Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu Overview

This ancient Japanese breed are known for their fox-like appearance and superb hunting abilities. The Shiba Inu is relatively small with a red, black and tan, or sesame coat. They have a curly, furry tale that they use for warmth in cold weather.

Shiba Inus are quick, smart and curious. You don’t want to let these dogs off-leash at the dog park because they’re likely to run away as soon as something catches their eye. They were bred to flush birds and small animals out of bushes, so they’re just doing their genetic duty!

In Japan, the Shiba Inu is described as kaani-i (spirited boldness), ryosei (good nature), and soboku (alertness). Basically that means that this is a spirited dog with high intelligence and a strong independent streak. They’re not stubborn because they don’t care about you. They are very loyal and serve as excellent watchdogs that will take care of you and your family—but on their own terms. They have high levels of confidence which makes them a good pet for a strong leader. When you’re training your Shiba Inu, for example, you need to trick them into thinking it’s their idea to sit, stay and fetch. The right owner for a Shiba Inu will appreciate their plucky spirit and let them thrive as a free spirited companion.  

Did you know?

Shibas are the most genetically similar dog breed to wolves and have a long history as a domesticated pet.

Shiba Inu Stats

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

Popularity ranking**
13.5-16.5 in / 17-23 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
13-16 years
Activity level
Vocal and protective
Barking level
Vocal and protective
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

1-2 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

1 hour


Grooming frequency

Daily brushing

Dog Food

Feeding your Shiba Inu

A Shiba Inu needs dog kibble that contains 30% protein and up to 18% fat. Because they only need 1 to 1 ½ cups of food daily (usually split between two meals), it’s preferable to get a higher quality brand that’s free of artificial ingredients and by-products. This will keep your Shiba Inu healthy throughout their relatively long lifespan. Because of their small size and lower energy levels, you should make sure that you’re not overfeeding your Shiba Inu. As Shiba Inus get older, they need food with limited calories to combat the risk of obesity. 


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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