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Black & Tan Shiba Inu: Pictures, Facts & History

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt

Young Black And Tan Shiba Inu Dog Outdoor

Black and Tan Shiba Inus are a striking and unique variety of the popular breed. Their distinct coat coloration and loving natures have recently become popular among dog lovers.

Height: 13-17 inches
Weight: 17-25 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Red, white, brown, black
Suitable for: Active families with a yard that’s hard to escape from, experienced dog owners
Temperament: Spirited, Independent, Vocal, Bold, Stubborn, Confident, Headstrong

These dogs are considered rare compared to the more common red and sesame varieties of Shiba Inus. While it may be more difficult to find a black and tan Shiba Inu from a breeder, they’re not entirely unattainable.

Before you welcome this pet into your family, here’s what you’ll need to know about the black and tan Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inu Characteristics


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The Earliest Records of Black & Tan Shiba Inus in History

The Shiba Inu breed originated in Japan, descending from the Jomon dog 2,000 years ago. The earliest records of the black and tan variety of the Shiba Inu date back to the early 20th century. At that time, the breed was used primarily for hunting small game, like birds and rabbits.

In the 1920s, Mr. Sanzo Yamamoto began selectively breeding Shiba Inus with black and tan coats. This differed from the breed’s more common red and sesame coat colors. Mr. Yamamoto’s efforts were successful.

In the next few years, he established a line of black and tan Shiba Inus with distinct physical and temperamental traits. The black and tan coat coloration is caused by a recessive gene tracing back to ancestors with darker coat color.

black and tan Shiba Inu puppy
Image Credit: e-Kis, Shutterstock

How Black & Tan Shiba Inus Gained Popularity

The black and tan Shiba Inu gained popularity in Japan in the early 20th century. That’s mainly due to the efforts of breeders like Mr. Sanzo Yamamoto. They recognized the potential of the black and tan coat and established this variation.

First, the Shiba Inu breed was used for hunting small game like birds and rabbits. However, Japan became more industrialized and urbanized in the 20th century. As a result, the role of Shiba Inu in human society began to change.

During World War II, many Shiba Inus went extinct due to food shortages and declining interest in the breed. That includes the black and tan variation. After the war, the breed regained popularity when breeders worked to revive it.

Today, the Shiba Inu, including the black and tan variety, is a companion animal. The breed has gained popularity worldwide, thanks partly to its appearance in popular cultures. That includes the Doge meme and the character of Doge in the virtual currency world.

Black and tan Shiba Inus remain somewhat rare compared to other breed varieties. Still, their unique appearance and independent nature have made them a sought-after pet for dog lovers worldwide.

Formal Recognition of Black & Tan Shiba Inus

The formal recognition of the black and tan Shiba Inu as a distinct breed began in the mid-20th century. In 1948, the Nihon Ken Hozonkai was founded to promote and protect native Japanese dog breeds. That included the Shiba Inu.

At first, the organization only recognized the red and sesame varieties of the Shiba Inu. In 1954, the black and tan Shiba Inu was recognized by the Nihon Ken Hozonkai as a distinct variety of breeds.

The Japanese Kennel Club also recognized the black and tan Shiba Inu in 1964. This further cemented its place as a recognized breed variety.

Outside Japan, kennel clubs and breed associations recognize the black and tan Shiba Inu. In the US, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the breed as a member of the Non-Sporting Group.

Today, the black and tan Shiba Inu remains somewhat rare compared to other breed varieties. But its recognition by various kennel clubs and associations has helped raise awareness of this unique and beautiful dog.

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Top 5 Unique Facts About Black & Tan Shiba Inus

Here are five unique facts you may not know about the black and tan Shiba Inu:

1. Black and Tan Shiba Inus Are Rare

While it’s difficult to determine how rare black and tan Shiba Inus are, some factors may confirm their rarity. For example, the Shiba Inu breed is native to Japan and was first recognized by the AKC in 1992. In the early days of its recognition, red and sesame coat colors were more prevalent among breeders.

