shiba vs corgi
/ / Shiba vs Corgi – Similarities and Differences (Which Doggo is Right for You?)

Shiba vs Corgi – Similarities and Differences (Which Doggo is Right for You?)

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A purehearted and stubborn Japanese dog breed versus an outgoing, proudly Welsh doggo. That’s right, it’s Shiba vs Corgi!

Welcome to the ultimate dog owner’s guide where we compare the two fascinating breeds to see why they have captured the hearts of warriors and rulers. And why they would capture YOURS.

For starters, did you know that both Shiba Inu and Corgi are Northern Spitz-family dogs? Just like Shiba Inu’s cousin Japanese Akita!

The history of the Shiba breed tells a story of a worthy Samurai dog that held its own in battle against bigger animals, as a hunter and against disease.

On the other hand, Corgi needs little introduction as it has been appreciated for its herding abilities for hundreds of years.

This little dog has become quite the poster dog for royalty and decadence because it happens to be the Queen of England’s favorite breed.

Scroll down to learn many facts that even seasoned dog lovers don’t know!

Shiba InuCorgi
 shiba inu quick factscorgi quick facts
Size and WeightShiba Inu is considered a small sized dog weighing from 17 to 23 pounds and stands at 13.5 to 16.5 inches.Size and weight is that of a small dog which ranges from 25-38 pounds and has a height of 10.5-12.5 inches.
AppearanceAlthough small, Shibu is a well-muscled dog once employed as a hunter. Has a proportional head with triangular firmly pricked ears with a slight frontward slant. The deep set eyes have a confident gaze with an upward slant to the outside base of the ear. The gait is smooth strides that give the breed an almost fox like appearance. Has a furry double coat and a tail that curls upward.Gorgeous dog with a long, low-set physique. The breed has a sturdy bone structure with short legs, and endowed with a deep chest. Corgis are deceptively powerful workers with surprising speed and grace. The breed has a proportionate head with widely set eye eyes. The body is long and has double coated fur whose outer coat is slightly harsh in texture but never wiry, curly or silky and is water resistant.
TemperamentThe dog has an easy disposition with an alert expression and demeanor. They make good companions because of their bold and confident nature. They are a spirited breed with streak of independence.Corgis are vigilant guardians and faithful companions with a “big dog” bark and an intelligent foxy expression. When well-socialized, Corgis are especially fond of kids and agreeable with other pets in the home. They are a working breed with loads of energy to burn. Their athletic and rugged nature is surprising to most and demands a good dose of daily outdoor exercise.
Health IssuesProne to chylthorax, glaucoma, allergies, patellar luxation, obesity, cataracts, hypothyroidism, tail chasing also known as spinning.Corgis are prone to separation anxiety and fairly susceptible to illnesses such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Intervertebral disc disease, degenerative myelopathy and urinary stones.
GroomingModerate grooming needsGrooming need are moderate
TrainabilityIt may take a good deal of training and patience to achieve obedience with a Shibu. While they are highly intelligent, they are also quite independent which makes the training process a tad slower.Very trainable because they are eager to please their master. The breed thrives on mental stimulation and physical activity.
Shiba Inu vs Corgi Comparison Table

Related post: In-Depth Guide to Shiba Inu vs Golden Retriever

What to Expect with Corgi vs Shiba

Corgi vs Shiba - What to Expect

While both breeds are exceptional in their own right, they are distinctly different in terms of the care they need and tasks that you can expect them to perform.

There is only one type of Shiba whose breed standard describes the breed to be an agile, trusty and free spirited dog. Shiba as we know it today is a descendant of the three remaining bloodlines which were carefully merged.

Corgi, on the other hand, has two varieties: the Pembroke and the Cardigan Corgi.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is descendant of dogs brought to Wales by Flemish weavers about AD 1100. On the other hand, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi dates back all the way to 1200 BC and is believed to have been brought to Wales by the Celts.

That’s old, but it’s nowhere near the alleged 9,000 years worth of Shiba’s history! Along with Chow Chow and Akita, Shiba is, in fact, direct descendants of gray wolves!

Back to the present and what you can expect with each breed.

