Japanese Shibu Inu
The Shiba Inu is a sturdy, medium-sized, Spitz-type dog (i.e. he has prick ears, a thick coat, and a curled tail). A smaller version of the Akita, adult males stand at around 39.5cm and adult females at 36.5cm. The thick, soft undercoat is covered in a hard, straight topcoat that comes in red, red sesame (red with black guard hairs), black and tan, or white.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: Once a week
- Shedding: Heavy
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Utility
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: Low
- Stability as a guard: Medium
Bred to hunt and flush small game in the mountains of Japan, the Shiba Inu dog breed is a smaller version of the Akita – indeed, Shiba Inu translates as 'small dog'. One of the oldest known breeds, dating back to the 3rd century BC, the Shiba Inu dog almost died out entirely in the Second World War but the small number of dogs who had survived bombing raids and a distemper epidemic were bred to save the breed.
An alert, active and friendly dog, the Japanese Shiba Inu dog breed can be quite independent and often has a strong hunting instinct. Early, thorough socialisation is essential, particularly to help them be sociable with other dogs. An unusual feature of the breed is 'the Shiba scream' – a high-pitched vocalisation emitted when excited or agitated.
The Shiba Inu is generally a healthy, robust breed. Like many breeds inherited eye problems can occur and breeding dogs should be routinely eye tested.
About an hour's daily exercise is needed. Because of their potential desire to chase, do ensure you have a reliable recall before letting them off the lead and only exercise in safe, enclosed areas.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The Shiba Inu is a very clean breed – in fact, he self-grooms rather like a cat. However, the coat does need brushing about once a week, and when the coat sheds, you'll realise how thick that undercoat really is!
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information