The Shiba Inu is not a new breed of dog. On the contrary, the small Japanese has been very popular in earlier times. On the contrary, this breed had to be saved from extinction. He is classified among the primitive dog breeds, which in turn means that he not only has admirable health, but also has a strong personality.
A personality that is not made for everyone. However, once you have cracked the “hard” shell and asserted yourself as the alpha in the domestic pack, you get a friend for life, who will rarely leave the side of the master.
Character of the Shiba Inu
He is self-confident and at peace with himself. Nothing can bring him so fast from the rest. But he is absolutely no couch potato. Rather, he is an active and bright little guy who is extremely attentive to his surroundings. Nothing escapes him! As a dog of the archetypal breeds, he brings his own special charm and charisma, which is hard to resist.
But beware – behind this fascinating creature hides a real personality, which always takes up the challenge of its owners to find out who is really in charge in the family. If you think that this would stop at some point, you are sadly mistaken.
These dogs also do not argue, as is known from other breeds. They put facts in the room, with which one must deal with, if one has inadvertently given up the helm. Thus the owner has to deal constantly with making the little stubborn one understand that at least the basic rules have to be followed – without ifs and buts. Other things, however, are negotiable. This is where people with dog sense and some experience are needed.
If these “leadership problems” have been clarified, nothing stands in the way of a very intensive dog-human relationship. From this moment of clarification he is easy to lead, willing to learn (up to a certain point) and happy about every venture with his human. Courageous and bold he is called. In combination with his personality, care must be taken in this point so that he does not become overconfident. He loves long walks more than anything. However, you should not bother him with dog sports. He will give you the cold shoulder.
On the other hand, he loves to watch over his territory. If he seems frozen, let him be. Then he has taken his observation post and watches over his kingdom. This time for himself, he simply needs it. Period.
It will be surprising to see him jumping off now and then. Then he catches birds or mice, as it were in passing. You will have to get used to this, as his basic instincts are not to be hidden. This also prevents him from meeting other dogs in an unprejudiced way. No, he is not a street bully, if you agree with him. But he could well become one.
The historical background of the Shiba Inu
This dog belongs to the truly ancient breeds of Japanese dogs. For centuries they have been used in mountain villages as farm dogs, and also as hunting dogs. That’s right – their appearance today is not much different from that time – only the legs, they were shorter back then. They were used for hunting mainly small game. Moreover, they can snatch mice and birds almost in passing.
Strangely enough, in the 19th century it was bred less and less frequently, so it was on the verge of extinction. In 1934, breeding efforts were resumed – successfully, as can be seen today. For the Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Japanese dog breeds that the FCI has recognized as independent.
The colors of the Shiba Inu
Mostly the Shiba Inu appears in red-brown with white chest and belly. However, other color combinations are not uncommon. Thus, with its small ears and short, pointed muzzle, it is not unlike a fox. This dog is said to have a cleanliness similar to that of the cat. This is also quite good. Because during the coat change, which occurs twice a year, daily brushing and combing is the order of the day. Fortunately, the hairs do not have barbs and are therefore quickly removed from the furniture and clothing.
Another advantage of the dog’s coat is that it is relatively odorless. Even when he comes home from a downpour or swimming, the odor nuisance is kept at a very low level.
What are the requirements of the Shiba Inu?
The Shiba Inu is an original dog that has had relatively few breeding interventions. Thus he presents himself as a relatively uncomplicated dog, which makes few demands. There is one thing, however, that he does need: Coat care. His thick coat needs to be brushed regularly. In addition, exercise on hot days should be postponed to the early morning and late evening hours. On those days, he prefers to be motionless in the shade.
This dog requires consistency, but lovingly please. Like many of the primal dogs, he does not like excessive dominance at all. The education of the hard hand can cause the opposite. It would be best if you can convince him of the need for a task. Then you will have succeeded. If he is not convinced, sometimes the ingenuity of the owner is needed to get the dog to cooperate. Dog sense, dog experience, mutual respect and a lot of empathy are necessary to achieve success. Is the Shiba Inu a beginner dog? No – by no means!
The Shiba Inu and his health
The health of the Shiba Inu is fantastic. Here you can see how original, how genuine this dog breed still is. However, care must be taken to continue to avoid inbreeding as much as possible, precisely so as not to jeopardize the excellent health of all dogs.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu loves to be alone in the garden from time to time. Then he takes his observation post and stirs only when visitors come. Whether this is welcomed or not, he decides spontaneously.
This independence is a big part of his personality, which sometimes can lead to the fact that the owner must discuss with his dog, since this does not want to accept the necessity of a lesson, a task or an obedience in itself simply so. This must then be made palatable to him with tact and simultaneous consistency. A hard hand is absolutely contraindicated (and generally indiscussable).
A very big advantage is his coat, which is abundant and needs a lot of care not only during the coat change, but can be easily removed.
The strong personality can lead to a dislike of certain dogs. Here the dominance of the dog handler is required, so that it does not come on the street to unwanted bawling.
