Shiba standard (FCI)


Foto: Viktor Adamov, Martin Šimiak, Dominika Paučová

FEDERATION CYNOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE (AISBL) SECRETARIAT GENERAL: 13, Place Albert 1er B – 6530 Thuin (Belgique) ___________________________________________________________________________

09.02.2017/ EN

FCI-Standard N° 257


ORIGIN: Japan.


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

FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 5 Spitz and primitive type.

Section 5 Asian Spitz and related breeds. Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Shiba has been a native breed to Japan since the primitive ages. The word « Shiba » originally refers to something « small », a « small dog ». The Shiba’s habitat was in the mountainous area facing the Sea of Japan and was used as a hunting dog for small animals and birds. There were slight differences in the breeds according to the areas where they were raised. As dogs like English Setters and English Pointers were imported from England during the period of 1868-1912, hunting became a sport in Japan and crossbreeding of the Shiba with those English dogs became prevalent and a pure Shiba became rare so that by 1912-1926 pure Shibas confined to these areas became exceedingly scarce. Hunters and other educated persons became concerned with the preservation of the pure Shibas from around 1928 and the preservation of the limited number of pure strains began seriously, and the breed standard was finally unified in 1934. In 1937 the Shiba was designated as a « natural monument » after which the breed was bred and improved to become the breed known today.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Small-sized dog, well balanced, well boned with well developed muscles. Constitution strong. Action quick, free and beautiful.

FCI-St. N° 257 / 09.02.2017


IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The ratio of height at withers to length of body is 10 : 11.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: The temperament is faithful, with keenness in sense and high alertness.


CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Forehead broad. Stop: Well defined with slight furrow.

FACIAL REGION: Nose: Black. Nasal bridge straight. Muzzle: Moderately thick. Lips: Tight. Jaws/Teeth: Teeth strong with scissor bite. Cheeks: Well developed. Eyes: Triangular, not too small, and dark brown in colour. The outer corners of the eyes are slightly upturned. Ears: Relatively small, triangular, slightly inclining forward and firmly pricked.

NECK: Thick, strong, and well balanced with the head and the body.

BODY: Back: Straight and strong. Loin: Broad and muscular. Chest: Deep, ribs moderately sprung. Belly: Slightly tucked up.

TAIL: Set on high, thick, carried vigorously curled or curved as a sickle, the tip nearly reaching hocks when let down.

FCI-St. N° 257 / 09.02.2017



FOREQUARTERS: General appearance: Seen from the front, forelegs straight. Shoulder: Shoulder blade moderately sloping. Upper arm: Forming a moderate angle with shoulder blade. Elbow: Tight. Metacarpus (Pastern): Slightly oblique. Feet: Digits tightly closed and well arched. Pads thick and elastic. Nails hard and dark in colour desirable.

HINDQUARTERS: Upper thigh: Well developed. Lower thigh: Well developed. Hocks: Thick and tough. Feet: Digits tightly closed and well arched. Pads thick and elastic. Nails hard and dark in colour desirable.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Light and brisk.


Hair: Outer coat harsh and straight, undercoat soft and dense; hair on tail slightly long and standing off.

Colour: Red, black and tan, sesame, black sesame, red sesame. Definition of the colour sesame:

• Sesame: Good mixture of black, red and white hairs in whole.

• Black sesame: More black than white hairs.

• Red sesame: Ground colour of hair red, mixture with black hairs.

All the above mentioned colours must have « Urajiro ». « Urajiro » : Whitish coat on the sides of the muzzle and on the cheeks, on the underside of the jaw and neck, on the chest and stomach and the underside of the tail, and on the inside of the legs.

FCI-St. N° 257 / 09.02.2017

SIZE AND WEIGHT: Height at withers: Males 39.5 cm. Females 36.5 cm. There is a tolerance of 1,5 cm smaller or taller.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

• Lack of sexual dimorphism.

• Slightly overshot or undershot mouth.

• Numerous teeth missing.

• Shyness.

• Pinto colour.


• Aggresive or overly shy.

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

• Extremely overshot or undershot mouth.

• Ears not pricked.

• Hanging tail, short tail.


• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

The latest amendments are in bold characters.



Photo:, Michio Black Velvet Al-nasja


Photo: Dominika Paučová, from the left - female: Mami Yumi Kuro Czech Jakobín, female Umai Leo Libra