The Shiba Inu is a companion dog that is defined by its boldness and bravery. Shiba Inus are small to medium in size, and they look relatively tame and peaceful, but behind their short stature is a dog with a big and robust personality.
My male cream Shiba Inu named Hara, standing at 16.5 inches tall and weighing around 10 kilograms, is precisely like what I have described above. He’s always on the go and would never back down, especially when provoked or in the mood.
However, when he was just a puppy, I noticed something quite different about him. Of all the things that he shouldn’t like, it is water that he’s naturally uncomfortable with. I saw that whenever it’s bath time, he would act aloof and would show that he’s not in the mood.
Fortunately, with my persistence in grooming and cleaning him with water, after a few months, he seemed to have a change of heart towards it. Now, after five years, he looks a lot more used to water as running or walking by the clean lake is something that he truly enjoys. Also, we don’t have any problems with him whenever it’s bath time.
How Is The Shiba Inu As A Companion Dog?
As a companion dog, Shiba Inus are very clean, independent, healthy, intelligent, and devoted. These are among the reasons why I love Hara and why I am very proud of him.
Shiba Inus are squeaky clean. Yes, you guessed it right, just like cats! They don’t drool, and they tend to themselves, making sure that their fur and bodies are neat and tidy. Moreover, they make sure that their food and drinking water are spotless, and their beds, toys, and spaces are also clean.
Shiba Inus are very independent. They can be left alone without causing too much fuss as they do their own thing, although not all the time. They have a strong will and act on their instincts and decisions. When they see something that tickles their curiosity, they won’t hesitate to move and study it closer.
Shiba Inus are highly intelligent. When Hara was just a puppy, he quickly learned what his name is. Shiba Inus can also grasp instructions and remember rules reasonably easily, making them very fun to train.
Finally, they are devoted and loyal. For Shiba Inus, the family is essential. These dogs make sure that his family and companions are well and happy. Whenever they sense that something is wrong, they are easily affected, and they try their best to make their family happy again.
A Short History Of The Shiba Inu Blood Line
The six authentic Japanese spitz breeds are Shiba Inu, Akita Inu, Kai Ken, Kishu Ken, Hokkaido Ken, and Shikoku Ken. They all look somewhat similar, but if you look at them closer, you will notice the differences in shape, size, and features.
Before they were introduced to the USA, the Shiba Inus were prolific in Chubu, the mountainous region of Japan. They were bred to become hunter dogs, and they’re very good at it. They were very helpful in stalking and hunting for small to medium-sized game.
It was in the 1950s when the Shiba Inu spitz breed was first introduced in the USA. In the 1990s, the Shiba Inu was formally recognized by the AKC or the American Kennel Club. Based on statistics, the Shiba Inu is one of the popular breeds of companion dogs in the USA and Japan.
Are They Afraid of Water?
When I first noticed that Hara, as a puppy, was quite uncomfortable with water and taking a bath, I immediately researched the reason why is this so. I was a bit surprised when I learned that Shiba Inus are not a water dog breed.
“Are there water dog breeds?” I remember asking myself. And yes, there are! Some of the famous water dog breeds are Portuguese Water Dog, Irish Water Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Curly Coated Retriever, and Spanish Water Dog.
These kinds of breeds have a strong affinity for water. They enjoy playing in the water, and they eventually grow to become great swimmers.
However, Shiba Inus are not among these breeds. They do not instinctively like and go to the water. They prefer being dry and tidy. They veer away from or walk around puddles so that they won’t wet their paws.
Hara is just like this. But since I trained him early to get used to taking a bath, he eventually let me do it every time I groom him. Maybe he just tolerates it, but what’s important is he’s not “afraid” of bath time like he used to when he was young. Since he is such a clean dog, I wish him only seldomly.
In terms of drinking water, Shiba Inus prefer it to be very clean and without any impurities. In terms of swimming, they can be trained to do it as part of their socialization training, and sometimes they would even enjoy swimming with or without any company.
Hara is yet to swim as we rarely go on swimming vacations, but we make sure to bring and walk Hara in the park now and then. With these, I could say the Shiba Inus are innately uncomfortable with water, but they can be trained to endure and enjoy it.
However, if they grow up without being adequately exposed to water, they would only form a loving relationship with it whenever they drink clean water.
A Highly Intelligent Dog And Best Friend
Shiba Inus, just like my five-year-old dog Hara, are brilliant companion dogs. They are sophisticated in such a way that they are independent and strong-willed.
When they decide to do something, they will do so without any permission from anyone. Even though they’re not a water dog breed, they could be trained to treat it as a friend and not a foe.
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