Shiba-inu, or Shiba-ken (Japanese 柴犬), is a breed of hunting dogs, bred on the Japanese island of Honshu, the smallest of six breeds of native Japanese origin. In 1936, it was declared a national treasure of Japan, where the main population of these dogs is in the villages.
The Shiba was originally developed for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas.
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. Affectionate and loyal to its owner, the Shiba Inu has no problems with children, but is careful with strangers. Shiba Inu gets along well with dogs and other animals.
It is an active breed, playful and energetic. Cheerful, charming and affectionate, this breed requires attention from its owner. Shiba Inu can get along well with cats.
Shiba Inu is an intelligent and attentive, freedom-loving and a little stubborn dog, but always loyal to the owner. The Shiba Inu is a good family dog — he is loyal and devoted — and does well with children as long as he is properly socialized and trained, and the children treat him kindly and respectfully.
Shiba Inu has a particular fondness for independence, but he is still an obedient and intelligent dog. Consistent and varied training will provide good results. Socialization — the process by which puppies or adults dogs learn how to be friendly and get along with other dogs and people — and training should begin early to teach the Shiba Inu proper canine manners.
The Shiba Inu has a thick double coat. Grooming is minimal for the Shiba Inu, though he does shed heavily twice a year. Shiba is a naturally clean and odor-free dog. He does need brushing to remove dead hair. A bath now and then is necessary, too, but not too often because over-bathing will dry out his skin and coat. Many owners bathe the Shiba Inu every three to four months.
The Shiba Inu is best suited to a home with a fenced yard. He is an active breed who likes to play, take walks, or jog along with you. Giving him room to roam will help him get his ya-yas out. Socialization is important with this breed. Puppy and obedience classes are recommended for the Shiba Inu, not only for the lessons learned but also for the amount of stimulation and socialization it provides the dog. Work with a trainer who knows this breed.
Shiba Inus are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Shiba Inus will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed. (Allergies, Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) ).
The Shiba is the smallest of the Japanese native breeds of dog and was originally developed for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is also an excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is compact with well-developed muscles. Males and females are distinctly different in appearance: males are masculine without coarseness, females are feminine without weakness of structure.