Posted in Utility Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.  Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


Hunting dog for birds and small animals

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 cross breeding of the Shiba with those English dogs became prevalent and a pure Shiba became rare so that by 1912 1926 pure Shiba’s confined to these areas became exceedingly scarce.
Hunters and other educated persons became concerned with the preservation of the pure Shiba’s 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 superior breed known today.
Small sized dog, well balanced, well boned with well developed muscles. Constitution strong. Action quick, free and beautiful.
The ratio of height at withers to length of body is 10 : 11.
The temperament is faithful, with keenness in sense and high alertness.


Skull: Forehead broad.

Stop: Well defined with slight furrow.


Nose: Black colour desirable. Nasal bridge straight.

Muzzle: Moderately thick and tapering.

Lips: Tight.

Jaws/Teeth: Teeth strong with scissor bite.

Cheeks: Well developed.
Eyes: Relatively small, triangular and dark brown in colour; the corners of the eyes are upturned.
Ears:  Relatively small, triangular, slightly inclining forward and firmly pricked.
Neck: Thick, strong, and well balanced with the head and the body.
Back: Straight and strong.

Loin: Broad and muscular.

Chest: Deep, ribs moderately sprung.

Belly: Well tucked up.


Set on high, thick, carried vigorously curled or curved as a sickle, the tip nearly reaching hocks when let down.

General appearance: Seen from the front, forelegs straight.

Shoulders: Shoulder blade moderately sloping.

Elbows: Tight.  

Upper thighs: Long.

Lower thighs: Short, but well developed.

Hocks: Thick and tough.


Digits tightly closed and well arched. Pads hard and elastic. Nails hard and dark in colour desirable.

Light and brisk.

Hair: Outer coat harsh and straight, undercoat soft and dense; hair on tail slightly long and standing off.
Colour: Red, Black and Tan, Sesame, Black Sesame, Red Sesame.

Definition of the colour ‘Sesame’:
Sesame: Equal mixture of white and black hair.
Black Sesame: More black than white hairs.
Red Sesame: Ground colour of hair red, mixture with black hairs.
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.

Height at withers: Dogs 40 cm
                             Bitches 37 cm
There is a tolerance of 1.5 cm smaller or taller.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • Bitchy dogs, doggy bitches
  • Malocclusion (overshot or undershot mouth)
  • Numerous teeth missing
  • Shyness


  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Ears not pricked
  • Hanging or short tail


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.