Sunday, January 1, 2012

Breed Profile: Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu was bred to hunt in mountainous areas of Japan.  He specialized in flushing small game in dense undergrowth.  Shiba means brushwood.  Ibu means dog.

There are six native Japanese dog breeds. The Shiba Inu is the smallest.  At one time, there were three Shiba breeds named for their area of origin:

Shinshu Shiba, from Nagano Prefecture
Mino Shiba from Gifu Prefecture
Sanin Shiba from the northeast mainland

Following WWII and a distemper outbreak in 1952, the Shuba Inu were almost wiped out.  The breed was saved by interbreeding the three Shibas to create the Shiba Inu we know today.

Shiba Inus are small/medium sized dogs: 13.5-16.5 inches at the shoulder and 17-23 pounds.  Lifespan:  12-15 years.  They have short double coats in a variety of colors including black, black and tan, red, and tan.  There are usually white highlights found in various locations such as cheeks, chest, feet, tail and butt.  Does the Shiba Inu's coat shed?  Yes indeed.

A Shiba Inu is an energetic dog that needs a daily workout.  He is often described as dignified.  This is a nice way to say he can be rather haughty.  He also can be bossy, sometimes even aggressive toward other dogs. Shiba Inu are alert and bold, occasionally noisy - in other words, a good watch dog.

Fun fact:  the Shiba Inu has no dew claws.

Shiba Inu Manifesto

- I'll obey your arbitrary rule until I figure out a way to circumvent it

-  my coat will keep me warm outside, however, I prefer to alternate my time inside and outside as I choose

- you will earn my loyalty if you deserve it

Next Breed Profile:  Lhasa Apso!

see some nice pics
Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D
The Ultimate Enclyclodedia of Dogs by Dr Peter Larkin and Mike Stockman


  1. Interesting story and fascinating dog. I know you say they are small to medium but in your artful drawing I see a big dog which means you probably captured the essence and spirit of the Shiba's personality. Excellent!

  2. I'm familiar with Shiba Inus; great dogs ... their personality 'quirks' sound a bit like my tibetan terriers, very independent minded and WIIFM dogs!

  3. I'm not familiar with the breed, myself.