The standard was established by Nihonken Hozonkai in 1934 along the three sizes of Japanese dogs, small, medium and large, indicating a path to follow in the future breeding programs based on the intrinsic characteristics of Japanese dogs. This standard is used as a basic reference by many organization in and out of Japan for Japanese dogs. (Diagram: name of parts of dogs inserted here.)
*The standard is brief and concise but written precisely to the point and its expression may generally be difficult to understand. The following is a point by point explanation of the standard.

1 Explaination of Standard 

Essential qualities and its expression: The nature of Japanese dogs can be expressed in three very important words "KAN-I", "RYOSEI" and "SOBOKU". "KAN- I" means strength of character and dignity. "RYOSEI" means faithful and obedient. "SOBOKU" means refined simplicity and sober artlessness. These qualities are basic nature inborn to Japanese dogs. In addition its expressions in small and medium size dogs are keen senses, quick and nimble movements together with light, elastic steps. For large size dogs, the expression must be massive, dignified composure.

2 General Physical Appearance

It is important to have distinct masculine and feminine appearance. The body is proportionately balanced with compact frame. Muscles must be well developed and a height to length ratio should be 100 to 110 with female having a little longer body. A height is measured at the back of shoulder with coat pressed.
Height of Shiba: Median sizes are 39.5cm and 36.5cm for male and female respectively. The allowable range is 38cm (14.96in) to 41cm (16.14in) for male and 35cm (13.78in) to 38cm (14.96in) for female.

3 Ears

The size of ears should be small and proportionate with head size. They are scalene triangle in shape with inside straight and outside somewhat round, standing firmly and leaning forward slightly.

4 Eyes

Eyes should be set deep with strength. They are somewhat triangular and slant upward at the outside corner. Dark brown iris is ideal. Black or light colors are not desirable.

5 Muzzle

Firm muzzle projects out of full cheeks and the bridge of the nose is straight. Base of muzzle is round and stout, tapering slightly to black nose tip. ( Nose tip color may be dark brown for white dogs) Stop is moderate. Lips are tight and firmly straight. Teeth are well developed and complete with proper bite. Any thing less than 42 teeth or marking of tongue are not desirable. 9. Chest: The forechest is well developed, ribs are moderately sprung in oval shape (eggs shape). Chest depth is approximately one half of total height, at least 45% of the height is required.

6 Head and Neck

The forehead is broad, the cheeks full and neck is powerful with moderate length and thickness.

7 Forelegs

Forelegs are spaced at chest width, elbows close to the body. Pasterns have slight angle, paws having tight grip.

8 Hindlegs

Hind legs are well developed with a natural stance. The hook joint is tenaciously strong with proper angle, paws having firm grip.

9 Chest

The forechest is well developed, ribs are moderately sprung in oval shape (eggs shape). Chest depth is approximately one half of total height, at least 45% of the height is required.

10 Back and Loin

The topline is straight from the shoulder to the base of the tail. Loins are strong and should not move vertically or horizontally at the trot.

11 Tail

The tail is powerful with moderate thickness, either sickle or curled. The tip of the tail should almost reach to the hook joint. Sickle tail should point forward. Curled tail means loose curl.

12 Coat

Outer coat is stiff and straight having clear color. Undercoat is soft and thick like cotton having pale color. Tail hair is slightly longer and stands open. Coat color in Shiba-Inu are red, black, sesame and white. In Shiba inu, red, sesame and black are allowed with 80% being red.

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