Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are an ancient Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu is a small, but well-muscled dog that once was employed as a hunter. Today, the spirited, good-natured Shiba is the most popular companion dog in Japan.

Shiba Inu

The Truth about Shiba Inus

Like their larger cousin the Akita, Shiba Inus can sometimes seem too intelligent.
You'll realize when training a Shiba, they are more cat-like in the way that you have to earn their respect and trust over a period of time.

Shiba Inus are just not interestered in playing with strangers or hours of fetch with a tennis ball. It goes without saying, but never hit or mistreat your Shiba Inu. Not only is it completely wrong, but they're smart enough to never trust you again.

Introduction to the Shiba Inu

Introduction to the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium breed of hunting dog from Japan.

The name Shiba Inu was first used to identify the breed in the early 1920’s.

Shiba Inus are alert and agile dogs that suits very well with with mountainous terrain and hiking trails. Shibas were originally bread to hunt and flush small game, such as birds and rabbits.

In 1979, the first recorded litter was born in the United States. The Shiba was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992 and added to the AKC Non-Sporting Group in 1993.

Physical Characteristics

Physical Characteristics - Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is a very proportionate dog with a height to length ratio of 10 to 11.Males run from 14 1/2 to 16 1/2 inches tall, with females ranging from 13 1/2 to 15 1/2 inches. Heights over or under the limits are a disqualification in the show ring.


Appearance Shibas may be red, orange, yellow, sesame, black and tan, or cream, though this color is considered a “major fault” by both the Japan Kennel Club and American Kennel Club.Shiba Inu Colors:
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Sesame
  • Black and Tan
  • Cream


Shibas are extremely intelligent and sometimes appear aloof to strangers and other dogs.When unhappy or uncomfortable, the breed will product a loud scream, known as the “Shiba Scream.” They may also emit this scream when overly excited or happy.Whether with intrepid boldness, squinty-eyed cuteness or calm dignity, he is king.The Shiba is a relatively fastidious breed and feels the need to maintain itself in a clean state. They can often be seen licking their paws and legs, much as cats do. They generally go out of their way to keep their coats clean.Because of their fastidious and proud nature, Shiba puppies are easy to housebreak and in many cases will housebreak themselves.Having their owner simply place them outside after meal times and naps is generally enough to teach the Shiba the appropriate method of toilet training.

Shiba Inu Temperament

  • Charming
  • Keen
  • Faithful
  • Fearless
  • Alert
  • Confident
  • Aloof

Health Considerations

Shiba Inu Health Concerns

As a breed, Shibas can rightfully be described as sturdy, healthy little dogs, able to withstand the rigors of outdoor life as well as enjoying the comfort of indoor dwelling. They are easy keepers, requiring no special diet other than good commercial dog Soboku food.

They can run for miles with an athletic companion or take their exercise chasing
a tennis ball around the back yard.

Their catlike agility and resilience provide good resistance to injury, and the “natural” size and symmetrical proportions lessen susceptibility to conditions caused by structural imbalances.

Shibas tend to have a life expectency of 12 to 16 years.

Health Concerns:

  • Allergies
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Hip Displaysia
  • Entropion
  • Luxating Patella


Build a routine for your Shiba and incorporate care into your schedule to help your Shiba live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.


Shiba Inu Nutrition

Good nutrition and proper exercise are also very important to help reduce bone and joint problems as your pet gets older. Do not let your Shiba to become overweight; this puts a huge strain on the joints.


Shiba Inu Shedding

Shiba Inus are extremely clean. Although, they tend to hate bathing or getting wet. They have a thick undercoat that protects them from temperatures well below freezing.

Shibas shed — a lot. It has been said that they shed twice a year, but some owners quip that it lasts for six months at a time.

They tend to shed fairly evenly throughout the year but they shed their undercoat (blow coat) twice per year, which amplifies the shedding quite a bit for about 3-4 weeks.


Shiba Inu Exercise

Most Shibas are fairly hyperactive and love to go for walks. They are not so hyper that they will climb the walls if they don’t get daily exercise, but a Shiba owner should be dedicated to exercising the dog, especially if the dog doesn’t have an adequate yard in which to exercise himself.


Shiba Inu Training

Because Shibas are extremely intelligent with a high prey drive, the one thing every Shiba owner must know is that a Shiba can never be considered reliable off leash unless in a confined area.

On the positive side, a Shiba is practically born housebroken. By 4 weeks of age the puppy is trying to get as far away from his sleeping area as possible to eliminate.

By 5 weeks of age, the puppy will hold it all night and wait until taken outside to go.

Shiba Inu Breeders

Want to search for search for Shiba Inu breeders? Find Shiba breeders throughout the United States.

Shiba Inu Rescues

Want to search for search for Shiba Inu rescues? Find Shiba rescues throughout the United States.

Shiba Inu Blog

Read the latest articles and news regarding the ancient Shiba Inu dog breed.