Country of Origin: Japan
  • Activity Level: high
  • Grooming Level: high
  • Trainability: moderate
  • Adaptability: moderate
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: sometimes
  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Prey Drive: high
  • Watchdog: very alert
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Shiba Inu Breed Profile

Overview

Temperament

Adaptability

Health

Owner Experience

Grooming

Activity Level

Size

Life Span

Did You Know?

The Shiba Inu is one of just a few ancient dog breeds that still exist today. Recent DNA testing confirms that the Shiba Inu and other Asian spitz breeds date back to the 3rd century B.C., making them one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. Although somewhat small in stature, they are agile and strong canines that were originally bred for hunting in the mountains of Japan.

Imported by a Military family to the United States in 1954, The AKC finally recognized the Shiba Inu in 1992 and added the breed to the non-sporting group in 1993. Still the number one companion dog in Japan, they have become a popular breed for United States dog owners looking for a smaller version of the Akita. Due to distemper and wartime bombings in Japan, the Shiba Inu was brought to the brink of extinction by the end of World War II, but survived the scare and is still viewed as a precious natural product in the Japanese culture today.

The Shiba Inu is a strong-willed, bold, and courageous spitz breed. This breed is somewhat affectionate with its family, but will be reserved with strangers and people outside the family circle. The Shiba Inu’s roots are strong as a hunting breed, which means a high prey drive. That being said, early socialization is vital if there will be small pets or other dogs in the household; otherwise, the Shiba Inu could react negatively to the other animal’s presence.

Because of the size of the Shiba Inu, it can adapt to apartment living in most cases. However, exercise is vital with this breed so more space will definitely work better. The Shiba Inu will adapt to most environments well, but keep in mind that any breed should be respected when being brought into a situation they are not used to, this especially applies here because the Shiba is wary of strangers to begin with. This dog breed is somewhat sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, so a mild climate will best suit the Shiba Inu.

The health of a Shiba Inu is generally good with proper breeding. However, as with all breeds, there are some potential health concerns to be aware of. Some of these are Hypothyroidism, Glaucoma, and skin allergies.

The Shiba Inu is a hardheaded and strong-willed breed, but once you earn the respect of this breed, you have it for life! As with all dog breeds, especially Spitz breeds, it is important that you establish the alpha leader role based on love and respect, not fear. While a novice owner can have success with this breed, it is recommended that any owner do some obedience training with this dog breed.

The Shiba Inu is a moderate shedder, and should be brushed daily to remove loose hair. As with all dog breeds, it is important to brush your dog’s teeth to promote dental health. Also, nail trimming and bathing are recommended on at least a monthly basis.

This dog breed has a high energy level and requires daily exercise to be a well-balanced dog. Failure to do so can lead to misbehavior and depression in this breed.

The Shiba Inu should weigh between 20-30 pounds and stand between 13 and 16 inches at the withers.

A Shiba Inu generally lives 12 to 16 years.

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