The Shiba Inu Breed (Look, Color, Type, and Use)

Once a proud hunter, Shiba Inu are now usually in the loving homes of many as pets. People often picture this breed as a foxlike dog, gracing the internet with its charm. But Shiba Inu comes in various colors, and they can do a lot more than put a smile on people's faces.
The Shiba Inu Breed

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Shiba Inu are a national treasure of Japan, and they know it. They exude confidence and have a big personality in their small bodies.

Unfortunately, many people only know this breed by their looks. And to truly appreciate this wonderful breed, you need to know the dog underneath all the fluff. Only then can you gain a better understanding of this breed.

Because of their many quirks, Shiba Inu are not for many. They can be a handful even for experienced dog owners. But if you know how to handle them, they can be such delightful companions.

So if you are eyeing getting a Shiba Inu, this article will help you a ton. You will know what to look for both in appearance and temperament.

What Are Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is one of the six native spitz dog breeds of Japan. They were originally bred and used for hunting small game and birds. Thus, they are excellent at flushing these animals on the ground and out of bushes.

This breed lived in the mountainous regions of Japan for thousands of years. Because of this, these rugged dogs can navigate through uneven terrain with ease.

Shiba Inu is the smallest of the six native spitz dog breeds of the country. They are small and compact and sport a thick, plush coat that protects them from cold climates.

Other than that, they are also the most popular and the oldest of all six. The Shiba Inu is even a national treasure of Japan.

What Should a Shiba Inu Look Like?

A Shiba Inu looks slight and compact, with a thick and fluffy layer of coat. They have a charming and alert expression on their face, with dark eyes and black lips. This is a distinct-looking breed, and so all efforts are being done to preserve their looks.

You can easily differentiate a well-bred Shiba Inu from a badly-bred one. So if you want to know what a Shiba Inu should look like, you can refer to their breed standard below.

Body Size and Proportion

A Male Shiba Inu stands at a height of 14.5 to 16.5 in (368.3 to 419.1 mm) at the withers. While their female counterparts have a height of 13.5 to 15.5 in (342.9 to 393.7 mm).

Because males are larger, they have a heavier ideal weight of 23 lbs (10.4 kg). For the lighter females, their weight should be around 17 pounds (7.7 kg). The height-to-length ratio for males is 10 to 11, females are a bit longer than this.

Regardless of gender, the Shiba Inu bone structure should be moderate.

Eyes

A Shiba Inu’s eyes are slightly triangular. The eyes should be deep set and slanting upward to the base of their ears.

Coloration is also something to consider. The rims of the eyes should be black, while their iris should be dark brown.

Ears

One of the first things you will notice with a Shiba Inu is its triangular ears. Their ears should be small and stand erect. But its size should be in harmony with its head and body size.

Their ears must be well set apart, with a slight forward tilt. This slant should be along the back of the ear and follows the arch of the neck.

Skull

Shiba Inu have a moderate skull that is well in proportion to the rest of the body. They must have a flat and broad forehead with a modest furrow. Like their skull, the stop should also be moderate.

Muzzle

The muzzle of a Shiba Inu must be full, firm, and rounded. A strong lower jaw must be projecting from their full cheeks. You must see a straight muzzle that has a smooth taper from the stop to the tip of the nose.

Your furry friend’s muzzle should compromise 40 percent of their total head length. This is from their occiput down to their nose tip.

Their lips and nose should be black in color. And when it comes to their whiskers, there is a preference for keeping them intact.

Bite

Shiba Inu should have a scissor-like bite. They must have a set of strong pearly whites that are even in alignment.

Issues with their bite, such as an undershot or an overshot one, counts as a disqualification. And if your Shiba Inu has more than five missing teeth, this is a severe fault that gets penalized.

Neck and Body

Your furry friend should have a broad and sturdy neck that is moderate in length. Their topline must be straight and at level with the base of their tail.

Looking at their body, your Shiba Inu should be well-muscled despite their small frame. Their body should look dry but must not look sluggish.

They have a well-developed forechest. And their chest depth should be a half or a bit less than the total height from their withers to the ground. This measurement is from their withers to the lowest point of their sternum.

Their ribs should be well sprung and their abdomen should have a defined tuck and firmness.

Tail

A Shiba Inu should have a thick tail that they carry over their back. Their tail can either be sickle or curled.

There is a preference for a tail that points to their neck and almost sits parallel to the back. A single loose curl is also preferred. But a double curl or a sickle tail that points up is both acceptable too.

Whichever your Shiba Inu has, the tail should almost reach the hock joint if extended. And it should also be set high.

Forequarters

Notice your Shiba Inu’s upper arms and shoulder blade. They should be about equal in length and moderately angulated.

