Shiba Facts

Is the Japanese Shiba Inu right for you?


To understand a Shiba one should go back to it's history. The Shiba has been a native breed to Japan since ancient times. The word "Shiba" originally refers to something "small", a "small dog". The Shiba comes from the mountainous area facing the Sea of Japan and was used as a hunting dog for small animals and birds.


There were slight differences in the breeds according to the areas where they were raised. The three main types of Shibas that make the Shiba as we know it today were the Sanin, Shinshu, and Mina Shibas.


As dogs like English Setters and English Pointers were imported from England during the period of 1868-1912, hunting became a sport in Japan and cross breeding of the Shiba with those English dogs became prevalent and a pure Shiba became rare so that by 1912-1926 pure Shibas confined to these areas in the country become exceedingly scarce.


Owners and other educated people became concerned with the preservation of the pure Shiba from around 1928 and the preservation of the limited number of pure strains began seriously, and the breed standard was finally unified in 1934. In 1936 the Shiba was designated as a natural monument after which the breed was bred and improved to become the superior breed known today.


Due to some of the early close breeding a few problems still


Remain in the breed. The most common problems in Shibas are


Loss of teeth and luxating patella (slipping knees) and glaucoma. There have been known to be some problems with heart murmurs and epilepsy but cases are rare and most dogs can live long lives with these problems. Eyes and hips should be checked as a precaution in any breed. Overall, the Shiba is a relatively healthy breed.


As cute as these dogs are, they are not the dog for everyone. A full grown Shiba still does many puppy antics. They are intelligent and sometimes too intelligent for their own good. They can be cunning like the fox they resemble. They can figure out problems with great ease and may even teach you things you didn't think a dog could do! It takes a person of great patience and understanding to have a Shiba inu.


Shibas can be like cats. They do like to have their naps during the day and often will chase when they want affection. They will bat at things in the air and some Shibas are even known to purr when being stroked just at the right time and place. You might be lucky to have a toy brought to you upon entering the front door after an absence. Shibas love toys and are ready to destroy anything with a squeaker. You may even witness the "Shiba 500" when they are excited. This consists of racing around the perimeter of your house or garden at top speeds.


They generally are NOT trusted off of a leash unless supervised in a fenced garden. These little Houdini dogs WILL escape if given the chance! They forget their name; your name and that they are a tame dog! The hunting gene takes over! They do not bark a lot yet they can make a sound that is pure torture. This is known as the "Shiba Scream!" One may witness this noise when a Shiba is severely displeased with a situation such as a visit to the vet, having a bath or having their nails trimmed.


 t is important to point out that Shibas are NOT lap dogs and they are NOT Labrador retrievers. They are independent and aloof. Most Shibas don't like to be picked up and cuddled yet, they can be very affectionate.


If you plan to bring a Shiba into your home, PLEASE do your homework first and make sure a Shiba is right for you.


If you don't like dog hair, this is not the breed for you. Although Shibas are very clean and don't smell, they do shed twice a year, this is called blowing coat. Each shedding season will require daily if not twice daily brushing your Shiba and vacuuming your floors. A warm bath and lots of brushing will help control the shedding but will not keep your house and clothing hair-free.


When a Shiba is not shedding, they are very easy to maintain,dog hair will not be a problem during this time. A good brushing once a week, bath only when they need it (not more than once a month), and regular nail trimming will keep your Shiba in top shape. Starting regular grooming habits from an early age will encourage your dog to like them rather than fear them. Shiba’s have particularly sensitive feet, handling their feet and getting them used to nail clippers should be started from an early age.





A regular walk in the morning and evening will be all your Shiba requires for exercise, do not just let them out in the garden. They need to have regular stimulation and a walk around your neighborhood is just the thing! However, if you have an active lifestyle, a Shiba will be able to keep up with you.


Shibas adapt well to different living conditions.Will live in towns as long as they get their walks every day, and will do fine in the countryside. They will also do fine in the house by themselves if you work all day. Puppies may need some crate training. Shibas love to Look out the window and watch the world go by.


As with any breed of dog, how ever they are raised is what kind of dog they turn out to be. That includes how well they get along with children or other pets, how they behave in public and at home. Shibas have a problem getting along with dogs of the same sex. Shibas are not the easiest dog to train but with determination, a Shiba will become a very nice companion for a family. Training is a must and has to be fun for a Shiba as they will get very bored. Shibas learn very fast and can learn anything. Training your family, especially children, how to treat a Shiba is a priority, as there will be consequences later. Certain games, when a puppy, should not be played due to their ability to take over the family as top-dog. Tug-of-war and chase games should be avoided. Games of catch and fetch should be encouraged.


Shibas do not respond well to negativity such as pulling on the leash, hitting them with anything, shouting, or any kind of rough treatment. Shibas work wonderfully well with positive reinforcement such as treats and praise. If you want your Shiba to behave a certain way, show him, don't scold him.






* Intelligent

* Clean

* Quick to train

* Good size - not too big, not too small

* Well-behaved

* Fun and entertaining

* Energetic

* Independent

* Quiet most of the time

* Do not bark unless necessary

* Sometimes gets on with other dogs and cats

* Not clingy



* Like to escape

* Can’t be let off lead

* Must have fenced yard or kennel

 * Sheds twice a year - a lot of hair!

* Independent

* Aloof

* Not cuddlers by nature

 * Can be chatty

* Food motivated

* Shiba Scream

* Sometimes don’t get on with other dogs or cats

* Possessive


The above pros and cons are just a short general list of Shiba behavior.


What is ideal for some owners may not be suitable for others. This is just a guideline to help make the decision of whether a Shiba is right for you or not.


 The price of puppy is up to the individual breeder. Please choose a breeder carefully this should become a relationship that will last the lifetime of your Shiba.

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