Originally shibas were bred to flush birds and small game and were occassionally used to hunt wild boar but are now primarily kept as pets. World War II nearly spelled disaster for the Shibas and most of the dogs that did not perish in bombing raids succumbed to distemper during the post-war years. After the war Shibas were brought from the remote countryside and breeding programs were established.
The Shiba is a proportionate dog with a height to length ratio of 10;11. Males range from 14.5 to 16.5 inches tall with females ranging from 13.5 to 15.5 inches.
Because of its hunting heritage the Shiba should be quick and agile. Shibas have a dense double coat and in the standard colours of red, red sesame (sable) and black and tan are preferred, however other colours are acceptable. White and cream shadings are present on the legs, belly, chest and part of the face and tail.
The Japanese have three words to describe the Shibas temperament. First is 'kan-i' which is bravery and boldness combined with composure and mental strength. The opposite of 'kan-i' is 'ryosei' which means good nature with a gentle disposition. The charming side of the Shiba is 'sobuku' which is artlessness with a refined and open spirit. These combine to give the Shiba their irrisistable personality.
The Shiba can be fiery and so early socialisation is important. The fiery aspect of the Shiba is apparent at an early age, as puppies they stage mock battles and make alot of noise. With other dogs, especially other Shibas they are macho little dogs.
Shibas can be described as sturdy, healthy little dogs, able to withstand the rigors of outdoor life as well as enjoying the comfort of indoors.
Shibas are easy to keep who do not require a special diet other than good commercial dog food and are very energetic. Their catlike agility and resillence provide good resistance to injury.
Shibas do have some hereditary defects which reliable breeders screen for in breeding stock. Patellar luxation sometimes appears in Shibas.
Sometimes there is a small power struggle between the owner and the Shiba but the owner must establish that they are in control.
Housebreaking is relatively easy and something that Shibas do naturally. If a puppy is taken out whenever it wakes or after a meal, the puppy will almost never soil in the house.
Lead training is not as natural for the Shiba as it involves something they detest - restraint. It is best to put on a snug collar or soft nylon choke collar and let the puppy wear it around for a while. Attach a leash and let the puppy take you for a walk and after a few times you can try to get the puppy to follow you - the Shiba may pull back or scream a little but this is natural. Shibas can show their disdain for collar and leash in the form of the 'Shiba Shake' where they cock their heads sideways as if something was in their ear then stop and shake violently. This goes away the minute the leash is removed. Expect your Shiba to be an 'on leash' breed as a Shiba who reliably comes on command is rare.
Shibas shed their coat but have little odor to their fur. A thorough brush, at least once a week is usually adequate to maintain a Shiba's helathy coat.
The Shiba is a very lively little dog with a unique set of characteristics.
Welcome to MONARKIN KENNELS - breeder and exhibitor of AKITAS and SHIBAS in Australia
Shiba Breed Information
AKITAS and SHIBAS in Australia