What Is A Shiba Inu?

Among the dog breeds in the world today, a Shiba Inu that is considered to be of the ancient type of dogs. While this native Japanese canine makes is one of the smallest dogs from the country, it makes for a great pet because of certain traits that it possesses. While dogs can be naturally loyal, Shiba Inus possess devotion to their owners in a way that makes them ideal for family dogs that will always be by your side.

Other qualities of Shiba Inus make them really admirable pets. These are the following traits that make them stand out from the other breeds:

  •          Intelligent
  •          Bold
  •          Active
  •          Good Natured
  •          Dignified
  •          Calm
  •          Beautiful
  •          Loyal
  •          Affectionate
  •          Loving
  •          Delightful
  •          Playful
  •          Strong Agile

These traits make Shiba Inus remarkable dogs and pets. One of their most revered qualities would be a regal bearing, simply because they have been raised in Japan and the Japanese are quite a proud people. This means that training Shiba Inus to follow certain orders can prove to be quite troublesome.  Approaching such a matter in an expert way can lead you to actually training them to become really efficient, and they will become good pets when they end up as adults that will be able to lend to easy training and teaching.

History of the Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are one of the fourteen ancient breeds of dog, with studies showing that they have been in existence from way back to the 3rd Century BC. These dogs, because they are strong and agile, were greatly utilized by the Japanese when it came to hunting, making them one of the best canine candidates when it came to hunting and flushing small games.

Their existence dwindled though during World War II though, when bombing raids as well as post war distemper came all across Japan. A few dogs of this breed have managed to survive, which is why the remaining dogs of this breed were taken from three remaining bloodlines of Shiba Inus. While the mixture of these dog’s lineages has actually led to a number of Shiba Inu dogs in the world today, the study of Japanese dogs in the mid-20th century allowed for a rise in the formalization and classification of this dog breed in to one type. This resulted in the Shiba Inus that are made for pets today, and the animal has been recognized as one of the dogs that are being preserved by the Nippo (Nihon Ken Hozonkai), which is the Association for the Preservation of the Japanese Dog.

Raising a Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus can be great pets for any household, and having one for the home will certainly please families. Because of their loyalty, families are sure to find a new member that will be devoted to them for the rest of its life.

While such loyalty can be quite touching, people should exercise great care when it comes to raising Shiba Inus. It is important to socialize Shiba Inus at an early age, mainly because they can end up being unfamiliar with people and exposure to such can cause them to get excited and react unexpectedly.

Shiba Inus might be the smallest dogs of the other six breeds from Japan, but they are big enough that they can cause potential harm to children when they have not been properly socialized to mingle with them. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you are able to expose them to children as well as a great number of people, so your Shiba Inu will end up domesticated and fun to be with.

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.

More Shiba Inu Training For Puppies

One of the world’s oldest dog breeds would be the Shiba Inu, so those who look forward to raising these dogs will find that Shiba Inu training can prove to be quite troublesome. Because training of dogs should always be approached when they are at a younger stage, it is best that you start with working on Shiba Inu training while they are puppies.

This will ensure that you will be able to handle them more efficiently as compared to when they are already adults, which will make it troublesome for you to help them work on their training as you will have trouble when it comes to their stubbornness as well as their elusiveness.

Shiba Inu Training for Puppies

One of the things that you have to look into when it comes to Shiba Inu training is to efficiently work on getting them to obey you at such an early age. One of the things that you will notice about Shiba Inus is the fact that they are very much self-assured, which can be attributed to their Japanese origins. Teaching Shiba Inus commands can be quite hard, but you have to try and make them obey as puppies so as to help them carry it over when they become adults.

As puppies, it would be easier to start by socializing Shiba Inus. While they may be loyal and devoted to their owners, they make for a difficult dog when they are not accustomed to meeting other people, particularly children. To ensure that your Shiba Inu will not work to going off on tackling or chasing off strangers when they turn into adults, you should start with familiarizing them with people as puppies.

Another thing you have to work on is to let your Shiba Inu know that leashes are not to be feared. Shiba Inus would very much be displeased when they are leashed, but behavioral training at a young age for them to accept such will make it easier for you to place such a leash around its neck.

What you have to remember is the fact that Shiba Inus make for a loyal yet mischievous pet, and will be doing a lot of silly things when he believes that you are not looking. Be firm about your displeasure of such, and make sure you do not leave them unleashed in public especially in areas that are not securely fenced.

Crate training should be enforced as well at a young age for Shiba Inus, and you must always remember that you should impose a strong sense of leadership towards them. These dogs can be quite dominant as they have playful yet powerful personalities, and will work to pushing you over when they see an opportunity to do so. Shiba Inu training should have you assert your position as your dog’s master, and once you have been able to do so you will find that it is easier for you to teach them commands that will make them more fun and manageable to be with.

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.