All About Shiba Inus

Shiba inus are the smallest of the six native breeds of Japan. Smart, alert, independent, affectionate, playful, brave, neat, confident, and speedy are only some of the adjectives that can be used to describe these dogs. The Japanese have described the breed using three words: soboku (alertness), ryosei (good nature), and kaani-i (spirited boldness), traits that best exemplify the oldest breed in Japan. Somewhat resembling foxes with their russet coat and bushy tails, Shiba inus are the perfect companions for those who have active lifestyles, being highly energetic themselves.  

Our 4 Paw Rating – to the suitability of shiba inus for your home and lifestyle:

Size

Shiba inus reach between 13 and 17 inches at shoulder height and weigh between 17 and 32 lbs.

Coat Care

Shiba inus have a stiff outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. They shed heavily twice a year, but also shed on a regular basis. Brushing their coat daily can help maintain their coat, or at least after every few days.

Family Life

Shiba inus are good with children and can also serve as good guard dogs, as they have a very protective personality.

When it comes to personalities, some owners may find that their shiba inu has a tendency to act more like felines more than canines, ignoring you for long periods of time. However, they can also be quite affectionate and loving.

Lifestyle

Shiba inus are quite flexible and can adapt to a variety of households, whether in the city or in the country. However, owners will need to be aware of the fact that the breed has a tendency toward possessiveness. Sharing is not natural to them, which is why it’s a good idea to put away their favorite toys and treats when around children or other dogs to avoid trouble.

Because of their active personalities, shiba inus require a lot of room to play in, such as a fenced yard. As such, small apartments aren’t ideal for the breed. It’s important for owners to spend time with them, which is why shiba inus aren’t recommended for frequent travelers.

Health

The average lifespan of shiba inus is between 12 and 17 years. Like other dogs, the breed is prone to contracting diseases, including but not limited to allergies (food or otherwise), glaucoma, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and cancer.

While not strictly diseases, shiba inus are also known for running all over the house without a reason and chasing after their tails.

Exercise

As already mentioned, shiba inus are an active breed, which is why they need a lot of exercise. A daily workout is best so they can work off their energy. You can take him or her with you jogging or walking in the neighborhood. Make sure your dog is leashed though, because he or she can be aggressive toward other dogs and smaller animals, such as squirrels.

Training

While shiba inus may be smart, the breed is notoriously difficult to train because of their independent and stubborn personalities. As such, it might be a better idea to hire a trainer to work with your dog instead of trying to do so yourself, since trainers have more experience in dealing with the breed. Shiba inus will also need to be socialized early so that their aggressive tendencies will be reined in.

Adopting A Shiba Inu Rescue

A Shiba Inu rescue center is built to care for abandoned Shiba Inus and build a list of possible owners and future homes for these dogs. Aside from that, the rescue center provides for the basic needs like neutering, spaying, and shots before they are turned over to the future – and hopefully, permanent – owner. Most of these centers are run by non-profit organizations. They mostly rely on donations to help with the upkeep of the center and pay for the expenses of the dogs needs. Rescue centers also need volunteers too. Support in cash is very much appreciated but help in kind is very much welcome as well.

It is the duty of the Shiba Inu rescue center to educate future owners about the history and background of the breed. Shiba Inus are one of the oldest Japanese native breeds. They have been breed for hunting game and wild animals but they have evolved into guard dogs, watch dogs, and even companion dogs. They’re very versatile animals with a complex yet courageous temperament. It’s quite a pity that there is a growing number of abandoned and neglected Shiba Inus in the community.

If you are interested in adopting from a Shiba Inu rescue center, you should be ready to welcome this kind of dog into your life. Although they look cute and cuddly, the Shiba is not the best breed for first-time dog owners. This is probably the reason many people have abandoned their Shiba Inus. They cannot handle the temperament of the dog. While it is not violent in nature, Shiba Inus have a very strong personality. They will step up and lead the pack every chance they get. They need an owner with a strong personality. The owner has to assert confidence and authority to show the Shiba who’s in charge. This does not mean hurting the dog. Remember, aggression begets aggression when dealing with a Shiba Inu. In some instances, the Shiba Inu becomes so reserved and does not respond to interaction.

Expect that the Shiba Inu receives the basic immunization set and spaying/neutering when it comes from a Shiba Inu rescue center. You may be apprehensive about adopting a Shiba Inu that’s not a puppy anymore but the wonderful thing about adopting from an adoption center is that the Shiba gets holistic care. They receive ample food and kept in comfortable shelters. They are socialized well and some even receive basic obedience training. They will not release dogs for adoption unless they are fully rehabilitated from trauma and stress.