Small Preservation Kennel in Southwest Minnesota

Working 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) and the National Shiba Club of America (NSCA).

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

About Us

We are located in Southwestern Minnesota near the South Dakota border. 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.Tobitatsu Sou is a passion project. I've been involved in Nihon Ken (Japanese Dogs) for over 15 years. Showing dogs in conformation has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I attended many local dog shows in my teenage years and had a fascination with seeing all of the dogs in the ring. I recently began showing my dogs in the summer of 2021 and I have been gaining so much experience and having fun along the way!My program is currently very small. We have plans to collaborate with other Midwest Shiba breeders in the next ~5 years. I am also expanding to Shikoku Ken within the next 2 years to extend our preservation efforts and help assist the breed. I do not plan to have a large Shikoku program but, I hope to produce some puppies, show and help contribute in a small way. My main focus will always be the Shiba!My mentors include Marilyn Pikal of Kayobi Shiba (Minnesota) as well as Pam and Leah Crowley of Kokuryuu Shiba (Wisconsin). Marilyn was so kind and allowed me to co-own two Shiba she has produced for show purposes. 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. All of my mentors have been a huge help in my journey and I am so appreciative of their time and efforts.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

About Our Breeds

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.

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 '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.


Shikoku Ken

The Shikoku Ken (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. There are some similarities but, they tend to be slightly more difficult to handle than a Shiba due to their temperament not being as refined over generations as well as just their natural disposition.Same-sex aggression can be a huge issue in adult Shikoku. They may not act like this as a puppy but, as they grow older, they become less tolerant of same-sex dogs as well as dogs they're unfamiliar with. Shikoku are not a dog social breed and will not be the kind of dog to take to the dog park, doggie daycare or other similar dog-populated locations.Human aggression is a disqualification in the Shikoku standard but, it is very normal for Shikoku to be wary of strangers. For some, it can take a little warming up to open up to strange people but, for some this means they may never be able to interact with strange people. It is important when owning a Shikoku to ALWAYS be your dog's advocate and shield them from random strangers that want to pet or touch them without permission.We are hoping that as the breed grows in the United States that the temperament can really be focused on tightly and improved over generations like the Shiba did in the late 90s and 2000s.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Shiba Inu

"Renton"

Male ♂

Puppy of Achievement
Kokuryuu's Seventh Swell TKA
AKC Major Pointed


"Suzy"

Female ♀

Kayobi's Vermilion Sparrow TKN
AKC Pointed


"Raya"

Female ♀

Gaya go Shinjukawa TKN
Italian Import


Shikoku Ken

"Maeko"

Female ♀

Maeko Misou Fuurin Sou of Mistral's Kiss
Italian Import


At this time, we do not plan to have any male Shikoku in our program due to the amount of male Shiba we have. This may change in the future.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

"Renton"

Renton is a sweet little bean! He is a total people dog, loves attention and loves all his people so much! Hoping that he will eventually pass down his fantastic traits to the future generation!Registered Name: Kokuryuu's Seventh Swell TKA
AKC #: NP74486406
Call Name: Renton
Color: Sesame (awat)
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): Clear through parentage
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): n/a
Bred by: Pam Crowley and Leah Crowley
Owned by: Stephanie Koch, Pam Crowley and Leah Crowley
Renton goes Best of Breed for 2 points at Hutchinson, MN on October 7th, 2022! And also Best of Breed for a 3 point major at Hutchinson, MN on October 9th, 2022!Renton goes Best of Winners for a 4 point major and also wins an Owner Handler Group 3 at Sioux Falls, South Dakota on October 28th, 2022!Renton goes Best of Winners & Best of Opposite Sex for 1 point at Shakopee, MN on November 20th, 2022!

TitlePointsEarnedAcronym
Trick Dog Novice- -August 2022TKN
Trick Dog Intermediate- -September 2022TKI
Trick Dog Advanced- -January 2023TKA
Puppy of Achievement12/10November 2022POA
AKC Champion11/15, 2/2 majors- -CH
Owner-Handler Series25- -- -

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Previous Dogs

♥ Sorely missed but, never forgotten. ♥


"Toby"

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.Toby passed away in March 2020 after losing a battle against cancer.


"Akami"

Akami started developing cataracts at the age of 4 & was swiftly retired from our program.She had a wonderful time with us for two years. She is sorely missed! Best wishes for a happy life as a happy pet! She is now in her forever home!


"Tanjiro"

Puppy of Achievement
Kokuryuu's Blessed Rain After the Drought
With a heavy heart, Tanjiro has been retired from our program. He is now living a happy life with his new mama in the Twin Cities, Minnesota!During his short show career, he earned Puppy of Achievement, one Owner Handled Group 3 placement, 40 NOHS points that got him onto the top rankings for Shiba Inu in 2021 and one point towards his Championship.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Available

Haru

Haru is a young, 3 year old male black and tan Shiba Inu looking for a home as a single pet and/or with a female dog companion. He is very active and would do great in a home that can keep up with his speed. That means lots of walking, hiking and other outdoor activities. He is the typical stand off-ish Shiba but, he still loves his people.Haru does not do well with other male dogs but, with proper introduction he should do fine with a female dog as a house mate. He has had no interactions with cats. He has a very high prey drive and cannot be trusted off leash. He has never jumped my fencing but, he is an opportunist and will run through any open doors and take a joy run around the neighborhood so, you always need to be one step ahead of him.I will require a first meeting with you and Haru before deciding if he will do well with you. He tends to prefer softer spoken people with sweet voices and women more than men.He will be neutered prior to being placed in a retirement home. He is microchipped and up to date on all shots. He has also had all OFA testing completed, his eyes are clear, knees/elbows are normal and hips are good. He also has his Trick Dog Novice title and could make a great trick dog if you want to advance his skills further.His adoption fee is $1500, neuter costs are included in the fees. Please fill our my email form if you're interested. I am not in a rush to place Haru and will be looking for the ideal home.


Litter Plans

We are beginning to start planning our future litters. We will be holding back puppies from these litters as well as fulfilling co-owner contracts. So there may or may not be puppies available. And of course, any and all plans can be canceled based on the health testing results of our up and coming dogs.We expect Shikoku Ken puppies to be available when we do decide to have Maeko's first litter, due to the size litter she came from. She may very well have a similar sized litter.

Shiba Inu

Tentatively Planned for Winter 2023
(Kayobi's Vermilion Sparrow TKN) x (Rankyu go Hidden Cascade) Pedigree
We will be potentially filling a puppy back from this litter. There may or may not be availability.
Tentatively Planned for Spring/Summer 2024
(Gaya go Shinjukawa TKN) x (Rankyu go Hidden Cascade) Pedigree
Tentatively Planned for Fall 2024
(Kayobi's Vermilion Sparrow TKN) x (TBA)

Shikoku Ken

Tentatively Planned for Late 2024
(Maeko Misou Fuurin Sou of Mistral's Kiss) x (TBA)
Still deciding which male we will go with for this litter. Hoping to find a stud with a great temperament. Once more details are decided, I will make an announcement.


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. For multiple safety reasons, we may not allow you into our personal home or to view our parent dogs. We will do our best to provide the best experience to watch the puppies grow online. If you are ever interested in meeting us, please let us know and try to stop by at a local dog show! We frequent the upper Midwest (ND, SD, MN, IA, WI) show area.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, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Resources

National Shiba Club of America - Link - The main parent club for Shiba Inu for the American Kennel Club, has a host of useful information and a breeder directory of members of the club.North American Shikoku Club - Link - The main parent club for Shikoku Ken in the United States.Kayobi Shibas - Link - One of my mentors & the breeder I am currently working with for Haru & Suzy. So very thankful for being given a chance to own not one but, two of her dogs!Kokuryuu Shibas - Link - Another fantastic kennel to check out, I am working with them on a new co-own prospect — Renton. Both Pam & Leah have been an amazing support team for me as mentors & friends. So thankful for their advice in showing and other aspects of Shiba Inu.Orthopedic Foundation for Animals - Link - The main body for health testing in the United States and beyond. You can check dogs by their registered name or number to find out if they're listed on OFA. Dogs above 2 years of age should have all of their health testing credentials listed on this website prior to breeding OR be able to provide you with proof.


