|Japanese Shiba Inu
Japanese Small Size Dog
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 5 Section 5 #257
||Group 6 (Utility)
||Group 6 - Non-Sporting
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Shiba Inu (柴犬) is the smallest of the six original and distinct
A small, agile dog that copes well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu
was originally bred for hunting. It is similar in appearance to the
though much smaller in stature. The Shiba Inu nearly became extinct in the
latter phase of
War II, with all subsequent dogs bred from only three surviving bloodlines
known as the San'in, Mino and Shinshu.
The name shiba inu is most commonly believed to be referring to its size,
with shiba meaning "small" and inu simply meaning "dog". The word
shiba, however, can also refer to a type of red shrub. This leads some to
believe that the shiba was named with this in mind, either because the dogs were
used to hunting in wild shrubs, or because the most common colour of the shiba
inu is a red colour similar to that of the shrubs. The shiba inu is also
sometimes called the shiba ken, as ken also means dog.
Shibas range in height from 14.5 to 16.5 inches (37 to 42 cm) for males, and
13.5 to 15.5 inches (34 to 39 cm) for females, with males weighing approximately
23 lb (10 kg), and females approximately 17 lb (8 kg). They have double coats,
with a straight outer coat and a soft, dense
that is shed two or three times a year, producing a surprising amount of fur
considering the size of the dog. Shibas may be red, black and tan, or red with
black-tipped hairs, with a cream, buff, or grey undercoat. They may also be
creamy white or pinto, though this colour is not allowed in the show ring as the
urajiro, or "back white", markings are unable to be seen.
Shibas are generally independent and intelligent dogs. They have a reputation
for aloofness with strangers, and obedience training is often difficult as they
can prove to be rather stubborn.
An eight-week-old Shiba Inu puppy
From the Japanese breed standard:
The dog has a spirited boldness with a good nature and a feeling of
artlessness. It is alert and able to move quickly with nimble, elastic
The terms "spirited boldness" (勇敢 yuukan), "good nature" (良性 ryōsei)
and "artlessness" (素朴 soboku) have subtle interpretations that have been
the subject of much commentary.
analysis confirms that this is one of the
oldest and most "primitive" dog breeds.
Health conditions known to affect this breed are
luxating patella. Shibas are also prone to
allergies. Epilepsy is also becoming common in several bloodlines in
Australia and the USA. Overall, however, they are of great genetic soundness and
few shibas are diagnosed with genetic defects in comparison to other dog breeds.
- Miriam Clews (Ed.). The Japanese Shiba Inu: A detailed study of the
The Shiba Inu can be found in the "Lab
and Friends" edition of the
This edition of the game was originally released as "Nintendogs: Shiba and
Friends" in Japan, the Shiba being the more recognisable breed in that country.
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