A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Your Shiba Inus

Understanding Your Shiba Inus

You must have come across the Shiba Inu breed if you are considering getting a medium-sized dog. Not only are these ancient Japanese muscle dogs cute, but they also make great companions worldwide.

In this post, we will provide you with all the essential information about Shiba Inus, covering their history, personality, care requirements, etc.

Shiba Inu History: What Are Shiba Inus Bred For?

The Shiba Inu is said to be one of the oldest dog breeds in Japan.

The earliest evidence of these curl-tailed and small-statured dogs dates back to the 3rd century BC but it is believed that the dogs existed way earlier.

The breed accompanied early Japanese immigrants in 7000 BC. Archaeological findings have also revealed the presence of dogs similar in size to Shibas in areas inhabited by the Jomon-jin people.

This tribe of ancients occupied Japan between 14,500 BC and 300 AD.

Even with their short frames, they are used for hunting games, birds, and wild boar. Primitive drawings depicted Shiba Inu-like dogs as chasing wild prey.

It is now treated more as a companion dog than a hunting dog.

How Big Do Shiba Inus Get?

Shiba Inus are a small to medium-sized dog breed.

On average, an adult male Shiba Inu stands at a height ranging from 14.5 to 16.5 inches at the shoulder, whereas the female Shiba Inus are slightly shorter, typically measuring between 13.5 and 15.5 inches in height.

Regarding weight, male Shiba Inus usually weigh between 18 to 24 pounds, while females, who are generally a bit lighter, usually weigh between 15 to 20 pounds.

Shiba Inus grow at their own pace, and it may take up to a year for puppies to attain their full adult size

Shiba Inus Temperament: What Is It Like to Own a Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is known to be a curious free-spirited dog breed. They enjoy exploring their surroundings and try to break out from their confinements when bored.

The Shibu Inu breed is loyal to its owner but reserved around strangers. They are smart, intelligent, and agile and do not appreciate a dull moment. It’s best to supply them with toys to keep them entertained.

Although Shiba Inu are loyal, they can also be stubborn. They can show stubbornness especially when they don’t see the need to do what you want them to do. You will need to be consistent and positive to effectively train Shiba Inu.

Since they have a hunting trait, they tend to chase small animals. It is advisable to keep them on a leash or in a confined space to avoid them from running after prey.

Is Shiba Inu Good with Kids?

The compatibility between your Shiba Inu and your child depends on the child and the dog. Shiba Inu can be reserved and show independence. Sometimes, this can affect their tolerance towards children more than other breeds.

Remember that Shiba Inu has a strong prey drive and may see small children as potential prey. Because of this, it’s always advisable not to leave them alone with small children.

But with proper training and socialization, Shiba Inu can become hospitable around children.

Do Shiba Inus Get Along With Cats?

Shiba Inus can make excellent cat friends, depending on their attitude and how they are introduced. Most Shiba Inus can coexist peacefully with cats if properly socialized and trained.

When introducing a Shiba Inu to your cat, ensure it’s done slowly and in a carefully monitored environment. Start with brief, managed times together. Then gradually expand the amount of time they spend around each other to foster a beneficial relationship.

Shibas can be aggressive and territorial. Create rules and boundaries for both animals and make sure they each have their spot to retreat to when necessary.

When they are together, keep an eye on them until you are satisfied they can coexist without conflict.

When bringing home a Shiba Inu puppy and there already is a cat in the household, start socializing the pup while they are still young.

Introduce them to cats as well as other animals in a positive and orderly manner so that they can begin learning the correct way to interact with them.

Shiba Inus Intelligence: How Smart Are They?

Shiba Inus are not the smartest dogs, ranking 93rd out of 138 breeds in obedience intelligence. They are just average at following commands and doing tasks. But remember, a dog’s behavior and trainability depend on more than just intelligence.

Shibas can be tricky to train because they are independent and stubborn. They also have a strong instinct to chase small animals, which makes them hard to control around them.

You can train Shibas well by being patient, and consistent, and using positive rewards like treats and praise. Start training them early with a gentle approach. Also, keep their minds engaged by giving them puzzle toys and interactive games. This helps prevent them from getting bored and behaving badly.

How Often Do Shiba Inus Bark?

Shiba Inus do bark sometimes, but not a lot. They are not as noisy as some other dogs, but they can still make barking sounds. Instead of barking, they might also whine, growl, or howl.

A Shiba Inu’s barking frequency depends on their personality, mood, and environment. They might bark more if they feel threatened or stressed but may not bark at all if they are happy and relaxed.

Excessive barking could indicate an underlying problem like anxiety or boredom, so it’s essential to address the cause if your Shiba Inu barks too much.

How Much Sleep Should a Shiba Inu Have?

