Talk to some people about the Shiba Inu and they would NEVER have another.  The dog was aggressive, hyperactive or fearful.  Unfortunately many people are dealing with Puppy Mills or a rescue dog from a Puppy Mill and ended up with a Shiba that was bred with the only motivation being profit! Corners were cut and breeding stock was used that had poor temperaments and health problems.  Of course the breeder did not get the blame, the breed did!  

There are a few dedicated breeders striving to protect and preserve the breed.  These breeders breed for a well balanced Shiba that will be an excellent family pet and companion as well as a beautiful breed representative that can win in the show ring!  A list of these people will be found at  

There is a lot of work involved in breeding a great Shiba.  I have shown dogs since 1998, and have been in Shibas since 1993 when they were first recognized by the AKC.  I am currently the only NSCA member breeding and showing Shiba Inu in MN.  Sadly there are many Shiba breeders  who do not show or abide by a Code of Ethics towards breeding quality dogs.

A lot of research is done when I plan my breeding.  I only have 3 to 4 litters a year and Kayobi Shibas are like no other Shibas here in MN.  I breed for a dog with a great laid back calm and confident personality. Temperament is #1 for me.  I want a dog I can live with!   We love the unique temperament of the Shiba Inu.  The Japanese have a word, kan-i, to describe the spirited boldness and Shiba attitude.  A good Shiba temperament is one of calmness, bravery and alertness, tempered with obedience and we strive to preserve these traits in our Shibas.  We have seen many Shibas that are either shy or have a disobedient, wild nature, more like a husky then a true Shiba temperament. Of course a puppy raised in a family with children who run and scream will chase and may turn nippy, so it is wise to evaluate your family to see if this may be a concern.  Likewise a pup that is not taken out to new places and socialized may be fearful in new situations.  I recommend a puppy socialization and a beginners obedience course.
 I check all of my adult stock for hip, knee and eye problems as well as overall health and temperment. 
I also prefer a certain look in a Shiba.  I breed to the standard, but every show breeder can interpret it slightly differently, and some people concentrate on different things or have different breeding practices.  I love a pretty face with a lot of cheek and thick, well furred ears!  It is one of the things I look for when I want to keep a puppy to show.  I prefer a balanced dog with a big tail and excellent structure.

 Our puppies are treated with the greatest veterinary care and get daily attention and socialization. They are raised in our home underfoot and get exposed to the many noises a family makes. Once they are old enough to explore their environment we provide them with many toys and surfaces to stimulate their development.  Pups that are raised in a commercial facility often lack human companionship and miss out on various experiences that promote brain development.  These dogs are often found in rescues when puppy mills are done breeding them and they take professional training to make them acceptable companions and many can never lead a normal life as a family pet.

We start a "reservation list" for our pups once the litter is born.  In most cases we do plan to keep a pup to show and we always reserve the right to keep our pick puppy. 

Many people start out looking at buying a pup from a reputable breeder, but are put off by the price.  Yes, you can find Shibas at bargain prices in the newspaper.  You may end up paying many times over the cost of a pup from a reputable breeder in vet costs.  My first dog was a "Bargain dog"  He had Hip dysplaysia, entropian in both eyes and severe allergies.   His breeders cut costs but not screening their breeding stock for genetic problems, they were just breeding pets.  His temperament was also wild and he was not a good dog for a first time owner and an experienced breeder would have matched me up with a better pup had I been willing to pay a little more and wait for an upcoming litter.

If the place you are looking at has over 5 breeds or mixes, uses APRI as a registry, breeds creams, pintos, long coats or other "rare" colors, advertises "champion lines" but does not show or produce champions and doesn't do health checks on breeding stock they are not the place to buy from.  There are Shibas in rescues that you should look at before you support a breeder that does not care about preserving the breed, its type and its health.

You may get lucky buying a bargain pup, but is it really worth the risk?