Dog owners have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that their pets are as happy and healthy as possible. Part of making sure that a dog remains in ideal condition involves keeping an eye on the animal’s growth and weight as they develop. Because certain health conditions can be characterized by growth rates that are either too fast or too slow, it’s a good idea to monitor the rate at which a dog develops closely.
For those who own small breed dogs like Shiba Inu, it’s just as important to keep an eye on the animal’s development as it is for a larger breed dog. Despite remaining relatively small after reaching adulthood, these spirited and quick-learning dogs follow specific growth patterns. As such, it’s essential for owners to know what to expect when their Shiba Inu grows from a puppy into an adult dog.
Shiba Inu dogs are relatively fast growers, and they undergo their most significant growth spurts between three and seven months of age. During their greatest growth period, these young dogs will usually double in size. After they turn eight months old, their growth rate slows, and they’re usually full-sized by the time they reach 12 months of age. In some cases, though, it could take a Shiba Inu up to 18 months to finish growing.
All dogs are unique, even those within the same breed. Because of this, each Shiba Inu may grow at a slightly different rate than other dogs within the breed. A dog’s genetics, nutrition, and health conditions play a role in just how fast and large a Shiba Inu will grow. It’s worth noting that these dogs are prone to hypothyroidism, which can affect the rate at which a dog grows in some cases. This condition can also result in obesity when it is poorly managed or undiagnosed.
Before Shiba Inus reach adulthood, they go through five unique stages of growth. These include the neonatal stage (birth to 12 days of age), the transitional stage (13 to 20 days of age), the socialization stage (3 to 7 weeks of age), the fear impact stage (8 to 11 weeks of age), and the juvenile stage (14 weeks to 6 months of age).
During the neonatal stage, the puppies can weigh up to 1 lb. During the transitional stage, Shiba Inus typically weigh around 4 lbs, and their eyes and ears start to open. During the socialization stage, the puppies may weigh 10-11 lbs and will start to play with their littermates. During the fear impact stage, the puppies will weigh up to 15 lbs and will also start to differentiate between positive and negative experiences. Finally, during the juvenile period, the puppies will reach up to 25 lbs in weight and will be ready to learn new skills and routines.
It’s worth noting that male puppies in this breed tend to grow larger and more rapidly than female puppies.
As mentioned above, Shiba Inu puppies experience significant growth before they reach 12 months of age. Here are general growth guidelines that male puppies tend to follow.
Newborn: 0.5-1 lb 1 Month: 4-6 lbs 3 Months: 7-10 lbs 4 Months: 9-13 lbs 5 Months: 11-16 lbs 6 Months: 13-18 lbs 7 Months: 15-19 lbs 8 Months: 16-20 lbs 9 Months: 16.5-21 lbs 10 Months: 17-22 lbs 11 Months: 17.5-23 lbs 12 Months: 18-24 lbs
A male Shiba Inu usually reaches his full height by the time he’s 12 months old. However, he may continue to fill out and gain weight until he is 18 months old. Once a Shiba Inu is 18 months old, the dog has usually completed its growth cycle.
If you own a Shiba Inu, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s development, as several health conditions can affect a Shiba Inu’s growth if they occur during youth. Such conditions include:
Each of these conditions can affect or be affected by a Shiba Inu’s growth cycle, so if you notice any changes in your dog’s health and well-being, it’s essential to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.
Female Shiba Inus tend to grow slower and remain somewhat smaller than their male counterparts. Here are the general growth guidelines that female puppies tend to follow.
Newborn: 0.4-0.9 lbs 1 Month: 3-5 lbs 3 Months: 6-8 lbs 4 Months: 8-11 lbs 5 Months: 10-13 lbs 6 Months: 11-15 lbs 7 Months: 13-16 lbs 8 Months: 13.5-17 lbs 9 Months: 14-17.5 lbs 10 Months: 14.5-18 lbs 11 Months: 15-18.5 lbs 12 Months: 16-19 lbs
When Shiba Inus reach adulthood, they’re relatively easy to tell apart by gender. The males are taller and heavier, standing at about 16.5 inches tall and weighing around 23 lbs. A fully grown female Shiba Inu will stand at around 13.5 inches tall and weigh roughly 17 lbs. Males will also have a stronger, broader facial structure than females.
