Japanese Shiba Inu
The Japanese Shiba Inu is a medium sized, Spitz-type hunting dog. He is typically watchful and alert but should not be aggressive if appropriately socialised. He needs to live in a house with a garden and should have plenty or exercise. Coming from a working background the Shiba needs an owner who will provide him with training challenges and stimulating activities. His dense weatherproof coat means that he will enjoy being outdoors in all weathers. He should be groomed very regularly. Care should be taken to keep him cool in warm weather.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.9% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
The Shiba has no obvious exaggerations but his dense coat (suited to a cold climate) means that he will not be comfortable in warm/hot weather. He could suffer if care is not taken to ensure that a cool place is provided for him to rest. Exercise should be avoided in warm conditions.
- Eye disease: Goniodysgenesis / Primary glaucoma (annual testing) (a painful and sight threatening disease )
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 7.2 (parents should be lower)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Atopy (hypersensitivity to pollens and other protein particles, casuing intense itching)
- Ear infections (due to narrow ear canals)
- Entropion (inverting eyelids)
- Patella luxation (slipping kneecap)
- Hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: