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Shiba Inu

About the Breed

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The Shiba Inu (sheeba "E"-noo) is a Japanese dog. It is a small version of it's relative - Akita Inu. The Akita is better known without the Inu attached to it, although the Shiba still uses it. Inu is the Japanese word for "dog".


They were originally bred to hunt in the undergrowth of Japan. Through the years, our dogs have proudly presented kills of mice, moles, shrews and squirrels. One even chased down a rabbit.


Quiet - only barking when there is a reason to. They are also known for their unique noise they make. Most shiba's make a screech or scream noise, but only occasionally.

Protective - alert without showing aggression, they are a great judge of character. Mine made nightly rounds to insure that the children are in their beds. 

Smart - training easy and fun.

Clean - a lot like a cat (sometimes even licking themselves clean), they only have minimal "wet dog" smell after a bath.

Proud and independent - they like human attention and will stay near, but not underfoot.

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They are a smaller dog, but very well proportioned. They are generally between 10-14 inches tall and 15-25#. They are known for being "a big dog in a small body". They have no clue they are small. They are not to be considered a lapdog, because they don't want your lap-they want your chair!


Piney Ridge Kennels offers all four colors of the Shiba Inu breed. They come in Red, Red Sesame, White (or Cream), and Black and Tan.

Image by Jaycee Xie

Year round they do not shed much, but once or twice a year they molt. For about 2 weeks, you'll need to brush them outside with a shedding blade. They have a very thick and unique coat. Like a raccoon, they have a soft undercoat with longer outer guard hairs. This keeps them dry in the snow and rain. They acclimate well to all kinds of weather.

Image by Ian Matyssik
Shiba 500

Their one and only negative characteristic is that they will run off. The desire to explore seems highest from 1-3 years of age. It usually doesn't matter how obedient they are, when they get in the running mood, they cannot hear your command.  In-ground fence, shock collar, tie down, and regular exercise will definitely help. Also, know that they will come back after they have had enough fun. This can be extremely frustrating if you are not prepared for it.

Image by Jaycee Xie

They are healthy dogs. Health concerns are rare and minor in nature. While none of my dogs have any health concerns, we have had some reports from puppy buyers of allergies, loose patella and heart murmer. These have been very few and far between through the years and we monitor the bloodlines for optimal health.

Image by Jae Lee
Shiba Appearance

The best way to get an idea of what a puppy may look like when full grown, is to see pictures of our past pups page where we include pictures of then and now.

Male vs. Female

There is much written about the difference between males and females, but we've had a dog to prove them all wrong. Both males and females are kind, loyal, smart, friendly, and make excellent pets. It simply comes down to personal preference.


AKC - American Kennel Club

recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for dogs. AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports.

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