Meet the Shiba Inu! Originally, this dog breed was bred to flush out birds and other small game for hunters and it was used to help hunt wild boar in Japan. It is one of the six native breeds to Japan, known for having a spirited energy, happy demeanor, upright ears, and an almost feline-like agility. Currently they are kept as simple companion dogs in both Japan and the United States.
Weight: 15-24 pounds
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Height: 13-17 inches
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Fur type: Not hypoallergenic
Color: black, tan, red sesame, cream, black sesame, red, sesame
When well-bred, the Shiba Inu is extremely good-natured. They are alert and bold dogs, strong-willed and confident, which means they often have their own idea about what to do and how to do it. They are incredibly loyal and affectionate with their family. However, they can often be suspicious and even wary of strangers. The Shiba Inu isn’t overly fond of sharing, which leads to a guarding tendency. This can occasionally come across as aggressive when protecting family, food, toys, or territory. While training can make a world of difference, the Shiba Inu doesn’t always get along with other pets, especially dogs, and rarely does well if attacked.
The Shiba Inu has a stubborn streak and will come when he feels like it, rather than when he is called. While Shiba Inus as puppies have exceptionally pleasant and friendly personalities, their temperament as adults is affected by a lot of things, such as heredity, training, and socialization. When seeking out a Shiba Inu as a puppy, it is suggested to select those with nice temperaments with curiosity and playfulness, not the one who’s beating up his fellow litter mates or the one in the corner, shying away from everything. Additionally, it’s recommended to always meet at least one of the puppy’s parents in order to ensure that their temperament is agreeable. Early socialization for your Shiba Inu puppy is highly encouraged. Exposure to different sounds, sights, people, animals, and experiences will help you raise a more well-rounded dog. Actively seeking out early opportunities to introduce your Shiba Inu to a new things will only help you out when they’re an adult.
The Shiba Inu is relatively high energy. They require daily exercise such as long walks, tiring runs, or a good, long game of fetch in order to deplete their energy tanks. Since they were originally bred as hunting dogs, Shiba Inus do well if they have a regular activity to count on and consistently work at. Consequently, if they don’t have a way to rid themselves of their energy, they’ll come up with some unwanted ways to get the job done.
Good With Children
If properly raised and trained, then the Shiba Inu makes for an excellent family dog. They get along perfectly well with children as long as the children get along with them. They do well when treated kindly and respectfully, and when they understand what behavior is and is not acceptable. As is true with any breed, Shiba Inus require early training, socialization, and guidance in order to become the ideal family pet, but they are perfectly capable of becoming cuddly friends. Supervision of children and dog is highly recommended to ensure that both parties are behaving properly and there is no ear pulling, biting, or unwanted behavior.
Again, just as is so with any breed, early socialization and training is the key to raising a well-rounded, properly behaving dog. Shiba Inus do get along with other dogs if they have been trained correctly and any bad behavior is quickly corrected. They are not guaranteed, however, to get along with just any dog–especially if the other dog has less than ideal manners. Shiba Inus have a tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs if they consider them to be a threat, or chasing animals they perceive as potential prey. Keeping your Shiba Inus on a leash around other dogs and animals is a great way to maintain proper behavior.
Shiba Inus have a thick coat, and consequently, they shed. A lot. On a scale of one to five, they rank about about a four for shedding, which means you should expect to brush them several times a week in order to maintain their coat and control the fur during shedding season.
The Shiba Inu is a reasonably easy pet to groom since they are a naturally clean and odor-free pet. They need a decent about of brushing in order to remove dead hair and to distribute their oils. Brushing once a week is recommended, though more is required when your Shiba Inu is shedding more heavily. They need a bath every now and then, though normally only at an as-needed basis or when shedding is heavy. Over-bathing will dry out their skin and coat, so expect to bathe your Shiba Inu no more than every three to four months.
