Shiba Inu or Boston Terrier, help decide which is best for me?

I'm going to say what I said to another poster who was basing their breed choices primarily on looks and claimed to be similarly picky about that:

I know that you want a nice-looking dog. But you've really got to change your approach - you're looking at looks first and everything else second. It just can't work like that. From afar, looks are the main thing you notice about a dog. But when you're living with one, they are one of the last, and you have to approach your search as an owner rather than simply an admirer. Looks really don't count for much.

Of course we all have our aesthetic preferences. But we let those preferences come into play only after we've chosen a list of dogs based on more substantive factors that have much more to do with what they are actually like to live with. What people are reacting to in your post is just the way it comes off as though you have put a lot of thought into very specific aesthetic requirements, but little to no thought in the more important distinctions between dogs. It makes it seem like you are most willing to compromise on the most important things, and least willing to compromise on the most trivial. Dogs were primarily bred not just to look different, but to do different tasks that required vastly different energy levels, levels of vocality, levels of independence, temperaments, in addition to size and coat types.

I don't think you're putting little thought into the important distinctions between dogs, but it does seem like you're not really letting those distinctions affect your decisions - that you are willing to eliminate dogs from your list of possibilities just because of looks, while not being willing to eliminate a dog you like the look of (or even just the idea of) for more substantive incompatibility. It really doesn't sound like you want a Shiba at all; it sounds like you would endure a Shiba for the sake of having one, when what you really want is an entirely different kind of dog.

Coincidentally, the poster I wrote the above to ended up with a Boston Terrier and is very happy with it. He had originally insisted his wife only liked the look of Aussies and Brittanies. They did more research and soul-searching and met different dogs and owners, and found they weren't as inflexible about looks as they thought they were before they did all that.

People on this sub are also wary of college students adopting because students often don't think about what it's going to be like when they graduate - we see too many posts like this one. People just want to be sure that you are thinking long-term about how a dog will find into your life and thrive, not just about right now.

With your schedule, it really seems like an adult dog that is already housetrained and can hold its bladder for longer than a few hours would be best. If you're in North America, try Petfinder.

/r/dogs Thread