Their elbows should be set close to their body and must not turn in or out. Their front legs and feet should be straight, parallel to the ground, and evenly spaced. While their pasters should have a slight incline.

Their feet are cat-like and well-arched and must have a tight fit. They have thick paw pads too. Removing your furry friend’s dewclaws is optional.

Hindquarters

The angulation of their hind legs should be in balance with that of the front legs. And like the front legs, the hind legs should also be moderate.

The hind legs must assume a wide stance. Their hock joint looks strong and must not turn in or out.

This breed has long upper thighs and shorter second thighs. The hindquarters must have no dewclaws. And for their hindfeet, you can follow the description mentioned in the forequarters.

Coat

Shiba Inu sports a double coat, with a longer outer coat and a shorter undercoat. The outer coat is straight and stiff, while the shorter undercoat is thick and plush. The guard hairs on this breed are around 1.5 to 2 inches long (38.1 to 50.8 mm) at the withers.

On your buddy’s face, legs, and ears, the fur must be short and even. But the hair on their tail is a bit longer and resembles a brush.

A Shiba Inu should never get trimmed. They should only sport their natural, untouched looks.

What Colors Are Shiba Inu?

Red is the most popular and desirable color for Shiba Inu dogs. This is what you often see, and this coloration is what gives them a foxlike look. But this is not the only color that a Shiba Inu can have.

Shiba Inu comes in various colors, and here is a list of every color:

  • Red
  • Black and tan
  • Sesame
  • Cream
  • White
  • Sable

The last three on this list are not officially-recognized colors of this breed. So if you plan to enter competitions with your Shiba Inu, stick to the first three colors. Although, you may have more luck with the red coloration.

There are strict guidelines for Shiba Inu’s colors, and the lines can easily get blurred. So if this is a significant consideration for you, then you should get detailed knowledge of each.

But before that, you must know Urajiro, the unique marking of a Shiba Inu. Dog clubs and associations look for these markings, and they can be firm about this.

Urajiro is a cream to white marking all over a Shiba Inu’s body. It is most prominent on the chest, but it can also be present in these areas:

  • Cheeks
  • Neck
  • Belly
  • Underjaw
  • Inside the ears
  • Inside the legs
  • Sizes of the muzzle
  • Ventral side of the tail

And according to the AKC, Urajiro must be present on every Shiba Inu coat color.

Now that you have a background of this, here is a more detailed discussion on the Shiba Inu colors.

Red

As mentioned, this is probably the Shiba Inu that you imagine. A red Shiba Inu is what seems to get preferred in competitions.

This is a reddish-brown coloration that can vary a bit. The red can either be closer to brown or richer red. And this gives the breed a rusty look.

There is a stark contrast between the Urajiro on a red Shiba Inu. But the edges do not have a clear definition, and instead, it looks blurred. This is because the gene that controls the red color gives a gradual transition to Urajiro.

Black and Tan

This beautiful coat combines three colors: black, tan, and white. A black and tan Shiba Inu gives a distinct appearance as it looks like they have tan eyebrows.

With this coat color, black is the dominant color on a Shiba Inu’s body. The black does not have a bluish hue, instead, it has a bronze tinge to it. This is because a strand of black hair from a Shiba Inu has all three colors.

The base is either buff or gray, followed by red in the middle, and then a black tip.

These dogs still have the Urajiro marking. And their tan points are present in the following areas:

  • Cheeks
  • Two spots over their eyes
  • Sides of the muzzle
  • Outside the front legs and back legs

Sesame

Sesame Shiba Inu should have a red base coat, with black tips throughout the body.

For a Shiba Inu to get classified as sesame, they should not have more than 50 percent of black on their coat. The black should also never be patchy, and they should not have a black mask.

Areas of white markings should not have black tips. They should maintain their clean and monotone color.

As you can see, classifying a sesame Shiba Inu is quite strict. Thus, this is the rarest Shiba Inu color. Although many of them may resemble sesame, not all can get called one.

There are also three types of this coloration:

  • Sesame: Equal proportion of white and black
  • Black Sesame: Plenty of black hair compared to their white color
  • Red Sesame: Plenty of red hair along with black and white colors

Cream

These dogs may look beautiful, but they are controversial and not recognized by the AKC. The issue with cream Shiba Inu is that the Urajiro markings are not clearly seen. This is because they have such a pale background.

And as you already know, Urajiro is a must on every Shiba Inu coat color. So you may never see a cream Shiba Inu in a show ring.

This coloration is also rare. It comes out due to two recessive genes.

Some cream Shiba Inu are so pale that they almost look white. But these dogs are actually an off-white color, a watered-down version of tan.

White

This is another unrecognized coloration of the breed, as lovely as they are. The trademark Urajiro marking of the Shiba Inu is not clear on this coat.

