Would the Shiba Inu make a good pet for me?
Behavior common to the Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is noted for being loaded with a fiery personality. They have a great deal of energy and spunk and seem to always be on the alert and ready for action. They are very devoted to their families and always want to be involved in whatever activities are going on inside or outside the home. They love to be around older children who know how to handle themselves around the dog and not so much with toddlers, who can be unpredictable with pets. They are devoted and show a great deal of affection towards their owners and families, something many people love about this breed.
Having a Shiba Inu means having the space and time to commit to an active lifestyle with your dog. They need lots of exercise in order to be happy and healthy both mentally and physically. While their look and size may seem to make them good for apartment living, the truth is they are much better suited to a home life where they can run outside in a fenced yard. They love to interact and play and will chase and play ball for hours. They also excel at agility and do very well with agility and obstacle course training. You want to make sure you keep this dog engaged so it does not get bored and get destructive.
Shibas need to be trained and socialized at an early age if you want to be able to have an obedient, well-behaved dog in your life. They can be difficult and stubborn to train and will take some effort and leadership on your part, but it can be done successfully. Socializing them with strangers is also important so they can learn trust and be the good dog you want. Most Shibas who are ill-mannered are that way because they have not been trained properly, so good training can keep aggression in check.
Appearance of the Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu closely resembles the Akita and is often called a miniature of this breed. It is the smallest of all the breeds from Japan. They feature small, dark eyes that have a triangle shape to them. Their tail is high and curls over the back much in the same way as a Spitz. They are typically about fourteen to seventeen inches tall and weigh from seventeen to twenty-three pounds when grown. They have a very thick double coat that is very soft underneath and quite stiff on top. They are seen mostly in orange and brown colors and almost always have some sort of markings on their ears, throat, legs and tail. The markings are very often found in white.
Grooming your Shiba Inu
A Shiba Inu can be expected to shed very often. They expel their undercoat about twice a year, so during this time daily brushing can really help to rid the loose hair and make things more comfortable. Other than this, this breed is fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They do not carry an odor and should only be bathed as needed to avoid drying out their skin.
History of the Shiba Inu
Developed in the mountains of Japan early on, the Shiba Inu was bred specifically as a hunter in this region and used for this purpose for hundreds of years. They were very good at hunting birds but were also known to take on deer, boars and even bear. The breed was kept mainly in Japan until the 1950s, when it was brought to the United States. They gained popularity in the U.S. through the seventies and remain quite popular today.