|Did you know?
· Shiba Inus have lived with the Japanese people
for centuries. Considered the smallest and
oldest of Japan's dogs, the Shiba's ability to
maneuver steep hills and mountain slopes,
together with its keen senses, have repeatedly
shown it to be a superb hunting dog.
· After reaching near extinction during World
War II, only three Shiba bloodlines remained.
They were the San In Shiba, Mino Shiba and the
Shin Shu Shiba, the latter being the most
popular. It is from these three lines that the
breed evolved into the modern Shiba.
· In 1954 the first Shiba was documented as
arriving in the U.S. The dog was brought from
Japan by an American armed services family.
information about Shiba Inus
The Shiba is the smallest of the Japanese native
breeds of dog and was originally developed for
hunting by sight and scent in the dense
undergrowth of Japan's mountainous areas. Alert
and agile with keen senses, he is also an
excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is
compact with well-developed muscles. Males and
females are distinctly different in appearance:
males are masculine without coarseness, females
are feminine without weakness of structure.
Males 14½ inches to 16½ inches at withers.
Females 13½ inches to 15½ inches. Average weight is
approximately 23-30 pounds for males, 17-25 pounds for
females. Males have a height to length ratio of
10 to 11, females slightly longer.
The Shiba Inu's coat is somewhat soft, thick and
plush to the touch. Double coated with the outer
coat being stiff and straight and the undercoat
soft and thick. Fur is short and even on face,
ears, and legs. Guard hairs stand off the body
are about 1½ to 2 inches in length at the
withers. Tail hair is slightly longer and stands
open in a brush.
Urajiro (cream to white ventral color).
Reds (bright orange-red with urajiro lending a foxlike
appearance to dogs of this color).
Black with tan points and urajiro.
Sesame (black-tipped hairs on a rich
red background) with urajiro.
A spirited boldness, a good nature, and an
unaffected forthrightness, which together yield
dignity and natural beauty. The Shiba has an
independent nature and can be reserved toward
strangers but is loyal and affectionate to those
who earn his respect. The Shiba Inu may seem slightly aloof at first,
but it is typically an inquisitive,
good-natured, bright and active dog.
Shiba Inu History
The Shiba Inu has been with the Japanese people
for centuries. They are considered the smallest
and oldest of Japan's dogs. The ability of these
dogs to maneuver through steep hills and
mountain slopes, together with their keen
senses, have repeatedly shown the Shiba to be a
superb hunting dog.
The ancestors of today's Shibas were those hardy
survivors of Japan's mountainous regions which
are very difficult for men to penetrate.
Although they were originally used to hunt large
game, they currently used for small. They make
an excellent watchdog and have established
themselves as the number one companion dog in
Japan. They can be seen throughout Japan in the
cities, suburbs and countryside's.
There have been many stories on how the Shiba
came about its name. Some are of the opinion
that the name Shiba Inu was given because of its
skill in going freely through the brushwood
bushes. You will hear people refer to the Shiba
as the Little Brushwood Dog. Another story has
it that the other meaning of the Japanese word
"Shiba" is small, therefore, this name has also
been attached to these dogs. None of these
stories however, have been validated. What is
valid is this small dog called Shiba first came
by its name in approximately the 1920s. In
December of 1936, through the Cultural
Properties Act, the Shiba was designated as a
precious natural product of the Japanese nation.
Thus, the breed was given official recognition.
Most of the Shibas being shown in the 1930s came
from the Yamanashi or San In areas. These dogs
were brought down from the mountains to the more
populated areas. As they had been used mostly
for hunting, their appearance was somewhat
different from the Shiba today. They were large
boned and rough looking, unlike the elegant
Shibas you now see.
After reaching near extinction during World War
II, those Shibas remaining were from three
different bloodlines. They were the San In
Shiba, Mino Shiba, and the Shin Shu Shiba, the
last being the most popular in Japan past and
present. It is from these three lines the Shiba
has evolved into the breed you see in and out of
The first documented Shiba in the United States
was in 1954. It was brought from Japan by an
American armed service family. In the late
seventies Americans started to import the Shiba
for breeding. The first litter born in the
United States was 1979. The sire and dam were
imports owned by Julia Cadwell.