The Shiba Inu Dogs

Poised, courageous, protective, and extremely devoted, Shiba Inu makes for an ideal pet dog. Protect your Shiba Inu with Flea service from Tampa Pest Control. They are quick-witted, energetic, and fearless. They are neither too enormous nor too small and bony. These pups are adorable with all the right kind of curves and their optimally compact size. To further add to their cuteness, these canines have a furry, velvety coat, a perfectly round chubby butt, and a perfect curly tail. Their face resembles that of a fox and is structured to make their cheeks more outspread, resulting in their smile to be twice as big, and so these dogs appear to be even more joyful. So it is safe to say, Shiba Inu’s are like puppy shaped teddy bears.

Shiba Inu dogs are considered one of the most precious natural treasures. They originated in Japan and were initially propagated as hunting dogs for large animals in the mountainous terrain. They are the smallest member of Japan’s six native breeds of dogs. Despite their great value, they were almost led to extinction near World War II. Soon after, breeding projects began to save these valuable dogs. They were then imported to the United States by a military family in 1954 and have been growing in popularity. These animals are considered to be the number one companion animals in Japan.

Physical characteristics:

Shiba Inus have well-developed muscles and a compact body which is covered in a double coat of fur. The inner coat is made of thick soft hair that resembles cotton very much, while the outer layer is made up of sharp, straight hair. This helps protect these animals from harsh cold weather. You have multiple choices of coats to choose from. These dogs come in sesame, red, brown, black, white, and cream-colored coats. Despite the variation in the outer coats, one of the most distinctive features of these dogs is that their inner coat and the fur covering the lower parts of their body is white or cream-colored.

These dogs have round faces that strongly resembles that of a fox with a short, pointed black nose. They have a characteristic amiable and lively expression on their face. They also have triangular eyes and triangular ears covered in fur. Their tails are curled over their straight backs. They have strong legs which make them extremely agile, alert, light, and quick on its feet. Hence, they make a great watchdog and companion. They are also capable of jumping high. These traits made these canines ideal for hunting in dense areas.

The males typically have a height between 14-17 inches and weight between 20-26 pounds, while the females have a height between 13-16 inches and weigh between 16-20 pounds.

Did you know?

‘Shiba’ means brushwood while ‘Inu’ means dog. So the term Shiba Inu refers to the dense terrain in which these animals originated in Japan.

Shiba Inu Dog Quick Facts:

Hypoallergenic Dog: NoOrigin: JapanDrooling: low  
Weight 23 pounds (males) 17 pounds (females)Group Non-Sporting GroupLife span 12-13 years
Height 14.5–6.5 inches (male) 13.5-15.5 inches (female)Trainability: Difficult  Family Dog: Yes! Extremely devoted

Shiba Inu temperament and personality:

Shiba Inus are independent, hard to please, and proud animals. In contrast to dogs like Labs and poodles, Shiba Inus are less dependable and clingy. They are generally very clean, produce very less dander and keep their coats clean. They make a great pet for dog owners who do not want to provide excessive coddling. These dogs have learned to adapt alone in the harsh cold weather of the mountains in Japan. Their adaptability also makes these animals great as a watchdog. They are protective, extremely energetic, and active with bold fearlessness. These dogs are also very healthy and their survival in the cold, harsh weather along with their hunting skills is a result of great strength packed in their small body size.

The Japanese describe these animals with three words: ‘Kan-I’, ‘Royosei’, and ‘Sobuko’. ‘Kan-I’ explain their courage, fearlessness, and their self-control. This term thus describes these animals as being ferocious without being reckless. ‘Royosei’ describes the loyal and amiable nature of these dogs, especially with their owner. It also describes the special bond of loyalty they form with their master, which makes them capable of taking only one master in their lifetime. ‘Sobuko’ basically describes how the physical beauty of Shiba Inu along with its polished character makes it shine as a spectacular dog. These animals are extremely smart and devoted, so they make a great companion.

Shiba Inus are also famous for their phenomenal trait; airplane ears. This occurs when they want to show their love to you. This an extremely delightful thing and is often accompanied by a ridiculously enormous grin.

Is Shiba Inu the right dog for you?

If you are considering keeping these dogs as pets, here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Shiba’s has a ‘stubborn streak’ which can affect its ‘puppy training’. They will not conform to someone easily and will require a lot of work to be trained. There may be a need to socialize these dogs early or send them to an obedience trainer. The puppy stage is vital to its training and development.
  • Since these dogs are intelligent animals they do not get amused by silly tricks and play that the usual dogs find amusing. They enjoy things that involve some sort of goal or an objective. Thus, they have to be entertained with toys that provide a challenge mentally or physically.
  • Even though the Shibas do not produce a lot of dander they shed out a lot during the shedding season. They are capable of shedding out the whole undercoat twice a year during the shedding season and you will have your house corners piled up with fur.
  • Unhappy Shibas give a high-pitched scream. It can be a result of unwanted activity, a domesticating ritual, or if something they want is not followed through properly. They can let out this scream while going for an unwanted walk or a visit to the vet.
  • Since Shibas are trained to find small hunting game, these animals can never be walked without a leash. They will ignore the command and easily get distracted and chase animals as small as a mouse or a bird.
  • Shiba Inus guard the boundary of their homes very aggressively. They do not tolerate other dogs and can get very aggressive towards them. Despite their small size, they can take over a fight with larger canines. Their play with other dogs may also involve periodic snarling and biting.

Exercise & training:

Training a Shiba Inu:

Shiba Inus are a basal breed of dogs. Their DNA is less hardwired to accept domestication by humans. Their stubborn, unique, and intelligent personality traits make their obedience training difficult. Being independent, these animals are not constantly seeking their owner’s attention.

These dogs are difficult to be trained by inexperienced dog owners. They are looking for a confident “leader” and “protector”. So, if you baby these dogs too much, they will consider that the position of being the leader belongs to them and will not conform to your training. Remember dogs, unlike babies, do not require coddling for their emotional well-being.

These dogs were born leaders, and it is difficult for them to follow, so it is recommended to establish yourself as a leader from the start to earn their respect and trust. As your dog finds comfort and protection with you, it will demonstrate less aggression and show more obedience.

It is also crucial to socialize these animals since the puppy stage. Expose these animals to various stimuli to make them less hostile to human beings and other dogs. Negative reinforcement and aversive punishment methods of training are not very effective with Shiba Inus. They require positive reinforcement and lots and lots of patience.


The Shiba Inus need a minimum of 1 hour of exercise every day. This is extremely vital or they become aggressive and frustrated. Since these animals are extremely intelligent, they also require mentally stimulating or goal-oriented activities.

Shiba Inu Dog Health Issues and Care:

Shiba Inus are healthy animals, but they are genetically predisposed to the following diseases.

  • Dental disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Distichiasis
  • Pyometra (occurs in females)
  • Bone and joint problems
  • allergies
  • epilepsy
  • Heart diseases
  • hypothyroidism
  • VKH syndrome


In conclusion, the loyal, independent, and amiable nature of Shiba Inu dogs make them great companions and an excellent choice for a pet. They have great energy and their intelligence would always keep their owners entertained. Added to this, these animals are strong, fearless, and bold, which makes them marvelous watchdogs. They are protective of their family and would defend them at any cost. However, their difficulty to be trained along with their independent and stubborn nature makes them a poor choice for novice owners.