Shiba-Inu-Breed Standard

ORIGIN: Japan.
STANDARD: 30.10.2016.
UTILIZATION: Hunting dog for birds and small animals. Companion dog.

FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 5 Spitz and primitive type.
Section 5 Asian Spitz and related breeds.
Without working trial.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Small-sized dog, well balanced, well boned with well developed muscles. Constitution strong. Action quick, free and beautiful.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The ratio of height at withers to length of body is 10 : 11.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: The temperament is faithful, with keenness in sense and high alertness.



Skull: Forehead broad.
Stop: Well defined with slight furrow.


Nose: Black. Nasal bridge straight.
Muzzle: Moderately thick.
Lips: Tight.
Jaws/Teeth: Teeth strong with scissor bite.
Cheeks: Well developed.
Eyes: Triangular, not too small, and dark brown in colour. The outer corners of the eyes are slightly 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: Slightly tucked up.

TAIL: 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.
Shoulder: Shoulder blade moderately sloping.
Upper arm: Forming a moderate angle with shoulder blade.
Elbow: Tight.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Slightly oblique.
Feet: Digits tightly closed and well arched. Pads thick and elastic.
Nails hard and dark in colour desirable.


Upper thigh: Well developed.
Lower thigh: Well developed.
Hocks: Thick and tough.
Feet: Digits tightly closed and well arched. Pads thick and elastic. Nails hard and dark in colour desirable.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: 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: Good mixture of black, red and white hairs in whole.
  • 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: Males 39.5 cm.
Females 36.5 cm.
There is a tolerance of 1,5 cm smaller or taller.

FAULTS: 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.

  • Lack of sexual dimorphism.
  • Slightly overshot or undershot mouth.
  • Numerous teeth missing.
  • Shyness.
  • Pinto colour.


  • Aggresive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Extremely overshot or undershot mouth.
  • Ears not pricked.
  • Hanging tail, short tail.


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

The latest amendments are in bold characters.