The Shiba Inu breed is a purebred, small-sized dog that exudes boldness and self-confidence, not to be confused with the Shiba Inu cryptocurrency. While the Shiba Inu was once proud hunters, it is known for its high-spirited personality and intense companionship.
This breed is perfect for owners looking for a small dog with a calm disposition indoors but loves running around and playing when outside. These pups are always up for a new, fun adventure, making them great traveling and exploring companions!
As the year's pass, the Shiba Inu has grown in popularity, and for a good reason. These furry friends continue to impress due to their loyalty and quirky, cat-like personality; these dogs are very independent, adaptable, and do not require as much attention as other breeds. If you are looking for an alert, athletic, and very headstrong pet, the Shiba Inu may be the right fit for you.
The Shiba Inu has been around for quite some time; this ancient breed can be traced back to as early as 300 BCE Japan, where their skill sets made them the excellent game and bird hunters. Over the years, three varieties of Shiba Inu were developed, each with its unique characteristics:
Most people do not think about how wars affect animals. World War II nearly wiped out the Shiba Inu, and the dogs that did not die from blasts often succumbed to distemper (an incurable, contagious viral disease that affects several species). Thankfully, breeders took it upon themselves to intermix the various types of Shiba Inu to form the pet as we know it today.
The Shiba Inu finally made it to the United States in the early 1950s, and the first litter of US-native Shiba Inu pups was born in the late 1970s. 1992 was a big year for the breed; not only was the National Shiba Club of America founded, but the American Kennel Club finally recognized the Shiba Inu too!
Today, the Shiba Inu continues to win the hearts of pet owners across the world. This breed is still at the top of the list for companion dogs in Japan and grows in popularity throughout the United States.
Good-natured. Hypervigilant. Strong. The Shiba Inu can come across as aloof to strangers or other animals, which is why they are often described as having "cat-like" personalities. Make no mistake, though; the Shiba Inu does have a lot of love and loyalty to their families; they simply are suspicious of the unknown, making them rather good guard dogs.
These independent dogs tend to be selfish; they do not want others touching any of their belongings! The Shiba Inu may even become aggressive with those that dare enter their space or come into contact with their toys. This is largely due to their hunting background; because of this, it is best not to have smaller animals (such as rabbits or small cats) around the house if they were not properly socialized from a very early age.
If you are looking for a pet that craves human affection and lives only to serve you, you may want to start looking for another breed. These dogs are very stubborn; if you call them but do not feel like getting up, do not expect them to obey. The same goes for training. While some Shiba Inus excel in agility training and other competitive dog sports, others could not care less. If you find yourself struggling to control your pet's behavior, meet with a training specialist who knows exactly what the Shiba Inu needs.
Interestingly enough, the Shiba Inu will not hesitate to let you know when they are unhappy with something (or if they essentially want to tell you "no" to something they have asked them to do). Have you heard of the "Shiba Inu Scream"? This "scream" is incredibly high-pitched; it is almost the cross between a baby crying and a cat meowing. It is not quite a bark and not quite a whine. This unique vocalization is used more often than the typical dog bark, which many find quite shrill. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with this sound before you commit to bringing the Shiba Inu into your home. If this is not something you could handle for 12-15 years, it is better to know beforehand.
The Shiba Inu is extremely adaptable. Their compact size allows them to live comfortably in smaller spaces, such as apartments, so long as their exercise needs are met. From condos to farms, this breed does well in any home. If properly socialized early, your pet should get along with other dogs or children. Because of their bossy and selfish nature, the Shiba Inu must be trained to learn your household expectations from an early age. This will allow them to begin forming healthy habits, as bad habits may be a struggle to break later on down the line. However, we must focus on the outdoor environment instead of indoors when considering this breed's ideal living situation.
