly?

In general, the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix will be quite friendly! They are quite friendly around people but may exhibit a suspicion of (or even aggression towards) other pets, particularly smaller pets – as the Shiba has a high prey drive due to their hunting lineage.

Is The Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Easy to Train?

The Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix has a stubborn streak and is quite an independent pup. This can make it difficult (initially) to train the Shiba Chi. Consider using positive reinforcement and/or reward-based training methods when training your Shiba Chi.

How Much Can A Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is between 8 and 12 pounds.

How Tall Can A Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Get?

The average height of a Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is between 9 and 12 inches tall.

Similar-Sized Breeds

There are a few similar-sized breeds to the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix. These include:

Does the Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Shed?

Luckily for those with dander allergies, the Chihuahua Shiba Inu is not a high-shedding dog. While not hypoallergenic, you should expect your Shiba Chi to shed year-round, but with a low yield.

How Much Exercise Does A Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Require?

In general, the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is a moderately active dog that will require between 30 and 45 minutes of daily exercise. This can include off-leash activities at the local dog park, as well as activities that encourage mental stimulation.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Live?

The average lifespan of a Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix is between 12 and 15 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Have?

How Can You Find a Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Puppy For Sale?

Before you start searching for a Chihuahua Shiba Inu puppy for sale, consider looking for one to adopt instead. There are many Shiba Chis put up for adoption each year, most can be found in vet clinics or animal shelters across the country.

Consider searching there for a Shiba Chi to adopt. If you’re unsuccessful, try searching online at

How Much Does a Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of a Shiba Inu Chihuahua mix puppy is between $500 and $1000! This is generally more than double the cost of adopting a Shiba Chihuahua mix – yet another reason to consider adoption.

However, if you’re considering purchasing a Shiba Inu Chihuahua mix, consider doing so through a reputable breeder. To learn more about reputable breeders – including how to tell them apart from puppy mills, read our article!

Is the Chihuahua Shiba Inu Mix the Right Breed For You?

If you’ve been looking for an active, affectionate and loyal mixed-breed dog, then the Chihuahua Shiba Inu mix might be the perfect mixed-breed dog for your growing family unit.

However, if you’re convinced that the Chihuahua Shiba Inu isn’t the right breed for your family, consider reading our other breed guides, to find one that’s more suitable for you and your family.

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

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