Adult Shiba Inus need about 10 to 18 hours of sleep each day due to physiological changes in their bodies during adulthood.

Shiba Inu puppies need approximately 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day for proper physical and mental development. Ensuring they get enough rest is essential for their health. Shiba Inus tend to develop sleep habits similar to their owners, reflecting their owners’ activity levels and demeanor.

Best Age to Breed a New Shiba Inu

Breeding a Shiba Inu requires careful planning and consideration. The best age to breed a Shiba Inu is between one and two years old. By this time, the Shiba Inu has passed the puppy phase and has been exposed to the world.

Breeding a Shiba Inu too early or too late can be harmful to the mother and puppies. If bred before one year old, there can be pregnancy and delivery problems. If bred after six years old, it increases the risk of health issues like cancer and hip dysplasia.

When breeding a Shiba Inu, it’s vital to consider their temperament and health. Only healthy and well-behaved Shiba Inus should be bred to have healthy and well-behaved puppies.

Work with a reputable breeder who provides guidance and support throughout the breeding process. They will conduct health checks and genetic testing to ensure the puppies are healthy and free from genetic disorders

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Best Age to Spay/Neuter a Shiba Inu

Deciding to spay or neuter your Shiba Inu is important for their health and behavior. It’s best to do it when they are around 6-7 months old. This helps keep them safe during the procedure and reduces the risk of diseases as they grow older. Also, it can make your Shiba Inu less aggressive.

It’s best to spay or neuter your Shiba Inu when they are between four and nine months old. Most vets agree with this timing, and it can improve their behavior, depending on whether they are male or female.

But always talk to your veterinarian first to decide what’s right for your Shiba Inu, considering their unique needs and health.

What Shiba Inus Can (And Can’t) Eat?

It is ideal to know what foods are safe and unsafe for your Shiba Inu. While they are generally healthy, some human foods can be toxic to them. Here’s a list:

Foods Your Shiba Inu Can Eat

  • Meat: Shiba Inus can eat beef, chicken, and fish, but take out bones and fat before giving it to them.
  • Vegetables: Safe vegetables are carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes, which have important vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruits: Shiba Inus can have apples and bananas sometimes, as they are good sources of fiber and vitamins.
  • Dairy products: It’s okay to give them a little cheese and yogurt, but avoid milk as it can upset their stomach.

Foods Your Shiba Inu Can’t Eat

  • Chocolate: Dangerous for Shiba Inus, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
  • Grapes and raisins: Can harm their kidneys, so never give them foods with these fruits.
  • Onions and garlic: These can lead to anemia, so keep them away from your Shiba Inu.
  • Avocado: Causes vomiting and diarrhea, so avoid giving it to your dog.

Are Shiba Inus Easy to Train?

Training a Shiba Inu can be hard because they are stubborn and independent. But with patience, consistency, and positive rewards, you can train them well.

Understanding Shiba Inu’s Personality

Shiba Inus have a unique personality as they are independent thinkers and can be dominant. They may be aloof and reserved, which makes gaining their trust challenging. Training them requires a different approach compared to other breeds.

Tips for Training Your Shiba Inu

  • Start training early: Begin teaching your Shiba Inu from a young age to build a strong foundation and make learning easier.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward them with treats, toys, and praise when they do well with commands.
  • Be consistent: Stick to a routine and use the same commands and techniques each time you train them.
  • Keep training sessions short: Due to their short attention span, keep training sessions brief, around five to ten minutes.
  • Don’t use physical punishment: Avoid harsh methods like hitting or yelling since Shiba Inus are sensitive and won’t respond well.

Can Shiba Inus Swim?

Shiba Inus can swim, but it’In this post, we will provide you with all the essential information about Shiba Inus, covering their history, personality, care requirements, etc.s not their favorite thing. With patient training, you can help them learn to enjoy swimming. It may be challenging due to their stubborn nature, so start in shallow water and slowly go deeper as they get used to it.

When you teach your Shiba Inu to swim, make sure it’s in a safe and positive place. Never force them into the water because that can make them scared. Instead, use treats and praise to encourage them to swim.

Some Shiba Inus may not like swimming, and that’s fine. Always respect your Shiba Inu’s feelings and never make them do something they don’t want to do.

Can Shiba Inus Run Long Distances?

Shiba Inus are a type of dog that loves to run and play. They are fast and agile, and they can go on long runs without problems. But they need to be trained, and there are some important things to keep in mind.

They are not meant for long-distance running but can still run for a while if they are healthy. Their short legs and low center of gravity help them run on uneven ground.

If you want to go for a long run with your Shiba Inu, start with short runs and make them longer gradually. Pay attention to how your dog looks and acts during the run. If they seem tired or too hot, slow down or stop for a rest.

