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Shiba Inu - The elegance and character of the little big Japanese dog

Shiba Inu -  La elegancia y carácter del pequeño gran perro japonés

Lobo Azul |

The Shiba Inu is a small dog, with the ideal dimensions to become a companion dog. For this reason , it is one of the most popular animals in Japan , where its inhabitants adore it.

  • Weight : 9 to 15 kilos
  • Hair type : short
  • Character : shy and intelligent. Very faithful
  • Health : excellent, robust
  • Life expectancy : between 15 and 18 years


We are facing one of the oldest races in the world, which originated about 4,000 years ago in South Asia.

The first news about this dog dates back to 2000 BC. C. and come from what is now Japan, a place where they arrived from Southern China.

For centuries it was used in hunting, in which it excelled in all types of terrain . This is how he continued to practice this trade until the 19th century, when hunting became a sport and with the opening of Japan to the world, European breeds arrived.

Luckily, thanks to the work of hunters and Japanese intellectuals, the breed was recovered, which went through another critical moment in World War II.

At this time they were able to save three bloodlines: the San In Shiba, Mino Shiba and Shin Shu Shiba. From them the Shiba Inu that we know now could be developed.

It must be said that it was not originally called that, since the name “shiba” was not used until 1920. Already in 1934 the breed standard was created, which became a natural monument of Japan.

Main features

If we know the Akita Inu, another Japanese dog, we realize that the Shiba Inu is very similar, but that we are dealing with a smaller dog with a thinner snout.

His chest is robust and his hair is short. Its triangular ears give it the characteristic appearance of the breed , as well as an alert expression, as if it were always attentive to what we say to it.

The size of males and females is very similar, with about 40 cm at the withers in the case of the former and about 37 cm in the case of the latter. The weight is between 11 and 15 kilos in males, while females are usually around 9-13 kilos.

The head is wide and with a well-marked stop. The lips are joined and hide a mouth whose teeth close like scissors. When we look at the head, we realize that we are looking at an ancient dog, very close to the wolf.

All colors are accepted, except white. Thus, we can see dogs of tan, red, cream, sesame, red sesame, red and tan, etc. Of course, they should always have areas of white hair on the jaw, abdomen, inside of the tail, legs, cheeks and snout.

Character of the Shiba Inu

He has a character that reminds us of the people from his place of origin, since he is very independent and silent , although this will be the case for us all the time.

He usually watches over the house and if he has a garden he will not stop patrolling, warning of the presence of other people or other animals, but without being aggressive.

With his caregivers he is affectionate and loyal, while with strangers he will distance himself, as if they were of no interest to him.

He can live with other dogs even though he is somewhat nervous, but to do this you have to work with him from a young age. It is best to mix him with as many dogs as possible when he is a puppy and this way he will learn to live with other dogs.

His coexistence with children divides fans of the breed . This is because he gets very nervous, so you have to explain to the children how to play with him and tell them that he is not a toy.

At the same time, the dog has to be well educated if we want it to be with the little ones in the house, preventing it from spending time with children it doesn't know, or at least not without supervision on our part.


Although the Shiba Inu's hair is short, it will give us some work. You have to brush it a couple of times a week, a frequency that must be increased during the shedding season.

It stains little, since it has hygiene habits very similar to those of cats . He enjoys grooming himself and letting his owners comb his hair, so he is usually very clean.

You don't have to wash it too much, as it has a very thick undercoat that has a natural oil. That fat is responsible for protecting it and if we wash it frequently it will disappear.

For this reason, it is always recommended to use a dry shampoo unless it is very dirty, especially in winter with the idea that it does not remain wet for a long time.

You need to exercise two or three times a day, but without forcing it. About 30 minutes each time will be more than enough, so you can live in an apartment without problems as long as we can go out to the park.

This is a breed that is not a great athlete and given its size, it adapts well to small homes . In all of them, regardless of size, toys must be made available to them with the idea that they bite them and relax.


Feeding the Shiba Inu does not require any special needs. We can purchase feed for small or medium-sized breeds, but the truth is that it is not even necessary.

As always,it is best to opt for a quality diet , which can be wet, natural or dry. The most comfortable is the last one, what we all know as I think.

Here, you have to choose one that is premium, with natural ingredients, without coloring or preservatives.

There are many brands on the market, so we will opt for one that has a good composition, with meat as the main ingredient. Better if you do not have cereals such as wheat, corn or soy .

As long as there are no allergies or intolerances, the source of protein is indifferent to us. The most common thing is that feed uses chicken, but we already find lamb, beef, duck and even fish and without a single gram of meat.

If we have doubts, it is best to consult with the breeder or the veterinarian, as both professionals will be able to recommend feed with which the Shiba Inu will be in perfect condition.

To finish this section, and given the type of undercoat it has, it may be a good idea to give it a supplement such as salmon or cod liver oil, although the truth is that feed usually comes with these supplements.

Shiba Inu Health

As with dogs of this type, with ancient origins and whose genetics have been little manipulated, the Shiba Inu is in very good health.

Despite this, it is not free from some problems such as allergies . He tends to be allergic to dust, pollen, plants and medications, so we will have to be careful in this regard.

Hip dysplasia and patella dislocation are no strangers to him

Although it is a small dog, the truth is that there are specimens that suffer from hip dysplasia . It is a hereditary disease that causes the head of the femur to not fit well in the socket of the hip.

When animals suffer from it, they limp and experience pain, which can be eliminated with medication or with an operation if the dysplasia is very severe.

Patellar luxation is a disease associated with small breeds. The knee bone moves out of place and the dog becomes unable to walk. Fortunately, in small dogs the problem is usually solved without surgery.

Suffer from some eye diseases

Shiba Inu are prone to cataracts and also progressive retinal atrophy . This means that it will have to be taken for veterinary check-ups at least a couple of times a year, as this way we can anticipate the development of these diseases.

In addition, they accumulate rheum in the tear duct. They must be removed, since they not only spoil the dog's expression, but can create a kind of amalgam with the rheum and hair, which will always be wet and will end up causing a wound next to the eye.

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