Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu - More information about this breed


  • Other names Japanese Shiba Inu, Japanese Small Size Dog, Shiba Ken
  • Nicknames Shiba
  • Country of origin Japan
  • Weight Male 10 kg (22 lb)
  • Weight Female 8 kg (18 lb)
  • Height Male 35 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in)
  • Height Female 33 to 41 cm (13 to 16 in)
  • Coat double
  • Color Red, sesame, black and tan, or white
  • Litter size 3 puppies on average
  • Life span 12–15 years




The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six original and distinct spitzbreeds of dog from Japan.
A small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting. The Shiba’s frame is compact with well-developed muscles. His temperament, personality, size and good nature make it the most common per in Japan. It needs human companionship and should not bre left alone. Its unique vocal voice sounds like a jodl.
The preferred size is the middle of the range for each sex ab indicated here-above. Average weight at preferred size is approximately 10 kg (22 lb) for males, 8 kg (18 lb) for females. Bone is moderate.
Coat: Double coated with the outer coat being stiff and straight and the undercoat soft and thick. Fur is short and even on the fox-like face, ears, and legs. Guard hairs stand off the body are about 4 to 5 cm (1 1⁄2 to 2 in) long at the withers. Tail hair is slightly longer and stands open in a brush.


Shibas may be red, black and tan, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or grey undercoat. They may also be white (cream), though this color is considered a “major fault” by the American Kennel Club and should never be intentionally bred in a show dog, as the required markings known as “urajiro” are not visible; “Urajiro” literally translates to “underside white”. Conversely, a white (cream) coat is perfectly acceptable according to the British Kennel Club breed standard.
The urajiro (cream to white ventral color) is required in the following areas on all coat colors: on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the underjaw and upper throat inside of legs, on the abdomen, around the vent and the ventral side of the tail. On reds: commonly on the throat, forechest, and chest. On blacks and sesames: commonly as a triangular mark on both sides of the forechest.


Shiba’s tend to exhibit an independent nature and sometimes show dog aggression. This is more prevalent between female Shibas and is influenced by the breed’s strong prey drive. The Shiba Inu is best in a home without other small dogs or young children, but consistent obedience training and early socialization can make all the difference. The breed also interacts fairly well with cats.

Health Issues

Overall, the Shiba Inu is a healthy dog breed. Health conditions known to affect this breed are allergies, glaucoma, cataracts, hip dysplasia, entropion, andluxating patella. Periodic joint examinations are recommended throughout life of the dog but problems are generally discovered early in the dog’s life. Eye tests should be performed yearly as eye problems can develop over time. By two years of age, Shiba Inus can be considered fully free from joint problems if none have been discovered by this point, since at this age the skeleton is fully developed. As with any dog, Shibas should be walked or otherwise exercised daily.


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