The Shiba Inu!

The Shiba Inu is a furry and compact dog, said to be a miniature version of the similarly Japanese Akita breed. It has a pointed face, small dark eyes, dark nose and teeth that come together in a scissor bite. It also has small, perky ears that are triangular in shape. The Shiba Inu’s tail is comparable to another Japanese breed – the Spitz. Its long and furry tail is thick and is carried over its back either in a tight ring or in a silky curve. Another trademark of the Shiba Inu is the white or cream markings on its cheeks, throat, underside, chest and the sides of the muzzle. However, some dogs have these markings until the legs and the tip of its tail.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-15 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Very flexible; mainly indoors.


Exercise Needs:
Daily 20 minute walk.

Breed Group:


13-16 inches

20-30 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Red, red with some black overlay or black with tan markings.

National breed club:
The National Shiba Club of America

Shiba Inu Skills

The Shiba Inu is a predominantly Asian breed, brought to Japan from China about 2000 years ago. The breed is said to be one of the six crosses made between the Chow Chow and Kyushu families. The Shiba Inu was reportedly named after the brushwood environment where it hunted, because the red brushwood leaves matched the shade of the dog’s coat. “Shiba”, in Japanese, also translates to both “small” and “brushwood”. “Inu”, on the other hand, means “dog”. The Shiba Inu was originally bred to hunt for small birds and game. However, it has recently gained popularity for being an ideal companion dog. Aside from hunting and tracking, the Shiba Inu can also perform various tricks.

Shiba Inu Personality

The Shiba Inu is regarded as big dog trapped in a small body, because of its bold and courageous attitude and preference for adventure. It guards its territory and can be a good watchdog. But despite this, this breed is affectionate and loving, making it good companions for small children. It tends to be quite reserved initially, especially with strangers. It is also not advisable to leave them with small pets, as they can tend to be aggressive.

Exercise Needs

Long walks can do a Shiba Inu a world of good, being a very active breed. However, it is also very undemanding and can easily adapt to any exercise regimen.

Living Conditions

Given its size, the Shiba Inu can live in small areas, provided that it is given sufficient exercise, preferably in a moderately sized yard. The breed’s all-weather coat allows it to adapt to both hot and cold weather. However, it is advised that it lives together with its owners, as it regards itself as part of the family.

Grooming Requirements

While the Shiba Inu has a thick coat, it is very easy to clean and groom. Use a mild shampoo in cleansing their coats so as not to strip it of its oily, water-resistant properties. Brush the coat with a firm bristle brush to remove dead hair.

Health Issues

While the Shiba Inu is a relatively healthy breed with very little inherited diseases, some are prone to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation or slipped kneecap.

If you liked this dog…

You may also enjoy having a Japanese Spitz. It may be small in size but it definitely doesn’t lack in charm, intelligence and affection.


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