By: Eduardo C. Gonzalez
Shiba Inus are one of the oldest dog breeds in Japan. These dogs have existed since the 4th century B.C. The name means “ little bush dog.” and they are well known as small hunting dogs. These dogs were specifically bred to hunt bears, boars and to flush out birds. These dogs nearly became obsolete after world war 2. After the war several breeders worked hard to bring back these dogs into existence. Shiba Inus are one of the famous dogs in Japan today. In other places like the United States of America, their numbers have increased. The word “Inu" means dog.
Shiba Inus are small but firmly packed dogs. The heads of these dogs are commensurate to the size of their bodies They have rounded muzzles. These dogs have medium stops that becomes thinner upon reaching their nose. Their closely fixed lips and noses are color black. The teeth of these dogs are joined together in scissor like bites. Shiba Inus have ears are triangular shaped but are standing straight. They have small ears that are not in proportion to their bodies. The tails of these dogs are highly set and are thick at the ends. Their tails are curled and it is carried over their backs. Their tails are shaped like rings or sickles. Shiba Inus have deep setting eyes that appear like triangles and dark in color. The rims of their eyes are colored black. Shiba Inus have double coats. Their undercoats are thick but their outer coats are unbending. Shiba Inus have coat colors that are red, red and a bit of black, black with tan spots. It's colors can also be yellow, white, blue or purple. These are what we call “ sesame “ colors. The sesame colors can come with red spots. Their under colors can be cream, buff or gray. These spots must be seen on their cheeks, on th sides of their muzzles, throats, undersides and chests. Shiba Inus can have white markings on their legs, ends of their tails and above their tails.
Shiba Inus are fully aware and attentive.These dogs are brave and never fearful. They are affectionate and polite. Shiba Inus are clean dogs and they try to avoid puddles of mud. They are easy to train. These dogs do bark a bit and they do easily bond with their owners. If you want dogs that are good for kids, then, Shiba Inus will fit your needs. Give them obedience training and socialize them at their early ages with your families. Doing this and they will be good family dogs. Since, these are hunting dogs, they must be given daily exercises and they must go out for long daily walks. Make sure that they heel on your sides or at your backs. These dogs are agile, quick and lively dogs. These dogs will get along with other dogs and even cats. They will not mix well with small pets like: rabbits, little birds, rodents and guinea pigs. This is because these dogs have hunting instincts. These dogs must be properly leashed when they are taken out for walks because they can chase smaller animals. Owners must be firm but calm with these dogs. They need to know that their owners are their pack leaders.
Male Shiba Inus will have heights of 14 – 16 inches and they will weigh as much as 18 – 25 pounds. Females will reach heights of 13 – 15 inches and will weigh around 15 – 20 pounds.
Shiba Inus usually have health issues that are common lik:e hip dysplasia. progressive retinal atrophy and patellar louxation.
Shiba Inus will do alright living in apartments as long as they get the exercises they need. They are moderately active indoors. They must be allowed to roam around in medium sized yards that are properly fenced. Their coats are waterproof and it protects them from cold and hot weathers. These dogs like to live with their families. It is best for these dogs to live indoors.
Shiba Inus have clean and unrefined short haired coats that can be easily groomed. Use firm bristles to brush and take out dead hair. Give them a bath only when it is necessary. Excessive baths can remove their natural waterproof coats. These dogs are heavy shedders.