Small Preservation Kennel in Southwest MinnesotaWorking to support and preserve the
Shiba Inu and Shikoku Ken native Japanese breeds through collaboration with other preservation breeders.
We are proudly a member of Nihonken Hozonkai (NIPPO).

Latest Website Update: June 15th, 2022

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

About Us

Tobitatsu Sou (Kennel)
飛び立つ荘

We are located in Southwestern Minnesota near the South Dakota border.Tobitatsu Kennel is a passion project. I've been involved in Nihon Ken (Japanese Dogs) for over 15 years. I just recently began showing my dogs in the summer of 2021. It has been a dream of mine since I was a child.I am so thankful to my mentors for their opportunities they have given me. Mentors include Marilyn Pikal of Kayobi Shiba as well as Leah and Pam Crowley of Kokuryuu Shiba. Marilyn was so kind and allowed me to co-own two Shiba she has produced. Leah and Pam have also allowed me to co-own a beautiful show prospect with them, as well as inviting me to a big show and helping to teach me how to improve at showing.My program is currently very small. We have plans to collaborate with other Midwest Shiba breeders in the next ~5 years. I am also planning on expanding to Shikoku Ken within the next 3 years to extend our preservation efforts and help assist the breed. I have always loved Shikoku and admired them so after 14 years of dreaming, I will finally make it a reality. One of our puppies will be coming from Bonsai Wolf Japanese Dogs out of Japanese & Russian lines.Tobitatsu (飛び立つ) means to 'fly away' in Japanese. I feel like in a sense, I am taking off to begin my journey now in the preservation of not only Shiba Inu but, the Shikoku Ken as well. It also pays homage to my other love in the animal world, which is parrots.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Shiba Males

Click the Embark image above to view Haru's genetic health and coat genes!

Haru is very playful, very excitable. He enjoys a good game of chase and ball but, when he settles down, he becomes a very sweet boy. He has a strong prey drive, very food and toy motivated. He is not trusted off leash and prefers to run away from you. He is fine being brushed/bathed but, despite all our efforts desensitizing him -- he still dislikes having his nails done.Registered Name: Kayobi Takaharu
AKC #: NP59858201
Call Name: Haru
Color: Black & Tan, atat Ee (carries cream gene)
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: November 8th, 2019
Pedigree: http://www.shibapedigree.com/details.php?id=80129
Eyes: Clear
Hips: n/a
Patellas: Normal
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): Clear
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): Clear
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Marilyn Pikal (Kayobi Shiba)Haru takes two Reserves in his second show at West Bend, WI and an Owner Handled Best Of Breed and an OH Group 4 win in the Non-Sporting Group at Albert Lea, MN!Haru earns Best of Winners for his first two points in Mason City, Iowa in April 2022!!

Introducing our latest prospect from Leah and Pam Crowley!Registered Name: Kokuryuu's Seventh Swell
AKC #: --
Call Name: Renton
Color: Sesame (awat, most likely)
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: January 3rd, 2022
Pedigree: http://www.shibapedigree.com/details.php?id=83886
Eyes: n/a
Hips: n/a
Patellas: n/a
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): n/a
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): n/a
Owned by: Stephanie Koch, Pam Crowley and Leah Crowley

Shiba Females

Suzy is growing into a fine young lady and she is debuting in the show ring at the end of May 2022!Registered Name: Kayobi’s Vermilion Sparrow
AKC #: NP71204301
Call Name: Suzaku/Suzy
Color: Red, Ayat Ee (carries cream gene)
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: September 16th, 2021
Pedigree: http://www.shibapedigree.com/details.php?id=83052
Eyes: Too Young
Hips: Too Young
Patellas: Too Young
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): --
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): --
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Marilyn Pikal (Kayobi Shiba)

Shikoku Females

More information coming soon!Registered Name: Maeko Misou Fuurin Sou of Mistral’s Kiss
AKC #: Coming soon, import pedigree recieved
Call Name: Maeko
Color: Red/Red Sesame
Breed: Shikoku Ken
Date of Birth: August 19th, 2021
Pedigree: https://nihonken.pedigreedatabaseonline.com/en/Maeko-Misou-Fuurin-sou-of-Mistral-s-Kiss/pedigree/13507/i
Eyes: Too Young
Hips: Too Young
Patellas: Too Young
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): --
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): --
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Michelle Mak (Bonsai Wolf Nihon Ken)

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Past Dogs

Call Name: Toby
AKC #: NP18746902
Color: Sesame
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: December 24th, 2007 passed
Toby was an altered pet I owned for 12 years & was loved greatly by his entire family. He was my first introduction to not only Shiba Inu but, the other Japanese breeds.
He passed over the rainbow bridge during March 2020.