During the run, give your Shiba Inu water to drink by bringing a water bottle and a collapsible bowl. Also, avoid running them in the hottest parts of the day to protect them from heat stroke.

Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic because they have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. This shedding can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. They also produce a lot of saliva and shed skin cells, which can worsen allergies.

All dogs, including so-called hypoallergenic breeds, can cause allergies in some people. If you want a Shiba Inu but have allergies, regular grooming with brushing and bathing can help reduce allergens. Using air purifiers and vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters can also be useful to remove allergens from the air and surfaces in your home.

Do Shiba Inus Shed?

Shiba Inus shed a lot. If you’re planning to get one, be aware of their shedding. Shiba Inus have a thick double coat to protect them from different weather. They shed hair throughout the year, so expect to find it on clothes and around the house regularly.

Twice a year, in spring and fall, they have big shedding periods, leading to more hair shedding. Regular grooming, like brushing and using a deshedding tool, can help manage shedding by removing loose fur and preventing tangles.

Can Shiba Inus Stay Outside in the Heat?

Shiba Inus are Japanese dogs with a thick coat that keeps them warm in the cold but makes it hard to handle heat.

It’s not recommended to leave them outside in hot weather for too long. This is because they can get heat exhaustion with body temperatures reaching up to 105-106° F, rising much higher than usual.

If your Shiba Inu stays outside, make sure they have shade, a cool place to rest, and enough water to drink. Don’t leave them out during the hottest parts of the day; instead, take them outside in the cooler early morning or late evening.

If you live in a hot area, make sure to have an air conditioning unit for your Shiba Inu. Keep the temperature inside between 78 – 80 degrees. Offer them a doggy pool to cool down, and avoid placing their bed or crate in direct sunlight.

Can Shiba Inus Stay Outside in the Cold?

Shiba Inus have been surviving the severe winters of Japan’s mountains for millennia. Shiba Inus have thick fur to stay warm in the cold, but they need care in extreme temperatures.

They can handle harsh winters in Japan, but if you live in a very cold place, limit their time outside and give them a warm shelter. When it gets very cold (below 20°F or -6°C), bring your Shiba Inu inside or provide them with a warm shelter outdoors. Use blankets or a heated pad to keep them cozy.

Keep an eye on them for signs of shivering, tiredness, or loss of interest in their usual activities, as it could mean they’re feeling too cold.

Can Shiba Inus Live In Apartments?

Shiba Inus are popular pets and can live in apartments. But remember, they are active and need regular exercise. Take them for walks and play with them to keep them happy and healthy.

Shiba Inus can be noisy and bark, which might be a problem in apartments if your neighbors don’t like noise. They also shed a lot, so be ready for extra cleaning. Regular grooming helps, but you’ll still need to vacuum and sweep more often than with non-shedding dogs.

Are Shiba Inus Good Service Dogs?

Training a Shiba Inu as a service dog can be tough. They are independent and stubborn. But with the right training and socialization, they can become good service dogs.

Shiba Inus make good service dogs because they are a medium size, easy to handle and move around. They are agile and can do physically demanding tasks. They are smart and can learn to do many things like fetching items, opening doors, and turning lights on and off.

Shiba Inus are also alert and have a strong sense of smell, which helps them detect medical conditions like seizures and low blood sugar levels.

Shiba Inus may not be good for all service jobs. Tasks needing high obedience like guiding the blind may not suit them. They may also not be comfortable with tasks requiring lots of interaction with strangers because they can be reserved and distant with people they don’t know.

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Shiba Inu Mixed Breeds

You have many choices for Shiba Inu mixed breeds. These dogs combine the best qualities of Shiba Inu with other breeds, making them unique and great pets for families.

Here are some popular Shiba Inu mixes:

  • Shibakita: A mix of Shiba Inu and Akita Inu, playful, strong, and a good watchdog.
  • Shiba Husky: A mix of Shiba Inu and Siberian Husky, with a thick coat and lots of energy; great for active families.
  • Corgi Inu: A mix of Shiba Inu and Welsh Corgi, with a cute appearance and a friendly personality.
  • Shepherd Inu: A mix of Shiba Inu and German Shepherd, loyal and protective; makes a great family pet.
  • Shiba Chi: A mix of Shiba Inu and Chihuahua, small with a big personality; ideal for apartment living.
  • Pom-Shi: A mix of Shiba Inu and Pomeranian, fluffy and playful; perfect for families with kids.
  • Shibapoo: A mix of Shiba Inu and Poodle, with a hypoallergenic coat and a friendly personality; suitable for those with allergies.
  • Shiba Collie: A mix of Shiba Inu and Border Collie, loyal and energetic; a great pet for active families.
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