Shiba Inu Colors: The Different Variations of a Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are great companions. And when we thought they couldn’t get any more adorable, we find out that they come in different colors. In this article, let’s find out about the Shiba Inu colors and how many variations there are in this smart dog breed. 

Shiba Inu’s origin can be dated back to 300 BC in Japan. They have a smiley face and are probably most known for being a popular meme that circulated all over the Internet back in 2013. But despite being a funny but adorable Internet sensation, it actually has a very rich history. 

The Shiba Inu can be seen way back the ancient times. It was originally bred to be a hunting dog. They were trained to hunt large game but later on, shifted to hunting smaller prey. It’s hard to imagine that the Shiba Inu almost went extinct after World War II. But fortunately, they were brought to America in the 1950s and have steadily grown, both in population and popularity. 

According to AKC, the Shiba Inu ranks 3rd in the list of most popular dog breeds of 2020.

Shiba Inu Coat

The Shiba Inu is one of the dog breeds that has a double coat. They have a layer of long and coarse overcoat as protection and another layer of shorter undercoat. Typically, a Shiba Inu’s coat is silky, similar to Siberian Huskies. 

They frequently shed but it can be controlled by regular baths and brushing. There are Shiba Inus that have a long-haired coat. It looks magnificent and rare as well. Sadly, it’s considered a significant flaw in the show ring. 


Urajiro is the Japanese term that refers to the distinct white markings of the Shiba Inu breed. Urajiro can be seen on the sides of the mouth and cheeks and underside of the jaw, neck, chest, and stomach. 

Shiba Inu Colors

Though the Shiba Inu has different colors, there’s no evidence that the variations influence a Shiba Inu’s temperaments. And like many other dog breeds, the colors also do not pose any negative or unwanted medical conditions. 

Commonly, a Shiba Inu’s color is reddish-brown with distinct cream markings. However, they come in different colors too! Here are other Shiba Inu colors: 

  • Black Sesame
  • Sesame
  • Reddish-brown
  • Black and Tan
  • Cream


The reddish-brown Shiba Inu is the most common color of Shiba Inu. It is believed to be the original color of the Shiba Inu and the very same shade that gives them a foxy-like appearance. The reddish-brown coat is preferred for show rings and is the most common and popular color out of all. 

Shiba Inu Colors

Black and Tan

A black and tan Shiba Inu can be distinguished with a tri-colored coat. This variation has a black-colored base, tan points, and the Urajiro areas. 

What’s really unique about this variation is a single strand of hair from a black and tan-colored Shina has all three colors. It starts with a light cream color, to reddish tan, and into a black tip. It’s a vibrant and outstanding gradient color. 

Black Sesame

One of the rarest of all Shiba Inu colors is the black sesame. Though rare, it’s still a recognized color.

Shiba Inu with sesame coats has a red base and a running black fur. In Japan, black sesame Shiba Inus are called “goma”, meaning sesame in Japanese. 

To be recognized, a pure-bred black sesame Shiba Inu shouldn’t have more than 50% black in his coat. 


It’s very unusual to see a cream-colored Shiba Inu. It’s one of the rarest, as well. Although there’s just something about white-colored dogs that looks as beautiful as snow, according to AKC, a cream-colored Shina Inu is a fault. This is mainly because Shiba’s trademark Urajiro cannot be seen. 

The Urajiro should be seen on the cheeks, neck, chest, and belly of the Shiba Inu. With the cream-colored base, it’ll be difficult to distinguish this.

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