The Japanese Shiba Inu is the smallest of Japan’s six native breeds with an average height of 36 to 41 centimetres and weight of 17 to 23 centimetres. It looks like a mini Akita, having a similar body type where it is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a broad and flat skull, muscled cheeks with a defined stop, an adorable furrow, straight muzzles that taper gradually to its nose, tight lips and a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite. The breed’s nose is either black or flesh and its ears small and triangular in shape. Its eyes are dark brown, almond shaped, fairly small, and set well apart.
The Shiba Inu boasts of a double coat consisting of a straight, stiff outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. People often describe it as a breed with a teddy bear look. It has slightly longer hair on its tail compared to the rest of its body. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are red, white, sesame, and black and tan.
The Shiba Inu is generally a clean and odourless dog and relatively easy to groom, where bathing can be done three to four times a year. However, since it sheds steadily all year round and more heavily in the autumn and spring, regular brushing is required to remove dead hair. Owning a Shiba Inu means accepting the possibility of having hair all over the house especially furniture and clothes. Apart from coat care, you have to pay attention to other grooming aspects. Oral hygiene is important for pets so brush its teeth twice a week to prevent tooth and gum issues. Trim its nails when you hear a clicking sound on the floor. Lastly, make sure to keep its ears dry and clean to avoid infections.