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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 considered one of the world’s oldest existing dog breeds at almost 2000 years old. The Shiba dog was originally bred to serve as a hunting dog in the harsh mountain regions of Japan. Their dense coats would protect them from the cold and the thick foliage.

During World War II the breed declined to levels that were critical, but thankfully enough dogs survived that the breed could be saved. There are actually three Shiba bloodlines that survived: Mino, Sanin and Shinshu. The Shiba dog as we know it today is most closely related to the Shinshu type Shiba Inu, but all three types contributed to the modern breed standard.

Today the Shiba Inu is the most popular breed in Japan, and luckily it seems that the breed will not be threatened with extinction anytime soon.

Caring For a Shiba Inu

How to Choose a Responsible Shiba Inu Breeder

Since owning a dog is a commitment that lasts a lifetime, it’s best to buy your Shiba Inu puppy from breeders who have made their own commitment to the care and raising of their animals. Registered breeders who are accountable for the treatment of their animals should be your first choice when looking for a Shiba Inu puppy. These responsible breeders who are part of breeding organisations will know how to properly care for their dogs.

Ethical breeders will also have their breeding animals checked for common breed health concerns, especially any genetic issues that may affect the quality of life of your dog.

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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