Cute and fox-like in stature, the distinctive shiba inu puppy will always get a lot of attention. Though cuddly, National Geographic found that the shiba is the most similar to wolves, more so than most dog breeds combined!
Dating back to 6000 B.C. in rural Japan, Shibas are known as one of the oldest breeds in the world. Related to the large breeds akitas and Siberian huskies, the shiba inu is the smallest of the Japanese native breeds. They were bred for hunting small animals. With a heightened sense of smell and keen eyesight, this breed can scope prey easily in the undergrowth of Japan’s dense forest floor and go in for the hunt.
After World War II, shiba inus almost went extinct. But after the wartime reparations, shibas are now Japan’s number one companion animal and make adorable shopkeepers.
The earliest sighting of a shiba in the US was in 1954, likely from an American soldier taking one home for their family. As the decades went on, the shiba’s popularity increased. The shiba inu was officially registered in the American Kennel Association (AKC) in the 90s.
Shiba inu puppy facts
Now shiba inus are a household name. They’re part of our pop-culture with the meme “Doge” and make amazingly loyal companions. Here are some facts about the shiba inu:
|Size||Small. Adults reach a height of 14.5-16.5 inches for males, 13.5-15.5 inches for females. Males weigh 23 pounds, and females weigh 17 pounds.|
|Breed Characteristics||This fox-like dog was originally bred to be a hunter and has keen senses of sight and smell. Muscular in nature, shiba’s have deep-set dark eyes and alert triangular ears. The shiba has a soft double coat that’s generally honey or tan on the top of their back and white on their stomach and neck. They can also come in red or black varieties. With the signature curly tail (also known as a sickle-shaped tail) a shiba is a good looking, active dog.|
|Temperament||Shiba’s were only brought to the US a little over 60 years ago. They’re confident and filled with energy, but don’t need constant attention. They do, however, love to hunt. Make sure you keep your shiba inu on a leash or in a gated area otherwise they might get hyper-focused and bolt out the door. Shiba Inu’s also are known for their one-of-a-kind communication style.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||With their thick double coat, the shiba inu was born to shed. They have major shedding seasons twice a year that can last months at a time. Shibas don’t need to be regularly brushed unless they have a longer coat, but brushing during shedding season will help minimize the amount of hair you find in your home. Nail trimming is important and should be done when the shiba is a puppy so they get used to it.
Shibas are prone to skin allergies. Using a blowdryer or a shop vacuum over the dog’s fur helps get rid of dirt, dandruff, and fleas. When getting your shiba puppy, be sure to ask the breeder if they’ve been checked for any eye issues, hip dysplasia, and patella luxation.
|Training||Shiba’s are notorious escape artists. Regardless of training, when a shiba sees an opportunity to escape, they’ll take it. Make sure they’re always leashed or in a blocked off area if they’re socializing with other dogs. Interestingly, shiba’s are easily housebroken. Within a couple of weeks, shiba puppies learn to go to the bathroom outside.|
|Energy Level||Shiba inus are energetic, but not so much that they need constant exercise. They should be walked daily, and enjoy regular indoor playtime to curb some of their enthusiasm. Some suffer from separation anxiety, so be sure to have plenty of playtime before and after work.|
|Life Span||Shiba inus live between 13-16 years on average.|
Who’s the best human for a shiba inu?
Shiba inus can live in warm and cooler climates, as their thick coat can shed to a thinner summer coat. They’re very clean dogs and adapt to city or country life easily. Great for families and single people, they’re very loyal to their humans.
Getting a shiba inu puppy
Whether to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new Shiba Inu puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder that offers healthy, ethically-sourced shiba inu puppies.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a shiba inu puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, prepare yourself for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
Finding a shiba inu breeder
It may be surprising to know, but adopting a Shiba Inu puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being right for them. This means that there may be many dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs who have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog that’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a shiba inu mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Shiba inu puppy resources
After you find the right shiba inu puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.