Shiba Inu pictures, videos, breed specification and more…

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Shiba Inu is the most popular and the smallest of the 6 distinct and original Japan dog breeds. Originally a hunting dog, this agile creature became a popular  ”house dog” during the last years. There is a rather funny reason for this – an internet web cam site, monitoring the life of 6 new born Shiba Inu dogs, setup by a San Francisco couple in 2008. Below is a photo of the famous 6 Shibas :

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This Shiba Inu fan site will give you the basic inormation you need to know about this dog breed. I will also post some nice photos or videos of this cute Japan dogs and write some articles on the history of the breed or the anatomy etc. This site should serve as the starting point for anyone interested into Shiba Inu dogs, I hope you will like your stay, if you do, share it via facebook or twitter please. Thanks.

Shibas as hunting dogs

It is a well known fact that Shibas were used with great success for hunting by Japanese Matagi hunters. This small dog was not only used for flushing out birds and smaller animals, it was also used in boar, and, by some accounts, even bear hunting. As everyone who has one of these beautiful dogs can confirm, their killer instinct and prey drive is still very strong, even though the breed hasn’t been bred specifically for hunting in a long time.

Despite the fact that people started neglecting their hunting potential, their wolf ancestry remained strong within them, and there are people who are still using them as hunting dogs with great success. There are numerous reports of Shiba catching a rabbit that had a good head start, or killing an unsuspecting crow, but there are people who are actually training them to locate and flush out pheasants. Shibas are not as effective in open fields and in larger groups, but they are the ideal dog if you like hunting alone with just your furry friend for company. If trained properly they are very obedient, and their intelligence and instincts honed through centuries make them an ideal hunting partner, as people are once again discovering.

If you are looking for a new hunting dog you should definitely consider this breed, people who have never regretted it.

Shiba grooming for shows

If you have a beautiful Shiba that you would like the world to see in a show you need to know how to prepare it properly. This article will list the essentials you need to cover before you take your Shiba to a show, as you gain more practice you’ll find out for yourself what works best for your dog and what makes it most presentable, this is just a list of basic things you need to think about.



When kept purely as pets, Shiba’s don’t like to, and don’t need to be washed too thoroughly. However, if you are preparing the dog for show you’ll have to disregard its protests, get it into a tub and start scrubbing. The coat can be quite thick, so sometimes you need to put in a little effort to get them wet to the skin, once you have accomplished that start applying shampoo, try to find a shampoo that is gentle and wont irritate the dog and cause itching or discomfort. Once you have applied the shampoo leave it in for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out. Be sure to do this thoroughly, any shampoo that is left might cause irritation.

Once this part is done, dry your Shiba with a towel, and if your surrounding allows it, leave the dog running around for 15 minutes as it is an effective drying method. Once the dog is dry you can start working on its nails. If the dog is not accustomed to it, this can be a daunting task indeed. Even the best trained dogs object to having their nails clipped, the ones that didn’t get used to it when they were young will keep squirming and will make it impossible for you to do anything. Don’t do this yourself if you don’t have at least some experience, or else you risk hurting your dog’s quick – a thin dark line going along the nail, sometimes down to its very end. If you carelessly nick this line while clipping your dog’s nails it will start bleeding and you need to be prepared for that. If you don’t have a clotting agent handy you can use flour in a pinch. Needles to say you should take great care not to let this happen in the first place.

Next, you should check the dog’s teeth and ears. Just like with the nails, don’t do this yourself if you are not already experienced, if you try to scrape your dog’s teeth, a momentary lack of attention could make you scrape of the protective enamel that keeps the dog’s teeth from rotting. It is the same with ears, they are sensitive, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can hurt your dog.

Once you are done with this, all that is left is to slowly and carefully comb your dog, you don’t want to rush through this stage or make sudden jerking motions, Shibas shed a lot and their coat is very thick, if you are not careful you might pull out a lot more hair than you intended. Comb the dog’s fur in gentle, flowing motions following the grain. Feel free to make this part of the process last longer, because it is the only part that dog might actually enjoy. Once you are done with combing all that is left is to blow dry you pet and enjoy the sight.

Shiba Inu show standards

Shiba’s are beautiful dogs and it is not surprising that they are a very popular show breed. If you are interested in what standards this type of dog must meet in order to qualify for a competition, this article should give you a basic overview of the requirements and things that are penalized.

The preferred size for males is 15 inches at withers, but everything from 14½ inches to 16½ inches is permitted, everything outside of that would result in a disqualification. Weight at that size should be approximately 23 pounds. For females, preferred size is 14 inches, with a tolerance of inch and a half in either direction, weight that fits that size is 17 pounds. If the dog is missing more than 5 teeth it will be penalized, and if it has an undershot or overshot bite it will be disqualified.

Shibas have a double coat – soft and thick undercoat with straight and stiff overcoat. Legs face and ears are covered in even, short fur. Hair at withers is approximately 1.5 to 2 inches long. Coat trimming is severely penalized, as are long or wooly coats.

