About Shiba Inu

History of the Shiba Inu


The Shiba Ken (Shiba Inu outside of Japan) is one of the 6 native Japanese spitz breeds, very similar to Hokkaido but smaller.

 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. 

 The first documented Shiba to enter the United States was imported by a  military family in 1954. But the Shiba is an ancient breed, having been  around since 300 b.c. The breed is named after its history as a hunter  in the rugged mountains of Japan; “Shiba” means “brushwood” (referring  either to the brush in the mountains or to the dog’s reddish color) in  Japanese, and “Inu” means “dog.” By the end of World War II Shibas were  nearly extinct, but they survived Japan’s wartime deprivations and are  today the country’s number-one companion animal. Their popularity has  been growing in the United States for the past 50 years. 

Shiba Inu in North America

Brought to America from Japan as recently as 60 years ago, Shibas are  growing in popularity in the West and are already the most popular breed  in their homeland. Their white markings combined with their coloring  (red, red sesame, or black and tan) and their alert expression and  smooth stride makes them almost foxlike. They’re sturdy, muscular dogs  with a bold, confident personality to match. The official breed club is the National Shiba Inu Club of America.

Living with Shiba Inu

Shibas are a fun, sctive, independent breed.