Shiba Inu PuppIES 

In New Zealand

How to get Shiba inu Puppies

Getting a Shiba Inu puppy in New Zealand can be quite a difficult process. There are only three Dogs New Zealand (formerly New Zealand Kennel Club) registered breeders in New Zealand, and Shiba Inu don’t have large litters, which means that there are only a very limited number of ethically bred Shiba Inu puppies available in New Zealand each year. Most of these puppies will already have homes before they are born so you must be prepared to wait. 

You should expect it to take at least a year to get a puppy, and the best way to help your chances is to build a relationship with the breeder you’re hoping to work with. It’s important to be aware that they will all have many more people on their waiting lists than they could ever breed enough puppies for. 

One of the most important things to look for is Parental Health Tests. Just saying a line is healthy does not meet the care of duty required from a responsible dog breeder. You should ask for these test results, and a reputable breeder will be able to present copies of these for your assurance. More information on  these tests and why they are important can be found on the Health Page


Other options

You can explore alternative options and co-own arrangements with your breeder to increase your chance of being offered a puppy. This is usually because the breeder wants to retain access for future breeding and/or showing, or finding “retirement homes” for adult dogs exiting their show career. Not every breeder will consider co-ownership, but these options do exist and building good a relationship with your preferred breeder is very important should this type of opportunity arise.


Ethical Breeding of SHiba Inu Puppies

There are very few regulations in New Zealand regarding breeding of animals, and as such it is quite easy for people to breed from whichever dogs they have available to them. Most people who do this are not trying to do anything wrong, and believe that because their dog is healthy and happy, it would obviously be perfectly suitable to breed from it. They are often interested in having their children experience the wonder of bringing new life in to the world. These things seem completely fine, but unfortunately there is a lot more complexity involved in breeding animals in an ethical manner. 

Breeders who are registered with the national kennel association (Dogs NZ) are bound to a set of ethical rules, regarding how many litters they may have from any dam, the complement of health tests that must be performed for their specific breed, and the DNA they’re able to use. This doesn’t guarantee that every puppy is healthy and perfect, but it does significantly increase the chances of having healthy dogs, and the continued ability for the breed to survive in New Zealand, by ensuring the overall health of the lines.

“Backyard” breeders have no motivation to ensure they pay any attention to the suite of health tests, or the genetic background of their dogs, which can lead to very negative experiences. These people also don’t have a reputation to be concerned with, so if anything does go wrong, they will be very unlikely to be there to support you in trying to reach a happy outcome. It is quite common for families to bring home a seemingly healthy dog, only to discover any number of serious health issues months or years down the line.

The costs of health testing and bringing new genetics into New Zealand, combined with the small size of Shiba Inu litters, are the main reason puppies can be so expensive. As lovers of Shiba Inu, it is vitally important that we are all aware of and support our ethical, registered breeders.

Shiba Inu Puppy
Kubo at 6 weeks old – Photo courtesy Kortmar Shiba Inu

What To Expect

Unless you actively engage with the breeder, you can probably expect nothing at all. You will need to put some effort in if you’re really serious about getting a beautiful Shiba Inu to complete your family.

Join the  NZ Shiba Inu Community Facebook Group, and get to know the breeders, owners and fans who are all active there.

Attend Shiba Inu meetups in your area. This is the best way to get to know the breed and the people involved.

After all this, if you’ve successfully made an impression, you may find yourself lucky enough to be offered a puppy by your preferred breeder.

Red Flags

It is very rare for Shiba Inu puppies in New Zealand (or Australia) to not have a home before they are born. If you’ve found a puppy advertised on Trade Me or Facebook, then the chances are there is something fishy going on.

There are a few “backyard breeders” active in New Zealand, and while these puppies all still need loving homes, it is a bittersweet thing to know you are supporting the un-ethical breeding of dogs.


Finding A Breeder

There are three breeders in New Zealand, who can be found here or are contactable on the Facebook Page.

If you want to look further afield, it is not too difficult to import a puppy from Australia to New Zealand, and there are many more breeders active over there. However they do all still have large waiting lists.