Doge is the meme dog, and its breed is the Shiba Inu. It is a female dog that goes by the name Kabosu and hails from Japan. If you’re thinking about the meaning of Doge’s name, it refers to a type of citrus fruit in Japan.
Now that you know about Doge, it is time to focus on the Shiba Inu breed. This read will open you to everything you need to know about the species. Keep reading, and don’t stop until the last period.
In And Around The Shiba Inu
In native Japan, the Shiba Inu – an ancient breed – is the most popular dog breed. Globally, many people have continued to admire how it looks. However, that shouldn’t imply that the dog is suited for all those admirers and lovers. While they are intelligent, clean, and quiet, their strong-willed and independent spirits do not make them the best household dogs.
Let’s go through the breed’s overview:
|The Shiba Inu: About The Breed|
|Group||Non-Sporting||Level of Affection||Medium|
|Height||Males: 14.5 – 16.5 inchesFemales: 13.5 – 15.5 inches||Friendly Nature||Medium|
|Weight||Males: About 23 poundsFemales: Around 17 pounds||Friendly to other pets||Medium|
|Coat||Outer coat – stiffly straightUndercoat – softly thick||Friendly to kids||Medium|
|Color of the Coat||Sesame, red, and black; tan and black||Needs in terms of Exercise||Medium|
|Life Expectancy||Between 13 and 16 years||Playfulness||Medium to High|
|Intelligence||Medium to High||Barking Tendencies||Low|
|Shedding||High||Trainability||Low to Medium|
The Breed’s History
The Shiba Inu came to life in ancient Japan and were used by their hunter owners to flush out quarry. In the Japanese language, the first name of the dog – Shiba – means brushwood. Many people think that the dogs were either named because of their red coats or the undergrowth from which they flushed out their prey.
In Japan’s Yamato period (which dates back to 600 years AD, 7th Century), the emperor’s court set up an office for dogs. The Imperial Court did so to preserve the Shiba and other breeds as part of Japan’s culture.
When the Second World War came, the breed was nearly wiped out from the face of the earth. The bombings were fatal together with a Distemper strain that was virulent. When the war passed, more Shibas were in Japan’s countryside, and those were taken into the cities so that breeding programs would be reinvigorated. The Shiba Inu dogs – Doge and the others we know today – came from that post-war breeding activity.
It was not until about 1954 when the first Shiba Inu got to the US. However, the first litter that got documented was registered in 1979. They gained recognition from the AKC in 1993.
Caring For The Shiba Inu
This dog is not your average canine – it is unique in many senses. The first thing which may strike you about the dog is its appearance – it looks like a fox or something like a cat. Because of their independence and quietness, they are not the most obvious choice for an inexperienced pet parent. Anyone who goes for a Shiba Inu expecting it to follow them from one room to the other and engage in a lot of cuddling may get disappointed.
The reason why they are not the best pets is their independence – they are like the Siberian Huskies. While they act blissfully ignorant, that does not stop individual dogs from developing strong bonds with their owners.
When you take a Shiba Inu dog for a walk, don’t be surprised when you see it showing a lack of interest in other dogs. They don’t like company and are the standoffish, solitary kind of dogs. However, that does not mean that the canines are overly dismissive. If the Shiba Inu is carefully introduced to others (dogs and cats alike), it will get along with them.
Initially, the breeding of Shiba Inu dogs was done for hunting. However, things have changed over the years, and the canine is a famous apartment dog. Like any other, you will need to walk the Shiba Inu every day and give it a lot of love and attention at home. That kind of warmth will ensure that the dog does not develop any type of behavioral issues that come with boredom.
If you wish that the dog stays off its leash, you need to get a secure space or a fenced paddock. Because of their predatory instincts and independent nature, they will chase smaller animals. This means that you need to put the dog through recall training.
As captured in the table, Shiba Inu dogs do not bark a lot. They just engage in alarm (or alert barking), maybe to let you know that a stranger is approaching.
In terms of vocalization, you will realize that they have a unique one – particular to the breed. You may get somewhat alarmed when you first hear the Shiba scream. The sound is usually high pitched and made when the dog is either ecstatic or unhappy about something.
Although they don’t like getting too involved, you will find Shiba Inu dogs playing and having fun using interactive toys. If you’re bringing one of these Japanese babies, you need to budget for toys.
Shiba Inus are somewhat like cats or foxes because of the kind of attention they demand. They will only get to you when they need to. The other things they enjoy are napping in the sun, staying clean, and being agile and curious.
In terms of training the Shiba Inu, you should know that you are not dealing with the average dog. Thus, you will need to be persistent. Their intelligence, independence, and strong-willed characters would help if you did not try forcing them into doing something. With every training that you choose, you need to have many treats on the one hand for the dog and chill-pills for yourself on the other hand –they will help you remain patient.
When the molting season comes, the dog will shed a lot. So, you need to get an excellent de-shedding product to lift the dead hair from time to time and keep the dog’s skin and coat in brilliant condition.
