The Shiba Inu

Other names




Life span

Litter size
Japanese Shiba Inu
Japanese Small Size Dog
Japanese Brushwood Dog
Japanese Turf Dog
Shiba Ken.



Red, orange, yellow,
black and tan, or white


3 pups on average


10 kg (22 lb)
8 kg (18 lb)
35 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in)
33 to 41 cm (13 to 16 in)

Known as The “Japanese Shiba Inu” They are a small to medium sized breed, the Japanese Shiba-Inu is the smallest of the six original and distinct dog breeds native to Japan which are; Akita (large), Kishu, Hokkaido, Kai, Shikoku (medium), and Shiba (small).

The Japanese Shiba-Inu are a small and agile dog breed that can cope with mountainous terrain. Originally, they where bred for hunting. To flush small game, such as birds and rabbits was occasionally used to hunt wild boars. From 1912-1926, there was almost no pure Shiba remaining. Then in 1928, hunters and intellectuals began to show intrest in the protectingthe remaining pure shiba. How ever, despite the efforts to preserve the breed it nearly became extinct during world war II due to combination of food shortage and a post-war distemper epidemic. How ever, all subsequent dogs were bred from the three surviving blood lines. These blood lines were the Shinshu Shiba from Nagano Prefecture, the Mino Shiba from the former Mino Province in the south of present-day Gifu Prefecture, and the San’in Shiba from Tottori and Shimane Prefecture.


Generally, they are known to be healthy dogs, but there are some health conditions that are know to affect these breeds and they are; allergies, glaucoma, cataracts, hip dysplasia, entropion, and luxating patella. It is know that the Shiba Inu can develope eye problems over time so eye tests are advised to be done yearly. Periodic joint examinations should be done through out the dogs life span but by 2years of age, a Shiba Inu may be considered free from joint problems. If none have been discovered during that age then its skeleton have fully developed.

Life span

The average life expectancy of the Shiba is 12-15years. How ever, the oldest known Shiba was Pusuke which died at age 26 in early December 2011. Pusuke was the oldest dog alive at the time and lived three years less than the world record for longest living dog. Exercise and daily walks is advised for this breed to live a long and healthy life.


These dogs are very clean, in fact they are one of the cleanest dogs you will ever meet so grooming needs will likely be minimal. The Shiba Inu’s coat is coarse; short-medium length with the outer coat being 2.5 and 3.2 cm. Naturaly the coat is water proof so regular bath is not needed. They also have thick under coat to protect them from temperature change like the Husky dog breed. Shedding can become annoying during seasonal changes and especially in summer, daily brushing can temper this problem. However, owners are advised not to shave their coat as it protects them from both hot and cold temperatures. Here are the known coat colours of The Shiba-Inu;

The cream coat with the red and the black and tan Shiba inu.


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