Shiba Inu hail from Japan — archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the Shiba’s ancestors from 7,000 BC. But the specific Shiba Inu breed are thought to have origins around 300 BC. They were used as hunters for game from fowl to game to boar. In World War II, a distemper epidemic greatly reduced the Shiba Inu numbers in Japan, but since then an effort to revitalize the bloodlines to create the modern Shiba Inu breed we know today: highly independent and intelligent.
How Many Types of Shiba Inus Are There?
Apart from color variation, there is just one type of Shiba Inu. The Shiba Inu are the smallest of 6 types of indigenous Japanese dogs.
Shiba Inu are small medium-sized dogs, most weighing 15-24 lbs and standing around 13-16 inches tall.
Shiba Inu Appearance
What Colors Do Shiba Inus Come In?
Shiba Inu come in a variety of colors including red, black, black and tan, cream, and brindle.
How Much Do Shiba Inus Shed?
Shiba Inu shed heavily twice a year, but the rest of the year they shed lightly or moderately.
Sheds a LittleSheds a Lot
Do You Need to Groom a Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inu need regular brushing with raking-type brushes to keep their coats soft and to help ease shedding. They are very clean dogs, with dirt-repellant coats and a penchant for avoiding puddles while out for a walk.
Shiba Inu Temperament, Personality & Training
How Much Do Shiba Inus Bark?
Your Shiba Inu may be vocal, but not with “barking,” per se. They are more likely to use their patented, fairly hilarious Shiba Inu high-pitched yell/squeal. As with any dog, they can be discouraged from “barking” with proper training and exercise.
Are Shiba Inus Good with Kids?
Shiba Inu are devoted, loyal dogs that can be wonderful and gentle with children if properly socialized, but generally do better with older children.As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your Shiba Inu to keep both the child and dog safe.
Needs Lot of SupervisionVery Tolerant
Are Shiba Inus Good Family Dogs?
Shiba Inu make wonderful family companions. They are devoted, alert, independent yet loyal animals who are fastidious in cleaning themselves (and thus relatively easy to housetrain) and a joy to look at. They can be iffy with other dogs, so a household where they are the only dog is usually ideal, though of course with the proper socialization, they can befriend other dogs as well. They need an owner who knows how to be in charge, otherwise they will find themselves the boss of the family.
Independent SpiritFamily Dog All the Way
Are Shiba Inus Good with Cats?
Shiba Inu typically get along well with other non-dog animals, so long as everyone agrees they are in charge. Of course, each dog (and cat) has his own preferences and temperament, but you can feel fairly confident your Shiba Inu, if properly socialized to your cat and/or introduced at a young age, should get along just swell.
Likely to ChaseHey, New Pal!
Are Shiba Inus Easy to Train?
Shiba Inu are trainable, though they are high-spirited, incredibly fast runners, and have a high prey-drive. They are best always kept on a leash.
Shiba Inu Health
Do Shiba Inus Have a Lot of Health Problems?
Shiba Inu are a fairly healthy breed with a relatively long lifespan. The oldest living Shiba reached 26 years of age!
Prone to IssuesGenerally Healthy
What Diseases are Shiba Inus Prone To?
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Hip and elbow dysplasia are two of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs. They are similar diseases in which either the hip or elbow joint has grown abnormally or is misshapen. The abnormal shape prevents the joints and sockets from properly meeting one another, resulting in rubbing and grinding instead of sliding smoothly. Unlike in hip dysplasia, where the main problem is joint instability, the abnormalities seen in elbow dysplasia often result in pieces of bone and/or cartilage breaking loose and irritating the joint tissues. Over time, the rubbing from dysplasia can cause a variety of issues such as pain, lameness and secondary osteoarthritis. Surgery can be done to fix the joint if diagnosed before the onset of arthritis. If you are rescuing a Shiba Inu, have her checked out by a vet to see if she has or is prone to getting dysplasia so you know what she will be able to handle in terms of activities and exercise.
Patellar luxation: Also known as slipped kneecaps, patellar luxation is a common problem in many dog breeds. It occurs when slight abnormalities cause the knee joint to slide in and out of place. This can cause pain and occasional lameness. Surgical treatment is available for severe cases although many dogs lead normal lives without treatment.
Chylothorax: Chylothorax is a condition that results when fluid builds up in the chest cavity. The build up is usually caused by a digestive fluid, called chyle, leaks into the chest cavity and causes excessive pressure on the chest and its organs. This accumulation causes difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, coughing, and lethargy. Treatment includes removing the fluid, diet changes or in serious cases, surgery.
Eye Disorders: The Shiba Inu is prone to cataracts, glaucoma, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which can eventually lead to blindness.
Others: Cancer, hypothyroidism, and allergies also affect this breed.
Purchasing vs Adopting a Shiba Inu
How Much Does a Shiba Inu Cost?
You can adopt a Shiba Inu at a much lower cost than buying one from a breeder. The cost to adopt a Shiba Inu is around $300 in order to cover the expenses of caring for the dog before adoption. In contrast, buying Shiba Inu from breeders can be prohibitively expensive. Depending on their breeding, they usually cost anywhere from $1,500-$3,500.
Purchase from Breeder
Where Can I Adopt a Shiba Inu
The easiest way to adopt a Shiba Inu would be through a rescue that specializes in Shiba Inus. A great place to start would be by starting a breed search on Adopt-a-Pet.com. The search will show you all the available Shiba Inus in your area.
Shiba Inu Shelters and Rescues
There are animal shelters and rescues that focus specifically on finding great homes for Shiba Inu puppies. Browse the list of Shiba Inu rescues and shelters near you, below.