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Shiba Inu Colors: Shiba Inu Dog Colors & The Different Variations of a Shiba Inu – How Many Variations Are There?

The Shiba Inu dog colors is the smallest of the Japanese breed and many people are not sure how to properly show their colors. This blog post will help you get started with your little pup!

Brief History of The Shiba Inu Dog Colors

The Shiba Inu is a native dog breed of Japan. They are thought to have been bred from the ancient Akita Inu and the Hokkaido. They were originally used as hunting dogs, and later became popular as pets in Japan.

The first Shiba Inus arrived in the United States in the 1990s, and they were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

Shiba Inu Coat: What are some of the most popular Shiba Inu dog colors

The Shiba Inu is the smallest of all the Japanese breeds. It has a thick double coat, which can be either red or cream in color with black markings on its face and paws. These dogs are very loyal to their owners, but they can also be reserved around strangers. They are an energetic breed that needs plenty of exercise every day to keep them happy!

Shiba dogs are bred for their compact size, intelligent nature and reserved personality. There are six different colors of Shiba: red, black and tan (which is what most people think of when they hear “Shiba”), cream, sesame, silver and brindle.

Red Shibas

They are the most common of all the Shiba Inu dog colors. Red Shibas have a brownish tinge. It is believed to be the original color of the Shiba Inu breed. The red Shiba Inu has a deep, rich red coat with black markings on its face, chest and paws.

Black and Tan Shibas

The black and tan Shiba Inu is a variation of the red Shiba. It has a black coat with tan markings around its face and legs.

Black Shibas can be either solid or with white markings; while the tan coloration has no additional shading

Cream Shibas

The cream Shiba Inu is a variation of the red Shiba. It has a light cream coat with black markings around its face and legs. Cream Shibas usually have some pigment on their ears that gives them an appearance like they’re wearing small ear muffs

Sesame Shibas

The sesame Shiba Inu is a variation of the red Shiba. It has a black coat with tan and light brown markings around its face and legs. Sesame Shibas often exhibit a darkening of the coat around the eyes – this effect makes them look as though they’re wearing glasses

Silver Shibas

The silver Shiba Inu is a variation of the red Shiba. It has a gray coat with a black face and legs.

Brindle Shibas

The brindle Shiba Inu is a variation of the red Shiba. It has a black and tan coat with stripes running through it.

Health Concerns of The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a healthy breed, but they can be prone to some health problems, such as hip dysplasia, cataracts and patella luxation.

The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized dog breed. They are compact, sturdily-built dogs that have a strong resemblance to wolves.

They are tough and confident dogs that are fearless in nature. They are also known to be very loyal and affectionate companions.

Shiba Inu Color Changing

All Shiba Inus have a range of base colors, which are red, black and tan, and sesame. However, their coats may change color as they grow older.

The most common Shiba Inu colors are red and black and tan, but sesame is also very popular. Sesame Shiba Inus have a coat that is predominantly black, but they have a reddish-brown undercoat and tipped hairs on their muzzle, legs and tail.

Other Shiba Inu Color Variations

The sesame color is not the only coat variation of the Shiba Inu. They may also be red and white, or black and tan.

Red and white Shiba Inus have coats that are predominantly red, but they have white markings on their chest, neck, legs and tail.

Black and tan Shiba Inus have coats that are predominantly black, but they have tan markings on their muzzle, legs and tail.

Why does the Shiba Inu have so many colors?

The Shiba Inu’s coat has a variety of colors for a reason. These coat colors evolved as the dog adapted to its environment, and now those coats help them survive in their native Japan. The “red” color that we see is actually a black-coated dog with a recessive gene that lightens the dog’s coloring.

shiba colors

Here are the colors of the Shiba Inu, and how they came to be:

Red (Aka) – The Shiba’s most common color, red comes from a recessive gene that dilutes black pigment in the coat. This is why Red dogs have “black” noses; it’s actually an extension of their coat color. Red dogs may also be born with or develop white markings on their foreheads, paws, chests and/or legs due to another dominant gene in Shibas called piebaldism . Some red dogs can also have tan points like tanuki in certain lightings due to these genes as well.

