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Shiba Inu

Shiba-Inu Dog Breed

Aliases: Japanese Shiba Inu, Shiba,

Life Span: between 12 and 15 years
Litter Size: up to 3 pups
Group: Northern, AKC Non-Sporting
Color: Variety of colors- red, or red with a little black overlay, or black with tan markings being the most common. In general, the dog should have white or cream-colored markings on the cheeks and sides of the muzzle, throat, underside and chest.
Hair Length: Short
Size: Medium
Shedding: Heavy Shed
Male Height: 14 inches - 16 inches
Male Weight: 20 lbs - 30 lbs
Female Height: 13 inches - 15 inches
Female Weight: 19 lbs - 28 lbs
General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on theirwebsite.

Thyroid Disease - Low Risk

The Shiba-Inu ranks #122 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it). 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #122  305  2.3%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Like all breeds of this size, the Shiba can have health issues. Most of these problems can be avoided with proper nutrition, hygiene, and regular visits to the vet.

The Shibas can have some hereditary defects, for which all reputable breeders screen their breeding stock. Patellar luxation will sometimes appear in Shibas. This ailment causes loose kneecaps and is usually not severe enough to be detrimental to a pet. An experienced veterinarian can detect this condition early on.

Moderate to severe patellar luxation can easily be corrected by surgery and the dog will lead a normal, healthy life.

Another health issue is hip dysplasia. It is not as serious in the Shiba as it is in large breeds of dogs but it can occur.

Something that many new owners do not know is that the Shiba can be prone to allergies. If you suspect allergies, you should take the animal to the vet as soon as possible as the symptoms can range from mild to very severe.

The Shiba may also suffer from glaucoma. This can be detected early on through regular visits to the vet. As with many dogs, eye problems can present problems and owners are encouraged to have their dogs eyes checked regularly. These eye test are now easy to conduct and are worth the small added costs.

Another eye issue that all dog owners need to be aware of is PRA, Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This is an genetic disorder which makes prevention of the disease something of an issue. Research is being done on this issue ever now.

For those interested, much more information on the possible ailments that can be present in this size of animal can be found online or through your vet.