In many cases trying to find the right dog for a pet can be a bit like trying to find a needle in a hay stack there are so many different breeds out there it is next to impossible to know something about every breed out there. This means there are many really nice breeds of dogs who often get overlooked when families are looking for that family pet. The Shiba inu is one such dog.
The shiba inu is the smallest of the 6 original and distinct breeds of dogs from Japan. It is also one of the oldest dog breeds in existence today. It closely resembles the Japanese Akita only it is of much smaller stature. Standing at only 13 ½ to 16 ½ inches high and weighing between 17 and 23 pounds this is a little dog with a bigger than life personality. His double coat gives him a husky appearance due mainly to the soft and thick undercoat which is usually cream, buff or gray in color. The outer coat is stiff and straight and may be 1 ½ in length. The overcoat is often red but, can be black and tan or seasme (black tipped). There are also white coated Shiba inus but, these are not considered a good color for the show ring and so breeders of show dogs do not intentionally breed for this color.
The face of the Shiba inu is extremely fox like with the male’s features being noticeably more masculine than the features of the females. In fact, there have been cases where red coated Shiba inus have been mistaken for wolves and shot. Their long tail curls into a circle and is high on their back.
The personality of this lively little dog makes him a joy to own and a challenge to train with the exception of house training which often times this breed is found to practically train themselves. They are extremely intelligent little dogs with a huge streak of independence, which many people compare to that of a cat. It is this independent nature that make training the Shiba inu a challenge to people who have never owned dogs before. However, early socialization of this breed can and does make training easier as this dog is extremely loyal to those they bond with and consider their intellectual equal.
This breed loves to play and is exceptionally quick and agile and are considered to be excellent climbers finding chain link fences to be no obstacle to their climbing abilities. They can also be excellent jumpers and so when placed in an outside fenced area they need a tall fence that lacks footholds or they will quickly escape.
Because of their high energy level they need to be walked on a leash at least a couple of times a day and do well with a lot of playtime. Though they are perfectly able to exercise themselves and more than one Shiba inu owner has described what is known as the Shiba 500 where these dogs will run around and round a coffee table or chair until those watching them get dizzy.
These dogs are clean freaks, and will often groom themselves much like a cat. It also makes them exceptionally easy to house break as they don’t like soiled areas anywhere near them.
This dog may be the perfect pet for anyone who leads an active lifestyle and wants a small partner to share that lifestyle with.