White (Shiro) – White is caused by two recessive genes for white coat color. White dogs are typically deaf due to the piebaldism gene, and can also have blue eyes or partially blue eyes.

Black (Kuro) – Black is a dominant gene in the Shiba Inu, thus creating black dogs that can have red, white or tan markings on their faces, chests and legs depending on the presence of the piebaldism gene. However, Black dogs cannot have two recessive white genes because it will cause them to be born blind due to deformities in the eye. They may also have speckled noses and/or pink paw pads in adulthood if they carry a genetic mutation called “snow nose.” When Shibas express both “black” and “white,” all of the colors work together to create such beautiful dogs.

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Tan (Chu) – Tan is another recessive gene that dilutes black pigment in the coat, and it is most commonly found on the nose of Shibas with both red and white coats. Some Shibas can also have tan points like tanuki in certain lightings due to these genes as well.

Sesame (Seme) – Sesame is a diluted version of black coat color and typically found on red Shiba Inus with some characteristics of piebaldism, such as partial or full pink paw pads, noses and/or eye rims. These Shibas may appear almost brindle in certain lighting, but sesame will always be lighter than its parent black.

Tanuki is a type of “sorrel red” color that appears with the addition of the tan gene. Tanuki come in many shades, sometimes appearing almost white or yellowish. Their eyes are usually brown or amber, but they may occasionally have blue eye as well. With this added pigment to their coats, they can also develop white markings on their foreheads, legs and/or chests. There is some evidence that tan points are tied to deafness in Shibas.

Shiro kuro – This unique color is produced by both recessive white genes AND recessive black genes! Shiro kuro Shibas are born pure white, but gain most colors with age including reds, blacks and sesame tones. They may also develop black and/or tan markings as they age. They can even end up with a red nose at times. The only color that they will never express is blue.

Shirotan – Shirotan, or “white tan” is the result of two recessive genes; one for white coat color (which is lethal in Shibas) and another for tan point color (heavily diluted pigmentation). Shirotan dogs are born all white like undercoats on any other purebred dog, but gain most colors with age including reds, blacks and sesame tones. They may also develop black and/or tan markings as they age. This pattern would be similar to a “merle”, if it were not for the fact that a merle is a dominant coat pattern. The only color that they will never express is blue.

Only puppies who inherit two recessive alleles for white coat color will be born white. If the offspring inherits at least one dominant allele, they will not be born white and can never produce another Shiba Inu with a pure white or all-white coat. Additionally, Shibas cannot have both dominant piebaldism and recessive white genes because it would cause them to be born blind due to deformities in the eye. They may also have speckled noses and/or pink paw pads in adulthood if they carry a genetic mutation called “snow nose.” Sometimes white markings can appear on red dogs because of the genes that suppress black pigment, causing it to appear as if the color has faded (called “ghost markings”).

shiba colors

Black (Kuro) – Black is a dominant gene in the Shiba Inu, thus creating black dogs that can have red, white or tan markings on their faces, chests and legs depending on the presence of the piebaldism gene. However, Black dogs cannot have two recessive white genes because it will cause them to be born blind due to deformities in the eye. They may also have speckled noses and/or pink paw pads in adulthood if they carry a genetic mutation called “snow nose.” When Shibas express both “black” and “white,” all of the colors work together to create a particular pattern. If two Shihtzus bred together, for example, they could produce a Red and Tan Shiba Inu pup with black markings on its face.

Sesame (Kuro-Utsuri) – Similar to black coat color, sesame is a diluted version of black that typically appears with the addition of the tan gene. On a red dog it can appear as a brindle coloration, but unlike “red”, it will never be lighter than its parent black or tan points. Sesame is dominant over any other colors present in the coat, unless another allele specifically prevents this from taking place.

