About Shiba Inus
The Shiba is a small, compact, agile furry dog that looks like a miniature Akita. Shibas are alert, lively, and bold dogs–independent, but affectionate and loving. Shibas are an ancient Asian breed, brought to Japan from China two thousand years ago, serving as companions and small game hunters.
Pronunciation: SHEE-ba Inu
Description: The Shiba is a small, compact, agile furry dog that looks like a miniature Akita. It has a pointed face, broad forehead and triangular prick ears. The eyes are small and dark. The teeth should form a scissor bite. The nose is dark. The Spitz-like tail is thick and strong curling over the back and carried either in a ring or with a sickle curve. Though all colors are acceptable, the plush double coat most often comes in red, or red with a little black overlay, or black with tan markings. The dog should have white or cream-colored markings on the cheeks and sides of the muzzle, throat, underside and chest. White is also permitted on the legs, tail tip and above the eyes.
Temperament: The Shiba is an alert, lively and bold dog. Independent, but affectionate and loving. Kind, trainable, brave and clean. Confident, fearless and courageous. A big dog in a small dog’s body. The Shiba is agile, fast and playful. Charming and open. They bark little and bond closely with their handler while remaining independent. It may be a bit reserved with strangers, but children do not usually cause any problems for Shiba’s make good companions for children. Socialize this breed well as a puppy. They do well with other dogs and cats if they are raised with them from puppyhood, though they tend to be aggressive with members of the same sex. Don’t trust this dog around other small pets such as rodents and small birds. Big birds such as parrots may be okay. The Shiba is an easy dog to travel with. Be careful during hunting season as the dog looks like a fox and may be mistaken for one. It is not usually a reliable off-leash dog. It is easy to housebreak these dogs because they are naturally fastidious.
Height: Dogs 14-16 inches (36-41 cm.); Bitches 13-15 inches (33-38 cm.)
Weight: Dogs 18-25 pounds (8-11 kg.); Bitches 15-20 pounds (6.8-9 kg.)
Health Problems: This breed is generally hardy and healthy with a few genetic weaknesses. A small proportion of Shibas have histories of hip dysplasia and PRA. Some lines are prone to patellar luxation (slipped kneecap).
Living Conditions: The Shiba will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. The Shiba’s waterproof, all-weather coat protects it in both cold and hot conditions, so it can live outdoors if you have a secure yard of reasonable size. However, it does regard itself as part of the family and does not like to be left alone outside. This breed would be much happier living indoors with its family.