About Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Japanese native breeds of dog. The word “Shiba” means “small dog”. His frame is compact with well-developed muscles. He has a harsh and straight outer coat and soft, dense undercoat. The preferred coat colors are red, red sesame, and black and tan. Like all members of the Spitz family, the Shiba carries his tail curled up over his back.
Shibas were originally developed for hunting by sight and scent in the dense undergrowth of Japan’s mountainous areas. Alert and agile with keen senses, he is also an excellent watchdog and companion. A spirited boldness, a good nature, and an unaffected forthrightness, which together yield dignity and natural beauty.
The Shiba has an independent nature and can be reserved towards strangers but is loyal, loving and affectionate to those who earn his respect. Shibas are the most popular pet in Japan. Only recently seen outside of Japan, the Shiba’s popularity is on the rise but Shibas are a tough little breed of dog. Many times they are not the right pet for some families.
Loyal and strongly intuitive, he is a family dog who needs human companionship. This is not a dog to be left alone for long periods. Shibas do not tolerate the manhandling of very young children very well. They are best in a household with older children.
Perhaps no other dog looks more like a toy stuffed animal than the Shiba Inu. But do not let his looks deceive you! Shibas may be small in stature, but they are definitely a large dog in a small body! He is fiery, independent, strong-willed, stubborn, and territorial. He needs a firm hand from a strong master who is also patient, understanding, and kind, yet strict with a very good sense of humor to laugh at the antics of these extremely smart dogs. Training can be a challenge and should begin at a very young age. Early and continuous socialization through his lifetime will help curb same sex dog aggression which is a common trait of this breed.
With a high activity level, the energetic and agile Shiba Inu needs lots of exercise and should have a large, fenced yard. Shibas also must always be kept on lead as they were bred as independent thinkers and will not heed your call until they are done with their run. And boy, do they run far.
In summary, Shibas are not a great pet for people who don’t have a securely fenced yard, don’t want a dog that must always be leashed, don’t like to take dogs for walks and who do not want to go to socialization classes. If you are looking for a devoted playmate for the kids or a low maintenance dog in training then I would highly recommend passing the Shiba up for another breed. This breed is delightful if understood and if you have fallen so in love with the breed that it is simply the breed for you.