Red (Aka) – Red is an incompletely dominant gene found in Shibas and can appear with or without tan (or sesame) in the coat. This color is sometimes referred to as “Aka,” and it’s found in many breeds including Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Boxers and Chow Chows. Red Shiba Inus may also have black markings on their face depending on the presence of piebaldism. If two Shihtzus bred together, for example, they could produce a Red and Tan Shiba Inu pup with black markings on its face.

Red Sesame – Just like regular reds, all red-coated Shibas carry this gene and can be combined with tan points and/or sesame coloration in adulthood if one parent carries a recessive allele for white colored fur. It is important to note that red sesame is not related in any way to the coat pattern “sable”. Sable is a recessive trait carried by dogs with dominant masks (or white markings on their foreheads) and can be found in many breeds including Great Danes, Siberian Huskies and Schnauzers. Red Shibas without tan points or sesame colored coats are unlikely to carry the sable gene because it will usually be masked, however, if they carry piebaldism it may express itself in their nose leather and paw pads.

Red-and-White – Just like regular reds, all red-coated Shibas carry this gene and can be combined with tan points and/or sesame coloration in adulthood if one parent carries a recessive allele for white colored fur. This pattern is often mistaken as Red and White Setters or Irish Setters, but it’s important to keep in mind that the red-and-white Shiba has no relation with these breeds whatsoever.

Tan (Ki) – Much like black coloration, tan points are dominant over any other colors present in the coat. However, sesame will override this gene within the same individual because it is so dark. Tan typically appears on the face, chest and/or stomach of Shibas, but can potentially appear on all four legs too depending on how much sesame is expressed there. If two Shihtzus bred together, their puppies could produce a Red and Tan Shiba Inu pup with black markings on its face.

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Sesame – Sesame is a diluted version of black that typically appears with the addition of the tan gene. On a red dog it can appear as a brindle coloration, but unlike “red”, it will never be lighter than its parent black or tan points. While sesame may appear light cream to white in Shibas bred with American Akitas, it should not be confused with an off-white cream. Cream is not related to sesame at all, nor are they the same thing as white dogs who carry piebaldism (marked by dark brown patches).

Red-and-White – Just like regular reds, all red-coated Shibas carry this gene and can be combined with tan points and/or sesame coloration in adulthood if one parent carries a recessive allele for white colored fur. This pattern is often mistaken as Red and White Setters or Irish Setters, but it’s important to keep in mind that the red-and-white Shiba has no relation with these breeds whatsoever.

White (Hi) – Piebaldism (pie) is an autosomal dominant trait (one gene, two alleles) which causes solid black, red or cream dogs to have small dark patches of pigmented skin on their face, ears, chest and feet. It commonly appears with silver Brindle markings on its coat but is also found within solid-colored dogs as well. Just like sesame, piebaldism is not related to the cream gene (or cream coat-color), and similarly there is no such thing as a “white” Shiba Inu with no black spots or silver brindling anywhere on its body since all Shibas carry the Pie allele. White framed Akitas may be confused for white Shiba Inu due to their similar appearance, but it’s important to keep in mind that the ‘Hi’ marking will never appear on a

shiba colors

Sesame – Sesame is a diluted version of black that typically appears with the addition of the tan gene. On a red dog it can appear as a brindle coloration, but unlike “red”, it will never be lighter than its parent black or tan points. While sesame may appear light cream to white in Shibas bred with American Akitas, it should not be confused with an off-white cream. Cream is not related to sesame at all, nor are they the same thing as white dogs who carry piebaldism (marked by dark brown patches).

Red and White – Just like regular reds, all red-coated Shibas carry this gene and can be combined with tan points and/or sesame coloration in adulthood if one parent carries a recessive allele for white colored fur. This pattern is often mistaken as Red and White Setters or Irish Setters, but it’s important to keep in mind that the red-and-white Shiba has no relation with these breeds whatsoever.

