A Shiba is a "big dog" in a small, neat, attractive package! I've heard them called "little Akitas" and "furry Basenjis" and while these descriptions have some merit, a Shiba is a Shiba, and as such isn't like any other breed. They are versatile: we love the fact that ours love hiking (they'll go all day nonstop without being at all fatigued), yet are equally happy to spend the day asleep on our laps. They are all unique individuals (their remarkable personalities are what make this breed so much fun), but as a breed they seem almost a study in contrasts: they are intelligent yet stubborn, independent yet fiercely loyal, and fearless yet willing to throw tantrums over the darndest things (I'm sure there's exceptions, but every Shiba I know hates being bathed!).
They learn quickly, but never force them to do anything! Positive training techniques work wonderfully (they love being clicker trained if you have the patience for it), but Shibas don't do well with "traditional training" techniques - I've found that using a training (or choke) collar on a shiba causes them to either "shiba shake" to the extent that they're distracted from learning anything, or simply annoys them so much they sit and play mule with a hurt, patient expression on their face, as if to say "Mom, you are being sooo unreasonable today, I'm just going to sit and wait for you to get over this bad mood you're in, then I'll consider humoring you again". A Shiba is clearly not the right dog for most people, but for those of us who love these funny, charming, quirky little dogs, they are simply the best!
For great breed info, go to the National Shiba Club of America homepage (click on the "About the Shiba" button and read "An Introduction to the Shiba Inu, parts 1 and 2" by Jacey Holden - it really is an excellent overview of the breed). A good general descriptional of the breed can be found at this breed review site. For fun stuff to do with your Shiba, check out the ShibaSports homepage. If you have further questions about training for agility with your shiba, please feel free to contact us as we'd be happy to help and encourage you in that endeavor!
For individual Shiba lover's pages go to the Shiba Ring site. A couple of my favorite shiba pages, both full of excellent information about the breed, are those of my fellow New Hampshire Shiba-enthusiasts (and former Shiba breeders), Diane Richardson and Mary Tilton. For a humorous look at this spirited breed, check out The Misanthropic Shiba.
For nationwide RESCUE information go to the NSCA's rescue page. For more local/regional (North East) rescue listings, check out the New York City Shiba Rescue site. Please keep in mind that no rescue site will offer "complete" listing of all shibas available. If you are located near me (ie. New England, especially southern NH or eastern MA) and are interested in adopting a shiba, please feel free to contact us as my husband and I occasionally have a foster shiba looking for a home, often know of local shibas looking for homes, and are always happy to answer questions about adopting a shiba! Please see our available shibas page.
If you're looking for a puppy, please check our available shibas page. Good places to look for breeders are the National Shiba Club of America Breeder Referral Page and the Shiba L Roster. If you have questions about different types of breeders, check out How to Select a Good Dog Breeder Checklist from DogPlay, or check out the NSCA's How to Choose a Breeder Checklist.