If you’re on the hunt for a dog that is incredibly adaptable and protective of their family, the Japanese Shiba Inu might be the right dog breed for you. This beautiful small-medium sized dog has a rich history along with a lovable personality. However, before running off to a Shiba Inu puppy rescue or breeder, take the time to read and consider a few of the following points about this breed of dog.
History of the Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is a breed that is native to Japan where its closely related cousin the Akita Inu, one of the oldest dog breeds, originated from. It's where it has lived for centuries. Often this skilled breed of dog was utilized for its keen hunting skills. Particularly with big game hunting targets. Back in 1936, the Shiba was proclaimed to be a “precious natural product of Japan.”
The years following World War II were a scary time for this breed of dog as well as many others, as they all were on the brink of extinction. To make matters even worse, an outbreak of distemper plagued domestic animals soon after the war. Putting the Shiba breed at even higher risk for extinction. Thanks to the efforts of Shiba breeding programs that came around to save and restore the breed, the Shiba is no longer at risk for extinction.
This beautiful and affectionate dog breed was not introduced to the United States until years later, in1954. However, breeders and dog show enthusiasts did not utilize this breed until several years later. The American Kennel Club decided to accept the Shiba into their exclusive club in the 1990s.
Shiba Inu Temperament and Training
The Shiba Inu temperament may come off as needy, but it’s a personality that will grow on a person. The Shiba Inu is a happy, affectionate breed of dog who loves to be involved in whatever their owner is up to at any given moment.
Whether you are doing household chores, relaxing on the couch on a rainy day, or eating dinner. Your Shiba will want to be involved in the action too.
As clingy as the Shiba may sound, they are actually a rather independent and dignified breed of dog. They will also get it in their head that they are the center of the universe and that all activities must revolve around them. Some Shiba owners have even described their Shiba to be almost “cat-like” because of these personality traits.
The Shiba Inu is also a fiercely protective breed of dog, making them a good guard dog. Which is why it’s crucial to train them not to snap or try and bite those who they see as a threat, while they are still puppy.
It’s important to begin their training at a minimum of 8 weeks of age. Waiting until 6 months or later can make the training process much more difficult, as they will likely have already begun the bad behaviors, which will be hard for them to unlearn.
Another important aspect of training when it comes to the Shiba Inu is that they should never be trusted to be off of a leash. Even after extensive training while they are a young pup, the Shiba is known for taking off running whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Any breed of dog has the potential to fall victim to poor genetics, unfortunately. The Shiba Inu, as a breed, has been known to occasionally deal with problems with their joints. These problems include canine hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
Dog allergies may also sometimes be a problem with this breed. If you begin to notice your Shiba itching more than usual or even experiencing some hair loss, you will want to take them to the vet immediately to get checked out for allergy problems.
When adopting a Shiba Inu from a breeder, make sure that they can provide you with documentation about their health. Breeders are required to have documentation on all tests that were done, and their results, proving the state of the puppy or dog's health prior to adoption.
Care and Grooming
Just looking at this dog, you will get red flags that they are a breed that will shed. The Shiba Inu has a long, soft coat of fur. It thankfully does not mat up but does shed. Some Shiba owners will say that this breed only sheds on two occasions per year. However, other Shiba owners say the shedding may last up to six months.
When it comes to dog grooming tools, some Shiba owners have resorted to using a blow dryer or even a shop vacuum set in reverse to blow out their dogs’ hair. This can be useful after a bath, or even just to get rid of loose fur or dirt that has accumulated in their coat in between baths.
The Shiba Inu can be a great family dog to adopt when trained properly at the right time in their puppyhood. This Japanese native dog was raised and used for big game hunting for centuries but is now a lovable, domesticated family dog in Japan as well as the United States. To this day, the Shiba Inu is the most popular breed of dog in Japan. They are a social media sensation among Japan’s residents.
They do require a certain amount of care and upkeep, considering the fact that they have a long fur coat. Keeping up with their fur coat will help to reduce the amount of loose fur lost to shedding that’ll end up floating around your home.