White Shiba Inu can come about due to two reasons. One is that they may have albinism. The second one is that they may have leucistic genes.

Sable

Sable Shiba Inu looks a lot like they are sesame. Again, this is not a recognized color by organizations. Most of the time, Shiba Inu who do not meet the sesame guidelines get called sable.

What Is the Most Popular Color of Shiba Inu?

As you can tell, red is the most popular Shiba Inu color. They have a rusty coloration, along with bright contrast to their Urajiro markings. This is the breed’s trademark look that makes them look like foxes.

It is often thought that red is the original color of Shiba Inu. And a huge majority of this breed is in this color.

What Is the Rarest Shiba Inu Color?

Sesame is the rarest Shiba Inu color, and there are strict guidelines to get classified as one. Sesame Shiba Inu always has a red base coat along with black tips. And their undercoat must be either buff or gray, so there is a color gradient in each of their hair strands.

Other than that, sesame Shiba Inu should not have over 50 percent of black on their coat. There should be no black patchy areas on their body, including a black mask. White patches of their body should remain untouched by the black tips.

Because of these strict guidelines, you will seldom see a sesame Shiba Inu. Many may look like one, but they will not get recognized.

Cream and white Shiba Inu are also rare colors, but they are not recognized as well. This is because the Urajiro markings are indistinguishable on their body.

What Color Eyes Do Shiba Inu Have?

According to the breed standard, Shiba Inu should have dark brown eyes, close to being black. Along with this, their triangular-shaped eyes should also have black rims. Shiba Inu puppies may have lighter eyes, but they should darken fast as they get older.

Do Shiba Inu Have Tails?

Shiba Inu have thick tails that have longer hair compared to the rest of the body, making it look like a brush. They should carry their tail over their back. And there is a preference for a tail that points to their neck and is parallel to the ground.

But if your Shiba Inu has a tail that points upward, then that is also okay. No matter their tail type, their tail length must be long enough to reach the middle of their hind legs. Some have tails longer or shorter than this, but it should not be an extreme difference.

Are Shiba Inu Born With Tails?

Shiba Inu puppies are born with tails, and they appear quite stubby at first. At this stage, their tail is thicker at the base, tapering down to the tip.

How Long Are Shiba Inu Tails?

There is no exact answer to this as Shiba Inu tails are not measured conventionally. Instead, it gets measured by extending their tails to their hind legs. Their tail should be long enough to almost reach their hock joint, which is equal to a human ankle.

Do Shiba Inu Tails Curl?

Shiba Inu should have a curled tail, whether it is a slight or a full-on one. Japanese dog breeds often have curled tails, and the Shiba Inu is no exception. And your furry friend may have either one of the two types of tails:

  • Curled tail
  • Sickle tail

Curled tails are also called “ring tails”. The tail twists upward and toward the back, following the line of the spine. The rolled-up curl should be enough to have a chicken egg fit inside your buddy’s tail.

A loose, single tail is the golden standard of the breed. Double curls are not desirable, but they are still accepted by dog organizations.

Sickle tails also have a slight curl, but it does not roll up like a curled tail. A sickle tail should curl toward the neck, and it should be parallel to your furry friend’s back. If your buddy’s tail points up, this is still acceptable but not a desirable trait.

This tail type was more common in Mino Shiba Inu, which is an earlier version of the Shiba Inu. It is often thought that this sickle tail was for differentiating the Shiba Inu from wolves.

Sickle tails are not common in dogs. Only a small number of purebred dogs have these, such as Shiba Inu and Siberian Huskies.

These two tail types are common in dogs who originate from cold climates. The curl helps them regulate their body temperature, retaining body heat. This is a must for this snow hunter, especially during harsh winters.

Why Do Shiba Inu Tails Curl?

A Shiba Inu’s curled tail is a point of interest for many, and there are various theories to explain this. Much of this is due to their hunting history and where they originated from. Thus, accepted theories are due to this breed adapting to their environment and work.

So without further ado, here are the possible reasons why Shiba Inu have curled tails.

Protection From Environmental Elements

Many Shiba Inu experts believe that their curled tail is protection from the wet and cold. A long, uncurled tail is more likely to get touched by water and snow. And this breed does not like to step on puddles, to begin with.

Shiba Inu can handle snow well. But if they get wet, it is much easier for them to succumb to the harsh climate. Thus, a curled tail keeps them dry and helps in keeping them warm.

Also, this is quite in line with the breed’s personality. Shiba Inu are often clean freaks so a curled tail also keeps their tails tidy.

Helps in Regulating Their Body Temperature

Shiba Inu has a thick double coat, keeping them warm from cold and harsh climates. Keep in mind that this breed originated from the mountainous regions of Japan, and they had to adapt.