Click the Embark image above to view Akami's genetic health and coat genes!

Registered Name: Kayobi Tamashii Akami
AKC #: NP48445802
Call Name: Akami
Color: Sashige/Red, ayat EE (carries B&T gene but, not cream)
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: October 2nd, 2017
Akami started developing cataracts at the age of 4 & was swiftly retired from our program. She will be placed in a pet home by her breeder.

Click the Embark image above to view Tanjiro's genetic health and coat genes!

Registered Name: Kokuryuu’s Blessed Rain After the Drought
AKC #: NP67712702
Call Name: Tanjiro
Color: Sashige/Red, ayat EE
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: April 6th, 2021
Pedigree: http://www.shibapedigree.com/details.php?id=81796
At his first show cluster weekend, Tanjiro takes Best of Breed 3 days in a row as well as Owner Handled Group 3 win at Hutchinson, MN!With a heavy heart, Tanjiro has been retired from our program.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Litters/Available

Unfortunately all litter plans are on hold until some of our puppies grow and get health testing done. We do have an adult dog looking for a home! Check out the descriptions below.

Tanjiro is a 1 year old male Shiba Inu looking for a home! He is retiring from our program. He is up to date on all shots, crate trained and knows a handful of tricks and commands. He is extremely food and toy motivated. He is also easily our most people friendly Shiba. He will happily grab a toy and climb right up onto you and share his toy in your face! He is a very active little guy so he definitely needs a home that can really get him out there and tire him out.As far as we are aware, he currently has no health issue and he is being retired due to precautions from our mentors. It is through no fault of his own.He will need to go to a home with no other dogs or cats. He has not been raised around cats and has pretty significant prey drive. He cannot be in a home with another dog because he does not like sharing with other dogs.Tanji has been neutered, fully recovered and is now available for applications. His rehoming fee is $1200. Preference to homes in the local Minnesota/South Dakota/Iowa region.


We do not ship puppies. If you would like a puppy from us then you will need to pick up your puppy in Minnesota. It is a great way for us to meet you in person and you can meet your puppies' parents as well.We are ~3 hours from Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, MN and a little under 2 hours away from Sioux Falls Regional Airport in Sioux Falls, SD.


What do you get for choosing Tobitatsu Sou?
- A lifetime of support -- we want to know how your puppy is growing and developing every step of the way. Through the good and the bad.
- Limited AKC Registration, your puppy cannot be shown in conformation but, they can participate in any other AKC event like agility and other sports. Later down the road, we may offer co-ownerships for those who want to show. At the current moment, that is not available.
- Embark Breeder Kit DNA Testing, this shows all of the coat/color traits your puppy carries as well as whether or not your puppy expresses any detectable illness at the genetic level.
- Entered into the Shiba Inu and Nihon Ken pedigree databases, all our dogs are logged through these pedigree databases so you can see every dog we've produced as well as what testing has been done for each dog.
- More to come soon, I am still compiling this list! Thank you.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

About the Shiba

Pictured above is the anatomy of the Japanese dog.
All six breeds have variations in coat, facial structure and size.

The Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu (She-bah Ee-new) is a highly prey-driven small game hunting breed. They were designated as a National Monument in 1936 and are treasured in their country of origin.They are one of six spitz breeds that originate from Japan. Shibas are the smallest. The medium breeds are Kai, Kishu, Shikoku and Hokkaido. The largest is Akita. All six breeds together are collectively called the 'Nihon Ken' -- which just essentially means Japanese Dogs.The Shiba is a small dog. Generally weighing around 16-25 pounds. They're body is compact while having a short and dense double coat. Shiba shed all year round and typically blow their entire undercoat 1-2 times a year, depending on the individual dog. If shedding is not something you can deal with, I highly suggest steering clear of owning a Shiba Inu.

Health

Shiba Inu are a fairly healthy breed overall. Reputable breeders will screen their dogs to do they best they can to ensure your puppy will not suffer from these issues. Always ask for health certificates! The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has a public database to look through that will show what testing your breeder has done to ensure healthy breeding parents.The breed suffers from glaucoma at an alarmingly high rate. It isn't uncommon for Shibas to develop eye issues later in life and go blind or have so much eye pressure that the eye has to be removed. Slipping/loose knees (luxating patella) are common among mill and backyard bred Shibas and later stages of LP 3-4 require major knee surgery costing thousands of dollars.The most deadly condition found in Shiba is called Gangliosidosis. It is a hereditary condition that affects the nervous system/brain and has no cure. It has a 100% fatality rate before the age of 2. This condition is completely preventable with genetic testing. Both parents must carry the gene for it to pass on to offspring. It is very uncommon but, tends to pop up in breedings between parent dogs not tested.Here at Tobitatsu Sou, all of our parent dogs are tested fully (genetic testing, hips, eyes and knees screened). I will personally do my best to ensure the healthiest puppies possible.

