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The Shiba Inu - Breed History

The Shiba Inu's history dates back thousands of years to Japan, where it is considered one of the country's oldest and most cherished breeds. The exact origins of the Shiba Inu are somewhat mysterious, but it is believed that they descended from ancient breeds brought to Japan by early settlers. The breed's development can be traced back to the mountainous regions of Japan, where it was primarily used for hunting small game such as birds and rabbits.

The name "Shiba Inu" translates to "brushwood dog" in Japanese, which reflects the breed's early hunting grounds among the dense underbrush of Japan's forests and mountains. Shiba Inus were highly valued for their keen hunting instincts, agility, and ability to navigate rugged terrain with ease.

Throughout history, Shiba Inus were bred for their hunting prowess and adapted to the specific needs of their environment. They developed a strong prey drive, sharp senses, and a resilient spirit, all of which were essential for surviving and thriving in Japan's challenging landscape.

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Japan underwent significant modernization and urbanization, which threatened the survival of many native dog breeds, including the Shiba Inu. The breed faced a decline in numbers, and efforts were made to preserve and promote its heritage.

Following World War II, the Shiba Inu faced further challenges as Japan's economy struggled to recover. The breed was nearly driven to extinction during this tumultuous period, but dedicated breed enthusiasts worked tirelessly to revive and stabilize the Shiba Inu population.

In the 1950s, the Japanese government implemented breeding programs to safeguard native dog breeds, including the Shiba Inu, as part of efforts to preserve Japan's cultural heritage. These initiatives helped ensure the survival of the breed and contributed to its resurgence in popularity both in Japan and internationally.

Today, the Shiba Inu is celebrated as a beloved companion and symbol of Japanese culture. Its rich history, distinctive appearance, and spirited personality continue to captivate dog lovers around the world, making it one of the most recognisable and cherished breeds globally.

Interesting Facts

The Shiba Scream

When distressed or excited, Shiba Inus are known to emit a high-pitched, piercing scream, earning them the nickname "Shiba scream."

National Treasure

In Japan, the Shiba Inu is considered a national treasure and is one of the country's most beloved breeds.


Shiba Inus are exceptionally clean dogs and are known for their meticulous grooming habits, often licking themselves like cats.

Breed Description & Personality Traits

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized breed, with males typically standing between 14.5 to 16.5 inches tall at the shoulder and females slightly smaller. They have a well-developed build with a sturdy frame, reflecting their history as hunters. Their double coat consists of a soft undercoat and a straight, stiff outer coat, providing protection from the elements.

Bold and Confident: Shiba Inus are known for their bold and confident demeanor. They possess a strong sense of self-assurance and are not easily intimidated.


Intelligent: These dogs are highly intelligent and independent thinkers. They often exhibit problem-solving skills and enjoy engaging in mentally stimulating activities.


Loyal: Despite their independent nature, Shiba Inus form strong bonds with their families and are fiercely loyal companions.


Stubborn: Shiba Inus have a stubborn streak and may be resistant to training at times. Patience and consistency are key when training a Shiba Inu.


Adventurous: With their hunting heritage, Shiba Inus have a natural curiosity and love exploring their surroundings. They thrive on outdoor adventures and require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

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