Shiba Inu - A look at the Breed
The smallest of the Japanese native breeds, the Shiba was originally developed for hunting in the dense undergrowth of Japan's mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is also an excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is compact with well-developed muscles and he possesses a double coat that can be black and tan, red or red sesame
A Look Back at the Breed:
Descended from the primitive dogs of the ancient people of Japan, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small wild game, boar and bear. The name Shiba in Japanese means brushwood, after the breed's hunting terrain or the color of brushwood leaves in the fall and Inu means dog. World War II nearly spelled disaster for the Shiba due to bombing raids and distemper, but after the war, bloodlines were combined to produce the breed as it is known today.
Is the Shiba Inu the Right Breed for You?
The Shiba has an independent nature and can be reserved toward strangers but is loyal and affectionate to those who earn his respect. The Shiba adapts well to different living situations, but must be exercised regularly on leash or in a secure area. Early obedience training and regular brushing are musts.
The Shiba is an alert, lively and bold dog. Independent, but affectionate and loving. Kind, trainable, brave and clean. Confident, fearless and courageous. A big dog in a small dog's body. The Shiba is agile, fast and playful. Charming and open. They bark little and bond closely with their handler while remaining independent. It may be a bit reserved with strangers but children do not usually cause any problems, for Shiba's make good companions for children. Socialize this breed well as a puppy. They do well with other dogs and cats if they are raised with them from puppyhood. Don't trust this dog around other small pets such as rodents and small birds. Big birds such as parrots may be okay. The Shiba is an easy dog to travel with. Be careful during hunting season as the dog looks like a fox and may be mistaken for one. It is not usually a reliable off-leash dog. It is easy to housebreak these dogs because they are naturally fastidious. Make sure you are this dog's firm, confident, consistent pack leader, providing daily pack walks to avoid behavior issues.
Height and Weight:
Height: Males 14-16 inches. Females 13-15 inches
Weight: Males 18-28 pounds. Females 13-20 pounds
This breed is generally hardy and healthy with few genetic weaknesses. A small proportion of Shibas have histories of hip dysplasia and PRA. Some lines are prone to patellar luxation (slipped kneecap).
The Shiba will do okay in an apartment if is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. The Shiba's waterproof, all-weather coat protects it in both cold and hot conditions, so it can live outdoors if you have a secure yard of reasonable size. However, it does regard itself as part of the family and does not like to be left alone outside. This breed would be much happier living indoors with its family.
The Shiba Inu is an undemanding dog that will adapt to your circumstances, so long as it gets a daily walk. It is a very active dog and will be healthier and happier with regular exercise. This breed can walk for hours on end as it has tremendous endurance.
About 12-15 years
Non-Sporting - AKC recognized in 1992