Country of OriginJapan
Nicknames and Other NamesJapanese Shiba Inu
Japanese Turf Dog
Shiba Ken
Japanese Brushwood Dog
Japanese Small Size Dog
Shiba, Shibe
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
Spitz-type Group
Bred ForHunt and flush small game
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, FCI, CKC, KC, ANKC
Life Span13-16 years
Ideal WeightMale: 23 pounds
Female: 17 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 14.5-16.5 inches
Female: 13.5-15.5 inches
Fur TypeDouble-coated,
stiff and straight outer coat,
soft and thick undercoat
Common ColorsCream, Red, Black and Tan, Red Sesame
MarkingsWhite markings
AvailabilityCommonly available
Achievements9 monuments of Japan
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToAkita

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed with a well-muscled personality. They are spirited and well-natured dog breed which is considered the most popular companion dog in its native Japan.

The Shiba is a medium-size dog breed but is relatively small compared with other dogs in their family. They are dogs with the heart of a lion, which makes them excellent good watchdogs.

Origin & History Of Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog breed which was once employed as a hunter. And today, they are officially recognized as a precious in its homeland Japan.

Shiba Inu got its name after their history as a hunter in the mountains of Japan; “Shiba” means “brushwood” in Japanese and “Inu” means “dog”.

The first dog of this breed was imported to the United States by a military family in 1954. By the end of World War II, these dogs almost extinct due to food shortage and post-war distemper epidemic. But they still managed to survived and is today the best companion animal of Japan.

Are They Child- Friendly?

Shiba Inu is a good family member as long as it is properly treated and socialized. They do well with children who treat them kindly and respectfully. However, they are not recommended for small children or kids as they may tend to turn aggressive if the children taunt it.

As with every breed, it is crucial to teach your children how to approach and touch dogs, teach your child not to approach them while they are eating or sleeping. No matter, how friendly a dog is, you should never leave your child unsupervised with dogs.

Temperament, Personality And Behavior

Loyal, loving, intelligent and highly adaptable are temperaments of Shiba Inu. They are quite alert, inquisitive and playful by nature and they tend to form a strong bond with their family members but can be a little wary and aloof around strangers.

Shiba Inu is known to be very clean but you will get to see cat-like behaviors in them; they wash their face with their paws and purr like a cat when bring petted.

Shiba Inu Are Quite Intelligent
Cute Shiba Inu puppy.
Image Canna-Pet

Shiba Inu is small dogs with an affectionate, gentle and loving personality and are not known to be aggressive towards people but will be aggressive with other dogs and animals, and will chase other animals and pets in the home.

Training and Keeping them on a leash is important if you want to manage them with other dogs and animals.


Training a Shiba Inu can be difficult as they possess a stubborn and independent temperament. Breeders recommend working with a professional dog trainer for their training who can understand their personality and temperament. They are quite dominant therefore they require a confident trainer who can give them firm and consistent training.

Facts – Did You Know?

Quick facts about Shiba Inu

  • Shiba Inu is one of 9 monuments of Japan.
  • They are AKC’s 136th breed.
  • They are considered as one of the oldest and smallest dog breeds in Japan.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesAllergies, Epilepsy, Patellar Luxation,
Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy,
Glaucoma, Chylothorax
Vaccination RequiredLeptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza,
Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus,
Rabies, Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingAbove Average Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingEasy and Minimal Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyModerate to High Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergy
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 24%
Fat: 8%

Common health issues of Shiba Inu are:

  • Hip Dysplasia: It occurs when a dogs hip joint doesn’t develop in the right way.
  • Patellar Luxation: a condition where the knee cap rides outside the femoral groove when the knee is flexed
  • Allergies: Symptoms of allergies include allergic rhinitis or bronchitis, in most dogs inhalant allergy manifests with itchy skin.
  • Eye problems: The most common signs of eye problems in dogs include pain and excessive drainage of mucus from the eyes.


Shiba Inu are found in six color, they are:

  • Red Sesame
  • Cream
  • Black & Tan
  • Black Sesame
  • Red Sesame


Shiba Inu Can Be Aggressive With Other Dogs
A cute Shiba Inu Puppy sitting in a floor.
Image Via ResearchBreeder

Shiba Inu can give birth to an average of 3 puppies at a time. Shiba Inu puppies in with limited registration from reputable breeders can cost between $1400- $2200. And puppies with full registration cost between $ 2200-$3500.

Which Dogs Are They Similar To?

Dogs similar to Shiba Inu are:

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