Three coat colors are acceptable – red, black with tan points, and sesame – red base and hair with black tips. The undercoat should be grey, buff or cream. All of these types of coat should have urajiro (literal translation “underside white” refers to cream or white ventral coloring) in the following areas: on the cheeks, underjaw, on both sides of the muzzle, in the ears, abdomen, upper throat, and around the vent and lower side of the tail. Red colored Shibas usually have urajiro on the throat, chest and forechest, while black sesame colored dogs usually have a triangular mark on either side of the chest. Dogs are not penalized if they have white spots above the eyes, but neither are the spots required. In red dogs, clear color is preferred, but black hair tips are tolerated on the back and tail. Black dogs with tan points have these two colors precisely separated. Their undercoat is gray, and tan points are distributed in the following places: on the sides of the muzzle, in spots over the eyes, on the outer side of forelegs and hind legs, they can also be found inside the ears. Sesame colored dogs have light tipping. Red remains the dominant color. Sides of the muzzle are red, as well as eye spots and lower legs. White markings on the tail and feet are not required, but neither are they penalized. If markings of any other color, such as white pinto or cream are noticed the dog is penalized.

Keeping Shiba Inus for show is a demanding occupation and one must invest a lot of work, effort and commitment, but the rewards are well worth it. The satisfaction and pride that comes with raising and training a champion specimen are a more than adequate compensation for your troubles.

Shiba Inu puppies care

Shiba Inu is truly a remarkable breed, but as with all things precious, it requires a lot of care and attention if you want it to flourish. They make great pets, but in order to get as much love and loyalty from them as you can, you need to start making that bond while they are still very young. If you take good care of your Shiba Inu puppy, your efforts and commitment will be greatly rewarded.

First of all it is very important to keep the puppies warm, even though this breed is not overly sensitive to cold, while they are young, puppies are not as resilient to it as adult dogs, and you need to take care to keep the room temperature high enough for them to be comfortable. When the puppy is old enough you need to call the vet and have him or her administer the vaccination, at least parvo, distemper and rabies vaccination. In some cases, veterinarians might also vaccinate the puppy for Lyme disease, Corona virus and Bordatella. Some of these vaccinations should be administered when the puppy is six weeks old, and most of the general shots should be already acquired before it reaches sixteen weeks of age.

You should be careful about what you feed your puppy with, look for top quality dog foods that contain approximately 30% protein and 15% to 18% fat. At first, you should give him three meals a day, or if you notice that it isn’t overeating you can just leave enough dry kibble to last him through the day. If you are administering the dosages, gradually increase the quantity as the puppy grows. If you notice that it has lost appetite you can cut back to two meals a day. You should monitor his weight and take care that he doesn’t get too fat or too thin.

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You should make sure to crate train your puppy, as it will help you to housebreak it. It will also give you a peace of mind when you’re not around, although for longer containment you should probably consider a larger exercise pen. You can purchase either at a pet store for an insignificant amount of money, and they will make your and your puppy’s life much easier.

Until your puppy is vaccinated and able to go outside you should help him to get to know the world by surrounding it with friendly people who will interact with it and help it accept strangers. This is a critical period in its development and it is vital that it gets positive reinforcement in this stage and that it learns to accept its surroundings in a healthy manner.

You should start training your puppy while it is still young and acceptive. Keep training sessions short, but repeat them often. Naturally, start with more simple commands, and as the puppy learns to obey them move on to the more complicated and demanding instructions. And lastly, remember that positive reinforcement is always more powerful and lasting than punishment, reward your puppy whenever it deserves it and you will have a healthy, obedient and a happy pet.

Shiba Inu temperament

Shibas are often compared to cats. Not only do they generally get along well with them, they are also fastidiously clan, often found licking their paws and cleaning themselves like a cat would, but they also have that cat-like quality of seeming arrogance and independence. Even though they can be extremely obedient and have shown great intelligence and training potential, at times they might seem stubborn and almost spiteful.

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They have been used as hunting dogs for a long time, and as such they still have a strong prey drive. This can sometimes come out as aggression and irritability, Shibas can be hostile toward other dogs in their vicinity, or sometimes, even towards humans. Females are especially prone to such behavior. This is why it might be best not to keep untrained Shiba near small children, not only does it get aggressive at times, it can also get frightened by a child and try to defend itself against the perceived attack.

However, if you get an early start, while the puppy is still young, you will have a much easier task of training it. They don’t need a lot of time to get housebroken, they seem to want to keep their immediate surroundings as clean as possible, so as soon as they are accustomed to the apartment and they start perceiving it as their home, they will seek out other places to use as toilet.

An early start will also make it easier for you to assert your dominance, and while this breed can be hard to win over, once you gain its respect Shiba will not only be very loyal, it will show what a fast learner it can be when it’s willing to try and obey. They can learn a great number of commands; you just need to get them in the state of mind in which they are actually ready to obey them.

