Shiba Inu (Non-Sporting Group)
The Shiba Inu is a strikingly handsome and courageous member of the Non-Sporting Group. With tis beautiful variety of soft colors, this dog is physically compact with adorable short ears, a thick coat of fur, and a muscular body. They have an expression of peace and alertness, always ready for the next adventure.
The temperament of the breed is best described as bold, independent, literally brimming with self-confidence. They are one of the best all-around house dogs to have because they are active and adventurous outside, but once indoors become calm and mild-mannered. The Shiba Inu tends to bark a lot, especially at the presence of intruders, making them excellent watchdogs.
A Brief History Of The Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is one of six native Japanese breeds. In fact, these dogs are said to be the most ancient of them all. They were used to hunt and flush out small game, gaining the nickname “little brushwood dog” in reference to its red coat which blended in with the local brushwood trees.
The precise origin of the Shiba Inu is not known, but we do know that they share common blood with the spitz. The breed may have its roots dating as far back as 300 B.C. as hunting companions throughout Japan. From hunting small game and flushing out birds, these dogs were also used to help hunt wild boar.
At one point there were three variations. They were known as the Sanin Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and Shinshu shiba. All were named after their locality. Unfortunately, they were all but wiped out during World War II, then further numbers lost by distemper during the early 1952.
In order to keep the Shiba Inu from becoming completely extinct various types were interbred. Lighter boned dogs were crossed with heavy boned dogs from the mountain areas. These breeding efforts were a success and the United States saw its first Shiba Inu dog in 1954, gaining AKC recognition in 1993.
Upkeep Requirements For The Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu cannot live a happy lifestyle without plenty of daily exercise. Although they are a small-sized breed, this dog has a never-ending amount of energy to burn. Several long walks on the leash plus laps around the yard each day is ideal. They especially love to chase and hunt small animals.
With a moderate tolerance to heat and a high tolerance to cool temperatures, the Shiba Inu can spend lots of time outdoors, but is not meant to live outside completely. If allowed to access a fenced-in yard during the day be sure to provide warm shelter as well. Grooming requirements for the breed consists of a brushing once or twice weekly.
The average lifespan of the Shiba Inu is between twelve and fifteen years. The only major health concern that runs common in the breed is patellar luxation. Minor health issues include allergies and cataracts. Rarely seen is PRA, CHD, PPM, and distichiasis. Veterinarians suggest that the Shiba Inu get specifically tested for eye, hip, and knee problems.