Piebaldism – Piebaldism (pie) is an autosomal dominant trait (one gene, two alleles) which causes solid black, red or cream dogs to have small dark patches of pigmented skin on their face, ears, chest and feet. It commonly appears with silver Brindle markings on its coat but is also found within solid-colored dogs as well. Just like sesame, piebaldism is not related to the cream gene (or cream coat-color), and similarly there is no such thing as a “white” Shiba Inu with no black spots or silver brindling anywhere on its body since all Shibas carry the Pie allele. White framed Akitas may be confused for white Shiba Inu due to their similar appearance, but it’s important to keep in mind that the ‘Hi’ marking will never appear on an Akita without sesame fur coloration – unlike piebaldism which can appear anywhere on a dog’s body.

Black and Tan – A combination of dark shaded red/tan and self-colored (or non-shaded) black is often referred to as Black and Tan by many breeders and pet owners alike. As there is no such thing as a ‘Red and’ gene, most Shibas carry both the red and black allele. The pigment on a Black and Tan dog can range from solid-colored to brindle, but the muzzle is always black. This pattern is also found in some breeds of terriers, but keep in mind that not all Shibas carry this combination.

Shaded Silver – Shaded Silver (Slv) is an extension of sesame where there is no longer any discernible “shade or hue” in the fur coloration. At first glance, these dogs appear jet black with silver highlights, and it can be easy to mistake them for a Black and Tan colored dog without close inspection due to their similar appearance. However, unlike Black and Tans which have fully pigmented coats, shaded silvers only appear with the addition of piebaldism (pie). Dogs displaying shaded silvers will never carry sesame since they are not related to each other in any way.

Shiba Inu come in all colors and patterns, but there are certain restrictions that breeders abide by when breeding their dogs for show purposes. However, some color options (such as black or tan points) can be difficult to determine at birth if born outside of the standard red coloration; this is why it’s important to obtain DNA test results on your puppy rather than relying solely on physical appearance.

In order from most to least preferred:

1 – Black Sesame/Black Brindle <br>

2 – Red Sesame <br>

3 – Red Brindle <br>

4 – Tan Points <br>

5 – Black and Tan Point (All black with tan points or all red with black points)<br>

6 – Black and White Point (All black with white point or all red with white points)<br>

7 – Tricolor (black with tan/red markings, like a Doberman Pinscher) <br>

8 – Any other color or pattern.

shiba colors

Shibas can be divided into four main groups; Mino-gumi, Jyu-gumi, Hoku-gumi and Tobi-gumi. All of these colours are present throughout the breed, but some breeds (like Jyu-gumi) are more predominant among certain bloodlines. These groups are based on the traditional regional color style of the breed; black with tan or brindle points in Mino (western Japan), red/white in Jyu (central Japan) and all red in Hoku (eastern Japan). The last group is Tobu, which lacks any sort of coat patterning and is often referred to as the ‘Kuro’ variety after its country of origin.

Mino – Black with Tan or Brindle Points<br>

Jyu – Red with White Markings<br>

Hoku – All Red<br>

Tobu – All Black

Shiba Inu Temperament

The Shiba Inu is a confident and independent dog that is also very loyal and affectionate. They are known to be very tough and fearless, but they are also very alert and intelligent.

They enjoy being around their families and prefer to spend most of their time indoors. However, they enjoy exercise and will happily go on long walks and runs.

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Early socialization with people and other dogs is very important for this breed. They need to socialized from an early age to help them develop into confident and well-rounded dogs.

The Shiba Inu’s Classic Tail

The Shiba Inu has a very distinctive tail. It is sometimes referred to as the brush tail, and it is thick at the base and narrows towards the end. It almost looks like a large paintbrush.

It is not naturally upright, but they can manually hold it up in an upright position.

Do Shiba Inu Colors Have a Hidden Meaning?

There is no hidden meaning behind the Shiba Inu’s different colors, but each color has its own unique set of markings.

For example, the red Shiba Inu has a coat that is predominantly red, but they may also have black markings on their muzzle, legs and tail.

The black and tan Shiba Inu has a coat that is predominantly black, but they may also have reddish-brown markings on their muzzle, legs and tail.

The sesame Shiba Inu has a coat that is predominantly black, but they may also have reddish-brown markings on their muzzle, legs and tail.

These markings may change as a Shiba Inu ages. They may have black spots on their chest, neck and legs when they are young, but as they get older these darker-colored spots may fade to grey.