Common health issues

Shibas are generally considered adaptable and resilient dogs, fit for keeping both indoors and outdoors, without fear of them not being able to endure the rougher conditions on the outside. They are not too picky about what they eat; every decent commercial food will do just fine. As most dogs, they need a lot of exercise, but they don’t require you to bend over backwards in order to be satisfied, give them ample running space, and they’ll take care of it themselves. Generally, you don’t have to worry that they will get hurt as they are very agile and their small and compact stature keeps them from getting injured often.

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However, like most breeds, they have some hereditary defects that you need to keep an eye out for if you want to keep your dog healthy and well taken care of. Patellar luxation is the most dangerous defect of that type that is common to Shiba. It is characterized by the dislocation of the kneecap. This condition can be more or less serious. In the majority of cases it s not too severe – applying pressure will displace the kneecap, but it returns into position of itself once the pressure is gone. This might cause the dog some discomfort, and it might cause a slight limp, but it will not inconvenience him in a serious manner. However, the condition can be much more severe. Kneecap can remain constantly luxated, which causes lameness, or sometimes, even completely prevents the dog from walking. In such cases, surgical intervention might be necessary in order for the dog to recover. Causes of this condition can vary from changes in the soft tissue to skeletal abnormalities, so radiograph might not be enough to diagnose the condition in time. That is why palpation is needed in order to properly diagnose it.

Despite the dog’s small stature, this breed offer suffers from hip displacement, so that is definitely one of the things to look out for in your Shiba. If you notice any signs of possible hip displacement, contact your veterinarian at your earliest convenience.

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Eye problems are generally common to dogs, not specifically just Shiba. Between 1991 and 1997 18% of tested Shibas had some kind of eye related health problems. Most common conditions detected were etropion – inwardly rolled eyelids, cataracts, glaucoma and distichiasis – inwardly growing eyelashes. Entropion can occur in very young puppies – three to four weeks of age, but it can occasionally go away as the eyeball grows. Cataracts usually appear when the dog is approximately two years old and can, in the most severe cases, cause complete blindness. The dogs that were diagnosed with cataracts shouldn’t be used for breeding.

One of the most common Shiba health problems are allergies. They are not as potentially threatening as the other listed conditions, but can still cause the dog discomfort. Take for instance flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Just one flea bite will cause such unbearable itching that the dog that suffers from FAD will not be able to stop scratching at chewing at the irritated place. This will further irritate the skin, which will then attract more fleas and only make the condition worse. In such cases, cortisone injections are the last resort of the desperate owner.

Training a Shiba Inu Dog

Lets set it straight at the beginning – Shiba Inu is a beautiful dog, but its not exactly the most obedient dog breed of them all. Its actually one of the most stubborn and independent dogs that will be really hard to train and many dog breeders fail at this completely. Nothing its impossible thou, even training a Shiba Inu is a possible task, but you will need a lot of patience, utilize a lot of rewards and accept the fact your dog will never be the most obedient animal on earth.

Even thou its not easy, even a Shiba Inu can be trained to obey and perform many tricks. Check out the video below, its probably one of the best trained Shibas I have seen :

There are few key principles you should follow when trying to train a Shiba Inu.

I already said this is going to take longer than with almost any other dog, so prepare a lot of patience, thats rule number 1.

Shibas get bored easily and they do not like being ignored, use this during your training. If the dog doesnt work with you, start ignoring it, turn your back on it … thats rule number 2.

Use a lot of rewards, the dog has to be positively motivated. Use nice voice, small preys etc … thats rule number 3.

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Set rules and enforce them. Shiba Inu is a dominant dog, if you do not set rules at an early age and enforce them, the dog will take over your house. There a few things you dont want your Shiba to do – no biting, no aggressive guarding of his food or toys, no rough play (wrestling) with humans. … rule number 5.

And the last one – Shiba Inus do not like new things all that much, and can become stressed in new situations. The best way to overcome this problem is to socialize your dogs at an early age – get them used to other humans, take them to unknown locations, introduce new things to them … like with any living creature, a young individual gets used to new things much better than adult.

Shiba Inu Puppy Cam

This is quite a phenomenon and probably the main reason for the big popularity of the Shiba Inu dog breed in the United States. So let me tell you a bit more about it. It goes back to 2008, when a San Francisco couple setup a live cam to monitor their 6 Shiba Inu puppies while they were away from home or simply at work. A simple idea turned into something massive, followeb by more than 3 million viewers in the first year alone. You can still check out the recorded feeds if you want to, here is one of them :



Video streaming by Ustream

The rest of the feeds are to be found on this adress : www.ustream.tv/sfshiba

The names of the six Shiba Inus are – Ando, Aki and Akoni for the males and the females are Amaya, Autumn and Ayumi. The owners introduced a second stream in the year 2010, this time with 5 puppies and there is also a third litter to be found within the streams, again with 6 Shiba Inu puppies. With the help of these streams, the family helped to raise significant amount of money for various Shiba Inu Rescue organizations from all around the United States. This story is a perfect example of how even a simple idea can massively help the popularity of a dog breed as well as help raising funds for a good thing.

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