A relatively recent newcomer from Japan, the Shiba Inu is a neat, tidy Spitz-style dog that shows every sign of becoming popular. Shiba Inu literally means ‘small dog’ and, ideally, this breed should look like a smaller version of the Akita.
Shibas originate in the mountainous inland areas of Japan, their work being that of a hunting dog, mainly of ground game, though they are occasionally called on to help track larger game, such as boar and deer.
A very alert, small dog, he gives the impression of being interested in everything going on around him. His size makes him ideal as a pet in such a highly populated country as Japan, where he is one of the most popular dogs. On first sight, one expects that he could be a somewhat yappy animal, but in fact he tends to watch and study rather than shout the odds.
The thick, dense undercoat keeps him very warm and copes with rain very efficiently. Colour wise, most of the specimens seen here are red, but the standard also allows him to be ‘red sesame’ or black and tan, as well as white with red or grey tinges.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Once a week
Town or Country
Type of home
Small or Large House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Utility Breed Group
This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.
The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.