The Shiba Inu is the oldest dog breed originating from Japan. He is recognized by the FCI and assigned to group 5. The Shiba Inu is a small to medium sized dog. However, he is counted among the small dog breeds. Shiba Inu are considered loyal and affectionate companions of humans. They are easy to care for, bark little and are considered particularly attentive.
Visually, the Shiba Inu has considerable resemblance to a wolf or a fox. Since it is an extremely old dog breed, the close relationship to the wolf is not far away. The Shiba Inu has a very plush, fluffy coat. This is often found in golden brown to reddish brown shades. Another visual feature of the quadrupeds are their short, erect ears.
The tail of the animals is also a well-known feature. It is very plush and covered with a lot of fur. Most of the time, the Shiba Inus curl up their tail so that it sticks out high and looks very elegant. The Shiba Inu has a cute face that resembles that of a teddy bear. Under its dense fur often hides strong muscles. These are needed by the four-legged friend to move quickly and safely in the mountains and nature. The robust dogs also have an enormous jumping power.
The Shiba Inu is a confident yet calm dog. Although he is bright and lively, he is not easily upset. Hectic and stress are nothing for the fluffy four-legged friend. This breed is a real nature lover. For this reason, the dogs always watch their surroundings very closely. Thus, they are perfectly suitable as watchdogs and small hunters. Shibas love to be outside. They are not typical city dogs, but prefer the free wilderness.
The attentive four-legged friends have a personality all their own. They have a strong charisma and an iron will. For inexperienced dog owners the acquisition of a Shiba can be problematic. Sound experience in dealing with stubborn dogs is in any case an advantage. The Shiba can be trained and led, but it likes to compete with its owner. It will hardly be possible to get the dog to submit completely.
Nor should this be done so that the animal can freely develop its unique personality. Rather, the dog should enjoy a demanding education. Certain rules and behaviors should be established without trying to control the dog too much. Consistency is enormously important in a functioning education.
The Shiba Inu forms a close bond with its owner. As soon as the trust and a certain basic education are built up, the fluffy animals become loyal companions. In this regard, Shibas can be quite affectionate. They maintain a loving and intense friendship with their owners. The Shiba Inu can then also be led well by its owner.
Also in his nature the Shiba resembles a wolf. He has a strong hunting instinct and copes very well in nature. The animals are incredibly fast and skillful when it comes to killing potential prey. They need a lot of exercise and feel especially comfortable in the great outdoors.
If the possibility exists, the Shiba prefers mountain and forest hikes to usual walks. The dogs want to be challenged, but think little of dog sports or games of fetch. Their keen instincts stimulate the dogs to do useful things. If you want to teach a Shiba tricks, you must first convince him of the purpose of the exercise. Due four-legged dogs are considered true survivors. Without much effort, they could survive alone in the wilderness for several days. Tricks and games are therefore not very afraid of the dogs.
The Shiba usually behaves quietly and barks very rarely. Instead, however, he makes the most diverse sounds. This is due to its archaic nature. With conspecifics get along the smart four-legged only moderately. They are not particularly tolerant of other dogs and strangers, but rather reserved. The animals seem partly skeptical in relation to strange situations or persons. They always watch what is happening vigilantly.
The small four-legged friends do not need a particularly large living space. They can also be kept in an apartment without any problems. The Shiba is an extremely child-friendly dog breed. He is therefore ideal as a family dog. Also with other domestic animals there are in principle no difficulties. However, this requires that the dog understands that the other pets also belong to the household.
The right food
With regard to the diet of the Shiba, there are no special rules. The daily meals of the dogs should be healthy and nutritious. The amount of food should be in relation to the weight and daily exercise needs of the dog.
The Shiba Inu is basically not prone to obesity. This should nevertheless be avoided in any case. Fortunately, no other breed-typical diseases are known.
As long as no inbreeding is practiced, the animals are considered extremely vital and robust.
Health & Care
Basically, the Shiba is a low-maintenance dog. He has no particularly high demands with the exception of the daily absolutely necessary walks. These may be gladly extensive and versatile. The animals like to explore new areas and feel very comfortable in open spaces far away from roads.
The coat care of the Shiba Inu is a little more demanding. The dense plushy hair has a fine undercoat. The animal loses this twice a year. It makes sense to brush the coat extensively at these times. This reduces the risk of tufts of hair in the house or apartment. The coat change normally lasts about 2 to 4 weeks. When outside temperatures are particularly high, the Shiba should be exposed to little exertion. Otherwise, the dense coat can quickly cause the dog to overheat.
The Shiba Inu is considered a very clean animal. He cleans himself and always tries to keep his fur clean. For dogs, this behavior is rather atypical and therefore a real peculiarity.
The nimble four-legged friends do not need special accessories. The occupation in the form of attention and extensive walks is completely sufficient for them. The Shiba can occupy itself well and gladly also times alone. He likes to sniff out his surroundings and pick up the scent of other animals.
As a rule, the Shiba cannot do very much with dog toys. He might get involved in games of skill if you can convince him.
Like other dogs, the Shiba should have its own retreat. A quiet and cozy place to sleep should be given.
Origin & History
As the name suggests, the Shiba Inu comes from Japan. The word Shiba means "small" in German. It is not for nothing that this breed has acquired its name. It is considered the smallest and oldest dog breed in Japan. However, the first Shiba Inu are said to have been even smaller and especially short-legged than the animals known today.
The vigilant four-legged friends were kept as farm dogs at that time. They guarded the belongings of the families and protected the farm from uninvited guests. The dogs also liked to hunt small wild animals. The four-legged friends appeared most frequently in the many mountain villages of Japan.
In the 1930s, the Japanese began to actively breed the breed. This was done against the background that the cute four-legged friends were already threatened with extinction. Various efforts were made to preserve the dog breed - with success. Since 1937, the Shiba Inu is even considered a national natural monument in Japan.
In Germany, the breed has not yet achieved an outstanding level of recognition. However, this is positive for the health of the animals, because there is no overbreeding. The Shiba Inu is an interesting and special dog breed, whose uniqueness should be preserved.