All You Must Know About the Dog Breed – Shiba Inu


Shiba Inu is the popular hunting dog breed from Japan. It is independent, agile and compact. It has an aggressive and never-give-up attitude. The dog breed is mainly known for its thick dual coating furs, which is best suited for colder climatic conditions. The breed is the type of Spitz dog originated from the Arctic region and the smallest breed of original Spitz breed. The breed has a spirited temperament and attitude, and pet owners must help them socialize early, which is important for their growth. Families with young kids must avoid raising this breed as it is the hunting dog and often get aggressive with other pets and people. Because of its hunting past, they like to chase animals and preys and hence it is not a good match with other small pets at home. Click Here for more updates and details about this dog breed. 

At a Glance – Shiba Inu Breed!

  • Lifespan – 13-15 Years
  • Height at Shoulder – 13-17 inches or 33-43 CM
  • Weight – 9-10 KG or 17-22 lbs      

Shiba Inu is one of Japan’s treasured breed, and it is the smallest and oldest breed today. The deep dark eyes in triangular shape are the unique characteristic of this breed. Lips and nose of the breed are black, and their triangular ears remain erected always. The tail is thick, curled over the back, and it is set high. The breed has a dual coat fur comprising a soft undercoat with a straight external coat. The cost colour varies from tan to black, red sesame to red, and the undercoat is gray, buff or cream. 

Origination of Shiba Inu Breed

Shiba Inu is the breed used to hunt boars, bears and small games in the mountains. The breed was declared a natural breed of the nation in 1936, and soon it has garnered recognition in an official capacity. The breed has risked its extinction post World War 2 like other breeds. But, the breeding program was initiated to ensure their existence. 

Friendliness of the Breed

As mentioned, Shiba Inu is the breed that is independent, alert and active with cat-like agility. The breed is affectionate, loyal and often become attached to other family members. They are good at adapting to any new situations and environment and also travel well. Since they stay reserved with other people and strangers, socialization is highly suggested. The crucial aspect of the breed that pet owners must know is that they avoid getting dirty. But, it varies depending upon the individual dog. You will hardly see any Shiba Inu puppy getting dirt or playing in the mud. 

The dog barks very less, and they are good with cats, other dogs and children. But, never trust them when they are around smaller pets or animals as they consider them prey. Pet owners must avoid leaving them alone for a long time as they may have separation anxiety attacks. 

Exercising Needs of The Breed     

Pet owners must take their dog out for daily exercises, play, and they are often a good companion for jogging and walking. But, you must aim to train and leash them in some enclosed area because the breed if prey driven and often start chasing smaller animals when they notice. 

The breed is active indoors and never dark much, and it makes the breed well suited for apartments and urban homes. Avoid leaving the dog alone for a long period as they may suffer from separation anxiety. The dog can live with other family members indoor, and they often develop close bonds with other family members and prefer everyone to stay close to them.

Grooming Needs

Brushing your dog every day is important. You must prefer grooming them at least a few times per week. Since the breed has a dual coating, it acts as water resistant for their body. Pet owners must avoid giving them a regular bath as it may strip their coating. Shredding is excessive with this breed, especially during spring months and fall season. Shredding occurs twice per year, and it is excessive. 

The active dog must get their nails trimmed regularly, and cleaning of ears is important for this breed. To maintain overall health and oral hygiene, ensure to clean their teeth daily. 

Health Complications

Major Complications

  • Hip Dysplasia – The breed is likely to have hip dysplasia. It is the devastating disease that occurs due to over-feeding the breed during their early age.
  • Cataracts – It occurs in digs around 2-3 years of age, and it is common in elderly pets
  • Luxating Patella – Shiba Inu breed have knee caps that often pop in and pop out without any pain or swelling. Surgical procedures are prescribed for some selected cases.             

Some of the other health conditions that are common with Shiba Inu include:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy 
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • Eyelash Issues
  • Entropion
  • Flea Allergy
  • Inhalant and Food Allergies
  • Dental Issues
  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane  

Heart murmur, double joined hocks, kidney failures, liver disease, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, and hip joint deriders are some of the other health conditions that are not very common but are likely to occur in Shiba Inu. 

Ask your vet to diagnose your dog closely to find the health conditions. Dental issues are common in small breed dogs and occur due to lack of chewing and poor diet and other genetic factors. Click Here to know more facts about this dog breed and seek online guidance to raise your dog with proper training and grooming.