Fun Shiba Inu Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Apr 28, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Read these Shiba Inu facts to find about this good natured dog from Japan.

The Shiba Inu is one of the native breeds of Japan. The other breeds are Akita, Kishu, Hokkaido, Kai, Shikoku and Shiba.

They were bred to mainly assist in flushing birds and small games. They are sometimes used for hunting wild boars.

The Shiba Inu is known for its agility and alertness. The Shibu Inu is comfortable in mountainous regions and hiking trails. During World War II, the breed was almost extinct due to a lack of food and care.

The breed was revived with three surviving bloodlines from Nagano Prefecture called Shinshu Shiba, from Mino Province called Mino Shiba, and from Tottori and Shimane Prefectures called San’in Shiba. The Shiba Inu is known as the basal breed, as the breeding of this dog pre-dates the modern breeds of the 19th century.

In 1936, the Shibu Inu was recognized as the National Monument of Japan through the Cultural Properties Act. This was made possible due to Nippo (Nihon Ken Hozonkai), the Association of the Preservation of the Japanese Dogs.

Shiba is the smallest dog in Japan as per the National Shiba Club of America which is registered with the American Kennel Club. Let’s have a look at some of the interesting Shiba Inu dog facts.

Shiba Inu Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu is native breed of Japan. It is a mid sized dog with a compact muscular body.

As per the American Kennel Club (United States), it was bred as a hunting dog for small game and is a non-sporting breed. The Shiba Inu is considered a national treasure in Japan and the literal meaning of the name is 'brushwood dog'.

What class of animal does a Shiba Inu belong to?

The Inu Shibas belong to the mammal class. It is a native Japanese purebred dog. Inu Shiba is a charming, affectionate dog who loves to accompany his pet parents on hikes and trails. The dog looks like a cat and fox too. It is a recognized hunting dog.

How many Shiba Inus are there in the world?

The Shiba Inus' exact population can’t be known. In Japan, there could be at least 2000 plus Shiba Inus. The breed has become popular in the United States of America in recent years.

Where does a Shiba Inu live?

The Shiba Inus loves the mountainous region with colder climates. Inu Shibas can live in houses with well-fenced yards and a large apartment too. Inu Shibas spend a lot of time grooming themselves.

What is a Shiba Inu's habitat?

The Shibu Inus were originally bred in the mountainous region of Chubu. The dogs enjoy going for treks and walks in these regions. Inu Shibas enjoy colder climates more like their native regions’. The Shiba Inus are active dogs that love to accompany their owners where they go. Inu Shibas may not be comfortable in hot and humid climates.

Who do Shiba Inus live with?

The Shiba Inus are comfortable living with humans. They may not be very comfortable with other smaller animals or livestock. They are the best companion dogs to be bred in Japan.

How long does a Shiba Inu live?

The life span of a Shiba Inu ranges between 13-15 years. Daily exercise, walks, hiking and good quality dog food will enhance the life and well-being of the dog and is therefore recommended. The Shiba Inu is an active, confident, curious dog who can keep the pet parents active and healthy too.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process takes place when both the male and female dogs should be of age and adequate size. The female must be going through her "heat cycle."

The male will mount the female from behind and the entire process can last anywhere between 5-25 minutes. Thereafter, the pregnancy will last for between 52-68 days after which the female will give birth to the Shiba Inu puppies. The litter size is three puppies on average.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Shiba Inus is Least Concern. However, the breed was almost extinct after World War II. By 1952, efforts were made to revive the breed from three bloodlines. All the Shiba Inus in the world at present are descendants of those bloodlines only. This breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Shiba Inu Fun Facts

What do Shiba Inus look like?

The Shiba Inus are an alert, agile breed of dog having high energy level. This is an ancient breed and were bred as companion dogs many centuries ago.

They have a playful nature and can be noisy too. They are great at escaping from the yards and, therefore, need to be looked after in the outdoors. The coat color ranges from black and tan, orange red, urajiro (cream to white ventral color), and sesame (black-tipped hairs on a rich red background).

Shiba Inu has a soft and thick outer coat.

How cute are they?

The Shiba Inus are extremely cute, happy-looking dogs with a smile on their faces and a tail curled up. When they sleep, they curl up and use their tails to cover their face and nose to protect themselves from the cold.

How do they communicate?

The Shiba Inus are very vocal in expressing themselves. They don't just bark. They 'yodel' if they want your attention.

The dog may scream in delight when you come home from work. They also wail like a human sometimes when they are upset and want to show their displeasure. These dogs are considered to be quite dramatic in their expressions.

