The Shiba Standard

The shiba-inu is a small dog born in Japan centuries ago and only recently discovered in our country where interest in exotic breeds from the Asian world is still alive. The Japanese describe him as “A big dog in a small box“.

Extremely self-confident, courageous, proud and always attentive to everything that happens around them.

Elegant, very clean and very active, in this regard let’s not forget their nature as hunters.

FCI Standard No. 257 of 09/02/2017

ORIGIN: Japan.

UTILIZATION: Hunting dog for birds and small animals. Companion dog.

FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 5, Spitz and primitive type dogs.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Small dog, well proportioned, with good bone and well developed muscles. Strong constitution. Nice fast and loose movement.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The ratio between the height at the withers and the length of the body is 10:11.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT : Faithful, sharp and very alert.

1) HEAD:


Skull: Broad forehead.

Stop: Well defined with slightly marked front groove.


Nose: Black. Straight bridge of nose.

Muzzle: Moderately thick.

Lips: Close fitting.

Jaws/Teeth: Teeth strong with scissor bite.

Cheeks : Well developed.

Eyes: Triangular, not too small, dark brown. The outer corners of the eyes are directed slightly upwards.

Ears: Relatively small, triangular, tipped slightly forward and firmly erect.

2) NECK: Thick, strong and well proportioned to the head and body.

3) BODY:

Back: Straight and strong.

Loin: Large and muscular.

Chest : Deep, ribs moderately sprung.

Belly: Slightly tucked up.

4) TAIL: Set on high, thick, carried vigorously curled or curved like a saber; the tip almost reaches the hock when dropped.



General appearance: Seen from the front, the forelegs are straight.

Shoulder: Moderately oblique scapula.

Arm: Forms a moderate angle with the scapula.

Elbows: Close.

Pasterns: Slightly oblique.

Feet: Toes tight and well arched. Thick and elastic pads.

Hard, dark colored nails are desirable.


Thigh: Well developed.

Leg: Well developed.

Hock: Thick and strong.

Feet: Toes tight and well arched. Thick and elastic pads.

Hard, dark colored nails are desirable.


Hair: Rough and straight outer coat, soft and close undercoat; the hair of the tail is slightly longer and raised.

Color: Red, black-and-tan, sesame, sesame-black, sesame-red.

Sesame color definition:

  • Sesame: A good blend of black, red, and white fur distributed throughout the body.
  • Black sesame: More black hair than white.
  • Red sesame: Base color red, mixed with black hairs.

All the above colors must have the “URAJIRO”.

“Urajiro” = Whitish hair on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks, the underside of the jaw and neck, the chest and stomach and the underside of the tail, and the inside of the limbs.

GAI: Light and lively.


Height at the withers:

Males: 39.5cm.

Females: 36.5cm.

There is a tolerance of 1.5cm. more or less.

DEFECTS: Any deviation from the above points must be considered as a defect which will be penalized according to its seriousness and its consequences on the dog’s health and well-being.

  • Lack of sexual dimorphism.
  • Slight overshot or undershot bite.
  • Many missing teeth.
  • Fearful subjects.
  • Color pinto (piebald).


  • Aggressive or overly shy subject.
  • Any dog ​​clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities must be disqualified.
  • Severe overshot or undershot mouth.
  • Ears not erect.
  • Dangling or short tail.

N.B. :

  • Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only healthy subjects able to perform the functions for which they were selected, and whose morphology is typical of the breed, can be used for reproduction.
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