Sunojo sunojo shiba inu
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Shiba Inu & Japanese Chin

Physical Description

At first glance, the Shiba Inu may look like a small husky crossed with a fox, or perhaps a very furry Basenji. The impression should be of a small, tidy athlete, with an alert expression. 

The Shiba is a very proportionate dog with a height to length ratio of 10 to 11 (almost square shape). Height is measured at top of the shoulders, and length from front of chest to the 'sitting bone' - rearmost projection of the pelvis. Males are 14.5 to 16.5 inches tall, with females 13.5 to 15.5 inches. The weight varies according to height and substance, but generally males are 18 to 26 lbs, and 17 to 21 lbs for females.

It is a medium boned, moderately compact and well muscled dog of spitz type. Developed as a hunting dog, it must be quick, agile and able to turn on a yen.

The coat is dense and double: a soft, wooly undercoat with coarse guardhairs approximately 2" long. Twice a year shedding occurs - it is a messy 3 week process. The breed is NOT hypoallergenic, but may be better for some allergies as their skin is quite dry and not oily.

Red, red sesame, and black & tan are the allowed colours. White/cream shadings are present on the legs, belly, chest and part of the face and tail - this is referred to as "urajiro". Please note that true sesame is quite rare; more commonly seen are red dogs with heavy black tipping on their guard hairs known as a 'dirty red'.

Cream/white dogs and long-hairs can appear, these are not desirable for showing or breeding, and are NOT rare or valuable varieties.