Much of their warmth comes from the core of their body, but their tails are too far from this. Their extremities, including their tail, get cold much more easily. This is why dogs curl up when they sleep, keeping their legs and tail close to their warm core.

But when they are awake and active, your Shiba Inu cannot do this all the time. Thus, their curled tail helps keep it away from chilly drafts and keeps it warm.

Providing Them With Survival Advantages

Wild dogs roll around in nasty stuff to mask their smell from other animals. This way, predators cannot locate them and prey cannot detect them sneaking around. But many also theorize that a curled tail helps with this.

Many think that a curled tail prevents a Shiba Inu’s scent from getting released. This prevents them from getting sniffed by other animals, much like the example above.

Keeping Their Body Clean

Again, this is another theory that gets associated with this breed’s cleanliness. The curl keeps its tail clean because it will not catch dirt, debris, and more, as it is off the ground.

Not only does this keep their body clean, but it also keeps their home clean. Shiba Inu also love a clean home, and this prevents nasty stuff from tracking around their area.

In line with this, a curled tail also protects them from insects, thorns, and more. Shiba Inu, especially back in the day, love to stay outside. And there is a lot of stuff outdoors that may harm them, particularly when they are hunting.

What Do Shiba Inu Puppies Look Like?

Shiba Inu puppies look like a chubbier and fluffier mini version of an adult one. Their pudginess is a normal phase that every dog breed goes through, and it makes them look cuter. To add, their fluffiness is due to their thinner, single-layer baby fur.

Looking at them, their proportions are still odd. They have short legs and tails, and a larger head. So at this young age, they look more like stuffed toys.

But as your Shiba Inu grows older, they will lose their baby fat and get slimmer. They will go through an ugly-puppy phase, where they shed off their baby fur. Thus, their fur will look patchy until their adult hair grows out.

They will soon look like their mature selves within their first year. And their proportions will even out.

How Long Does a Shiba Inu Stay a Puppy?

Your Shiba Inu will only remain a puppy for a year. Once they are 12 months of age, they are already considered an adult.

Physically, they are already full-grown. But mentally, they are still puppies.

The mental maturity of dogs, especially males, will come much later in life. So even if your Shiba Inu is already a year old, it will still act like a puppy.

Your furry friend will still test boundaries, getting into trouble at times. They may also still have their puppy-like energy, running around like there is no tomorrow. But hang in there, your Shiba Inu will begin to mellow down as they age.

What Type of Dog Is a Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu are medium to small nonsporting dogs. Back in the day, they were originally employed as hunting dogs, flushing birds and small game. But today, people usually get them as loyal and loving pets.

These dogs love their family above all. And despite their size, they will do what they can to protect their loved ones. They are not cuddly dogs, but they show their love in different ways, such as being protective of you.

Shiba Inu are quiet dogs, only barking when they have something to say. But they are usually opinionated dogs who will let you know what they think. Soon enough, you will realize how vocally talented these dogs are.

Being silent and compact dogs, they do well in apartments. They are also independent dogs who have no problem spending alone time if you have to go to work. They will look for fun by themselves, but sometimes this can get them into trouble.

Shiba Inu are smart, animated, and entertaining dogs. And they have charming looks to boot! It is no surprise that they are so loved by many throughout the world

What Are the Different Types of Shiba Inu?

There is only one type of Shiba Inu today, the standard-sized one. No matter their color, they should look like the breed standard. But back in the day, there were three types of Shiba Inu dogs:

  • Mino Shiba
  • Sanin Shiba
  • Shinshu Shiba

There is also a debatable entry here, the Jomon Shiba. But these dogs are not considered to be part of the other three. Now why that is will get discussed later.

It is thanks to these three Shiba dogs that many can enjoy and care for the modern Shiba Inu. At the end of World War II, the Shiba Inu nearly became extinct. But the remaining dogs of these three Shiba types are what saved them from extinction.

With this, knowing more about the Mino, Sanin, and Shinshu will give you an idea of why the Shiba Inu is what it is today. So below, you will learn more about the three types of Shiba.

Mino Shiba

These dogs hail from the Gifu, and they have a quite distinct look to them. The key characteristic of the Mino Shiba is their deep red color, and they also lack Urajiro markings.

Compared to the modern Shiba Inu, Mino Shiba have dark brown and rectangular eyes. They also have an extended tail and are smaller built. But like the Shiba Inu, they also have erect and triangular ears.

These dogs are also called the Minowa Shiba, and you can still find some of them today. Though, you may only find them in Japan.

Sanin Shiba

Sanin Shiba comes from Shimane and Torrori. They are larger in size and have a mottled black coloration. These dogs also have a well-defined stop, like the modern Shiba Inu.

