Shiba Inu Overview
They hail from the mountains of Japan, where the breed has been present for over 3000 years. They are part of several Japanese Spitz-type dogs, that include other breeds such as the Akita. Shiba Inus are the smallest and were used to hunt game such as birds, though they have been known to hunt larger game such as boars, bear, and deer.
Shiba Inu Characteristics
The Shiba Inu features typical Spitz-dog features such as the curled tail and triangular ears. They, however, have a more fox-like coloration with reds and golds, and are said to be more cat-like in their manner and personality than other dogs. Their small bodies and plush coats make them favored and popular pets worldwide.
Shiba Inu Temperament
The Shiba is known as the “cat” of the dog world with his independent and stubborn streaks. However, he is also playful, brave and very agile. Shibas love their family and are very loving toward them, but may be aloof toward strangers. They are also great watchdogs due to their guarding tendencies. Socialization from puppyhood is important to keep them from becoming distant or aggressive toward other dogs or animals. The breed is also very vocal with a characteristic sound called the “Shiba Scream”.
Shiba Inu Care
The Shiba Inu lives on average 13 to 16 years, good for a dog of their size. Health issues include dental and allergy issues, eye issues, luxating patellas, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Good veterinary care and careful breeding can help reduce disease incidence.
Shiba Inu Coat
Weekly brushing with a slicker brush will help reduce the amount of hair shed from the double coat of the Shiba. They also shed seasonally and may require more brushing at these times to prevent hairballs from forming around the environment. No professional grooming is needed to maintain the coat.
Shiba Inu Training
Training and socialization from puppyhood is key to raising a well-rounded and friendly Shiba. They are very intelligent, however, their stubborn streak can be a trial for those with less patience. Short sessions, lots of patience and reward-based training will all aid in teaching them.
Shiba Inu Activity
As a hunting breed, the Shiba is very active and enjoys activities where he can stretch his mental and physical abilities. Daily jogs, lots of play sessions and even some hunting and scenting sessions will keep the Shiba happy both mentally and physically and will prevent boredom behaviors from appearing.