• Frame: Compact, with well-developed

• Males and females are distinctly different
in appearance: males are masculine without
coarseness; females are feminine without
weakness of structure.


• Expression is good natured with a strong
and confident gaze.

• Eyes are somewhat triangular in shape,
deep set, and upward slanting toward the
outside base of the ear. Iris is dark brown.
Eye rims are black.

• Ears are triangular in shape, firmly pricked
and small, but in proportion to head and body
size. Ears are set well apart and tilt directly
forward with the slant of the back of the ear
following the arch of the neck.


• Neck is thick, sturdy, and of moderate

• Topline is straight and level to the base of
the tail.

• Body is dry and well muscled without the
appearance of sluggishness or coarseness.

• Fore-chest is well developed.

• Chest depth measured from the withers to
the lowest point of the sternum is one-half or
slightly less than the total height from withers
to ground.

• Ribs are moderately sprung.

• Abdomen is firm and well tucked-up.

• Back is firm.

• Loins are strong.


• Shoulder blade and upper arm are
moderately angulated and approximately
equal in length.

• Elbows are set close to the body and turn
neither in nor out.

• Forelegs and feet are moderately spaced,
straight, and parallel.

• Pasterns are slightly inclined.

• Removal of front dewclaws is optional.

• Feet are catlike with well-arched toes fitting
tightly together.

• Pads are thick.


• Double coated with the outer coat being stiff
and straight and the undercoat soft and thick.

• Fur is short and even on face, ears, and

• Guard hairs stand off the body are about
1½ to 2 inches in length at the withers.

• Tail hair is slightly longer and stands open
in a brush.

• It is preferred that the Shiba be presented in
a natural state.


• The angulation of the hindquarters is
moderate and in balance with the angulation
of the forequarters.

• Hind legs are strong with a wide natural

• The hock joint is strong, turning neither in
nor out.

• Upper thighs are long and the second
thighs short but well developed.

• No dewclaws.

• Feet as in forequarters.


This story appeared in Animal Scene’s December 2017 issue.