Worthy of note is Shiba Inu’s unique behavior called the “Shiba scream”.

That’s a high pitch noise whenever they feel unhappy or mistreated – or extremely happy!

It’s like us humans crying tears of anguish AND tears of joy.

Both breeds were originally industrious and effective herders. But even if you don’t use them to herd your sheep or help you hunt (lol), they are playful, lovable and faithful companions.

1. Appearance

Shiba is considered a small dog, but it has a standard dog’s body structure. Corgi, on the other hand, is definitely a small dog – look at those short legs and low set frame!

shiba vs corgi comparison
Shiba vs Corgi – Weight and Height

These little breeds may both appear foxy, but they are pretty easy to tell apart!

(Just look at the Corgi’s adorable rear end!)

The Pembroke Corgi is a fearless and independent dog with a double coat. Some shedding is to be expected year round!

This breed has a proportionate head with a foxy look. The low set breed is noticeably heavy boned but moves with impressive grace and speed.

It’s not uncommon to see a Corgi with exquisite blue merle with or without brindle or tan points. Although not all, some Corgis are likely to have white flashings on the neck, chest, legs, and under parts as well as the tip of the tail. You may also see it as a blaze on the head.

In contrast, Shiba doesn’t have any merle points on it. It has a typical coat of reddish-orange, red or black sesame or cream.

Shiba has an even more fox-like face, with sharper features than Corgi’s.

Shibas and Corgis have totally different silhouettes (especially from behind!), but there is no denying that they both present striking looks.

Shiba sits high on its legs like a standard dog while Corgi sits very low, with an elongated body, earning it the name sausage dog.

I could think of a few more names for this adorable ginger pooch!

Eyes

Take a look at Shiba’s face. What do you see?

You see a confident dog that knows what it wants and won’t take no for an answer, right?

It’s due to that pair of small, dogged eyes.

The breed has excellent eyesight and an acute sense of smell. The dog was bred to use both of these senses in hunting games while in the bushy mountainous regions of japan. The eyes are deep set with a dark brown iris, with black rims that emphasize the color even more.

Corgi’s eyes, on the other hand, reflect a vigilant and alert expression that’s confident and engaging. They may not have as acute a sense of smell as Shiba – after all, they weren’t bred to hunt!

You may come across a Corgi with heterochromia (different eye colors). It is not uncommon in this breed, although it NEVER happens with a purebred Shiba.

Shiba Inus have only dark brown eyes that border toward black.

Coat

The double coats of Shiba and Corgi are resistant to water and adept at insulating and protecting the canines from cruel weather. 

As I said above, Shiba’s coat comes in a myriad of splendid colors including orange-red, sesame (black-tipped hairs on a rich red background) and urajiro (cream to white ventral color). 

It’s not uncommon to find white markings on the forelegs, hind legs and tip of the tail of Shiba’s coat.

The coat of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed, on the other hand, is of medium length with a short, thick look. 

Its undercoat is weather-resistant while the outer coat is longer and coarser. The coat is longer and slightly thicker on the ruff around the neck, chest and on the shoulders unlike Shiba’s coat which is even throughout the body.

You will find that under parts of Corgi as well as the back of the fore legs also have longer hair cutting quite a handsome figure!

The tail is docked. Coat colors include fawn, sable, black and tan, with or without white markings. White may appear on legs, chest, neck and muzzle and under parts.

Corgi's tail

The Cardigan Corgi has a more or less long overall silhouette in proportion to height just as its cousin, the Pembroke Welsh corgi. The tail is pronounced, low lying and bushy. The double coat has outer hairs that are slightly abrasive in texture. 

Their coat is relatively smooth and is weather resistant. The Cardigan Corgi comes in a myriad of colors including shades of red, brindle, and sable.

Corgis also come in black with or without tan or brindle points. The double coat keeps them warm and fuzzy even when it’s snowing or raining. 

The water resistant coat comes in handy when herding animals ALL day in an open field and exposed to the elements. 

But what about maintenance? I’ll talk about that in a moment. For now, suffice it to say that both Shiba and Corgi breeds shed all year round but more so during spring and autumn. They are made for cold weather but they can also regulate moderate heat very well.

