Shiba Inu

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    History & Overview

    The Shiba Inu originated in Japan. The name of this breed translates as “small dog.” Looking like a small version of the Akita, it is believed to be one of Japan’s most ancient breeds. After coming to the United States shortly after World War II, it has quickly become a very sought after breed. Although in its hunting heyday, this compact little dog’s main quarry was small game such as ground-breeding birds, it was also capable of occasionally helping in the hunt for bigger game such as wild boar, deer and even bear.


    It rarely barks, but instead, it utters a shrieking call. The Shiba Inu is a very territorial dog, even with its owners. Basically, where you sleep, it will want to sleep. What you eat, it will want to eat. Training your Shiba Inu will prove to be a real challenge, you will need to establish dominance at an early age to be successful.


    A sturdily built dog, with a muscular body, pricked ears and a typically curled, spitz tail, the Shiba Inu has the look of a tough dog.

    At A Glance

    Country of Origin:



    Hunting dog for birds and small animals, Companion dog


    FCI Classification: Group 5 Spitz and Primitive Type Dogs; Asian Spitz and related breeds (without working trial)
    AKC Classification: Non-Sporting Group


    Medium (13 – 16 inches at shoulders)


    Black and tan, red, salt and pepper, black and white.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    13 – 16 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Weekly brushing




    The Shiba Inu is good-natured, affectionate and energetic. He is very territorial and makes a good watch dog.

    Social skills:

    Shiba Inus were bred as hunting dogs. They can chase cats and other small animals. They do best with dogs of the opposite sex.

    Suitability for Children:

    Not the best choice for families with young children. They have low tolerance of children who have little respect toward them and can bite defensively.

    Exercise Needs:

    High. Shiba Inu needs a fenced yard where they can jump and run freely to vent their energy. Otherwise, they become destructive.

    Train Ability:

    This breed tends to dominate their owners and needs early obedience training.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    Shiba Inus have a number of genetic defects to include:

    One of the most common disorders is FAD (flea allergy dermatitis) which may cause severe itching and hair loss.

    Video Credits: Animal Facts


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