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Shiba Inu dog breed information & characteristics

The Shiba Inu dog is a breed as small as a cat, with a slim body and extremely adorable expressions. This is a very popular dog breed and is chosen as a pet in many families. So today, let’s learn about this Shiba dog breed with Dogsbreed.org!

Shiba Inu Overview

The Shiba Inu (柴犬) is the smallest of the six original and distinct dog breeds from Japan. They are a small, agile dog breed suitable for mountainous terrain. The Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting. Their appearance is similar but smaller than the Akita Inu. This is one of the few ancient breeds still in existence today.

The Shiba is one of the six typical Japanese dog breeds, as well as the Hokkaido, Kishu, Shikoku, Kai and Akita. Of these breeds, the Shiba is the smallest physically.

In addition, Shiba Inu is also known as the “smiling Shiba dog”. The corner of Shiba’s smiling mouth exudes irresistible cuteness.

With his prick ears, squinty eyes, and curly tail, this breed from the Land of the Rising Sun looks like a fox, or perhaps a stuffed toy. He is neither. He is the Shiba Inu, the smallest — and possibly the most ancient — of six spitz dogs that originate in Japan.

The Shiba Inu is known for a bold, fiery personality. The Japanese have three words to describe the breed’s mental traits: kaani-i (spirited boldness), ryosei (good nature), and soboku (alertness). Combined, these traits make up the interesting, intelligent, and strong-willed temperament of this breed. The Shiba Inu is small (about 20 pounds) and athletic. Like a ninja warrior, the Shiba Inu moves quickly, nimbly, effortlessly. He is keen and alert.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: Japan
  • Size: Small, with males standing 14-16 inches tall and weighing 23-27 pounds, and females standing 13-15 inches tall and weighing 17-23 pounds.
  • Coat: Thick, double coat that can be red, sesame, or black and tan.
  • Shiba Inu Lifespan: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems.
  • Activity level: Moderate. They need daily exercise, but they can also be content with a few short walks per day.
  • Grooming needs: Regular brushing to remove dead hair and prevent mats.
  • Their name means “brushwood dog” in Japanese.
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a type of cryptocurrency known as a “meme coin.” The Shiba Inu coin cryptocurrency features the breed with a surprised expression and broken English text.
  • Cheems Balltze, the Shiba who went viral as the face of the “doge meme,” sadly passed away in August 2023 after a battle with cancer.


All-around friendliness 

Health And Grooming Needs 


Exercise needs 

Characteristics Shiba Inu dogs

Shiba dogs have a small body but are extremely agile. They live in mountainous areas and are an ancient breed, so they have recognizable physical features.

Shiba Inu Highlights

The Shiba Inu requires minimal grooming, but he sheds heavily twice a year. He is an intelligent breed who learns quickly, but he may not always choose to do what you ask. First-time dog owners or timid owners may find it challenging to train a Shiba Inu.

Despite his small size, the Shiba Inu needs plenty of room to roam. He requires a home with a fenced yard. Shiba Inus can be aggressive with other dogs and they will chase small animals. They also tend to be possessive about their toys, food, and territory.

To get a healthy Shiba Inu, it is important to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will test their breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of genetic diseases and have sound temperaments.


The Shiba’s frame is compact with well-developed muscles. Males are 35 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in) tall. For females it is 33 to 41 cm (13 to 16 in). The average weight at a suitable size is about 10 kg (22 lb) for males and 8 kg (18 lb) for females. Bones are moderate.

Coat: There are two layers of fur with a hard and straight outer layer and a soft and thick inner layer. The fur is short and even on the face, ears and legs like a fox. The guard hairs protrude from the body about 4 to 5 cm (1+1⁄2 to 2 in) long at the shoulders. The tail feathers are a bit long and ruffled.

Shiba Inu can be red, black and brown, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or gray undercoat. It can also be white (cream), although this color is considered a “serious fault” by the American Kennel Club and should never be bred in shows. Conversely, a white (cream) coat is completely acceptable according to the British breed standard.

Urajiro (creamy white) occurs in the following areas on all fur areas: on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the lower jaw and in the throat, inside the legs, on the belly, around the vent and ventral side of tail. Red: injury on the throat, chest tip and chest. Black and sesame: usually a triangular mark on both sides of the tip of the chest.

Shiba Inu Personality

The well-bred Shiba Inu is good-natured, alert, and bold. He is strong-willed and confident, and often has his own ideas about things. He is loyal and affectionate with his family, though tends to be suspicious of strangers. The Shiba Inu doesn’t share well. He tends to guard, sometimes aggressively, his food, toys, or territory.

