This ancient Japanese breed was first introduced to the UK in 1985 by Gerald and Kath Mitchell of Kiskas Kennels, closely followed by Mr Roy Mulligan of Makoto Kennels, and the late Anne Shimwell's Wellshim Kennels. These 3 kennels are the main founders of all stock that currently resides in the UK.

The Shiba-inu are the smallest of the "Nippo" style of dogs native to Japan. Nippo dogs start at the massive Akita and go down through seven sizes to the little Shiba. They all have the same shape and colouring, with a few special exceptions, which make each breed diferent. Things such as Height, Temperament and a few colours individual to each breed, but they are essentially the same style of dog.

The name Shiba-Inu literally means "small dog", but whilst they have always been known as Shiba-Inu, they have also been known as the "Brushwood dog". This was because they were red in colour, and were most often seen scurrying through brushwood hunting small game.

The Shiba-Inu are a tough little breed, which were used for hunting small game such as birds, rats and rabbits in the mountainous regions of Japan. Courageous little dogs full of spirit, they have lots of cat like tendencies and make wondeful family pets. However, they retain a very strong instinct for hunting, and this can lead to them going off on their own if not correctly controlled.

Shibas became very popular in Japan as a family pet, and once recognised, they gained the status of a precious natural resource. This then led to the dog being recognised by the FCI (world canine body) and the dog then went on to be shown by fanciers all around the world.