Shiba Inu is the smallest of all the Japanese dog breeds. It has a thick double coat that comes in four basic colors: red, black and tan, sesame, and cream. In this article, we’ll talk about the sesame Shiba Inu and why it is considered a rare catch.
The origin of the sesame Shiba Inus
Sesame coat color is one of the rarest and most popular Shiba Inu colors. The sesame Shiba Inu came as a result of selective breeding done in the early twentieth century. At that point, the breed was on the verge of extinction due to war and illness, and it was thanks to selective breeding that it managed to carry on until today. The outcome of this breeding process is the four main Shiba Inu coat colors we have today.
Why is the sesame Shiba Inu so elusive and always in demand? The answer lies in the complex nature of genetics. To produce a sesame Shiba Inu, a breeder would need a special type of genotype. That’s why most breeders –including experienced ones– don’t breed with the intention of producing a sesame-colored dog. A person would think that by mixing red and black or tan you can easily get a sesame color. Yet, the matters of genetics turned out to be more tangled than watercolor painting.
Not until they are one year old will little Shiba Inus show the potential of the sesame coloring. All in all, with a little bit of luck and the right breeder, you’re more likely to get a sesame colored pet.
Sesame Shiba Inu coat features
When it comes to sesame Shiba Inus mislabelling is quite often. Here are some of the requirements that your dog needs to meet to be considered sesame.
- It must have a red base coat. Thus all sesame Shiba Inus are actually red sesames, even though some people divide them into subgroups.
- Its coat shouldn’t be more than 50% black, with an even blending. What this means is there shouldn’t be any areas with black patches – the overlay must remain even.
- It shouldn’t have a black mask. However, there is one exception in sesame Shiba Inu pattern standards – widow’s peak. The color of the widow’s peak in sesame Shibas will remain red, without the black tipping that you would’ve expected.
As you can see, the sesame Shiba Inu coat color must follow a specific pattern. Sesame Shibas are sometimes referred to as sable colored. Still, not all sable Shibas are considered sesame. Why is it so? For the very reasons we’ve mentioned before: concentrated black patching or dominant black color would make your dog sable, but not sesame.
Now you might be wondering what is the actual color of your Shiba Inu, if not sesame. It would probably fall into the category of sable or ‘dirty red’ Shibas. ‘Sashige’ is the term the Japanese use to describe dirty red Shibas, whose coat is red with black spots on the tail and back. Even though they have a special word for it, the Japanese don’t separate sables and dirty reds into different categories. In Japan, they are all reds.
At the end of the day, all Shiba Inus are lovely, energetic and devoted companions, no matter the color of their fur.