And he doesn’t always get along with other dogs, especially if he’s intact. He won’t hesitate to chase small animals that he considers prey. This is a smart breed, but training a Shiba Inu isn’t like training a Golden Retriever. While a Golden is delighted to come when called, the Shiba Inu will come when he feels like it — or not. He’s been described as stubborn, but freethinking is probably a more positive way to characterize him. Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization.

Shiba has a highly independent personality and is sometimes even aggressive towards other animals. You should not raise a Shiba with many dogs in a family or live with children because their aggressive nature can make them unfriendly.

Shiba Inu may seem a bit rude, but they are very loyal and love their owners very much. Puppies from Japan always have the most respect for their owners. They are always obedient and listen to their owners.

Shiba breeds are very meticulous. They always want to keep themselves clean at all times and have the habit of licking the soles of their feet like cats. They have their own way of moving to limit dirtying their beautiful fur.

Shiba Inu Health

The lifespan of a Shiba Inu dog is about 12 – 15 years. In general, this breed is quite healthy but is also susceptible to some genetic diseases. Although it is not too dangerous, you should understand it clearly to know how to prevent it effectively.

The most common diseases in the Shiba Inu dog breed: Glaucoma, ear infections, cataracts, allergies.

In addition, there are a number of other dangerous diseases such as: Care, Parvo, rabies, hepatitis,… but these diseases can be prevented if vaccinated according to the correct schedule.

Notes when raising Shiba dogs

Note that the Shiba dog’s residence should not be separated from that of humans. This breed needs to be with their family if they don’t want them to become aloof and aggressive towards humans.

Regular deworming is also something owners should pay attention to. Start bleaching when the Shiba dog is 2 – 3 weeks old, repeat at weeks 6 and 9 of age. Then bleach once a month until over 6 months old, then every 2 – 3 months before bleaching again. You can deworm your dog yourself at home according to your veterinarian’s prescription.

You should start vaccinating Shiba dogs as soon as they are 6 weeks old. Every veterinary facility has vaccination services for dogs. You can go to the nearest facility to register for injection treatment.

Shiba Inu Care

Shiba dog food

Any Shiba baby needs to be provided with a scientific diet if they want them to develop physically and mentally. In general, a Shiba Inu dog can be fed 3 – 4 times a day according to the following diet:

  • Shiba weighing from 6.8 kg can be fed 103g – 119g of food per meal depending on activity level.
  • Shiba weighing 8 kg can be fed 114g – 132g.
  • Dogs weighing 9 kg can be fed 125g – 144g.
  • Dogs weighing 10 kg can be fed 135g – 156g.
  • Adult Shiba weighing over 11kg can be fed 145g – 166g.

When Shiba Inu dogs are over 6 months old, they can eat adult dog food. At this time, the food provided at each meal needs to contain all the necessary nutrients.

How to care for and clean Shiba dogs

You should place the Shiba dog’s living and sleeping area in a suitable location in the house. Cool in summer and warm in winter. With Vietnam’s climate, raising Shiba dogs is quite suitable, but be sure to regularly trim their fur and cool them.

Shiba Inu is an active and mischievous dog breed, so the living environment must have spacious space. Ideally, houses have gardens for them to run around, otherwise they can be kept in small apartments or condos. But with the condition that you have to take them outside to exercise for at least 30 – 60 minutes a day.

Shiba is an active breed. They run and jump all day without getting tired. If you keep them in a small apartment, you should take them for a walk every day. You can practice light physical exercises such as: Jogging, catching a ball, swimming, etc. This dog breed does not require a strict training regimen like: German Shepherd, Rottweiler or Pitbull, etc., so the owner is quite good. relax in physical training.

Body hygiene

Shiba dogs have thick, dense fur that often sheds. You can minimize shedding by trimming and grooming your fur regularly. You should use a specialized comb to brush your hair every day to remove dead hair and stimulate new hair growth. Hair trimming should be done regularly about every 2 – 3 months. The coat will be neat and hair loss will also be significantly reduced.

Shiba Inu inherently love cleanliness, so cleaning their bodies is quite simple. You just need to shower regularly 1-2 times a week. When bathing, be sure to clean some nooks and crannies of the Shiba dog’s body such as: ears, between toes, armpits, and nostrils. These locations are extremely dirty but are least noticed.

During the bathing process, you should combine toenail trimming with nail clippers and oral hygiene to prevent some respiratory diseases such as acute pneumonia, flu, kennel cough, etc. After bathing, you should dry the fur. Avoid damp, foul-smelling hair, which is a favorable environment for bacteria to grow.

Shiba Inu Pictures

Thus, Dogsbreed.org has revealed to you useful information about the Shiba inu dog breed. Hopefully through the above article you can clearly understand the Shiba dog breed!

Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas expert in training and caring for pet dog breeds. Whether he spending quality time with her own furry companions or contributing to websites such as Dogsbreed.org and Animalpet.com, dedicated to our canine.

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