The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed originating over 2000 years ago. They are one of six dog breeds that originated in Japan. Despite nearly going extinct in World War 2, the breed made a recovery and is quite popular, especially in Japan. The Shiba was originally used for hunting small animals in mountainous regions, which made them extremely nimble, agile, and alert dogs. The high prey drive can certainly still be seen in these pups today. Make sure you have a good hold on their leash because the Shiba will be ready to chase after any small animal that scurries by.
The Shiba has a unique, almost fox-like physical appearance. They typically weigh between 17-23 pounds and can be physically identified by their small upright ears, squinty eyes, and upright tail. They are adorable little pups but definitely have a naughty side to them. Training these dogs is not always an easy task, as they are independent thinkers and will not always want to listen to commands. This is not to say that the Shiba isn’t highly intelligent, they simply prefer doing things on their own terms.
The Shiba likes to have a clean coat and will often be seen licking itself just as a cat would do. While they may not be big, these dogs shed a lot! Brushing should be done daily, but a Shiba's fur should never be cut because their coats protect them not only from the cold but from the heat as well. The Shiba Inu is known to be a healthy breed and usually lives for around 15 years. The oldest known Shiba died at the age of 26 in 2011 and was the oldest living dog at the time!
The Shiba Inu is a great watchdog as they tend to be quite territorial. They are protective not only of their home but also their toys, food, and even you! You may notice them standing their ground against other dogs, especially if it is a male-on-male encounter. Despite being tough on the outside, the Shiba is an affectionate dog with their family and loves being with their people. They will be a loyal companion and have nice temperaments. Don't be surprised when people are curious about your dog because they are unique and extremely cute at the same time!
Instagram Photo Permission: @emitheshibi