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Imo-Inu (American Eskimo & Shiba Inu Mix)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

shiba inu eskimo

Height: 17 – 20 inches
Weight: 20 – 35 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: White, Tan, Brown, Golden, Black, Red
Suitable for: Very active families who don’t mind shedding
Temperament: Energetic, Devoted, Happy, Independent, Intelligent

The Shiba Inu mixed with the American Eskimo Dog has created the gorgeous Imo-Inu. The Shiba Inu is a medium-sized energetic and good-natured dog, and the American Eskimo Dog (also called American Spitz) comes in three different sizes (toy, miniature, and standard) and is playful and friendly. The Imo-Inu is a combination of these two devoted dogs and is social, friendly, and very smart.

Imo-Inus are medium in size with erect triangular ears, a tapered muzzle, and a high tail that could be slightly curled. They have very thick double coats that are medium in length and straight and come in golden, black, red, and brown with occasional white and light tan markings.

Divider 1Imo-Inu Puppies – Before You Buy…


The Imo-Inu is a very energetic and healthy dog with a long lifespan for her size. They are easily trained due to their intelligence and loyalty and are friendly, sociable dogs.

What’s the Price of Imo-Inu Puppies?

At the time of this writing, Imo-Inu puppies are rare, and therefore there were no puppies available. However, buying a mixed breed puppy through a breeder could range in price from $300 to $2500. You could also consider finding a puppy through a rescue group, which might cost $300 to $600.

You need to avoid puppy mills, so here are some tips for determining if you’re dealing with a reputable and responsible breeder:

  1. Meet the breeder: Meet with the breeder in person at their location, as this will allow you to see how they treat their dogs. Are the dogs happy and in good health, and are the kennels clean? Does there seem to be a good relationship between the breeder and their dogs? If you are unable to meet the breeder in person, talking to them over video chat is a good option.
  2. Medical history:A responsible breeder will have access to their dog’s medical history and will share the information with you upon request.
  3. Meet the puppy’s parents: Meeting the puppy’s parents will allow you to see if they are well taken care of and can also give you a sense of how your puppy will turn out as an adult.
  4. Ask questions: Have some questions prepared to ask the breeder. A good breeder won’t mind answering all of your questions and will be happy to form a relationship with you. Don’t forget, when buying a puppy, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

There are additional costs when you take a puppy home that should be considered.

Some of the daily upkeep for a puppy will include:
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Water and food bowls
  • Puppy training pads
  • Collar, leash, and harness
  • Play and chew toys
  • Bedding and crate

Other expenses to be aware of include:
  • Veterinarian appointments
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Grooming
  • Training classes
  • Microchipping

If you adopt a dog from a rescue group, you will give the dog a second chance to live a happier life. Many rescue groups will also waive the adoption fee if you adopt a special needs or senior dog.

Divider 83 Little-Known Facts About the Imo-Inu

1. The Imo-Inu love cold weather.

They have thick coats of fur that suit cold weather. Be sure to have cold water readily available for the Imo-Inu in the hotter months.

2. The Imo-Inu does equally well in an apartment or a house.

They are small enough that they will do just fine in an apartment provided they are given lots of time outdoors for exercise.

3. Imo-Inus are shedders!

Both of their parents are known shedders, so the Imo-Inu tend to shed an average to heavy amount. Particularly in the spring and fall.

Divider 3

Temperament & Intelligence of the Imo-Inu

The Imo-Inu is a very intelligent dog that is loyal, friendly and has a streak of independence. They love playtime and do well in agility and obedience trials.

The Imo-Inu do best with families that spend lots of time with them as they are prone to separation anxiety. They love cuddling and enjoy spending time with their families, but they might be a bit shy around strangers.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Imo-Inu makes a fantastic family pet as they get along very well with children and love to play and spend lots of time with the entire family. As with any breed, children need to be taught to respect dogs and that they shouldn't be pulling tails or ears or playing roughly.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Imo-Inu gets along very well with other pets, particularly if she has been socialized while a puppy. They are very social dogs and will also play nicely with strange dogs at the dog park, but they have a high prey drive and might run after smaller animals. Only take off your Imo’s leash when she is in a safely enclosed space, so she doesn’t run away while chasing a squirrel.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning an Imo-Inu:

Food & Diet Requirements

Your Imo-Inu is a medium-sized and energetic dog, and how much and how often you feed your dog will depend on age, activity level, and size. Look for high-quality dry dog food (like this one) and follow the feeding guidelines on the bag in order to determine the amount of food your dog needs every day. Always consult your dog’s vet if you have concerns about your dog’s weight and health.


The Imo-Inu is a very energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise to keep her healthy and happy. They need an average of about one hour of exercise every day, but you must be careful to not allow them to overexert themselves in hot weather. If you live in an apartment, be sure to take your dog to enclosed off-leash parks or any grassy area.


Training your Imo-Inu can be relatively easy as she is highly intelligent and devoted and will pick up the training easily. However, Imo-Inus tend to be a little stubborn at times, so being persistent and positive will go a long way. They tend to be precise dogs and will pick up tricks as well and enjoy performing for an audience. Always use positive reinforcement when training your Imo.

Grooming ✂️

The Imo-Inu sheds a fair amount but brushing her 2 or 3 times a week should be sufficient. When her coat starts profusely shedding in the spring and fall, you will need to brush her every day, and they only need a bath about every 2 or 3 months with a good dog shampoo.

The Imo-Inu’s ears need to be cleaned about once a month, trim their nails every 3 to 4 weeks, and brush their teeth about 2 or 3 times a week.

Health and Conditions

The Shiba Inu is prone to:

The American Eskimo Dog might suffer from:

Divider 5Male vs. Female

Like most dog breeds, females tend to be smaller and lighter than the males. The female Imo-Inu is 14 to 17 inches in height and weighs 20 to 30 pounds. Males are 17 to 20 inches in height and weighs 25 to 35 pounds.

Another significant difference between males and females is in their biology. If you elect to have surgery for your dog, spaying the female dog is a more difficult surgery than neutering the male dog. Spaying is a more expensive surgery and requires a longer recovery time for the female, which is something to keep in mind when shopping for a puppy.

Some believe that there are temperament differences between males and females. It has been said that females tend to be more affectionate and easier to train than males, but that is up for debate. What truly determines a dog’s personality and behavior is how she was trained and socialized as a puppy and how she is treated as an adult.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

The Imo-Inu is a beautiful and devoted dog that is a combination of two very friendly and energetic dogs and is easy to train and loves being active.

Finding an Imo-Inu puppy might be a challenge, so you should start by talking to American Eskimo Dog (American Spitz) and Shiba Inu breeders. Attending dog shows and speaking to national and local dog clubs is another method that might help you find one of these puppies. However, it is likely you might have the most luck with posting your interest in an Imo-Inu on social media.

If you’re looking for a perfect companion for you and your family that will play with your children and also love to cuddle up with you on a cold winter’s night, the Imo-Inu might just be the perfect dog for you.

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit: 1, 2.

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