Start a grooming routine with your puppy as soon as you get him. There are three tools you should have to care for his coat. A Greyhound Comb an Undercoat Rake and a Pin Brush.
The comb is about 7 1/2" long and has coarse and medium teeth. This is the one tool that is a "must have" for a Shiba coat. I mist my dogs before starting with a coat conditioner like Royal Crown or Cindra. You may also use cool water. Starting at your dogs butt pull the hair forward with your left hand and comb with the coat until there is no resistance. Move up 1/2" and repeat until you have gone over the entire coat. This is called line combing. This tool will gently remove and loose hair and open the coat up for healthy circulation.
Once you have finished combing your dog use the pin brush and comb the coat opposite of the way it grows to make the coat stand out from the body.
If your dog is blowing coat use the undercoat rake by combing through the coat in the direction it naturally lays. This will loosen and remove dead undercoat. Once you have gone over your dog with the rake you should line comb your dog.
I do not recommend a Furminator for a Shiba. This tool cuts the undercoat to remove it. The undercoat gives the Shiba it's plush, filled out look and insulates and protects the skin. It will naturally come out seasonally and should then be removed with the rake and comb. A Shiba that is Furminated will never have a correct full healthy coat.
There are so many brands of dog foods available! How to choose? We use Diamond High Energy and Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice. Start with a basic chicken and grain formula dog food. This type of food was used for years and most dogs do very well on it. Most information on dog foods is based on one company trying to get you to use their product vs the competitions. People will refuse to feed a food with chicken by products and then will happily tell you they give their dogs chicken necks, gizzards, livers, and eggs!
Dogs like corn and it has been a staple in dog foods for many years. It provides carbohydrates for energy as well as other nutrients. Occasionally you will get a dog with food allergies or sensitivities. You may then have to switch to a food with rice or lamb or other protein sources.
Treats are where I add in the fun stuff. Some dogs like sweet potato, some peanut butter. some blueberry! Offer a wide variety of treats to keep your dogs interest. I like to give my dogs a variety of things to chew on as well. We are fortunate to have a butcher close by that makes their own beef knuckles and peezle sticks! I use hoofs, natural rawhide and rotate treats to keep the dogs interest.
Most Shibas need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. I have found that young males typically have the most energy.