Health Issues That Affect The Shiba Inu
Generally speaking, the Shiba Inu is a healthy and robust dog, and unlike many other small-to-medium canines, they boast of their longevity. As captured in the table, you can live with your Shiba Inu dog for as long as 16 years. Actually, the Guinness Book of World Record captures that the oldest Shiba Inu lived up to 26 years.
Shiba Inu dogs are prone to developing some conditions because of the breeding of the post-war gene pool. So, you need to get your dog from a reputable breeder as they will perform the crucial health screens on both the litter and the parents. Here are some of the conditions:
For Shiba Inu dogs, this is quite a common problem. The patella, or what is informally called the knee cap, usually slips out of place, and when that happens, the dog develops the problem.
With this condition, a Shiba may experience four severity grades. On one end, the knee cap will pop into place easily, and on the other, it will stay out of its natural groove. When the condition worsens, your dog’s mobility gets severe problems, and the dog will feel pain. If the luxating patella problem is a severe issue, surgery may be needed.
As the name suggests, this condition is described by the dispositioning of the hips. Both hip joints (or just one of them) fails to form naturally. What happens is that the level of comfort and mobility will be impacted. Like luxating patella, a dog with hip dysplasia may need to undergo corrective surgery.
Like many other dogs, Shiba Inus have a particular affinity for developing allergies. If any change in lifestyle or diet happens, the dog may get impacted. In the more extreme cases, the dog may need medical attention to correct any prevailing problems.
When it comes to allergies, you need to get your vet’s opinion. They will help in the identification and treatment of the issues with ease.
Shiba Inu dogs are more likely to develop PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), glaucoma, and cataracts. To take care of that problem, a breeder needs to subject the prospective parents to ophthalmological evaluations. This will help in lowering the chances of the pups developing those issues.
Nutritional And Dietary Issues Of The Shiba Inu
Like the other canines, you need to ensure that your Japanese dog is fed on a well-balanced, high quality, and rightly-apportioned diet. As they tend to overeat (dog foodies), ensure that you control their eating behavior and habits. Remember that obesity in canines is a big problem in the US and is usually a trigger to other health conditions.
Pluses And Minuses Of Owning A Shiba Inu
1. You don’t need to put a lot of time into grooming; the Shiba Inu dog is a clean, low-maintenance pooch
2. It does not bark a lot (the noisy kind of barking)
3. The dog is not too clingy
1. For the most part, its independence comes out as aloofness
2.The Shiba Inu does not like the company of other dogs
3. Their predatory instincts (or high prey drives) make them a little too antisocial
4. Recalling the dog may be a futile effort.
Buying Or Adopting A Shiba Inu
If you do some good research, you can get a reputable breeder to give you a puppy that has been raised well and cared for. If you’re in Melbourne, Australia, you can look at the tabulated information provided here. If you’re reading this from America, try the National Shiba Club of America on their website.
Apart from buying, you can also consider adoption. If you want to give a lonely Shiba Inu a new home, try getting to your local rescue and seeing if there is one. Also, you can talk to the people running breed-specific charities to help you.
Special Part: Facts About The Shiba Inu Breed
As already mentioned, the Shiba Inu breed (which is native to Japan) is one of the most popular and enchanting dogs. This section will talk about some interesting facts about the species that you may not know. Let’s get rolling:
1. Their Breeding Was Meant To Bring Out Smart Hunters
Initially, these dogs were bred to hunt and take down bears, wild boars, and birds. Because of their dense and thick undercoat, they can withstand harsh temperatures – an essential feature that dogs need if they want to hunt actively.
2. As Captured, The Breed Is An Ancient One
Of the six (original) dogs bred natively in Japan, the Shiba Inu is the smallest. The other dogs are Shikoku Inu, Akita Inu, Kai Ken, Hokkaido, and Kishu Inu. National Geographic has it that of all the six Japanese breeds, the Shiba Inu is closely related to wolves in terms of genes. This implies that they have a significant position in the process of domestication and the wolf-versus-dog discussion.
3. A Shiba Inu Dog Should Not Be Scared
When the Japanese A-listers get angry, they will unleash a howl that is almost humanlike. Some of the times when they can howl are during nail-cutting and bathing sessions. When they scream the way they do, you understand why many people call them the drama queens of the canine world.
4. The Loyalty Of A Shiba Inu Is Noteworthy
Although they try to keep their distances away from strangers, these dogs will show complete loyalty to their families. If you know about A Tale of Maria and Three Puppies, you have the best example of how far a Shiba Inu is willing to go for its owner.
5. The Body Of A Shiba Inu Is Well-Formed
If you see the Shiba Inu for the first time, you will realize that it has a very pronounced appearance. Although they have small statures, they are quite strong because of their well-formed muscles. This means that if a Shiba Inu engages another low-to-medium dog in a fight, it will inflict a good number of punches.
