Shiba Inu refers to the "smallest" of 6 original distinct Japanese breeds of dog. A small, agile dog the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japan's mountainous areas. The Shiba Inu nearly became extinct during WWII with all subsequent dogs being bred from only three surviving bloodlines. Recent DNA confirms that the Shiba Inu is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Forebearers of the Shiba Inu are believed to have come from China over 2000 years ago.
Shiba's are fiercely independent and highly intelligent and have a reputation for aloofness with strangers. Obedience training is often difficult (the Shiba is not a breed to reliably return to its owner when called) and same sex aggression is very common. Shiba's need lots of time and attention, but repay the effort 10 times over in loyalty, joy and affection.
Ideally males are between 14 1/2" to 16 1/2" in height and females 13 1/2" to 15 1/2" and should weigh 18 to 25 pounds. They should have a moderately compact, powerful body, a thick "sickle" or curled tail (the sickle being the preferred type) small erect ears, triangular shaped eyes and a bold expression.
They come in colors of red, red sesame, black & tan and cream.