The Sanin Shiba looks odd because they do not look like typical Japanese dogs. And when you see their fur and face, you will see why this is. Their oddity could be due to their genetic ties to the Korean Jindo dog.

What makes the Sanin Shiba stand out is their personality. These are feisty and independent dogs. And the modern Shiba Inu may have gotten these characteristics from them.

Shinshu Shiba

The Shinsho Shiba comes from Nagano. They are smaller in build, and the modern Shiba Inu most resembles these dogs.

Shinshu Shiba has a thick undercoat and a dense topcoat, making them look fluffier. They have a sickle tail, which may explain why some modern Shiba Inu have this tail type.

Unlike the modern Shiba Inu, the Shinsho Shiba has rounder eyes. They also develop a black mask as they reach adulthood.

Jomon Shiba

Now the Jomon Shiba is not one of the dogs that contributed to the modern Shiba Inu that you know and love. But it is worth learning a bit about them because they are often hailed as the “original” Shiba.

Jomon Shiba looks almost like Japanese wolves. They are taller and leaner compared to the Shiba mentioned above. Jomon Shiba also has a shallow top, which is different from what the modern Shiba Inu has. Despite this, they are not wolves, nor were they mixed with wolves.

These dogs are intentionally created to look like the dogs in Japan thousands of years ago.

What Dog Group Do Shiba Inu Belong to?

Shiba Inu are part of the nonsporting group, the most diverse dog classification. Back in the day, this breed used to work as a hunting dog in Japan. But today, they are often bred to be companion dogs or show dogs.

This is why they are now part of the nonsporting group. But being under this category, anyone who is eyeing getting a Shiba Inu should be careful.

The nonsporting group has various dogs of various backgrounds, temperaments, and abilities. This is a class for dogs who do not fit into the other dog groups, such as the herding group. Nonsporting dogs do not have a particular purpose or job.

Thus, this group has a very general description, being companion dogs. So it is hard to know what you are getting into by relying on this classification alone.

So when looking at any nonsporting dog, it is best to learn about the breed itself.

Poodles, French Bulldogs, and Shiba Inu are all under the nonsporting group. But they are very different dog breeds. And blanket statements, like this class, will not help in preparing you to care for one.

Is a Shiba Inu a Snub-Nose Dog?

Shiba Inu does not have a snub nose, which is good news for them. Snub-nosed dogs have tons of health issues that affect their quality of life, such as:

  • Breathing issues
  • Dental problems
  • Mating issues
  • Overheating

Because your Shiba Inu is not prone to this, you have less to worry about. Your buddy can run to their heart’s content without overheating quickly. Other than that, you can travel with them without having the same issue as well.

Are Shiba Inu Purebred?

Shiba Inu is purebred, preserved for centuries to keep their looks and temperament. Saved from the brink of extinction, this breed is a national treasure in Japan. Thus, preserving them to keep the breed standard is a must.

A non-purebred Shiba Inu is easy to spot, even if you do not have the eye for it. This breed has such a distinct appearance that crossbreeding them can make them look odd.

Because this breed is generally healthy, mixing them with another breed can be bad. Especially if you are breeding them with a less healthy dog breed. You are possibly introducing a genetic health condition to them by doing so.

How Do I Know if My Shiba Inu Is Purebred?

A simple way to know if you have a purebred Shiba Inu is by simply asking your breeder. A reputable breeder should give you this assurance and provide you with proof of this. But sometimes, you cannot take their word for it, especially since some will try to trick you.

So what can you do then? Well, there are various methods that you can try to confirm this. Some are simple while others will get you to shed some money. To help you with this, here are some ways to confirm if your Shiba Inu is purebred:

  • Meet your Shiba Inu’s parents
  • Ask for purebred documentation
  • Ask for pedigree papers
  • Compare them to the breed standard
  • Consult an expert or a vet
  • Get a dog DNA test

Meet Your Shiba Inu’s Parents

You can always ask your breeder to show you your furry friend’s parents. If they are honest about your puppy, then they should allow you to. But if they hesitate, then that is already a red flag.

You may only meet your buddy’s mother here, as their father may be a stud. But this is better than seeing none of them at all.

When meeting their parents, make sure to compare them to the breed standard. Inspect their physical features, such as looking for the Urajiro markings. But you should also observe their behavior as well.

If their parents look like the breed standard, then that should make you feel more confident. While this is a good sign that you have a purebred Shiba Inu, it may not be good enough. With this, you can proceed with the other methods below.

Ask for Purebred Documentation

Make sure to ask for documentation from your breeder. What these papers tell you is that your pup is instantly eligible for documentation. This is because its parents are already registered on any dog registry.

But you will have to follow up on your puppy’s registration yourself. Depending on the registry, you can do this online.

Ask for the certificate if you have an older Shiba Inu that is already registered. By doing so, the ownership of the Shiba Inu goes to you.

