The ancient Shiba Inu is currently the most common dog breed in their native Japan, and it is gaining popularity worldwide. This does not imply that they are a dog for anyone. They are clean, quiet, and intelligent, but they are also independent and strong-willed, making them unsuitable for multi-dog households.
The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed that was initially used to flush out game for their hunters. Shiba means ‘Brushwood’ in Japanese, and it is thought they were named for the undergrowth from which they flushed their prey, or because their red coats resembled the autumn colors of this form of shrubbery. The ruling Imperial Court of Japan established a dog keepers office during the Yamato period, as early as the 7th century AD, ensuring that the Shiba and other native breeds remained a significant and preserved part of Japanese culture.
With the advent of World War II, the breed was almost wiped out by a combination of bombings and a virulent strain of Distemper. Shibas that remained in the Japanese countryside after the war were brought down to the cities to revitalise breeding programmes. These bloodlines are responsible for the Shiba Inu breed that we know today.
While the first Shiba was introduced into the United States in 1954, the first recorded litter was not born there until 1979. They were honored by the American Kennel Club in 1993. Shiba Inus are the most common breed in Japan right now, and they are gaining popularity in the United States and other parts of the world as well.
One of the Shiba Inu’s distinctive features is its winter-ready coat. It has a lot of fur because it is a double-coated breed. When displaying your Shiba Inu, you can be penalized for “messing” with the coat too much, such as keeping it too short. The Shiba Inu is Japan’s smallest native breed, weighing between 17 and 23 pounds, and will use its short size to navigate around your home.
- Weight: 8 to 11 kg
- Coat length: Short
- Amount of shedding: High
- Color: Only 3; Red, black and sesame, black and tan
- Pattern: Solid and bicolor
A strong and confident personality can lead to stubbornness, but a sincere openness to discipline and a polite demeanor easily overcome those characteristics in the Shiba Inu. It makes an excellent house pet because it is gentle with children and other pets, giving it a level of adaptability that even some other friendly dogs lack.
- Lifespan: 13 to 16 years
- Active: Medium
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: Low
Responsible breeders aim to uphold the highest breed quality set out by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). Hereditary disorders are less likely to occur in dogs bred to these requirements. However, the breed is prone to certain genetic health issues. The below are few things to keep in mind:
- Luxating Patella: It is when the knee cover slips out of place.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is when one or both of the hip joints form abnormally, and can affect the dog’s movement and comfort level.
- Allergies: Shibas are known for their allergies from several generations to food and the environment.
- Eye Problems: Glaucoma, Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
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