The Shiba Inu is the most popular and smallest of the six native Japanese breeds. Translated from Japanese – “little dog”. The hieroglyph for this breed is pronounced Shiba Inu or Shiba Ken, often pronounced Shiba Inu. This is what this dog is sometimes called.
They are curious and intelligent animals that feel great in city apartments, have a positive trait – cleanliness.
Shiba Inu requires careful attention to themselves, they need a companion owner with a strong character. These dogs love to communicate, with the right approach to education, they are ready to become a true friend.
Shiba Inu, a breed of dog originally from Japan. It is one of six indigenous breeds that have long been considered Aboriginal. In addition, in Japanese, the word inu means dog, and the word “Shiba” is pronounced more like “Shiba”, which means brushwood. Therefore, the name of the breed can indicate, according to some, the fact that the word is associated with a shrub into which dogs were allowed during a hunt, and according to others – with the color of the leaves when autumn comes and the branches turn into the brushwood.
Shiba Inu is small in size, and, in fact, is the smallest among its closest relatives. Although, this can only be attributed to the size of the body since the character of these cute little pets is as firm and determined as that of a real samurai. It is not known exactly when the Shiba Inu breed appeared in Japan, however, it is absolutely known that in the Middle Ages, both early and later, these animals were widely used for hunting.
They were ideal for chasing birds out of bushes and small game, which was then shot by hunters. In addition, the Shiba Inu perfectly performs the functions of a watchman, due to its loud voice and vigilance, therefore these small but very effective dogs were kept on the farm and as watchmen.
The Shiba Inu breed experienced a really serious blow during the Second World War when the question was not only about the decrease in the population but also about the possible complete destruction. Indeed, in the years of hunger, and in the difficult post-war times, dogs, especially small ones, were often eaten by people just so as not to die of exhaustion. Fortunately, there are enough dogs left in remote rural areas to create a new breeding program.
The breeders took care of transporting the remaining individuals to Tokyo, where they created several new nurseries after the war. All Shiba Inu dogs that exist in the world today came from these post-war kennels. An exception may be individuals that have survived in isolated regions of Japan, but their number is too small.
Shiba Inu came to America relatively late, including due to their small number – in 1954, but until the 1970s there are almost no records of them. But the first American puppies of these little Japanese samurai were born in 1979. Shiba Inu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1993 and was awarded the full non-sporting status in 1997.
Description of the Breed
Shiba Inu is a primitive breed that looks like a fox. This is a small but not a dwarf dog. Males reach 38.5-41.5 cm at the withers, females 35.5-38.5 cm. Weight 8-10 kg. This is a balanced dog, not a single trait outweighs it.
She is not thin, but not fat either, rather strong and alive. The legs are in proportion to the body and look neither thin nor long. The tail is of medium length, set high, thick, most often curled into a ring.
The head and muzzle resemble a fox, in proportion to the body, although slightly wide. The stop is pronounced, the muzzle is rounded, of medium length, ending in a black nose. The lips are black, tightly compressed. The eyes are triangular in shape, as are the ears, which are small and rather thick.
The coat is double, with a thick and soft undercoat and a hard guard coat. The upper shirt is about 5 cm long over the entire body, only on the muzzle and legs it is shorter. To be admitted to the exhibition, a Shiba Inu must have an Arashiro. Urazhiro is a hallmark of Japanese dog breeds (Akita, Shikoku, Hokkaido, and Shiba).
These are white or cream marks on the chest, lower neck, cheeks, inner ear, chin, belly, inner limbs, the outer part of the tail thrown over the back.
Shiba Inu comes in three colors: red, sesame, and black and tan.
Red dogs should be as bright as possible, preferably solid, but black tipping on the tail and back is acceptable.
Periodically, dogs of other colors are born, they still remain excellent pets, but are not allowed to show.
Shiba Inu is a primitive breed and this means that their character is the same as thousands of years ago. It makes the Shiba Inu independent and cat-like, but aggressive and problematic without training.
This breed is independent, prefers to do what it sees fit. They prefer the company of their family, but not close physical contact, but simply to be in company with them.
Most dogs choose only one person, which they give their love to. They treat other family members well but keep them somewhat at a distance. Despite its small size, Shiba Inu cannot be recommended for beginners, as they are stubborn and headstrong, and training is time-consuming and requires experience.
