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Shiba Inu

Independent, intelligent and spirited

About the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is likely the most famous of the Japanese dog breeds, as it rose to internet stardom in 2010. While they are native to Japan, they can now be found in almost every corner of the world, as dog lovers have been charmed by the breed’s charming, distinct personality.

These fox-like dogs are not your ordinary dog. They’re sensitive to human emotions and can be affectionate when they feel like it, but they’re also independent and can be left to their own devices for most of the day.

The Shiba Inu is officially a Japanese national treasure, and it’s safe to say that the rest of the dog world will heartily agree.

shiba inu being petted

Shiba Inu Breed Characteristics

33 to 43 cm at the shoulder

17 to 23 pounds

Life Expectancy
12 to 16 years

Coat Colours
Red, cream, black, tan, sesame

Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the Shiba Inu, rated from one to five stars. However, all dogs are individuals, and your Shiba may not display exactly the same characteristics.

Family Life
Friendly with Kids
Friendly with Dogs
Ease of Grooming
Exercise Needs
Prey Drive
Tendency to Bark or Howl
Good for Novice Owners
Apartment Living

Shiba Inu Breed History

The Shiba Inu is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, dating back nearly 2000 years. Originally bred for hunting in Japan’s rugged mountain regions, their dense coats protected them from the cold and thick foliage.

During World War II, the breed’s population dwindled to critical levels, but enough dogs survived to ensure its revival. Three Shiba bloodlines—Mino, Sanin, and Shinshu—endured. The modern Shiba Inu most closely resembles the Shinshu type, though all three lines contributed to the breed standard.

Today, the Shiba Inu is the most popular breed in Japan, with a secure future ahead.

Caring For a Shiba Inu

How to Choose a Responsible Shiba Inu Breeder

Given the lifelong commitment of owning a dog, it’s wise to purchase your Shiba Inu puppy from breeders dedicated to the care and raising of their animals. Opt for registered breeders accountable for their treatment of animals. These responsible breeders, affiliated with breeding organisations, understand how to properly care for their dogs.

Ethical breeders will also have their breeding animals checked for common health issues, especially genetic concerns that might affect your dog’s quality of life.

Shiba Inu FAQ

Yes, these self-reliant and intelligent dogs can be left to their own devices, so long as they’re in a secure area with all the mental and physical enrichment that they could need.

Yes, the Shiba dog will not hesitate to bark at strangers that approach their territory.

Dog Breeds Similar to the Shiba Inu

The information is for general use only. For any specific advice or queries, please consult with your veterinarian.

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