Officially recognized in 1992, the Shiba Inu is a relatively recent addition to the AKC. There are four different markings recognized, and they are listed under the non sporting group.
The Shiba got their origin as one of the six distinct spitz breeds from Japan, and is the smallest of those. They were originally bred for hunting and flushing small game, and cope well with mountainous and rocky landscapes. Shiba Inu have been identified as a basal breed, and predate modern breeds.
The breed traditionally have a sickle tail, rather than the more modern curled tail seen on most Shibas of late. Shibas can range from 18-22lbs, and are usually 13-17 inches at the withers. Their coat is a double coat, with a stiff straight outer layer, and a soft, thick undercoat.
This breed is not for the weak willed first time dog owner, as they are known to be independent and can sometimes exhibit aggression, largely due to their strong prey drive. Consistent obedience training and early socialization can make a big difference.
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