Truly independent, Shiba Inu are extremely distrustful of strangers. With proper socialization and training, most of the breed will be calm and tolerant, but not welcoming towards strangers.
If a new person appears in the family, then over time they accept him, but not quickly and the relationship with him is not particularly close. They are not aggressive towards humans, but without training, they can manifest it.
One of the biggest problems with Shiba Inu is that they don’t like it when they violate their privacy without an invitation. They are empathetic and could be good watchdogs if not for the lack of aggression.
Like the wolf, the Shiba Inu is extremely possessive. The owners say that if they could speak one word, it would be the word – mine. They consider everything as their own: toys, place on the couch, owner, yard, and especially food.
It is clear that such a dog does not want to share anything. If you do not upset her, then this desire will get out of control. Moreover, they can protect their own by force – by biting.
Even the most seasoned and trained representatives of the breed are unpredictable in this matter. Owners need to pay attention to the relationship with the dog, especially if there are children in the house.
And the relationship with children in Shiba Inu is very confusing. Socialized dogs get along well with them if children are able to respect their personal space and property. Unfortunately, the smallest children do not understand this and try to pet or grab the dog.
No matter how well trained the Shiba Inu is, she will not tolerate rude behavior. Because of this, most breeders do not recommend starting a Shiba Inu in families where children are less than 6-8 years old. But, even if they treat their own people well, then there may already be problems with neighbors.
There are also problems in relationships with other animals. Aggression towards dogs is extremely strong and most Shiba Inu must live without companions. They can carry different sexes, but not a fact. All forms of aggression are found in dogs, from food to territorial.
Like other breeds, they can live with the dogs they grew up with and the aggressiveness is reduced with the help of training. But, many males are incorrigible and will attack same-sex dogs.
What kind of attitude towards other animals can you expect from a dog that has been a hunter for thousands of years? They are born to kill and they know how to do it perfectly. In general, everything that can be caught up and killed must be caught up and killed. They can get along with cats, but they will bully them and kill strangers.
Shiba Inu is very intelligent and easily solve problems that will confuse other dogs. However, this does not mean that they are easy to train. They do what they see fit when they see fit.
They are stubborn and headstrong. They refuse to teach new commands, ignore old ones even if they know them perfectly. For example, if the Shiba Inu rushed after the animal, then it is almost impossible to return it. This does not mean that they cannot be trained.
This means doing it slowly, persistently, and with a lot of effort.
It is absolutely impossible to overlook the role of the leader of the pack, as the dog will not listen to anyone whom it considers to be of lower rank. They are dominant and will try the leadership role whenever possible.
Activity requirements are not very high, they like to wander around the house and down the street. They are able to walk for hours, well suited for people who love walks and activities.
However, they can do with a minimum, it’s not for nothing that they are popular at home, where you can’t really roam because of the density of buildings.
These dogs almost never return to the call and should be walked on a leash. They can also attack another dog. When kept in the yard, they are able to find a hole in the fence or undermine it, as they are prone to vagrancy.
In general, the character of the Shiba Inu is very similar to that of a feline. They are very clean and often lick themselves. Even those dogs that spend most of their lives outdoors look cleaner than other dogs. They quickly get used to the toilet and rarely bark. If they bark, then they do not bark and tirelessly.
They are capable of producing a unique sound known as the Shiba Inu or “Shiba Scream.” This is a very loud, deafening, and even horrible sound. Usually, the dog will only release it during stress, and it can also be a sign of excitement or interest.
Education and Training
You need to accept that you will have to constantly deal with raising a dog. Of course, when an animal reaches maturity, it develops a certain character and habits, and if you did everything right for several years, your life will be noticeably easier. However, since the breed as a whole shows stubborn self-will, it will not be possible to completely get rid of these character traits.
The dog needs to be taught basic commands, and you need to get them done in the presence of various distractions. The task will not be easy, and it is not at all the same as teaching, for example, a German shepherd. It will take more time, but not to memorize the command, but simply so that the dog, in principle, wants to follow your commands. This requires an integrated approach, patience, and perseverance. So.
