Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Breed description: Character & Co


Origin and history of the Shiba Inu

Meanwhile, the Shiba Inu is the most common dog breed found in Japan. Being also one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, its ancestors came to Japan with immigrants around 7000 BC, where they were originally used for hunting small game as well as birds. However, at the beginning of the 20th century there was a decline in the population, which was stemmed by efforts to pure breed and the creation of a breed standard in 1934. Originally, three types were distinguished according to the region of origin: The Shinshu Shiba, the Mino Shiba and the Sanin Shiba.

As a result, the Shiba was declared a "natural monument" three years after the breed standard was established, and since then it has continued to be bred until it has become the breed we know today.

There are several theories for the origin of the name:

  • Color: One claim is that the name Shiba is derived from the term Shiba-Aka, which compares the brown-red hue of the coat to the fall coloration of leaves.
  • Size: It is also possible that the name of the Japanese dog is associated with the obsolete meaning of the word Shiba, which roughly means "small".
  • Usage: Shiba can also be meant as "underbrush", referring to the hunting use of the dogs in the bushes.

The additional name "Inu" or "Ken" translates as dog.

Suitability and attitude

The Shiba is a reliable companion dog and is now kept almost exclusively as a family dog, as which he is perfectly suited. Due to its versatile characteristics, it is also a reliable guard dog that defends home and family. He is rarely really enthusiastic about dog sports.

Comparisons and confusions

Shibas often like to be compared to foxes, especially when it comes to a plush red-colored specimen.

However, the breed is also often confused with the Akita Inu or even referred to as the Mini Akita. Since the Akita is significantly larger, they like to be misinterpreted as kittens.

Interesting facts about the Shiba Inu

This dog breed gained worldwide fame through the "Doge meme" in 2013. Later, this dog breed was also found in the logo of the Dogecoin as well as the Shiba Token (SHIB), which are cryptocurrencies in their own right.

As an archaic breed, it also has a special genetic proximity to the wolf.

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Alternate Name Shiba
Origin Japan
Life expectancy 12 - 15 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Asian Spitz and related breeds
AKC group non-sporting group
KC group utility group

Typical character traits of the Shiba Inu

According to the breed standard, the Shiba Inu should be loyal, perceptive and very alert. At the same time he is a pleasant roommate in the house and likes to show himself very affectionate in the family, but at the same time alert and reserved towards strangers. He usually barks at intruders, although otherwise he has no tendency to excessive vocalizations.

Through its original use, the Shiba has also retained its strong hunting instinct, which should not be underestimated - as well as its independence. Therefore, walking without a leash is hardly possible and a thorough education with enough patience and empathy is necessary to have a well-balanced partner at your side.

Exercise and movement

Even if your Shiba does not necessarily turn out to be a good participant in dog sports or joyful in fetching the ball, he needs a lot of exercise. He will gladly accompany you as a sturdy jogging partner or for extended walks in almost any weather. Really watch out, however, in the heat!


  • charming
  • fearless
  • concentrated
  • reserved
  • quietly
  • shrewd
  • confidently
  • stubborn
  • faithfully
  • shy


  • Companion Dog
  • Hunting Dog
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Breed-typical diseases of the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is considered a very robust dog breed. Nevertheless, one should pay attention to the following diseases:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Gangliosidosis (Norman Landing disease)

In addition, a physiological microcytosis, i.e. reduced red blood cells, is found in very many Shibas.

Due to his excellent health, a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years is not unusual.

Interesting facts about Shiba Inu breeding

A Shiba Inu puppy itself costs about 1500 Euro. There are well known sites which offer further Shiba Inu information, especially about breeding:

The breedings, which come from the USA to Europe are mostly bigger and also more muscular, than genera, which come into question for breeding in Japan and Europe. Therefore, the respective breeding guidelines must be observed.

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The Shiba Inu is classified in FCI Group 5 (Spitz and primitive type dogs), Section 5 (Asian Spitz and related breeds) and without working test.

The size of the male is about 40cm, the female is on average three to five centimeters smaller. The Shiba brings a weight of 9-13kg on the scales. His gait is - similar to a fox - diligent and nimble.

The head

The broad forehead of the Shiba has a distinct stop with a slightly pronounced furrow. A straight bridge of the nose leads into a nose leather, which must be black. The muzzle in general is considered moderately thick, with tight lips and a scissor bite. The cheeks are well developed.

The Eyes & Ears

The triangular eyes of the Shiba should not be too small and should be dark brown in color. The outer corner of the eye is slightly raised. The standing ears are also triangular, relatively small and slightly tilted forward.

The torso

The Shiba is characterized by a broad, strong neck and an equally strong, straight back. The loins are broad and muscular. He also has a deep chest. His lower profile line is slightly tucked up.

The tail

An important characteristic of the Shiba is the high set, thick tail, which is carried well curled or in a sickle shape. However, when it hangs down, the tip reaches almost to the hock.

The limbs

When viewed from the front, the front limbs are straight and the elbow should be close to the body. The pastern has a slight slope. On the hindquarters, the Shiba's lower leg is described as relatively short, but well developed. It also has a thick, robust hock.

Both the front and hind feet should have closely knit toes that are well arched and thick, resilient pads. His claws should be hard and preferably dark in color.

The coat

The outer coat of the Shiba Inu is hard and straight, while the undercoat is soft and dense. On the tail, the hair is slightly longer and sticking out.

The Shiba Inu comes in the colors red, black-tan, sesame, black-sesame, red-sesame. Sesame here means a mixture of different colors: If another color is added to this designation, that one is the base color and thus predominantly represented.All colors listed must have "Urajiro". This means that the Shiba has whitish hair on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks, under the muzzle, on the throat, chest and belly, on the underside of the tail and on the inside of the limbs.

Fur length medium
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail rolled up
Anatomy rugged, hefty
Size ♀ 33 - 41 cm
Weight ♀ 6 - 9 kg
Size ♂ 35 - 43 cm
Weight ♂ 8 - 11 kg
Suitable For Seniors


red sesame black cream Loh brown-white
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  • A Shiba costs about 2500 Euro. Mixed breeds are much cheaper, but a purebred dog from a good and serious breeding costs money.

  • Yes, in principle the Shiba can be kept as a family dog or companion dog. However, the Shiba Inu does not necessarily need many people around him.

  • A puppy should get about 100 grams of dry food a day. Ask your breeder for the exact ration.

  • A Shiba needs average exercise and is satisfied if you walk or run with him for 2 hours a day. Additionally, like many other dog breeds, he needs mental exercise. This includes intelligence toys for home or search games indoors and outdoors.

  • The Shiba Inu is the most common dog breed in Japan.

  • Yes, the Shiba Inu is an excellent family dog.

  • The Shiba Inu is often described as fox-like.

  • As a color sign, Urajiro means that the dog has whitish hair on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks, under the muzzle, on the throat, chest and belly, on the underside of the tail and on the inside of the limbs.

Other medium dogs

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