Shiba Inu vs Golden Retriever: A Complete Comparison

Shiba Inu vs Golden Retriever

Sometimes a dog is the one thing that can warm up your heart. Having a dog as a pet will not only make your life happier, but it will keep your heart full. But out of all the different dog breeds in the world, which breed is best suited for you? That is something you get to decide. If you’re stuck between getting a Shiba Inu or a Golden Retriever, this is the guide for you. 


What are the main differences and similarities between a Shiba Inu and a Golden Retriever?

If there were any two polar opposite dogs in the world, the Shiba Inu and the Golden Retriever might be them. At first glance, they both look like complete opposites. But upon further examination, one might realize that there are also many similarities between the two breeds. Let’s take a look at all of them.


Shiba Inu is a medium-sized dog, whose origins can be traced back to Japan. The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland. Both breeds are intelligent and confident. They both are smart, faithful, and trustworthy. 

The Golden Retriever is a very friendly dog. Shiba Inu is a shy dog that doesn’t like interacting much, unlike the Golden Retriever, who loves socializing. One might say that the Shiba Inu is as introverted as the Golden Retriever is extroverted.

See also: Shiba Inu vs Cocker Spaniel

The Shiba Inu can come in many colors like tan, cream, and brown. And the Golden Retriever, as implied by its name, is either golden or yellow. Shiba Inus have dense fur coats and that is why they shed a lot. The Golden Retriever has a silky, straight fur coat, which helps them avoid shedding.

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The Shiba Inu is a smart dog. It is clever, confident, and can make its own decisions. But the Golden Retriever is one step ahead of Shiba Inu. It is one of the most intelligent dogs in the whole world. At the same time, emotionally, both dogs are the same. They are both emotionally stable and don’t need a lot of taking care of. They have a moderate emotional range.

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Shiba Inus are very affectionate towards their owner. Golden retrievers are very affectionate too, but they are more loyal, helpful, and gentle. Towards its owner, the golden retriever has a loving attitude. The Shiba Inu is a protective dog, not a loving one. Its extinct will always be to protect its handler, and not let any harm come to them.


The Shiba Inu is considered to be a medium-sized dog and the Golden Retriever is a larger dog. A male Shiba Inu weighs about 22 pounds and a female one weighs about 18 pounds. The Golden Retriever, however, weighs about 70 pounds for a male dog, and around 63 pounds for a female one. They both have drastically different weight points.

Shiba Inus are also way shorter than a Golden Retriever. A Shiba Inu can grow up to 14 to 15 inches tall, whereas a Golden Retriever can grow up to 21 to 23 inches tall. This makes differentiating between the two very easy. The Golden Retriever is a tall, bigger dog and the Shiba Inu is smaller in comparison.

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Due to the difference in nature of the two, both these dogs have to be trained in a very different way. It is generally believed that Shiba Inu is harder to train because of its independent, self-reliant nature. It likes to keep things in its own hands and enjoys control. 

That is why the key to training a Shiba Inu is to let it make its own choices. Make the dog choose between two choices that you’re okay with. That’ll show the dog that he has some autonomy. It will also help you gain its trust.

The Golden Retriever is one of the easiest dogs to train. It likes pleasing its caretaker. 

Positive reinforcement is the perfect strategy for training a golden retriever. A Golden Retriever is a very affectionate dog, and it is also caring and intelligent. 

Training can be hard for a dull dog but for a bright dog like a Golden Retriever, it is as easy as pie. Golden Retrievers are very adaptable to new conditions, that is why they can easily adjust to their training.

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A Shiba Inu can live up to 12 to 15 years and a Golden Retriever can live up to 10 to 12 years. Both dogs tend to spend healthy lives but there are some health conditions that can affect their lifespans. 

According to the Dogell website, Shiba Inu might get diseases like allergies, cancer, chylothorax, and epilepsy, and a Golden Retriever can get health issues like allergies, bloat and, cataracts. However, with regular veterinarians check-ups and a healthy diet, many health issues can be avoided and both breeds can have a healthy life.

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Which One is Best for You?

Both these dogs have their pros and cons but ultimately the decision depends on the lifestyle of the owner. Shiba Inus are dogs that thrive in a cold environment, so if you live in a chilly area, this breed might be for you. If you have a busy routine and don’t have time for training, Golden Retrievers might be perfect for you. They’re good listeners which makes them easy to train. Due to their stubborn personalities, a Shiba Inu will be a bad choice for beginners but a perfect choice for people used to animals. 

It also depends on why you need the dog. If you need the dog for rescue missions, get a golden retriever who has sharper senses. Golden Retrievers also make great therapy dogs. For protection purposes, a Shiba Inu will be the best choice as it is a protective dog.

Can a Shiba Inu and a Golden Retriever get along?

Golden Retrievers are fun dogs. They get along with anyone, including other pets and dogs. Their friendly nature and adaptable qualities help them to adjust with other individuals. However, Shiba Inus are quite the opposite. 

Shiba Inus are quiet, shy dogs who are uncomfortable around strangers and hence, other pets too. In the eyes of a Shiba itself, it is smart and resilient. So, it is very difficult for a Shiba to get along with anyone, as it is bossy and dominating. That is why both breeds might never get along well.