You do not need to become a master, strict, and adamant only in class – at home reinforce your authority. If the pet does not obey poorly, while walking or training, when you come home, do not rush to immediately give him food – wait half an hour, and perhaps even an hour. If you are going to give a tasty treat, command “sit” or any other command. Does not execute – does not receive.
It is not recommended to let Shiba Inu go to bed, neither into your bed nor, especially, in the nursery, otherwise, it will not be weaned off later and it will be an eternal headache. You need to teach your dog not to bark over trifles, especially if you live in an apartment, otherwise, neither you nor your neighbors will see calm nights. It is believed that the breed shows the best results when working with a trainer since it is many times more difficult for an ordinary owner to achieve the same results.
The described disobedience can be activated at any moment, but more often the “I hear no one” mode is activated during walks. Hunting instinct, an innate desire for research, aggression towards other dogs – there are many reasons for bad behavior.
At such moments, the favorite will not even turn his head to shout “To me”. And he can easily run away without fear of losing sight of the owner. That is, the usual “turn around and leave” tactic in such cases is unlikely to work.
In the city, even a well-bred Shiba Inu is only walked on a leash. Many breeders recommend removing the leash only in a fenced area.
Socialization reduces the incidence of problems. In addition, without Siba accustoming himself to an eventful street environment, the likelihood of developing “touchy syndrome” is high. Aggression or cowardice will prevail in any unusual situation.
It is important to keep your pet’s attention on walks. This breed is not human-oriented. Therefore, attention must be encouraged: to carry toys and treats with you, to come up with interesting puzzles.
Prioritize meaningful pursuits over just wandering around the yard.
Curious Shiba is very fond of walks. And he plays with pleasure if the contact between him and the owner is established. The need for physical and mental stress is high – the breed is not suitable for people who are busy from morning to evening.
Already at the age of two weeks, many puppies react violently to attempts at physical restrictions: squealing, hissing, yelling, and protesting with the most inconceivable sounds. By the way, Sibas rarely bark. But the range of other sounds emitted is incredibly wide.
Punishment for such behavior will only hurt – the final loss of trust will lead to zealous resistance to any manipulation. Dogs of this breed are trained to daily grooming like cats! That is, without coercion, gently, after active games, acting confidently and calmly.
Resists? Distract and try again. And further. And so on until complete surrender. Of course, if aggression is turned on instead of “dying screeches”, by the scruff of the neck and to the floor.
It is important to teach your Shiba Inu puppy to touch from an early age. If you miss the moment, it will be almost impossible to re-educate the touchy, even with the help of an instructor.
Natural appearance without a “show of frills” suggests easy pet care. But the coat requires regular attention. They shed profusely, seasonally. Males undress under the stress of sexual arousal, females – after each estrus, after childbirth.
As a rule, shedding lasts about a month, except for the junior one: a change of wool for an adult fur coat can take three months, and sometimes even longer. Vitamins cannot be given during this period – the molt will be delayed.
To speed up the process, breeders recommend combing the shedding pet daily. It is convenient to work with a slicker or a rotating rake – they do not damage the spine, easily “catching” the dying down. You cannot comb it dry – first, the wool is slightly moistened with special oil or conditioner.
Furminator, a rake with two rows of blades, removes the undercoat well. Sometimes one or two combings are enough to stop molting. But with a lack of experience, you can cut a spine, which will recover for several months. Therefore, the furminator should not be used to show dogs.
If in winter the dog has faded to bald spots, we recommend wearing a jumpsuit when going on a long walk. If the molt is moderate, you do not need to insulate – Sibs perfectly tolerate cold, as well as heat.
All native breeds of Japan are in good health. Among them, there are often centenarians who retain good shape until old age. Of course, subject to proper maintenance, proper feeding, and genetic “purity”.
The list of hereditary diseases is small. The main problems include diseases of the eyes and joints: osteochondritis, patella, dysplasia of the elbow/hip joints. But since the size of the Shiba Inu is average, joint ailments are noted less often than, for example, among larger Akitas or Molossians.
Nevertheless, the choice of a nursery must be approached responsibly, since congenital diseases are not amenable or difficult to treat. Shiba is not the most popular breed, but due to the high cost of puppies, there are commercial breeders inbreeding. It is desirable that both parents of the litter have documents confirming genetic health.