Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is the smallest ancient Japanese hunting breed. Saved from the brink of extinction after WWII, cute photos on the internet have popularized this proud breed.

Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 14.5-16.5in

Female: 13.5-15.5in

Weight

Male: 18-25lb

Female: 15-20lb

Fun Fact

A litter of Shiba Inus born in 2008 had a webcam looking at their pen live-streamed online. In a few weeks, millions of people had watched them a combined 377 years.

About this Breed

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese hunting dog that was brought back from the brink of extinction after World War II and then exploded in popularity after becoming one of the first dogs popularized on the internet.

Shiba Inu, meaning brushwood dog in Japanese, is the smallest of the Japanese hunting breeds. According to official breed standard, Shibas possess “a spirited boldness, a good nature, and an unaffected forthrightness, which together yield dignity and natural beauty.” They tend to need little grooming as they keep themselves clean, licking their warm double-coat of fur like a cat.

While Shibas have been bred in Japan for centuries, the disruption and starvation of WWII combined with a distemper outbreak nearly resulted in the breed’s extinction. In 1947, three bloodlines of Shiba were saved and used to bring the breed back from the brink.

The Japanese formally recognized a Shiba breed standard in 1934, and the Shiba became a National Monument of Japan in 1936. The first Shiba was brought to America in 1954 by an American military family and was first recognized by the AKC in 1992. Shibas have a strong personality and some have dog aggression, so owners need to invest time and energy into their training.

The internet age brought a huge increase in interest in Shibas in the USA. The doge meme is just one example of a Shiba that went viral (videos of the dog behind the meme have been viewed 88 million times). Instagram’s most famous dog, Maru Taro, is also a Shiba.

Shiba Inus on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Shiba Inu ancestry.

  • Piper

    Piper's Creek Kibou

    Purebred

    Max

    Max

    Purebred

    Axel

    Axel

    Purebred

    Oreo

    Oreo

    Purebred

  • Kiba

    Kiba

    Purebred

    Misiek

    Misiek

    Purebred

    Kobi

    Kobi

    Purebred

    Zuko

    Zuko

    Purebred

  • Moana

    Moana

    Purebred

    Ushi

    Ushi

    Purebred

    Aria

    Aria

    Purebred

    Boo

    Boo

    Purebred

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Max
  2. Toshi
  3. Charlie
  4. Loki
  5. Jackson
  6. Taiko
  7. Jasper
  8. Butters
  9. Rocky
  10. Zuko

For Females

  1. Luna
  2. Mochi
  3. Daisy
  4. Stella
  5. Emi
  6. Penny
  7. Mia
  8. Lucy
  9. Kona
  10. Hachi

Common Locations

  1. California, United States
  2. New York, United States
  3. Ohio, United States
  4. Pennsylvania, United States
  5. Washington, United States
  6. Missouri, United States
  7. Florida, United States
  8. Okinawa, Japan
  9. Texas, United States
  10. Fribourg, Suisse

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