Ask for Pedigree Papers

Pedigree papers give you your Shiba Inu puppy’s family tree. You should have at least three generations here. But the more, the better.

This will let you know more about your furry friend’s ancestors. Thus, you can be confident that you have a purebred Shiba Inu.

Compare Them to the Breed Standard

You can also see how your Shiba Inu measures up to the breed standard. A purebred Shiba Inu must follow these, otherwise, they may not be a pedigree.

The first thing you should do is to look at your furry friend’s physical characteristics. A good start is to look for the trademark Shiba Inu Urajiro marking. As the AKC states, this must be present in the breed, regardless of its color.

Urajiro is a cream to white marking on several spots of the body. Having a white spot on your buddy’s belly is not enough. It should also be present in these areas:

  • Sides of the muzzle
  • Cheeks
  • In the ears
  • Underjaw
  • Inside the legs
  • The underside of the tail

The tail is also something you should look at. Usually, Shiba Inu have curly tails, and a loose single curl is the best. But they may also have a sickle tail.

Now, look into the soulful eyes of your Shiba Inu. Their eyes should be triangular in shape, and their iris should be dark brown, almost black. The rims of their eyes should also be black in color.

But make sure you go through each body part to get a better confirmation. The information above is only to get you started.

But apart from how they look, you should also consider your buddy’s temperament. A Shiba Inu should be independent in nature, bold, and fiery. They can be shy around strangers, but never aggressive.

Consult an Expert or a Vet

If you do not have the eye to compare them to the breed standard, ask for help. You may go to a dog expert or a professional breeder, preferably one that works with Shiba Inu. Or, you can also ask your vet for help.

These people know what to look for in a purebred Shiba Inu. Their expertise on this should take you one step closer to clearing your doubts.

Get a Dog DNA Test

These DNA tests will help you know what your furry friend’s genetic makeup is. It will help you determine how closely your Shiba Inu’s DNA profile matches the breed.

There are two main ways to test for this. One is by getting cheek swabs from your buddy. And another is testing their hair follicles.

For the former, you need to rub a cotton swab on their inner cheeks. And for the latter, you need to cut some hair from the top of their head and place it in a tube.

Once you receive the results, you will know your buddy’s DNA profile and a map of their ancestry.

Dog DNA tests can cost you around $69 to $699, but this will depend on the extensiveness of the report. But keep in mind that dog DNA tests are not created equal.

You may not get an accurate result depending on the company’s database. So if they have only a few hundred breeds on their database, the results you get are not as reliable. So go for a company with an extensive database.

Is There a Shiba Inu Crossbreed?

Like any other dog, Shiba Inu can also produce puppies with other dog breeds. There are various reasons why people do this, and aesthetic purposes are one of them. But the look of the Shiba Inu often gets lost in these mixes.

Here are some popular crossbreed combinations with a Shiba Inu:

  • Shiba Inu and Akita
  • Shiba Inu and Siberian Husky
  • Shiba Inu and Chihuahua
  • Shiba Inu and Golden Retriever
  • Shiba Inu and Poodle
  • Shiba Inu and Pomeranian

What Breeds Make Up a Shiba Inu?

Being a basal breed, it is hard to tell what two dog breeds make up a Shiba Inu. This breed has been around even before the appearance of modern dog breeds in the 19th century. Thus, you may never know the exact answer to this.

Instead, as they are a basal breed, Shiba Inu contributed to the emergence of modern dog breeds. They are one of the dog breeds that influenced the creation of other dogs. So every modern-day dog that exists today has some of the basal breeds in them, including Shiba Inu.

Where Did Shiba Inu Originate?

Shiba Inu comes from Japan, more specifically, in the mountainous region of Chubu. This is why they have a thick double coat, as they needed protection from the cold climate. Apart from that, they were also used as hunting dogs, which is why they are athletic dogs.

When Did Shiba Inu Originate?

As a basal breed, Shiba Inu are a very old breed, originating around 2,300 years ago. They are one of the 16 dog breeds that influenced the development of modern-day dog breeds.

What Were Shiba Inu Bred for?

While a lot of them are couch potatoes today, Shiba Inu used to be bred for hunting birds and small game. Due to their small frame, they are excellent at flushing birds and small critters out of bushes. And they did so on rugged terrains and harsh climates, so your furry friend is quite a hardy dog.

What Are Shiba Inu Bred for Today?

Today, breeders produce Shiba Inu often to provide a loving companion to dog lovers. Ferocious and hardy hunters in the past, this breed now happily lounges on couches.

Without a doubt, Shiba Inu catches the attention of many with their good looks. These fluffy, adorable dogs look like foxes and they turn heads wherever they go. But what captures the hearts of many is the dog inside.

