Are Shiba Inus Cuddly? Here’s What You Need to Know

Now, if you’re wondering if Shiba Inus are cuddly, well, it depends on their mood. But so far, in our life together with Hara for five years now, I can say that we are blessed and lucky to have him in our lives.

I chose Hara, my beautiful male cream Shiba Inu, among all the other dogs at the adoption center five years ago because when I saw him looking at me, I knew right there that we would take care of each other. And I wasn’t wrong. I have always loved and treated Hara as if he’s a part of our family, and we’re proud of how great he is as a dog and as our most loyal best friend.

And if you’re contemplating on choosing the Shiba Inu, there are plenty of things that you should take note of. Trust me, I know. Because I own one for five years now, and it’s been an incredible ride of life.

The Origins of The Shiba Inu Dog Breed

The Shiba Inu is a Japanese dog breed with small to medium size. Originally bred as a hunting dog, Shiba Inus are the smallest among the six distinct and original spitz breeds that are native to Japan: (1) Shiba Inu, (2) Akita Inu, (3) Hokkaido Ken, (4) Kai Ken, (5) Kishu Ken, and (6) Shikoku Ken.

Since they were initially bred for hunting, the smallish Shiba Inus can adapt well to hiking terrains and mountainous trails. Even if they look quite similar to Hokkaido Ken and Akita Inu, Shiba Inus has a unique bloodline defined by a smaller body and distinct temperament. 

It is said that Shiba Inu is a basal breed that has been existing even before the modern breeds had emerged in the 19th century. They originally lived in the mountainous Chubu region and was bred to help in hunting for small game.

Then came 1954, when the first Shiba Inu was brought to the US. In 1992, the American Kennel Club had acknowledged the breed. From then on, Shiba Inus are said to be the top companion dog in Japan. Moreover, the American Kennel Club had stated that Shiba Inus are within the top 50 popular breeds in the US.

How Do Shiba Inus Look Like?

Shiba Inus have a compact body with well-formed muscles and their ears, face, and legs look like that of a fox. The females grow up to 13 to 16 inches in height, while the males can grow up to 14 to 17 inches. Hara, my five-year-old male Shiba Inu, is 16.5 inches tall.

The average weight of female Shiba Inus is 8 kilograms. Meanwhile, the males can weigh for an average of 10.5 kilograms. As of this writing, my dog Hara weighs 9.85 kilograms.

Since Shiba Inus are on the smallish side, they have moderate bones. There are six primary fur colors of the Shiba Inu breed: (1) black sesame, (2) black and tan, (3) cream, (4) red, (5) red sesame, and (6) sesame. The red fur coating is the most popular color, while the cream one is the most admired. I think this is also the reason why I instantly fell in love with Hara, my cream Shiba Inu when I first saw him five years ago.

Talking about fur, Shiba Inus are double-coated. The undercoat is thick and soft while the outer coat is straight and stiff. Their fur in the entire body is short, except for the tail. Shiba Inus also have 2-inch guard hairs that protect or shield the underlying skin by repelling the snow or rain.

Are Shiba Inus Cuddly 2

The Unique Characteristics of Shiba Inus

  • Tail
    The hairs on their tails are a bit longer and stand outward in a brush. Their tail is one of the unique qualities of Shiba Inus because they are curled, forming a small curl or ring. Hara’s tail looks like a cute fur ball on top of his lower back, and until now, I still enjoy touching and looking at it.

    The hairs on their tails are a bit longer and stand outward in a brush. Their tail is one of the unique qualities of Shiba Inus because they are curled, forming a small curl or ring. Hara’s tail looks like a cute fur ball on top of his lower back, and until now, I still enjoy touching and looking at it.
  • Temperament
    The Japanese describe Shiba Inus with three words: (1) soboku, which means alertness, (2) ryosei, which means good nature, and (3) kaani-i, which means spirited boldness.

    These three words genuinely apply to Shiba Inus and differentiate them from other dog breeds. Hara is a clear and healthy depiction of these traits. Hara is fiery, bold, mature, and confident in his skin, and I am sure that others who own a Shiba Inu are delighted by their personality just like myself.
  • Strength, Cleanliness, and Independence
    Since they are natural hunters, Shiba Inus are aggressive and strong. They love to hunt and stalk smaller animals like mice or insects. At home, Hara would always catch and prey on mice and insects whenever he senses them.

    I never had a problem with cleaning or grooming Hara because he is squeaky clean. Just like cats! Moreover, his independence and “aloofness” are so adorable, and sometimes it would feel like Hara is also a human who knows how to mind his own business.

So, Are Shiba Inus Cuddly or Not?

Yes and no. It depends on their mood. Also, they are comfortable and can sometimes be cuddly with their owners/companions. But, they can be very snobbish and aggressive when relating to strangers or smaller animals.

In my own experience, whenever I want to hug Hara, he would kindly allow me to snuggle him. But when it comes to him initiating the cuddling, sometimes he would do it, sometimes he would not. It truly depends on his mood.

A Reliable And Independent Dog And Best Friend

What I and all other owners/companions love about Shiba Inus are their loyalty, agility, charm, and independence. We are busy at school, and we don’t have that much time to relax or do other things. This is the reason why Hara, our Shiba Inu, best suits our way of life. He is not clingy, is very clean, and is easy to take care of. He’s our reliable and independent dog and best friend.

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