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

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Sesame shiba inu on a leash at the beach

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

Sesame is a rare color in the Shiba Inu. They’re a beautiful variant that originated in Japan (just like the breed as a whole), but their temperament is the same as other Shiba Inus with different colors. 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

Sesame Shiba Inus can make very good family pets when properly socialized. However, they are quite independent, which can make them hard to train and manage. They’re often calm and loyal, but due to their aloof nature, they’re only recommended for experienced dog owners.

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

The Shiba Inu is an ancient breed that has existed for a long time. They are believed to be at least 2,000 years old. Initially, they were working dogs that were primarily used for hunting. In ancient times, most dogs performed several functions. However, they slowly became more common as guards and companion animals.

Shiba Inus 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 pets and used as emotional support animals. In addition, their beautiful sesame coat makes them stand out from other breeds.

Furthermore, Shiba Inus are incredibly healthy. They are prone to a few health problems, which 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. Due to their loyal personality and looks, the Shiba Inu has also become more popular among pet owners and enthusiasts.


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 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 precisely how older Shiba Inus looked (there weren’t any cameras in 300 BC), the breed has been around for over 2,000 years. They were probably used for hunting and guarding, though they’re popular companion animals today.

They are one of the six original Spitz breeds native to Japan. They are genetically related to prehistoric wolves and have DNA similar to that of the modern wolf.

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.

Shiba Inus were once utilized as guard dogs. Therefore, they are incredibly loyal and somewhat protective. While this is great for those looking for a guard dog, it means 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, smile
Image by: Benkai, Unsplash

Shiba Inus can make a good pet for the right owner.  They’re incredibly loyal, form strong bonds with their family, and can be reliable watchdogs. They’re pretty healthy, too. They live up to 15 years, which is exceptionally 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, they 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, but they cost more than those with more common colors.

Ultimately, Shiba Inus can make wonderful dogs when socialized and trained properly. However, because they are stubborn and protective, they’re more suitable for experienced owners.

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Featured Image Credit: creativcontent, Shutterstock

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