The Shiba Inu is one of the original dog breeds that originated in Japan and is also the smallest among the six breeds. It is an agile dog originally used to hunt small game birds in shrubs in mountainous terrains of Japan. Physically, it resembles that of other Japanese dog breeds like the Akita but the Shiba Inu is a totally different breed with a distinct lineage, character and size. Its popularity led to the creation of three different types in different regions of Japan. In general, the Shiba Inu is a small, Spitz-type, well-balanced breed slightly longer than tall with a lively and friendly temperament. It has a soft dense undercoat with hard, straight outer coat that comes in red, white, and black and tan. The coat is short on the face, ears and legs while guard hairs stand off the rest of the body and tail. Markings known as “urajiro” (literally, underside white) are breed standards. A male Shiba Inu is more muscular and compact than a female. Typical height is between 35 to 43cm for males and 33 to 41cm for females with an average weight of 8 to 10kg with males on the heavier side of the scale.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
“Inu” in Japanese language means dog but the exact origin of the word “Shiba” is shrouded in doubt. For one, “shiba” means “brushwood” in Nihongo which is a type of shrub found in Japan. This leads others to believe that the dog was named after this shrub because back in the old days, the Shiba Inu was used to hunt wild birds and rabbits in these shrubs that turn red in fall. It might also be because the red colour is the most common colour of the Shiba Inu, similar to the colour of the brushwood leaves before winter. Similarly, the word “shiba” also means “small” in the old Nagano dialect which might refer to the breed’s small size. Whatever the exact origin of the name is, one thing is certain: the Shiba Inu is an ancient breed of dog, predating other breeds of the 19th century. The onset of the two World Wars proved devastating to the population of the Shiba Inu. In 1928, after the end of First World War, a survival breeding programme was developed using the remaining bloodlines from Nagano, Gifu, and Tottori and Shimane Prefectures. These dogs were combined together and became the foundation strains of all modern Shiba Inus that we know today. The first breed standard was created and published in 1934. It was recognised as a “Natural Monument of Japan” in 1936. It was introduced to the UK in 1985 and were shown on the Import Register until October 1990. The Shiba Inu’s first Crufts appearance was in 1992.
The Shiba Inu is described by owners as lively, friendly, independent, active, and alert. It has an independent streak and can sometimes display aggression towards other dogs, particularly females which is said to be part of the breed’s strong prey drive. As a result, it may not go along well with other small dogs or young children but early socialisation and proper training will make all the difference. It is loyal and affectionate especially to its master and the immediate family but typically reserved towards strangers. It is a clean animal that requires little maintenance. Often, it will go a long way to maintain itself in a clean state like licking its paws and legs similar to what a cat typically do.
Training the Shiba Inu can be quite challenging to an unfamiliar handler or owner because of its often independent nature. However, because of its fastidious character, housebreaking is fairly easy to teach to a Shiba Inu puppy and in most cases will housebreak itself. Just letting the dog outside in the yard after each meal and nap time is generally sufficient to train the dog on proper housebreaking.
The Shiba Inu is a very clean dog so grooming once is week is all that is required. The coarse, short to medium-length coat is naturally weatherproof so it needs little to no bathing. The thick undercoat helps protect the breed from extreme temperatures such as below zero Celsius. This breed sheds regularly on a moderate basis but heaviest during seasonal changes (before summer and before winter) in which time, daily brushing is required to help minimize hair fall.
An advantage of being an ancient breed is that the Shiba Inu is not affected by very serious medical conditions compared to other dogs. It is also considered a fairly long-lived dog with a typical lifespan of 12 to 15 years with the oldest recorded Shiba Inu living for up to 26 years of age – the oldest dog alive during that time. Some of the known minor conditions that may affect the breed include certain allergies, glaucoma, cataracts, hip dysplasia, entropion, and patellar luxation. Eye tests and periodic joint screenings are recommended throughout the life of the Shiba Inu to prevent the onset or more serious problems in the future.
Long daily walks are ideal exercises for the Shiba Inu to have a long and healthy life. As a utility dog originally bred for hunting, the Shiba Inu can run or walk for hours and hours without tiring. This breed is ideal for both town or country living provided that sufficient exercise is given. It should not be trusted off of a leash unless supervised in a well-secured yard or garden or it will escape when given the chance. Ideal exercises include playing ball, Frisbee, or running freely in a yard or well-fenced garden.
The Shiba Inu has a strong prey drive and sometimes show dog aggression. It is best suited in an environment with no other small dogs or young children. However, it can interact fairly well with cats. The natural dog-aggressive behaviour can be curtailed with early socialisation and training.