Ears

Both breeds have pricked ears. But Corgi’s ears are much BIGGER than Shiba’s.

Both are born with floppy ears, but Shiba’s ears become pointy and firm waaay sooner than Corgi’s.

Speaking of this “ear transition”, remember not to heavily pet your puppy’s tender ears, or you might slow down their development or even hurt them!

(We should carve that in stone. “Do not pet thy Corgi’s ears!”)

The shape of the ears contributes to the fox-like faces, giving them an alert and intelligent look. But it also boosts their hearing!

Nothing much passes the ear of these two breeds.  

Shibas will certainly alert you when there is a stranger nearby because their sense of hearing is VERY sharp.

And while the hearing of Corgithe Corgi is not as pronounced as Shiba’s, it is more than decent.

Plus Corgi has a big bark to alert you of strangers and danger, while Shiba is not much of a barker.

Teeth

Both dogs have evenly aligned teeth. 

Shiba’s bite reveals a full complement of strong well sized teeth that were essential for hunting and pinning down prey.

Corgi’s teeth are strong and regular. They form a scissors bite with the inner side of upper incisors fitting closely over the outer side of lower incisors.

Musculature

While Shiba is not a large dog, it does have a compact frame with well-developed muscles. In terms of muscle, there’s a noticeable difference between males and females. 

They make excellent guard dogs because they have the muscle for the task when need be.

Corgis, in comparison, may be stout and short legged but also have a well-muscle build. Most people often think that the shape and long silhouette of Corgis slows down their movement. 

But all you have to do is take a look at these marvelous dogs herding cattle to understand how athletic they are!

They may not make great guard dogs but they can be trained to enhance their protective capabilities.

2. Grooming Shiba vs Corgi

Brushing & bathing: how often?

Neither of these breeds requires you to spend hours on DIY grooming or take them to a salon every other week.

Still, Shiba is even less demanding than Corgi.

Grooming Shiba Inu is fairly straightforward. For starters, the breed loves to self-clean every time it gets a chance. 

Much like a cat! They even lick their paws!

So all it takes to maintain their fluffy coat is brushing once a week. But take this as a must because it effectively removes dead hair and distributes oils along the coat, achieving that lovely plush look.

Alas, Corgi is not self-cleaning so you have to maintain its hygiene.

You can bathe your Shiba just 3 to 4 times a year, but Corgi may need 6 to 7 washes or more to ensure it remains clean with no doggy odor.

During shedding season, both breeds need at least one weekly brushing to get rid of the excessive dead hair.

However, do NOT shave their coats – even in the hottest months! Their coats have a natural way of regulating heat, so they protect them both from hot and cold.

However, using a deshedding tool is very effective in getting rid of dead fur. So you do not have to bathe the dogs too often. Bathing the breeds too often is not a good idea because it ends up drying out their skin and coat by stripping vital oils.

Some Corgi owners have taken to putting the pile of shed fur outside so that birds can pick it up and use it to build their nests!

(Or you can use your doggo’s excess fur to knit yourself a sweater, stuff up a pillow, etc.)

How to clean those pointy ears?

Both Shiba’s and Corgi’s ears can get infected because of the hairs that trap moisture. So be sure to check the ears once a week or once in two weeks for infections.

If there is any redness or smell, it’s best to take your pooch to the vet. But if the ear looks healthy, you can give it a clean by gently using a towel, cotton ball or gauze with a dog ear cleaning solution.

Nail clipping

Shiba’s claws grow at a steady pace. You may not need to give them a trim if your Shiba is often on a tough surface such as asphalt or concrete as these surfaces tend to naturally wear out the nails to the appropriate size.

But if they don’t walk enough, it’s wise to habitually trim or grind the nails once a month using a dog nail clipper or nail grinder.

Fortunately, both breeds are likely to have white (or light-colored) nails, so you’ll be able to see the quick.

Just make sure to have a bowl of treats or some peanut butter around to keep them distracted AND reward them afterwards!

What about the tails?

