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Shiba Inu

Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Utility Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 6)
Contact: Arthur Fry
Phone: 9740 8788

Brief History

Originally bred to hunt small game, the Shiba Inu is generally recognised as the oldest of the Japanese breeds of dogs with skeletons dating back to 3000BC. The Shiba is the ancestor of other Japanese breeds and may indeed be the ancestor of the Australian Dingo. He is the national dog of Japan.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 14 to 16 years.


Alert and inquisitive, the Shiba is highly intelligent and quick to learn, but also extremely strong minded and stubborn. Whilst he knows exactly what he should do, he does not always comply! 

General Breed Description

The Shiba Inu is a healthy, alert, active breed, very well suited to both indoors and outdoors. Shiba Inu are very clean, learn quickly, are great to live with and will adapt to almost any lifestyle. The stubborn aspect of the Shiba’s temperament is apparent at an early age, thus this breed should be well socialised and trained from the puppy stage. Shiba Inu come in three colours; red, black and tan, and red sesame (red with a black overlay).

Coat and Care Requirements

The Shiba does not have a doggy odour and is fastidiously clean, almost cat like. Grooming using a slicker brush and comb is ideal every week or so. The occasional bath is enough to keep him clean. Shiba do shed coat, usually twice a year and it can take up to a month for the coat to shed. Grooming through this stage is essential. A bath and blow dry will help to move the coat. Shibas do not like their feet overly touched, thus weekly trimming of nails from an early age is recommended to ensure they become used to the process.

The Shiba MUST be kept in a fully enclosed yard and should always be walked on lead. His natural hunting instinct is always there and, given the opportunity, he will be off and may not heed your efforts to call him back. Training and socialisation with both people and other dogs and animals from a young age is recommended.


Height: Males: 38 to 41cms, Females 35 to 38cms.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does. The Shiba Inu is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Patella Luxation.


They are an ideal pet for all owners and are great family companions. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together. They are usually good with other dogs and cats once acquainted and if socialised well as a puppy. The Shiba is an active breed and will enjoy a good daily walk and the mental stimulation associated with this.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders