My name's Giuseppe Biagiotti; since I was a child I've always been fond of animals. As a young man, I happened to visit a dog show and was deeply impressed by a breed unknown to me, the "Alaskan Malamute". From that moment on I did my best to get a couple of good specimens and with them I began my adventure as a breeder. In 1984, again in a dog show, I met an American judge who showed me the photo of a small SHIBA; "isn't it beautiful...!" I thought. I tried to get one of them to give a present to my wife; she had long since asked me for a little dog of her own. I can remember collecting him at the Malpensa Airport of Milan: I was so moved when I saw the little thing, that on my way back I held him on my knees all the time, while he fondly reciprocated my love. As he grew up in the house I noticed some peculiar gifts in this small dog and my enthusiasm arose: his cleanliness, obedience, and good temper. Therefore I decided to import another SHIBA to show in exhibitions around the world. He immediately won the judges approval, both Italian and foreign judges', and from that moment on I have engaged professionally in breeding and improving the SHIBA. "Del Biagio Selection Center" has numerous specimens; young and grown-up puppies for show, company and work. Today dog breeding, just like many other human activities, is developing high levels of competence and professionalism, which imply a deep sense of responsibility.
del Biagio's shiba have been selected not only to excel morphologically, but also to become very good members of the families they will live with.
That is why we carefully monitor both their disposition and their temperament, and take care that they live in a serene, welcoming family atmosphere.
A basic criterion to select our studs is that they possess (and can pass down to their offspring) a tender, lively and playful disposition; they must be gifted with the typical balance of the breed, without betraying its character peculiarities: pride, dignity, a fair degree of independence.
Our dams must have the necessary requisites to be “good mothers”, that is, be affectionate and behave as the first true educators of their offspring. These are fundamental qualifications for the puppies’ correct imprinting, which is quite marked in this breed.
We house our specimens in purpose-built, modern structures, not only to grant them an ideal growth from the health viewpoint, but also to better follow the development of their character.
All our Shibas continuously interact – they do with our welcome guests too - and have wide room for play at their disposal. This activity enables them to serenely move the first steps in the world.
Moreover, all the dogs in our kennel, from “pensioners” to puppies, live in a family atmosphere and surroundings. We treat them as “home dogs”, not only for the great pleasure of having them around, but also because this positively influences the correct development of their character.
Our primary aim is to breed healthy, well-balanced, sociable puppies, that may become excellent members of the families who will adopt them.
History, Origins and Objectives
The dogs in our kennel come from the best American and Japanese blood strains. The first specimens were imported after a careful research among the most reliable kennels in America. Therefore, the foundation Shibas of Del Biagio Kennel stem from strains that had already been fixed correctly in morphology and in character. We chose to rely on the old, solid U.S. tradition in breeding these dogs, rather than on recent European tradition.
Later on we imported specimens from Japan, so as to further improve and enhance qualities present in the American strains and to raise the good standard of the first dogs by contributing new value to the type. We also aimed at keeping and developing a typically Japanese model.
The choice fell in particular on the dogs of the Ichisuke (also called Korotama) line, which is, if not the most important blood strain in Japan, surely the most appreciated one by Japanese breeders. The best expression of this line was the famous Japanese stud Ichisuke of Inoguchi (picture 1). This dog owned all the qualities that are desirable in the breed and inherited them from his dam Michihime, who belonged to an old, noble stock, the Korotama strain, whose peculiar features she passed down to her offspring.
This blood strain, originating from the Shinshu region, has had a remarkable influence in Japanese breeding. The dogs belonging to this strain are endowed with traits of great expressiveness, as an almost perfect cut and position of the eyes: triangular and upward slanting toward the outside base of the ear, not almond shaped, as someone mistakenly believes. Besides, they present the typically intense red colour of the Shibas, much appreciated and wished for by the Japanese.
These are only a few among the most outstanding features of the Korotamas.
From Ichisuke, as we said, derive some of the best Japanese studs and dams: his most important descendant, coming from the genealogic line of Ichisuke’s grand-son Fukuryu (picture 2), is TOYONISHIKI of Toyohashi Onoda (picture 3). This dog is present in the studs’ pedigrees of Del Biagio Kennel.
Some Japanese experts believe that among the many famous dogs of the Korotama breed, Toyonishiki is the true, excellent heir, the harmonious expression of all the qualities that the Japanese breeders of the Shiba strive for.
So relevant is the prestige of this stud in Japan, that breeders have renamed the “Ichisuke/Korotama” line with the names of its two main branches: “Beniryu/Jouji” and “Fukuryu/Toyonishiki”. They have been acknowledged by Japanese breeders as foundation dogs of the modern Shiba.
Toyonishiki’s descendants are still getting brilliant results in Japan, both in shows and in breeding activity. So is Jinri Ki Go Imabari Myiakosow, Del Biagio Kennel’s world champion, Toyonishiki’s grandson.
Del Biagio studs and dams, therefore, reproduce and develop the best Japanese models, thanks to the fusion with renowned US lines; they also contribute to the increasing appreciation of the good quality of Italian breeding. Our promising young Shibas, besides distinguishing themselves in well-known national and international shows, share, express and develop these great dogs’ distinctive features and tradition.