Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are small Spitz-type dogs that originated in Japan where they were primarily used to hunt such game as rabbits and birds. They are referred to by several different names including the Shiba Inu, Shiba, Shiba Ken, Shiba Dog, Japanese Shiba Inu, Brushwood Dog and the Japanese Small Size Dog. The Shiba Inu is the smallest Spitz-type breed that is native to Japan. His cousins include the Akita Inu, Kai Inu, Kishu Inu, Tosa Inu, Hokkaido Inu and the Shikoku Inu. Although he was mainly used to hunt small game, he was often used to hunt larger game as well such as wild boars and bears. He got his name from the Japanese phrase Shiba Inu, which means small dog. The Shiba was often referred to as the Brushwood Dog because they were often found hunting in the thick bushes of Japan. After World War II, the breed nearly became extinct; however, careful breeding programs were able to revive him.

The Shiba Inu is a compact dog with a long body, and may look like a smaller version of an Akita. Shiba Inus have powerful bodies and feature typical Spitz characteristics: They have small, erect ears and have a furry, curled tail. They have thick double coats consisting of dense undercoats and a coarse, straight outer coat. They are naturally clean and easy to groom. Their coats should be brushed weekly to get rid of dead hair. Their ears should be checked regularly. The average size for a fully grown Shiba Inu is anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds. This is a sharp-looking dog with a short coat that comes in a variety of colors including red, sesame (red with black-tipped hair), black and tan, or white. They also have a soft undercoat, which can be gray, cream or buff. The Shiba Inu is a compact little dog that has straight legs and a square body. The eyes are typically dark brown or hazel set in a wedge-shaped face. Its nose should be black, and the ears should be small, triangular and held fully erect. The tail of the Shiba Inu is fuzzy, high-set and held in a tight curl over the back. Personality: The Shiba Inu is an active, curious and energetic dog breed. They love people and want to be involved in all family activities. They make great family dogs, but prefer older children to toddlers. Shiba Inus need plenty of exercise with several daily walks and the opportunity to run. They can be difficult to train and need firm and consistent training. Shiba Inus can be stubborn and strong-willed and may be aggressive towards other dogs. They are also very possessive of food and toys and therefore suspicious of strangers or other dogs. Shiba Inus are independent dogs that usually do not get along well with other dogs. They also do not interact well with young children, and they tend to be quite reserved with strangers. However, they are quite loyal and affectionate to older children and adult members of their family. Shibas are extremely clean animals that can often be seen licking themselves much like cats. Because of their fastidious nature, Shiba Inus are typically very easy to housetrain. These little dogs are moderately active, and as such, they can fit into most any size home.

Shiba Inu image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Japan
Family
Function
Life Span
12-16 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Shiba, Shiba Ken, Shiba Dog, Japanese Shiba Inu, Brushwood Dog, Japanese Small Size Dog, Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Build Information

Size
Medium
Length (Male)
13-20 in.
Length (Female)
14-16 in.
Weight
15 - 25 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The Shiba Inu is a compact dog with a long body, and may look like a smaller version of an Akita. Shiba Inus have powerful bodies and feature typical Spitz characteristics: They have small, erect ears and have a furry, curled tail. They have thick double coats consisting of dense undercoats and a coarse, straight outer coat. They are naturally clean and easy to groom. Their coats should be brushed weekly to get rid of dead hair. Their ears should be checked regularly. The average size for a fully grown Shiba Inu is anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds.

This is a sharp-looking dog with a short coat that comes in a variety of colors including red, sesame (red with black-tipped hair), black and tan, or white.

They also have a soft undercoat, which can be gray, cream or buff. The Shiba Inu is a compact little dog that has straight legs and a square body. The eyes are typically dark brown or hazel set in a wedge-shaped face. His nose should be black, and the ears should be small, triangular and held fully erect. The tail of the Shiba Inu is fuzzy, high-set and held in a tight curl over the back.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Shiba Inu is an active, curious and energetic dog breed. They love people and want to be involved in all family activities. They make great family dogs, but prefer older children to toddlers. Shiba Inus need plenty of exercise with several daily walks and the opportunity to run. They can be difficult to train and need firm and consistent training. Shiba Inus can be stubborn and strong-willed and may be aggressive towards other dogs. They are also very possessive of food and toys and therefore suspicious of strangers or other dogs.

Shiba Inus are independent dogs that usually do not get along well with other dogs.

They also do not interact well with young children, and they tend to be quite reserved with strangers. However, they are quite loyal and affectionate to older children and adult members of their family. Shibas are extremely clean animals that can often be seen licking themselves much like cats. Because of their fastidious nature, Shiba Inus are typically very easy to housetrain. These little dogs are moderately active, and as such, they can fit into most any size home.

Appearance

Colors
Cream Gray Red Red-Black Brindle Tan
Shedding
Seasonal
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

Due to the thick coat of the Shiba, you will want to brush your pet daily during shedding season. In this way, you can reduce the amount of hair floating about in your home. Since the Shiba Inu is such a fastidious animal, you should only need to bathe him if he gets overly dirty.

Check your Shiba's ears on occasion for wax buildup and symptoms of infection.

If you notice excessive wax in the ears, use the corner of a damp cloth to gently wipe it out. Finally, if it becomes necessary to clip your pet's nails, use a guillotine-style clipper and take extra care not to cut into the veins growing within each nail.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Hard
Hunting Companion
Yes
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
Yes
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
No
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
Yes
  • The oldest-known Shiba Inu was a male by the name of Pusuke who lived for 26 years
  • Shiba Inus date all the way back to the 3rd century BC
  • The first Shiba Inus were brought to the United States by a military family in 1954

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Shiba Inu Training

The Shiba Inu is one of the most difficult breeds to train; often, more difficult than other strong-minded dog breeds. Why is this? The Shiba Inu does not have as much desire to please his owner as other breeds. The Shiba Inu desires more to do what he wants rather than what his pet parent wants. The Shiba Inu is likely to be firm on his likes and dislikes. Understanding your Shiba Inu fully will assist you in training him. The Shiba Inu pet parent must essentially tailor her training methods to her particular dog for the training to be effective.

Common Health Conditions in Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus are extremely healthy dogs that rarely develop any genetic health conditions. However, there are a few issues that have been associated with the breed, and you can find them listed here: Luxating Patellas, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hip Dysplasia, Glaucoma, Food Allergies and Hypothyroidism. Shiba Inus are small dogs that were once used as prized hunting dogs in Japan. However, today these little dogs excel in a vast array of different areas including obedience, agility, watchdogs, tracking and flyball. They also make great companions, and due to their small size, they fit in most any size home.

Shiba Inu Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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