Shiba Inu | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Shiba Inu

The Japanese shiba inu is one of the most special dog breeds in existence today, mainly due to an origin that dates back thousands of years and takes place in Japan, where there are only six native dog breeds.

It is a dog with a remarkable appearance that reminds Akita Inu, although in much smaller proportions. This small size allowed the animal to move quickly through the mountainous terrain, where it was used for hunting-related purposes.

It is a breed, in general, very affectionate with the owners and very adaptable to different environments and families. Some sources claim that it originates from Korea or southern China, although it is generally attributed to Japanese origin. He is currently one of the most popular pet dogs in Japan.

Dog sheet Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu photos

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Physical characteristics

Males are stronger, larger than females. The size of the males is 35 to 43 centimeters; females – 35 -38 centimeters; weight respectively – 9-15 kilograms and 8-13 kilograms.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is pointed towards the nose. Near the base, the muzzle is thickened. The forehead is flat with a characteristic longitudinal line.
  • Jaws: Scissor bite. The teeth are hard and strong.
  • Ears: The ears are triangular in shape, erect, turned slightly forward.
  • Eyes: The eyes are small and slightly slanted. Eye color is dark brown, almost black.
  • Frame: The chest is medium wide. Belly picked up. The back is straight, strong. The loin is muscular.
  • Limbs: Legs of medium length, very strong. Together parallel to each other, straight. The shoulder blades are moderately sloping. The elbows are placed close to the body. The hocks are big. The legs are elastic, oval in shape. The fingers are strongly compressed. The nails are dark.
  • Coat: The coat is thick and harsh, with a soft undercoat. The most popular color is light red with white patches on the neck, belly, cheekbones and tail. Less common are black, red and tan.

Character and behavior

The character of the shiba inu is generally cheerful and friendly, affectionate at times, although it is also independent and quiet. He is a good guard dog because he likes to walk around the house to control everything that happens, although he does not always participate in the activities.

This generates a unique relationship with his family, to which he is still loyal, although he is not as affectionate as the other races. He is somewhat wary and shy around strangers, so he needs a puppy to socialize properly. In addition, he is an easily excitable dog, although he is also playful and playful. Its nervous temperament makes necessary a concrete and effective education of a puppy, so that the adult is a balanced and stable animal.


It is not one of the most sociable breeds with other dogs or with children, although everything depends on the experience of each specimen and the socialization it has had. On the other hand, the shiba inu adapts well to all situations as long as there is peace and quiet, so it is not difficult to enjoy a large pet. he is properly educated.


Diseases that occur most often in representatives of the breed are outlined in the list below:

  • Dislocations – lameness and pain.
  • Dysplasia – leads to lameness, in the last stage of the disease, immobilization of the joints can occur.
  • Allergy – In most cases, there is an allergic reaction to food.
  • Von Willebrand disease is a hereditary disease characterized by bleeding disorders, spontaneous bleeding.
  • A cataract is a clouding of the lens that is normally transparent.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – degeneration of the retinal optic cells – rods and cones – occurs.
  • Entropion – the twist of the eyelid is removed surgically.
  • Hypothyroidism is a pathological condition of the body that develops as a result of a long-term lack of thyroid hormones.

Life expectancy

By nature, the Shiba Inu is endowed with strong immunity and good health. On average, these dogs can live 13-16 years.


The coat of the Shiba Inu does not require special care – you just have to comb the dog 1 to 2 times a week and bathe it at least once a month. The nails are cut three times a month, the ears are cleaned about 3 times a week, the eyes are cleaned daily.


Despite its size, the shiba inu is a breed that has large amounts of energy, which the dog must eliminate in the form of exercise. The daily walks and games are more than necessary to keep the dog in perfect physical condition.

Affection, dedication and proper education are the keys to having a balanced and loving pet. Shiba inu requires about an hour of exercise a day. Given his strong hunting instinct, it is necessary to ensure that he appears on call before releasing the leash and should only exercise in secure and fenced places.

Fun facts

  • Shiba Inu in translation sounds like “little dog”. There is another version of the translation, “shiba” means “brushwood”, “inu” means “dog”. In general, the name means – “a dog from a place covered with bushes.” All due to the fact that the purpose of the breed was exclusively in hunting.
  • In Japan, the film “Bearbug” was shot, one of the main roles in it belongs to a Shiba Inu dog. He helped the owners in hunting and in daily life.
  • Shiba Inu is recognized as a natural monument in Japan.
  • Japan has the largest number of nurseries that breed purebred Shiba Inu.
  • In 2004, an earthquake struck Chueetsu. Shiba Inu at that terrible time became a hero dog who managed to find surviving people under the ruins.
  • In 1934, the breed standard was defined and a natural monument of Japan was named. This country has always shown an interest in caring for and protecting its indigenous breeds, the shiba inu being one of the most important.
  • One of the longest lived dogs in the world was a Shiba Inu who lived in Japan and lived 26 years, a record for the breed and the canine world in general.
  • Although it is not uncommon to find a white shiba inu, this shade is not accepted for exhibitions or beauty contests, which should be taken into account if you intend to compete with it.
  • It is one of the breeds of dogs that has more genetic kinship with the wolf because of its age and many characteristics it has inherited, which few breeds can say.
  • Although it is currently practically not used for hunting, the shiba inu retains part of its hunting instinct, so it will tend to hunt small animals when it has the opportunity.
  • In many ways, the Shiba Inu looks more like a cat than a dog. They are independent and can be difficult to train. They also spend a lot of time looking after themselves and tend to be extremely clean.

History of the breed

The shiba inu is one of the most special dog breeds in existence today, mainly due to an origin that dates back thousands of years and takes place in Japan, where there are only six native dog breeds. It is a dog with a striking appearance reminiscent of Akita Inu, albeit in much smaller proportions. This small size allowed the animal to move quickly through the mountainous terrain, where it was used for hunting-related purposes.

This dog, like most of those bred in Japan, was used for hunting in the mountains of the center of the country. Hence animals with specific characteristics, small and agile, well proportioned to be able to move without problem and hunt animals such as birds and small mammals. For a while, the breed was on the verge of disappearing, at the end of the 19th century, because hunting became a sport and dogs imported from other parts of the world increased, in particular pointers and posers, which gave excellent results in the activity.

At that time, in addition, crosses between breeds proliferated, which made it very difficult to find a purebred shiba.

Fortunately for the breed, some people have decided to keep their characteristics through selective crossbreeding, keeping the lines as pure as possible. It also experienced another complicated period during World War II, but the Shiba Inu finally managed to save itself from extinction.

From these rescued specimens and their lines, the shiba inu would be defined over the years as it is now known. Despite his complicated journey, he managed to recover to become one of Japan’s favorite dog breeds, above many other breeds in this country and in other countries.

In 1920 it was when the breed was named Shiba inu, although it was not very clear what meaning they wanted to give it. It is thought that the meaning of the word shiba, small bush, could have part of the explanation of its name, since these dogs were used to hunt the animals which hid among the bushes, although it is a theory that could not be tested.

On the other hand, inu simply means dog in Japanese. Since then, the Shiba Inu has arrived in other regions of the world, such as the United States and Europe, and is now very well known and appreciated as a pet, so much so that it is extremely easy to find dogs of the breed almost everywhere.


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