Like every dog, your Shiba Inu requires tooth and nail grooming as well. Brushing your Shiba’s teeth two or three times a week will help prevent gum diseases and bad breath, and trimming their nails one to two times per month will help them from injuring their feet. Since Shiba Inus can be exceptionally stubborn, it’s recommended to begin a regular grooming routine as early as possible and making it as pleasant of an experience as possible. Teach your Shiba Inu what to expect and how to behave early on, properly correcting any unwanted behavior, in order to make the grooming process easier for the future.
Shiba Inus enjoy barking. They bark at potential threats, unwanted visitors, surprises, the mailman, and more. Howling is also fun, so they do it often.
Trainability/Tips For Training
As mentioned before, Shiba Inus are incredibly smart and insanely stubborn. They learn very quickly and can grasp complicated commands, but they will not listen to a timid, shy, or uncertain trainer. You must be confident, calm, and determined if you plan on having an obedient Shiba Inu. Even the essential leash training is a challenge with this breed. Experts recommend taking your Shiba Inu to puppyor obedience classes in order to get their training started off by a professional, which not only gives them some training but also a lot of good socialization. Don’t be surprised if you find this breed to be difficult and strong-willed, as it’s his nature. Working with a trainer who knows this breed is always an option. Don’t be afraid to consult professionals and seek help if you find your Shiba Inu to be equally or even more determined than you.
How To Feed My Shiba Inu
Like all dogs, Shiba Inus require the proper nutritionally balanced diet to live a long, healthy life. Natural, raw food is always healthier for dogs, and the Shiba Inu is no exception. Processed foods do much more harm than good in the long run for your pooch, so choosing a healthier diet means giving them and their digestive systems an easier time. Raw dog food results in happier dogs, shinier coats, healthier skin and organs, and a better taste for your pup.
Puppies need a lot of nutrition throughout the day, so you should expect to feed your Shiba Inu four to five small meals per day. Depending on the type of food, the nutritional value, and the calories included, a Shiba Inu puppy should eat at least a cup of food a day, spread out throughout the day. Be sure to provide your puppy with enough water to ensure they remain properly hydrated.
Feeding Your Adult
By the time your Shiba Inu is a year old, their meals should be reduced to twice a day. They only need about a cup of food per day–though the amount does depend on the size, activity level, and age of your dog. Consult your veterinarian or use this calculator for the perfect amount of food for your Shiba.
Health Concerns For Shiba Inus
Shiba inus tend to be healthy dogs, but like any breed, they have their list of health issues they are prone to struggle with. See the following list of problems the Shiba Inu tends to struggle with:
- Chylothorax (a condition that causes an accumulation of fluid in their chest cavity, which results in difficult with breathing, decreases appetite, causes coughing and lethargy).
- Glaucoma (this is an increased pressure in the eye, which results in vision loss and pain; it can be treated with eye drops or surgery)
- Hip dysplasia (this is a condition where the thigh bone and hip joint do not properly fit together. It tends to result in hip pain or lameness.)
Are Shiba Inu good with cats?
Shiba Inus require training and socialization in order to treat other animals properly. They have a tendency to hunt, so supervision with other pets is recommended.
Can Shiba Inu swim?
Socialization and exposure is key. If you’ve raised your Shiba Inu to be accustomed to water and swimming, then they’ll have no problem with it. However, surprising your adult with a swim session might result in a some stubborn resistance.
What does Shiba Inu mean?
Shiba means “brushwood,” such as a tree or shrub, and Inu means “dog.” So together, the Shiba Inu means “Brushwood Dog.”
When is Shiba Inu full grown?
Shiba Inus tend to stop growing around their two year mark.
When is Shiba Inu shedding season?
Shiba Inus shed all year around, though they have a heavier shedding seasons twice a year, in the spring and fall.
Are Shiba Inu affectionate?
Not overly. Shiba Inus are independent and they like to stay active. If you’re looking for a cuddly, affectionate dog, this one probably isn’t it.
Shiba Inus are wonderful dogs and if they get the proper amount of training and exercise, then they make for perfect family pet. They aren’t overly cuddly, but they’ll be loyal companions, useful watchdogs, and fun friends to keep around.