What Were Shiba Inus Bred For? Let’s Find Out!

Best Smart Shiba is an Amazon Associate. We earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. For more information, visit my privacy policy page.

Shiba Inus are a breed of dog that has gained popularity in recent years for their cute and playful personality.

But what were these pups originally bred for?

While it’s easy to think of them as just another trendy pet, the Shiba Inu has a long and rich history dating back to ancient Japan.

In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the Shiba Inu and the various roles they played in Japanese culture.

From hunting game to guarding homes, these dogs have proven to be versatile and hardworking.

So next time you cuddle with your furry friend, you’ll have a greater appreciation for their impressive background.

What Were Shiba Inus Bred to Do?

Shiba Inus were bred for hunting small game in Japan, such as birds and rabbits. They were also used to flush out small game from bushes and trees

What Were Shiba Inus Bred For

The breed was developed in Japan during the 7th century, and they were considered to be a natural treasure in Japan.

They were also used as watchdogs, as they were very alert and could detect intruders easily.

Shiba Inus are known for their independent and strong-willed nature, which made them perfect for hunting.

They are also very agile and quick, which allowed them to navigate through dense forests and rough terrain with ease.

The breed has a dense, double coat that protects them from the cold and wet conditions in the mountains where they were originally used for hunting.

Shiba Inus are also known for their bold and confident personality, which made them well-suited for protecting their owners and property.

They were often used as guard dogs for small villages and farms in Japan.

So, are Shiba Inus protective?

In recent years, Shiba Inus have gained popularity as companion dogs due to their cute appearance and loyal personality.

However, they still retain their hunting instincts and are known to be energetic and playful. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Therefore, Shiba Inus were originally bred for hunting small game in Japan, but they have also been used as watchdogs and guard dogs.

Today, they are often kept as companion dogs, but they still require regular exercise and mental stimulation to thrive.

Why Did Shiba Inus Almost Go Extinct?

Shiba Inus almost went extinct because they were heavily impacted by World War II and a resulting distemper outbreak in the 1940s.

Prior to the war, Shiba Inus were the most popular breed in Japan, but the bombing of cities during the war resulted in the destruction of many breeding programs and the death of many dogs.

Additionally, a distemper outbreak swept through the remaining Shiba Inus, further decreasing their numbers.

What Were Shiba Inus Bred For

In an effort to save the breed, a breeding program was established in the 1950s to carefully breed and preserve the remaining Shiba Inus.

However, the breeding program faced challenges as they had to rely on a small number of dogs with limited genetic diversity.

Despite these challenges, the breeding program was successful in preserving the Shiba Inus and increasing their numbers.

As such, Shiba Inus are no longer at risk of extinction and have regained their popularity as a beloved companion dog.

Why Are Shibas So Special?

Shibas are special for a number of reasons. One reason is their unique appearance and breed characteristics.

Shibas are a small to medium sized breed with a thick, fluffy coat and a distinctive fox-like face.

They are also known for their playful and energetic personality, which makes them a great companion for active families.

Another reason Shibas are special is their loyalty and intelligence. Shibas are known for being extremely loyal to their owners and are often described as being “cat-like” in their independence.

They are also highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train and they excel in obedience and agility competitions.

Additionally, Shibas are known for their adaptability and versatility. They can thrive in a variety of living situations, whether it be in a city apartment or a rural farm.

They are also able to adapt to different climates, making them a great breed for those who enjoy outdoor activities.

Therefore, Shibas are special because of their unique appearance, loyal and intelligent personality, and adaptability and versatility.

Are Shiba Inus Descended from Foxes?

No, Shiba Inus are not descended from foxes.

While Shiba Inus do share some physical characteristics with foxes, such as a small, agile stature and pointed ears, they are actually a breed of dog that has been developed over centuries in Japan.

The Shiba Inu breed is one of the oldest and most popular breeds in Japan, with records dating back to the third century.

They were originally used for hunting small game and were prized for their intelligence and strong work ethic.

In the early 20th century, the breed nearly became extinct due to a combination of disease and crossbreeding with other breeds.

However, a dedicated group of breeders worked to preserve and restore the purebred Shiba Inu, and the breed was officially recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club in 1948.

There are several theories as to the origins of the Shiba Inu breed, but there is no evidence to suggest that they are descended from foxes.

Some believe that the breed was developed from a type of small hunting dog that was brought to Japan by the Ainu people, an indigenous group in Japan.

Others speculate that the Shiba Inu may have been bred from a combination of various small Asian dog breeds, such as the Chinese Shar Pei and the Korean Jindo.

Despite their foxlike appearance, Shiba Inus are classified as a type of spitz breed, which includes other breeds such as the Akita and the Siberian Husky.

These breeds are known for their thick, fluffy coats, pointed ears, and wolf-like appearance.

However, they are all domesticated dogs that have been selectively bred over time to exhibit these physical traits.

While Shiba Inus may resemble foxes in some ways, they are not actually descended from foxes.

They are a breed of dog that has a long history in Japan and has been carefully bred to develop specific characteristics over time.


In conclusion, Shiba Inus were originally bred for hunting small game in Japan. They were used for hunting in the mountains and were known for their agility, endurance, and determination.

Their keen senses and strong prey drive made them ideal for tracking and catching small animals such as rabbits and birds.

These traits have also made them popular as a companion dog for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and running.

While Shiba Inus may not be as well-known as some other breeds, they have a rich history and are a valuable addition to the world of dogs.

Whether they are used for hunting or simply as a loving companion, Shiba Inus are a breed that should be appreciated and respected for their unique abilities and contributions.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.