Shiba Inu

The bold and alert Shiba Inu, also known as Brushwood Dog is one among the six native breeds of Japanese dogs. This small and fierce dog can cope well in mountainous terrains and was once used to hunt wild animals. Free-willed and free-spirited, the Shiba Inus are intelligent and move swiftly and effortlessly. The dog is stubborn and needs constant movement. It is possessive and guards its territory well. Despite these shortcomings, Shiba Inu is an excellent companion dog who is loyal and devoted to its owner. It can be aggressive towards other animals and strangers.

Shiba Inu Breed Information

One of the ancient breeds of dogs that still exist today, the Shiba Inu, was originally bred for hunting. These bold and beautiful dogs got their name from Shiba-the brushwood bushes in which it used to hunt. Also the fiery red colour of its coat resembled the brushwood bush leaves. Also in Japanese, Shiba meant small and as these dogs are small in size, making it an apt name for them. Post the disastrous World War II, these mountain dogs were shifted to country side and were groomed into companion dogs. The Japanese Kennel Club adopted this breed and introduced them to the outside world.
Shiba Inu is a herder in nature, who can chase its prey at the speed of light. It loves action and cannot stay at one place for a long time. It mixes well with family members but can be shy before strangers. It needs to be trained consistently as it is not very obedient. Socialization skills should be cultivated at a very early stage.
  • Activity level: 4/5 (active and alert)
  • Intelligence level: 3/5 (may needs consistent training)
  • Curiosity: 3/5 (dogs with good temperament, curious and playful)
  • Friendliness: 2/5 (friendly, but can be reserved with other dogs)
  • Vocal: 4/5 (fierce and bold)
The Shiba Inu is Japan’s smallest native dog that overall resembles a fox but has the characteristic of a typical companion dog. It has a compact body structure and well developed muscles. They come in tan, black, red and sesame with a grey, cream or buff undercoat.
  • Fur: Its double coat that makes it look like a stuffed bear. The outer coat is straight and stiff while the undercoat is soft and thick.
  • Eyes: Shiba Inu has bright squinty eyes.
  • Body structure: It is a small dog in stature but has quick reflexes and can outrun any human. Prick ears, wolf-like appearance, curled tail with light footed grace are notable features of a Shiba Inu.
  • Facial features: It has a fox like face and jaws.
  • Weight: Males weigh 23 pounds and females weigh about 17 pounds.
Health and Care
Shiba Inu is naturally healthy. It is best suited to a home with a fenced yard as it is an active breed that likes to play, walk and jog. It chases small animals and birds due to its strong preying instinct. It is recommended to feed it twice a day with high quality dry food amounting to 1.5 cups in total. Though it sheds moderately, twice a year it blows the coat completely like a snow storm. Cleaning and brushing the hair while shedding keeps the dog clean and odour free. It is prone to allergies, chylothorax, cancer, epilepsy, PRA, tail spinning etc. and should be periodically tested for these diseases. Periodic joint examinations, DNA Testing, and eye tests should be conducted to check the occurrence of hip dysplasia and Glaucoma. Regular exercise and medications from the vet can help to overcome these diseases and keep it healthy.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at