The Shiba Inu is a type of Japanese dog native to Japan. "It is also called "Shiba-ken.

According to the Japan Dog Preservation Society (Nippo), the number of Shiba Inu is the largest in Japan. According to the Japan Dog Preservation Society (Nihon Inu Kyokai), the Shiba Inu accounts for about 80% of the six Japanese dog breeds being bred in Japan. The Shiba Inu is also popular outside of Japan, and is known by the name "Shiba Inu," which is a romanization of the Japanese reading of the name. Basically, they are classified as small dogs.


Origin of  the Name

The name "Shiba Inu" was used in the central Highlands, and in the literature, it was used in "Nihon Inu" the journal of the Japanese Dog Preservation Society in the early Showa period."Shiba" refers to a small miscellaneous tree.

There are various theories about its origin, the following three being the most representative.

1. It is said that the shiba helps hunters by skillfully passing through bushes.

2. Because of its reddish-brown hair color, which resembles that of a withered bush(shiba-red)

3. From the old word"shiba" , which means a small thing.

Phylogenetic tree of ancient dog breeds.png

Shiba Inu Lineage

It is one of the oldest genetically inherited breeds, and DNA analysis shows that it has branched out sequentially as follows(see figure on the left)
First, the canine diverged from the gray wolf. These dogs diverged into (1) the Asian Spitz lineage, such as the Shiba Inu and Akita Inu, and the Blue-Tongue Mastiff lineage, such as the Chow Chow and Shar Pei, and (2) the Hound lineage, such as the Basenji and Afghan Hound, and the Arctic Spitz lineage, such as the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute. After that, the (1) line branched off into the (2) line. Later, the Shah Pei branched off from the lineage in (1), and the rest became the Shiba Inu, Chow Chow, and Akita Inu lineages. The Shiba Inu was the first to branch out from this lineage. The rest of the Chow Chow and Akita Inu groups diverged from each other after that.



The ancestors of the Shiba Inu have been living together with people since the Jomon period.

In modern times, Shiba Inus worked as domestic dogs in urban areas and as hunting dogs for small animals in mountainous areas, but Western dogs imported from England for hunting during the Meiji and Taisho periods became popular, and crossbreeding began. In 1928, the Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Dog was established, and in 1936, the Shiba Inu was designated as a national natural monument.

Soon after that, the war broke out, and the breed itself was in danger of extinction because of the distemper epidemic after the war. The breed itself was in danger of extinction due to the distemper epidemic after World War II. The breed survived this crisis by crossing the barely remaining local bushes in various regions, but since they were crossed with bushes from different regions, there was a lot of work ahead to stabilize the breed. As a result of many years of steady and planned breeding, the standard value of the breed was stabilized, and it developed into the Shiba Inu we see today.



 The Shiba Inu's personality is loyal and loving to its owner, bold and calm. The Shiba Inu has a strong sense of independence and sometimes shows a self-paced side.
 The Shiba Inu's body is characterized by a two-layered coat consisting of a stiff, straight upper coat and a soft lower coat. There are many variations of coat colors, including red, brown, sesame, black, and castle. Recently, you may see a smaller version of the Mame Shiba, but it has not been certified as a breed, so the term "Mame Shiba" does not appear in any breed books.

Although, since 2008, the NPO Japan Social Welfare Aiken Association(KC Japan) has been independently recognizing the Mame Shiba Inu.​