FCI-Standard No. 257, Group 5
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Shiba has been a native breed to Japan since the primitive ages. The word « Shiba » originally refers to something « small », a « small dog ». The Shiba’s habitat was in the mountainous area facing the Sea of Japan and was used as a hunting dog for small animals and birds. There were slight differences in the breeds according to the areas where they were raised. As dogs like English Setters and English Pointers were imported from England during the period of 1868-1912, hunting became a sport in Japan and crossbreeding of the Shiba with those English dogs became prevalent and a pure Shiba became rare so that by 1912-1926 pure Shibas confined to these areas became exceedingly scarce. Hunters and other educated persons became concerned with the preservation of the pure Shibas from around 1928 and the preservation of the limited number of pure strains began seriously, and the breed standard was finally unified in 1934. In 1937 the Shiba was designated as a « natural monument » after which the breed was bred and improved to become the breed known today.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Small-sized dog, well balanced, well boned with well developed muscles. Constitution strong. Action quick, free and beautiful.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: The temperament is faithful, with keenness in sense and high alertness.
COLOUR: Red, black and tan, sesame, black sesame, red sesame.
All the above mentioned colours must have « Urajiro ».
« Urajiro »: Whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle and on the cheeks, on the underside of the jaw and neck, on the chest and stomach and the underside of the tail, and on the inside of the legs.
SOURCE: Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(1) indelibly independent, a well renowned dog breeder with whom we trained a Shikoku said "there is no purpose in trying to TRAIN a Shiba, it can't be done",
(2) everything for them begins with a "no"... as in, NO, I'm not interested in listening to you, NO, I'm not interested in being too friendly, NO, I'm not in need of a master because I am the master,
(3) everything for them ends with a "mine"... as in, that toy is MINE, the food is "MINE" and whatever you have that I might want is MINE,
(4) epitome of a small dog with a big dog mentality... take it from us, this "little" Shiba fears no one and no thing, our Shikoku are rightfully afraid of her,
(5) mercurial... as in, she can snuggle for hours and make you think she is a sleeping angel, OR, she can be as feisty as Elon Musk before a quarterly earnings call with his Board of Directors,
(6) so intelligent that you will always feel a bit lower down on the IQ ranking than you might be, they read your mind like a swarthy svengali,
(7) catlike in their reflexes, nothing is safe within a 2 meter jump, and god save you if they are left at home alone and bored... nothing is safe, NOTHING and
(8) AMAZING, all of the so-called challenging character traits listed above are what make you fall in love with them everyday, 100 times a day... there is something special about this Spitz breed that cannot be articulated... possibly the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) in terms of breeds.