ANIMAL: Shiba Inu Canis familiaris Type of Animal: Canine Habitat: Homes, urban/suburban/rural areas, mountainous areas, forests, brushwood bushes Location(s): Worldwide-originated in Japan Appearance: Red, sesame, orange, black/tan, or cream double coat, looks like other Japanese dog breeds like Akita Inus, pointy wolflike ears, curly bushy tail, coat most often orangish Food/Diet: Dog food, kibble, rice, poultry, fish, meat, melons, green peas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, papaya, leafy green vegetables, bananas, small mammals, birds, carrion, smaller reptiles/amphibians Status in Wild: Domesticated Lifestyle: Social breed, often living in pairs or small packs Additional Info: Called: Male: Dog Female: Bitch Young: Puppy Group: Pack Weight: Male: 23 lbs Female: 17 lbs Young: 6.6-8.6 lbs Gestation: 2 months Life Span: 13-15 years Height: Male: 1.2-1.375 ft Female: 1.125-1.29 ft Body Length: Male: 2.3 ft Female: 1.92 ft Tail Length: Male: 0.69 ft Female: 0.576 ft Main predators are wild canids, feral dogs, wild/feral pigs, crocodilians, raptors, large snakes, bears, & wild felids. Originally bred for hunting. Other names are Japanese Shiba Inu, Shiba, Shibe, Japanese Brushwood Dog, Japanese Turf Dog, Japanese Small Size Dog, & Shiba Ken. Litters rather small, w/ average of 3 puppies. Number one companion dog in Japan. Typically sheds twice a year. Like most dogs, often need to be exercised daily. Smallest of Japan’s native breeds. Often have very spirited bold personality. Due to independent streak, not easiest of breeds to train. Often do better in homes w/ a decent-sized yard. Have very strong guarding instinct. Not prone to many health problems. Fun Fact(s): If unhappy, they’ll let out loud high pitch scream known as “shiba scream.” First brought to US in 1954 by an armed service family from Japan. First recorded litter of Shiba Inu puppies in US born in 1979. Highly tolerant of both heat & cold but more tolerant of cold. After all, the mountainous areas on Honshu they derive from often have cold winters & hot summers. During World War II, they nearly became extinct due to combination of food shortage & post-war distemper epidemic. All survivors bred from 3 surviving bloodlines-Shinshu Shiba from Nagano Prefecture, Mino Shiba from former Mino province in south of present-day Gifu Prefecture, & San’in Shiba from Tottori & Shimane Prefectures. Has strong prey drive so not always best breed to house w/ cats/smaller pets unsupervised.