The smallest of the Japanese native breeds, the Shiba was originally developed for hunting in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is also an excellent watchdog and companion. His frame is compact with well-developed muscles and he possesses a double coat that can be black and tan, red or red sesame. The Shiba has an independent nature and can be reserved toward strangers but is loyal and affectionate to those who earn his respect. The Shiba adapts well to different living situations, but must be exercised regularly on leash or in a secure area. Early obedience training and regular brushing are musts.