Shiba Inu: National Treasure of Japan

Is a Shiba Inu a Good Companion Dog?

If you asked anybody in Japan about the Shiba Inu, they would enthusiastically tell you of the breed’s alert and affable personality. An ancient Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu proves to be an excellent companion dog, easily adapting itself to you and your household. No wonder it’s considered to be a national treasure of Japan.

You can also economize on the dog’s grooming and accessories, as the dog’s hair is short, and you can create DIY dog accessories at an affordable price. Moreover, the dog likes to stay clean, often grooming itself like a cat.

Some AKC Statistics

According to the American Kennel Club, the Shiba Inu ranks 44 out of 195 in popularity. Males stand about 15 inches tall while females are about an inch shorter. Male dogs weigh 23 pounds and females, on average, weigh 17 pounds. The life expectancy for the dog, which is part of the non-sporting group, ranges from 13 to 16 years. You can increase that age range by feeding the dog a raw dog food diet and plenty of healthy meats.

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The Shiba Inu’s Appearance

In some cases, people may ask if your Shiba is a fox. The dog, which displays a wedge-shaped head, erect pointed ears, and dark brown eyes, exhibits a muscular, compact form. His coat may feature one of three colors, or red, black and tan, and a hue known as red sesame (black-tipped hairs against a red background).

The sides of the dog’s muzzle feature a color, called unwajiro, or a cream to white hue. This color is also seen on the inside of the ears, beneath the upper throat and jaw, and on the cheeks. It is noticeable, as well, on the abdomen and below the tail, which curves over the dog’s back.

Named as a National Treasure in Japan

Named as a National Treasure in Japan, the Shiba Inu is one of six dog breeds native to the country. The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the breeds, which include the Akita Inu, Shikoku, Kai Ken, Hokkaido, and Kishu Ken. All the breeds belong to the Spitz dog family.

The Origin of the Shiba Inu Name

The origin of the name Shiba Inu is not totally clear. While “Inu,” itself translates to dog, “Shiba,” which can mean brushwood, may either refer to shrubs or trees that turn red in the fall or to the areas where the dog once hunted small game.

However, “Shiba” may also refer to the dog’s small size. In the ancient Nagano dialect, “Shiba” translates to small. Because “Shiba” may mean brushwood, sometimes Shiba Inu in English translates to small brushwood dog.

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Making DIY Dog Crafts for your Companion Pet

As noted, because the Shiba Inu is a great companion dog, it Is easy to make DIY dog crafts for your best new friend. One accessory loved by the comfort-loving dog is a cushioned-made bed, easily made without the need for a sewing machine. Simply cut out two large pieces of fleece and place stuffing in between before knotting the ends. You will also need an elastic band. You can learn the eight-step process here.

Barking and Vocalization

Among dog breeds, five breeds do not bark much, if at all. The Shiba Inu falls under this category. Leading the top of the list, the Shiba Inu is followed by the Borzoi, Greyhound, New Guinea Singing Dog, and the Basenji.

However, just because the Shia Inu does not bark does not mean it will not vocalize. If it hurts or is in pain, it emits a large type of scream. Also, it can leave out this kind of high-pitched screech if it is extremely happy. It may vocalize, as well, when you are training it dog tricks.

You can even train the dog to say certain words. However, to take on this small feat takes patience, so you need to learn to exert and show a calm and authoritative demeanor during training.

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An Apartment Dog

People in Japan love the Shiba Inu, which can live in the country or city, because of its condensed size and playful nature. While teaching dog tricks takes some time, the dog can easily be house trained. If you want to adopt a happy and clean dog, or a canine that will not keep people awake with its barking, you will like the Shiba Inu. Because of the dog’s small size and tendency not to bark, it often works out well in apartments.

The Shiba Inu Diet

The little Shiba Inu tends to gain weight. Therefore, you have to be careful about giving it too many treats when training it basic dog commands. To make sure your dog’s dietary needs are met, you may want to fix up some dog food recipes. Dog nutrition of this kind can increase the Shiba’s lifespan and keep it mobile and flexible for a longer time.

Chicken and Carrots

One of the healthiest raw dog food recipes to make for your Shiba Inu is a concoction of chicken and carrots. This raw cuisine is ideal to give to a younger or older dog. This easy-to-make recipe contains the following:

  • 40% to 50% chicken breasts and thighs
  • About 20% chicken organs, or live and hearts
  • 15% chicken bone (ground)
  • 10% organic carrots
  • 10% organic green beans
  • 5% raw boiled chicken eggs.

Beef and Greens

You might also whip up a recipe of beef and greens. Greens are good for dogs, as they help prevent cancer. This recipe includes the following ingredients, and is also simple to make.

  • 40% to 50% ground beef
  • 20% beef liver or hearts
  • 15% beef tail bones (ground or minced)
  • 10% organic green apples
  • 10% organic kale
  • 10% organic collard greens

Use a food processor to mince the bones and other ingredients. Whole bones can lead to choking. Therefore, add the bones so they don’t get stuck in your dog’s throat.

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Taking Care of Shiba Inu Health

When you first adopt the Shiba Inu, make sure you set a veterinarian’s appointment right away. Doing so will make it easier for you to care for your dog and stay on top of its health throughout its life.

While the Shiba is pretty healthy overall, genetic issues may exist from time to time. Some dogs are prone to conditions such as patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and vision problems. Allergies may also occur, particularly inhalant allergies, which are known as atopy.

Atopy leads to itching, which can result in hair loss or redness. If you see signs of an allergy, you need to take your dog to the vet ASAP. This breed also tends to have periodontal disease. Therefore, starting vet care, including dental checkups and prophylaxis treatments, can prevent the condition from becoming full-blown.

You can spend a good deal of quality time with a companion dog, such as the Shiba Inu. By learning dog training tips and making the right choices for raw dog food, you will increase your enjoyment and time with your newly adopted pet.

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