What to Remember When Choosing a Shiba Inu Puppy

When choosing a Shiba Inu puppy, it’s important to consider their color.

For example, if you’re planning on entering your Shiba Inu into a dog show, they should have noticeable urajiro markings.

Some Shiba Inus may be disqualified from shows because of their color, and many breeders will not sell black and tan Shiba Inu dogs to beginners.

You should also consider your lifestyle before choosing a Shiba Inu puppy. This breed is not suitable for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, as they need plenty of exercise.

The Shiba Inu is also not an ideal pet for people who live in small homes or apartments. They should ideally have access to a yard where they can run and play.

If you are looking for a family pet that is full of energy, then the Shiba Inu may be an ideal choice for you. They are loyal, affectionate and make great companions.

How much does a Shiba Inu Puppy Cost?

The price of a Shiba Inu puppy can vary depending on a number of factors, including their color and the sex.

A black and tan Shiba Inu puppy will usually be the most expensive, while a red Shiba Inu puppy will be the least expensive.

Male puppies are also usually more expensive than female puppies.

When you purchase a Shiba Inu, they often come with some accessories that help them adjust to their new home. This may include a crate, food and water bowls, a collar and leash, and some toys.

It’s important to remember that there are always additional costs that come with owning a dog, especially when it comes to their food and medical expenses.

Rarest Shiba Inu color

Although all Shiba Inus carry the recessive genes for the black and tan color, it is very rare to see a dog with this coloring. Black and tan Shiba Inus are not eligible to show in most conformation events, so they are often not bred by breeders who are trying to produce puppies that will be shown.

They are sometimes called “ashis” in the United States, and they are prized by many Shiba Inu enthusiasts because of their rarity.

If you are interested in owning a black and tan Shiba Inu, be prepared to pay more than you would for a normal Shiba Inu puppy.

People who own black and tan Shiba Inus often report that they are healthier than their red and tan relatives.

What is Urakiro?

Urakiro is a rare color variation of the Shiba Inu that is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is a combination of a red and white coat which has reddish-brown markings that are traditionally found on sesame Shiba Inus.

Urakiro Shiba Inus are considered to be very rare, and they are highly prized by Shiba Inu enthusiasts.

If you are thinking of entering your Shiba Inu into a dog show, they should noticeably display urajiro. Urajiro is white fur in specific areas: around the eyes and mouth, on the sides of the neck, and on the underside of their tail.

If your dog has a  lot of urajiro markings, they may be disqualified from a show. However, if your dog has just a few markings, they may still be permitted to enter.

It’s important to note that the urajiro is not a color and doesn’t appear on all red and white or black and tan Shiba Inus. It is simply a marking that is indicative of the shiba inu’s japanese heritage.

FAQs about Shiba Inu dog colors

1. What is the rarest color of Shiba Inu?

The black and tan Shiba Inu is the rarest color of this breed. Some people refer to them as “ashis”, but others may also call them “black and tans”.

2. How many colors of Shiba Inu are there?

There are six colors of Shiba Inu: red, black and tan, sesame, cream, silver, brindle

3. What is the difference between a black and tan Shiba Inu and a red Shiba Inu?

The black and tan Shiba Inu has a coat that is predominantly black, but they may also have reddish-brown markings on their muzzle, legs and tail. The red Shiba Inu has a coat that is predominantly reddish-brown, but they may also have black markings on their muzzle, legs and tail.

4. Do Shiba Inu come white?

Shiba Inu do not come white, but they may have a cream-colored coat. This is the lightest color of Shiba Inu and is not as common as the other colors.

5. Can a Shiba Inu be black?

Yes, a Shiba Inu can be black, but it is not as common as the other colors. They will have a black coat with red or brown markings around their muzzle, legs and tail.

The Shiba Inu is a beautiful dog breed that has been around for centuries. They’re small yet strong, and they have an independent streak in them. If you’re interested in adding one to your family or want to know more about this lovely pet, we hope our blog post was helpful!

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