If you’ve been friends with me for awhile, you know how highly I think of Shiba Inus. I had two, and since the last one passed away my parents have gotten a new Shiba puppy.
They are the best dog breed because they always look cute (even when they’re not a puppy, and they’re old and geriatric), they’re small enough to pick up, but big enough to hold their own in the dog park, they’re great apartment dogs (they don’t bark! and they can hold their bladders for forever – our previous dog, Lady, could go 12-14 hours in the house without being let out if we were gone for the day), and they look so unique and cuddly (like a husky! or a fox! or a wolf!).
The Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed, very popular there but rare in the US (though they are becoming more popular now), and they are incredibly smart, though very independent and may choose not to obey you. It is a non-working breed, which basically just means you don’t have to have a sheep farm to keep them happy. They do like to hunt though – Lady was known to break through the electric fence in pursuit of a squirrel every now and then.
Apparently Whit and I like pets that are more like another animal than their own species. Tela is a Ragdoll, which are known for their puppy-like affection towards their owners. Shibas, on the other hand, are very cat-like in the dog world. They hate to be dirty, and only need to be bathed every few months, as they will generally keep themselves clean. They are aloof, and will often walk right past you when you call their name, although they will certainly stay for a good scruff scratch.
My all-time favorite feature of the Shiba is their precious howl and the noises they make instead of barking. WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN A DOG THAT DOESN’T BARK!?! Okay, maybe a dog that doesn’t shed. Shibas don’t have that going for them. But everyone has to have a downside. But if that doesn’t get you, wait til you see how much of a ball of fluff they are when they are puppies!! Okay, that is my favorite Shiba feature. (PS – they come in such cute colors!! All red, mostly black, all white, and a mixture of red and black.)
In a tribute to Shibas, here are some of my favorite photos I’ve collected on the interwebs, for your Shiba-viewing pleasure. Maybe after this post you will consider adding a Shiba to your short list of must-own dog breeds…