The Shiba Inu originated in Japan and was bred to hunt birds. They are related to the Akita Inu as both are fierce working dogs but differ greatly in size. These little dogs became very close to extinction in the 1930's but were specifically bred to become re-populated and are now known and owned all over the world. The Shiba Inu's name translates to 'small dog' or ' shrub dog' which is where they would flush their prey from.
These little dogs have an athletic, muscular body and a sharp muzzle. Their ears are medium sized and pricked upward giving them a constant alert expression. The Shiba Inu has toned, straight legs which give them their speed when on the hunt, and a coiled tail that curls over to touch their lower back. These little dogs are the spitting image of their larger relatives, the Akita Inu and are often mistaken for Akita puppies!
Responsive, spirited and outgoing, the Shiba Inu is a great companion! They bond very strongly with one person but will be friendly to family members or family friends. Around strangers they will be weary and standoffish but this will pass once they have a few meetings. These dogs make great family pets because they get along very well with children, but should be the only pet in the household. The Shiba might be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same sex and should not be around small family pets such as cats or hamsters because they have a high prey drive and might attack.
The Shiba Inu comes in any colour combination but most commonly seen is the cream or red.
These little dogs have a thick coat that has 2 layers. The outer layer is soft, dense and straight while the under coat is thick and plushy giving them extra insulation for colder climates. The Shiba Inu is a generally clean dog but will need weekly grooming to upkeep their coat.
The Shiba Inu is an energetic, clever little dog that will make a great companion! They will excel greatly in not just obedience, but agility, tracking, and hunting. They are known to pick up little tricks very quickly and enjoy entertaining their masters with their skills. The Shiba Inu will need to be socialized thoroughly as a puppy, especially around other dogs and people. Cats and smaller animals should be introduced at a young age as well to ensure they can co-exist with them as adults.
This breed will make a fine working dog if their skills are put to use. Hunting game or rodents is what their breed was originally used for and they will still carry on these characteristic hunting abilities even today. Most commonly they are used for companionship and are standard household pets in their birth country! The Shiba is growing in popularity everyday and makes an excellent little dog for people who want an independent yet affectionate pet.
The Shiba Inu will need to be brushed 2-3 times per week and bathed every 1-2 months. They are clean animals but will need to have the dead fur removed from their coat on a weekly basis. This breed is prone to luxating patella's, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and a few eye ailments such as cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and glaucoma. For the most part they are a very healthy breed but potential owners should have the parents medical history checked before buying a puppy to see if there are any health problems their dog might inherit at an older age.
This little dog will need a persistent and calm owner who will be able to show dominance and firmness when it comes to teaching them basic obedience. They can have a stubborn attitude but with consistency and repetition will grasp obedience quickly. The Shiba Inu is an intelligent breed and it will not take long before they learn what it is their owner is wanting to teach them. These dogs are known to pick up training techniques quickly and are also fairly simple to housetrain.
The Shiba Inu will need about a half an hour of exercise per day which can be done at an off-leash park or on a long walk. These dogs play during the day so do not need an excessive amount of exercise in the evening. They will be comfortable in an apartment because they don't require an entire household of room to live in, and a backyard would be preferable just so there is an outdoor area to roam.