The Shiba Inu originated from Japan. A small or medium-sized breed dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain hence was purposely bred for hunting. The Shiba Inu is often mistaken for other breeds such as Akita Inu due to their almost similar features. However, Shibas have a unique bloodline, personality and size.
The Shiba Inu has a double-coated fur layer. The outer fur is firm and straight while the inner coat is soft and dense. Its fur is short, and its face, ears, and legs make it look like a fox. The guard hairs are about 4 to 5 cm (1 1⁄2 to 2 in) long at the withers. These guard hairs are meant to protect the inner parts from snow and heavy rains.
Its tail hair is longer, and positions open in a brush. The tails’ appearance gives them a unique characteristic that makes them different from other breeds. When sleeping, they coil up and use their tails to shield their face and nose from severe cold.
World War II greatly affected the existence of Shiba Inu. They were bombed in large numbers and most survivors were killed by distemper after the war. In post-war years, different rescue centers were established in urban areas to salvage the Shiba Inu.
One of the rescue centers was the Japanese Kennel Club. Established in 1948 and Nihon Ken Hozonkai enrolled the Shiba Inu breed standard. It was then embraced by both the Japanese Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
The Shiba Inu is a small breed of about 20 pounds and athletic. The Shiba Inu moves quickly, lithely, efficiently, and that is why it was meant for hunting.
Shiba Inu is one of the most difficult dog breeds to train. Their independent character makes it hard to socialize with other breeds or humans. You should consider early training in order to have it well responsive to proper manners.
The breed is known for its freethinking spirit. It is ideal to work with an experienced trainer for you to attain the best results. This breed is naturally possessive, and they protect their things such as toys, foods, and territory dearly. To tame this character, it is essential to look for early professional training.
Regardless of all this, the Shiba Inu is an excellent family dog, trusty and devoted. With adequate training, the breed does well with children. The Shiba Inu is known of the fiery side of its nature with other dogs and animals. Most Shibas cannot be trusted off-leash due to their natural hunting traits. There’s a strong possibility that it will chase a squirrel, chipmunk, or cat on sight. The Shiba is commonly distrustful of strangers and is an excellent watchdog, warning you of anything unfamiliar.
Routine workouts are recommended for the Shiba Inu. The breed is naturally active hence needs to be given enough space and time. Casual jogs or work in the park will be helpful. Due to its escape-artist nature, a securely fenced yard is ideal for raising them.
Nonetheless, the breed is an awesome companion, though some find its freethinking personality too much to handle. Others adore their bravery and devotion to them.
The nicely bred Shiba Inu is well natured, bold, and alert. It has a strong will and self-confidence on its understanding of things. They’re very loyal to the family members but very suspicious to any strangers, making them perfect as watchdogs.
Unlike training other breeds such as a Golden Retriever, the Shiba Inu doesn’t respond to calls when commanded but when they feel like. Several people have characterized them as stubborn, but freethinking should be the right description.
Temperament is affected by many factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with lovely temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.
Shiba Inus are generally healthy, but just like any other breeds, they are inclined to some health issues. If you are planning to own a Shiba Inu, it is vital to be sure of any hereditary health concern the dog might be having. Always confirm their health status as given by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Look out for common health issues such as;
These dogs very active and playful. A properly fenced yard is ideal for giving it a conducive environment to play or jog around. The breed is also known for tendencies to escape, and a proper fence is perfect for security purposes.
Puppy and obedience classes are ideal for the Shiba Inu, not only for the lessons learned but also for the amount of stimulation and socialization it provides the dog. Work with a trainer who knows this breed. Don’t be disappointed if the Shiba Inu is a problematic and strong-willed student — that’s its nature. Think of it as a challenge.
Housebreaking is entirely stress-free with this breed. Once your Shiba Inu knows where it wants to be, it will always find a way of being there whenever they want. Crate training is vital to prevent them from causing accidents in the house and preventing them from doing things they should not be doing in the house.
The suggested daily amount of feeds is 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into two equal meals. To keep your Shiba in good shape, it is vital to give the right food measurements twice a day and not letting it eat whenever it wants.
To check weight-related issues, do regular eye tests and the hands-on test. When you look down at it, you should be able to see a waist. If you can’t see the ribs but feel them, it needs less food and more exercise.
To remove tartar and bacteria in the gum, brush your Shiba’s teeth at least two or three times a week. Brushing its teeth on daily basis will help in preventing gum ailments and awful breath. If your dog’s nails don’t wear out naturally, it’s advisable to trim them once every two weeks. Regular trimming is helpful in preventing painful tears and other related issues.
Tony is the owner of Petpetbuy.com, the pet-parent of two dogs, and he is also an active animal rescuer. He works with multiple non-governmental organisations which work towards providing aid to homeless dogs and cats.