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Sesame Shiba Inu: Facts, History & Origin (With Pictures)

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Sesame Shiba Inu: Facts, History & Origin (With Pictures)

Sesame is a particular coloration that the Shiba Inu rarely comes in. It’s a beautiful variant that originated in Japan (just like the breed as a whole). These canines are just like a typical Shiba Inu, but their unique coloration makes them stand out from the crowd. They are sometimes called “Sesame Tigers” due to the unique coloration of their coat.

Breed Overview


13 – 16 inches


17 – 23 pounds


12 – 15 years


Sesame (black, tan, cream, and red)

Suitable for:

Experienced dog owners


Intelligent, independent, loyal

These canines can make very good family pets when properly socialized. However, they are quite independent, which can make them hard to train and keep a handle on. They’re often calm and loyal but only recommended for experienced dog owners due to their aloof nature.


Sesame Shiba Inu Breed Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

The Earliest Records of the Sesame Shiba Inu in History

Shiba Inus are an ancient breed that have existed for a very long time. They are believed to be around at least 2,000 years old. Originally, they were working dogs that were mostly used for hunting. (In ancient times, most dog breeds performed several functions.) However, they slowly became more common as guards and companion animals.

They are quite protective and loyal, which makes them work well as guard dogs.

The Sesame Shiba Inu has been around since the breed’s beginning, in all likelihood. However, we don’t have official mentions of this coloration until modern times.

Sesame Shiba Inu puppy running on grass
Image By: e-Kis, Shutterstock

How Sesame Shiba Inus Gained Popularity

Originally, the Sesame Shiba Inu was a working dog that hunted and guarded in Japan. However, over time, they became more than just workers. They also became loyal companions that charmed people with their intelligence and friendliness. Nowadays, they are not only pets but also used as emotional support animals. In addition, their beautiful sesame coat makes them stand out from other breeds.

Furthermore, these dogs are extremely healthy. They are prone to a few health problems, but these are often minor compared to other breeds. Their health may be one reason they are becoming increasingly popular.

Formal Recognition of the Sesame Shiba Inu

The Japanese Kennel Club officially recognized the Sesame Shiba Inu as a distinct breed in 1945, after the end of World War II. Before that, the breed was almost extinct due to the war and crossbreeding.

The Shiba Inu has gained recognition from other kennel clubs worldwide and was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1992. The breed has also become more popular among pet owners and enthusiasts due to its loyal personality and looks.


Top 4 Unique Facts About the Sesame Shiba Inu

1. The Sesame coat is extremely rare, especially outside of Japan.

It is nearly impossible to find this unique coloration, especially in places where the Shiba Inu is uncommon. It is only found on red Shiba Inus with piebald characteristics, meaning they have white fur patches. Sesame Shiba Inus must have a red-colored base and smooth black tips over the top to be considered true sesame.

There are simply many genes that have to line up correctly, which makes it a rare occurrence.

sesame shibu inu
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

2. Shiba Inus are one of the oldest dog breeds.

While we don’t know exactly how older Shiba Inus looked (there weren’t any cameras in 300 BC), the breed has been around for a very long time. They were probably used for hunting and guarding, though they’re popular companion animals today.

They are one of the six original and distinct spitz breeds of dogs native to Japan. They are also genetically related to prehistoric wolves and are similar to the modern wolf’s DNA.

3. They’re also called Sesame Tigers.

You’ll also see this coloration called “Sesame Tiger” due to the unique patterning. These dogs stand out from other Shiba Inus, which is why they are sought after.

4. They’re very loyal.

These canines were once utilized as guard dogs. Therefore, they are extremely loyal and somewhat protective. While this is great for those looking for a guard dog, it does mean they require much socialization to remain friendly. However, when raised correctly, they are wonderful dogs.

divider-dog pawDoes a Sesame Shiba Inu Make a Good Pet?

shiba inu dog wearing leash looking at the side
Image Credit: MitchyPQ, Shutterstock

Shiba Inus can make a good pet for the right owner. However, they aren’t perfect dogs by any means.

Many people decide to adopt these canines because they’re recognizable and attractive. There is no other dog quite like a Sesame Shiba Inu. They’re extremely loyal and devoted to their close family members. They form strong bonds with their family and can be very alert watchdogs.

They’re pretty healthy, too. They live up to 15 years, which is extremely long for a dog. Therefore, they are sought after by dog owners who want a companion who will be around for a while. They’re pretty easy to groom, too. However, these dogs can be stubborn. They’re often independent and have “selective hearing.” Therefore, they can be harder to train than many breeds despite their intelligence.

They also need a lot of exercise and stimulation, as they are prone to boredom. They need an outlet to expand their intelligence and energy. Otherwise, they may become destructive. For this reason, they do best in active families with plenty of time on their hands.

Shiba Inus can be aloof and reserved with strangers and other dogs. They can also be aggressive or dominant with other animals, especially those of the same sex. Therefore, socialization from an early age is necessary.



Sesame Shiba Inus have a unique coloration that differentiates them from other Shiba Inus. However, they are exceedingly rare and only differ from others in their breed by appearance. They act the same and require the same amount of care. It is purely an aesthetic choice (and one that will cost you, as this coloration tends to be a bit expensive).

Ultimately, Shiba Inus can make wonderful dogs when socialized and trained properly. However, because they are stubborn and protective, an experienced dog owner tends to do best with them.

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Featured Image Credit: creativcontent, Shutterstock

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