Shiba Inu Resource

Shiba Inu

This lively and energetic dog, the smallest of Japan’s native breeds, was once used for hunting small game in its homeland. A diminutive spitz breed, the Shiba is a dog of quicksilver agility and legendary cunning. It looks rather like an Akita in miniature, standing 14 to 16 inches in height, with a bushy tail curled over its back. It is well equipped for all types of weather with a straight and hard coat that comes in a variety of colors: red, sesame (each red hair carrying a black tip) and black-and-tan. Brush the double coat weekly to remove dead hair. A friendly, outgoing dog, the Shiba Inu is an alert guardian of family and home, quite content to be a watchful housedog. Light and quick, its movement is completely effortless. The Shiba is perky, outgoing and curious. Extreme aggressiveness, shyness or timid behavior is unacceptable, and should be avoided. Shibas can be aggressive toward cats, though, unless they’re raised with them from puppyhood. Otherwise, the Shiba is adaptable and flexible, so most living conditions will suit this dog just fine. It’s full of energy, so give it plenty of daily exercise.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Small Dog Breed
Red, sesame, black and tan.

Dense, medium-length, double coat.


Brush weekly, daily during seasonal shedding. Bathe as needed, keep nails trimmed, clean teeth and ears routinely.

Life Expectancy:
13 to 16 years
AKC Group:
Non-Sporting Group
UKC Group:
Northern Breed
13.5 to 16.5 inches at the shoulder
17 to 23 pounds
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