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Phew, this website is a labor of love and largely a one-woman show so unless indicated, all articles written by J.Tsukamoto

The Shiba Inu is one of the six native and ancient dog breeds of Japan.

Shibas are a beautiful specimen of a dog and have caught the attention of dog aficionado’s all around the globe.

beautiful red shiba inu

While we know the meaning and origins of the names of most modern dog breeds - the exact meaning of the word Shiba Inus has not been confirmed nor verified.

 This is due to the fact that Shiba Inus originated in Japan a long time ago and interpretations of the name can change as written history gets harder to access - especially for those that are not Japanese.

Current Theory on The Definition of Shiba Inu

With the facts and history we have now, we do have a good hypothesis on the meaning of the word Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inu with trees and Autumn leaves in the background

In Japanese, the word “Inu” means dog so luckily that’s a no-brainer.

However the term Shiba encompasses a few possible meanings. The first being “brushwood”.

Perhaps Shibas were named because either they hunted in the brushwood, or the color of the red Shiba Inu’s fur resembled brushwood leaves / branches.

Shiba Inu in beautiful natural background in nature

The last theory on the origin of the Shiba Inu names is that Shiba translates to “small”. This translation is now obsolete.

“Small dog”, is not a very creative way for the Japanese of the time to name a Shiba so I’ll put my bets on the name originating from the fact that Shiba Inus enjoyed hunting in brushwood - what do you think?

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