The Shiba Inu dog breed has existed for centuries in Central Japan where it was used for hunting small animals. This Spitz-type dog stands an average of 15 inches at the shoulder. Its thick coat comes in various colors including black and tan; red; and, red sesame, which are the most common. These alert dogs are great for guarding family and home and adapt well to the city or country. Contact the dog breeders below for your next family friend.
The Shiba Inu originated in Japan as a hunting dog in approximately the 3rd century BC. It was primarily used to hunt small game and flush birds out of brush. Archaeologists uncovered shell-mounds with small dog bones left by the Jomonjin (the country’s first immigrants) which is perceived as evidence that the Shiba Inu is a descendant of dog breeds first introduced to Japan in 7000 BC with this group of people. Shiba is often translated as "small" or "brushwood" in English, while "inu" means dog and more fancifully gives the Shiba Inu the title of "little brushwood dog.” This complements its use as a small-game hunting dog as well as being the smallest of six original Japanese dog breeds. During World War II, the Shiba Inu, like many other breeds, almost became extinct but efforts to revive the breed have made it one of the more popular dog breeds in Japan.
The size of the Shiba Inu varies from approximately 13 inches to 17 inches tall and 17 to 25 pounds in weight. The Shiba Inu has two fur coats, a longer, stiffer coat and a shorter, softer coat. They are commonly white, cream, tan, sable, or black in coloring. Their ears are triangular-shaped and consistently stand at attention. Their tails appear fluffy and curl up over their bodies. Their feet have soft pads and are rather catlike in appearance. The Shiba Inu's well-proportioned body is very firm and has a muscular appearance.
Personality and Temperament
Most Shiba Inus are very trainable and easily housebroken. They are loyal, kind, and very clean, however, they can also be very independent. Shiba Inus will try their best to keep themselves clean, much like a cat. It is ideal to not have smaller dogs and/or other small pets as well as a Shiba Inu, because of the Shiba Inu's natural hunting instincts. They are often referred to as "bold" and commonly display aggressive behavior towards other dogs. They have also been known to be extremely possessive of their belongings and owners. They believe everything of the owners' is theirs and everything of theirs is also their owners.’
Suitability for Families
The Shiba Inu’s possessive personalities and bold independent demeanors are sometimes interpreted as unsuitable for families with small children. However, with the proper training, care, attention, and an early introduction into a social lifestyle, this dog can be taught behavior appropriate for families with small children.
Due to its water-resistant outer coat and its tendency toward cleanliness, the Shiba Inu does not need regular baths. These dogs are seasonal shedders and should be brushed regularly, especially during the summer, with a firm bristled brush.
The Shiba Inu typically has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Generally the Shiba Inu does not need an excessive number of visits to the vet, however some dogs have been known to have joint and eye problems. They have also been known to develop patellar luxation, which causes loose kneecaps, as well as hip dysplasia, and glaucoma. As with other dog breeds, Shiba Inus are susceptible to allergies, especially fleas. A Shiba Inu should be walked daily. They have excellent endurance so they can easily tolerate really long walks with their owner.
This breed of dog is able to live in an apartment as long as it gets regular exercise. Shiba Inus can be outdoor dogs, but they prefer being able to go inside to spend time as part of the family. To be housebroken most Shiba Inus just need to be taken outside after waking up from naps and after eating meals until they get the idea. Since they do not like to be restrained, they are a bit more difficult to leash train but it is a necessity because of their hunting instincts and independent natures. Like all other dogs, as puppies the Shiba Inu is prone to chewing on various objects within their reach.
The Shiba Inu is recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the non-sporting group and ranks within the top 50 dogs in breed popularity.
Group Classification: Northern, AKC Non-Sporting
Country of Origin: N/A
Date of Origin: N/A
Shedding: Heavy Shed
Body Size: N/A
Weight M: 20-30 pounds
Height M: 14-16 inches
Weight F: 19-28 pounds
Height F: 13-15 inches
Litter Size: 1-3 puppies
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Variety of colors- red, or red with a little black overlay, or black with tan markings being the most common. In general, the dog should have white or cream-colored markings on the cheeks and sides of the muzzle, throat, underside and chest.
The Shiba is a hearty dog for its size and will thrive in many different circumstances and settings. It is well suited for apartment living as long as it gets the outdoor exercise that it needs on a daily basis. Because of it quiet nature, many apartments allow this type of animal. Another benefit is that the breed is very clean and is easy to housebreak. They are not an excitable breed by nature but they will alert the owner if someone comes to the home. While the Shiba will accept life in small quarters it is always better if it has a large area in which to be active, such as a back yard. The animal will often play and run by itself when it has the room to do so. This breed loves to be a part of the family so it will play with just about anyone who plays with it. This breed is not a good choice if the plan is to have it live outside. It is much happier living inside the home with the family and may become despondent if left outdoors for long periods of time. It should always be kept in a fenced yard because this animal may run off if something interests it. It can live successfully in both hot and cold climates.