Shiba Inu puppies playing on a white background

Shiba Inu

Breed Characteristics

Territorial and has a tendency towards resource guarding. Quiet in the house. Not barkers, but they can make weird noises. Have many catlike qualities. Naturally clean. Shiba Inus are good jumpers, therefore are great escape artists. Not to be trusted off leash as they love to chase (high prey drive).

Is the Shiba Inu approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?


The Shiba Inu is not in the list of breeds allowed as a pet in a Singapore HDB.


Honshu, Japan, antiquity. Two schools on how the Shiba Inu got his name, one refers 'Shiba' to 'brushwood', suggesting the dogs were named for the brushwood bushes where they hunted. Another simply refers 'Shiba' to an obsolete meaning of the word, alluding that the dog got its name from its small size. Like many other breeds, WWII nearly terminated the Shiba Inu's existence. The population that remained after the war was interbred to produce the Shiba Inu today.

Original Purpose

The smallest and possibly the most ancient of the Japanese spitz dogs, the Shiba Inu was originally used for flushing birds and small game. Shibas are also occasionally employed to hunt wild boars.

Behaviour and Temperament

The Shiba Inu is independent, determined, active, courageous, loyal, alert, and bold. Shibas make wonderful companion dogs but their independent and strong-willed nature can become too much for some.

What are some Physical Features of the Shiba Inu?

The Shiba Inu stands 35.5 to 40.5 cm tall, and weighs between 8 and 10 kg. Well-balanced. Shibas come in any colour; the most common colours include red, black, sesame, red sesame, black sesame.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

The Shiba Inu has a double coat. The outer stiff and straight, under soft and thick. Low maintenance, weekly brushing to remove dead hair and distribute oils. The Shiba Inu sheds moderately constantly and heavily twice a year.

Life Expectancy of the Shiba Inu

The life expectancy of the Shiba Inu is between 12 and 15 years.

Have a Shiba Inu?

Health Concerns

The Shiba Inu is generally a healthy breed, although some are prone to patellar luxation.

Exercise Needs

High. This dog needs a daily workout, and being outside is important for the Shiba Inu.


Adaptable to any living situation, best with fenced yard where he can romp. Fenced, because Shiba Inus are escape artists.


Aloof. Not always good with children. The Shiba Inu may be aggressive with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. They will chase small animals. Shiba puppies socialise better when their toys and treats are tucked away.


Moderate. Highly intelligent, however, due to its independent traits, training the Shiba Inu isn't like training the Golden Retriever. It is as if you have to convince him that obedience was his idea. Early training is highly recommended to ingrain the Shiba Inu proper canine manners.

Recommended Activities

Hunting, therapy dog.

Shiba Inu Dog Club / Communities in Singapore

There is a growing community of Shiba Inu lovers in Singapore. They can be found in the Shiba Inu Club - Singapore facebook group.