Shiba Inu is a charming little breed of dog that is quite bold in temperament, irrespective of the small size. In fact, these bold, mischievous dogs are better off when entrusted in the hands of firm and confident owners. So, Shiba Inu is the perfect pet for you if you want a cute looking and extremely affectionate pet, provided you are careful enough to control the dog.
The breed is one of the smallest and perhaps the oldest dog breeds from Japan. These courageous, quick and agile dogs were used for hunting small birds, bears, wild boars etc in the earlier times. They are also referred to as “little brushwood dogs” because in Japanese, “shiba” means brushwood and “inu” means dog. The word “shiba” also means small in size, according to an old dialect.
Shiba Inu dog breed is characterized by a sturdy, well muscled and compact body. The upright ears are a bit smaller in proportion to the rest of the body. The expressive, dark, deep set eyes are somewhat triangular in shape with black eye rims. The curled tail is set high on the back and loops around. The tail and hind legs of these delightful dogs tend to have bushy hair.
Color: Shiba Inus can be red, red sesame, black and tan, or cream in color with occasional white markings on the throat, muzzle, cheeks, underside of the chest, legs etc.
Height: Male Shiba Inu dogs are generally 14.5 to 16.5 inches in height. The females are one inch shorter, that is, 13.5 to 15.5 inches.
Weight: These dogs usually weigh about 18 to 25 pounds. Female Shiba Inus, on the other hand, should be 15 to 20 pounds in weight.
This breed of dogs is mostly healthy. Still, Shiba Inu dogs are susceptible to health issues like slipped kneecap, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and other such problems. They are also susceptible to eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, entropion, distichiasis, cataract etc. Skin allergies, especially the ones causing atopic dermatis are also quite common in this breed. They do well in temperate to cool climates.
Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of these lively dogs is around 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: The average Shiba Inu litter size is 2 or 3 puppies.
These small dogs with short double coats are quite easy to groom with moderate grooming requirements. The undercoat is soft and dense whereas the outer coat is straight and coarse in texture. A firm bristle brush can be used conveniently to brush the coat few times in a week.
They tend to shed heavily during the shedding seasons. Needless to add, the grooming requirements are increased at such times. The water proof hair coat is generally remains clean. Hence, they need not be bathed quite frequently in order to retain the natural texture and skin oils.
Although, the coat should be regularly maintained to keep it free from ticks and fleas. Nail clipping should be done every two weeks. Eye cleaning, ear cleaning and teeth brushing are also essential grooming activities that should be carried out on a regular basis.
The Shiba Inu dog breed is characterized by bold, high spirited, clever, alert, intelligent, energetic yet extremely friendly and affectionate temperament. Spend some time with a Shiba Inu and you are sure to understand that the last two qualities can overpower all other qualities, hence making the dog even more appealing and irresistible.
Shiba Inu dogs often exhibit certain negative behaviors such as possessiveness, stubbornness and territorial behavior. Therefore, Shiba Inu puppies should be trained and socialized right from the beginning in order to keep them disciplined.
Under such conditions, they can get along well with small children and other pets in the house. They are relatively easy to housebreak. These playful lively dogs can be noisy and suspicious of strangers. Thus, they can prove to be effective watchdogs.
Shiba Inu is a non sporting yet fearless dog breed. These dogs are usually calm indoors and active outdoors. Their quick speed and agility are put to use when their chasing instincts are aroused by quick movements of small animals. These dogs adapt fairly well to apartment situation with an access to an average sized fenced yard.
Interestingly, these dogs tend to scream loudly when they are irritated or unhappy. They have a good level of endurance which gives them the strength to go for long walks and play incessantly without getting tired very easily.
Do not commit the mistake of keeping your Shiba Inu alone in the house or in the yard for a long time, or else you might be penalized for this unkind gesture with an equally destructive behavior of your buddy.