Your Shiba Inu puppy will grow up into a big dog very soon, so a little bit of planning and preparation will go a long way in helping you raise it right. Before you bring your Shiba pup home, you might want to learn a bit about its temperament, size and other details that can help you during training. Here’s a brief guide about the Shiba Inu.
Characteristics and facts about the Shiba Inu
- This dog breed is characterized by erect ears, tight tail that curls and a head proportionate to the body. They have tight lips, black noses and triangular set eyes which are very dark with dark rims.
- In Japan, this dog has been designated the ‘National Treasure’ status due to its historical and cultural contribution and significance.
- Size: Males measure between 14 ½ and 16 ½ inches at withers while females measure up to 13 ½ to 15 ½ inches. Average weight is 23 pounds for males and 17 for females.
- Shibas come in three colors: Bright orange or red, red-sesame and black and tan.
- Interesting fact: The movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale features many Shiba Inu puppies although the real Hachi was an Akita Inu.
- Shiba Inu Doge and Shiba Inu meme are popular terms featuring this breed. The shiba inu doge meme of 2013 went viral featuring the picture of this dog surrounded by colorful text in comic sans font depicted below.
Where to find a Shiba Inu
A simple search for Shibas will give you a long list of breeders. However, be careful as there are many backyard breeders who might not have spent time researching bloodlines to match parents. The National Shiba Club of USA is a good place for such information. Typical Shiba Inu prices range between $1000 and $2000, since the popularity of this breed has gone up in recent times in the USA. Do not settle for a bargain puppy that you find through newspaper advertisement – you are getting a companion, not a used car. An unhealthy puppy can cost you thousands of dollars in veterinary bills and possibly a fortune in heartbreak as well.
Basic training principles
There is a great deal of difference in training an adult dog and a Shiba Inu puppy. At the puppy stage, your pet will be like a sponge-ready to learn and absorb everything. So it is best to train your pet before he turns 2 years old. He should be able to learn basic commands at this age and also indulge in games and sports. Your pup will attach to one person in your family as his leader/alpha. Training a Shiba Inu requires consistency. This smart breed can be easily trained with loving kindness, patience and regularity. Shiba pups are easy to housebreak-in many cases, placing them outside after meals or nap times is generally enough to teach them appropriate method of toileting.
This Japanese breed has a bold spirit, keen awareness and confidence of his own worth. Many Shiba owners report that their dog won’t start a fight, but will be happy to finish one. With proper training, a Shiba owner can raise a good natured pet that is obedient, faithful, loyal and respectful. He is a well adapted dog with lot of energy and love for going on long walks. Females show aggression and tend to bark a lot. Always check with a vet about the reason behind this excess barking. Most Shibas will bark to alert their owner of danger. With proper obedience training, you can control this behavior.
Common health issues
A healthy Shiba can live for nearly 12-15 years. The oldest Shiba died at 26 years of age! This breed needs moderate exercise, so make sure you keep them active. Regular vet checkups and healthy diet can help prevent many diseases common to this breed including hip dysplasia, eye problems, PRA and patellar luxation or slipped kneecap.
The Shibas are known as a wash-and-wear dogs as they need very little grooming. They are fundamentally very healthy and have a short coarse coat that is naturally waterproof. The thick coat protects them from severe winters. Shiba Inu shedding can be a nuisance and is heaviest during seasonal changes and in summers. Daily brushing can help prevent this problem. Owners must not cut or trim the coat too much as it keeps them protected from extreme temperatures.