The Shiba Inu: About the Breed

Meet the Shiba Inu This foxy-faced little dog isn’t a common canine in the United States But is treasured as a national monument in Japan Smart, stubborn, and surprisingly cat-like, these beautiful dogs with a big personality will always keep you on your toes The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Japanese breeds and may be the oldest as well Remains have been found of small dogs with curled tails that date all the way back to 8000 BC The name “Shiba Inu” roughly translates to “Brushwood Dog” Originally, there were 2 types of Shibas: The “Mountain” Shiba, bred for strength, And the “Mino” Shiba, that was bred for speed and agility After WWII when the breed was almost wiped out, the 2 types were bred together creating the well-rounded Shiba Inu breed that you see today This breed comes in 4 colors: Red, Sesame, black with tan, and solid white The Shiba Inu has a plush, double-coat curled tail, small feet with thick pads, and small, pointed ears The Shiba Inu is one of the few breeds of dog that shows “dimorphism” meaning that there is a physical difference between the male and female of the breed Males are bigger, stockier, and usually, have fuller faces Females are more slender and fox-like The ideal weight for a male Shiba is 23 pounds, With the ideal height being between 14.5 and 16.5 inches tall at the shoulder This is about half the size of the more well known Japanese Akita who stands 24-26 inches tall The Shiba Inu is a very small dog, but is also very sturdy and solid They are generally very healthy,but can have ear problems Shiba Inu owners should take extra care when cleaning their dog’s ears As with every double-coated breed, Shibas can get “hot-spots” or dermatitis This is an uncomfortable skin condition but is an easy fix with a visit to the vet The major health problem with the Shiba Inu breed is slipped kneecaps With recent breeding however, this is becoming less of a problem Shiba Inus are a unique breed because they behave more like a cat than a dog Very smart, stubborn, and independent, the Shiba has also been known to groom itself like a cat as well Shiba hate the water but love the snow Some dogs of this breed can have a high prey drive This means that if it’s small and moves fast, they’ll chase it While this can make for a fun game of fetch, It’s not always fun for other pets or other animals visiting the backyard This breed is also famous for being an escape artist Shiba Inus will go over it, around it, or through it for a little exploring If your Shiba does escape, they want to keep it that way It’s rare to find a Shiba who will return on command when let off the leash While this breed is sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, they are generally very loving towards people Shiba will almost always sleep tucked in a ball and love to curl up next to you on the couch They tend to bond closely with their owners His temperament is not so dominating though his intelligence is just as obvious A Shiba will think his way through getting what he wants He is not noisy but will spot the invader of his owner’s property without making a scene about it *screaming bark* He loves his family and is not a restlessly demanding dog As you can see, every dog is different Research can only provide you with information about what MOST Shiba Inus are like Because the Shiba Inu is a very headstrong breed, They aren’t recommended for first-time dog owners If you decide that the Shiba Inu is the right dog for you, check your local rescues and shelters first

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