This is an extremely loyal and affectionate dog. Their loved ones are their top priority, and they often worry about their family’s safety. Day and night, they are on the lookout for any danger that may come to their humans.

They may not be as cuddly as other dogs, but they show their love in various ways. With a Shiba Inu by your side, you will never feel alone and you will always feel safer.

Other than that, this breed also makes you laugh without them even trying. They are curious creatures, and it is entertaining to see what trouble they are getting into.

Your Shiba Inu will also even try to talk to you with their various vocalizations. Apart from barking, they will scream, shriek, and make other weird utterances. Sometimes it can be annoying, but you cannot deny that it makes you laugh too.

This is why this breed has brightened up so many people’s days through the internet. They are fun-loving, animated, and such a joy to be with. And the smile on their faces is only the cherry on top!

A Shiba Inu makes you feel loved in various ways, even if they are subtle. And this is why they appeal to so many around the world.

Is a Shiba Inu a Hunting Dog?

Shiba Inu are proud hunting dogs that will never back down from any challenge. Even if a majority of them are pets today, their hunting instincts are still intact and strong. And this, along with their independent streak, is what makes them challenging to train.

As a pet, it is tough to override this instinct. A Shiba Inu will pursue anything they deem as prey if given the opportunity. These dogs love to hunt, and they are more than capable of doing so.

Remember that hunting is what the Shiba Inu was originally for. And they did this for centuries through uneven and unforgiving terrain. This is why they are the speedy and agile dogs we know today that can go through the densest of bushes.

Not only that, but they are also effective at their job. They make excellent use of their nose and ears on a hunt. And their nimble movements make them locate prey with ease.

But keep in mind that you should not rely on this breed’s instincts alone. When hunting with a dog of any breed, you need to be in control of them.

So if you are going to hunt with a Shiba Inu, going through extensive training is a must first. Especially since this is a talented escape artist, and you are never going to outrun them on a chase.

What Do Shiba Inu Hunt?

A popular use of a hunting Shiba Inu is flushing birds, and their small size is an advantage for this. But they also hunt other small game such as rabbits and hares. On occasion, they were also used to hunt wild boar and even deer.

How Much Better Can Shiba Inu Smell Than Humans?

Your furry friend’s sense of smell is at least 100,000 times better than yours. Your Shiba Inu has so much more scent receptors than you. And the part of their brain that processes scents is much larger and more powerful than yours too.

As a human, you only have 5 to 6 million scent receptors in your nose. But dogs can have anywhere between 100 to 300 million scent receptors in their noses. This depends on the breed, and as you can expect, scent hounds are at the higher of this range.

Other than that, the olfactory cortex, the part of the brain that processes smells, is 40 times larger in dogs. This is much larger than the part of the human brain that processes sights.

Considering these two, dogs not only have a more sensitive sense of smell than humans. But they can also detect more complex smells, and they are capable of picking them apart.

For example, if you eat a cookie, that is all you can smell. But your Shiba Inu can smell more than that. They can pick out the scent of eggs, flour, and all the other ingredients in your tasty snack.

But not only is your Shiba Inu wired to have such an acute sense of smell. Dogs, in general, also have ways to heighten their ability to pick up on scents.

Your furry friend’s nose is often wet, and that is because it has a layer of mucus over it. This layer of mucus helps them in capturing smells. But dogs also lick their noses, making it damper, to further boost this.

Can a Shiba Inu Be a Guard Dog?

Although they can be very protective dogs, Shiba Inu are not great as guard dogs. Guard dogs will alarm you of any potential threat, but they will also become a physical threat if needed. And you cannot trust your Shiba Inu to do the latter.

Bred for protection, guard dogs are powerful enough to be the last line of defense. At first, guard dogs will try to intimidate any threat away by scaring them. But if this is not enough, guard dogs will attack the intruder by biting them.

In the case of a Shiba Inu, they will only do the first step. They are not capable of attacking any intruder due to their size. This is a small breed, and any bad person can manage them with ease.

With this, your Shiba Inu will not attack if they feel like they will get harmed. If they do proceed with attacking, they may get seriously hurt. So although your Shiba Inu can guard you, you should not let them.

Popular guard dogs often have a large stature. This includes German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers. And if you compare your Shiba Inu to them, your furry friend does not hold a candle to these dogs.

Other than their size, Shiba Inu can be quite selfish, too, in the face of danger. They may be very loyal to you, but if their independent streak occurs, they will not help you.

Last but not the least, Shiba Inu is not made to be physical protectors of humans. They are hunting dogs, and not the ferocious guard dogs that many may want. So if you want a guard dog, then you may want to look at other dog breeds instead.

Can a Shiba Inu Be a Watchdog?

