The gorgeous mix of the Shiba Inu and the Pomeranian – or the ‘Pom-Shi’ has become a very popular hybrid dog in recent years, mostly because of its notoriety as a ‘designer dog’. Pom-Shi’s share their parent’s soft, fluffy coat and fox-like features, but the personality of Pomeranians and Shiba Inus couldn’t be more different – which can make Pom-Shi’s a fun but often challenging mix breed for certain owners.
So what are the realities of keeping a Pom-Shi? The Shiba Inu Pomeranian mix can make great companion dogs and can be a joy to have around family homes, but they can be fairly high maintenance dogs depending on which parent they take after more. Their Pomeranian parent, for instance, has a tendency to be impatient and yappy, whereas the Shiba Inu parent breed tends to be more reserved, so the result is often a bubbly and affectionate yet loud and fiercely protective pup!
In essence, it takes some patience to get the best out of Pom-Shi’s, but as long as you’re willing to meet the grooming and attention needs of these lively pooches (for starters!) then you’ll be well on your way to forging a great companionship with them. Read on to find out all you need to know about the Pom-Shi mix, its lineage and what to expect should you choose to adopt one.
Physical Characteristics (Size and Physical Look)
The Shiba Inu and Pomeranian mix or ‘Pom-Shi’s’ are very small, compact sized dogs and are often seen as ‘designer dogs’ because of the purse-friendly size. They share the fox-like faces of their parent breeds and depending on which genes are more dominant during breeding, their fluffy double coat can range in color from white, cream, brown and tan to a variation of black and tan, cream and tan and sometimes red, chocolate , white and orange etc.
Pom-Shi’s stand between 6 to 12 inches high (sometimes taller in some breeds) and often weigh anywhere between 7 lbs and up to a maximum of 15 lbs depending on whether they take after their tall Shiba Inu parent or the more compact Pomeranian. They also have small feet, almond-shaped eyes and triangular, erect ears that complement their triangular fox-like muzzle.
If they are well cared for, the Pomeranian Shiba Inu mix breed can live, on average, to between 13 and 16 years old. The Pomeranian Shiba Inu mix does thankfully not invite many serious health complications for your Pom-Shi, but regular vet check-ups and proper care as advised by a reputable breeder can ensure they have the chance to live a long and full life.
Pom-Shi’s are a low-shedding dog compared to their Shiba Inu parent, their inherited double coat still requires some moderate maintenance to keep it in good condition. Brushing their coat once a week will help remove dirt and prevent hair from matting and becoming tangled. However, their brushing routine will depend on the length of their hair as determined by the dominant parent’s genes. Longer haired coats will benefit from twice weekly brushing and daily brushing is required during their shedding season!
Aside from coat grooming, Pom-Shi’s will need regular dental care since they are prone to dental issues. Keep their teeth in top condition by brushing them at least 3 times a week and ensuring they attend regular dental cleaning exams with your local vet. It’s also advisable to keep their toenails trimmed weekly – although regular exercise will help to keep them worn down – and Pom-Shi’s should also have their ears checked at least once weekly, and cleaned using a cotton ball and an ear cleaner that has been approved by a professional vet.
Pom-Shi’s bring all the loyalty and fiercely protective nature of their Shiba Inu parent and mix this with the bubbly, fun energy of Pomeranians – making a sweet and affectionate dog that can be prone to lively barking nature. Though they are not clingy dogs, Pom-Shi’s can experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods and can become jealous and watchful in the presence of strangers, but this can be managed with early training (more on this below).
Though Pom-Shi’s are small dogs, they have lots of energy to burn off, so regular exercise is key to help them fend off boredom and manage their yappy and sometimes impatient temperament. Try to get your Pom-Shi at least 60 minutes of exercise a day – long walks in the park and backyard play of fetch is great. If you live in an apartment, you can try plenty of interactive games and exercise when they are indoors too.
Pom-Shi’s are luckily not affected by too many hereditary health issues, but the following are two examples of the main potential health concerns that owners should be aware of:
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) – This is the most common congenital heart disease in dogs and can result in heart failure if left untreated, so it is essential to get your dog checked out by a professional vet if you notice symptoms such as difficulty breathing, an abnormal pulse and an intolerance to exercise. Many dogs go on to live perfectly healthy normal lives following surgery to treat PDA.
- Cryptorchidism – this is a condition in which one or both testicles have been retained in the abdomen after having failed to drop into the scrotum (normally by 2 months old). If one or both testes cannot be found in the scrotum by 4 months old, your vet will suggest performing a routine surgical procedure to have the retained testicles removed from your Pom-Shi. This will prevent your dog from developing a testicular tumor down the line.
