Of the six domestic Japanese spitz-breeds, the Shiba is the smallest. It's better known and larger 'cousin' is the Akita and the other four are the medium sized Shikoku, Kishu, Hokkaido and Kai.
Shiba females have a height of 37 cm, the males 40 cm. The standard will allow a give or take of 1,5 cm. By far most Shibas are red. Then there is black & tan and the colour sesame occurs (sesame, red/sesame and black/sesame), also cream is a collor that you can find in the Shiba.
The Shiba is a cheerful and playful dog with an appealing appearance. They are very intelligent, agile and extremely light-footed in their movements. Characteristic is their inexhaustible curiosity, eagerness to learn, self-conceit and an unbelievable passion for hunting. Furthermore they are very independent. These are all wonderful characteristics, but also a given that one has to 'utilize' this type of primitive dog. The coat is short with a thick woolly undercoat and a harsher, longer topcoat. Shibas can moult several times a year.
The rearing of a Shiba must be consistent, but not in a hard-handed way. On the contrary, with a lot of patience and affection one will achieve the best results. However, never be too lenient, and do not allow yourself to be distracted by his 'cute little foxy face'. A badly reared Shiba can be a disaster. Unfortunately one hears all too often from Shiba owners that they find it impossible to let their dog run freely in the woods, as they will not listen and are almost impossible to retrieve.
Generally speaking the Shiba is very friendly towards people and also extremely social in its behaviour towards other dogs; they enjoy living in a group.