Japanese Dog Breeds - Shiba Inu, The Cat Dog

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

Some Bulgarians might laugh at the name (don’t wish to explain why), but Shiba Inu is one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world. The Shiba breed is one of the oldest in Japan, dating to the 3rd century BC! However, some researchers believe that the Shiba were present when foreign peoples migrated to Japan 8,000 years ago.

Shiba dogs are unique among the older Japanese breeds, since they are not connected to any particular province of origin. In appearance, Shiba dogs resemble the proud Akita, but on a considerably smaller scale. Those dogs reach only 35 to 43 centimeters in height. However, Shiba Inu are hunting dogs, their small size making them perfect for rough terrain. The name “Shiba” could actually be translated as “shrub”, as those dogs could pursue their small prey among shrubs and in forests and were naturally used in mountainous terrain.

The small size of the Shiba dog makes it an excellent pet. These dogs are often compared to cats, as they like to keep themselves neat and clean. Also, Shiba Inu like to use their front paws to clean their muzzles and to play with toys.

Shiba dogs’ coats can be red, white, sesame or black and tan. There is a fox-like mischievousness in the shape of their muzzles, which corresponds to their true character. Shiba dogs are very good-natured and spirited, but they are also quite smart! These dogs should be trained from an early age. A Shiba puppy should be raised indoors, so it can get used to human company; otherwise a Shiba could become a frightened creature, scared of anything!

Shiba Inu dogs are quite hard to export from Japan, but several US breeders have managed to develop the breed outside the country. However, if you are purchasing a Shiba puppy from an unproven breeder, chances are high that you may get swindled.
Shiba Inu is considered a good dog for households with children, but the children must be old enough to know when to stop pestering the dog!

If you obtain a Shiba Inu, there are three things you may expect from it according to Japanese standards (Japanese breed not only for outlook, but for character as well):

•    Kan'i 敢為 - "spirited boldness". This means a Shiba Inu is supposed to be "well-balanced, courageous and self-confident".

•    Ryosei 良性  - "good nature".  This refers to the loyalty of the Shiba, who are also very alert dogs and make excellent home guardians.    

•    Soboku 素樸 - "artlessness". This means that a Shiba should be unaffected, cheerful and spontaneous.

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