“Wait. What? Did you say Shiba Inu?” Most people would say and ask this question because most people are unfamiliar with the name Shiba Inu. But if you show them a photo of an adorable fox-looking medium-sized dog with short fur and distinctively curled tail, then they would probably say, “Oh yes! I know Shiba Inu!”””
Shiba Inus are known for their fox-looking face, ears, and legs. But they are more widely known for their temperament and personality. I, for one, have been living with a beautiful male cream Shiba Inu, which I named Hara, for five long years now and I must say, it’s quite an experience.
Where Did Shiba Inus Come From?
When I first saw Hara five years ago at an adoption center, I wondered, “Where did this beautiful dog come from?” I learned from the staff that Shiba Inus originated from Japan. Feeling my connection with him, I decided to choose him over the other dogs at the center. Five years have passed, we know that that was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I remember the first few days that puppy Hara started living in our home. I made sure that I have read and understood everything about him and his fellow Shiba Inus. Here’s a rundown of what I learned:
- Shiba Inus are one of the six original spitz breeds native to the vibrant country of Japan. These include the Akita Inu (the breed of Hachiko), Hokkaido Ken, Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Shiba Inu (the breed of my dog, Hara), and Shikoku Ken. The Shiba Inu is often mistaken as Akita Inu or Hokkaido Ken because of their somewhat similar appearances. However, the Shiba Inu is unique because of its distinct bloodline, small to medium size, and sophisticated personality.
- Shiba Inu is a special basal breed that had existed even before the modern breeds came about in the 19th century. Back when they first lived and thrived in the Chubu region of Japan, Shiba Inus were widely bred as hunting dogs. Their initial primary purpose was to help in hunting small game such as rabbits and birds.
- Since Shiba Inus are born as hunters, they are naturally energetic, aggressive, driven, curious, cautious, active, and intelligent. Most importantly, they are very loyal and devoted to their owners/companions. However, they can be very snobbish and aggressive towards strangers and small animals.
- They can live for up to 12 to 15 years. The Shiba Inu is a healthy and robust dog breed with few known health problems or conditions. In terms of their body and appearance, the male Shiba Inus are 14 to 17 inches tall, and the females 13 to 16 inches tall. The males weigh an average of 10.5 kilograms while the females an average of 8 kilograms. Since this type of breed is on the smallish side, their bones are moderate yet vigorous.
- There are six beautiful colors of the Shiba Inu’s fur. These include (1) sesame, (2) red sesame, (3) red, (4) cream, (5) black sesame, and (6) black and tan. These smart hunter dogs are double-coated. Their outer coat is stiff and straight, and their undercoat is soft and thick. Their tails are unique because it has long hairs and is distinctively curled up to its back.
Hara, my five-year-old male Shiba Inu, has a luscious cream fur, which is what instantly caught my eye back when I first saw him. Today, he stands at 16.5 inches tall and weighs almost 10 kilograms. His muscles are well developed, and he has been very healthy and robust. Since we don’t have any kids yet, we treat and love Hara like our own child.
Are They Cuddly Or Not?
If you’re wondering if Shiba Inus are cuddly or not, the answer is “it depends.” What sets Shiba Inus apart from other dog breeds is its temperament and personality. They can be cuddly when they are in the mood, but aloof when they’re not.
The Japanese describe the traits of Shiba Inus with three words: (1) alertness or soboku, (2) spirited boldness or kaani-i, and (3) good nature or ryosei. These traits make the Shiba Inu a brilliant and remarkable dog breed.
You don’t have to worry, because the Shiba Inus can be trained well in terms of socialization. Even if they are born fierce and bold, they adapt well to people and animal companions with proper training.
Based on my own experience, Hara, at first, was not entirely friendly with guests at home. He was only comfortable with us. But when we began training and exposing him to interact with other people and animals such as in the park or gatherings, he slowly put down his guard and trusted that no matter where he goes, we will be there to take care of him.
So… Are They Good Family Dogs?
Shiba Inus are independent, intelligent, reliable, and aggressive dogs. If you train them well, they can be very good with all your family members, even with your small kids and other pets. They are very loyal and devoted and will make sure that you all are safe.
However, some Shiba Inus could have inherited or acquired some problems on health and temperament, which could sometimes make them highly cautious and always on the pounce. These would make relating to smaller kids and pets more challenging to manage.
For Hara, I know that if our family grows, he will be surprised by it at first. But, since we trained him well in terms of socialization, I know that he will learn that our baby will also be one of his trusted companions for life.
Shiba Inu, A Strong And Independent Dog
Shiba Inus, just like my dog Hara, are genuinely beautiful companion dogs. Even if they are born hunters, they also create a special bond with their owners/companions. Therefore, these durable and independent dogs are charming, intelligent, and adorable to have at home together with the family.
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While taking Shiba Inus on a walk, you will turn many heads and get many compliments.