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Shiba Inu

Personality:Alert, active, and attentive

Coat & Grooming:The Shiba’s deep, plush double coat needs brushing several times a week

Energy Level:Very Active; Shibas need exercise each day, whether it’s a vigorous play session or a long walk

Originally: Japan

Nicknames: Shiba

Size: Small

Meet the Shiba Inu

​Brought to America from Japan as recently as 60 years ago, Shibas are growing in popularity in the West and are already the most popular breed in their homeland. Their white markings combined with their coloring (red, red sesame, or black and tan) and their alert expression and smooth stride makes them almost foxlike. They’re sturdy, muscular dogs with a bold, confident personality to match.

What's Their Story?

​The first documented Shiba to enter the United States was imported by a military family in 1954. But the Shiba is an ancient breed, having been around since 300 b.c. The breed is named after its history as a hunter in the rugged mountains of Japan; “Shiba” means “brushwood” (referring either to the brush in the mountains or to the dog’s reddish color) in Japanese, and “Inu” means “dog.” By the end of World War II Shibas were nearly extinct, but they survived Japan’s wartime deprivations and are today the country’s number-one companion animal. Their popularity has been growing in the United States for the past 50 years.

What are they Like?

​Headstrong and lively, Shibas are excellent watchdogs and family pets. They are particular about keeping themselves clean and are very easy to housetrain. Shibas are loyal to their family and will often get along with other pets, but if he gets upset or overly excited, he’ll make it known with the trademark “Shiba scream,” a high-pitched sound this breed emits.

See more Shiba Inu photos here

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