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The Shiba Inu is doge of the native Japanese breeds. It was originally bred for hunting in the dense undergrowth of Japans mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is also an excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is compact with well developed muscles, and he possesses a double coat that can be black-and-tan, red or red-sesame. The popular online dog Doge is a Shiba Inu.

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A look back[]

Descended from the primitive dogs of the ancient people of Japan, the Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small game, boar and bear. The name Shiba in Japanese means brushwood, after the breeds hunting terrain or the color of the brushwood leaves in fall and Inu means dog. World War II almost spelled disaster for the breed due to bombing raids and distemper, but after the war, bloodlines were combined to create the breed as its known today.

Right breed for you?[]

The Shiba has an independent nature and can be reserved towards strangers, but is loyal and affectionate to those who earn his respect. The Shiba adapts well to living situations, but must be exercised on a leash or in a secure area. Early obedience training and regular brushing are musts.

Shiba Inu breed standards[]

General appearance[]

The Shiba is the smallest of Japan's native breeds of dog and was originally developed for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japans mountainous regions. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is an excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is compact with well developed muscles. Males and females are distinctly different: males are masculine without coarseness, females are feminine without weakness of structure.

Size, proportion, substance[]

Males are 14 1/2 inches to 16 1/2 inches tall at the withers. Females are 13 1/2 to 15 1/2 inches tall at the withers. The preferred size is at the middle of the range for each sex. The average weight for all sizes is approximately 23 pounds for males, 17 pounds for females. Males have a length ratio of 10 to 11, females slightly longer. Bone is moderate.


Expression is good natured with a strong and confident gaze. Eyes are somewhat triangular in shape, deep set and upward slanting toward the outside base of the ear. The iris is dark brown and the eye rims are black. Ears are triangular in shape, firmly pricked and small, but in proportion to its head and body size. Ears are set well apart and tilt directly forward with the slant of the back of the back of the ear following the arch of the neck. Skull size is moderate and in proportion to the body. Forehead is flat and broad with a slight furrow. Stop is moderate. Muzzle is firm, full and round with a stronger lower jaw protecting from full cheeks. The bridge of the muzzle is straight. Muzzle tapers slightly between stop and nose tip. Muzzle length is 40% of the total head length from occiput to nose tip. It is preferred that the whiskers remain intact. Lips are tight and black. Nose is black.