If you own a female Shiba Inu, you’ll need to keep an eye out for her first heat cycle, which can occur around the time she’s six months old and can last between two and four weeks. During this time, your dog may experience lower energy levels than usual, at least while she’s in the early stage of heat. While this likely won’t affect her growth and weight alone, it’s good to watch over her during this period.
During your puppy’s growth cycle, it’s important to ensure that the diet you follow provides them with the nutrients they need. Puppies require more nutrients, proteins, fats, and calories to facilitate their development, so it’s a good idea to provide them with dog food that’s formulated for growing puppies. This way, you can ensure that your young Shiba Inu has the nutrition it needs to develop strong bones, compact muscles, healthy eyesight, and ideal cognitive functioning.
Much like diet, exercise plays an important role in a growing Shiba Inu’s health and well-being. Puppies are full of energy and that energy needs to be channeled in productive ways. Be sure to engage in fun physical activities with your Shiba Inu puppy for roughly one hour per day. Ensuring that your dog gets the right amount of exercise not only helps train their growing minds but also helps them develop healthy muscles and maintain their most ideal weight.
Many puppies go through a lanky or stocky period of development, and usually, their height and weight will even out when they’re done growing. However, if you notice that your dog appears too heavy, too thin, or seems to have trouble putting weight on his or her joints, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian for advice.
Like many purebred dogs, Shiba Inus are prone to developing specific health conditions that can affect their growth. As an owner, it’s a good idea to be aware of which health issues to watch out for while your puppy is growing. These are the most common conditions that may impact Shiba Inu’s growth.
To prevent these conditions from occurring or to detect them while they’re still easily treatable, it’s important to closely monitor your dog’s behavior. Keep an eye on his or her growth and weight, and watch for any signs of soreness or discomfort during playtime.
Many new Shiba Inu owners have a lot of questions when it comes to maintaining their pet’s health and well-being while they grow. Let’s explore a few frequently asked questions.
Q: How big will my Shiba Inu get? A: That depends on whether you have a male or female Shiba Inu. Male dogs will usually be a little larger than females, standing at about 16.5 inches tall and weighing around 23 lbs. Female dogs will weigh around 17 lbs and stand at approximately 13.5 inches tall when fully grown.
Q: Will my Shiba Inu shed? A: Shiba Inus don’t shed continuously like many other dog breeds, despite their thick coats. However, they do shed heavily two times per year, once in the spring season and once in the fall.
Q: How long has Shiba Inus lived? A: Shiba Inus that are nurtured with a healthy lifestyle can be expected to live between 12 and 15 years.
Q: Will my puppy be hard to train? A: Shiba Inus can be strong-willed and stubborn dogs at times. They’re intelligent and may not respond as well to some activities as they do to others. They may not be the easiest dogs to train, but their willingness to learn and curious nature can make them quite trainable when the right efforts are applied.
Q: When will my Shiba Inu puppy stop growing? A: Shiba Inus go through the majority of their growth during their first year of life, during which they experience several significant growth spurts. Usually, they will be done growing in height at around 12 months of age. However, they may continue to gain weight and fill out until they’re about 18 months old. It’s also worth mentioning that Shiba Inus continues to mature mentally between 12 and 18 months of age.
As dog owners, we want to do everything in our power to ensure that our canine companions live happy and healthy lives. Part of adhering to that responsibility requires constant observation and evaluation. To make sure that your Shiba Inu puppy is growing properly, it’s important to keep track of his or her weight and development. A happy and healthy dog typically equates to a long life, so the better the care you provide, the longer you have to make wonderful memories with your beloved pet.
Be sure to have your Shiba Inu attend regular veterinary visits so that they can receive vaccinations and undergo routine check-ups that ensure their health. In addition, if you plan to breed your dog, do your research before you start so that you can follow safe and advisable breeding practices.
Product Tester & Writer