The Shiba Inu was originally bred to be a hunter in Japan.
It has a thick, waterproof coat and an independent mind.
Try out our new Dog Breed Chooser Tool to help you select a breed.
Finding a Shiba Inu
- Compact, muscular build
- Tapered muzzle with dark nose
- Triangular-shaped eyes and ears
- Thick tail carried in a curl
- Deep chest with muscular legs and thighs
- Coat: Clean, short, stiff hair, comes in a variety of colors with white markings throughout. Waterproof.
- Height: 13-16 inches
- Weight: 17-23 pounds
- Average lifespan: 12-13 years
- Devoted, aware, energetic, brave, even-tempered, playful, quick, graceful
- Interaction with people: Good with children; affectionate with those whom it respects. Wary of strangers.
- Interaction with animals: Watch around small pets, especially birds. May be aggressive toward other dogs
- Training: Needs early socialization; becomes attached to its trainer. Easily housebroken.
- Cancers (including lymphoma)
- Obsessive behaviors (including spinning)
- Ophthalmic disorders (including glaucoma, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy)
- Patella Luxation
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- OK for apartment living if given proper exercise
- Needs standard-sized yard
- Needs daily walks
- Easy to groom
- Sheds heavily with the seasons
- Brush out dead hair regularly
- One of Japan's nine monument breeds
- Smallest, oldest Japanese dog breed
- Most popular companion dog in Japan, but can be used for hunting, guarding and tracking
- Native to Japan
- Shiba Inu bones dating back 2,500 years have been discovered in the Sanin region of Japan
- Used as a small game hunter, especially birds
- Show Shiba Inus of the 1930s were brought down from the mountainous regions of Japan's Yamanashi and San In
- Almost became extinct during World War II
- "Shiba" means both "brushwood" and "small,' and "inu" means "dog"
- This breed originally hunted the brushwood regions of Japan, where the autumn leaves are said to be the same color as the Shiba Inu's coat
- First American litter born 1979