Contact Form

Please use this contact form to get in contact with me. It goes directly to my email!
If you see a dog you're interested in on my 'Available' page, please use this to let me know!
At this time, my waitlist is not yet available. But, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about my dogs, breeds or program. I am not able to give a price on puppies at the moment, due to not having any litters until the beginning of 2024.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Trick Dog

During 2022, we decided to step up our game and try to learn a new skill. We started off with AKC Trick Dog! Here is just a small selection of some of our training sessions throughout the past year! If you want to see more of our training content, there is a link to our TikTok on the home page.

All of the AKC Trick Titles we have worked on from July 2022 to January 2023!

A short showcase of training segments for a number of our dogs.

Introducing Renton to the Jump Bar.

Basic trick training with Akami.

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Suzy

Suzy is a bit of a naughty girl -- her favorite thing to do around the house is to steal all of the toys and take them back to her crate. She has a very large collection growing in her crate! She also loves to tease the other dogs and growl in their face while she carries toys around. Suzy is a very happy-go-lucky kind of dog and is just happy to do whatever! Walks, playing with the other dogs, trips in the car -- she is game for anything! She is definitely the typical Shiba and does not like cuddles or handling. She likes to keep her distance and keep things on her own terms.Registered Name: Kayobi’s Vermilion Sparrow TKN
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: n/a
Hips: n/a
Patellas: n/a
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): Clear through parentage
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): n/a
Bred by: Marilyn Pikal
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Marilyn Pikal
Suzy gets a Best of Breed Puppy and Puppy Group 3 placement in Cambridge, MN at her 2nd show in June 2022.In August 2022, Suzy gets a Reserve Bitch and a Winner’s Bitch the following day for her first point in Albert Lea, MN at her third show!In January 2023, Suzy goes Winner's Bitch for one point in St. Paul, MN!

TitlePointsEarnedAcronym
Trick Dog Novice- -November 2022TKN
AKC Champion2/15, 0/2 majors- -CH
Owner-Handler Series0 OH pts- -- -

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Raya

Raya is a very sweet girl and very people friendly once she warms up! Her best friend is Renton, our other sesame Shiba! She is very intuitive and loves learning tricks. She is a bit dog selective but, we are hoping with time that she will enjoy the company of other dogs as well!Registered Name: Gaya go Shinjukawa TKN
AKC #: soon
Call Name: Raya
Color: Sesame (awaw)
Breed: Shiba Inu
Date of Birth: November 19th, 2021
Pedigree: http://www.shibapedigree.com/details.php?id=83502
Eyes: n/a
Hips: n/a
Patellas: n/a
GM1 (Gangliosidosis): Clear through parentage
DM (Degenerative Myelopathy): n/a
Bred by: Myriam Nuvoli
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Britanie Anderson

TitlePointsEarnedAcronym
Trick Dog Novice- -November 2022TKN
AKC Champion0/15, 0/2 majors- -CH

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Maeko

Maeko is a very sweet girl, she is very close with her people she is familiar with but, she can be a bit stand offish with strangers (which is common for the breed). It does not take her long to warm up though! She is a bit selective on which dogs she likes but, her best friend is our smallest little Shiba, Suzy!She has really taken to chasing lures so we are hoping to eventually get her into some Fast CAT in the coming year(s)!Registered Name: Maeko Misou Fuurin Sou of Mistral’s Kiss
AKC #: Coming Soon
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): --
Cystinuria Type 3: --
Bred by: Emily Vignozzi
Owned by: Stephanie Koch & Michelle Mak

TitlePointsEarnedAcronym
Certificate of Merit0- -CM

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.

Why Choose an Ethical Breeder?

We typically

Website (c) Tobitatsu Shiba, 2020-2023. Do not use any content or images without my permission.