Shiba Inu may not be able to confront an intruder, but they can be excellent watchdogs. They can offer you protection by alerting you if there is anything amiss. And these dogs are naturally vigilant, so you can use that to your advantage.

Their size will not be an issue here because your furry friend will only be using their voice. And because this breed is a seldom barker, you will know there is trouble if they begin to bark.

Not only that, they can be quite protective, too, if you have gained their trust. A Shiba Inu who trusts you will always look out for your safety. And this is one of the ways they show their love for you.

So your Shiba Inu may decide to take on the role of your watchdog by themselves. Night and day, you can trust your furry friend to sense any potential threat. And they will alarm you once they do.

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Therapy Dog?

When you think of a therapy dog, Shiba Inu are not the first dog breed that pops into your mind. Usually, they are not recommended to be one because of their nature. But this is only a sweeping generalization, as some of them work as that.

So there is no cut-and-dry answer to this because it will solely depend on the individual Shiba Inu. Yours can either be a great therapy dog or not.

But to determine this, you must first understand what it takes to be a therapy dog.

A therapy dog goes with its owners to volunteer at various institutions. These dogs go to schools and hospitals, for example, to provide comfort and affection to people there. With this, a therapy dog needs to have certain qualities.

A therapy dog needs to be friendly, adaptable, calm, gentle, and intelligent. But other than these wonderful traits, here are others that people look for in a therapy dog:

  • Ability to ignore stimuli
  • Gets along well with others
  • Eager to please people
  • Handles getting touched well

As you can see, the Shiba Inu is some of these. But most of the time, they do not meet the criteria. Here are some issues with this breed’s character:

  • They are wary of strangers
  • They have an independent streak
  • They have a high prey drive
  • They do not like getting handled
  • They can be hard to train

When visiting institutions, your Shiba Inu will meet a lot of people. And these are often busy places with a lot of stimuli.

This breed can be quite affectionate, but it is often reserved for their loved ones. But with a stranger, your Shiba Inu may appear reserved. They may not go close to anyone else but you, and this negates the point of being a therapy dog.

Other than that, Shiba Inu also has a mind of its own. You may want them to do something, but if they do not want to, they will not listen to you.

Shiba Inu also have a high prey drive, and they can be quite energetic. If they go to schools and see young children, they may be too rough with the kids.

And when meeting kids, or even adults, a therapy dog will get handled. People will want to pet and cuddle your furry goofball. But as a basal breed, Shiba Inu are not a fan of getting all lovey-dovey with people.

To top it off, a therapy dog must be well-trained. They need to know their commands and follow them without fail. This is crucial so you can control their interactions with other people.

While this breed is smart, they are a challenge to train. Again, this is due to their stubborn streak and this is part of their nature.

Then again, these are all blanket statements about Shiba Inu. If your furry friend is well socialized and trained, then they stand a chance of being therapy dogs. Especially if they are sociable and love being with people.

This all boils down to the dog and not the breed. So if you feel like your Shiba Inu meets these criteria, you can have them certified. But they will have to undergo some tests before you can take them to institutions.

Do Shiba Inu Make Good Service Dogs

Shiba Inu, like other dogs of any breed, have the potential to be great service dogs. But while all dogs can become one, others have a good head start. So this will still boil down to the individual.

Service dogs have a lot of responsibility to carry out. They assist people by performing tasks, and what these tasks are will depend on the person’s needs. Some of their duties are the following:

  • Assisting the blind
  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Reminding a person to take their meds
  • Helping a person with PTSD calm down

But there are many other various works that these dogs do. And your Shiba Inu’s specialization will depend on your needs.

As you can expect, Shiba Inu are not cut out for some tasks of a service dog, such as pulling a wheelchair. This is a small to medium dog breed, and they may have trouble performing this duty.

So you must always consider what you are getting a service dog for. This breed often excels at these jobs:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) service dog
  • Disability Assist Dog (DAD)

But if you plan on using your Shiba Inu as a service dog, this may be a bumpy ride. Though bright, your furry friend is not one of the easiest dogs to train. And this can be a problem for many.

Still, many find that this breed is the perfect service dog for them after much work. One reason for this is their independence. This breed trait is both a blessing and a curse. While it can make them quite stubborn, it also has an advantage.

Shiba Inu enjoy some alone time, and they can handle themselves without your help. This is great if you cannot give them hands-on care all around the clock. They are not needy, so you can focus on yourself more.

And because of their smarts, your Shiba Inu can work without your directions all the time. They can use their decision-making skills to help you. This is useful if you cannot think for yourself, or when you are unconscious.

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DOG TRAINING EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

10 Essential Tools Every Dog Owner Must Have to Teach Their Furry Friend Obedience and Proper Manners

Do you want to teach your dog obedience and proper manners... before it chews up your shoe or pees on your carpet?