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Is the Shiba Inu the Right Breed for you?

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So you think a Shiba Inu is the right dog for you and your family?   Here are some of the unique characteristics of this "big dog in a small body" that could make this breed a challenge to the average dog owner.


  • In their eyes, Shibas can take on the world no matter how big the foe or the task. They are dominant with other dogs and do not usually get along well with other "bossy" dogs of the same sex. Many Shibas will, however, get along great with another dog or cat that agrees the Shiba is boss.
  • Shibas can be runners. The Shiba Inu is a natural hunter. Given a chance, Shibas will take off in search of game. It is advisable to never trust your Shiba off-lead unless in a fenced yard.
  • The Shiba's least favorite word is "come."  They will usually take your number and get back to you, when called.
  • Shibas have a mind of their own. While it is possible to obedience train a Shiba, it is a challenge. Tell him to sit and he sits . . . sometimes. If there is something in it for him, and it is convenient at the time.
  • Shibas always like to be in charge; their favorite word is "mine." Although not "barky" dogs, they do yodel and scream anytime they feel they are being violated, such as nail trimming, bathing, and leash training.
  • Shibas are a double-coated breed, which means they blow their *entire* undercoat once or twice a year.
  • From the time they are puppies Socialize Socialize SOCIALIZE!

If all this hasn't discouraged you, then maybe this is the dog for you. Now read about the wonderful side of this beautiful little dog.

  • Shibas are a relatively healthy and sturdy breed. Their life span is anywhere from 12 to 15 years or more.
  • Shibas usually housetrain very easily, often in just days.
  • Shibas are very much big dogs in little packages and noted for their loyalty to their family.
  • Shibas are very intelligent, proud, and dignified.
  • Shibas are both active and adaptable dogs. They enjoy hearty romps in the backyard, but do well in apartment life, as long as the owner does not mind occasional rounds of "Shiba 500" in the living room.
  • Shibas are extremely people-oriented and require a good amount of love and attention from their owners to be happy. They do best as house dogs.
  • Shibas are very clean. almost cat-like, and will actually clean themselves and each other. They have very little doggie odor and only need light brushing with an occasional bath.
  • Shibas can be very good when raised with children, although it is extremely important to teach children how to behave around dogs. Children should NOT be allowed to tease and torment a dog. NEVER leave a young child unattended with a dog, no matter what the breed, for the dog's safety as well as the child's.
  • Shibas can be good watch dogs and will often be seen perched on high objects, (such as the back of the couch, picnic tables, etc). in order to keep an eye on things.

One more thing to know about Shibas:

they are habit-forming and most people can't stop with just one.

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