The perfect human for a Shiba Inu
The perfect human is able to lead this dog energetically, lovingly, and at the same time respectfully, without allowing himself to be taken from the position of alpha dog of the pack. He is willing to compromise when it is not a matter of basic training and obedience.
Like the dog, his “perfect” owner likes long walks in nature, because exercise is the dog’s lifeblood. But please do not take him to the dog sports field. He may well resent that.
Buying Shiba Inu puppies
Shiba Inu are not as common in USA as other breeds. Nevertheless, they have a large fan club to fall back on. If you want to buy puppies of this dog breed, you should look for a reputable breeder in time. It could well happen that you will first be put on the waiting list when you make inquiries.
You can recognize the serious Shiba Inu breeder by the fact that he literally knows everything about his two breeding dogs. He can prove their history as well as the pregnancy with pictures, ultrasound photos and current reports from the vet. In addition, he will look very closely at the “applicants” for his puppies. On the one hand, this serves the purpose that he brings dog and new master together in the best possible way. Because even small dogs already have a character that points in a specific direction. As is well known, this must also fit the owner.
First equipment for Shiba Inu
- Dog collar
- Dog harness
- Dog leash, additionally possibly a drag line
- Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
- Dog bed / blanket for the resting place
- Long hair brush
- Undercoat brush
- comb / lice comb
- possibly clippers (but these should only be used if you really know how to use them).
- dog food
- possibly toys
- possibly treats
Dog food for the Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is very undemanding as far as food is concerned. Of course, you should make sure that it is of high quality and that the portions are appropriate for the size and daily consumption. Like so many other dogs, the Shiba Inu loves to nibble on a meat bone every now and then.
Once the question about dominance has been settled, this archetypal Japanese is literally man’s most loyal friend. He guards his pack and can make a visitor understand what “visit” means. But true aggression is foreign to him. This dog is a mixture of cozy archetype and strolling couch potato, because as much as he needs his exercise, he also needs his rest periods, in which the territory is “only” watched over.
A Shiba Inu can be purchased for a price of approximately $1,200. Should you be offered puppies of the Shiba Inu, which are far below this price, you should become cautious, if it is not exactly about animal welfare animals. It could be puppies of a multiplier. These should not be supported.
The country of origin of the Shiba Inu is Japan. There he is also known as Shiba Ken. Ken and Inu are the Japanese words for “dog”. Shiba means something like “small”. If you want to translate the name one to one, you get “small dog”.
If we assume that this Shiba Inu you own comes from a good breeding line, has not experienced any illnesses in its life and has been cared for by you under the best possible husbandry conditions, this dog can reach a proud age of up to 16 years.
The Shiba Inu is grown up quite early, namely already with about 9 months. He reaches a height at the withers of 37cm to 41cm, whereby the males are slightly larger than the females. The weight is between 11kg and 13kg.
If we assume an average litter size, we will find three to four puppies in the Shiba Inu. However, as with any breed of dog, there are the great exceptions with the Shiba Inu, in which the proud breeder was surprised by a litter of six to ten puppies. But this is, as I said, the great exception. In principle, smaller litters can also be expected in smaller dog breeds.
Originally, the Shiba Inu was used in Japan as a farm dog, but also as a hunting dog for smaller game. The dogs of that time were even more short-tempered than today’s are. Even if breeders try to keep the hunting instinct as low as possible, one should always keep in mind that this dog is not only suitable for hunting, but could also survive for a few days in the “wilderness” if he had to. No, he’s not the outdoorsman he used to be, but absolutely not to be underestimated.
The Shiba Inu is a family dog par excellance. He gets along with children, small animals, cats and of course his “big” humans. He knows how to fit in very well and is absolutely uncomplicated in this respect, also with regard to visitors. Nevertheless, he should be granted a place of retreat, which the children and if possible also the other animals are not allowed to enter. This way he can retreat when he wants to.
Living in an apartment is no problem at all for the Shiba Inu. This is of course also due to its size. However, you should think carefully whether you can do him justice if you live in the city. Because the Shiba Inu is a dog that likes to keep his territory under control and at the same time has a quite respectable urge to move. Several, longer walks a day are not really possible in the city unless there are sufficient alternatives such as dog runs and dog pastures where he can get the exercise he needs. If this exercise cannot be guaranteed, there could be discord. Oh, by the way, dog sports are so not his thing!
No, this dog has a real personality and very strong character. Thus, he is only suitable for people with dog experience.
That’s right, the Shiba Inu insists on his daily, long walks. Dog sports, however, are not a discipline for him.
Yes, the Shiba Inu is generally affectionate towards people and very fond of children.
Basically, this dog needs to be brushed well several times a week to avoid matting of the coat. In the period of the change of coat even daily brushing is necessary, so that he can get rid of the annoying undercoat.
An apartment is no problem for him, as long as his quite pronounced urge to move is met. It would be nice if it is an apartment with a small garden.