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Shiba Inu


The Shiba Inu is a strikingly handsome and courageous member of the Non-Sporting Group. With tis beautiful variety of soft colors, this dog is physically compact with adorable short ears, a thick coat of fur, and a muscular body. They have an expression of peace and alertness, always ready for the next adventure.

The temperament of the breed is best described as bold, independent, literally brimming with self-confidence. They are one of the best all-around house dogs to have because they are active and adventurous outside, but once indoors become calm and mild-mannered. The Shiba Inu tends to bark a lot, especially at the presence of intruders, making them excellent watchdogs.

A Brief History Of The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is one of six native Japanese breeds. In fact, these dogs are said to be the most ancient of them all. They were used to hunt and flush out small game, gaining the nickname “little brushwood dog” in reference to its red coat which blended in with the local brushwood trees.

The precise origin of the Shiba Inu is not known, but we do know that they share common blood with the spitz. The breed may have its roots dating as far back as 300 B.C. as hunting companions throughout Japan. From hunting small game and flushing out birds, these dogs were also used to help hunt wild boar.

At one point there were three variations. They were known as the Sanin Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and Shinshu shiba. All were named after their locality. Unfortunately, they were all but wiped out during World War II, then further numbers lost by distemper during the early 1952.

In order to keep the Shiba Inu from becoming completely extinct various types were interbred. Lighter boned dogs were crossed with heavy boned dogs from the mountain areas. These breeding efforts were a success and the United States saw its first Shiba Inu dog in 1954, gaining AKC recognition in 1993.

Upkeep Requirements For The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu cannot live a happy lifestyle without plenty of daily exercise. Although they are a small-sized breed, this dog has a never-ending amount of energy to burn. Several long walks on the leash plus laps around the yard each day is ideal. They especially love to chase and hunt small animals.

With a moderate tolerance to heat and a high tolerance to cool temperatures, the Shiba Inu can spend lots of time outdoors, but is not meant to live outside completely. If allowed to access a fenced-in yard during the day be sure to provide warm shelter as well. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a brushing once or twice weekly.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of the Shiba Inu is between twelve and fifteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is patellar luxation. Minor health issues include allergies and cataracts. Rarely seen is PRA, CHD, PPM, and distichiasis. Veterinarians suggest that the Shiba Inu get specifically tested for eye, hip, and knee problems.


The Shiba Inu comes from Japan. It goes back to Japan’s Joumon period (10,00-300 B.C.) Its origin has been proved with DNA  analysis. Shiba has two meanings: underbrush and small. These dogs are good at hunting in the underbrush and they are small. They  were used to flush out birds and to hunt for wild boar.

There had been three lineages of the Shiba Inu. But when the second world war ended, this breed was nearly extinct. Thus, the three lines were mated with each other to keep it going. The Cultural Properties Act of 1936 proclaimed this breed as cherished natural stock of Japan. The breed was cataloged in the U.S. in 1954. The original litter known to be born in the U.S. A. was birthed in 1979. The Chow Chow  was recognized by the AKC in 1993.

General Looks

It is a small stoutly built and agile canine. This breed is compact but well muscled. The eyes are set deeply and shaped like triangles. The neck is thick.

Is This Your Breed?

It is an independent breed and is usually retiring around strangers. It is faithful and affable to people that gain its respect. It can easily adapt to various environments. It needs regular exercise. The Shiba Inu has to be obedience trained early on. It needs to be brushed each week.


It has a double coat. The outer coat is straight and unsupple. The undercoat is dense and downy.


The colors are black, tan, brindle, red, sesame red, and sesame black. The undercoat colors are buff, gray, and cream.


The movement is adept, airy, and elastic.


This breed has a strong will. The Shiba Inu is curious, smart, and alert. They like fun. They are affable, friendly,  tender- hearted,  and faithful. This breed will wander off; they like to explore. They can be ornery toward other dogs. They make great watch dogs.


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