Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu, or Shiba for short, is a compact and tough dog that hails from Japan. They were little known in the West until about 60 years ago when they came home with a military family. Thanks to their documentation and migration, they have now exploded into a popular breed in many other countries. This breed’s adorable round face frames an ever-alert expression, making it easy to see why people love these dogs so much. Read on to learn more about the Shiba Inu.

Description of the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is the most popular dog in Japan. This comes as no surprise given their small size, adorable face, and adaptable nature. They can do well in the country or an apartment, making them ideal for almost anyone.

A member of the non-sporting group, these dogs are active but also content lazing around at home with their families. This dog is quickly recognized by its foxlike face, thick fur, and curled tail. Breeders originally created this breed as a hunting companion, but today you are more likely to find them curled up next to you on the sofa.

The Shiba’s incredibly dense coat is even and stands out from the body, adding to the cute roundness of its face. These dogs come in bold coloring with white being combined with either red, red sesame, or black and tan.

Life Expectancy and Size

The Shiba Inu lives an average of 13 – 16 years. They tend to be healthy dogs, but working with a reputable breeder can help ensure you get the healthiest puppy possible.

One of the most desirable qualities of this breed is their compact size. Tough but easily portable, the male Shiba Inu stands 14.5 – 16.5 inches tall and weighs around 23 pounds; and the female stands 13.5 – 15.5 inches tall and weighs about 17 pounds.

Protective Ability

These dogs are alert and protective making them a great choice in watchdog. They are always ready to announce the presence of strangers and tend to be wary of new people until introduced. But once introduced the Shiba Inu is a great friend to all.


The Shiba Inu is a smart dog that learns quickly. But his natural instincts are never far away and so it is important to know that this breed should never be off leash when outside, as they will be gone in a heartbeat. They can’t help but follow their instincts and no amount of training can really change that. But when it comes to things like housebreaking or obedience commands the Shiba Inu is quick to learn.

Treats are an important aid in motivating your dog. They are intelligent and will pick up commands quickly, but without proper motivation may not see the purpose of doing what you say. Tempting them with a tasty morsel is just the thing to reward your dog for his quick uptake on a new command.

Rewards-based and positive training methods are the best way to approach training your dog. They thrive on rewards, positive language, and attention.

Energy Level

The Shiba Inu is an energetic dog that can easily adapt to a more sedentary lifestyle. As long as they get enough exercise they are happy snuggling on the couch. Because they don’t tend to be destructive when not given enough exercise they are a good choice for apartment living, but don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to exercise your dog. These dogs love to move and may become reserved or unhappy if not given enough daily activity.

What Living with a Shiba Inu is Like

This is an adaptable breed.

These dogs love their families and are a perfect blend of calm and energetic. They are fun and love to move, so can do well in active families. But on the flipside, the Shiba Inu can adapt to a sedentary life and will do well with more relaxed families as long as he gets an adequate dose of daily exercise. They are more than happy to spend time at home with their families.

Care of the Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is an adaptable dog that can do well on his own and doesn’t require too much space. Just give them a daily dose of exercise and this breed will be happy

Environmental Needs

The Shiba Inu has a thick double coat that provides them with plenty of protection for cold wintery days. But they can also adapt decently well to hotter climates. Just be sure to provide them with plenty of water when it is warm outside and monitor them so they don’t overheat.

Exercise Needs

While this breed can is active and can be energetic, they only require moderate exercise to stay fit and happy. This makes them a great choice for those wanting a fun pet, but one that doesn’t need an intense exercise time commitment.

At least one long daily walk a day is usually enough exercise for these dogs. But they can also be very playful and will enjoy supplemental backyard games or other fun activities with you.

The Shiba Inu loves to chase and you will be hard-pressed to get him back if he makes it off leash or out the front door. Be sure to keep him close so you don’t accidentally lose him!

Shedding and Grooming

The thick and dense coat of the Shiba Inu sheds quite frequently, and they go through a few regular sheds a year. To combat all this loose fur regular brushing is a must, but if you don’t mind hairs all over the house you only need to brush weekly. A good way to lighten the shedding for a bit is to blow-dry them after a bath. This removes even more loose hairs and will keep more fur off your favorite carpet!

This breed sheds frequently.

Shibas can also be especially reluctant to have their nails trimmed. Start trimming when they are young so they become used to it and won’t object.

Ideal Home Environment

Energetic, friendly, and noble, the Shiba Inu is a clear choice for those looking for a beautiful and companionable dog. They make great family pets but are also a wonderful choice for those living alone or seniors. They love exercise but aren’t destructive if you can’t get them out for a day. Just be sure this lack of activity isn’t becoming a habit. They may seem okay with not having daily exercise but really they require it for their health and happiness.

They are also a protective and vigilant breed, which makes for a great watchdog. The Shiba tends to be wary around strangers but will open up around those he is introduced to.

But these dogs can have health issues that may be costly or time consuming to deal with.

Health Concerns

Allergies are one of the biggest health problems that afflict this breed. Some medications can control this, but working with a reputable breeder is the best way to try and get a puppy who isn’t prone to allergies.

Other issues include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and patellar luxation.

Behavior Problems

The Shiba Inu loves to wander and won’t hesitate to fly out that front door the moment he gets a chance. They can’t help it, but you can! Be sure to keep them fenced in or on leash and always watch doors as they are opening so your dog can’t try and follow his nose out into the world.