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Nihonken Hozonkai, NIPPO, Shiba Inu Ireland

Nihonken Hozonkai (NIPPO)
Japanese Native Dog Standard

1. Essential qualities (type) and their expression

Kan'i, Ryousei and Soboku are the essence of the Japanese dog and are of immense importance. Kan'i is spirited vigour and dignified majesty; Ryousei is faithful devotion and gentle obedience; Soboku is rustic, sober and unadorned elegance. A good Japanese dog possesses and expresses these fundamental inborn characteristics by its very nature. In addition to this expression, the small- and medium-sized dogs have a sharp intuition, nimble movement, jaunty gait and flexibility. The large-sized dog is massive, composed and dignified in its conduct. These are their respective definitions.

2. General appearance

The general appearance is that a male is masculine, a female feminine; the sexual dimorphism is very important. The body construction is balanced, the skeletal structure tightly-knit. The musculature is well developed; the height to length ratio is 100 to 110, giving a somewhat rectangular figure. The female is somewhat longer than the male.

★ How to measure the height of each breed
The height is measured from the point of the forefoot to the point just behind the uppermost part of the scapula, pressing down on the hair.

  1. Small-sized division - height of the Shiba Inu
    The male's standard height is 39.5cm, the female 36.5cm. On average males range from 38cm to 41cm, females from 35cm to 38cm.
  2. Medium-sized division - height of the Kishu Ken, Shikoku Ken, Kai Ken and Hokkaido Ken
    The male's standard height is 52cm, the female 49cm. On average, males range from 49cm to 55cm; females from 46cm to 52cm. Within the medium-sized division, the height of the Kai Ken and Hokkaido Ken is 2cm lower.
  3. Large-sized division - height of the Akita Inu
    The male's standard height is 67cm, the female 61cm. On average, males range from 64cm to 70cm, females from 58cm to 64cm.

3. Ears

The ear size is in harmony with the head. The inner ear line is straight. The outer ear line is somewhat curved. The shape is that of a scalene triangle. The ear is erect and inclined somewhat forward.

4.  Eyes

Somewhat triangular, the outer corner a little upturned, with strength. It is not desirable that the iris should be black or light in colour. Very dark tea brown is ideal.

5. Muzzle

The muzzle is firm and tight, emerging from full cheeks, with a straight bridge of the nose. The base of the muzzle is round, moderately thick and with a moderate stop. The lips form a tight, straight line, without looseness. In coloured animals the nose leather is black; in white animals it is blackish-brown. There are 42 well-developed teeth; the bite and occlusion should be normal in both upper and lower jaws. Insufficient teeth or spots of colour on the tongue are undesirable.

6. Head and neck

The forehead is wide, the cheeks well developed, the neck moderate in thickness and length, with powerful musculature.

7. Forelimbs

The elbows are close to the body, the forelimbs coming in contact with the ground at the same width as the width of the body. The pastern angle is moderate, the paws tight with a strong grip.

8. Hindlimbs

The thigh is well developed, the hock is strong and powerful with moderate angulation. The hindlimbs come in contact with the ground at the same width as the width of the lower back. The paws are tight with a strong grip. Rear dewclaws, often seen in the Kishu Ken, are removed 2-3 days after birth.

9. Chest

The forechest is well developed. The ribs are moderately sprung, in an elliptical or oval shape. The depth of the breastbone is roughly half the height; not less than 45% of the height is required.

10. Spine and back

The topline is straight from the shoulder to the base of the tail. The loins are sturdy and firm. There is no horizontal or vertical movement of the back when the dog is in motion.

11. Tail

Moderate thickness, powerful, curled or shaped like a sickle. The length almost reaches the hock joint. The curled tail is expressively curled. The sickle tail is curved so it inclines toward the front, often seen in the Kishu Ken. The Akita Inu is required to have a curled tail.

12. Coat

The uppercoat is hard, straight and brightly coloured. The undercoat is fluffy, soft, thick, dense and light in colour, making it a double coat. The hair on the tail is somewhat longer and standing off. The hair colour of the Japanese dog is one of five colours - sesame, red, black, brindle or white. The Shiba Inu is ideally red, sesame or black in colour but the red comprises more than 80% of the breed. The overwhelming majority of Kishu Ken are white, while sesame, red and other coloured dogs number only a few. In Shikoku Ken, the majority are sesame, next is red, while the minority are black.

Standard published by Nihonken Hozonkai. Translation by Éadaoin Ishii.

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