6. The Dog Does Not Need Much In Terms Of Coat Care
As you have already picked out, Shiba Inu dogs are clean animals. Like cats, you will find them licking their paws to stay clean. If you are walking with the dog, you will find it avoiding puddles and moving delicately. So, a person who owns this Japanese beauty won’t need to wash it as often as they would with other breeds.
7. The Japanese Have Three References That Sum Up The Personality Of A Shiba Inu
For them to talk about the essence of a Shiba, the Japanese give the following three words:
1. Kan-i, which points to the bravery and vigilance of the breed – its trust and awareness makes it the perfect watchdog
2. Ryosei, which points to loyalty, obedience, and having a good nature
3. Soboku, which points to the natural and simple beauty of the dog
8. Although The Shiba Is A Dog, It Has Cat-Like Features
If you spend a great time with a Shiba Inu dog, you will realize that it acts like a cat. One of its feline features is independence. This means that dog training – which is an activity that requires subservience – is not easy for the Shiba Inu. Also, they spend much of their time focusing on cleanliness and self-care, just like cats.
9. The NSCA, Or The National Shiba Club Of America, Exists And Is Quite Active
Because of the popularity that the dog has gained for itself, it already has a fandom. The fandom bore the organization which works on standardization and promotion of the Shiba Inu.
If you visit their website, you will get advice and information on taking care of a Shiba Inu. Actually, it also plans events – in the US – for owners and fans of the breed.
10. As A-Listers, The Celebrities Are Loved By Celebrities
As one of the most popular dogs, Shiba Inus have gotten the attention of some of Hollywood’s celebrities. Some famous people who own Shiba Inus are Roberta Flack, Kelly Osbourne, and Daniel Dae Kim. Also, reports have it that Dustin Hoffman has been seen, from time to time, with a Shiba Inu. Others note that the dog is not his and only belongs to Jake, his son.
Questions About The Shiba Inu
1. Can A Mixed Shiba And A Hybrid One Make Excellent Pets?
Yes. If the dogs are in the right home, they will make good pets. Before you choose to bring in either type of Shina Inu, you first need to know the difference between mixed breed, crossbreed, and purebred dogs.
2. I Need To Decide Whether Or Not The Shiba Inu Is The Breed I Am Looking For. Where Can I Get Help?
The easiest way is to talk to a breeder who specifically breeds the Shiba Inu. They will offer you personal consultations, and by the end, you will know if you want the Japanese beauty or not. You can also seek help from a consulting service.
3. I Went To The Pet Shop Yesterday And Saw An Adorable Shiba Inu Pup. When I Talked To The Store’s Manager, They Assured Me That The Dog Was Bought From A Responsible Breeder. Could It Be True?
No, reputable breeders do not place their pup in pet shops to be resold. So, the store manager is just sneaking up lies. If you want to get a Shiba Inu, you need to know to buy a dog either online or from breeders. If you want a dog from a reputable breeder, be ready to spend a little more than you had anticipated.
4. What Should I Have In Mind While Looking For An Excellent Shiba Inu Breeder?
Always err on the side of caution because many people who claim to be breeders or offer Shiba Inu puppies are clueless, unknowledgeable, and irresponsible.
5. How Do I Know Which Shiba Inu Puppy To Pick?
The best way to do it is by engaging all the puppies (of the litter) in personality tests.
6. I Want A Guidebook That Talks About Taking Care Of A Shiba Inu. What Content Areas Should I Look For In My Search?
The book you get should have advice on health care, feeding, and vaccination. Also, it should help you to start on the right foot. On top of that, it should capture topics like socialization, respect training, and housebreaking. Finally, it should talk about the things you should avoid when training them.
If you do one thing wrong, you may end up with an angry and utterly aggressive dog.
7. I Need To Housebreak My Japanese Shiba Inu. How Do I Do It?
For any dog, the key to housebreak training is confinement in all its forms.
8. Over Time, My Shiba Inu Has Developed Behavioral Issues. How Can I Solve Them?
The best thing you can use for those behavioral problems is not obedience training; it is respect training.
9. Should I Neuter Or Spay The Shiba Inu I Am Planning To Get?
If you weigh the pluses and minuses, you will see that those fixing surgeries are essential. They help to deal with health problems that may arise if the dog stays intact. So, yes – you should go for the spaying or neutering surgeries.
10. Where Do I Get The Get Vet Info About Shiba Inus?
Any advice given by vet immunologists and licensed vets is excellent. You should start from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and get a certified vet.
11. Should I Go For A Female Or A Male Shiba Inu?
This is probably the most difficult pet-related question. The best answer is that both female and male pets are excellent – you just need to know the pluses and minuses of having either. If you can manage the cons – either of the male or the female – you can choose.
12. Should I Care About Registration Papers When Getting My Shiba Inu?
Well, you first need to know the pluses of having registration papers. If your dog is listed in AKC’s or CKS’s registry, it stands a chance of appearing in shows and competition. Also, papers show that the dog has an excellent pedigree.