Showsight Presents the Shiba Inu

dense and may be white, bu ff , cream, tan or gray in color. Urajiro is required for all colors and is white, cream or bu ff . Urajiro is required: on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the underjaw and upper throat, the inside of legs, on the abdomen, around the vent and the ventral side of the tail. Th e urajiro is distinct from the coat color with a graduated blending of the urajiro into the colored coat. Th e red is vibrant and closer to a vivid orange than red. Th e color is not muted appearing fawn or brownish red. Th e cor- rect red sesame is one of the hardest colors to obtain. Th e combination of black tipped hairs on vivid red background is distrib- uted evenly throughout the coat and does not appear in patches or patterned. Th is even distribution should be present on the head and may form a widow’s peak on the forehead. Th e black with tan points is comprised of black guard hair contain- ing brown or red tints. Th e black is not a blue black. Th e tan points are located as oval spots over the eyes; on the sides of the muzzle between the black bridge of the muzzle and the white cheeks; on the out- side of the forelegs from the carpus, or a little above, downward to the toes; on the outside of the hind legs down the front of the stifle broadening from hock joint to toes. Tan points may also be found on the inside of the ear and underside of the tail. While other colors or color patterns may occur within the breed, these repre- sent coloration patterns more appropriate to the other native Japanese breeds and are serious faults that must be penalized. In addition, the cream or white Shiba will not display the required contrast between coat color and the urajiro pattern required for all Shibas. Function Characteristics Th e Shiba has been utilized through- out its early history as a hunting dog. Th e Shiba travels a variety of terrain from high mountainous regions to open fields. Th e Shiba is sturdy without appearing heavy

boned or refined. Th e Shiba is built to work tirelessly for extended periods with balanced structure critical to performance. Th e Shiba possesses e ff ortless movement allowing for bursts of speed and quick course corrections. Th e Shiba thrives in extreme ranges of temperature. A trait that allows the Shiba to function in extreme weather is the coat. Th e Shiba carries a double coat where the guard or outer coat is coarse, sti ff and straight and the undercoat is soft and dense. A long, wooly or soft coat is faulted and it is preferred that the Shiba is presented in a natural state. Trimming or sculpting of the coat must be severely penalized. Th ese carnivorous dogs easily adapted to the requirements of the Japanese hunt- er throughout early history. Full denti- tion and the alignment of the teeth is an important consideration for these hunting dogs. Th e Shiba throughout history has been utilized as a hunter of game ranging in size from small birds to boar. Th e job of the Shiba when hunting boar was to contain the boar until the hunter arrived with spears. Th e Shiba would circle the boar attacking from the rear at the ham- strings to slow down or immobilize. Th e full-compliment of correctly aligned teeth was critical to the Shiba’s survival. Several of the early Shibas in the foun- dation stock comprising the gene pool in the US had missing teeth. Th e version of the Standard adopted by AKC when the breed entered the Non-Sporting Group in June 1993 simply stated “full dentition preferred.” Unfortunately, several of the early AKC champions had missing teeth; some in significant numbers. Th e NSCA members understood the importance of honoring the judging requirements in the country of origin as well as the heritage of the breed and felt that dentition required emphasis from breeders and judges alike. Th e members of NSCA felt that breed- ers needed time to reduce the number of missing teeth and in 1997 the Standard was modified to specify that more than

4 missing teeth are a serious fault. In time the Standard may be revised in steps to specify more than two missing teeth as a serious fault, with the ultimate goal of full dentition as a requirement. Temperament Characteristics Th e Shiba Inu should carry himself with a “spirited boldness” and dignity. Th e Shiba Inu does not understand that he is not the biggest dog in the crowd and firm- ly believes that he is the most important dog in area where he is present. Th e quiet confidence of the Shiba is manifested by a dog that is secure in his environment and under the control of his owner or handler. While puppies may exhibit enthusiasm for greeting any stranger, adults are often more reserved and aloof. When greeting a stranger, the adult Shiba has yet to deter- mine if it is worth his while to expend any e ff ort on the newcomer to his world. Judges should not be expected to toler- ate aggressive behavior from a Shiba and AKC has procedures for dogs that display aggressive behavior in the ring. Shy dogs raise a bigger question and the key element in the Standard is the word overt. A Shiba may be unsure of herself the first few times she shows and will gain confidence with each show experience. However, the Shiba that displays overt shyness with behaviors such as trembling, cringing or low crawl- ing should be excused. Fear based aggres- sion may be a factor in the show ring more often than dominance aggression. Th e judge or the exhibitor should not push a Shiba into a fear aggression response. Th e National Shiba Club of America has developed a program for educating judges that places emphasis on judging the overall dog and discourages fault judging. Th e “perfect” Shiba does not exist and in most circumstances the strengths of the dog will o ff set any minor faults possessed by the dog. Th e Standard states “A harmo- nious balance of form, color, movement, and temperament is more critical than any one feature.”


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