Their parent breeds are respectively at risk of things like Hip Dysplasia (Shiba Inus) and Tracheal Collapse (Pomeranians), but this is no guarantee that your Pom-Shi will develop these conditions. This is why it’s essential to speak to a reputable breeder before bringing your Pom-Shi pup home so you know what to expect from their specific genes and lineage. Improper ‘backyard breeders’ will show no interest in Pom-Shi genetics and will therefore provide little to no information on their potential for developing the above health conditions, let alone how to care for them.
As high maintenance as Pom-Shi’s might be when it comes to their temperament, you’ll be pleased to know that they are nowhere near as fussy creatures when it comes to their food – just as long as they are fed consistently!
High quality dry dog food is best for your Pom-Shi, preferably products that contain Turkey, Lamb, Beef and Chicken as this is the kind of protein-rich diet they need. If you opt for a more commercial type of dog food, make sure they list things like oatmeal, rice or barley in the ingredients to ensure your Pom-Shi meets his caloric needs.
Pom-Shi’s should be fed around 3 to 4 times a day as growing pups and then twice a day as adults, consisting of a morning and early evening meal. Be sure to stick to the appropriate meal quantities according to your Pom-Shi’s age and size as stated on the packaging, and keep treats to a minimum since Pom-Shi’s are prone to quick weight gain if overfed.
Are Shiba Inu Pomeranian Mixes Protective?
Very much so. Despite their size, Pom-Shi’s have a talent as mini watchdogs and their alert, yappy nature is just their way of being protective of you. Pom-Shi’s will often bark at strangers, and this trait may take its cue from their Shiba Inu parent’s fierce loyalty and protective personality in watching over their owner and household.
How Much Does a Shiba Inu Pomeranian Mix Cost?
The cost of a Pom-Shi puppy can range anywhere between $250 and $1,300. Despite their notoriety as designer dogs, Pom-Shi’s can still be found at rescue centers and shelters, so always try to adopt before you shop. Find a reputable breeder too – a good and honest Pom-Shi breeder will have a wealth of knowledge about their parent breed as well as what this means for your Pom-Shi’s health needs and temperament.
Is a Shiba Inu Pomeranian Mix Right for Me?
As adorable as the Pom-Shi puppy mix can be, you need to make sure you are making the right choice before you take one home. If the below points fit in well with your lifestyle, then a Shiba Inu Pomeranian mix pup may just make the ideal companion for you…
- They are very active (need at least 60 minutes exercise a day)
- Prone to dental problems, so regular brush care is needed
- They can be yappy and bark a lot (may not be ideal for apartment living)
- Can require training as puppies to curb their loud, yappy nature
- Prone to separation anxiety, so single owners may face challenges
- Early socializing is vital if you plan to have other pets and children
Best Climate for a Shiba Inu Pomeranian Mix
Pom-Shi’s are best suited to moderate climates, although they can handle cold climates better than hot ones thanks to the thick, fluffy double coats that have been inherited from both their Shiba Inu and Pomeranian parent characteristics.
The Attention a Shiba Inu Pomeranian Mix Needs
The very different personality traits of the Shiba Inu and Pomeranian parent breeds can mean that your Pom-Shi pup is either more attention-seeking or more reserved and independent. Still, whichever parent genes win out in the breeding process, Pom-Shi’s tend to require a fair amount of attention. The influence of the Pomeranian parent means that your Pom-Shi is likely to do all he can to attract his owner’s attention, and may even crave the attention of your neighbors and guests by performing cute tricks and antics.
Since Pom-Shi’s can often feel left out when you are showing attention to other dogs and pets in his presence, they will let you know they feel jealous by barking and possibly becoming agitated, so be sure to make them feel included and well socialized. Speaking of feeling left out, Pom-Shi’s are prone to separation anxiety and can easily become bored and restless when you are gone for long periods, so this could affect your decision to get one if you live alone. Couples and family households, meanwhile, can be more than sufficient for their attention needs.
Compatibility with Kids
Pom-Shi’s can certainly make great companion dogs in family homes, but owners should be cautious of their temperament around young children if the Pomeranian parent breed is more dominant in their genes (a good breeder will know this and help you prepare for it). Because dominant Pomeranian genes can make your Pom-Shi quite impatient, kids could be at risk of being nipped if they innocently provoke or bother them. For this reason, it’s very important to let your Pom-Shi socialize with children and strangers from an early age.
Compatibility with Other Animals
Similarly with their compatibility with children, being around other animals will go more smoothly with your Pom-Shi if they have had sufficient socialization with other pets and dogs when they are puppies. They can have a jealous streak which causes them to become irritable if owners show attention to other animals and strangers, but early social training and exposure to other pets can drastically help smooth out these behavioral issues down the line – so there’s no reason why Pom-Shi’s can’t get along with children or animals if you take the right measures.