How big is a Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inus are small to moderate dogs with a compact, muscular body. The other Japanese breeds are bigger in size and weight than Shiba Inu. They have well-defined bodies which are strong and agile.

How fast can a Shiba Inu run?

The Shiba Inu can run up to a speed of 25 mph. They can run faster too. They are known as hiking dogs and love to go on walks. A moderate exercise routine with daily walks and jogs is a good idea for the dog.

How much does a Shiba Inu weigh?

The Shiba Inu males weigh close to 23 lb, and the Shiba Inus females weigh a light less than them. The baby Shiba Inus weigh close to 6.5-10.3 lb when they are born.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Like all other dog breeds, the male pooch is known as the dog while the female pooch is known as a bitch.

What would you call a baby Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu baby is called a Shiba Inu puppy like all other dog off-springs.

What do they eat?

The Shiba Inu eats a lot of lean beef, poultry, small fish, green vegetables, sweet potatoes, rice, and some fruits too. It is important to provide the dogs with a well-balanced diet twice a day.

A bowl of water should be kept filled at all times. An active exercise schedule and well balanced protein rich diet is a must for the good health conditions of the dog.

Are they slobbery?

The Shiba Inus tends to slob due to the following conditions; when the dog realizes it is going to eat; when he is excited; when he is stressed; when puppies grow new teeth; when they have their first heat.

The drooling may indicate something abnormal or wrong with the Shiba Inus. For example, when the dog has difficulty swallowing, has digestive issues, has been poisoned, oral or dental issues has fever or symptoms of rabies. These are some of the occasions when the Shiba Inus may drool.

Would they make a good pet?

The Shiba Inu are ideal pets for people in urban settings like an apartment or even a house with a fenced yard. They are companion dogs who were used as hunting dogs sometimes. The Shiba Inus are an intelligent breed, a quick learner too.

They are an active dog, even in a home setup. They are possessive about their space, food, and toys.

If trained well and from the early days, they can be ideal companions because of their happy, and rather a dramatic personality. His alert behavior and agile compact body almost make him an ideal friend with children. Make sure to get them socializing from the early days so that they adapt well.

Did you know...

Shiba in Japanese means brushwood, and Inu means dog. The dog is also called a Japanese brushwood dog, denoting the region it is from.

Like a fox, the Shiba Inu has a wedge-shaped face, dark brown eyes, and erect triangular ears With a smiling face. This dog is known for its big personality.

The Shiba Inus don't like to be leashed or locked in one place. Therefore leash training is an important early activity.

The Shiba Inus is a super active dog who loves his playtime and keeps busy with its little games and tricks.

The Shiba Inus are loyal dogs who are not comfortable around strangers.

The first Shiba was first introduced in the United States in 1954.

The personality of Shiba Inu can be summed up by the three Japanese words which are 'kan-i' meaning he is brave and alert, 'ryosei' which means being good natured, loyal and obedient and finally 'soboku' which means easy, naturally good looking.

The dog has found a huge fan following across various social media platforms, which has also increased the demand from pet owners.

Characteristics and health issues

The Shiba Inu is generally a healthy breed. But they may be prone to certain health issues, and being aware of them from the start is always a good idea.

The Shiba Inus are an attractive breed along with being active and playful at all times. They have a smile plastered on their face at all times and are known for their sunny disposition. They are also very vocal about their likes and dislikes and have different sounds for expressing them.

The Shiba Inus may suffer from allergies like any dog. It could be a food allergy or contact allergy. Early detection and consultation will improve the dog’s health.

They could suffer from Chylothorax, which is a condition in which fluid is accumulated in the chest cavity. This may lead to difficulty in breathing, decreased appetite, coughing, and lethargy.

They could suffer from glaucoma, a condition in which there is increased pressure on the eyes. It may cause reduced vision and pain. It is treatable with eye drops and, in some cases, surgery.

Other health issues relating to Shiba Inus are cancer, epilepsy, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and tail chasing.

Getting your own Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inus is a happy smiling pet ideal for a family with kids or someone staying alone too. This dog is full of personality and quirks, which may keep you entertained for a long time.

They are a healthy breed, which doesn't require much grooming as it is known to lick its paws like a cat. The dogs are known to keep themselves clean and tidy and therefore require less bathing too.

The Shiba Inu price varies as it is an expensive breed to buy with an average cost of $1500-$2500. They are gaining popularity in western countries and outside of Japan rapidly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Shiba Inu coloring pages.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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