Mike Ross: "The following is the Nippo Standard that was sent by Mr. Ichiro Hata (click here to see the accompanying letter) to various kennel clubs around the world in 1935. The standard uses the Medium Size dog as its basis and then differentiates it for small and large size breeds. I've taken out the difference and replaced it with the small size text concerning the Shiba."

Nippo Shiba Standard – 1935

Nature and Expression
Sharp and fierce, with good matured simplicity and excellent scenting power. The whole behavior shows liveliness. Gait brisk and smart.

General Appearance
Well-balanced body. Sex features distinct. Frame well-knit. Muscles well-developed. The proportion of shoulder height to length of body is 100-110; in female the latter gains slightly. Shoulder height in males 38-42.5 cm; in females 35-39.5 cm.

Small and triangular. Stand erect, tapering, bending forward slightly.

Rather triangular. The outer canthus higher. Iris dark brown.

Bridge of nose straight, and peak pointed. Muzzle stout and firm. Lips compressed and thin.

Head and Neck
High-browed. Cheeks well-developed. Powerful neck.

Shoulder blades well-developed. Hocks straight and toes tightly closed.

Muscular and straight I with strong hock joints.

Deep. Ribs moderately spring. Breast well-developed.


Thick and strong. Those long enough to reach the hock should be straight or curled. Short ones should bear the resemblance of bob tails, but not quite the same. N.B. In the small size only, hereditary short tail is not disqualified.


Uppercoat stiff and straight. Undercoat soft and thick. The hair on the tail long and bushy.

The colour may be either tawn, white, wheaten, black, brownish grey, cinder-grey, iron-grey, silver-grey, or black and tan.


  1. All the aforesaid characteristics should be distinct
  2. Overshot or undershot
  3. Hereditary short-tail
  4. Ears not erect I except in pups


  1. Any deformation caused by injury
  2. Undernourishment
  3. Pink or butterfly nose
  4. Black and white, or brown and white coat

a) With "army-dogs" the coat should preferably be of any other colour but pure white.
b) Spurs preferably should be removed.

Reformatted and reprinted by permission of Lynda Birmantas, USA