Shiba Inu tail
The mighty tail of a Shiba Inu

Shiba’s tail curves upwards and has a handsome mass of hair. It is important to brush diligently to get rid of dead hair as well as distribute oils for a neat plush look. If the hair on the tail looks overgrown, you can give it a slight trim at the tip of the hairs  to give it a clean, neat and even look.

The Pembroke Corgi has a docked tail which needs little to no grooming. On the other hand, the Cardigan Corgi has a fluffier tail but it is not curled like Shiba’s. Brushing it out is just as easy as it is for Shiba.

Paw care time!

Occasionally examining the paws to see if there are any outgrown hairs that may get in the way of the paw pads is a good idea. You should trim these so that your pooch has enough traction when running or walking. 

Sure, these areas are a bit tricky to navigate. But that’s why you can use round nose grooming shears! You’ll reach those places without hurting anything.

Teeth brushing

Brush your Corgi’s teeth two to three times a week! It’s THE most effective way to prevent dental disease and tooth decay. 

You can also consult with your vet on which dental wipes and dental chew options will be the most suitable for your Corgi. It doesn’t always have to be the dreaded toothbrush!

Also, feeding your furry buddy some high quality kibble is like giving them a natural floss.

Shibas may be stubborn about brushing their teeth, so you should approach this area of hygiene with care and consideration. Give them dental chews at first to keep the teeth clean or introduce food supplements in powder form into the food or drink.

Brushing can be gradually introduced to Shiba until they are comfortable with the toothbrush in their mouths.

3. How to Train Corgi vs Shiba Inu?

Training a Corgi vs Shiba Inu

Obedience classes are crucial for a Shiba puppy, not only because it’ll make it easier to handle your canine when he’s all grown up but also because it addresses the dog’s need for stimulation and socialization.

On the other hand, Corgis are easy to train and just LOVE the attention. Be consistent in training and disciplining, and stand your ground when enforcing rules. 

That’s because your Corgi puppy will put you to the test just to see what they can get away with.

But it’s not just about you. Make sure that all family members are on the same page when it comes to training so that your pups don’t get confused or search for the “weak link” among your family members.

If you are not an adept trainer, you’re in for some disappointment and frustration with a Shiba! This pup is a stubborn and a strong-willed student if I ever saw one.

However, it is important to recognize that is just part of his character.

See it as a challenge and employ a generous dose of patience as you keep at it.

Or, if you just can’t pick up the ropes, find a professional trainer who knows this breed and its peculiarities. Some breeds are harder to train than others. Shiba Inus are among the hardest to train in the dog world!

The good news if you are getting a Corgi is that they won’t give you nearly as much headache as a Shiba.

  1. Start training your furry buddy from 7-8 weeks and do it at home, whether it’s Corgi or Shiba. Potty training is essential from this age. A pro tip to note is that dog training is generally conditioning.
    Just like Corgi, your Shiba will repeat behaviors that elicit positive results and stop behaviors when they produce negative reactions from you. So be sure to have some treats and LOTS of praise to reinforce the positive behavior. If you’re dealing with a Shiba, make that a double!
  2. Introduce your puppy to new environments and people to build their confidence in numerous scenarios, neighbors, and friends. For Shiba, this can be done through walks in the park or jogging together. On the other hand, Corgi is more confident and friendlier off the bat. So you will find taking Corgi to different places is easier.
    Whereas Shiba shows innate aggression at the drop of a hat towards other pets and strangers, your Corgi may only show fear when they grow older and only if they’re poorly socialized.
  3. Leash training is essential for Corgis and Shibas from puppy stage. A flat leather or nylon collar is best for leash breaking on either pup. Be sure that your pooch wears the collar loose enough for two fingers to fit between the collar and their neck. This allows for comfort.

Once you leash it, get the puppy outdoors and gently try leading him in the direction you want to go.

Now, Shiba will definitely resist more often (and eagerly!) than Corgi. He may follow right along but expect resistance soon after. If Shiba resists, call out their name and gently tag on the leash as you start walking.

Before long, your Shiba will catch on the idea. It will likely not have any issues being leashed once it associates the leash with walks.

At first, offer treats WHENEVER they obey. But when you notice that they’ve “automated” the behavior, it’s time to stop rewarding them every single time.