Since Shiba Inus are active dogs, they will need daily outdoor exercise. When taking your pet outside, be sure that they are wearing a leash if you are not in a proper, fenced-in area. If you are not in an enclosed area, consider leashed walks or runs with your pet so they can get the exercise they need without you having to worry about losing them. The minute you unleash your pet, they will be gone in the blink of an eye. If something captures their attention or they see another animal, their primal instincts kick in, and they do everything in their power to track it down.
Because of their double coat, Shiba Inus do shed a considerable amount. During the spring and the fall seasons, your pet will shed significantly. This is not to say you will not find hair around your house during other months, but rather it is these times of the year when shedding is most prominent. It is important to brush their fur several times a week during their shedding seasons. Because of their double coat, the Shiba Inu may overheat when excess hair is not properly removed; this is yet another reason why brushing your pet's hair actively is vital to their wellbeing. While many dogs get stinky without frequent baths, the Shiba Inu is not the case. Believe it or not, this breed of dog grooms themselves!
In addition to brushing your puppy's hair, it is important to brush their teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar buildup, which may be housing various bacteria that could make your pet sick. If you notice the foul-smelling breath, consider brushing their teeth once daily. Nails should be trimmed once or twice a month. Dogs' nails are sensitive and filled with blood vessels, so if you are uncomfortable trimming your furry friend's nails, take them to a professional to get this done.
Every week or so, examine your pet's ears, keeping a close eye out for any dirt buildup, redness, or foul odor, which can signal an infection. Gently wipe their ears with a cotton ball dampened with a dog-friendly ear cleanser to remove dirt. If you notice any sign of an ear infection, take your pet to the vet's office to be professionally examined.
The active and athletic Shiba Inu requires daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. This breed needs at least one hour of good exercise per day on average. However, no two dogs are the same, so you may find that your dog can only handle 45 minutes of exercise, whereas another dog may need up to 2 hours of exercise every day. As your pet grows and you learn more about them, you will find out what works for them and what does not.
You may find that your Shiba Inu loves competing in dog sports. This breed tends to excel in agility, tracking, flyball, lure coursing, or even competitive herding! Not only will you form a special bond with your pet competing with them in these events, but it is a surefire way to ensure they are getting the proper exercise they need.
Every dog is unique; you may find that your pet has more energy than the average dog and requires a bit more exercise. But believe it or not, your Lil pup can be over-exercised! Some tell-tale signs that it is time for a little break include excessive panting, excessive thirst, limping, stiffness, or any other abnormalities in your dog's behavior. It is best to cut back on the exercise for a few days to give your pup a chance to bounce back. Once they have recouped, they will be good to go!
An important note for new Shiba Inu owners: always be sure to leash your dog when you are not in an enclosed area. Despite their loyalty to their family, these adventurous little escape artists will run the first chance they get!
A healthy Shiba Inu lives on average 12-15 years. One of the keys to ensuring your pet lives a long, full life is giving them proper nutrition. Just like people, each dog is unique and requires its specific diet. Thankfully, the Shiba Inu does not require a super special, specific diet; high-quality kibble will do just fine unless you find your pet is particularly picky (if this is the case, be sure to discuss it with your pup's veterinarian). While each dog is unique and may need more or less food, a good rule of thumb is to feed them only ½ - 1.5 cups of dry food per day, split up into two meals. You may need to adjust the amount of food they are given each day depending on their activity levels or the veterinarian's suggestion.
Everyone knows dogs love receiving special little treats, and lucky for pet owners, they are great motivators! You may likely use treats to train your pet. While this is effective, be sure that you keep an eye on their weight and not overfeeding them. Giving your pet too many treats may inadvertently result in unwanted weight gain or even obesity. If you suspect your pet is becoming overweight, try the hands-on test and the eye test in your own home.
For this test, you will need to look down at your pet. Place your hands on their back with your thumbs along the spine, and your other fingers faced downwards. Without having to press hard, you should be able to feel (not see) your dog's ribs. If you can't, lower their daily food intake and make sure they get some extra exercise.
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