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Also Known As
The Japanese Fox, Foxy, Japan’s Fox
Area of Origin
Breed Birthday
6000 B.C.
Breed Type
Non-Sporting, Companion Dogs
Personality Traits
Active, Attentive, Alert, Spirited
Related Breeds
Akita, Basenji, Norwegian Lundehund, Siberian Husky
Best Breeds For
They’re good with kids and are loyal family dogs, so anyone who is up for the exercise.
Shiba Inus are freethinking, smart, and stubborn - but they’re certainly trainable. Shibas are meticulous about keeping themselves clean, so they’re very easy to housetrain.
A home with a very secure fence—Shibas need a good amount of exercise everyday and they’re known escape artists.

Breed Popularity

Doberman Pinscher
Shiba Inu
West Highland White Terrier
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Based on DogVacay data

Top Shiba Inu Name

Based on DogVacay data
History of Shiba Inu


National Geographic found that Shiba Inus are the most similar to wolves of any dog breed, suggesting they’re also one of the oldest breeds, and certainly the oldest of the six native Japanese breeds. As early as 6000 B.C., Shiba Inus were used to help hunters by chasing birds out of the the dense bushes of the Japanese mountains. Shiba Inus almost went extinct after World War II, but an American serviceman brought a Shiba Inu back to his family in 1954 and in the late 1970s, the US started breeding the pups.
Facts about Shiba Inu

Good To Know

Shibas will grow a coat that’s appropriate to the climate they live in. Shibas who live in sunny Southern California carry a very light summer coat and Shibas who live in snowy Boston can get pretty puffy with a thicker and longer winter coat. They’re generally quiet, but when they get excited, they’re known to emit their trademark, high-pitched “Shiba Scream.”
Shiba Inu health and care

Health & Care

Height: 13” to 17” at the shoulder
Weight: 17 to 23 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Most Shiba Inus are healthy dogs, but some will face health concerns. Look out for hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye disease.
Shiba Inu personality


In Japanese, Shiba means “small,” which is fitting for the Shiba Inu, the smallest of Japan’s six native breeds. The Shiba Inu has cat-like agility, a fox-like face, a cute curly tail, and a tremendous amount of personality. They’re particular dogs who like to keep themselves clean and love a good chase. They’re also very loyal and are currently the most popular—and the trendiest—companion dog in Japan.

Top Shiba Inu DogVacay Hosts

Jay V.
2 miles from you
6 Reviews
Why Jay is a great sitter:
Nicole N.
4 miles from you
24 Reviews
Why Nicole is a great sitter:
Kaitlin W.
2.9 miles from you
Why Kaitlin is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
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