Corgis will most likely trot along as long as the leash is not too tight. If they resist, call the dog’s name and gently tag. But because Corgis love attention, they may not be too resistant to the leash as long as YOU are the one putting it on. Also offer treats or praise for their obedience.

4. Exercise and Health

Corgi carrying a stethoscope

As working dogs, both these breeds live a very active lifestyle. They need plenty of exercise with a MINIMUM of one hour every day.

As for health conditions affecting Corgi vs Shiba, both are prone to certain diseases but that doesn’t mean each dog will get them! But this list should still keep you on the lookout since many of these conditions are treatable when caught early.

Cataracts

Cataracts in your Shiba can be diagnosed as early as the age of two. During an examination, your vet may observe that the lens of your puppy’s eyes appears to be opaque or cloudy. The condition can eventually lead to blindness when your pooch is much older.

Thanks to our modern medicine, the condition is NOT a big issue.

Treatment involves eye drops that clear a dog’s vision in six weeks as they slowly dissolve the cataract. In cases where drops are not an option, the best solution may be surgery that involves the removal of the lens and insertion of an artificial lens.

Corgi owners don’t have to worry about cataracts! This little wiggly dog isn’t susceptible to this condition.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Corgis are, however, susceptible to this serious nerve and spine condition. 

The condition affects the dog’s central nervous system, brain stem and spinal cord. Symptoms include posture issues, muscle atrophy and partial or full limb paralysis. 

There is no treatment for the disease but your vet should be able to help you with management techniques that will help keep the Corgi more comfortable.

Allergies

black shiba inu in a forest

Allergies and reactions to contaminants such as pollen in the air are common in Shibas and Corgis in living in warmer climates. 

Symptoms can include sneezing, runny eyes and nose full of mucus.

This can also cause snoring in your canine. Yep, humans are not the only ones who snore!

Corgis and Shibas are built for cold climates, where there isn’t nearly as much pollen. 

But pollen is not the only villain in this story. Allergies are often a result of something consumed, inhaled or something that touched your pooch’s skin. 

If you suspect an allergic reaction in your canine, it’s always a good idea to have the dog checked out by the vet.

Hypothyroidism

Just like in us humans, this condition means an underactive thyroid. In the dog world it is more prevalent in Shibas than Corgis. The disease occurs when your Shiba’s thyroid cannot produce enough thyroid hormones to regulate the body. 

As a result, symptoms such as an enlarged thyroid, loss of fur and weight gain will show up in your pooch.

The list of symptoms goes on: weakness, sluggishness, intolerance to cold and a slow heart rate with frequent urination.

The condition can be diagnosed through blood testing. 

Because the condition affects your Shiba’s metabolism, your vet will help replace the thyroid hormone which should remedy the issue.

Von Willebrand

Von Willebrand is a hereditary blood disorder found in both dogs and humans. Shiba is less likely to contract the disease than Corgi.

When a Corgi develops Von Willebrand’s disease, their blood will not clot as well. 

The condition is pretty similar to hemophilia. 

Symptoms may include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, bloody stool and prolonged bleeding after a surgery or during heat cycles.

5. Price Comparison – Corgi Puppy vs Shiba Inu Puppy

Corgi puppy vs Shiba Inu puppy

Over the last decade, the popularity of Shibas has gone over the roof. While the price fluctuates from one breeder to another, you can expect to pay about $1200 to $2000 for a puppy.

But if the dog you are about to purchase has exceptional lineage, the price can go all the way to $3000!

Purebred Corgi puppy will cost you between $700 to $2500 while a cross breed version will set you back between $200 to $500. If you live far from the breeder you are buying from, it’s worth noting that these estimates don’t account for shipping.

Buying from a reputable breeder who is preferably a member of a kennel club is recommended. This ensures that you get a well tempered puppy with vaccinations records.

Of course, if you want a Corgi or Shiba but can’t spare a little fortune, you can search your local rescue center. In that case, a pup may cost you a couple hundred bucks!

6. History & Fun Facts About Shiba Inu and Corgi

Shibas were originally bred to hunt small game while Corgis were bred to herd sheep.

Notice a pattern here? They are both working dogs.

