- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Extra training required
- Generally healthy breed
- Enjoys gentle walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Medium dog
- Minimum drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a large garden
- Can live in semi-rural areas
- Can be left occasionally with training
An alert, active and friendly dog, the Japanese Shiba Inu dog breed can be quite independent and often has a strong hunting instinct. Early, thorough socialisation is essential, particularly to help them be sociable with other dogs. An unusual feature of the breed is 'the Shiba scream' – a high-pitched vocalisation emitted when excited or agitated.
History and Origins
Bred to hunt and flush small game in the mountains of Japan, the Shiba Inu dog breed is a smaller version of the Akita – indeed, Shiba Inu translates as 'small dog'. One of the oldest known breeds, dating back to the 3rd century BC, the Shiba Inu dog almost died out entirely in the Second World War but the small number of dogs who had survived bombing raids and a distemper epidemic were bred to save the breed.
The Shiba Inu is generally a healthy, robust breed. Like many breeds inherited eye problems can occur and breeding dogs should be routinely eye tested.
About an hour's daily exercise is needed. Because of their potential desire to chase, do ensure you have a reliable recall before letting them off the lead and only exercise in safe, enclosed areas.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The Shiba Inu is a very clean breed – in fact, he self-grooms rather like a cat. However, the coat does need brushing about once a week, and when the coat sheds, you'll realise how thick that undercoat really is!
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.