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Shiba Inu Dog Breed

by Long Nguyễn
Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Alternate Names

Japanese Shiba Inu
Japanese Small Size Dog
Little Brushwood
Shiba Ken

Shiba Inu Appearance

Body: Compact, powerful, and well-muscled with a level back, moderately sprung ribs, and deep chest.

Coat: Stiff and straight outer coat with a soft, dense undercoat.

Color: Red, black, tan or red with black-tipped hairs or buff.

Ears: Small, triangular-shaped, wide set, and held erect.

Eyes: Small, triangular-shaped, brown with black rims and deep set. Outer corners slanted upward towards the base of the ears.

Feet: Cat-like with close, well-arched toes and dense pads.

Head: Well-proportioned, with a wide, flat forehead, slightly sloped stop, and rounded muzzle that tapers to the nose.

Neck: Moderately long, thick, and strong.

Legs: Forelegs are straight and well-developed. Hindquarters are somewhat sloping with short, well-developed thighs and strong hind legs.

Height is 13.5 – 16.5 inches
Weight is 17 – 23 pounds

Tail: Thick, strong-rooted, and carried curled and upward over the back.

Shiba Inu Puppies
Shiba Inu Puppies

Shiba Inu Behavior

Recommended for experienced dog handlers.
Can be aggressive.
Not recommended around cats and other small animals.

Not only does he shriek rather than bark, the Shiba Inu is also known for his ability to yodel when he is looking for a treat or for some attention. A good watchdog and avid climber, he is alert, fast, and a talented escape artist capable of scaling many kinds of fences, including mesh.

The National Shiba Club of America says, “With a black button nose, little pricked ears and a curly tail, the Shiba enters the world knowing he is a superior being. Whether with intrepid boldness, squinty-eyed cuteness or calm dignity, he is king.”

This is a very quick dog with strong hunting instincts who can be extremely difficult to catch once loose. He should be kept on a lead or in a very secure enclosure. Don’t underestimate his cleverness – he will escape from most ordinary fence structures by jumping or scaling over them, or digging under them.

Michele Welton, author of Your Purebred Puppy says, “Once he’s loose, he’s gone. You must stay one step ahead of this breed: He is both dominant and clever. He often tries to manipulate through intimidation and when displeased by something can emit a loud scream, which may catch you (and your vet!) totally unprepared.”

Isolated dogs can become bored and this can lead to destructive behavior. An intelligent dog like the Shiba Inu needs an abundance of both mental and physical stimulation. His owner must have the time and desire to spend with him and must be experienced at handling a challenging dog with strong leadership but with firm and respectful training methods.

Though some Shibas are tolerant of cats many are not and most are certain to view other small animals, pets or not, as prey.

Shiba Inu Dogs
Shiba Inu Dogs

Shiba Inu Breed Type

AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group

Bred to hunt birds and small game, by both sight and scent, in the thick underbrush in the mountainous areas of Japan.

Shiba Inu Care and Grooming

Exercise: With his abundance of energy he needs a fair amount of exercise. A good daily jog or vigorous, lengthy walk will do.

Grooming: Brush weekly with a “slicker” brush; daily during shedding season (spring and fall) with a rake to help strip the woolly undercoat. Bath and thoroughly dry one to two times yearly.

Shiba Inu Health

Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 Years

Possible problems:
Allergies – particularly to flea bites.
Entropion – eyelids turn inward.
Hip Dysplasia – degenerative joint disease.
Luxating Patella – dislocation of the knee cap.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – can cause blindness.

Recommended Certificates:
CERF – for the eyes.
OFA – for the hips.

Shiba Inu Country of Origin


Japanese breeds include:
Shiba Inu

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