Shiba Inu



The Shiba Inu is a very lively and courageous dog, which is rapidly gaining popularity all around the world. This breed gets along quite well with children and can be a true friend to his master. On the other hand, Shiba Inus are wary of strangers but seldom show aggression. In 1992, this breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Height: 13-16 inches  Weight: 19-30 pounds  Lifespan: 12-15 years


The Shiba Inu is very playful and energetic. Additionally, this beautifully looking dog is tender and charming. This breed is very independent, but it craves the owner’s attention nonetheless. The Shiba Inu gets along poorly with small pets, but he easily finds a common language with cats. Comparable Breeds: The Akita and Siberian Husky.


Shiba Inus are extremely clever animals that show great talent for the role of guarding. However, these dogs have a propensity for frequent, excessive barking. The Shiba Inu is not recommended for dog breeders with any previous experience, mainly because he is sometimes overly stubborn.

Coat / Care:

Shiba Inus are covered with a double coat. While the outer layer is hard and soft, the undercoat is rather dense. The tail and hind legs of this breed are adorned with somewhat longer hair, in comparison with the rest of the body. Shiba Inus come in orange-red and sesame. Also, white markings on the tip of the tail and on the forelegs and hind legs are quite common. The Shiba is relatively easy to care for. Hence, it is enough to periodically comb the dog’s coat with a brush. This will remove excess hair and minimize the hair loss. But, since this breed sheds intensely during the shedding season, it may require special maintenance. Regular water treatments can destroy the waterproof qualities of the coat, so the Shiba Inu should not be bathed too often. Shiba Inus are usually very healthy, but like any other breed, they are prone to certain diseases. The most common health concerns are: canine hip dysplasia, glaucoma, allergies, epilepsy, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cancer.


Since the Shiba Inu is a smart dog, he responds well to rules concerning cleanliness. Still, obedience training and socialization should begin at very young age. Moreover, due to the fact that Shiba Inus are very stubborn and full of energy, they require an experienced coach and consistency in education.


The Shiba Inu is not intended for indoor living. This dog breed likes to be the center of attention and furthermore, needs your undivided attention. Shiba Inus thrive best in a medium-sized fenced yard, but they meet their needs with day-to-day hiking.

Photo credit: Yuya Tamai/Flickr

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