With it's short haired, stiff coat, the Japanese Shiba Inu is a handsome and tidy little dog.
They are the smallest of the spitz type breeds from Japan. They have typical spitz proportions with a curled tail and fairly short double coat. The coat tends to be reddish with distinctive white markings especially on the cheeks, sides of muzzle and chest.
They were bred to hunt small game and flush out birds, although they have been used to hunt larger game such as deer too. The name Shiba means "small" and "brushwood". They are alert, brave, loving and very trainable. They are also quite clean and quiet. They tend to get on well with children but may be wary around strangers. They are usually trustworthy around dogs and cats but possibly less so around small pets and wildlife. They need plenty of exercise and have great stamina.
The stiff, shorthaired coat is easy to groom but it's best not to bath them too often as it removes the natural waterproofing. They are prone to hip dysplasia, slipped kneecap and PRA.