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Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Shiba's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

The delightful little Shiba captivates everyone.  This is often the case with an exceptionally attractive member of royalty and that is exactly how the Shiba views itself with all the good and bad points intact.  Do not consider the Shiba if you expect an animated stuffed toy.  The Shiba is a very strong personality packed in a small package.  They are certianly not suited for all homes but for those homes possessing the resources and inclination, the Shiba is a phenomenally entertaining and engaging companion.

By Breed Name
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General Information
Group(s): Non-Sporting Height: 14-16 inches
Weight: 18-26 pounds Longevity: mid-high teens
Colors: red, black and tan, sesame (gold/tan) with minimal white or solid white Coat type: hard, coarse outercoat of short length that stands out due to soft dense undercoat
Recognized Registries: ANKC, CKC, UKC, AKC, TKC, FCI, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: Small well-balanced Spitz (curled tail over back, foxy face and pricked ears on square body) type dog.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: rather high
General Nature: bold, charming, entitled and knows it
  with Children: probably only good if heavily socialized and supervised with very well behaved children
  with other pets: not reliable as they were developed to hunt birds and small animals
  with dogs: generally not ideal with other dogs (especially intact males)
Socialization requirements: very high: the Shiba is born with an exalted sense of him/herself. Socialization helps them balance this with sharing the rest of the world with everyone else.
Ideal home characteristics: One that recognizes the very strong personality packaged in this exquisitely charming package.
Temperament Notes: Independent, entertaining, clever, cunning, bold, inquisitive.
Training requirement: moderate: very heavy socialization and consistent work on basic manners
Trainer notes: Training a Shiba could be a sign of a trainer's finest art.  There is no doubt that Shibas are incredibly clever and perhaps even creative (judging from the incredible antics they do on their own) but harnessing that to the request of another in an entirely different endeavor.  The Shiba is brilliant and with that is quite independent and easily bored.  Not a combination that would sit well with "traditional" trainers.  So the one that wishes to train a Shiba will need to embody an exceptional understanding of training theory as well as a heightened sense of fun and creativity (heightened beyond the Shiba's which would be an accomplishment in itself).  This does not mean that the Shiba is not trainable by more standard methods but that the results will probably not be reliable due to the high distractability of the Shiba.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: around 600 AD the Emporer appointed an office to maintain records of Japanese Culture, information about their dogs was included
Country of Origin: Japan
Original Function: hunter of birds and small game
History: Closely tied to the region, the Shiba was the smaller of the native breeds of Japan. Exportation of the breed was unheard of until after WWII.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, cushing disease, addison's disease, epilepsy, patellar luxation
Health Testing: OFA, Thyroid Panel, CERF
Questions to ask Breeder:
  • How long have you had English Foxhounds?
  • Why do you have Shibas (show, performance, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Shiba?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Shiba?
  • How would you describe the ideal Shiba home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Shiba?
  • How do you assist or help Shibas in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - National Shiba Rescue

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - Standard of the National Shiba Club of America - The Standard for the Shiba of The Kennel Club (UK)

    Breeder Ethics: - National Shiba Inu Club of America Code of Ethics

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