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Shiba Inu & Japanese Chin

Breeding Principles

We are a small kennel, concentrating on quality, not quantity. You will not see 20 or 30 breeding animals at our home - it is not necessary to keep a "herd" to produce some of the finest quality Shibas in North America. We also do not believe the Shiba is a good kennel dog - they are very personable individuals who require attention and love on a one-to-one basis.

SunoJo Shiba Inu have been among the top-ranked Shibas in Canada since breed recognition, and we are pleased to have sent dogs to South America and Europe, as well as to the US. 

While we are extremely active in the conformation show ring, and plan our breedings to produce the next generation of champions, we have never faltered from our principles in selecting only the best breeding stock:

  • Temperament: All our dogs must be mentally sound, human oriented, and a pleasure to be around. Doesn't matter how pretty they are if you can't live with them!
  • Health: The breed is robust and generally healthy - BUT there can be hip, knee, heart and eye problems. Reputable breeders screen for these problems using proven veterinary methods (xray, opthomology, etc.). A clean bill of health, while necessary, does not preclude hidden problems, and is no proof of a dog's genetic makeup. Hip, patella and eye certifications are issued by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals).
  • Soundness: This is the dog's physical structure, and how well it performs its function of moving a dog from Point A to Point B. The Shiba was developed as an all-day hunter - they should be able to run effortlessly and seemingly tirelessly. A dog with legs of incorrect proportion (too long, too short) will tire sooner. Legs that are not straight are prone to injury. Elbows that do not fit properly against the ribcage have too much pressure on them, and will develop arthritis. Too long a back means a weak back, and corresponding muscle issues. There are numerous other concerns, but it boils down to Mother Nature is not happy with an animal that cannot run, hunt, jump for its dinner (even when we humans supply dinner on a gold plate!).

Now that part is fairly straightforward - "type" is where fanciers differ in their opinion. I very much appreciate the esthetics of Japanese type, and attempt to follow the Japanese guidelines, while adhering strictly to our Standards.

We discriminate against:

  • round and/or light eyes
  • large, thin, upright ears
  • loose skin, wrinkles
  • overdone bodies, too much mass

We select for:

  • dark, triangular, oblique eyes
  • well filled - in muzzle
  • thick, well furred ears
  • clear coloured coats, with definite guardhairs
  • well proportioned bodies - not short legged nor long bodied
  • full and correct dentition

We do not breed every bitch, every season - it depends on the girls' show schedule, what males are available, time of year (I don't like Xmas puppies) and other factors.


Please check the "Available" page for availability of puppies.
Whether you're looking for a loving companion or exceptional showman, SunoJo consistently produces sound, healthy dogs of superb temperament - just what you’ve been looking for!