Additionally, selectively breeding black and tan Shiba Inus can be challenging. It requires careful selection of breeding pairs to ensure that the desired coat color and other traits are passed down to offspring. This may be one reason Black and Tan Shiba Inus are less common than other color varieties.

2. Black and Tan Shiba Inus Are an Ancient Breed

Shiba Inus are an ancient breed with a long history dating back to ancient Japan. They were initially bred for hunting small game in mountainous areas of Japan, such as birds and rabbits. They were also known for their agility, speed, and bravery.

The name “Shiba” in Japanese translates to “brushwood.” It refers to the breed’s ability to quickly move through brushwood and undergrowth during hunts.

Shiba Inus were highly valued in Japan for their hunting abilities. Over time, they became a symbol of Japanese culture and identity. They were even considered a national treasure of Japan in 1936. As a result, efforts were made to preserve the breed’s purity and promote its popularity both within and outside Japan.

Black and tan Japanese Shiba Inu dog breed
Image Credit: katamount, Shutterstock

3. Black and Tan Shiba Inus Have a Cat-like Personality

Black and tan Shiba Inus, like other varieties of the breed, are indeed known for their cat-like personalities. They are independent, intelligent, and very clean, much like cats.

Shiba Inus also have a reputation for being somewhat aloof and independent. They prefer to do activities on their terms rather than constantly seeking attention or affection from their owners.

One of the reasons why Shiba Inus are often compared to cats is their strong instinct for grooming themselves. They are very clean dogs that spend a lot of time grooming their fur and paws, much like cats. They are also very agile and have excellent balance, allowing them to move with feline grace.

4. Black and Tan Shiba Inus Can Be Very Vocal

Shiba Inus, including the black and tan variety, are known for their unique vocalizations. They have a distinctive scream-like bark often described as a cross between a yodel and a scream. This unique sound is known as the “Shiba scream,” one of the breed’s most notable characteristics.

The Shiba scream is not always an indication of distress or pain, as many people initially assume. Instead, Shiba Inus simply use it to communicate with their owners. They may emit the scream when they are excited, anxious, or want attention.

Black and Tan Shiba Inu
Image Credit: Scott Tang, Pexels

5. Black and Tan Shiba Inus Are Great With Kids

Black and tan Shiba Inus can make great companions for children if socialized and trained correctly. While these dogs may have an independent streak, they’re also known for their loyal and protective instincts. This can make them great guardians for kids.

One crucial factor to remember is that Shiba Inu requires early socialization to be comfortable around children. That means exposing them to kids of all ages and teaching them appropriate behavior around young people. Additionally, children should be taught to treat the dog with respect and kindness.

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Does a Black & Tan Shiba Inu Make a Good Pet?

A black and tan Shiba Inu can make a great pet for the right person or family. However, it’s essential to understand the breed’s characteristics and needs before deciding to bring one into your home.

Shiba Inus are known for their cat-like, independent, and even stubborn nature. They are intelligent and curious dogs but can also be strong-willed and challenging to train. As such, they are not always the best choice for first-time dog owners or families with young children.

Socializing and training a black and tan Shiba Inu from a young age is important. This ensures that they develop into well-behaved and well-adjusted adult dogs.

This breed also requires an hour of daily exercise and mental stimulation. So, it needs a family willing to provide it with daily walks, playtime, and training sessions.

One potential downside of owning a black and tan Shiba Inu is their heavy shedding. Their thick, double coat sheds twice a year, requiring regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and clean.

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The black and tan Shiba Inu is a special and fascinating breed with a rich history and unique personality. Despite being a rare variety of the Shiba Inu breed, they are becoming more recognized by dog lovers worldwide.

While they can be challenging to train and care for, they can make a superb companion with the right owner. Overall, researching and understanding the breed’s characteristics and needs is crucial before bringing one into your home.

Featured Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock

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