Personality

There will always be some variation to individuals in the breed but, Shiba should be confident and bold.

"The Japanese have three words to describe the Shiba temperament. The first is "kan-i" which is bravery and boldness combined with composure and mental strength. The opposite side of "kan-i" is "ryosei" which means good nature with a gentle disposition. One cannot exist without the other. The charming side of the Shiba is "Soboku" which is artlessness with a refined and open spirit. They combine to make a personality that Shiba owners can only describe as "irresistible."

Information quoted from the National Shiba Club of America information document.
A link to this website can be found on my 'Links & Resources' page.

Shiba are alert by nature. They're very prey-driven and work on instinct. They're considered a primitive breed. The breed is not typically cuddly and will want to stay a distance away from strangers. Some Shiba lines do have a more cuddly personality that can be passed down to offspring -- our female Akami is one such Shiba.People will say that Shiba can be off-leash but, be aware of their prey-driven tendencies. I personally do not recommend having your Shiba Inu off leash at any time. My Shiba personally do not have great recall and it takes a lot of work to get to the point where you can trust your dog. Since all of the dogs in our program have a strong prey drive, I would highly recommend avoiding off-leash activities.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Contact Us

Ready to dive into the world of owning a Shiba Inu?I appreciate your enthusiasm. Although at this time, puppy forms are not available. We do accept questions though! Feel free to email me at any time. This is a great way to connect with us and start a communication line if a future puppy is something you're looking for.Although I am opening up this line of communication, just be aware that I will not accept any people onto my waitlist this way. So please do not ask to be accepted onto a list or if any puppies are available. You can find my litter plans and availability on my 'Litters' page. My website is updated very frequently.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Support Us!

I'm going to be honest with you. Dog breed preservation is not cheap by any means.Not ready for a dog but, want to support our cause anyway? I am a professional illustrator and make dog breed goods to support funding for future additions to the kennel and imports. It also goes to future health testing on existing dogs in our program -- ranging from Embark DNA testing to OFA testing appropriate for each breed.You can view our Etsy page by clicking the image below.Thanks for your support!

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020- 2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Latest News

February 19, 2022 • A lot has happened in the past 4 months! Suzaku joined us in December and she is now 5 months old & maturing well! Maeko joined us at the end of January and has been meshing into our pack well. Maeko is now 6 months old! We had a show in January with Tanjiro. We will have a lot more show plans going into March/April. It’s just a slow time of the year for showing!Tanjiro turns 1 year old at the beginning of April, it’s hard to believe our little man is growing up into a fantastic Shiba!October 31, 2021 • We did eye exams this weekend at the Sioux Empire KC dog show and unfortunately Akami was found to have cataracts developing in one eye. Due to these findings, Akami has now officially been retired from our program and all breeding plans are suspended. We are working to get some new female puppies as soon as we can.October 13, 2021 • Tanjiro finished his first weekend out in Hutchinson, MN! He got Best of Breed 3 days in a row and placed Group 3 in Owner Handled Non Sporting on Friday! What a great start!July 29th, 2021 • Tanjiro's Embark results are back! You can find a link to his profile under his photos. We are now on 'puppy watch' with Akami. There is a small chance she has a very small litter but, it is more likely that she is not pregnant. If that is the case, we will try again on her next cycle.July 8th, 2021 • We just returned from a long trip out in West Bend, Wisconsin for a 4-day show! Haru took two Reserves the last two days of the show! Felt like we improved so much in just 4 days. Looking forward to our next show.May 25th, 2021 • Akami went into heat and is in the process of being bred by my mentor. If everything goes according to plan, we should have a litter whelped around the end of July! Very exciting things ahead.We currently do not plan to have any available puppies but, circumstances change. If anything changes, it will be posted here on our website.February 21st, 2021 • Happy 2021! We don’t have a ton to announce right now. Haru is starting conformation handling classes next weekend and Akami is getting her OFA x-rays done for her hips and elbows on Monday. Getting close to being ready for her to be bred now. Just patiently waiting for her heat! :)December 28th, 2020 • Hope you all had a fantastic holiday. We are slowly preparing for Akami's future heat cycle and are planning on potentially breeding her to one of our mentor's studs. Akami has now been with us for over a month, hard to believe! She is adjusting well to life with us and feels like a part of the family now.We are hoping to pass on her gorgeous coat pigment, compact body and facial features to the next generation and hoping to correct her shortness of leg with an appropriately sized stud.We will be hopefully entering Akami into some shows in 2021. She hasn't had much luck in the ring yet and maybe we will be able to get her some wins. Crossing our fingers for a more hopeful year for showing!November 7th, 2020 • Website has undergone some updates, including a link to our Etsy page.We are anticipating the birth of our future female Shiba puppy. Hoping to hear within the next few months. It's an exciting time!Kayobi Takaharu Go turns 1 year old tomorrow, November 8th!