You can trace the existence of Shiba Inu as far back as 300 BC. Drawings from archaeological excavations in Japan depict evidence that displays an ancient Japanese family living with a small Shiba-like dog that had a thick coat and curled tail.

On the other hand, Corgi is believed to be a mixture of Schipperkes and Pomeranians that were excellent herders belonging to the Flemish people. (It’s hard to believe, right?!) They are thought to be the foundation for the breed we now know as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

It is also possible that the breed descended from the Swedish Vallhunds that were brought to Pembrokeshire by the Vikings.

Both dogs have become popular internet sensations because of their distinct yet lovable characters and personalities.

The NIPPO association was tasked with the preservation of 6 national Japanese dog breeds and it was around this time that the first Shiba Inu Standard was written in 1934.

In 1936, through the Cultural Properties Act, the Shiba breed was inaugurated as a living Natural Monument of Japan.

The first Shiba to set foot in the US was in 1959 when a US serviceman adopted a Shiba dog while stationed in Japan and brought him home to the states. 

On the other hand, the first Corgis came to the United States in 1932 and they were Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

In the US, Shiba Inu was officially recognized as a breed in 1992 by the American Kennel Club while Corgi was recognized back in 1934. 

Shiba’s popularity has been on a steady rise in the States with good reason. Currently, it is ranked by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as 44th out of 197 dogs in popularity while the Pembroke Corgi ranks number 13 and the Cardigan Corgi is number 37.

The fact that Queen Elizabeth II loves this breed has also contributed to Corgi’s cult-like following. 

However, Shiba seems to stack up well with Corgi over the past years, what with all the Doge memes out there!

Frequently Asked Questions

Corgi eating an avocado

1.What kind of dog food should I feed my new Corgi puppy?

There are so many high quality brands on the market today that will be suitable for your pooch. Just be sure to check that the dog food you purchase meets the following standards.

  • Scientifically tested and nutritionally balanced ingredients
  • Promotes healthy immune and digestive systems
  • Loaded with high levels of quality lean protein from quality meat sources
  • Has adequate carbs and protein levels to sustain energy for active dogs and puppies
  • Nutrient-dense formulas that require less intake and yield healthier output

2. Do Shibas shed?

Yes, they are seasonal shedders.

But if equipped with a quality deshedding tool and brush their coat regularly, you will be able to keep the situation under control. Once they shed their undercoat, shedding becomes minimal and can be handled very well with occasional brushing.

And shedding is actually quite understandable for Shiba. Other northern breeds like Siberian Huskies and Akitas are prolific shedders too.

3. Do Shibas bark?

Shibas are generally quiet dogs. However, they will bark when the situation calls for it. Such as when you have an intruder somewhere. Still, a Shiba barking is a relatively rare thing.

But their signature Shiba Scream is something to behold. 

4. Why do breeders shy away from using their studs on a dog bought from a pet store?

Under the ethic of most kennel clubs, members do not sell to pet shops or brokers. So the bitch purchased from a pet store will most likely be from a mass-production breeder who has little to zero concern for screening Corgis or Shibas they breed for genetic diseases or ensuring that the puppies they produce have sound temperament and good health.

Given that the same Code of Ethics stipulates that a member breeds for the purpose of producing Corgis or Shibas of exceptional quality, breeding a pet store bitch would be contrary to that basic standard. 

5. Do you have to carry Corgis up and down the stairs because of their long backs? 

The answer is no. They can wiggle up and down just fine on their own! 

While both Corgi breeds have a long silhouette, they are well-muscled dogs that are very capable of navigating normal sized steps with astounding ease and grace.

(That is, if you don’t look from behind!)

However, be sure to teach your puppies that the steps are for accessing one point of the house to another and are NOT a play area. This is especially applicable to open staircases where Corgi might be tempted to jump instead of running the staircases.

Bottom Line – Which Foxy is Right for You?

Shibas and Corgis both have a stubborn streak and it’s their quirkiness that gives them their unique characters.

If patience and consistency are not your strongest suite in training puppies, a Corgi will be a better fit for you as a pet.

However, if you are up for a challenge, then taking on a Shiba should be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Just expect plenty of meme-worthy moments with both breeds!

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