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Additional Media

Kayobi Takaharu, 1 year 4 months old.
Sioux Empire KC Conformation Handling Classes, February 27th, 2021.

Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
Out of coat in the snow, February 2021.

Kayobi Takaharu, 1 year 4 months old.
Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
Visiting PetSmart, March 6th, 2021.

Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
A very calm & relaxed Akami loves riding on laps in the car, March 6th, 2021.

Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
She loves taking naps on the recliner, March 14th, 2021.

Kayobi Takaharu, 1 1/2 years old.
Posing Haru in the backyard, April 10th, 2021.

Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought, 11 weeks old.
Kayobi Takaharu, 1 1/2 years old.
Anoka County Kennel Club Summer Solstice Cluster in Cambridge, Minnesota, June 25th, 2021.

Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought, 11 weeks old.
Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
Visit to PetSmart for socialization, June 19th, 2021.

Kayobi Takaharu, 1.5 years old.
At the West Bend, WI ‘Star Spangled Cluster’ dog shows, July 5th, 2021.

Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought, 13 weeks old.
At the West Bend, WI ‘Star Spangled Cluster’ dog shows, July 6th, 2021.

Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought, 6 months old.
Sioux Empire Kennel Club conformation class, October 2nd, 2021.

Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought, 6 months old.
Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 4 years old.
Akami and Tanjiro enjoying the backyard. September 2021.

Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 4 years old.
Kayobi’s Vermilion Sparrow, 5 months old.
Akami and Suzy playing in the snow. February 2022.

Kayobi’s Vermilion Sparrow, 5 months old.
Kokuryuu’s Blessed Rain After the Drought, 11 months old.
Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 4 years old.
Kayobi Takaharu, 2 years old.
The entire Shiba crew chasing each other in the yard. February 2022.

Kayobi Tamashii Akami, 3 years old.
Grooming session, February 2021.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Nihon Ken Goods

I am also a collector of Japanese dog goods. I am slowly expanding into more books for historical purporses. Click for a larger photo of each item.Some items are also from the Nihonken Hozonkai 日本犬保存会 (NIPPO, Japanese Dog Preservation Society), bought secondhand.

Books

Other Goods

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

About the Shikoku

This page is still under construction!

The Shikoku (She-koh-kew) is a medium Nihon Ken breed ranging from 30 to 50 pounds in weight. They’re taller than a standard sized Shiba, with males being much larger on average. Females can be as petite as a large male Shiba but, also larger.The breed historically has been used as a baying type of hound in Japan, though in recent times the Shikoku has seen a significant split in type from hunting and show lines. Hunting line Shikoku are incredibly rare and are only maintained by the few hunters that still use them, which isn’t many — especially as hunters grow old. There is also not a huge interest in the Shikoku or the other medium Nihon Ken in their country of origin, which makes many of these lines die out once a breeder passes on.

Health

As the Shikoku made its way around the world and became more popular, many health issues have been discovered. The breed is quite inbred and many lines have specific health issues that have only been discovered as early as the early 2010s.If you’re looking to get into the breed, just be aware that the breed is still very new outside of Japan and so there are always chances of issues. It is important to share and document all issues that pop up so we can continue to try and improve the health of the breed.As of right now, the most well known issues are seizures (which have popped up in specific lines), gangliosidosis/ataxia, joint pains, hip dysplasia & recently cystinuira type III was documented — which basically forms crystals in the urine similarly to a cat. It is extremely painful in males if affected.We will be working very hard to contribute all of our dogs’ DNA to research & test as much as possible so we can help the breed as best as we can. We will also try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the health of our dogs.

Personality

A very common misconception is that the Shikoku is just a large Shiba in temperament. That is unfortunately not true and far from it.The Shikoku has a very intense aura to them in comparison to the Shiba.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2022. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Personality